The Real Thing
by Brenda Jackson
by Brenda Jackson
What happens when a pretend boyfriend wants more than make-believe? Find out in this Westmoreland novel from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Jackson!
No red-blooded man turns down the chance to escort gorgeous Trinity Matthews—and Adrian Westmoreland is definitely red-blooded. For her, he'll pretend to be her man. But keeping his hands to himself? That is impossible. A Westmoreland always keeps his word, but how long before Adrian turns this fake affair into something real?
Excerpt from The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson
"I understand you're in a jam and might need my help."
In a jam was putting it mildly, Trinity Matthews thought, looking across the table at Adrian Westmoreland.
If only what he'd said wasn't true. And.. if only Adrian wasn't so good-looking. Then thinking about what she needed him to do wouldn't be so hard.
When she and Adrian had first met, last year at his cousin Riley's wedding, he had been standing in a group of Westmoreland men. She had sized up his brothers and cousins, but had definitely noticed Adrian standing beside his identical twin brother, Aidan.
Trinity had found out years ago, when her sister Tara had married Thorn Westmoreland, that all Westmoreland men were eye candy of the most delectable kind. Therefore, she hadn't really been surprised to discover that Thorn's cousins from Denver had a lot of the same traits-handsome facial features, tall height, a hard-muscled body and an aura of primal masculinity.
But she'd never thought she'd be in a position to date one of those men-even if it was only a temporary ruse.
Trinity knew Tara had already given Adrian some details about the situation and now it was up to her to fill him in on the rest.
"Yes, I'm in a jam," Trinity said, releasing a frustrated breath. "I want to tell you about it, but first I want to thank you for agreeing to meet with me tonight."
He had suggested Laredo's Steak House. She had eaten here a few times, and the food was always excellent.
She paused, trying to ignore how the deep, husky sound of his voice stirred her already nervous stomach. "My goal," she began, "is to complete my residency at Denver Memorial and return to Bunnell, Florida, and work beside my father and brothers in their medical practice. That goal is being threatened by another physician, Dr. Casey Belvedere. He's a respected surgeon here in Denver. He-"
Trinity's heart skipped a beat. Another Westmoreland trait she'd discovered: they didn't believe in mincing words.
"Yes. He wants an affair. I've done nothing to encourage his advances or to give him the impression I'm interested. I even lied and told him I was already involved with someone, but he won't let up. Now it's more than annoying. He's hinted that if I don't go along with it, he'll make my life at the hospital difficult."
She pushed her plate aside and took a sip of her wine. "I brought his unwanted advances to the attention of the top hospital administrator, and he's more or less dismissed my claim. Dr. Belvedere's family is well known in the city. Big philanthropists, I understand. Presently, the Belvederes are building a children's wing at the hospital that will bear their name. It's my guess that the hospital administrator feels that now is not the time to make waves with any of the Belvederes. He said I need to pick my battles carefully, and this is one I might not want to take on."
She paused. "So I came up with a plan." She chuckled softly. "Let me rephrase that. Tara came up with the plan after I told her what was going on. It seems that she faced a similar situation when she was doing her residency in Kentucky. The only difference was that the hospital administrator supported her and made sure the doctor was released of his duties. I don't have that kind of support here because of the Belvedere name."
Adrian didn't say anything for a few moments. He broke eye contact with her and stared down into his glass of wine. Trinity couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking.
He looked back at her. "There is another solution to your problem, you know."
She lifted a brow. "There is?"
"You did say he's a surgeon, right?"
"Then I could break his hands so he'll never be able to use them in an operating room again."
She stared wide-eyed at him for a couple of seconds before leaning forward. "You're joking, right?"
"No. I am not joking. I'm dead serious."
She leaned back as she studied his features. They were etched with ruthlessness and his dark eyes were filled with callousness. It was only then that Trinity remembered Tara's tales about the twins, their baby sister, Bailey, and their younger cousin Bane. According to Tara, those four were the holy terrors of Denver while growing up and got into all kinds of trouble-malicious and otherwise.
The Real Thing by Brenda Jackson
Series: The Westmorelands