A Wild Affair

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-04-28
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
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The big day is almost here for Jessica Wild. She's finally engaged to the perfect mansexy, wonderful Maxand is in the middle of planning the perfect wedding. Nothing, absolutely nothing, stands between her and happily-ever-after. Well, almostnothing. Probably nothing. You see, lately Max has been evasive, even secretive. And when Jessica answers his mobile and hears a sultry woman's voice on the other end, it's the last straw. Leaving nothing to chance, Jessica tracks down the mystery womanand finds her smack in the middle of Max's embrace. The next thing Jessica knows, she's waking up in the apartment of Max's business rival after a night out that was meant to help her forget her woes. And when a series of even more tumultuous events leads to a life-changing discovery, Jessica realizes that things are not what they seemnot by a long shot. How could she have ever doubted the only man she's ever wanted? And now that her job, her reputation, and her heart are in jeopardy, is love enough to give her the miracle she so desperately needs?

Author Biography

GEMMA TOWNLEY is the author of The Importance of Being Married, The Hopeless Romantic’s Handbook, Learning Curves, Little White Lies, and When in Rome. She lives in London with her husband and son.


Chapter One

“We’re really going to get married?” I snuggled into Max’s chest. Max, my fiancé. Max, the man with whom I was going to spend the rest of my life.

“We really are,” he confirmed, grabbing the remote control from where it had fallen under the duvet. Our duvet. I was still getting used to the idea, still pinching myself on a regular basis to check that I wasn’t dreaming.

“So I’m going to be Mrs. Wainwright?”

“You will if you decide to change your name.”

“If?” A line of concentration was creased into Max’s brow, which I scrutinized. What was he trying to say? “You don’t think I should?”

Max shrugged, kissed me, and looked back at the television. “It’s up to you. Personally I like your name. I think it would be a shame to change it.”

I digested this for a few minutes, letting my paranoia dissipate slightly. I wasn’t naturally a paranoid person. Then again, I’d never really been in this territory before. In love, I mean. I’d thought I was immune to the whole concept until I met Max; thought it was a sign of weakness, an irrational response to the influence of romantic novels and makeup ads. But recently, things had changed somewhat; in the space of a few months, I’d gone from workaholic and determined singleton to love-sick fiancée, which meant that new rules were required—I just had to figure out what they were. It was simply a matter of adjustment.

“I guess I’ll think about it,” I said, lightly. Max nodded; he seemed unconcerned. Me . . . I was concerned. This time, I wanted to get everything right, unlike the last time I walked down the aisle. I wanted this marriage to be perfect.

Not that I’d been married before. Just . . . you know . . . nearly married.

Actually, it’s kind of a long story. And not the kind of story you tell at dinner parties, unless you’re forced to.

“So what are we doing this weekend?” I asked. “Why don’t we go out for dinner tonight? I can tell you all about the meal plans I’m considering for the reception. And we need to think about the wedding list, too.”

“Tonight?” Max turned to me, a flicker of worry on his face. “Actually, tonight’s not that great for me, I’m afraid.”

I looked at him accusingly. “And you’re telling me this now?”

He shifted uncomfortably. “Something’s come up. I got a call last night . . .”

“I knew it!” I thumped him. “You said that call was nothing. I knew you were acting funny afterward.” He had, too. His mobile had rung at ten and he’d walked out of the room to take it, which was normal, but when he’d come back in he’d been . . . I don’t know. Shifty. Guilty. And now I knew why.

“I’m sorry, Jess. You know these things happen.”

“Sure I do.” I felt a thud of disappointment, but pushed it aside. Max didn’t have to spend every moment with me, after all. Even if it was Saturday night.

“It’s a business thing,” Max said with an apologetic shrug. “A client dinner.”

I nodded with what I hoped was an understanding look. I could be strong and in love, I told myself firmly. The two could go together quite nicely if I tried hard enough, in spite of what Grandma used to say. Grandma hadn’t been a great believer in love. Love had been the downfall of my mother, she’d told me again and again. False hopes, irrationality, weakness, and a loss of moral compass—these were the things that love achieved. Mum died in a car crash, but that didn’t stop Grandma from blaming her love of lipstick, her determination a

Excerpted from A Wild Affair: A Novel by Gemma Townley
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