The Pinkerton twins may look alike but the similarity ends there. While Matt is planning his increasingly expensive wedding to his model fiancée, James has vowed to have nothing else to do with women every again. So, when Great Aunt Phoebe dies and leaves her million pound share portfolio to whichever of the boys first marries and has a child, it is assumed the fortune will go to Matt. But Matt is not the only one with a plan… Throw into the pot a scheming sex-mad German, a gorgeous photographer, a matchmaking mother, and one very pampered pooch, then turn up the heat and watch things simmer.
In the kitchen, Francesca’s spoon fell with a clatter onto the Italian slate flagstones, leaving a trail of soggy Special K over her ludicrously expensive, ridiculously short, ivory silk robe—a fact to which she seemed oblivious.
“Have a kid?” she echoed, horror spreading over her exquisite features.
The reaction was much as Matt had expected. Attempting a jovial tone, he said, “Just a small one.”
Panic oozed from every one of her meticulously cleansed and toned pores. “But I can’t have a kid. What about my figure? My career?”
He was prepared for this one. “Plenty of models have babies. There’s Claudia Schiffer and Yasmin le Bon and Elle McPherson and Cindy—”
“They all had them in their thirties. I’m only twenty-three. And I haven’t done a fashion show yet. Who’s going to book me for a fashion show if I’m the size of a whale?”
“Look, if we had one now, it would all be over and done with in nine months. There’d be plenty of time for fashion shows. Come on, Fran. There’s a million dollars at stake here.”
Her eyes narrowed. “I’m not sure it’s worth a million dollars.”
From the other side of the table, Matt gawped in amazement. Where money was concerned, she would happily have sold every member of her family on eBay, without batting an eyelash extension.
“But you love money.”
“Of course I do. But I’m planning on making a hell of a lot more than that in my career and I’m not likely to do that with saggy tits and stretch marks.”
“Look, we need this money, Fran.” He attempted to keep the desperation out of his voice. “And we need it now.”
“You might.” She rose from the table. “But I don’t.” And with that, she stomped out of the room, pausing only to scoop up Mimi from her basket.
Matt slumped across the table, a Jermyn Street shirt cuff landing on a soggy flake. Oh, but you do bloody need it, he thought morosely, as he watched her go. If only you knew how bloody much.