London publishing tycoon Rosco Redmond closely guards his family, his business, and his privacy. When his sister’s wedding brings the paparazzi baying at his door, wedding photographer Kitty Mayfair unwittingly becomes his decoy girlfriend. But the mysterious Kitty has secrets of her own.
Despite the sexy hint of an appealing Irish brogue, Kitty’s new boss is bent on micromanaging his sister’s wedding and the crazy fake relationship she’s been dragged into. The only thing they seem to have in common, is that neither of them believes in happy-ever-afters. But the more time Kitty spends with the tycoon, the more she begins to suspect there’s a lot of fire beneath his cool facade.
With the past complicating their present, and the zoom lenses of photographers everywhere they go, the commitment phobic control freak and the globe-trotting free spirit clash and ignite.
He led her into a gracious, comfortable living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows arched over a lush autumn garden, and a warm fire glowed beneath a solid marble mantle lined with family photos.
They neatly framed the differences between the Redmond world and hers. Images of family occasions hadn’t added any weight to Kitty’s rucksack in the eight years she’d traveled the world as a photographer.
Family commitment just wasn’t in her DNA.
She turned her back on the pictures and perched on the edge of a plush cream chair, carefully placing her bag at her feet.
“You will be undertaking all photography for my sister’s wedding this weekend,” he said, getting straight to the point while gathering contract papers from a writing desk beside the fire.
Kitty let stunned silence fall between them. She’d never been a wedding photographer, had no albums in her portfolio or on her website.
And this probably wasn’t the time to enlighten him about her views on marriage. She didn’t do weddings. Happily-ever-afters in taffeta and tiaras didn’t ring true for her.
“You will be recompensed for any work lost, and I’ll expect you to be available starting today.” He sat on the sofa opposite her. “Tomorrow, Friday, I will expect you at the wedding rehearsal. The wedding will take place on Saturday afternoon at a confidential rural location.”
Questions raced across her mind, and she tried to sort them into two logical lists. Sensible to ask. Unwise to ask. The last thing she wanted to do was jeopardize this contract.
“Why am I here if you think I look too young for the job?” she blurted out before any list making was completed. His words still prickled her pride.
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “I thought you were older. Fifty-something. Your personnel file obviously has an incorrect date of birth. An unacceptable mistake made by my HR department.” He angled another critical glance at her and then quickly looked away.
“So the paparazzi confusing me with Titania was as shocking to you as it was to me?”
“Quite.” He cleared his throat.
“Your photography style is real and totally lacking in glitz. That’s what I want for my sister’s wedding album. I’ll be supervising you closely and advising on all details.”
Close supervision. Kitty opened her mouth to protest then shut it quickly as her common sense finally disciplined her thoughts.
She nodded, mustering polite professionalism. “Why such short notice, may I ask?”
“My sister’s photographer fractured her collar bone.”
“I’m sorry. That sounds painful,” Kitty said, feeling some sympathy for the woman, even as her creative juices surged at her good luck.
“I consider it a fortunate accident,” he continued with the merest nod of matching sympathy, totally at odds with his words. “Her glamorous style was not my choice.”
He adjusted the cuff of the crisp white shirt beneath his suit and glanced at the gold Rolex on his wrist. “So are we in agreement? A few days of your time and my technical supervision?”
Not so fast, she thought. She’d deal with the supervision clause and his arrogant boardroom manner later, but the paparazzi was another level of complication she couldn’t ignore.