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The Girl Nobody Wanted

Stop the Press: Jilted Bride Stranded with a Notorious Playboy!

Anna Constantinides, publicly humiliated when her long-time fiancé announced his engagement to someone else, might have thought things couldn’t get any worse…. Until her private jet crash-landed on an uninhabited island, leaving her stranded with billionaire hotel magnate Leo Jackson.

Renowned playboy Leo’s reputation is legendary, and if the smoldering looks they were fighting to contain when rescued are anything to go by, there can only be one question on everybody’s lips: just how long did it take wickedly sexy Leo to undress buttoned-up heiress Anna?

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Read an Excerpt

His shirt was plastered to his chest, delineating every ridge and curve of smooth muscle. She hadn’t been able to tell from the tuxedo last night, but Leo was in spectacular shape. His father had once been a famous footballer, she recalled, and Leo looked as if he’d spent quite a bit of time on the field himself. He had the leanly muscled form of an athlete.

“We need to find shelter,” he said, and a hard knot formed right below her breastbone. They were stranded, alone, with nothing and no one to help them get home again.

“You were able to tell someone what happened, right?” she said. “They’ll be looking for us soon.”

His expression remained flat. “We were out of radio range. I activated the emergency beacon on the plane. They’ll know approximately where we went down, but it may take some time since they won’t be looking for us yet.”

She turned back toward the plane. “If I had my mobile phone…”

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “There are no cell towers out here. You’d need a satellite phone to make a call.”

“So we’re stuck.”

“For the time being,” he replied, hefting the orange pack onto his shoulder again.

“How long will we be here, Leo?”

He shrugged. “I really don’t know. Which is why we need to find shelter.”

“What about food? Water? How will we survive if we don’t have water?”

He gave her a long look. “We have enough water for a couple of days, if we ration it. Everything’s in this pack.”
Anna blinked. “You have water?”

“It’s an emergency survival kit, darling. There’s a bit of everything. Dried food, matches, fuel, blankets—enough to survive a few days in the wild.”

He turned and started walking toward the other end of the island where she’d seen the copse of trees. Anna scrambled after him. Her feet were bare since she’d lost her shoes in the sea. She felt a momentary pang for the beautiful suede Manolos that were no doubt at the bottom of the Med by now, but it was truly the least of her worries.

Part of the going was rocky, but Anna climbed after Leo and never said a word when the rocks sliced into her feet. She fell behind, but she did not call out. Why should she? He couldn’t disappear. The island was small and she knew where they were headed. But Leo glanced over his shoulder at one point, stopping when she wasn’t right behind him.

He frowned as she approached, his gaze on her feet. “You’ve lost your shoes.”

“They wouldn’t have been much use anyway,” she said. “They were five-inch platforms.”

Her one concession to impracticality.

He closed the distance between them, and then hooked an arm behind her knees and lifted her into his arms before she realized his plan.

“Leo, put me down!”

His face was close to hers. Too close. Oh God. She wanted to tilt her head back, wanted to nuzzle her face into the crook of his neck and breathe in his scent. And then she wanted to lick him.

Heat flashed through her. The hot Mediterranean sun beat down on them from above, but it wasn’t the sun that made her skin prickle or her core melt.

“Once we’re over the rocks,” he said. “I don’t want you cutting your feet.”

“Too late,” she replied.

His coffee eyes were so beautiful as he stared down at her. There was heat in them, and something darker and more intense. Something so elemental it frightened her. “You should have told me sooner.”

“You have the pack,” she said, dropping her gaze. Her heart hammered in her breast. Why did he affect her so much? He was completely, utterly wrong for her. He was the kind of man she should definitely avoid, and yet he thrilled her in ways she’d never expected.

He’s thrilling because he’s dangerous, a voice whispered. Bad boys are always thrilling.

“You barely weigh more than the pack does,” he said. “If it gets too much for me, I’ll put one of you down. Honest.”
He winked on that last, and began striding toward the trees again. Anna clung to him, ashamed, miserable, grateful, and oddly excited. She had to wrap her arms around his neck, had to press her face in close to his. His fingers splayed over her rib cage, dangerously close to her breast, and she held her breath for a long moment.

Would he touch her there? Did she want him to? What would she say if he did?

But they reached a sandy area and he set her down again. She tried not to be disappointed as he strode away. The sand felt good on her feet, warm on top and cool if she dug her toes down. She scrambled after Leo, catching him right as he reached the trees.

It was cooler here, and the ground was flat and somewhat sandy. Leo kept walking until he found a spot he liked, and then he sat the pack down and opened it. Anna watched in amazement as he pulled out a variety of items—a heavy-duty plastic sheeting with grommets, a knife, and rope—before he stood and began to peel the wet shirt from his body.
If she’d thought the navy shirt molded his chest, she’d had no idea what molding meant until he stood there in a wet t-shirt and jeans. But then he yanked the t-shirt off and his chest was bare and tanned. Her gaze dropped, halted in surprise. He had a dragon tattoo low on his abdomen—

Anna gulped. And turned away. Automatically she reached for her pearls, relieved they were still there as her fingers toyed with them.

“Do I make you nervous?” Leo asked from behind her. She could hear the laughter in his voice. Deliberately she turned, dropping her hand away from her neck. Calm, cool.

“Of course not,” she said.

He winked. “Good. Because I’m afraid the jeans are next, darling. Can’t abide wet clothing.”

Go Behind the Scenes

Dear Reader:

It’s always an honor to be asked to work on special projects for Harlequin Presents. When my editor asked me last year if I would take part in a new continuity series, The Santina Crown, I jumped at the chance! Little did I know I would be getting the jilted bride to write about! Poor Anna. She was once engaged to a prince, destined to be a future queen — and then another woman came along and stole her prince away! The man she’d been told she would marry from the time she was a child dropped her like a hot potato.

Anna is humiliated. Angry. Ready to break out of her shell and do something wild. Not that she quite realizes it when she meets Leo Jackson, brother to the woman who stole her fiance — and a womanizing playboy to boot! Soon, Leo and Anna are flying to her home island for a tour when Leo’s plane has a problem and they have to ditch it near an uninhabited island instead.

Naturally, three days on an idyllic island with a man like Leo Jackson tends to loosen one’s restraints. By the time they leave the island, Anna and Leo have gotten to know each other every way possible! And, in a very few short weeks, Anna will realize she took home another souvenir of her time with Leo — something a bit more permanent. For a girl who can’t endure another scandal, a surprise pregnancy is the last thing she needs…

I hope you enjoy Leo and Anna’s story! They were a lot of fun to write about. Don’t miss the other books in the Santina Crown Series. Happy reading!

All the best,
Lynn
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For another treat, here’s a brief Q&A I did for I Heart Presents:

Who is more scandalous – the Jacksons or the Santinas?

Oh, I think they are equally scandalous! The Jacksons are in-your-face scandalous, while the Santinas try to hide their dirty laundry behind closed doors.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the sexiest hero of them all?

I’m partial to Leo, of course! He is such an irrepressible flirt, and so sexy.

What secret would make the most shocking tabloid headlines about Leo and Anna?

I think maybe you’ll have to read the book to find out! They have one or two…

Where does Leo take Anna for their one year anniversary?

To their own private island!

Scandal! Magazine just can’t wait to hear about your writing process, can you talk us through your daily routine?

It’s not very glamorous, truthfully. I wake up early, get a cup of coffee or tea, and go upstairs to my office. I usually check email and see what my friends have been up to for about an hour, and then I open up the latest book I’m working on and get lost in the pages. Some days, the writing goes fabulously and I get a lot done. Other days, I stare out the window a lot. I might even shop for shoes (but don’t tell my husband!). I also get interrupted by the two cats in my life who think I have nothing better to do than cater to their needs.

What do you think makes a good hero and heroine?

They need to be real. They need to feel like the kind of people you could know. Even though the stories take place in larger than life settings, often with very wealthy and privileged people, the characters need to have real emotions and fears. They have to be identifiable to the reader.

Did you have a favorite character in your story The Girl Nobody Wanted?

Oh, I just loved Anna! She was so fierce and lonely at the same time. And of course Leo was the perfectly delicious hero she needed to sweep her off her feet. Watching him lose his cool over her was such fun.

What is it that you love most about writing your stories?

I love exploring how two people who should be all wrong for each other are meant to be together. I love writing about love. About emotions that are larger than life, and people who feel deeply and passionately. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m always working on the next story about a handsome, sexy, dynamic man and the lucky heroine who gets to tame him.

We know it’s tricky, but what is your favorite book of all time?

Oooh. How can I choose? I can’t, so I’m going to have to choose a writer instead. Shakespeare. He wrote the most amazing things, and explored human emotions so thoroughly. And I can quote random lines from the plays and sonnets, which comes in quite handy during trivia games.

Read the Reviews

Harris hands readers a captivating storyline, vivid narrative and explosive love scenes between a roguishly sweet hero and an innocently sassy heroine. — RT Book Reviews

…[Lynn Raye Harris] has once again proved to me as reader that she very richly deserves the praise she receives for her remarkable stories. — Desere, Romance Book Haven

…an exciting, entertaining read [that] will undoubtedly leave readers satisfied and checking out Ms. Harris’s back list and upcoming books. — Laurie D., Laurie’s Laudanum

It has been a while since I read a book that kept me up all throughout the hours of the night the way this one did. I just keep telling myself one more page, and I could not put it down. — Long and Short Reviews

Foreign Editions

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