Scandalous Seduction

By: Miranda Lee

From Back Cover…

'I've decided it's futile to continue… until I've got your virginity out of the way'.

When her fiancé ran off with her sister, Harriet was made brutally aware that she held little attraction for men. So why was Brad Barrington interested in her — a smalltown schoolteacher — now? Because, she reasoned, he was well known throughout Australia as a writer of sexy blockbusters and as a seducer of women, and he found the chip on her shoulder challenging. But however much Brad might think he'd be doing her a favour, Harriet knew that he'd never give her the love she really needed…

Brad glared across at her. 'You're an intelligent woman, Harriet. But, I fear, a highly emotional one. You feel things… deeply. I have enough sense of honour left, I hope, not to tamper with your affection. Or your body.'

She stared back at him, hearing nothing but those last three words. 'I don't recall asking you to,' she snapped.

'There is such a thing as body language, Harriet. Yours is beginning to disturb my equilibrium.'

'Oh, dear me,' she muttered sarcastically. 'How very unfortunate for you! Well, put your mind at rest, dear Mr Barrington, I'm not that desperate that I lust after every man I go out with. Neither would I dream of falling in love with a callous, hard-hearted bastard like you!'


HARRIET'S eyes snapped up to stare at her mother. 'Who did you say?'

Julia Weatherspoon raised her finely arched eyebrows towards the ceiling. 'I'm so glad to have finally gained your full attention, Harriet. Truly, once you get your nose into one of those infernal books of yours!'

'Sorry…' Harriet closed the battered copy of Wuthering Heights and gave her mother a soothing smile. 'Come on, don't make me suffer. Was I right or was I wrong in thinking you just mentioned Brad Barrington?'

Her mother sighed. 'I suppose you haven't heard more than those two words, have you?'


'All right, all right, yes, I did say Brad Barrington and, yes, I mean the famous author. I doubt there are many men named Brad Barrington in Australia.'

'Well, what about him?' Harriet urged impatiently.

Her mother's glare was full of reproach. 'You haven't been listening at all, have you? Good heavens, Harriet, you really are the limit sometimes. There's more to life than reading. I've spent at least ten minutes telling you how your father's mystery buyer for that awful commune place on Mist Mountain has turned out to be none other than our aforesaid celebrity author.'

'Well, that's wonderful, Mother, but not so astonishing. It's not the first time a millionaire has bought land around these hills.'

'Yes, but he's going to live here!'

Harriet's big brown eyes opened wide. 'Live here?'

'He moved in yesterday, it seems. Raymond rang me earlier to tell me Mr Barrington had just dropped in to his office to say how delighted he was with the place. And you know your father. He upped and asked him to dinner tonight. That's what I was telling you a moment ago.'

Harriet blinked. 'Father asked Brad Barrington to dinner? Tonight?' She swallowed convulsively. 'And is he coming?'

'He is.' Julia smoothed her still-beautiful face into a superbly bland expression, as though it were perfectly normal for her to have fabulously rich and famous dinner guests. In truth, she was a splendid hostess, and her dinner invitations were prized among the locals, but even Harriet could see that this would be a feather in her cap.

Brad Barrington… Harriet's heart gave a definite leap. She had seen him interviewed on television recently about his new release, and, while she couldn't recall the name of the book, she could recall her involuntary reaction to the man who had written it. She'd found herself glued to the set, watching him with increasing fascination as he sparred with the interviewer.

It wasn't that he was overly handsome. Attractive covered his looks best. It was his mind that had captured her interest. So quick, so intelligent, with a no-nonsense attitude to life that had really appealed to her. He had called a spade a spade, not bothering to dress up his answers with a lot of insincere social affectations.

And yet he had sufficient magnetism and charisma—plus a bagful of captivating smiles—to make his rather blunt answers not sound rude. They had been frank and refreshing, despite the cynicism that flavoured their delivery.