His Secretary Mistress

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CHAPTER ONE

‘THE traffic ahead appears to be gridlocked, Mr Morrell. Do you want me to try and turn off?’

‘No, I’ll walk from here. See if you can pull over, Barton.’ Alex Morrell snapped his briefcase shut and punched the number of his office into his mobile phone. ‘Margaret, I’m caught in traffic. Can you check that the Danson notes are complete? I’ll need them for court tomorrow. Ask the temp to type up anything that’s outstanding.’

There was a brief silence before his personal assistant Margaret Rivers murmured, ‘She’s not actually here yet, but as soon as she arrives…’

‘It’s ten past nine,’ Alex snapped irritably, and then caught sight of the teeming London traffic and sighed. Maybe his new temporary assistant had a legitimate excuse, but it was not a promising start.

‘Looks as though it might rain,’ the chauffeur, Barton, noted with a glance at the heavy October sky. But Alex was impatient. He hated inactivity, and the risk of getting caught in a shower was better than sitting in the car.

He had only been walking for a few minutes when the first spots of rain turned into a deluge and he was forced to dive into the doorway of a coffee shop, colliding with a young woman who had obviously had the same idea.

‘Damn! Damn! Damn!’ She skidded to a halt in front of him and he flung out an arm to prevent her from falling. Hairpins scattered in all directions and her once neat chignon gave up and unravelled in a stream of amber silk around her face. ‘If only I’d obeyed Ten Tips on How to Survive Your First Day before I set out this morning,’ she said miserably, waving a bedraggled magazine under his nose. ‘Tip four is to remember an umbrella.’

‘What’s tip one?’ he enquired, unable to tear his gaze from her face, and enormous grey eyes blinked at him solemnly, dragging him under so that he felt, quite literally, as if he was drowning.

‘Ensure that you arrive in plenty of time—and I’m horribly late. Do you know, the 8.05 was cancelled for no reason? Well, no reason that I could see,’ she added, and Alex felt his lips twitch.

She was beautiful—exquisitely so, he acknowledged, taken aback by his reaction to her. He had met many beautiful women in his life—indeed, he was a connoisseur of tall, lissom blondes—but there was something about this woman, the curve of her cheekbones and her full, soft mouth, that sent a jolt of unwarranted desire through his body. She was slender, and so petite that the top of her head was on a level with his chest. She looked vulnerable, but in his experience women were far tougher than they looked, and it was likely that the delicate woman staring up at him was no different.

‘I’m sure your boss will understand that you have no power over London Transport,’ he murmured soothingly, but she shook her head again, so that her hair flashed like a bright halo round her face.

‘I wouldn’t bank on it. He has high expectations of his staff, and lateness is his pet hate—or so I’ve heard.’

‘Do you mean you haven’t met him?’ For a brief moment Alex considered the likelihood of coincidence and then dismissed it. His personal assistant had been responsible for selecting a temporary secretary from the agency, and Margaret had described the chosen candidate as eminently sensible.

The woman standing close to him was heartstoppingly lovely, but he doubted she had been employed for her reliability; this little one could only be described as ditzy. As if to labour the point she suddenly seemed to realise that she was standing in the arms of a complete stranger, and in her efforts to escape her hair tangled round his coat button so that she was trapped.


‘Wait a minute.’ He stilled her wriggling and was in the process of unwinding her hair when they were joined in the doorway by a crowd of people trying to escape the hailstones that were now pelting down.

The woman was squashed up close against him and he was struck by the paleness of her skin, which was almost translucent, and her velvet-grey eyes fringed by gold-tipped lashes. There was something innately sensual about the fact that she wore no make-up apart from a hint of pale pink gloss that emphasised the fullness of her lips. Her hair smelled of lemons and rain, an earthy combination, and he fought a sudden urge to wind his fingers into the silky strands.

Could the morning get any worse? Jenna wondered. As if the public transport system hadn’t been bad enough, she now faced arriving at the office on her first day looking like a drowned rat.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she mumbled, as the throng of people squeezed further back into the doorway, pushing her further into the stranger’s arms. He towered over her, and she craned her neck to look at his face, instantly hit by a wave of attraction that sent shock waves through her body. He was gorgeous, with black hair cropped close to his head, a lean, angular face, and a wide mouth that promised heaven. His eyes were dark, almost navy in colour beneath heavy black brows, and as she stared at him he smiled, and her heart flipped in her chest.

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