Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto
by Liz Fielding
Chasing his Christmas Cinderella! Lucy Bright can’t believe it when she’s plucked from secretarial obscurity and transformed into the pampered fiancée of a slick retail guru. But then she discovers it was all a publicity stunt! Rushing away from the media frenzy, she bumps – literally – into delicious tycoon Nathaniel Hart…
Spooked by their instantaneous chemistry, Lucy flees – but Nathaniel is determined to find his barefoot beauty. Though all he has is one very expensive red designer stiletto to help him!
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Meet the Author...
|(c) Mills and Boon|
The only thing that is better than reading, is writing. Bringing to life characters that you love so much that finishing the book, leaving them to get on with their lives without you, is the hardest thing.
|Released 20 years ago this month!|
I started writing when my children were small and my engineer husband, John, was working abroad. We'd met working in Africa and had travelled the world together before settling down to raise our family.
My first romance, An Image of You, HR # 141, was set in Kenya, in a place I knew well, and was plucked from the slush pile because the feisty feminist heroine made my editor laugh. Emotion touched with humor has been the hallmark of my books ever since.
You can find Liz at:
Lucy’s shoulder hurt where she’d charged the emergency exit, setting off a barrage of alarms that lent wind to her heels as she raced down the narrow, darkening streets behind the hotel.
She had no idea where she was heading, only that there were men on her heels, all of them wanting her, all of them with their own agendas. But she was done with being used.
‘Aaargh!’ She let out a wail of fury as her heel caught and snapped in a grating, bringing her up with a painful jerk. Someone yelled behind her, closing fast and she paused only long enough to kick her foot free of the grating, leaving the shoe behind, and race on, casting around desperately for a cruising cab. But there was never one when you were desperate!
Idiot, idiot, idiot…
The words hammered in her head in time to the jar of her feet on the freezing wet pavement as she ran, dot-and-carry-one lopsidedly on one heel.
She’d just made the biggest mistake of her life. Make that the second biggest. She’d made the first when she’d fallen into the fairytale trap.
In retrospect she could see that calling her erstwhile Prince Charming a liar and cheat in front of the nation’s assembled press pack had not been her brightest move. But what was a girl to do when her magic castle-in-the-air had just turned into one of those blow up bouncy things they had at kids parties?
Stop and think?
Stand back, line up her allies before firing her ammunition from a safe distance? Hardly the action of the girl Rupert had proclaimed to love for her spontaneity, her passion.
That was the difference between them.
The woman who’d appeared on the cover of Celebrity wasn’t some figment of a PR man’s imagination. She was real. Capable of feeling not just joy but pain. Which was why she’d leapt in with both feet, puncturing the fake castle with the 4 inch heels of her Louboutins, letting out the hot air and bringing it down around her.
Idiot was right but who, having just discovered that she was the victim of the most cynical, manipulative, emotional fraud imaginable, would be thinking rationally?
As for allies, there was no one she could turn to. The press had already bought everyone who’d known her since she was a baby – anyone who had a photograph or a story to tell. Every moment of her life was now public property and what they didn’t know they’d made up.
And Rupert owned the rest.
All those people who had fawned over her, pretended to be her friend, there wasn’t one she could trust. Be sure was genuine rather than someone on his PR company’s payroll.
As for her mother…
She had no one and, run as hard as she might, nowhere to go. Her legs were buckling beneath her, lungs straining, as she headed instinctively for the sparkle of Christmas lights, crowds of shoppers in which to lose herself, but she couldn’t stop.
In moments her pursuers would be on her and she didn’t need the dropping temperature, the huge white flakes that had begun to swirl from a leaden sky, to send a shiver up her spine. Then, as she rounded a corner seeking the safety of the crowds of Christmas shoppers, she saw the soaring asymmetrical glass pyramid of Hastings & Hart, lighting up the winter gloom like a beacon.
She’d been in the store just the day before on a mission from Rupert to choose luscious Christmas gifts for his staff. Giving the gossip mag photographers who followed her everywhere their photo opportunities. It was all there in the files.
The plan to keep her fully occupied. Too busy to think.
The store seemed to mock her now and yet inside were nine warm and welcoming floors, each offering a hundred places to hide. Within its walls she would be off the street, safe for a while, and she flew across the street, dodging through the snarled up traffic, heading towards the main entrance, slithering to a halt as she saw the doorman guarding the entrance.
Only yesterday he’d tipped his top hat to her in deference to her chauffeur-driven status.
He wouldn’t be so impressed by her arrival today, but dishevelled and limping, he would certainly remember her and, pulling her coat tidily around her and shouldering her bag, she teetered precariously on her bare toe as she slowed down to saunter past him, doing her best to look as if she was out for a little shopping.
‘You’ll find footwear on the ground floor, ma’am,’ he said, face absolutely straight, as he opened the door. And tipped his hat.