The Temptation of Mrs. Emily Templeton
by Naomi Dathan
Emily Wilder needs a miracle. Her abusive brother, taking his religious
fundamentalism to an extreme, dictates each moment of her day. Horrified
to learn he has selected a husband for her, she flees with a
who steps in between her and her brother's rage.
To win custody of his three young sons, Luke Templeton needs a wife. On
impulse, he proposes a marriage of convenience. His steamy wedding night
with Emily takes him by surprise, but physical attraction isn't enough
to build a real marriage. Their worlds are too different. Luke vows to
return to their business arrangement.
However, Emily sees a chance for the home and family she's always
dreamed of. Determined to be Luke's wife in all ways, she sets out to
seduce her new husband into making their marriage vows permanent. But
leaving a controlling zealot isn't simple.
Can Emily's love for Luke and her new family protect them, or will vengeance kill them all?
“I’m not exactly sure what we’re doing here.”
“I don’t know,” Luke said. “This is all kind of unexpected. But you can’t stay here, that’s for sure.”
“No, I—I know I need to leave. I’ve known for a while. I just...I’m
afraid, I think.” Her hand rose nervously to check her hair. It was
still pulled into a smooth knot.
He sighed. “I’d say, come and stay with me. Babysit my boys, and finish
school in the evenings. But my ex-wife is trying to get custody of my
kids, and that could really mess me up.”
“It’s okay,” she told him. “You can go. I’ll figure something out.”
“Oh, I can go? Really?” He stood and paced, combing his fingers through
his dark hair. “That’s great! Well, all right then. I’ll just, you know,
get out of the way so your brother can come in here and kill you.”
“He’s not that bad. He’s not always like that.”
“I’m not leaving you here,” he said. He knelt in front of her and took
her hand in his. “Look, we’ve got to deal with reality. If your brother
gets a chance, he’s going to make you pay for what happened today.”
“I know,” she whispered. “But I don’t know what to do.”
He hesitated. “I want to help you. I want to take you back to Ohio with me.”
She shook her head. “What about your custody thing? Anyway, you aren’t responsible for me.”
“Yes, I am.”
“I don’t know. But I am.” He rose, grabbed her psychology text and dropped it into her bag. “What else do we need to pack?”
“I don’t even know where I’m going. What I’m going to do.”
Luke kept his back to her. “We’ll get married.”
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