by Melanie Milburne, author of The Valquez Bride
The one word that stood out on Teddy’s father’s will started with M but it wasn’t money. She looked at the family lawyer in open-mouthed alarm. ‘Marriage?’
Teddy Marlstone longs for the fairy tale even though she knows it’s unlikely she will get it. The limp she’s had since childhood hardly puts her on a level playing field with the Beautiful People. But she is about to lose her family home unless she agrees to marry hardened and devilishly handsome playboy Alejandro Valquez, a man who snubbed her the first time he’d met her when she was sixteen.
Alejandro has done everything he can to avoid emotional entanglements after being jilted in the past. The last thing he wants is to tie himself to a bride, especially one as icy and untouchable as Teddy Marlstone. But unless he marries her, the land his late father was swindled out of by Teddy’s father will be lost forever. Teddy dresses in frumpy clothes on their first meeting in an attempt to put him off. I loved writing that scene because it’s through Alejandro’s point of view. His first sight of his future bride is rather off putting!
Alejandro turned to see a small figure standing in the frame of the doorway off the black and white tiled hall. There wasn’t a fake nail in sight of a spray tan. She was wearing clothes that looked as if they had been sourced from a charity bin and her hair looked as if she had dived in head first to retrieve them. It was a wild cloud of dark brown tresses around her head and shoulders, wavy rather than curly, but clearly no effort had been spared to tame it. If anything, it looked as if she had recently mussed it up with her hands. Her trousers were a dirty shade of brown, the checked shirt un-ironed and the cable sweater she wore over it was covered in balls of lint. The outfit was masculine and too big for her small frame, swamping her like a tent draped over a toothpick.
I love marriage of convenience stories. I love that two people who would normally not see each other as viable partners are forced together and find they are actually perfectly suited. Teddy is far from the ice maiden she pretends to be and Alejandro’s cynical exterior hides a man with a warm and compassionate heart.
‘When was the last time you had sex?’
She made a choking sound and turned away. ‘I’m not going to answer that.’
‘Why not?’ Her arms went across her middle.
‘Because this is a paper marriage so you don’t need to know my sexual history any more than I need to know yours.’
‘Mine is regularly documented in the press if you’re interested.’
I really enjoyed writing my first Argentinian hero and I especially enjoyed pitting him against an English rose with attitude. I hope you enjoy Teddy and Alejandro’s story and the second in the duet, The Valquez Seduction where Alejandro’s younger dashing polo-playing brother Luiz meets his match in London schoolteacher Daisy Wyndham!
I have a signed copy of The Valquez Bride for a reader (all regions) who tells me what is the frumpiest article of clothing currently in your wardrobe.
Giveaway This contest will close on November 3, 11:59 ET, and a winner will be selected by random draw on November 4. Open to residents of US and Canada, excluding Quebec. For full giveaway rules, click here.
About The Valquez Bride:
A wedding night she’ll never forget! Untouched Theodora Marlstone always wanted the fairy-tale wedding—a white dress and an adoring groom. Instead she’s walking up the aisle toward a marriage of convenience to outrageously attractive Argentinean Alejandro Valquez! He promises raw sensuality, not devotion, but thanks to her father’s will, Teddy must say “I do”…. Alejandro never wanted a wife, but his buttoned-up bride is a delicious present just waiting to be unwrapped. Beneath the white silk lies a woman who exceeds his wildest imagination, and it’s clear that this union will burn the very paper it’s written on!