Rumours on the Red Carpet - Кэрол Мортимер - Читать онлайн любовный роман

В женской библиотеке Мир Женщины кроме возможности читать онлайн также можно скачать любовный роман - Rumours on the Red Carpet - Кэрол Мортимер бесплатно.

Правообладателям | Топ-100 любовных романов

Rumours on the Red Carpet - Кэрол Мортимер - Читать любовный роман онлайн в женской библиотеке LadyLib.Net
Rumours on the Red Carpet - Кэрол Мортимер - Скачать любовный роман в женской библиотеке LadyLib.Net

Мортимер Кэрол

Rumours on the Red Carpet

Читать онлайн

Аннотация к роману
«Rumours on the Red Carpet» - Кэрол Мортимер

When the chance of a dream holiday lands in Thia Hammond’s lap, it’s too much to resist.Suddenly this innocent waitress is propelled from her quiet English life into the glittering world of New York’s scandalous elite and the glare of the paparazzi flashbulbs.Catching the eye of internationally renowned business mogul Lucien Steele, Thia’s about to learn a thing or two about life and love in the fast lane!For once in her carefully ordered existence she will take, not what is safe, but what she really wants.
Следующая страница

1 Страница

Lucien slowly lifted Thia’s hand to his lips, his gaze still holding hers as those lips grazed the back of her knuckles, tongue rasping, tasting.

“Nothing could be as beautiful as you,” he murmured, and the warmth of his breath brushed lightly against her over-sensitised skin.

At this moment in time, Thia finished ruefully inside her head. Right here and right now she had Lucien’s complete attention. But tomorrow it would be different.

Oh, to hell with tomorrow!

For once in her carefully constructed life she was going to take what she wanted, not what was safe, or what she could afford, but what she wanted.

And tonight she so very much wanted to be here with Lucien.

She lowered her lashes as she pulled her hand gently from his grasp before moving them to unfasten the belt of the robe. She shrugged the black silk from her shoulders, hearing Lucien’s breath catching in his throat as she allowed the robe to slide down her arms to fall onto the carpet at her feet.

She was completely naked in front of him.


The truth is more shocking than the headlines!

Named and most definitely shamed, these media darlings have learnt the hard way that the press always loves a scandal!

Having a devastatingly gorgeous man on their arm only adds fuel to the media frenzy. Especially when the attraction between them burns hotter and brighter than a paparazzo’s flashbulb …

More books in the Scandal in the Spotlight miniseries available in eBook:


by Michelle Conder


by Sharon Kendrick


by Caitlin Crews


by Carole Mortimer


by Lynn Raye Harris


Rumors on the Red Carpet

Carole Mortimer

CAROLE MORTIMER was born in England, the youngest of three children. She began writing in 1978, and has now written over one hundred and fifty books for Harlequin Mills & Boon®. Carole has six sons: Matthew, Joshua, Timothy, Michael, David and Peter. She says, ‘I’m happily married to Peter senior; we’re best friends as well as lovers, which is probably the best recipe for a successful relationship. We live in a lovely part of England.’

Recent titles by the same author:



(Buenos Aires Nights) HIS REPUTATION PRECEDES HIM (The Lyonedes Legacy) DEFYING DRAKON (The Lyonedes Legacy)

Did you know these are also available as eBooks? Visit

Peter, as always.















Thia tensed, a shiver of awareness quivering down the length of her spine at the sound of that deep voice coming out of the darkness behind her, before turning quickly to search those shadows for the man who had just spoken to her.

She was able to make out a tall figure in the moonlight just feet away from where she stood, alone on the balcony that surrounded the whole of this luxurious penthouse apartment on the fortieth floor of one of the impressive buildings lighting up the New York skyline. Only dim light spilled from the open French doors of the apartment further down the balcony—along with the sound of tinkling laughter and the chatter of the fifty or so party guests still inside—making it impossible for Thia to see any more than that the man was very tall, dark and broad-shouldered. Imposingly so.

Dangerously so...


The wariness still humming through her body just at the sound of the deep and seductive timbre of his voice said a definite yes!

Thia’s fingers tightened about the breast-high balustrade in front of her. ‘I was, yes...’ she answered pointedly.

‘You’re a Brit,’ he observed deeply.

‘From London,’ Thia confirmed shortly, really hoping that he would take note of that terseness and leave her to her solitude.

The New York night skyline, amazing as it was, hadn’t been Thia’s main reason for coming outside into the balmy evening air fifteen minutes ago, when the other guests had all been preoccupied with their excitement at the late arrival of Lucien Steele, American zillionaire businessman, and the party’s guest of honour. That so many high-profile actors, actresses and politicians had turned out for the event was indicative of the amount of power the man wielded.

After all Jonathan’s hype about him Thia had to admit that she hadn’t found him so prepossessing—a man of middle age and average height, slightly stocky and balding. But maybe all that money and power made him more attractive? In any event, Thia had just been grateful that he had arrived at last—if only because it had allowed her to slip outside and be alone—instead of just feeling alone.

Thia certainly hadn’t intended to find herself alone on the balcony with a man who exuded such an intensity of power and sexual attraction she could almost taste it...

‘A Brit, from London, who’s avoiding the party inside...?’ that deep voice guessed with dry amusement.

Having been to three other parties just like this one in the four days since her arrival in New York, Thia had to admit to having become slightly bored—jaded?—by them. The first one had been fun—exciting, even—meeting people she had only ever seen on the big or little screen before, world-famous actors and actresses and high-profile politicians. But the artificiality of it was all becoming a bit samey now. The conversations were repetitive and too loud, the laughter even more so, with everyone seemingly out to impress or better everyone else, their excessive wealth literally worn on their sleeves.

This constant round of parties also meant that she’d had very little opportunity for any time or private conversation with Jonathan, the man she had come to New York to visit...

Jonathan Miller, the English star of Network, a new American thriller television series set in New York, directed by this evening’s host, Felix Carew, and co-starring his young and sexy wife Simone as the love-interest.

The show had been an instant hit, and Jonathan was currently the darling of New York’s beautiful people—and, as Thia had discovered these past four days, there were a lot of beautiful people in New York!

And not a single one of them had felt any qualms about ignoring the woman who had been seen at Jonathan’s side on those evenings once they’d learnt that Thia was of no social or political value to them whatsoever.

Not that Thia minded being ignored. She had very quickly discovered she had no more in common with New York’s elite than they had with her.

She was pleased for Jonathan’s success, of course. The two of them had known each other for a couple of years now, after meeting at the London restaurant where Thia always worked the late shift, leaving her free to attend her university course in the day.

She and Jonathan had met quite by chance, when he had been appearing in a play at the theatre across the street from the restaurant and had started calling in late in the evening a couple of times a week for something to eat, once the theatre had closed for the night.

They had chatted on those evenings, then dated casually for a few weeks. But there had been no spark between them and the relationship had quickly fallen into the ‘just friends’ category. Then, four months ago, Jonathan had landed the lead role in the television series over here, and Thia had accepted that even that friendship would be over once Jonathan moved to New York.

He had telephoned a couple of times in the months that followed, just light and friendly conversations, when they had caught up on each other’s lives, and then a month ago Jonathan had flown back to England for the weekend, insisting he had missed her and wanted to spend all his time back home with her. And it had been fun. Thia had arranged to have the weekend off so that they could have dinner together in the evening, visits to museums and walks in the parks during the day, before Jonathan had to fly back to New York to start filming again on the Monday.

But no one had been more surprised than Thia when a first-class plane ticket for a week-long stay in New York had been delivered to her by messenger just two days later!

She had telephoned Jonathan immediately, of course, to tell him she couldn’t possibly accept such generosity from him. But he had insisted, saying he could well afford it and, more to the point, he wanted to see her again. He wanted to show her New York, and for New York to see her.

Thia’s pride had told her she should continue to refuse, but Jonathan had been very persuasive, and as she hadn’t been able to afford a holiday for years the temptation had just been too much. So she had accepted, with the proviso that he cancelled the first class ticket and changed it to a standard fare. Spending that amount of money on an airfare seemed obscene to her, in view of her own financial difficulties.

Jonathan had assured her that she would have her own bedroom in his apartment, and that he just wanted her to come and enjoy New York with him. She had even gone out and spent some of her hard-earned savings on buying some new clothes for the trip!

Except Jonathan’s idea of her enjoying New York with him was vastly different from Thia’s own. They had attended parties like this one every night, and Jonathan would sleep off the effects the following morning. Meanwhile his late afternoons and early evenings were usually spent secluded somewhere with Simone Carew, going over the script together.

Seeing so little of Jonathan during the day, and attending parties in the evenings, Thia had started to wonder why he had bothered to invite her here at all.

And she now found herself irritated that, once again, Jonathan had disappeared with Simone shortly after they had arrived at this party he had claimed was so important to him on account of the presence of Lucien Steele, the American billionaire owner of the television station responsible for Network.

That desertion had left Thia being considered fair game by men like the one standing in the shadows behind her...

Well...perhaps not exactly like this man. The way he seemed to possess even the air about him told her that she had never met a man quite like this one before...

‘Beautiful...’ the man murmured huskily as he stepped forward to stand at the railing beside her.

Thia’s heart skipped a beat, her nerve-endings going on high alert as her senses were instantly filled with the light smell of lemons—his cologne?—accompanied by an insidious maleness that she guessed was all him.

She turned to look at him, tilting her head back as she realised how much taller he was than her, even in her four-inch-heeled take-me-to-bed shoes. Taller, and so broad across the shoulders, with dark hair that rested low on the collar of his white shirt and black evening jacket. His face appeared to be all hard angles in the moonlight: strong jaw, chiselled lips, long aquiline nose, high cheekbones. And those pale and glittering eyes—

Piercing eyes, that she now realised were looking at her in admiration rather than at the New York skyline!

Thia repressed another quiver of awareness at having this man look at her so intently, realising that she was completely alone out here with a man she didn’t know from—well, from Adam.

‘Have they all stopped licking Lucien Steele’s highly polished handmade Italian leather shoes yet, do you think?’ she prompted in her nervousness, only to give a pained grimace at her uncharacteristic sharpness. ‘I’m sorry—that was incredibly rude of me.’ She winced, knowing how important Lucien Steele’s goodwill was to Jonathan’s success in the US. He had certainly emphasised it often enough on the drive over here!

‘But true?’ the man drawled dryly.

‘Perhaps.’ She nodded. ‘But I’m sure that Mr Steele has more than earned the adoration being showered upon him so effusively.’

Teeth gleamed whitely in the darkness as the man gave a hard and humourless smile. ‘Or maybe he’s just so rich and powerful no one has ever dared to tell him otherwise?’

‘Maybe,’ she conceded ruefully. ‘Cynthia Hammond.’ She thrust out her hand in an effort to bring some normality to this conversation. ‘But everyone calls me Thia.’

He took possession of her hand—there was no other way to describe the way the paleness of her hand just disappeared inside the long bronzed strength of his. And Thia could not ignore the jolt of electricity zinging along her fingers and arm at contact with the warmth of his skin...

‘I’ve never been particularly fond of being a part of what everyone else does,’ he murmured throatily. ‘So I think I’ll call you Cyn...’

Just the way he said that word, in that deliciously deep and sexy voice, was enough to send yet more shivers of awareness down Thia’s spine. Her breasts tingled with that awareness, the nipples puckering to tight and sensitive berries as they pressed against the sheer material of the clinging blue ankle-length gown she wore.

And it was a totally inappropriate reaction to a complete stranger!

Jonathan might have done yet another disappearing act with Simone forty minutes ago, but that certainly didn’t mean Thia was going to stand here and allow herself to be seduced by some dark-haired hunk, who looked sinfully delicious in his obviously expensive evening suit but so far hadn’t even been polite enough to introduce himself!

‘And you are...?’

Those teeth gleamed even whiter in the darkness as he gave a wolfish smile. ‘Lucien Steele.’

Thia gave a snort. ‘I don’t think so!’ she scoffed.

‘No?’ He sounded amused by her scepticism.

‘No,’ she repeated decisively.

He raised one dark brow. ‘Why not?’

She breathed her impatience. ‘Well, for one thing you aren’t nearly old enough to be the self-made zillionaire Lucien Steele.’ She estimated this man was aged somewhere in his early to mid-thirties, ten or twelve years older than her own twenty-three, and she knew from the things Jonathan had told her about this evening’s guest of honour that Lucien Steele had not only been the richest man in New York for the last ten years, but was also the most powerful.

He gave an unconcerned shrug of those impossibly wide shoulders. ‘What can I say? My parents were wealthy to begin with, and I’d made my own first million by the time I was twenty-one.’

‘Also,’ Thia continued, determined, ‘I saw Mr Steele when he arrived.’

It had been impossible to miss the awed reaction of the other guests. Those incredibly rich and beautiful people had all, without exception, fallen absolutely silent the moment Lucien Steele had appeared in the doorway. And Felix Carew, a powerful man in his own right, had become almost unctuous as he moved swiftly across the room to greet his guest.

Thia gave a rueful shake of her head. ‘Lucien Steele is in his early forties, several inches shorter than you are, and stocky, with a shaved head.’ In fact on first glance she had thought the man more resembled a thug rather than the richest and most powerful man in New York!

‘That would be Dex.’

‘Dex...?’ she echoed doubtfully.

‘Mmm.’ The man beside her nodded unconcernedly. ‘He takes his duties as my bodyguard very seriously—to the point that he always insists upon entering a room before I do. I’m not sure why,’ he mused. ‘Perhaps he expects there to be an assassin on the other side of every door...’

Thia felt a sinking sensation in the pit of her stomach as she heard the amused dismissal in this man’s—in Lucien Steele’s?—voice. Moistening her lips with the tip of tongue before speaking, she said, ‘And where is Dex now...?’

‘Probably standing guard on the other side of those French doors.’ He nodded down the balcony to the same doorway Thia had escaped through minutes ago.

And was Dex making sure that no one came outside, or was he ensuring that Thia couldn’t return inside until this man wished her to...?

She gave another frown as she looked up searchingly at the man now standing so near to her she could feel the heat emanating from his body on the bareness of her shoulders and arms. Once again she took note of that inborn air of power, arrogance, she had sensed in him from the first.

For all the world as if he was used to people licking his highly polished handmade Italian leather shoes...

* * *

Lucien continued to hold Cyn’s now trembling hand and waited in silence for her to gather her breath as she looked up at him between long and silky lashes with eyes a dark and mysterious cobalt blue.

Those eyes became shadowed with apprehension as she gave another nervous flick of her little pink tongue over the moist fullness of her perfectly shaped lips. ‘The same Lucien Steele who owns Steele Technology, Steele Media, Steele Atlantic Airline and Steele Industries, as well as all those other Steele Something-or-Others?’ she murmured faintly.

He shrugged. ‘It seemed like a good idea to diversify.’

She determinedly pulled her hand from his grasp before tightly gripping the top of the balustrade. ‘The same Lucien Steele who’s a zillionaire?’

‘I believe you said that already...’ Lucien nodded.

She drew in a deep breath, obviously completely unaware of how it tightened the material of her dress across her breasts and succeeded in outlining the fullness of those—aroused?—nipples. Nipples that were a delicate pink or a succulent rose? Whatever their colour, he was sure they would taste delicious. Sweet and juicy, and oh so ripe and responsive as he licked and suckled them.

He had noticed the woman he now knew to be Cynthia Hammond the moment he’d entered Felix and Simone Carew’s penthouse apartment a short time ago. It had been impossible not to as she’d stood alone at the back of the opulent room, her hair a sleek and glossy unadorned black as it fell silkily to just below her shoulders, her eyes that deep cobalt blue in the beautiful pale delicacy of her face.

She wore a strapless ankle-length gown of that same deep blue, leaving the tops of her breasts, shoulders and arms completely bare. The smoothness of her skin was a beautiful pearly white unlike any other Lucien had ever seen: a pale ivory tinted lightly pink, luminescent. Smoothly delicate and pearly skin his fingers itched to touch and caress.

The simple style of that silky blue gown allowed it to cling to every curvaceous inch of her full breasts, slender waist and gently flaring hips, so much so that Lucien had questioned whether or not she wore anything beneath it.

He still questioned it...

But what had really made him take notice of her, even more than her natural beauty or the pearly perfection of her skin, was the fact that instead of moving towards him, as every other person in the room had done, this pale and delicately beautiful woman had instead taken advantage of his arrival to slip quietly from the room and go outside onto the balcony.

Nor had she returned by the time Lucien had finally managed to extract himself from the—what had she called it a few moments ago? The licking of his ‘highly polished handmade Italian leather shoes’. His curiosity piqued—and very little piqued his jaded palate nowadays!—Lucien hadn’t been able to resist coming out onto the balcony to look for her the moment he had managed to escape all that cloying attention.

She drew in another deep breath now before speaking, causing the fullness of her breasts to once again swell deliciously over the bodice of that clinging blue gown.

‘I really do apologise for my rudeness, Mr Steele. It’s no excuse, but I’m really not having a good evening—and my rudeness to you means that it has just got so much worse!’ she conceded with another pained wince. ‘But that is really no reason for me to have been rude about you—or to you.’

He quirked one dark brow. ‘I don’t think you know me well enough as yet to speak with any authority on whether or not I deserve for you to be rude to me or about me,’ he drawled mockingly.

‘’ She was obviously slightly unnerved by his emphasis on the words ‘as yet’... ‘But—’ She gave a shake of her head, causing that silky and completely straight black hair to glide across the bareness of her shoulders and caress tantalisingly across the tops of her breasts. ‘I still shouldn’t have been so outspoken about someone I only know about from the media.’

‘Especially when we all know how inaccurate the media can be?’ he drawled wryly.

‘Exactly!’ She nodded enthusiastically before just as quickly pausing to eye him uncertainly. ‘Don’t you own something like ninety per cent of the worldwide media?’

‘That would be contrary to monopoly regulations,’ he drawled dismissively.

‘Do zillionaires bother with little things like regulations?’ she teased.

He chuckled huskily. ‘They do if they don’t want their zillionaire butts to end up in court!’

Thia felt what was becoming a familiar quiver down the length of her spine at the sound of this man’s throaty laughter. As she also acknowledged that, for all this man unnerved her, she was actually enjoying herself—possibly for the first time since arriving in New York.

‘Are you cold?’

Thia had no chance to confirm or deny that she was before Lucien Steele removed his evening jacket and placed it about the bareness of her shoulders. It reached almost down to her knees and smelt of the freshness of those lemons as his warmth surrounded her, and of the more insidious and earthy smell of the man himself.

‘No, really—’

‘Leave it.’ Both his hands came down onto the shoulders of the jacket as she would have reached up and removed it.

Thia shivered anew as she felt the warmth of those long and elegant hands even through the material of his jacket. A shiver entirely due to the presence of this overwhelming man—also the reason for her earlier shiver—rather than any chill in the warm evening air...

His hands left her shoulders reluctantly as he moved to stand beside her once again, that pale gaze—silver?—once again intent on her face. The snug fit of his evening shirt revealed that his shoulders really were that wide, his chest muscled, his waist slender above lean hips and long legs; obviously Lucien Steele didn’t spend all of his days sitting in boardrooms and adding to his billions.

‘Why aren’t you having a good evening?’ he prompted softly.

Why? Because this visit to New York hadn’t turned out to be anything like Thia had imagined it would be. Because she had once again been brought to a party and then quickly abandoned by—well, Jonathan certainly wasn’t her boyfriend, but she had certainly thought of him as a friend. A friend who had disappeared with their hostess within minutes of their arrival, leaving her to the untender mercies of New York’s finest.

Latterly she wasn’t having a good evening because she was far too aware of the man standing beside her—of the way the warmth and seductive smell of Lucien Steele’s tailored jacket made her feel as if she was surrounded by the man himself.

And lastly because Thia had no idea how to deal with the unprecedented arousal now coursing through her body!

She gave a shrug. ‘I don’t enjoy parties like this one.’

‘Why not?’

She grimaced, taking care not to insult this man for a second time this evening. ‘It’s just a personal choice.’

He nodded. ‘And where do you fit in with this crowd? Are you an actress?’

‘Heavens, no!’

‘A wannabe?’

‘I beg your pardon...?’

He shrugged those impossibly wide shoulders. ‘Do you wannabe an actress?’

‘Oh, I see.’ Thia gave a rueful smile. ‘No, I have no interest in becoming an actress, either.’

‘A model?’

She snorted. ‘Hardly, when I’m only five feet two inches in my bare feet!’

‘You aren’t being very helpful, Cyn.’ There was an underlying impatience in that amused tone. Thia had seen far too much of the reaction of New York’s elite these past four days not to know they had absolutely no interest in cultivating the company of a student and a waitress. Lucien Steele would have no further interest in her, either, once he knew. Which might not be a bad thing...

Her chin rose determinedly. ‘I’m just a nobody on a visit to New York.’

Lucien totally disagreed with at least part of that statement. Cynthia Hammond was certainly somebody. Somebody—a woman—whose beauty and conversation he found just as intriguing as he had hoped he might...

She quirked dark brows. ‘I believe that’s your cue to politely excuse yourself?’

His eyes narrowed. ‘And why would I wish to do that?’

She shrugged her shoulders beneath his jacket. ‘It’s what everyone else I’ve met in New York has done once they realise I’m of use to them.’

Yes, Lucien could imagine, knowing New York society as well as he did, that its members would have felt no hesitation whatsoever in making their lack of interest known. ‘I believe I’ve already stated that I prefer not to be like everyone else.’

‘Ain’t that the truth? I mean—’ A delicious blush now coloured those pale ivory cheeks as she briefly closed her eyes before looking up at him apologetically. ‘I apologise once again. I’m really not having a good evening!’ She sighed.

He nodded. ‘Would you like to leave? We could go somewhere quiet and have a drink together?’

Cyn blinked those long lashes. ‘I beg your pardon...?’

Lucien gave a hard, humourless smile. ‘I hate parties like this one too.’

‘But you’re the guest of honour!’

He grimaced. ‘I especially hate parties where I’m the guest of honour.’

Thia looked up at him searchingly, not sure whether or not Lucien Steele was playing with her. Not sure why he was bothering, if that should be the case!

The steady regard of those pale eyes and the grimness of his expression told her that this was a man who rarely, if ever, played.

He was seriously asking her to leave the Carews’ party with him...


Получить полную версию книги можно по ссылке - Здесь

Следующая страница

Ваши комментарии
к роману Rumours on the Red Carpet - Кэрол Мортимер

Комментарии к роману "Rumours on the Red Carpet - Кэрол Мортимер" отсутствуют

Ваше имя


Введите сумму чисел с картинки