Merger for Life – preview

book preview of Merger for Life by Monique Lamont


 










PAPERBACK
BOOKS














MERGER
FOR LIFE 





MERGER FOR LIFE

Can the bonds of marriage be
greater than a piece of paper?

Merger for Life is a
contemporary book about Chantal Montgomery, the daughter of a hotel chain
owner, who finds herself running the family business after the unexpected
death of both her parents.  Three major obstacles stand in the way of
Chantal taking over the business; the inexperience of her youth, her gender
and …her marital status?  A master’s degree in business, five years of
internship and masculine apparel seem to be enough to get Chantal’s foot in
the door.  With high hopes, Chantal is ready for whatever may come. Until
she finds out the night she is to be appointed, her father took care of the
final barrier…he’d made a merger with an old school friend for her to marry
his son.  A guy she has been fantasizing about since she was in high
school.

 




In store price: $AU22.95
USD$13.50


Online Price:  $AU21.95 USD$12.00

ISBN:

ISBN
1
9206 9928 7


Format: Paperback

Number of pages:
341


Genre: Romance Fiction

 

Author: Monique
Lamont


Imprint: Zeus

Publisher: Zeus Publications

Date Published:  January 2003

Language: English






HOME PAGE




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Monique
Lamont was born in San Diego, CA and has lived in various parts of Virginia. 
She’s an educator and counselor. She is married to her high school
sweetheart and has two wonderful children. 
She is currently enjoying the opportunity to travel all over Europe. 


She
loves reading, writing and attempted her first book at sixteen. 
She likes taking the impossible and making it possible and believable in
a story.   


She
wants to hear from her readers: RMANCN_U@yahoo.com


Prologue


 (Part
sample)


 


Chantal glanced around the decorated school ballroom. 
It was prom night and everyone looked beautiful, and so distant. 
Most of these students she and her best friend, Liza had gone to school
with since the beginning, but Chantal would not consider many of them her
friends.   


Here,
you made a lot of acquaintances.  Her
aunt called them connections for the future. 
All of them would eventually run or play a substantial role in their
family’s business, and her aunt believed it was better to put your foot in the
door now, just in case you needed to call on one of them later.
           


“Chantal,
I think I have just died and gone to heaven,” Liza said while they still stood
at the entrance, gazing around the room.
 


“Look
at everyone, there are guys here who I didn’t think owned anything besides
Dockers and jeans,” Chantal replied.


           
“If the
two of you don’t close your mouths you’ll be chewing flies all night.”  Chad, Liza’s boyfriend of a year, said when he approached
them.   
           


“Oh,
Chad we can’t help it.  This place
looks beautiful,” Liza said, still looking around.
           


“Not
as beautiful as the two of you.”  Chad
took each girl’s hand into his and kissed the backs.
           


“Thank
you, Chad. You look smashing yourself,” Liza pretended to curtsy in her mini
fuchsia satin gown.
           


Chantal
laughed at the antics of them both.  She
was glad her friend had met a nice guy like Chad. 
She always

believed Liza deserved the best.
 


“Come
on you, ladies, the floor awaits.” Chad said grabbing both of their hands and
heading towards the dance floor.
 


“I’m
going to have to pass on this one,” said Chantal as she pulled her hand from
Chad’s.  She had taken a few dance
lessons from Liza during the week, but she wasn’t quite ready to try them out
in public yet.
 


“Are
you sure?” Chad asked, looking as if he didn’t want her to feel left out.
 


“Chantal,
you can do this?” said Liza encouragingly.
 


“I
will, but not right now.  Go dance
with your man. Don’t worry about me, I just want to walk around for a minute,
then I’ll come out…eventually.” Chantal gave her best friend a sly smile,
then left.
 


Not
before she saw the look from Liza that said she wasn’t going to get off that
easy.
 


Chad
led her friend out onto the dance floor and they began to jostle their bodies to
the beat of the music along with the rest of the dancers.
           


Deciding
to get something to drink, Chantal strolled over to the extremely stocked buffet
table to get herself some punch.  Then
wandered around, until she found a table by the terrace door, and sat, admiring
all of the young couples on the dance floor, dreamily wishing she were out there
too.  She wasn’t really afraid of
trying her new acquired steps.  She
just didn’t want to be the third wheel while doing it. 
 


“Chantal,
the possibility of someone asking you to dance is a long shot,” she mumbled to
herself.
 


Chantal
knew she was only considered a catch because of her family business.  During her years at school, she had quickly tossed away any
foolish advances from aspiring guys that she had received. 
By the time she had entered the eleventh grade, no guy had dared approach
her on a dating level, not that her aunt would have allowed her to date. 
Her aunt believed business came first, dating was something better
postponed until after marriage.
 


“A
girl can find herself in trouble with a randy
young man.” Chantal mimicked her one of her Aunt Marilyn’s repeated
lectures.
           


“Why
are you sitting here instead of dancing?” A deep voice asked.
           


Startled by the voice that seemed to come out of
nowhere. Chantal quickly turned around, looking behind her and found herself
face to face with possibly the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes on. 
Outside of magazine pictures, of course.           


“I’m
sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” the owner of the voice said.
           


“It’s
okay.”  Chantal’s voice sounded
weak and she could hardly recognise it as her own. 
She knew she was being rude by staring, but she couldn’t stop herself.
           


The
man smiled.  “My name is Stephan
Lexington.”  He offered her his
hand.
           


Chantal
mentally shook herself and placed her hand on his. At contact, electric currents
seemed to flow into her fingertips. Staring into his eyes she felt as if she
couldn’t pull herself away.  His
eyes appeared to be black to the core and they seemed to draw her into them. 
She hadn’t meant to reveal how she was fantasizing about what it would
be like to be his wife and look into those eyes for the rest of her life.
‘Okay, Chantal, no more romance books from Liza,’
she thought to
herself.
 


“I’m
Chantal Lexington- – I mean Montgomery,” she couldn’t believe her blunder.  Chiding herself, she bit down on her tongue for being so
stupid as to let that slip out.
           


There
was that smile again.
 


He’d
have to stop giving her smiles, they were mind-blowing and they kept causing her
heart to race. 
 


“Miss
Montgomery, it’s nice to make your acquaintance.” 
Stephan bent at the waist and placed a kiss on the back of her hand.
           


For
the second time that night a guy had kissed her hand, but the first instance
could not compare to the second.  This
kiss caused butterflies to flutter around in her stomach.
           


“So,
Miss Montgomery, why’d you say you weren’t dancing?”  
           


He
stood, towering over her, making her body react in strange ways to his near
proximity. 
 


“Because
my feet are a little sore from so much dancing,” Chantal lied, but she
didn’t want this guy to get scared off by the thought that no one else would
be caught with her.
           


Stephan’s
brows raised and Chantal wondered if he’d guessed she was lying. 
           


“Please,
call me Chantal.” She rushed on, trying to redirect his thoughts.
           


“Well,
Chantal, while you rest your feet do you mind if I join you?” 
 


“Not
at all.  Be my guest.”   To her own ears, her voice didn’t sound as casual as
her words.
           


As
he sat across from her, Chantal noticed he was not as old as she had originally
thought.  Upon first glance she had
presumed him to be a first year teacher, but now she suspected he was only a few
years older than she was.  Even so,
Chantal questioned his presence at the dance, since he was to old to still be in
high school.  Could he be
someone’s date?  She knew some of
her classmates were dating college guys.  She’d
already seen a few of them tonight, showing off their men like trophies.
           


“You
seem a little old to still be in high school. 
Are you here to chaperone?” Chantal needed to make sure he wasn’t
someone’s trinket from the beginning.  The
last thing she wanted was a scene made by one of her shallow classmates,
accusing her of trying to move in on their man. 
The girls at her school were very territorial.
           


“I’m
not that old.  I’m only in my third year of college.  I’m here escorting someone.”
           


“Oh.” 
Chantal hoped her disappointment wasn’t in her voice, but his sudden
smile told her he had picked up on it.
           


“Actually,
the someone is my sister.”
           


Relief
ran down her back like cold water.  “Oh? 
What’s your sister’s name?”
           


“Veronica. 
Do you know her?”
           


“Veronica
Lexington?”  Chantal ran the name
through her mind trying to place it with a face, at the same time glancing
around the room looking for a female version of him.
           


“My
sister and I don’t look at all alike.  She
has dark brown hair, not black.  She
wears glasses, like you, and she’s a lot shorter than I am. 
About five-two to be exact.”
           


Spotting
a girl who fit the description, she asked, “Is she the one dancing in the blue
dress with Kent Westing?”  
           


Locating
his sister on the dancer floor with a guy, he answered, “Yes, that would be
her.”
           


“I
know Veronica.  We had a science
class together in the ninth grade.  We
were lab partners.  She was very
good.  She helped me through a tough semester.   But we haven’t been in the same class since then.”
           


“She’s
very smart and she loves science.  She
wants to be a chemist.”
           


Chantal
could hear the pride in his voice and for some strange reason she envied his
sister.  “If she’s anything like
she was in ninth grade, she’ll be a success.”
           


“It’s
not surprising you didn’t remember her instantly. 
She doesn’t know a lot of people. 
She stays buried in her books.  My
parents and I had to encourage her to come tonight. We didn’t want her to
regret one day, that she didn’t come.”
           


Chantal
watched Kent and Veronica for a few moments. 
“It looks like you all did the right thing. 
She seems to be having a nice time.”
           


Chantal
glanced around.  In fact, it seemed
as if everyone was having a nice time, paired up with someone, with the
exception of her and the school wallflowers.  She
spied a couple outside on the terrace, hiding from the chaperones’ prying
eyes, stealing some time for heavy kissing. 
She recognised them at once, they were the couple voted most likely to
marry.
           


“Hopefully.” 
Stephan said, but the subject of his sister on the dance floor was the
furthest from his mind.
 


He
noticed her dreamy gaze again.  Upon
first glance, he could see how no one would think her extremely attractive, but
by no means was she ugly either.  Occasionally,
he witnessed her adjusting her thick glasses to accommodate the long length of
her lashes.  The emerald dress she
wore brought out the green in her hazel eyes, and even though the dress was not
form fitting, he could easily tell she had a slender build. 
Seated, her dress stopped at the top of her knees. 
He could see her charms school training by how modestly her knees were
pressed together.  He also took in
the firm shaping of her legs and wondered how tall she stood. Stephan stopped
himself before his mind began to question the entire length of her legs, and
their shape. That was one of his weaknesses. 
 


His
other one was a woman’s mouth.  He
tried hard not to notice the full lips that reminded him of ripe fruit ready to
be picked.  He could guess that over
the next few years, Chantal would blossom beautifully, and a small part of him
hoped to witness the results, even if from afar. 
 


“How
are your feet?” Stephan asked as he stood up quickly, trying to refocus his
thoughts.
 


“Excuse
me?”  Chantal asked caught off
guard.
 


Stephan
chuckled at the far away look in her eyes. But instead of repeating himself, he
reached down and grabbed her hand and proceeded to pull her out onto the dance
floor behind him, barely giving her enough time to place her drink on the table
before she spilled it. 
 


The
band was starting on its third slow song.  Stephan
led her to an empty space on the crowded floor, assuming a type of waltz
position.  Putting an arm around her
waist, he brought her body slowly against his, leaving her no choice but to
place her free hand on his shoulder. 
 


“I
don’t slow dance very well,” she said.
 


Stephan
had already realised by Chantal’s stumbles and hesitant steps that slow dancing
was not something she did often or ever.  She
had already trampled on his foot twice and the second line of the song had not
even started. 
 


Stephan
noticed her biting on her lip.  Again
he was reminded of the ripe fruit. “Don’t try to think of what to do.  Just look into my eyes and follow me.” 
 


During
the next few minutes, once she got her mind off her feet, Stephan was amazed at
how well they moved together.  He
had danced with girls all of his life, but none fit with the length of his body
as well as Chantal did.  He
contributed it to her height.  She
was very tall for a female, at least five eleven. 
           


Stephan
could feel Chantal’s body pressing into his. 
He knew she didn’t understand the type of signal she was sending out. 
Had this been one of the many experienced college girls he knew, they
would be headed back to his apartment by now. 
He had been with all types girls, but it amazed him that none of them
drew him like the innocence of this budding woman.
 


He
liked the smoothness of her skin, her cheek against his. 
He was just inches away from the slope of her neck, and from experience
he knew what tremors would be sent through her body if he placed a light kiss
there.  He had performed the move a
million times. 
 


Instead
he shook himself back to reality.  Reminding
himself, that this girl was only seventeen at the most and he was way out of her
league.  She would start college in
the fall and hopefully in those four years some lucky guy would slowly teach her
the ropes. He wished it could be him.
 


Chantal
did as Stephan told her and got lost with the thoughts of him. 
She forgot about her feet and concentrated on the person who was holding
her. 
 


Chantal
was astonished how every nerve in her body seemed to reach out to him where
their bodies touched.  His cologne
intoxicated her.  The oxygen she
needed to breathe seemed to be trapped in her lungs, as if her body had
forgotten its normal function.  She
had never been this close to a guy before. 
She could feel her body sinking deeper into his. 
She was drawn to him and unable to stop herself.
 


The
feelings stirring in her body were things she had never felt before. 
Liza had talked about how it felt for her to be in Chad’s arms, but
nothing she had imagined compared to this.  
 


The
song ended and Stephan slipped his arm from around her waist and slowly let her
go.  Chantal regained her balance as
he took a step back, bringing her hand that he still held, slowly towards his
mouth, never breaking their eye contact.
 


Chantal
thought he was going to kiss the back of her hand as he had before, but he
surprised her.  Turning her hand
over, he planted a kiss in the centre of her palm. 
Tingling sensations raced from her palm up her arm, causing her heart to
beat at an alarming rate.
 


Chantal
could hardly breathe.  She had
thought the second kiss she’d received to her hand that night was something,
but it did not compare to this one.
 


“Thank
you, Stephan.”  Chantal lips
moved, but she didn’t hear any words come out. 
She felt like the air had still not returned to her body, but at this
moment she didn’t care if she ever breathed again.  
           


He
gave her a devastating smile.  “It
was my pleasure, Chantal.”  He
squeezed her hand, and then slowly released it. 
“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find my sister.”


While
Chantal watched him walk away, she closed her hand wanting to hold the kiss
where he had placed it.  Then she
left the dance floor in search of Liza. 

                        






All
Prices in Australian Dollars                                                                    
CURRENCY
CONVERTER

(c)2003 Poseidon
Books All rights reserved.