In the Market for Love - By Nina Blake

Chapter one

“What do you think you’re doing? Can’t you read?”

Her car door was already open so Rachel Williams slid out and closed it. Slightly disoriented in the dim basement car park, she took a moment to get her bearings as she wondered if that voice and those abrupt words were directed at her.

Standing in front of her, silhouetted by the headlights of his car, the imposing figure of a tall broad shouldered man towered over her petite form.

Where had he come from? Why was his Porsche blocking her way?

“Just a minute.” His words hung in the cool air as he leaned into his vehicle to switch off his headlights before slowly walking back towards her.

“Excuse me.” He pointed at Rachel’s vehicle. “You’ll have to move your car.”

“I don’t think so,” she replied. “I have a meeting in this building and I was told I could–”

“Well, that’s my parking spot and you can’t park in it.”

Now that he’d approached her, his voice softened to become rich and mellifluous, engulfing her with its dense tones. She should have been offended but there was something about his voice that got to her.

She peered up to meet his dark gaze. He flicked his eyes away and ran them along the length of her red Ford Laser. Although an older model, it was clean and well presented but Rachel sensed this would mean nothing to a man who drove an expensive, imported sports car.

Driving in Sydney was so difficult it had taken her longer than expected to get across town for her meeting. She couldn’t be late, not after two years hard work setting up the campaign. Yet that would almost certainly be the case if she had to move her car and navigate an unfamiliar car park.

People with flash cars and money always believed they deserved priority. She’d met this kind of man before and didn’t appreciate the derisive look he’d given her perfectly respectable vehicle.

“Sorry if my old heap is taking up the space of your expensive car,” she said.

He took a small step backwards. She sensed he didn’t wish to make her feel nervous, yet he appeared to take the opportunity to better consider her, his eyes skimming the length of her figure. Detecting the hint of a suggestive smile forming on his lips, Rachel’s eyes narrowed as she stepped towards him.

He raised his hands. “I wasn’t insulting your car. I only asked you to move it.”

She tossed her dark wavy hair behind her shoulders, pushing a few stray tendrils behind her ears. She was going to face him head on.

Clearly this man thought his needs and business priorities were much more important than hers. He probably had stocks and shares to sell and deals to close. She was going to be late but that wasn’t his problem for he was more concerned with ordering her around.

He was every bit as audacious as her husband had been all those years ago when he’d put his needs, or desires, ahead of hers. So convincing. So confident. She wasn’t going to be taken in again.

Rachel planted her hands on her hips. “Move my car. And why should I do that? Is this space earmarked for luxury vehicles? Because I don’t see a sign anywhere.”

“What about that one over there?”

Her mouth fell open as she looked up at the reserved sign painted on the wall in front of her car. She hadn’t intended on stealing anyone’s parking space but that’s exactly what she’d done.

“Sorry, I didn’t realise…”

“Didn’t realise you’d get caught,” he said, a teasing tone in his voice.

“No, I didn’t see the sign. It’s in such a dark corner.”

Rachel tilted her jaw to better consider him, taking in the burnt almond eyes, slim contoured face and chiselled jaw. His mouth was lush and sensual unlike the rest of his features which were commandingly masculine. His clothes, a simple crew neck shirt with a well cut grey jacket and flat fronted pants, were barely a shade lighter than his glossy raven black hair. His style was elegant and simple but unforgiving, just like his personality.

He might be handsome but she wasn’t going to be taken in by it. Good looking men were almost always more trouble than they were worth. It didn’t give him the right to be so overbearing over a simple, honest mistake.

“Do you have any idea how intimidating this is for a woman?” she asked. “Being accosted in a car park like this?”

“I’m very sorry. The last thing I want is to intimidate