Authors: Rita Herron
Tags: #Contemporary, #Romance, #Erotica, #Fiction, #General
Have Bouquet, Need Boyfriend
Shy, mousy Rebecca Hartwell had a shocking secret - she was in love with
the town’s hottest bachelor, Dr. Thomas Emerson! Her feelings seemed
hopeless, but when the latest Hartwell bridal bouquet landed smack on
her head and Rebecca received an heirloom hope chest full of seductive
surprises, she suddenly had an outrageous idea. Dare a shy virgin ask
her secret crush to father the baby she yearned for?
He’d been burned by a Hartwell before, but Thomas couldn’t get Rebecca
off his mind. The quietly lovely woman blushed fiery red every time they
met. She was hiding something?and uncovering it might just be the cure
for this doc’s jaded heart and soul!
What a spectacular lineup of love stories Harlequin American Romance has
for you this month as we continue to celebrate our th anniversary.
Start off with another wonderful title in Cathy Gillen Thacker’s
DEVERAUX LEGACY series, Taking Over the Tycoon. Sexy millionaire Connor
Templeton is used to getting whatever-whomever-he wants! But has he
finally met his match in one beguiling single mother?
Next, Fortune’s Twins by Kara Lennox is the latest installment in the
MILLIONAIRE, MONTANA continuity series. In this book, a night of passion
leaves a “Main Street Millionaire” expecting twins-and has the whole
town wondering “Who’s the daddy?” After catching a bridal bouquet and
opening an heirloom hope chest, a shy virgin dreams about asking her
secret crush to father the baby she yearns for, in Have Bouquet, Need
Boyfriend, part of Rita Herron’s HARTWELL HOPE CHESTS series. And don’t
miss Inherited: One Baby! by Laura Marie Altom, in which a handsome
bachelor must convince his ex-wife to remarry him in order to keep
custody of the adorable orphaned baby left in his care.
Enjoy this month’s offerings, and be sure to return each and every month
to Harlequin American Romance!
Associate Senior Editor Harlequin American Romance
HAVE BOUQUET, NEED BOYFRIEND
If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this
book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to
the publisher, and neither the author nor the publisher has received any
payment for this “stripped book.”
To all my fans who wrote me wanting more of the Hartwells. Hope you enjoy!
HAVE BOUQUET, NEED BOYFRIEND
Copyright© by Rita B. Herron.
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utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any
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of the publisher, Harlequin Enterprises Limited, Duncan Mill Road,
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada MB K.
All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of
the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same
name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual
known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.
This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books U.S.A.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award-winning author Rita Herron wrote her first book when she was
twelve, but didn’t think real people grew up to be writers. Now she
writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job. A former kindergarten
teacher and workshop leader, she traded her storytelling for kids for
romance and writes romantic comedies and romance suspense. She lives in
Georgia with her own romance hero and three kids. She loves to hear from
readers so please write her at P.O. Box , Norcross, GA -
or visit her Web site at www.ritaherron.com.
Books by Rita Herron
HARLEQUIN AMERICAN ROMANCE
-HAVE GOWN, NEED GROOM*
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-HAVE HUSBAND, NEED HONEYMOON*
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The Hartwell Hope Chests
-SEND ME A HERO -HER EYEWITNESS -FORGOTTEN LULLABY -SAVING
HIS SON -SILENT SURRENDER! -MEMORIES OF MEGAN -THE CRADLE
MISSION Nighthawk Island
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My dearest Rebecca,
You are a very special granddaughter because you remind me so much of
myself when I was your age. You were the first of Bert daughterd, the
one who brought a deep love into his marriage that cemented the bond
between him and your mother.
But you were the one who suffered the most when your mother died.
Although your own heart was aching, you pushed your feelings aside to
comfort your father and your little brother in their sorrow.
You showed such strength that the rest of us gained courage from you.
But when you retreated to that silent place where you grieved, you never
quite came back.
Always steady and strong, dependable and caring, you are loyal and
trusting to a fault. Believe in yourself now, Rebecca. Take time to
nurture your own dreams and talent, and love yourself the way you love
I wish for you happiness, true love and a man who will give you all the
joy a partner can.
Love you always,
“Who’s getting married next?” Alison Hartwell Broussard waved her bridal
bouquet of roses in the air in open invitation, looking pointedly at her
A few shrieks answered in reply. “Me!”
A quiver of longing rippled through Rebecca, but she remained silent,
hugging her arms around herself in a protective embrace as she stood
beneath the sprawling branches of a live oak. She was the least likely
of all the single and female bridesmaids at her cousin Alison’s wedding
to tie the knot.
Her model-gorgeous sister, Suzanne, would probably be next. That is, if
she ever decided to settle down with one man. Right now, marriage and
monogamy were two words missing from Suzanne’s vocabulary.
Rebecca was the very opposite.
She ached for marriage. For one man to love her and hold her and make
her feel special. To give her a child.
Unfortunately, the man she yearned for happened to
be Thomas Emerson, a man who had once been engaged to Alison.
A man who had his pick of women in town. A man who might still be in
love with Alison. A man who’d barely noticed Rebecca.
Well, except for the time she’d dropped an entire platter of pastries on
his head at Vivi Broussard’s wedding. He had gazed at her through the
whipped cream dripping from his hair as if she might possibly be the
biggest klutz in the world. Which she was.
Especially when she got nervous. And being around Thomas Emerson made
her extremely nervous.
“Come on, ladies, line up.” Alison stepped beneath the trellis of roses,
an early-winter breeze carrying the spicy scent of flowers through the
air. “Brady and I are ready to leave. He’s finally promised me a
honeymoon.” She slid her arm around Brady’s waist. “I only had to marry
him twice to get it.”
Laughter and cheers erupted. Alison’s sisters’ husbands, Jake Tippins
and Seth Broadhurst, grinned wickedly, obviously remembering highlights
of their own honeymoons.
Brady slung an arm around his new wife. “Honey, it’ll be worth the wait.”
More laughter followed, envy mushrooming inside Rebecca. Her three
cousins had all married this past year in the gazebo on top of Pine
Mountain at Grammy Rose’s, and their husbands obviously doted on them.
She wanted that kind of love, that mind-altering, earth-shattering bond
with a man.
But every time she got physically close to a man, she lost her cool.
Rational conversation fled, and she stumbled all over her size-seven
feet. And sometimes, God help her, sometimes she even stuttered.
“Becca, come on.” Suzanne jerked her toward the small crowd of women
gathering on the lawn, their long dresses fluttering in the wind. “Angie
and Caitlin are about to attack Alison for those flowers.”
Rebecca laughed at her twenty-three-year-old twin cousins-daughters of
her aunt Shelby who giggled and squealed-vying for the place in front of
Alison. Although the twins shared a sibling rivalry born of being
identical, they also shared a loving sisterhood, as did Hannah, Mimi and
Alison. For some reason, she and Suzanne had never quite had that
Probably because they were so different.
Another stab of envy assaulted Rebecca as Mimi nestled her three-month
old baby to her chest. Rebecca’s own biological clock beat inside her
like a drum. She desperately wanted a baby.
But a husband had to come first.
“Back to earth, Becca.” Suzanne waved her hand in front of Rebecca’s
eyes, but Thomas gazed their way, and Rebecca froze. A frown marred his
lips, his charcoal-black hair gleaming in the early evening light. The
immediate pull of attraction that engulfed her slid through her nerve
endings, sending a frenzy of delicious sensations spiraling through her.
Sensations that paralyzed her.
His six-foot-plus muscular frame filled out his dark suit. His broad
shoulders almost seemed massive in the crisp white dress shirt. The
sparkle of laughter normally present in his light-green eyes was
replaced by a dark, faraway look, arousing her curiosity. Was he wishing
Alison had married him instead of Brady?
Contemplating going to him and offering a comforting hand, Rebecca
started across the lawn. But her heel caught on a twig. She took a step
forward and nearly plunged to the ground. Yelping, she reached for
something to steady her, or at least break her fall, but found nothing
to hold on to, not a chair or a tree or a table in sight. Thomas pitched
forward as if to break her fall, although he wasn’t near enough to reach
her, but Suzanne, ever the graceful one, slid a long manicured hand
beneath her elbow, catching Rebecca first. Mortification stung Rebecca’s
A fraction of a second later, Thomas raised his gaze, the dark intensity
disappearing as a slow smile spread across his face.
Rebecca’s heart fluttered.
Suzanne poked her. “Wow, who is that hottie eating the groom’s cake?”
Her heart sank.
If Suzanne wanted him, even though she lived miles away in Atlanta, she
would have him. Suzanne always got what she wanted.
“Thom-Thomas Emerson, the OB-GYN-” She took a deep breath to steady her
voice. “He works with Hannah.”
Suzanne whistled beneath her breath. “Whew, a girl might be tempted to
tear up her little black book for him.”
Rebecca gulped. Thomas continued to stare, his gaze almost unnerving
He had to be looking at Suzanne. Everyone stared at her dark-haired,
incredibly exotic-looking sibling. Not that she could blame them.
Suzanne was beautiful. Dazzling. Mesmerizing. And, darn it, she was even
nice, so Rebecca couldn’t hate her. Suzanne didn’t try to get all the
attention. People were just drawn to her.
But Rebecca was the mousy blonde who hid behind books and art and
wire-rimmed glasses. The impossibly shy one who couldn’t talk or walk
without tripping over her own tongue or feet.
“Let’s hurry, she’s getting ready to throw the roses!” Suzanne gently
pushed Rebecca forward just as Alison released the flowers. The bouquet
soared through the air, bouncing first from Caitlin’s hands to Angle’s,
then finally landing with a thump on Rebecca’s head. She reached for the
arrangement, but the ribbon caught on the stem of her glasses, dangling
over her eyes, blinding her, and a thorn from the rose stabbed her finger.
Thomas Emerson fought a laugh as he watched Rebecca Hartwell struggle
with the bridal bouquet. She was such a sweet, fragile-looking woman
that his battered heart lurched every time he saw her.
But he refused to get involved with another woman right now. Even
kind-hearted blondes with big blue eyes and curves that might be sinful.
That is, if she didn’t hide them beneath those baggy dresses.
He pulled at his collar, a bead of sweat trickling down his neck. This
rash of weddings lately had definitely affected him, probably the reason
he’d proposed to Alison a few months ago. But in retrospect he realized
he wasn’t ready for marriage.
Instead he intended to focus on his career. Although he currently shared
a practice with Hannah Hartwell, he had bigger goals. The very reason
he’d been watching
Rebecca in the first place. Not because he was attracted to the shy