Mitch Carter’s a hard man. He’s clawed his way up from Buffalo’s gutter through a combination of ruthlessness and stark loyalty to become the King of Prospect Avenue. But when he sees lovely Tessa Verdun, a crack appears in his tough veneer. He wants her for his wife even if making it happen requires coercion, dirty dealing, and a touch of blackmail.
Mitch is the last man Tessa would choose to wed, but he’s forced her into marriage, even though she’s ready to give her heart to another man. Now he tries to win her with lavish gifts and watches her with veiled passion in his eyes. But when everyone else turns against Tessa, it’s Mitch who’s there offering strength. And when vying factions in the city place Tessa in danger, it’s Mitch for whom she longs, though loving such a man is certainly a tough prospect.
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A tasty morsel from Tough Prospect
“No, Tessa.” He sat up straight and clasped his hands together. “We’re going to get to the bottom of this, have it out.”
“Have what out?”
“Don’t play dumb, you’re not dumb. I’m talking about how you act toward me, how you feel toward me.”
She gave a hard laugh. “I should think that would be obvious.”
Yeah, it was. Real obvious. But it couldn’t go on much longer before Mitch snapped.
He said, trying to sound patient, “We’ve been married two weeks. You’re gonna have to reconcile yourself to it.”
“Well yeah. We live in the same house. We should be sharing a bed. What’s it going to take?”
Tessa bared her teeth in a grimace. Tears filled her eyes. “It will never happen.”
“The deal was I should marry you. Only that.”
For an instant, Mitch felt totally helpless, a condition he didn’t tolerate well. Indeed, he’d worked hard since his days back in the orphanage to guarantee he’d never feel that way again.
And now here came this woman with her hands on his heartstrings, hating him.
“But…” he began.
She leaned forward in her chair and lowered her voice even though no one else in the house could hear. “I know what you are, Mitch Carter. A tough. A brute, a lowlife. You may have blackmailed me into marriage. That doesn’t mean I’m ever going to like it.”
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