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Tempting The Spitfire (A Temptation Series Book)

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At twenty-two, Skylar Carnell is a spitfire who doesn’t believe in cliché romances and has dreams of her own to chase. What happens when she has to honor her parents' dying wish and marry into the St. James family? Skylar tries hard to avoid the disastrous marriage to the oldest son, Sebastian St. James, and luck favors her although momentarily. Soon Sebastian elopes with the woman he loves. It leaves her with no other option than to meet the youngest son, the cocky, full-of-himself, infuriating Christian St. James. He's notorious, mysterious, and full of surprises. Skylar fights him at every step, but he offers her a contract marriage she can't ignore. Why does he want to marry her? Is it only to honor his parent's last wish? Can Christian tempt the spitfire and make her stay? Will Skylar walk away when the contract term expires? What will happen when unexpected circumstances bring them closer?

Chapter 1 Prologue - Worst Situation Of Her Life

Thank you for selecting my story.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of my imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Copyright © Rituparna Darolia.

All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author.

This is the sixth book of the Temptation Series. All the books in this series can be read as standalone books.

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Prologue

Skylar Carnell rushed down the staircase towards her older brother Caleb’s room. With her beautiful face contorted in a fit of rage, everyone knew better than to mess with her. She was a wonderful blend of beauty and brains at eighteen, but her short temper made her unapproachable at times. Her grandparents, Philip and Miriam Carnell, therefore tried their best to maintain peace in the family. Although Caleb, being ten years older, exercised his big brotherly rights too seriously over her, Skylar listened to no one in particular. She was a rebel, and she preferred to remain so all her life.

She stormed into his room to see him packing up his last belonging into a cardboard box. “What’s up with you Caleb? Why are you forcing me to marry Lillian’s brother? I’m not interested in the St. James family!” Her eyes flashed with indignation as she waited to fight the world for her rights.

“What’s wrong with Lillian’s brother? I won’t be here after the wedding, Skye. I’m leaving for Cleveland, OH forever. With granny and grandpa unwell, who will look after you? Mom and dad wanted us to marry into the St. James family. It was their last wish. You can’t be so selfish to deny them their dying wish?”

“Why does this always happen to me? None of my friends are going for an arranged marriage. They all are marrying the man they love. I’m the unluckiest girl alive.” She wallowed in self pity since her defense was crumbling. She could fight the world, but when it came to her parents, she had no say in the matter.

“Their situation differs from ours, Skye. I’m marrying Lillian because that was our parents’ last wish. Be prepared to meet Sebastian at the wedding tomorrow.”

“I have a better proposition. Since I have to marry him anyway, it’s better not to meet him at all. I won’t attend your wedding.” She stomped out of his room, making him sigh at her immaturity. The St. James family had been close to his parents, Brian and Sandra Carnell. Almost twelve years ago they died in a car accident on their way back from a road trip to Atlanta. Lillian’s parents, Nathaniel and Catherine St. James, were also with them on that fateful day. Ever since, the two families avoided one another, trying to cope up with their loss. Only after Lillian's grandfather, Benjamin St. James, called to remind them of their parents' last wish did they start preparations for the wedding.

It would be a simple church affair, followed by a family lunch at one of the St. James family hotels.Caleb would depart New York after the wedding to begin his new job as Chief Cardiologist at Cleveland Medical Center in Ohio. Everything was going as planned, but it appeared he would have to delay his trip until he could persuade his sister to marry his childhood friend, Sebastian. There was a time when he used to go to the St. James house to play with Lillian’s younger brother, Sebastian, but that was twelve years ago.

Skylar didn’t want to stay a minute longer in the house. She wouldn’t meet Sebastian St. James! Packing up some essentials, she stormed out of the house before anyone could realize her intentions.

She drove all the way to her close friend, Alyssa Van Every’s apartment. The door opened and she walked in and slumped to the sofa, all the fight leaving her body.

“What happened to you? You look so dead!” chuckled Eva Ann Raynor, another close friend of hers who came over to plan their prom night at school.

“Don’t ask. Caleb is honoring my parents’ last wish and marrying Lillian St. James. He now wants me to do the same and marry her brother, Sebastian. Why do parents do this to you if they love you so much?”

“Is Sebastian hot?” Alyssa asked with an enthusiastic chuckle that made her groan.

“I’ve never seen the man. He’s Caleb’s childhood friend, so he has to be around his age, maybe a year younger. I can’t marry a guy nine years older than me!”

“Talk to your grandparents. I’m sure granny Miriam will understand you,” comforted Eva.

“No, she wants me to marry Sebastian. No one understands me.” Skylar wallowed in self-pity the rest of the time, but when their other friends joined them to plan for their prom night, she forgot her predicament.

“Who’s your date, Skye?” asked Sienna Hensley, another friend of hers who was pursuing her nursing degree, just like Eva was.

“I don’t need one.”

“Her life’s a sob story now, don’t you know?” said Hayley Barclay, the one Skylar was closest to. They had enrolled into the same college to study the same undergraduate course in Hospitality Management.

“Why? What happened?” asked a clueless Sienna. While Hayley updated her, Skylar’s phone buzzed with an incoming call from her big brother. She groaned, having no wish to accept his call, but knowing him she had no choice. She didn’t want him to land up here. Grudgingly, she accepted his call.

“What do you want now, Caleb? Kill me already!”

“Stop overreacting, Skye! Be there at the church at 11 tomorrow without fail. Don’t disappoint me.” She scoffed at his tone, still holding her ground.

“I don’t mind attending your wedding, Caleb, but I won’t marry Sebastian. He’s so much older than me. I don’t want a guardian instead of a life partner.”

“Meet him and then decide.”

“There’s nothing to decide. I won’t marry Sebastian nor meet him.”

“If you don’t meet him tomorrow at the wedding, I’ll send him over to your prom night as your date, Skye. You have to meet him and fix up your wedding date with him. I’ll stay back here in NYC until then.” Skylar groaned with dread after her brother disconnected the call. She knew there was no way out for her now. Maybe Caleb would be so busy with his wedding tomorrow, he would forget his threat. She had no wish to meet Sebastian at the wedding tomorrow. In the presence of her grandparents, she wouldn’t be able to talk to Sebastian and discourage him from marrying her.

“What are you gonna do now, Skye?” asked a worried Hayley.

“I’ll hide in Sienna’s house. I don’t think Caleb will remember anything tomorrow.” They ate pizza and enjoyed themselves till late in the night. Skylar left with Sienna and stayed the night with her in her house.

“What will you wear to the prom night, Skye? Have you brought a dress? Mine won’t fit you,” said Sienna.

“Alyssa gave me three dresses. Let’s see which one fits me the best.”

The next morning, she woke up late and switched on her phone to see four missed calls from Caleb. It was already 10 o’clock in the morning and she quickly switched her phone off again. After a lazing around all day wondering what her brother was up to, they started getting ready for their prom night. Skylar wore a red body con dress that fitted her the best and added a dash of red lip gloss on an impulse. Leaving her long blonde hair loose, she drove herself and Sienna to their school auditorium where the party was to be held.

They entered the venue and looked around for their friends. The huge school auditorium had been turned into a ballroom with mauve and white tulle drapes, accentuated by a mirrored disco ball light in the center. There were white strings of lights strung across the ceiling diffused behind the drapes. Pearl ivory and lavender balloons were used at the entrance to create an archway, giving an entirely different look to the place.

“I’m so excited. Where’s your date?” asked Alyssa, rushing over to greet them.

“Mine is busy at the buffet table and Skye doesn’t have one,” said Sienna, her eyes going towards the entrance door. She gasped and nudged Skylar. “Who’s that?”

Skylar’s jaws dropped at seeing the most gorgeous man in the entire universe walk in wearing a dark blue business suit, stealing all the attention. Who the f*ck was he?

He came to a stop before a wide-eyed Skylar, making her head swoon.

“Hello, Skylar! I’m sorry for being late. I was held up in a meeting!” he said in his husky tone that sent goose bumps all along Skylar’s arms.

“And you are?” she asked, totally dumbfounded by the stranger. How did the man know her name? Was this Caleb’s friend, Sebastian St. James? Did her brother sent him to fix their wedding date? But how could that be? Sebastian was almost a decade older than her, whereas the guy looked only a few years older.

“Christian St. James,” he said with a charming but fake smile, extending his hand for a shake. Skylar’s jaws dropped, realizing who the guy was! Lillian’s youngest brother, the notorious Christian St. James, who had been exiled to a boarding school at seven because of his evil ways. He was bad news, actually! But why was he here instead of his brother?

Chapter 2 Following Me?

Skylar looked around at the jaw-dropped looks on everyone's faces. She grabbed Christian’s hand to steer him towards a secluded area of the auditorium. However, sparks of electricity shot through her arm, coursing down her body at the touch. She immediately released him as if scalded. What was that?

“Why are you here? Caleb wanted to send Sebastian here without my consent. I’m not interested in either of you. Don’t you get it?” She glared at him while he watched her with a frown marring his handsome features.

“That’s a pity. You’re stuck with me.” Skylar watched the man closely as he spoke. His shock of dark hair, his stunning blue eyes, and lips that would make an angel sin all made him was irresistible, but she knew otherwise. He was the most detestable and selfish man on earth! His notorious ways were the topic at every gathering their parents attended when they were alive. He never came home on holidays on purpose, so what changed now?

“I’m not stuck with

Heroes

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