Read An Excerpt

THE RETURN OF THE RENEGADE
by Carole Mortimer

Genre: Current Series Imprints, Harlequin Presents, Series

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“Forget who you are and what you’re doing here, and just get out of my home!” Jordan ordered furiously.
             
“I don’t think so.”
            
He frowned fiercely at the calmness of her reply. “You don’t?”
             
Stephanie smiled unconcernedly in the face of the fury she could see he was trying so hard to restrain. “This is your brother’s home, not yours, and the fact that Lucan gave me a key to get in shows he has no problem with me being here.”
            
Jordan drew in a harsh breath. “I have a problem with you being here.”
            
She smiled slightly. “Unfortunately for you, you aren’t the one paying the bills.”
            
“I don’t need a damned housekeeper!” he repeated, frustrated.
           
“As I said, that’s questionable,” Stephanie teased lightly as she moved to dry her hands on a towel that also looked as if it needed to come face to face with some hot soapy water - or, more preferably, disinfectant! “Stephanie McKinley.” She thrust out that dry hand. “And I’m not a housekeeper.” 
           
A hand Jordan deliberately chose to ignore, breathing deeply as he looked down at her between narrowed lids. Probably aged in her mid- to late-twenties, the woman had incredibly long, dark lashes fringing eyes of deep green, and the freckles that usually accompanied hair as red as hers were a light dusting across her small uptilted nose. Her lips were full, the bottom one slightly more so than the top, above a pointed and determined chin. She also had one very sexy body beneath the casual white t-shirt and denims and, as he was now all too well aware, she had a tongue like a viper! 
           
No one, not even his two brothers, had dared to talk to Jordan the last few months in the way Stephanie McKinley just had…
            
“How do you know Lucan?” Jordan probed suddenly.
           
“I don’t.”  With a shrug the woman allowed her hand to fall back to her side. “At least, not in the way I think you’re implying I might.” She gave him another mocking glance.
            
Jordan had been standing for longer than he usually did, and as a result his hip was starting to ache. Badly. A definite strain on his already short temper! “Is paying a woman to go to bed with me Lucan’s idea of a joke?”  
               
Stephanie smiled in the face of the deliberate insult - at the same time as she wryly wondered whether the coldly remote man she had met the previous week even had a sense of humour! “Do I look like a woman men pay to go to bed with them?”
           
“How should I know?” Jordan scorned.
               
“Implying you don’t usually need to pay a woman to go to bed with you?” That was something she was already well aware of - Jordan Simpson usually had trouble keeping women out of his bed rather than the opposite!
            
“Not usually, no,” he ground out.       
               
Stephanie realised that he was deliberately trying to unnerve and embarrass her with the intimacy of this conversation. He was succeeding, too, which wasn’t a good thing in the circumstances.
            
She raised an eyebrow. “I assure you I would have absolutely no interest in going to bed with a man who is so full of self-pity that he’s not only shut himself off from his family but the rest of the world, too.”