March Morgan still believes in true love, but her faith in finding her soul mate is slowly vanishing. She’s been married but never in love. So, it is a miracle to find that fantasy exists on the last page of a glossy women’s journal. Mayfair Electronics, Ltd., in black and white, offers Love for Sale. The London firm has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from human. She flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life.
Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight. He’s handsome, cultured…absolutely perfect…and a little different from the other androids. He has an unexpected independent streak.
March signs on the dotted line, buying her dream man. They return to Houston, but soon her past and his future threaten their Happily Ever After—indeed their lives.
At a light touch on her shoulder, she spun. He stood inches from her, the airspace between them electric charged. “Liz was here, and in my bedroom! Why? Were you doing her in my bed?”
“No.” He had the decency to look stunned, his eyes widening and darkening. “She was teaching me to dance. The closet doors are mirrors.”
March resisted the urge to slap his perfect face. “Why? You aren’t going to be a stripper.”
He shrugged. “You don’t trust me.”
“I don’t trust her.” March’s face felt hard and cold. God, how she hated the emotions seething in her. She was almost physically ill.
“She cannot tempt me.” He shook his head slowly, his eyes glittering blue. “Don’t you understand I am attuned to you alone?”
“You weren’t supposed to be able to get angry.” She was unraveling, like a ball of yarn thrown across a room. “You did.”
Her heart shattered as he turned and walked away. Grief winded her. At the door, he glanced over his shoulder, again shaking his head. He was stunningly handsome, looked sad and hurt, but there was no apology in his intense gaze. Hands fisted at her sides, she tried to control the storm of fear, anger, resentment and pain.
“Where the hell are you going?” Her voice came brusque, short.
“For a walk to let you think and cool down.” Light and shadow chiseled his face, and her breaking heart skipped a beat. “I am not going to Liz. I have learned all I need to know from her. I shall never see her again.”
“You can’t walk out. It is impossible for you. You are faulty in some circuit somewhere. I’m going to return you.”
The most beautiful man in the world froze with his hand on the door. “Please don’t. This is a misunderstanding.” He blew out a long breath. “However, if that is what you want, I must advise you that Mayfair Electronics, 21 Dover Street, London, W1S 4LT will accept return of a flawed unit for a full refund.”
“Stop! You sound like a robot.” Her fisted hands struck the air.
He didn’t flinch. “I am a robot. That’s why this is an inane conversation.”
“Inane? I find you with another woman in the bedroom, and this conversation is silly? Oh, no, Christian. Did you invite her here?” Why couldn’t she stop hurting herself and let him go, lock the door and email Mayfair for a courier pickup?
Folding his arms across his chest, he leaned against the door. “She knocked. I answered and kept her outside until it started to rain. She was talking about the club and telling me, again, that I’d be a success as a male dancer. Being a success at something would be a bloody miracle. At any rate, half-jokingly, I asked her to teach me to dance. The End.”
“Not quite. Why did you slip her out behind my back?”
“I wished to avoid a scene like this.” His voice shaded deeper, darker. “And I didn’t want to hurt you.”
“There, it’s said. You can come back in now and stop pretending you’re leaving.” She waved a hand, half-heartedly beckoning. “You’ve got nowhere to go.”
He inhaled sharply as if she had punched him in the stomach. “I’m quite aware of that fact. I do not like seeing you this upset. Please call Mayfair tomorrow. I’ll voluntarily deactivate. They will dispatch a FedEx pickup for me.”
She raked a hand through her hair. “Oh, my God, what have you done and why? What have I done? Paradise Lost.”
“Why can’t you trust me?” His sad expression pierced her heart.
Nearly human. Though he didn’t have a heart, his emotions could be damaged.
“Because I don’t trust men.” An angry sob caught in her throat. When she could again speak, she croaked, “In general. Well, almost. I learned that lesson at my mother’s knee.”
“I’m not even almost any man.” He lifted his hands in a pleading gesture. “Return me to Mayfair for reprogramming. I don’t care. I only want to stay with you.”
“You have a funny way of showing it,” she said in a lethal whisper, her voice then rising in outrage. “If I’d been earlier or later, would I have found you bucking in bed?”
Looking stricken, he stood silent and straight, a bare-chested god with ice blue eyes.
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