Taste Of Love: Loving Jenna #1

BOOK: Taste Of Love: Loving Jenna #1
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Copyright
©
2012 by Katelyn Skye

This book is a work of fiction.
The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s
imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be constructed as
real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or
organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved

 

No part of this book may be
reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written
permission from the author except in the case of brief quotation embodied in
critical articles and reviews.

 

Prologue

“Morgan,
we need to talk.”

Morgan
rose to his feet in surprise as the elegantly beautiful, middle-aged woman
appeared. His secretary respectfully closed the door behind Ursula Shaw, who
advanced into the office until she was standing in front of her son’s desk.

Morgan
was surprised to see his mother to say the least. She never came to visit him
where he worked as managing director of the distinguished financial consultancy
firm owned by his father, Nathan Shaw.

It was
no secret how much his mother hated this part of their lives. Sure, the
mega-successful business had put the family where it was today, among one of
the richest in the city if not the state. It paid for an expensive lifestyle
where she was welcome into the most exclusive circles. True, she would never
want for anything again in her life but one thing Ursula had never really liked
was the price she’d had to pay in return.

Her
marriage had suffered greatly just because her husband, Nathan, had turned this
company into the center of his existence. He’d worked punishing hours for the
past twenty years just to keep his dream alive of owning the most renowned
financial advisory firm. This meant that on many of those marvelous trips she
took around the world, Ursula mostly took them alone. Those delicious, well
planned dinners she prepared every night, she ended up having to throw most of
it away because he could never make it home for the meal. Ursula had spent her
marriage by herself, and it had taken a recent health scare for her husband to
slow down and play a less active role in his company.

And now
Ursula was seeing the same thing happening to her son.

Morgan
was just as driven by success as his father was. He always had to come out top
in everything. As a student and even in his everyday life, his competitiveness
knew no bounds. He’d started at a lowly position in his father’s firm when he’d
left university; Nathan hadn’t been ready to give him any preferential
treatment. But in months, Morgan had proven his worth and by the end of two
years with the firm, he’d risen to the role of managing director, much to
Ursula’s hidden dismay.

Morgan
was a very handsome young man. Not even thirty, he had the distinguished air of
a man in his prime. Like his father, he had that raven black hair, straight and
thick with hints of blue amongst the inky locks. His eyes though, were a
startling blue like Ursula’s. He was very handsome, very sought after
especially in their
high-brow
circles. But he never
seemed interested in any one, not seriously. Oh, he had the usual flings and
there was always a recurring female whom he turned to when he needed someone on
his arm for that special gathering.

But
Ursula knew Morgan had no time for love.

He was
her only child; she loved him dearly but even she wasn’t blind to his faults.
He could be cold and implacable, especially to others in the outside
world,
people he could never trust because he believed
everyone wanted
something
from him.
He had to prove himself to his father at every turn and Ursula could understand
how it must have turned her son into the driven, hard-edged young man he was.
And this made her sad.

She was
here today to try and steer him on the right path before it was too late
– for both of them.

*
Morgan didn’t want to believe what his mother was telling him.

She’d
left her father at the house in the early morning of yesterday, supposedly to
make it to one of her spa appointments. These usually lasted the whole day and
her husband hadn’t been expecting her back soon.

But
Ursula had mistakenly taken the wrong bag, the one without her credit cards and
had to return home to get them. When she arrived, she’d heard voices in
Nathan’s study. She’d been surprised because she’d only left him fifteen
minutes ago and there’d been no one else in
their
home.

Curious
to know
who
he was with, she’d gone to stand close to
the study door, listening carefully.

“I
hadn’t meant to eavesdrop,” Ursula said quietly now to her son as they faced
each other across his desk. “I was merely wondering why he just happened to
have company as soon as I left the house. Well, it seemed he’d called his
lawyer over to discuss certain matters of his will.”

She
looked up at her son with worried eyes. “I feel bad for having to listen in
like that, but in a way I’m glad because now you know what you’re up against. I
didn’t get to hear that much, but the little I did hear, was that your father
is planning to disinherit you.”

Morgan
shot to his feet with a huff, going to pace the length of his spacious office.
“Dad would never do that. We’ve never really seen eye to eye, in many things,
but I’m his only son.”

“Yes I
know. But Morgan, you’re so stubborn, and I’m sorry to say, quite a bit of the
heartless devil. You break women’s hearts like they were clay toys. Your father
isn’t happy with you especially after you left Hilary Morrison. You know her
father and yours have been friends for a long time.”

“So, I
break the heart of his best friend’s daughter and I get cut out of his fortune?
How messed up is that?” Morgan said with a disbelieving grunt.

“Look,
all I know is that, he’s considering putting in some kind of clause – in
the will. I just thought I should warn you,” she said with a deep sigh. Her
face, still very beautiful at over fifty years, was now drawn with more lines
than Morgan was used to. His heart suddenly softened and he went to crouch in
front of her chair so that he could look into the clear blue eyes so much like
his own.

“Just
tell me what I need to do, mother.”

She
smiled a little, rifling her fingers through his thick hair. “That’ll have to
be your decision. But your father is showing some concern that you’ll never
settle down. Your profligate lifestyle has made him think that once you’re head
of the company, your last thought would be about finding love or having a
family. He doesn’t want that for you.”

Morgan’s
lips curled in a scathing smile. Straightening, he murmured, “Funny that dad
should think like that – considering how he treated you all these years.
Oh sure, I noticed, even though I was a kid. But I saw everything you went
through and I’m not ready to put any “wife” through that, especially if I have
feelings for her. Leaving her alone day and night, never there for her when she
needs me – and filling her life with extravagance to make up for the
important things I should be giving her –
like
my love and attention. Why would I want to get married and play the same farce
you and dad played? I don’t want to get some women hurt or feeling deprived
like you did. I don’t want that on my conscience.”

Ursula
rose calmly to her feet. “Well then, expect to lose hold on the precious
company you’re so dedicated to,” she said plainly. “Because your father intends
to take it all away unless you can prove you have it in you to share true
feelings for anyone other than yourself. He wants you to get married, to be
happy. He intends to step down in a year – maybe even in half that time.
But he’s going to pass over giving you control of the firm if he feels it’ll
jeopardize your chances of having a normal life, a normal relationship…and a
family of your own.”

“This
is bullshit,” Morgan growled, his expression furious. Shoving his hands back
through his hair, he sighed before turning to his waxy-faced mother. “I’m
sorry, mom. I didn’t mean to speak like that in front of you. I just…what the
hell do you expect me to do now?”

“Make
the effort,” she said simply. “Morgan…your father isn’t feeling well. That’s
one thing he did confide in me about. He doesn’t really have that much time.”
Her eyes held her son’s meaningfully. Morgan drew in a sharp breath.

“What?”
he breathed in shock.

“The
doctors were very clear that he needs to really take it easy from now on, but
it’s true…his health is failing and it’s only a matter of time before…”

Ursula
turned away, her voice ending in a choke as she covered her trembling lips with
her hand. Suddenly pulling herself together, she sighed and turned to the
dumbstruck Morgan.

“I need
to be getting back to the house,” she said with a low tone, and for the first
time Morgan could really notice the pale etchings of worry underneath her
skillfully applied makeup.

“I just
thought you should know. Maybe…maybe you have a small chance of getting your
father to believe in you again – and not as an heir, but as a son,” she
told him quietly. “You need to find someone, Morgan.
Someone
who can make you happy; who you can share your life with.
If your father
sees you’re making the effort, I know he’ll…”

“So
what should I do? I can’t force myself to fall in love,” Morgan said
impatiently. “You don’t understand, mother; you don’t know how hard I’ve tried.
If you know what I know about some of these women…”

“I
know…gold diggers and the like,” Ursula said with a small smile. “But not every
woman is like that. I know I came from a rich background myself; my family was
serious old money and your father was just some whiz in the financial world
when we met…Money was never an issue with me and him because even with all the
trappings around us, we knew in our heart what really counted. I was sorry when
he let the hunger for power overtake him…but I’ll be even sorrier if he ends up
transmitting that same obsession to you. So that’s why I came to tell you what
I know. It’s up to you to handle it your way.”

She
went to him and kissed the smooth-shaven square of his jaw. “I love you,
Morgan. I want more than anything for you to be happy. Please…at least
try
,” she said softly, standing back to
look up into his handsome face.

He
closed his eyes briefly, letting the scowl fade from him brow as he let out
finally with a sigh, “All right, I’ll try.”

 

Chapter One

Jenna
wasn’t boring. She hated to be called boring!

But
every one of her friends kept telling her the same thing and it was beginning
to irk. Just because she’d rather be buried in the pages of a favorite book
than go clubbing and drinking all night, did that make her boring? She just had
different notions of what a good time entailed.

She
liked the company of others and enjoyed the odd, mild flirtation if she could
find someone interesting enough to banter with. But Jenna was no wild thing.
Not willing to throw caution to the winds and jump into bed with just anyone
the way her girl pals did. It must be all those up-to-the-minute woman interest
magazines still teaching females that empowerment meant giving in to every
carnal desire they had. What kind of advice was that? If it feels good, so go
for it? Huh! Jenna didn’t mind being a prude when it came to that. Sex wasn’t a
game to her – in fact, she took it
very
seriously.
 

At age
twenty-three and working as an editorial assistant for a publishing firm, she
believed her life was just perfect and she didn’t need to use sex like a
pastime. Sure, she had needs like every red-blooded woman but she always found
ways to channel her cravings into something distracting enough.
Her work, her books, her hobbies.
She also loved her yoga
and dancing classes, and with an active lifestyle, she never got the chance to
miss having a man in her life or in her bed.

Not
that there weren’t any worthy candidates. Jenna wasn’t so overly modest that
she wasn’t aware of her physical attributes. She’d never wanted or would have a
supermodel figure – but Jenna was happy with her shapely frame with the
slim if not trim waist, generous bust and curvy hips. She had her share of
admirers and her face wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. A bit angular on the
chin but otherwise well proportioned in terms of features. Her eyes were a
glowing green, a perfect match for her auburn hair, thick and wavy down almost
to her waist.

BOOK: Taste Of Love: Loving Jenna #1
9.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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