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"The Contract Bride" is a heartwarming romance novel that explores the complexities of a contract marriage. Emily, a driven lawyer, finds herself agreeing to a contract marriage with billionaire businessman, Ethan. The deal seems simple, have a child together, and Emily gets a handsome sum of money. But as they navigate the five-year arrangement, they discover that their business relationship is turning into something more. As Emily and Ethan begin to spend more time together, they start to confide in each other and develop deeper feelings. However, as their five-year deadline approaches, Emily feels conflicted about her love for Ethan and her desire for independence. Tensions rise when Victoria, Ethan's estranged wife, returns to New York, and Sarah, Emily's best friend, secretly sabotages their marriage. As the plot twists unfold, Emily and Ethan are forced to confront their feelings for each other and the challenges that come with their contract marriage. Will they choose to remain in their business arrangement, or will they follow their hearts?
In the bustling city of New York, Emily was on cloud nine. After years of hard work, she had finally landed her dream job at one of the most prestigious law firms in the city.
As she sat at her new desk, surrounded by towering stacks of legal papers, Emily couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. She had made it.
But her elation was short-lived when she received a call from her parents, who were on her case about settling down and getting married.
"You're not getting any younger, Emily," her mother had said.
"We want grandchildren, you know."
Emily had always felt pressured by her parents to get married and start a family, but she wasn't interested in that kind of life.
She was focused on her career and had always felt like marriage would be a distraction.
But her parents didn't understand that. They wanted her to follow in their footsteps and become a successful lawyer and a devoted spouse and parent.
As Emily was mulling over her parents' phone call, her boss, Mr. Johnson, entered her office.
"Emily, I have a new case for you," he said, handing her a file.
"It's a high-profile divorce case between a billionaire businessman and his estranged wife. The catch is that the prenuptial agreement states that if he doesn't have a child within five years of the marriage, he'll lose half of his fortune to his wife. And guess what? They've been married for four and a half years."
Emily couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"So what do you want me to do?" she asked.
"I want you to negotiate a contract marriage between our client, Ethan, and a suitable candidate who can bear him a child within the next six months. The contract will last for five years, during which time the couple will live together, have a child, and then go their separate ways. Ethan will pay the candidate a handsome sum of money for her services, and in return, he'll get to keep his fortune."
Emily was taken aback by the proposal. She had never heard of such a thing before.
"So you want me to find a woman who will marry a complete stranger and have a child with him just for the money?" she asked.
"Think of it as a business arrangement," Mr. Johnson replied.
"Our client is a wealthy man who wants to protect his assets. He's not interested in love or romance. He just wants to secure his future. And as for the candidate, she'll be compensated handsomely for her time and effort. It's a win-win situation."
Emily wasn't sure what to make of the proposal.
On the one hand, it seemed like a crazy idea.
On the other hand, she was drowning in student loans and desperately needed the money. She didn't know what to do.
As she was pondering the offer, her best friend and colleague, Sarah, walked into her office.
"Hey, what's up?" Sarah asked, noticing the file in Emily's hand.
Emily hesitated before telling Sarah about the contract marriage proposal. Sarah's eyes widened as Emily explained the situation.
"That's insane," Sarah said.
"There's no way you should do that."
"But Sarah, I need the money," Emily said.
"I'm drowning in debt. And besides, it's just a business arrangement. It's not like I'm marrying for love or anything."
"But Emily, what about your morals?" Sarah asked.
"What about your dignity? You can't just sell yourself like that."
Emily didn't know what to say. She knew that Sarah was right, but she also knew that she needed the money. She was torn between her principles and her financial situation.
Emily spent the next few days mulling over the contract marriage proposal.
She couldn't shake the feeling that it was wrong, but at the same time, she desperately needed the money.
She decided to do some research on contract marriages and discovered that they were more common than she had thought.
She also learned that many women had entered into such marriages for financial reasons.
Some were struggling to make ends meet, while others were trying to pay off debts or save for their children's education.
Emily realized that she wasn't alone in her predicament and that there were many women out there who were in a similar situation.
She discussed the proposal with Sarah again, who remained skeptical. But Emily had made up her mind. She was going to find a suitable candidate for the contract marriage.
She began by scouring social media and online dating sites, looking for women who fit the criteria.
She contacted several candidates, explaining the proposal and offering them the opportunity to meet with Ethan and discuss the terms of the contract. But most of them were either skeptical or outright refused.
Emily was starting to lose hope when she received an email from a woman named Melissa.
Melissa was a single mother who was struggling to make ends meet. She had recently lost her job and was facing eviction from her apartment. She was desperate for money and was willing to consider the contract marriage proposal.
Emily arranged for Melissa to meet with Ethan, and they hit it off immediately. Ethan was a charming and handsome man who made Melissa feel comfortable and at ease. They discussed the terms of the contract, and Melissa agreed to the proposal.
Emily felt relieved that she had found a suitable candidate, but she couldn't help feeling guilty about what she had done.
She knew that she had exploited Melissa's desperation for financial gain, and it weighed heavily on her conscience.
Emily had been so embarrassed she had to beg that Sarah cover for her and pretend to be the lawyer.
At first, everything went smoothly. Melissa and Ethan got along well, and they seemed to have a genuine connection.
Emily (Sarah) visited them regularly to make sure that everything was going according to plan. She was relieved to see that Melissa was happy and content.
But as time went on, Emily began to notice cracks in the relationship.
Melissa started to feel like she was just a means to an end for Ethan, and she began to resent him for it.
Ethan, on the other hand, was becoming increasingly distant and aloof, as if he didn't really care about Melissa at all.
Emily tried to intervene, but it was clear that the contract marriage was clearly not going to work out for both parties.
Melissa was struggling to come to terms with the fact that she was essentially being paid to be a surrogate mother, while Ethan was beginning to feel trapped by the arrangement.
Ethan and Melissa decided to put an end to everything and not go on with it anymore.
Ethan changed the terms and decided he would marry whoever was brought to him next.
"I am just done trying, just give me whoever" Ethan had said.
A few days went by, and Emily couldn't stop thinking about the proposal.
She had never been one to take risks, but she couldn't shake the idea of the large sum of money that would be coming her way if she agreed to the contract marriage.
The more she thought about it, the more she convinced herself that it was just a business transaction, and she wouldn't be compromising her morals.
Eventually, Emily made up her mind. She called Mr. Johnson and told him she was in. He was thrilled and said he would send over the details of the contract to her office.
When Emily received the contract, she was taken aback by the legal jargon and the numerous clauses.
She read through it carefully, making sure she understood every word, but it all seemed too good to be true.
Ethan was offering her a huge sum of money, a luxurious apartment in the city, and even a brand new car.
Emily signed the contract, feeling a mix of excitement and trepidation.
She didn't know what the future held, but she was hopeful that everything would work out.
The next day, Emily met Ethan for the first time.
He was tall, dark, and handsome, with piercing blue eyes and a chiseled jawline.
Emily couldn't help but feel a little intimidated by him, but she tried to put on a brave face.
"Emily, it's nice to finally meet you," Ethan said, extending his hand.
"Likewise," Emily replied, shaking his hand.
Ethan was charming and charismatic, and he had a way of putting Emily at ease.
They chatted for a while, discussing the details of the contract and what was expected of both of them.
"You seem like a smart woman, Emily," Ethan said.
"I'm sure we'll be able to make this work."
Emily nodded, still a little nervous. She couldn't believe she was actually doing this, but it was too late to back out now.
Over the next few weeks, Emily and Ethan spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other and preparing for their new life together.
They went to doctor's appointments, talked to lawyers, and even took a birthing class.
Emily was surprised at how well they got along. Ethan was funny and charming, and he made her feel special.
They even went on a few dates, something that wasn't required in the contract but that Ethan insisted on.
But just as Emily was starting to feel comfortable in her new life, things took a dark turn. One night, as she was walking home from the office, she noticed a car following her. She quickened her pace, but the car kept getting closer. Suddenly, someone grabbed her from behind, and she felt a sharp pain in her neck.
The next thing Emily knew, she was lying on the ground, dazed and confused. She tried to get up, but her body felt heavy, and her head was pounding. As she looked around, she realized she was in an unfamiliar place, a dark and dingy room with no windows.
"Welcome to your new home, Emily," a voice said from the shadows.
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