Rich As Sin
Rich As Sin
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.‘You can’t buy me the way you can buy anything else you want!’A wealthy husband has never been top of Samantha’s list of ambitions. She leads a completely ordinary life, far removed from the world of the mega-rich – and that’s the way she prefers it!But that was before she met powerful millionaire Matthew Putnam! On the rebound from the glamorous Melissa, all that Matt wants is consolation in another woman’s arms. Sam is determined not to be foolish enough to fall for his charms - but soon wonders if she has the will-power to resist?
Mills & Boon is proud to present a fabulous collection of fantastic novels by bestselling, much loved author
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) and I’d be happy to hear from any of my wonderful readers.
Rich as Sin
Table of Contents
About the Author (#uae796bb3-3e16-512f-a093-f063744a10f0)
Title Page (#u6abb3b96-efdc-5f96-8ed8-7f6525d3590d)
CHAPTER ONE (#ue8666d09-7a2b-5960-b2b6-3740d8c81dbf)
IT WAS the thumping in his head that woke him. That, and the sour taste in his mouth, which was an unpleasant reminder of the amount of alcohol he had consumed the night before. But what the hell? No one really cared whether he went to bed sober, or drank himself into a senseless stupor. He was unattached: a free agent. No longer the brunt of any woman’s dissatisfactions. He could please himself what he did; how he lived. And if the knowledge didn’t exactly please him, then tough! Given enough time, he’d get used to it.
Or would he? Rolling over in the tumbled bed, Matthew cast a bleary eye at the clock on the nearby table. God! he grunted ruefully. It was after twelve o’clock! No wonder his head was thumping. As he hadn’t eaten a thing since noon the previous day, he was probably starving as well as dehydrating.
Still, he defended himself, as he hauled himself into an upright position and sat for a moment, waiting for the sledgehammer in his skull to slow its pace, he had been working until after midnight. The new program he was devising was probably going to outsell all his other programs, and he shouldn’t be too hard on himself if he used alcohol as a stimulant. The fact that he hadn’t needed that kind of stimulation until Melissa walked out on him was something he preferred not to remember. Time would deal with Melissa as it had dealt with everything else. And at least he had his work to alleviate his misery.
Pushing himself to his feet, he paused again before lurching across the expensive shag-pile carpet to the bathroom. After attending to his most immediate needs, he leaned on the porcelain basin and viewed his stubbled features without enthusiasm. His eyes were bloodshot; there was a distinctly unhealthy tinge of greyness in his skin; and, to cap it all, it was two days since he had shaved, so that he resembled nothing so much as a derelict, one of those homeless vagrants who wandered around the country looking for hand-outs.
Which was probably unfair to them, reflected Matthew drily, rubbing a hand over his bristling jawline. At least they had a reason for looking the way they did. He had a decent home, and an occupation, and, because of his maternal grandfather’s business acumen, more money than he knew what to do with. No reason at all to behave like an alcoholic, and certainly no reason to look like one.
Grimacing, he turned away from the mirror and stepped into the shower stall. Deliberately ignoring the temperature control, he allowed a stream of cold water to cascade down on to his shuddering body. God! For a moment, the iciness of it almost stopped his breath. But then, squeezing shower gel on to his hands, he began to lather himself fiercely, abrading his protesting flesh, as the water pummelled his head and shoulders.
He felt marginally better when he stepped out of the marble-tiled stall, and wrapped a huge cream bath-sheet about him. His head was still throbbing, but the dragging feeling of lethargy had dissipated somewhat. He didn’t feel good, and he knew better than to believe that he would improve as the day wore on. But at least he was awake and active. And the computer keyboard would take care of the rest.
His razor beckoned, and with a sigh of resignation he picked it up. He wouldn’t suit a beard, anyway, he consoled himself, as he concentrated on not turning his face into a mess of bloody cuts. Which wasn’t easy, when his hand tended to shake at the most inopportune moments. God, he should have had a drink before he started this. It was amazing how a shot of Scotch could stabilise his senses.
He managed to finish the job without creating too much havoc, and dropped the towel on to the cold tiles of the bathroom floor. Then, after another ironic grimace at his appearance, he walked back into the bedroom, wrinkling his nose at the sour smell of alcohol that hit him. Indifferent to the fact that he was naked, and the temperature outside somewhere in the low forties, Matthew unlatched the windows to his balcony and threw them open. Then, after withstanding the blast of cold air that hit him with what he considered was admirable fortitude, he groped for his denims and pulled them on.
He was rummaging in his closet for a clean polo shirt when there was a knock at the bedroom door. Turning, he surveyed the closed door for fully fifteen seconds without answering, and then, stifling his impatience, he called, ‘Yeah? What do you want?’
The door opened, just a crack, and a man’s bald head appeared. ‘Oh,’ he said, when he saw Matthew. ‘You’re up, sir. Will you be wanting some breakfast?’
Matthew’s mouth compressed. ‘At half-past twelve, Jeeves? I don’t think so. I’ll just have a sandwich. I want to get to work.’
The door widened to admit the intruder, a huge, giant of a man, whose massive shoulders and straining paunch were constrained beneath navy blue worsted and spotless white linen. The uniform of a gentleman’s gentleman sat oddly on such a big man’s shoulders, but Matthew knew better than to suggest an alternative. The other man was proud of his appearance.
‘Are you going to the office, sir?’ he enquired, his sharp eyes taking in the open balcony doors and the untidy state of the bedroom. ‘And I wish you wouldn’t call me Jeeves, Mr Putnam. I don’t like it, and you know it.’
Matthew gave the man a resigned look, and then, having no luck in finding a clean shirt, he reached for the sweatshirt he had discarded the night before. ‘No, I don’t plan to go into the office today,’ he was beginning, when the manservant snatched the sweatshirt out of his hands. ‘For God’s sake, Victor, what the hell do you think you’re doing?’
‘Well, judging by your appearance, I’d guess you’d just had a shower, sir,’ declared Victor mildly, ‘and I’m sure you didn’t intend to wear this rather—odorous—item. You have a whole drawer full of clean shirts in the closet behind you. Just tell me what you want, and I’ll get it out for you.’
‘I can dress myself, thank you—Creighton,’ drawled Matthew, with rather less patience. ‘Why don’t you get out of here until I’m finished? Go and make some coffee or something. I don’t need a nursemaid.’
‘Did I say you did?’ Victor rolled the offending sweatshirt into a ball, and stood his ground. ‘But, as it happens, you look as if you need someone’s assistance. Your mother isn’t going to like this. She’s not going to like it at all.’
‘My mother?’ Matthew paused in the act of choosing a shirt from the drawer Victor had indicated, and turned to look at him again. ‘What does my mother have to do with anything?’