Authors: Ann King
Copyright © 2012 Ann King
All rights reserved; no part of this
publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the
This book is a work of fiction. The names,
characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or
have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead is
To my heavenly Father, thank you for all
you have done for me.
He needs a temporary wife…
The most sought after bachelor, Carlos Kincade is young,
rich and devilishly handsome. He has everything he thought he could possibly
want until his grandfather’s will stipulates he must be married by his 30th
birthday to keep his inheritance. He’s suddenly in need of a wife who can
fulfill his every hot desire.
She needs a job…
Struggling psychology student Elsie Sherwood suddenly finds
herself in need of another job after a medical crisis in the family cost her
family home. Sexy Carlos Kincade offers her work for a month but there are
strings attached…and a diamond ring. She must fulfill his thirty-one needs to
play his wife until he fulfills his grandfather’s will—but is the seduction too
hot to handle?
“You can’t be serious,” Carlos Kincade’s eyes narrowed as he
sat opposite Santos Duke of Duke, Ross & Blakes, lawyers for the Kincade
family. Santos had summoned Carlos and his six brothers for a reading of the
last will and testament of their late grandfather, John Smith Kincade II, the
founder of the world-renowned Kincade retail empire. Their inherited stock in
the company made them one of the wealthiest families in the world.
very serious, Mr. Kincade,” Duke’s eyes
were fixed on twenty-nine year old Carlos, the current CEO of Kincade
Corporation. “And to all of you, John, Jared, Marcus, Justin, Dane and Tristan,
your grandfather left this one condition in his will for a very good reason.”
“So that we can all get hitched by our next birthday?”
“Not quite, Jared.”
“Well, basically,” Duke sighed as he took his spectacles off
his face and placed them on the table after reading the will, “When your
grandfather, John, lost both of his sons, your father and your uncle, he’d made
a few changes to his will to ensure the company’s legacy. Of course, your
father’s demise in that helicopter crash was a great tragedy but he spoke to us
about his concern over your Uncle Jeffrey’s suicide as the turning point.”
Carlos sprung up to his feet and shoved his hands in his
pockets, trying to contain himself. “So this is what it’s all about. Uncle
Jeff, the womaniser and gambler who lost all his money so we have to pay?”
“Well, not exactly, Carlos. Please sit down and relax.”
“Relax? You just told us that we’re going to lose our
inheritance if we don’t fulfill some comical condition of our grandfather’s
will. How do you think this makes us feel?”
“Yes, I can imagine it is hard to come to grasp with. But it
is all for a good reason. Your grandfather’s business was built on all the good
values that he believed in…trust, loyalty, family values. He just doesn’t want
to see you squander your fortune on fast women and fast cars. He feels that
having a family will give you more stability. In his days matchmaking was good
for the family. You can be paired up with…”
“Enough, Duke! It’s one thing to insist that we marry by our
next birthday but to be told who to marry. That’s another thing.”
“I agree with Carlos,” John Kincade III said as stood up.
“We all know that gramps had a wild sense of humor about life and maybe this is
his one last laugh from the grave but I say we find our own wives,
agree to this…condition.”
Duke sighed heavily, his hand combing his white strands of
hair, what was left on his head. “Very well. But please let me know if you
require assistance in this area. And regarding your grandfather’s
conditions…I’ve seen worse in wills. You’d be surprised.”
“Well this is not other people’s wills we’re talking
about…this is our family’s estate.”
“Very well.” Duke seemed too tired to argue further and
Carlos could tell he was way past retirement. A good man but really pushing the
Carlos stood by the window looking out as his brothers
talked amongst themselves. He really didn’t get it. Why would his grandfather
make such a condition to his will? Okay, he got it that his uncle was nothing
but trouble. A disgrace to the family. An irresponsible playboy bachelor who
squandered his fortune, gambled with money he no longer had and ultimately
disgraced the Kincade family name by his tabloid appearances with run ins with
the law. He was later found dead in a hotel bathroom after he overdosed on pain
killers. Later it was ruled out as a suicide. It caused a scandal for the
Kincade’s public image. The owners of one of the world’s largest upscale
retailers listed in the Forbes list of the wealthiest families during the last
decade alone. His father, John II, wasn’t any better.
Carlos was always the outcast in the family. The different
one. He was darker in complexion than his fair skinned brothers and his dark
grey eyes contrasted to their blue eyes. He was the illegitimate son.
He couldn’t help but feel this was quite a coincidence. With
all the pretense of brotherhood from his siblings he knew how they really felt
about him and it didn’t faze him one bit—until now. His father had an affair
with the Italian maid, his mother, while married to Mrs. Kincade. He’d always
been made to feel different from the rest. He’d grown up trying to be twenty
times better just to be considered equal. He’d worked hard in the company just
to prove his worth and changed the vision and increased the company’s profit line
in addition to pleasing customers in an unconventional way. Now on the verge of
one of the largest risk ventures to bring the Kincade empire to another level,
he could possibly lose it all—with all his hard work. He’d been responsible for
pulling Kincade Department store into the twenty-first century and beyond.
Macy’s couldn’t compare to it now. Now this ridiculous will stipulation when it
was a known fact that he was a sworn bachelor, he couldn’t help but feel this
was some sort of set up. He just didn’t believe in marriage. Period.
Later, his father was killed in a plane crash…with another
mistress at his side.
So much for family values.
Carlos swore he’d never get married while growing up. He
just didn’t believe in happily ever after. Shoot, he didn’t exactly have any
role models in that area. Being single and working hard in the corporation
meant more to him…until now. He really didn’t want to lose his place in the
business or his inheritance. It would undo everything he’d ever worked for.
Damn it! He
the Kincade Corporation. He had to
think fast. Maybe there was a way around this ridiculous little clause in his
His jaw clenched at the thought of what he would do. There
was always a way around things and this would be no different.
“By the way,” Duke said after clearing his throat, “part of
the stipulation of the will is that if for any reason you contest the will…you
“Nothing?” Carlos shot back, stunned. He felt fire course
through his veins. His brothers also looked up from their conversations as if
they’d seen a ghost. The atmosphere in the lawyer’s office turned frigid,
“Nothing,” Duke whispered as he looked down, regret in his
eyes, as if he, too, thought that particular condition of John Kincade’s will
Carlos’s jaw clenched, every muscle in his body tensed up.
He felt his blood run cold.
Nothing? We’ll see about that.
The next day, Elsie Sherwood stood outside of the rotating
doors of the glass building of Kincade Corporation with her Starbucks coffee in
hand. She held the cup to her lips taking the last sip. Just what she needed to
calm her nerves and bring some alertness to her day.
Inside she shivered with anxiety. She really needed this new
position at Kincade. Failure was not an option.
“All set, kiddo?” her cousin Dee called out to her after
dropping her off.
“Almost,” she lied.
“You know I never thought I’d see you working in a sex toy
“It’s not a sex toy shop,” Elsie snapped back. “It’s part of
the Kincade Department store. It’s just another department within the store.”
“Ah, right,” Dee mocked, “the Home Pleasures department.”
Dee broke out into a laugh after trying to contain herself.
Elsie rolled her eyes. Dee was always mocking her growing
up. Elsie had always been the shy quiet one in the family. Dee was the wild
child, done it all cousin. But she was sure glad to be sharing her one-bedroom
apartment after the bailiff changed the lock on the door. Since her mother’s
death and losing the home from escalating medical bills prior to her death, it
had all been one crazy ride.
The gentle September breeze kissed her skin with its
coolness as Elsie held her hair down with her free hand, ever so conscious of
her scar on the side of her hairline. She’d always managed to style her hair in
a certain way so that it wasn’t clearly visible.
“Besides, if I get this job it’ll be research for my class
in Human Sexuality.”
“Since when are you taking a class on Human Sexuality?” Dee
“Come on Dee. Remember? I told you it was the only elective
available to finish my psych degree.”
“Oh, right. How convenient,” Dee smirked as she saluted her
playfully before rolling up the window to drive away.
Elsie grinned and turned around to enter the building. She
threw the Starbucks cup into the recycle bin just outside the doors after she’d
taken her last sip.
She could not help but thinking, she’d covered her tuition
for the fall but come January, she’d be toast if she didn’t come up with
another $15,000. What on earth would she do? Once she’d graduated she could
work as a Psychometrist in her field while she completed her Masters and PhD
program. “Looking forward and leaving the past behind.” That was her new motto
now. She’d been through her own share of heartbreak in her life and she wasn’t
about to let it mess up her future. She had to move forward for her mother if
The bottom line was she really did need this job. Like
It was a controversial move from her part time job at
Kincade’s in the café waiting tables. But it sure would pay a whole lot more
while she put herself through college. She was glad for the internal job
posting for Kincade’s new department opening up soon. The pay would be
phenomenal and would offer her more hours to boot. The store required six full
time and four part time staff to rotate weekends, days and evenings. That would
fit around her classroom schedule perfectly. The job description specified the
candidates must be enthusiastic, approachable, knowledgeable about the products
(hmm, she’d thought that part odd) and professional in appearance and
The best part was that she would finally get to meet up
close the hottest board member of the upscale store chain, CEO Carlos Kincade,
also heir to the empire, since he would be personally meeting and interviewing
potential candidates who passed through the first round of screening. It would
be a long shot but a girl could dream, couldn’t she? It wasn’t so much his
status or money or his key position and how he single-handedly managed to turn
the empire around and modernize it in unconventional ways. It was his charm,
his charisma and yet his elusive nature rolled into one. He was a complex man.
A genius, yet different from all the other suits around. Even before she’d
started working at the café at Kincade’s she’d seen him once or twice from a
distance but she’d always had a star-like crush on him. The man dominated her
most intimate fantasies. Again, a long shot.
Thoughts of Carlos Kincade made her pulse quicken and her
inner thighs tingle. She had to divert her thoughts to something else. This was
so unprofessional and so never going to happen. He was the head of the
corporation she worked for—she a little dot on his avalanche of works all over
the world. She’d Googled him a few times and gaped at the slender athletic body
of the mogul with several women, sometimes models, A-list actresses and the
works. Elsie knew she hadn’t fit into that category. She was just an ordinary
girl next door with a little cellulite on her butt. She’d also admired her out
of the box thinking when he’d changed the direction of Kincade to separate from
its major competitors with stores like Macy’s. He was often met with critical
attention from the media and his competitors but at the end, the store’s bottom
line increased. Not only that but he’d been the biggest philanthropist—opening
more sports centers and donating more computers and services for inner city
kids to get ahead. Some had said that he did most things in secret without all
the media glitz. He would secretly visit the arenas and coach on the kids or
help out in building some of the habitat homes himself in disguise. Still, the
man was a mystery for sure. Elsie often fantasized about him noticing her in
the pool of women working for him. Yeah, right! Like that was ever going to
happen. She’d had way too much insecurity to even think of getting up close to
someone like Carlos Kincade.