We are so excited to bring you this exclusive excerpt of The Wife He Needs by Brenda Jackson, out December 15!
About The Wife He Needs:
Will this billionaire bachelor say “I do” to love? He desires her more than any other woman.
The arrangement is simple: a two-week getaway, then a marriage of convenience. Until Garth Outlaw’s potential bride is a no-show. Now family pilot Regan Fairchild is sharing his bed—and he can’t get enough…even though he’s vowed never to love again. Can Regan convince him the wife he needs and the woman he desires are one and the same?
“I’m sure Regan won’t be taking the job,” Charm said. “She loves working for our company. She’s said so a number of times, and I also know she enjoys flying you.”
Garth wished he could be as certain of that as Charm. “Why didn’t she tell me about the offer?” he asked in an annoyed tone.
“Really, Garth? She’s a professional and you’re her boss. She probably figured that had she mentioned it, you would have thought she was hitting you up for a raise, to counter Anders’s offer.”
“I would not have thought that. Besides, I’m more than her boss, Charm. Like all the Outlaws, I consider Regan a friend.”
“Well, some friend you are. You’ll deny her two weeks to enjoy herself at the château with you. If I were you, I would do whatever it takes to remind her that she’s not only your pilot, but also your friend.”
He heard what Charm was saying; however, he wasn’t sure that was a line he wanted to cross. “I don’t think Regan sharing space with me here is a good idea, Charm.”
“And why not?”
There was no way he would tell Charm the real reason. “I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable.”
“Why would she? You’re overthinking things. If it was Jess, Cash, Sloan or Maverick, none of them would mind asking Regan to hang out with them for two weeks so she could have fun. I don’t understand why you would have a problem with it.”
“We don’t have that kind of relationship.”
“Well, you should. You’ve known her as long as they have, even longer. And everyone knows what a great bond you share with Franklin. In some ways, you’re closer to him than you are to Bart.”
When he didn’t say anything, Charm added, “You know what I think, Garth?”
A part of him was afraid to ask. “No, what do you think?”
“I think the problem isn’t with Regan but with you.”
His stomach tightened. Had Charm figured out his attraction to Regan. “It’s me in what way?”
“Since taking over the company you’ve gotten so driven to make the company successful that you’ve become the ultimate professional, dotting every i and crossing every t, and you’ve forgotten how it feels to just chill and hang out with those who remember how fun-loving you were before becoming Mr. CEO. You’ve become a stuffed shirt.”
“A stuffed shirt?”
“Yes, and a stick-in-the-mud, too. I hate to see you become another Bart.”
Garth frowned. “That won’t ever happen.”
“It will if you don’t learn how to relax, have fun and enjoy spending time with people you can trust. If you prefer, I can take time off and fly out and spend time with you in Santa Cruz.”
That was the last thing he wanted. Charm would drive him batty. “I’ll ask Regan about it today.”
“Good. Now about your match from the dating service. Do you want me to reschedule your time with her?”
He inhaled deeply. Maybe her not showing up was an omen. If he was honest with himself, he would admit he preferred meeting women the traditional way. “No. Please cancel my relationship with the service.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am.”
“All right. I’ll notify them to remove you as a client. Enjoy yourself. Love you. Bye.” Charm then clicked off the phone.
“You want me to join you at the château?” Regan asked Garth, speaking into her phone and trying to make sense of what he was saying.
“Yes, my original plans have changed and there’s no need for everything I had set up to go to waste, so I’m asking you.”
Regan could only reach one conclusion. For whatever reason, the woman who was supposed to join him was a no-show, and he was inviting her to be with him instead.
Should Regan be upset that she was being asked by default? First of all, she wasn’t really a default. He wouldn’t expect her to take the woman’s place per se. There was no doubt in her mind that he and the woman would have engaged in an affair. That would not be the case for him and Regan. He was merely being kind by inviting her to enjoy some of the things his date was not there to enjoy. Being in his bed would not be one of them.
Knowing how she felt about Garth, could she share space with him and enjoy his company, just like she would if the invitation had come from Jess, Cash, Sloan or Maverick? Garth was her boss; they weren’t. As the firstborn, Garth had been groomed to take Bart’s place one day, and lately, he hadn’t been as approachable as his siblings.
Since becoming his pilot, she could recognize his moods. Although he always exemplified a kind, caring and thoughtful demeanor toward her, she could tell when he was in a more serious state of mind versus a more relaxed one. She was well aware that his disposition was driven by whatever business deals he had on the table. Lately, she’d seen less of his relaxed mood.
She wanted to see more of it.
“Yes, Garth, I’ll join you at the château. Thanks for asking.”
“I know you wanted to spend a couple of days in LA with your friend. I’ll make sure you still get that time on the back end. While you’re visiting her, there’s a couple of guys I met while stationed there that I can look up. No problem.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“I don’t mind. It’s the least I can do to show my gratitude to you for keeping me from getting bored for two weeks. And I recall you mentioning on the flight here that you intended to do some shopping tomorrow. How about if I join you?”
Regan, who’d been about to take a sip of tea, nearly spilled it out of her cup. “You want to go shopping with me?”
“Sure. Why not? It’s not like I’m new to the shopping game. Remember I’m Charm’s oldest brother, and if Charm’s shopping antics haven’t driven me crazy, then I’m sure yours won’t, either.”
“So when do you want me to pick you up from the hotel?”
“I’ll be packed and ready to leave whatever time you decide.”
“In that case, I’ll be there at ten in the morning, Regan.”
Indie bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335209498
About the Author:
Brenda Jackson is a New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred romance titles. Brenda lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and divides her time between family, writing and traveling. Email Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her on her website at brendajackson.net.