After one mind-blowing night Matthew Cooper never expected to see AJ Reynolds again. But when they are unexpectedly thrown together at a wedding, Matt gives in to temptation. And Matt can help AJ get the one thing she wants… if she’s willing to admit that one night wasn’t enough!
Mills & Boon By Request (reissue) ~ UK – September 2017
Harlequin Desire ~ North America / Australia/NZ – November 2013
“That bridesmaid keeps checking you out. Do you know her?”
“Who?” Matthew Cooper turned from the huge skyline window, transferring his attention from the stunning seventy-eighth-floor view of Queensland’s Surfers Paradise to his sister, Paige. Her familiar teasing grin remained firmly in place as he gave a cursory glance at the impressively decked-out bridal party. The group of six was slowly making the rounds, as a glorious sunset illuminated the aptly named Sunlight Room, Q-Deck’s premier reception area.
“The redhead,” Paige answered.
He shrugged, snagged a glass of champagne from the passing waiter’s tray, then went back to the commanding view. “I don’t know anyone here. The happy couple are your clients.”
Paige frowned. “And you’re depressing me. It’s a wedding, Matt. A celebration of love. Loosen up a little. Have a bit of fun.” She scanned the crowd again. “Go and chat up a bridesmaid.”
He raised one eyebrow, jammed a hand into his pants pocket and took a slow sip from his glass. “The redhead?”
“She is definitely interested.”
Matt murmured something noncommittal.
Paige sighed. “You are one sad guy. Here you are, thirty-six, prime of your life, attractive, single, excruciatingly rich-”
“And still work-obsessed,” she concluded as she watched him check his phone for the third time in half an hour. “I thought you left Saint Cat’s to get away from that.”
He frowned. “Running GEM is totally different.”
“Hmmm…” Paige’s brown eyes blinked as she popped an appetizer in her mouth, then held up her palms, indicating scales. “On the one hand, heart surgery. On the other, running an international global rescue company.” She tipped one hand down, the other up. “Saving lives for the family business-parents overjoyed. Training emergency medical response teams in developing countries-parents pissed off.”
“I’m still saving lives, Paige. And I don’t need you on my case too.”
“Seeing nasty, lying ex-wife every few weeks.” One of Paige’s palms dropped. “Skiving off to exotic locations and even more exotic women.” Her other hand shot up as she smiled. “Yet you’re still not happy.”
“You’re not.” She touched his arm. “I may live in London but I still know you.”
Before he could answer, the bridal party shifted, a solid mass of movement and noise flowing in a singular wave.
It was Friday night in the middle of an unseasonably warm August, and instead of finalizing project details before he flew out to Perth on Monday, he was in a room full of strangers, celebrating the union of two people so obviously in love it was kind of nauseating.
A vague, irrational anger swept over him. The last wedding he’d attended had been his own – and look how that had turned out.
People parted to reveal the newlyweds, Emily and Zac Prescott, sharing a grinning kiss. As the guests cheered, Matthew’s jaw tightened, uncomfortable emotions welling in his throat. Why the hell had he agreed to be Paige’s plus-one?
“Your ring looks good,” he said to Paige, who’d fallen silent.
“As if you can tell from this distance.” Still, she visibly preened as they both studied the intricate, handmade Paige Cooper diamond band on Emily’s ring finger. “Look,” she added, sharply elbowing him in the arm. “There’s the redhead.”
The woman in question was partially hidden by Emily’s dress. Her head was turned, body angled away so he could only make out the sweep of neck and bare shoulders, the fiery red hair bundled up in a sleek knot at her nape.
Then she moved and a spear of golden sunlight sharpened her profile.
He gasped as everything went out of focus.
“You know her?” Paige asked sharply.
“No. Excuse me for a moment.” Ignoring Paige’s frown, he shoved his glass into her hand and moved purposely forward.
She was five feet away, lagging behind the rest of the wedding party and talking to a smooth-looking guy. He paused, head spinning as the past flooded in to seize his senses. Angelina Jayne Reynolds – AJ. Angel, he’d whispered in her ear, deep in the throes of passion as she’d writhed beneath him. The nickname suited her. From her pale ethereal skin, long elegant limbs and ice-blue eyes, to the deep auburn shock of hair that tumbled down her back in flaming waves, she was a mixture of heaven and hell all rolled into one. A woman who’d set his blood boiling with her joyous laugh and come-hither grin. A woman who’d driven him crazy for six whole months, burned up his sheets, then walked out of his life without a word. It had taken him close to a year to forget that.
But you didn’t really forget, did you?