Harlequin Presents...
The secrets behind her smile...
Bankrupt, homeless and alone, Lorelei St James is an heiress on the edge.  Yet she hides her desperation behind her glossy blonde hair and even brighter smile.  Getting lectured on her driving by a hot-tempered - and ridiculously attractive - stranger will not be what shatters her carefully crafted façade!
Legendary Australian racing driver Nash Blue knows a thing or two about pride and sees straight through Lorelei's polished front.  Her vulnerabilities play havoc with his concentration.  Never shy of a challenge, he begins his biggest yet:  unwrapping the real Lorelei St James...

He continued to watch her, a quiet smile conveying so much more than words.  In that moment Lorelei knew she was in trouble.

Oh, she knew how to deflect a man, make it clear despite sitting across from him, sharing a meal with him she was not on the menu.

But right now, she felt like every dish he might like...

Finally Nash spoke.

'We've got a lot in common.'  He settled back, angled in his chair, all shoulders and lean, muscular grace.

He seemed to be saying, take a good long look, it could all be yours.

But for how long, she wondered.

'How do you gauge that?' she asked aloud.

'I like to compete.  You're a serious trophy.'

'Pardon me?'

He gave her a lazy once over she should have found insulting after the "trophy" description, instead she felt it like a direct hit to her sleeping libido.

'You're smart and seriously sexy and I haven't been bored since I sat down with you.  Like I said, you're a serious trophy.'

Lorelei inhaled sharply.

She knew it, this was how some men saw an attractive woman, she had just never met a man who had the nerve to say it to her in so many words.

'Nash, a trophy is an inanimate object you sit on a shelf.'

'A trophy can be anything you want to win,' he countered, sitting forward and Lorelei had to remind herself not to edge back.  He fairly emanated thumping male entitlement.  'I don't get in the race, Lorelei, unless I'm fairly confident of the outcome.'

For a breathless moment she considered asking him exactly how confident he was of her?  But deep down she feared the answer.

Another Lorelei, the one who could hold men off with a death stare at a hundred paces, would have stood up and thrown the contents of her drink all over him.  This Lorelei, the one clutching her cocktail like a life jacket and breathing in the spicy, earthy scent of him like oxygen found herself asking, 'Is that a problem for you, women boring you?'

He sat back, his hand resuming its drumming action.  'On occasion.'  His head dropped a little to the side, as if he were considering her.  He smiled slowly.  'Most of the time.' 

Arrogant bastard.

She couldn't help smiling back.

'Perhaps the better question is do you think you'll bore me?' she asked sweetly.

'How am I doing so far?'

Lorelei paused long enough to take another sip of her drink.

'Oh, I think you're in the race.'

From "PRIDE AFTER HER FALL" by Lucy Ellis
Harlequin Presents - February 2013
ISBN: 9780373131259
Text Copyright © 2013 Lucy Ellis
Cover Art Copyright © 2013 Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.  Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.  All rights reserved.  ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Lucy Ellis