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The Baby Favor
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Sometimes a favor can change your life.
Him: A rich, powerful, stunningly sexy CEO. Let’s call him Derek.
The Problem: His father has three months to live, and unless Derek shows he can settle down and start a family, he’s going to be completely cut off from his family and his business. He’ll lose everyone and everything. He won’t even be allowed to attend the funeral.
The Solution: Uhm, yup. That’s where I step in. I’ve barely started working there, hardly found my desk, and he just asks me to do the most intimate, crazy, sexual thing I’ve ever heard of. It’s true when they say some favors will literally change your life.
The Favor: Pretend to be in love with him. Pretend to be engaged to him. Pretend to be pregnant with his baby. Oh, and while I’m at it, I have to be convincing enough to fool his suspicious father, the family lawyers, and everyone else in the family. Piece of cake, right? Well, let’s just say, Derek can make things very convincing, very fast.
The Baby favor is a full length, standalone romance from USA Today Bestselling author, Chance Carter. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. And it will make you breathless for more. HEA is guaranteed.
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“A baby,” he growled, his wheezy cough interrupting him mid-sentence. “That’s the only thing that matters, son. A baby. An heir. If you don’t have a baby before I die, I’ll never forgive you.”
Personally, having a kid wasn’t at the tippy top of my priority list. I mean, in order to have a baby, you first need a woman, and even that wasn’t at the top of my list.
Not the type of woman I’d want to start a family with, at least.
But my father was leaving me in no doubt. Starting a family was the only thing that would gain his approval.
I didn’t understand it. My dad, with no less than four failed marriages under his belt, was disappointed in me because I hadn’t yet provided the family with an heir.
I was only thirty-four, after all, and had plenty of time. I was too busy running the company he’d passed on to me to think about marriage and children.
I looked at the letter from his doctors. It had been in my hands since opening it an hour ago.
“Three months,” it said.
That’s how long my father could expect to live.
He’d been battling it for two years. Who would have thought that a rich, clever, obstinate old man who knew how to get his way whatever the cost, would be dying because he refused to give up his smoking habit.
It broke my heart.
I’d just gotten back from visiting him for the weekend and my doorman handed me the note.
“It is our professional opinion that your father will expire during the next three months.”
I struggled to read the words through the tears in my eyes.
We’d never been especially close. He was a tough son of a gun. He was never satisfied with anything, least of all me. I’d spent the last few years of my life trying to make amends for my mistakes, building up his company into a billion dollar empire in the few years I’d been CEO, but no matter what I did, it was never enough.
“What use is an empire if it has no heir?” he’d wheezed into my face when I went to his room to say goodbye.
“I’ve got years ahead of me to start a family,” I told him.
“Gah,” he spat, waving his hand at me to show his disgust. “No heir, no inheritance.”
I didn’t care about inheritance. Despite our wealth, money wasn’t the motivating factor in my life.
“And no inheritance, and you won’t be carrying on our family name. I’ll disown you, son. Do you hear me? I’ll wipe the records clear of you. The family line will end with me and you won’t even be permitted to attend my funeral.”
Now that hurt.
Despite my seemingly carefree youth, my playboy ways, my lack of a wife or children, family was the most important thing in my life. The bonds of blood, the loyalty of family, that’s what I cared about. And he knew it.
Things devolved quickly after that. He banned me from attending his funeral, he said he was cutting me out of the family, and he screamed at me to get out of his sight.
His butler apologized as he escorted me from the room, but I got the distinct impression that if the old man asked him to, he and the other staff would ban me from the entire premises, would ban me from the funeral, and would see that every letter of my father’s will was carried out to a tee.
“There’s nothing I can do to please that man,” I muttered to myself, placing my head in my hands and massaging my temples.
I had to come up with a way to fix this.
I’d regret it the rest of my life if my father died while being mad at me over this.
Despite our rocky relationship, he was still my father—my old, dying father—and I was not ready to let him go. Not without bridging the gap between us first.
But he was sort of putting me in an impossible position. I couldn’t just snap my fingers and provide him with the heir he so desperately wanted.
I wasn’t dating anyone, and apart from flings and one night stands, I hadn’t been with a woman in years. I knew I could find a wife and start a family eventually, but in three months?
I went to bed exhausted. Fighting with my father always wore me out. During the night, I dreamt that I was driving toward the cemetery where all my family have been buried for generations. As I approached the big, brass gates, my father’s butler waved me over to the side of the road.
“Sorry, sir. You can’t go any further.”
“It’s my father’s funeral,” I protested.
He shrugged and a police car appeared, escorting me away from the cemetery.
* * *
I woke up in a cold sweat and got out of bed. I had to fix this. I solved major problems for a living. I could solve this one.