Summer with the Millionaire

By: Jessica Gilmore

‘Come in,’ she coaxed. ‘The water’s lovely.’

He shook his head at her, amused. ‘You said yourself it’s not deep enough to swim in—it barely covers your feet!’

‘I’m paddling,’ she said, with as much dignity as was possible when she was standing in the middle of a stream. ‘And it’s lovely. Scared?’ she taunted softly.

Slowly, with almost catlike grace, Luca pushed himself away from the tree on which he’d been leaning and leant down, loosening the ties on his boot before slipping it off, casually kicking it off his foot. His eyes fixed on Minty’s face, he slid his sock off his foot, tucking it neatly into the boot. It should have looked ridiculous—he should have looked ridiculous. But there was something so deliberate, so assured in his movements that Minty could only stand and watch, her mouth dry.

Luca stood before her: impossibly tall, imposing. Infinitely fascinating.

‘Luca …’ she said hoarsely.

He didn’t answer, but looked down at her searchingly. What the question was she did not know, but her face must have signalled an answer because with a muttered groan Luca pulled her close, moulding her long curves against his hard body, one hand tilting her chin up as his mouth came down upon hers.

There was nothing but him and the heat blazing between them. Nothing but the here and the now. Nothing but them.

After learning to read aged just two, JESSICA GILMORE spent every childhood party hiding in bedrooms in case the birthday girl had a book or two she hadn’t read yet. Discovering Mills and Boon® novels on a family holiday, Jessica realised that romance-writing was her true vocation and proceeded to spend her maths lessons practising her art, creating Dynasty-inspired series starring herself and Morten Harket’s cheekbones. Writing for Mills & Boon really is a dream come true!

A former au pair, bookseller, marketing manager and Scarborough seafront trader—selling rock from under a sign that said ‘Cheapest on the Front'—Jessica now works as a membership manager for a regional environmental charity. Sadly, she spends most of her time chained to her desk, wrestling with databases, but likes to sneak out to one of their beautiful reserves whenever she gets a chance. Married to an extremely patient man, Jessica lives in the beautiful and historic city of York, with one daughter, one very fluffy dog, two dog-loathing cats and a goldfish named Bob.

On the rare occasions when she is not writing, working, taking her daughter to activities or tweeting, Jessica likes to plan holidays—and uses her favourite locations in her books. She writes deeply emotional romance with a hint of humour, a splash of sunshine and usually a great deal of delicious food—and equally delicious heroes.

For Abby

My amazing, enthusiastic, enquiring, bright girl.

Thank you for all your encouragement, belief and pride—and thank you for just being you. I love you.

I want to thank everyone who has supported Minty, especially my friends and colleagues who voted daily in SYTYCW 12 and begged me not to give up. Special thanks once again to Jane, Julia and Maggie, for reading every single version with patience, humour and just the occasional crack of the whip, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Heidi Rice for a thoroughly comprehensive New Writer’s Scheme report—thank you.

Finally thanks to Dan for all your support x


‘NO, HE ISN’T expecting me, and no, I don’t have an appointment, but...’

The impeccably made-up woman behind the desk held up a hand dismissively. ‘I am sorry, signorina, but without an appointment I cannot let you go in.’

Minty Davenport suppressed a sigh. It was only 10:00 a.m. but she had already done more this morning than she usually managed in a full day. After negotiating the Tube armed with two large suitcases, battling the automated check-in of the budget airline and enduring her taxi driver’s taste in music, she really needed something to go her way. Even the subtle scent of juniper, olives and garlic, and the sight of much missed rolling hills and olive groves, had failed to settle her nerves.

‘Here is Signor Di Tore now,’ the receptionist said, thankfully, gesturing to someone behind Minty. Minty closed her eyes, butterflies tumbling around her stomach.

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