Excerpt: Rich by Janet Elizabeth Henderson

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About the Book:

Rachel Ford-Talbot has nothing to do with her family or their pharmaceutical business. And she likes it that way. As one of four partners who own an internationally renowned security business, Rachel prefers to leave her past, with all its secrets, deeply buried.

But when a series of thefts reveal that the family business is being targeted for industrial espionage, her father begs Rachel to investigate. His illness makes it hard for her to refuse, but Rachel wonders if he truly understands what he’s unleashing on his company. Because she isn’t the same bright-eyed graduate that walked through their doors years earlier. Now, she’s strong, powerful, and somewhat terrifying. A woman who doesn’t suffer fools lightly and who is afraid of nothing.

She also isn’t alone.

This time, she has the might and expertise of Benson Security at her back. And an ex-CIA agent at her side—because Michael “Harvard” Carter has appointed himself her bodyguard for the duration. Even though Rachel doesn’t need, or want, the annoyingly sexy man’s help. But while the world sees a first-class bitch when they look at her, Michael sees only someone who intrigues him. Which makes him the biggest threat of all.



“This is ludicrous,” Rachel complained for the twentieth time since Harvard had explained to her that she was the new problem the team faced. “We announced we’re getting married. So what if people are gossiping about us and saying our relationship is fake?”

“Because,” Harvard said in that same patient tone he’d used since Ryan stuck his oar in, “if people don’t believe we’re in a real relationship, they’ll watch us more carefully, and the chances of our cover being blown become a whole lot higher.”

Rachel glared out of the window of the taxi, into the night, as they sped through London’s streets. Going who knows where, because Harvard had said it was a surprise. An activity that would help them. If it was couples counseling for their fake relationship, she would smack him silly.

“We’re here,” he said as the taxi pulled over.

Rachel let out a groan. He’d brought her to Brixton, of all places. At night. In the dark. And it wasn’t even a good part of Brixton—if there was such a thing—it was a backstreet behind the train station.

“Come on,” he said, climbing out of the taxi and holding the door for her.

“I’d rather not.” Rachel stayed put.

From what she could see, graffiti covered every wall around her, and it wasn’t Banksy. No, this wasn’t art of any kind. It looked like a three-year-old had just learned to spell their name and decided to scrawl it everywhere.

“You’re being pathetic,” he said with a grin.

“Are you getting out or not?” the driver demanded.

With a huff, she climbed out of the car and watched it drive away.

“If I’d wanted to visit a third-world country,” she said, “I’d have gone back to Scotland. Why did I agree to come here with you?”

“I’m still trying to figure that out.” Harvard smiled at her. He wore a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, which he’d left untucked over faded jeans. If there had been a style called sexy casual, then he’d be the walking embodiment of it.

She, on the other hand, wore a black cocktail dress with a cute flared skirt and her usual heels. Harvard had told her to dress casual and flirty, suggesting she wear jeans. Seeing as she didn’t own any, the dress was the best she could do.

“So, tell me then,” he said. “Why did you agree to come with me tonight? I expected you to put up more of a fight.”

“You were there for our conversation this afternoon, weren’t you? I promised to make more of an effort. I didn’t promise I wouldn’t complain while I did it.”

“And I appreciate it. The effort part, that is.”

Placing a hand on the small of her back, Harvard guided her toward a gate between two rundown tenement buildings. Goodness only knew what she was stepping in as they approached it; there was a distinct lavatory smell to the place.

“I’ve changed my mind,” she said as he opened the gate. “Whatever we’re doing here, there has to be another way we can work on being more physically comfortable with each other. I know, why don’t we go back to my apartment and have sex? It would be more sanitary.”

“As attractive as that proposition is, this will be fun too.” He took Rachel’s hand in his, engulfing hers, the warmth of his touch shooting up her arm. “Besides, you aren’t ready to sleep with me. Yet.” He waggled his eyebrows before stepping in front and leading her down the alley between the buildings.

“Your ego knows no bounds, does it?” she said.

Harvard shrugged. “I’m a big man. I have a big ego.”

She wasn’t going to touch that comment. Instead, she concentrated on following him down the narrow alley without brushing against the walls. Who knew what she’d pick up if she did?

“Is this really necessary?” she asked. “I’m touching you now, and look, no wincing.”

“Yeah, because you’re too worried about catching something from just being in Brixton to worry about anything else.” He glanced over his shoulder at her. “Rachel, you have issues.”

She honestly couldn’t argue with that, so she said nothing.


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About the Author:  Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.

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