Jared's Counterfeit Fiancee

By: Brenda Jackson
Prologue





J ared Westmoreland glanced up from the legal document he’d been reading when he heard a commotion outside of his office door.

He heard his secretary say, “Wait a minute, miss. You just can’t barge into Mr. Westmoreland’s office unannounced,” moments before his door flew open and a gorgeous but angry woman stormed in.

Jared’s heart rate quickened and his pulse accelerated. He forced back the blatant desire that rushed through him as he walked from behind his desk. The woman was absolutely stunning. Even her apparent anger didn’t detract from her beauty. In one smooth glance, he took in a mass of dark brown curls that framed her face and the smooth, creamy texture of her skin—the color of rich mahogany. Then there were her beautiful dark brown eyes with perfectly arched brows, a delectable pair of lips and rounded cheeks with dimples that not even her anger could hide. A sleek, curvy body in a pair of slacks and a tailored blouse completed the vision of beauty.

“Mr. Westmoreland, I tried to stop her but she—”

“That’s all right, Jeannie,” Jared said to his secretary, who had raced in behind the woman.

“Do you want me to call security?”

“No, I don’t think that will be necessary.”

Jeannie Tillman, who’d worked for him for over five years, didn’t look too convinced. “Are you sure?”

He stared at the seething woman who was standing with both hands on her hips, glaring at him. “Yes, I’m sure.” Jeannie gave him a hesitant nod and turned to leave, closing the door behind her.

Jared turned his full attention to his beautiful intruder. He was fairly certain that she was not a client since he didn’t forget a beautiful face. In fact, he was sure he’d never met her before.

Dana Rollins met Jared’s stare and tried to keep her intense reaction to him from showing. She had heard about Jared Westmoreland, Atlanta’s hotshot, millionaire attorney. Now she was seeing him for herself and it seemed that all she’d heard was true. He was definitely the stuff dreams were made of. A sharp dresser, all the way down to his expensive-looking leather shoes, he was tall, with a body that was well built. Solid as a rock. He had coffee-colored skin, dark brown eyes, a solid jaw, straight nose and close-cut black hair. They were handsome features on a sensual face; the kind that would definitely make her do a double take. But she couldn’t dwell on how sexy he looked. She was here for business and nothing more.

“I’m sure there’s a reason why you barged into my office, Miss…”

“Rollins,” she supplied sharply. His words reminded her of what that business was. “And yes, there is a reason. This!” she said, pulling an envelope out of her purse. “I received this certified letter from you less than an hour ago demanding that I return my engagement ring to Luther. I tried calling him but was told he’s out of town so I immediately came here to get an explanation.”

Jared took the letter from her and looked at it. The assessment didn’t take long. He glanced back at her. “I gather you have a problem with returning the ring, Miss Rollins?” he asked.

“Of course I do. Luther decided he wasn’t ready to give up his single status and called off our wedding a week before it was to take place. Besides the embarrassment and humiliation of everything—explaining things to my friends and returning shower gifts—I was left with all the wedding expenses. And to pour salt on the wound, I received that letter from your firm.”

Jared inhaled deeply. Evidently she hadn’t yet realized that Luther Cord had done her a favor. “Miss Rollins, I suggest you consult your own attorney to verify what I’m telling you, but my client has every right to ask for the engagement ring back. An engagement ring represents a conditional gift. The proposition is that the condition is marriage and not a willingness to marry. Thus if the engagement is broken, for whatever reason, the expectation is that the ring is returned, just as you returned the wedding presents and shower gifts,” he said.

He watched as she crossed her arms over her chest and the angry frown on her lips deepened and turned rebellious. “I refuse to give it back. It’s the principle of the thing.”