Authors: Shadonna Richards
Praise for Shadonna Richards’
(BOOK 1 IN THE BRIDE SERIES)
"Her debut novel, An Unexpected Bride, has burst onto the scene, zooming up the bestseller lists and racking up fans faster than other writers racking
words....a smash hit!"
KINDLE FIRE DEPARTMENT
"Author Shadonna Richards has an "unexpected" bestseller on her hands with this unheralded romantic comedy....An Unexpected Bride has sold 10,000 copies in its first three months..."
KINDLE NATION DAILY
"Shadonna Richards is a wonderful author
It's a sweet and romantic story that will
sweep you off your feet."
REVIEWS BY MOLLY
THE MATCHMAKER BRIDE
(BOOK 3 IN THE BRIDE SERIES)
Copyright © 2011 Shadonna Richards
All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Thank you, God for all my blessings.
To my cherished son and husband for your unconditional love.
With gratitude to my family and friends for your endless support.
To Solomon, Jermaine,
, Godwin, Monica, and
To my editor M.M. for always being brilliant.
To Judy, Yvonne,
, and Anne.
Ask, and it shall be given (to) you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…”
THE MATCHMAKER BRIDE
What happens when a lonely matchmaker unexpectedly falls in love with a forbidden client— a gorgeous, high-flying CEO with a secret past?
Confirmed bachelor and sexy jetsetter Carlos Bradley III is in need of a contract bride to win a secret custody battle. He will pay any price for an elite and discreet matchmaking agency to hook him up with an emotion-free relationship of convenience. What he did not bargain for was his attraction to the agency’s newest matchmaker, Sophie.
Single and not-searching, Sophie Wilson is the newly-hired consultant for Stone’s elite matchmaking services. Desperate to pay off her medical bills, she tries to match the agency’s top-paying client with charming Carlos, but he has already decided his match. Torn between ethics and her emotions, can she afford to trust him with her heart and her future?
“You can rent a bridal gown, Carlos, but you can’t rent the bride
the gown,” Julian said to his long-time friend and business partner, Carlos Bradley III.
“This is no laughing matter, Julian,” Carlos said, rubbing the stubble on his face. Lately, he had been too busy to shave. He’d been sporting the five-o’clock-shadow-bad-boy look. “I’m serious when I say I need to hire, rent, borrow or whatever it’s called, a woman who can at least pretend to be my wife for thirty days so that I can win this custody battle. I need her right away.”
Carlos felt heat rise to his throat as he stared out of his luxury glass-walled penthouse suite overlooking a panoramic view of the city of Toronto skyline and the great lake of Ontario. He was also in close distance to his office building. It was one of his two residences. The other was a luxury mansion in the
area where he had housekeepers and a therapist seven days a week for his fragile
. He held tight to the letter from his stepmother’s lawyer regarding his
whom he’d cared for during the past year, paying for her medical bills and therapy while his stepmother was in and out of rehab.
“Look, I know it hurts. We all know why Tessa wants
“Yeah, so she can become her guardian again,” Carlos said with a grimace.
“Great way to grab hold of that fortune my old miser Dad left behind.”
“But you need to think straight. It’s not going to be that easy to
someone’s time and reputation to pull off this fake marriage thing.”
“Money bewitches people, Julian. People will do almost anything for the right price. And I need such a person now.”
“I know. I hear you, man,” Julian said with a sigh.
“I’m not interested in any emotional chains to any woman right now. Having a Velcro attachment to anyone is the last thing I need. My lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to a romantic commitment. All I want is an actress to do her part when the time comes, like in court. She’ll be paid generously for her time. I wish there was an agency I could call now to hire someone.”
“Oh, there is.”
“You sound so surprised. You just said you wished there was an agency for such a thing,” his friend joshed, trying to ease the tension.
“I’m not talking escort here!” Carlos warned with a deadly expression.
“I know, my friend. There’s this elite and discreet agency called Stone’s north of the city. They don’t really advertise their services like other matchmaking agencies. What they do is they go mostly by referrals. And they’re doing quite well apparently.”
Carlos shook his head in disbelief. “Julian, I’m almost afraid to ask but…how did you find out about this agency?” He raised a brow.
“Oh, let’s just say I checked them out, okay? Besides, it’s not about me; it’s about you. Now check this out: some wealthy, celebrity people go to them to get a hookup for all kinds of reasons. They have women looking for rich men and rich men looking for cute, intelligent, women from decent backgrounds and education.
Tons of celebrities.”
“Can’t the celebrities find their own matches?”
“Well, dear friend, just like you, time is of the essence,” Julian said, taking a sip from his drink.
“They don’t have the time and resources to check that every person they date is not a gold digger or exploitative. This agency runs a really tight security check on all clients. They have some sort of BS detector to weed out phonies and opportunists on both sides. Their success rate is like, almost one hundred percent.
The best in the industry.
No complaints. Professionals use them too, like top lawyers, doctors, CEOs, pro athletes, B-list actors, you name it. They screen for different categories like marriages of convenience for both parties, marriages for companionship, love, breeding purposes… Oh, and heiresses are
popular,” he rambled on with enthusiasm.
“You’re kidding me, right?”
Some rich heiresses
please daddy by marrying the right type of person while they live the party life they really want. There was this heiress who had to get hitched to keep her inheritance and prove she’s through with her party ways. Of course, she wasn’t but she wanted him to feel that way.”
“And…well, they matched her up with some rich dude who was looking to hide his secret other life by having a trophy wife by his side on occasions.”
Carlos wiped his brow and shook his head. He could not believe he was about to agree to this but when he looked at it, he didn’t have much choice. The mediation would be in four weeks. He had to come up with something. He didn’t want to turn to his own circle of friends right now. The women he’d dated would want more and possibly lead to a scandal and blackmail him about the whole fake marriage business. He couldn’t think straight. But he hated being backed up into a corner. If he thought his stepmother was going to use his baby sister as bait, she had another thing coming. She’d married his father for his money…but never dreamed the old man hid most of his finances and had such a huge fortune in stocks that he told no one about.
cried and begged to come back to Carlos’s home in northeast Toronto when she stayed with her mother over a weekend. It was too much. He had his detectives check out the home situation and it turned out that she wasn’t getting the care and attention she needed. The woman he hired to be her therapist was perfect for
but his stepmother was using the excuse that he never spent time with her himself and had a different woman every night which was not true, though he’d had his share of women. He was never close to his father and often defied him to branch out into his own business, software development, a far cry from the family owned restaurant his father was so proud of. He’d been burned by his own father before his passing but he was not going to be burned by his father’s fourth wife. Neither would
. He would make sure of that. He’d stop at nothing to set things straight.