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The Millionaire Claims His Wife

By:Sandra Marton

The Millionaire Claims His Wife
Sandra Marton

       A second chance to get your hands on this tempting millionaire from bestselling author Sandra Marton

Return to the marriage bed …

Millionaire Chase Cooper hasn't seen his ex-wife Annie for years, but  reunited at their daughter's wedding, he unexpectedly finds her in his  arms again on the dance floor. The embers of the intoxicating lust that  led them down the aisle still burn brightly and Chase wants Annie in his  bed again!

When their daughter gets cold feet about embarking on her honeymoon,  Chase decides that to show her that love can endure, he and Annie will  pretend they are getting back together! As the rekindled passion sizzles  between them, could this be the reconciliation of the year?

Book two in The Wedding of the Year trilogy

Originally published in 1997 as The Divorcee Said Yes!





Dear Reader,





I have a confession to make: I love weddings. Fancy ones, simple ones-it  doesn't matter. I end up happily sniffling into a tissue each time.  What could be more fun, I thought, than writing about a wedding?  Writhing about three weddings, that's what! Welcome to the sexy, funny,  tender and exciting tales of three brides and three grooms who all meet  at-that's right-a wedding! Three books, three couples...three terrific  stories. Here's the second in the series. You'll enjoy it, even if you  haven't read the first, The Bride Said Never!-though I hope you have.





Annie Bennett Cooper and her ex-husband, Chase, haven't seen each other  since their divorce five years ago. Now their daughter's wedding brings  them back together for an afternoon. I can manage it, each one thinks.  But neither Annie nor Chase has figured on the things parents will do  for the happiness of a child-or on the enduring passion that still  sizzles between them in The Divorcee Said Yes!





Sit down, relax and enjoy the book. And remember to look for The Groom  Said Maybe! next month. If you want to drop me a line, I'd love to hear  from you. Write to me at P.O. Box 295, Storrs, Connecticut 06268. Please  enclose a SASE for a bookmark and a reply.





With my warmest regards,







CHAPTER ONE

IT WAS HER DAUGHTER'S wedding day, and Annie Cooper couldn't seem to stop crying.

"I'm just going to check my makeup, darling," she'd told Dawn a few minutes ago, when her eyes had begun to prickle again.

And now here she was, locked inside a stall in the ladies' room of a  beautiful old Connecticut church, clutching a handful of soggy tissues  and bawling her eyes out.

"Promise me you won't cry, Mom," Dawn had said, only last night.

The two of them had been sitting up over mugs of cinnamon-laced hot  chocolate. Neither of them had felt sleepy. Dawn had been too excited;  Annie had been unwilling to give up the last hours when her daughter  would still be her little girl instead of Nick's wife.

"I promise," Annie had said, swallowing hard, and then she'd burst into tears.

"Oh, Moth-ther," Dawn had said, "for goodness' sake," just as if she  were still a teenager and Annie was giving her a hard time about coming  in ten minutes after curfew on school nights.

And that was just the trouble. She was still a teenager, Annie thought  as she wiped her streaming eyes. Her baby was only eighteen years old,  far too young to be getting married. Of course, when she'd tried telling  that to Dawn the night she'd come home, smiling radiantly with Nick's  engagement ring on her finger, her daughter had countered with the  ultimate rebuttal.

"And how old were you when you got married?" she'd said, which had  effectively ended the discussion because the whole answer-"Eighteen, the  same as you, and look where it got me"-was not one you wanted to make  to your own child.

It certainly wasn't Dawn's fault her parents' marriage had ended in divorce.

"She's too young," Annie whispered into her handful of Kleenex, "she's much, much too young."

"Annie?"

Annie heard the door to the ladies' room swing open. A murmur of voices  and the soft strains of organ music floated toward her, then faded as  the door thumped shut.

"Annie? Are you in here?"

It was Deborah Kent, her best friend.

"No," Annie said miserably, choking back a sob.

"Annie," Deb said gently, "come out of there."

"No."

"Annie." Deb's tone became the sort she probably used with her  third-graders. "This is nonsense. You can't hide in there forever."

"Give me one good reason why I can't," Annie said, sniffling.

"Well, you've got seventy-five guests waiting."                       
       
           



       

"A hundred," Annie sobbed. "Let 'em wait."

"The minister's starting to look impatient."

"Patience is a virtue," Annie said, and dumped the wet tissues into the toilet.

"And I think your aunt Jeanne just propositioned one of the groomsmen."

There was a long silence, and then Annie groaned. "Tell me you're joking."

"All I know is what I saw. She got this look on her face-you know the look."

Annie clamped her eyes shut. "And?"

"And, she went sashaying over to that big blond kid." Deborah's voice  turned dreamy. "Actually I couldn't much blame her. Did you see the  build on that boy?"

"Deb! Honestly!" Annie flushed the tissues down the toilet, unlocked the  stall door and marched to the sink. "Aunt Jeanne's eighty years old.  There's some excuse for her. But you-"

"Listen, just because I'm forty doesn't mean I'm dead. You may want to  pretend you've forgotten what men are good for, but I certainly  haven't."

"Forty-three," Annie said, rummaging in her purse. "You can't lie about  your age to me, Deb, not when we share a birthday. As for what men are  good for-believe me, I know what they're good for. Not much. Not one  damn thing, actually, except for making babies and that's just the  trouble, Dawn is still just a baby. She's too young to be getting  married."

"That's the other thing I came in to tell you." Deb cleared her throat. "He's here."

"Who's here?"

"Your ex."

Annie went still. "No."

"Yes. He came in maybe five minutes ago."

"No, he couldn't have. He's in Georgia or Florida, someplace like that."  Annie looked at her friend in the mirror. "You're sure it was Chase?"

"Six-two, dirty-blond hair, that gorgeous face with its slightly  off-center nose and muscles up the yin-yang..." Deb blushed. "Well, I  notice these things."

"So I see."

"It's Chase, all right. I don't know why you're so surprised. He said  he'd be here for Dawn's wedding, that he wouldn't let anyone else give  his daughter away."

Annie's mouth twisted. She wrenched on the water, lathered her hands with soap and scrubbed furiously.

"Chase was always good at promises. It's the follow-through he can't  manage." She shut off the faucet and yanked a paper towel from the  dispenser. "This whole thing is his fault."

"Annie..."

"Did he tell Dawn she was making a mistake? No. He most certainly did  not. The jerk gave her his blessing. His blessing, Deb, can you  imagine?" Annie balled up the paper towel and hurled it into the trash  can. "I put my foot down, told her to wait, to finish her education. He  gave her a kiss and told her to do what she thought best. Well, that's  typical. Typical! He could never do anything that wasn't just the  opposite of what I wanted."

"Annie, calm down."

"I really figured, when he didn't show up for the rehearsal last night, that we'd gotten lucky."

"Dawn wouldn't have thought so," Deb said quietly. "And you know that  she never doubted him, for a minute. 'Daddy will be here,' she kept  saying."

"All the more proof that she's too young to know what's good for her,"  Annie muttered. "What about my sister? Has she shown up yet?"

"Not yet, no."

Annie frowned. "I hope Laurel's okay. It's not like her to be late."

"I already phoned the railroad station. The train came in late, or  something. It's the minister you've got to worry about. He's got another  wedding to perform in a couple of hours, over in Easton."

Annie sighed and smoothed down the skirt of her knee-length, pale green  chiffon dress. "I suppose there's no getting out of it. Okay, let's do  it... What?"

"You might want to take a look in the mirror first."

Annie frowned, swung toward the sink again and blanched. Her mascara had  run and rimmed her green eyes. Her small, slightly upturned nose was  bright pink, and her strawberry blond hair, so lovingly arranged in a  smooth, sophisticated cap by Pierre himself just this morning, was  standing up as if she'd stuck her finger into an electric outlet.

"Deb, look at me!"

"I'm looking," Deb said. "We could always ask the organist if he knows the music from Bride of Frankenstein."                       

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