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Born Out Of Love
Anne Mather

Born Out Of Love
Anne Mather

Mills & Boon are excited to present The Anne Mather Collection – the complete works by this classic author made available to download for the very first time! These books span six decades of a phenomenal writing career, and every story is available to read unedited and untouched from their original release.Is it time to reveal her secret?Widowed Charlotte never expects to see Logan Kennedy again. But she does – and in the most unlikely of places! Charlotte has travelled halfway across the world to the Virgin islands to start a new life with her young son Robert – but how can she move on now Logan has appeared on the scene? Especially when she realises her attraction to him as powerful as ever… Can they ever forgive each other for the mistakes of the past? And how will Logan react when he discovers Charlotte’s secret - that Robert is in fact Logan’s son?!

Mills & Boon is proud to present a fabulous collection of fantastic novels by bestselling, much loved author

ANNE MATHER

Anne has a stellar record of achievement within the publishing industry, having written over one hundred and sixty books, with worldwide sales of more than forty-eight MILLION copies in multiple languages.

This amazing collection of classic stories offers a chance for readers to recapture the pleasure Anne’s powerful, passionate writing has given.

We are sure you will love them all!

I’ve always wanted to write—which is not to say I’ve always wanted to be a professional writer. On the contrary, for years I only wrote for my own pleasure and it wasn’t until my husband suggested sending one of my stories to a publisher that we put several publishers’ names into a hat and pulled one out. The rest, as they say, is history. And now, one hundred and sixty-two books later, I’m literally—excuse the pun—staggered by what’s happened.

I had written all through my infant and junior years and on into my teens, the stories changing from children’s adventures to torrid gypsy passions. My mother used to gather these manuscripts up from time to time, when my bedroom became too untidy, and dispose of them! In those days, I used not to finish any of the stories and Caroline, my first published novel, was the first I’d ever completed. I was newly married then and my daughter was just a baby, and it was quite a job juggling my household chores and scribbling away in exercise books every chance I got. Not very professional, as you can imagine, but that’s the way it was.

These days, I have a bit more time to devote to my work, but that first love of writing has never changed. I can’t imagine not having a current book on the typewriter—yes, it’s my husband who transcribes everything on to the computer. He’s my partner in both life and work and I depend on his good sense more than I care to admit.

We have two grown-up children, a son and a daughter, and two almost grown-up grandchildren, Abi and Ben. My e-mail address is mystic-am@msn.com (mailto:mystic-am@msn.com) and I’d be happy to hear from any of my wonderful readers.

Born Out of Love

Anne Mather

www.millsandboon.co.uk (http://www.millsandboon.co.uk)

Table of Contents

Cover (#u942e260e-4f05-5b63-b681-5915d0a4caa1)

About the Author (#u0b01938e-c58c-52f0-ae69-d34ddc7c5760)

Title Page (#ue6624443-7838-5471-977a-a5024e10a081)

CHAPTER ONE (#ulink_1a0cf7e4-73ff-5203-b918-1e79645d9766)

CHAPTER TWO (#ulink_09b3e76d-730b-519d-ac0a-de131642ba88)

CHAPTER THREE (#ulink_43b1b215-3bb5-5ceb-93f1-ece078aba7d3)

CHAPTER FOUR (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER FIVE (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER SIX (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER SEVEN (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER EIGHT (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER NINE (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER TEN (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER ELEVEN (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER TWELVE (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER ONE (#ulink_16d0ac62-e5d0-577f-b24a-dfb3ba77af54)

CHARLOTTE regarded the bus which was to convey them from the little township of San Cristobal to Avocado Cay with dismay. She had not known such buses existed outside of museums. Jutting bonnet, thick-spoked wheels, wood-framed seats; was the fact that it was painted in a kaleidoscope of colours intended to distract attention from its less favourable attributes?

‘Hey, Mum, what a fantastic machine!’

Robert evidently had no such misgivings, and Charlotte turned to her eleven-year-old son with faint resignation. ‘Fantastic is right,’ she agreed dryly. ‘I wonder if the brakes work.’

‘Come on, Mum, of course they will.’ Robert was optimistic. ‘These old bangers were built to last.’

‘And last and last …’ declared his mother, smiling her thanks to the dark-skinned West Indian who had hefted their cases out of the launch and into the luggage compartment of the vehicle which was to transport them the last few miles to their destination, before following Robert’s lanky figure up the steps. Tall for his age, and with an appetite which would not have disgraced a weightlifter, Robert still remained as thin as a lath, she reflected ruefully.

There were few other passengers, fortunately, and at least they were not to be crushed by the press of humanity, Charlotte approved with some relief, subsiding into the seat beside her son. It was just as well. The contours of the bus did not allow for expansion, and although all the windows were open, the air inside was still and humid.

Through the windows, they could see the quay, and the launch which had brought them from Tortola rocking at its mooring. The stones of the quay were bleached hite by the sun, which was presently beginning its downward sweep towards the shadowy rise of the densely wooded hinterland, and the water beyond was clear turquoise shading to deepest blue. Whatever else San Cristobal lacked, there was no shortage of colour, Charlotte had, reluctantly, to admit. White-painted buildings, overhung with flowering creepers were dazzling without the protection of dark glasses, and she searched her bag for the polaroid lenses she had bought in St Thomas. A station wagon was coming fast down the narrow road towards the harbour, throwing up a cloud of dust in its passing, drawing attention to the precipitous climb ahead of them, and she hoped Robert was right in his casual assertion that these vehicles were built to last.

Then, realising how tense she was becoming, she forced herself to relax. There was no point in letting the situation play on her nerves. It was too late for that. She was here now; she was committed; and providing Madame Fabergé found her work acceptable, here they would stay.

All the same, it was impossible to rid herself of the bitterness she had felt these past few weeks since Matthew’s death. Without it, she might never have considered taking a post in such an out-of-the-way spot, might never have given in to the eagerness to escape from the triumphant condescension of Matthew’s relatives. What had they said? That it was only right that he should have left his house and property to his family; his real family, that is, not the girl he had taken into his home when she was seven years old, and whom he had had to marry ten years later because she was pregnant with another man’s child. The child he had grown to hate …

Charlotte shivered and looked despairingly at her son. Was this Matthew’s way of reaping his revenge, leaving her without even a roof over her head, and only her brief experience of nursery training to fall back on? Had he really lost all feeling for her? Had he allowed his brother and sister-in-law to influence him to that extent?

Of course, she had always known that Malcolm and Elizabeth had disliked her. They had made that plain in a dozen different ways, not least by forbidding their own two sons to associate with her. As far as they were concerned, Matthew had been mad to take responsibility for her in the first place, and when she had found herself pregnant, she had merely confirmed their opinion of her. But it hadn’t been like that …

She sighed now. How many times during those months before Robert was born had she longed to be able to destroy the child inside her? She hadn’t wanted a baby, not this baby, and by no means had she wanted to marry a man almost thirty years older than herself.

But Matthew had been adamant. He wanted to care for her, he said, and how could she expect to care for herself? People would talk if she went on living in his house as the mother of a baby, he said. They would suspect it was his, so why shouldn’t they convince them of it? Only Malcolm and Elizabeth had known that Matthew was not Robert’s father, could never have been, and they had never let Charlotte forget it.

In the early days, she used to wonder why a man with money and influence like Matthew Derby should have wanted to take in the orphaned daughter of one of his saleswomen. Those had been innocent days, before she had learned that years ago Matthew had cared for her mother, had wanted her, and had been thwarted when she met and married the young airman who had been Charlotte’s father. In those pre-war months Matthew had been an eligible bachelor, elder son of Andrew Derby, who had opened the first of two department stores from which the Derbys had made their money. He had found it incredible that anyone in her mother’s position should have preferred a penniless airman to someone with his social advantages, but then the war had overtaken them all, killing Matthew’s parents in an air raid and destroying for ever his own hopes of ever fathering a child.

Charlotte had learned the story gradually, through Elizabeth Derby’s barbed comments and from the things she had overheard the housekeeper saying. But then she had not really understood the connection between that history and herself. That had come later, and with adolescence came the rude awakening to Matthew’s true purpose in putting her in his debt. Even so, she had not taken his advances seriously until her involvement with Robert’s father …

Logan Kennedy had been studying marine biology. His home was in Brazil, but he had come to study for a while at a London institute, and Matthew had met him through a colleague of his at the university. Because Matthew was always interested in something new, he eventually invited Logan to dinner at High Clere, his house in Richmond.

From the beginning, Charlotte had been fascinated by the dark South American. Tall and lean and muscular, with the kind of uneven good looks and deep tan that went with the outdoor life he led, he was totally outside her realm of experience. She was used to spending time with older people, and Logan was much younger than Matthew’s circle of friends. Even so, she had never expected him to become interested in her.

Logan only came to High Clere that one time. Whether Matthew sensed he had made a mistake in bringing him there, Charlotte never knew for certain, but what she did soon learn was that Matthew did not approve of her associating with the young Brazilian.
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