Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Surrogate's Secret by Mimi Barbour Excerpt

The Surrogate's Secret by Mimi Barbour
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Surrogate mother, Sheri O’Connor, loves her adorable twins. Since the donor parents were killed before their birth, she’s gladly taken on the responsibility to raise them herself. When their Chilean Uncle, Miguel Rivera, arrives with no warning, expecting to take them back to his country, she unravels and coldly informs him that isn’t going to happen. After all, they were her eggs used in the In Vitro process. Consequently, her claim supersedes anyone else’s. Never in a million years does she dream that the South American heartstopper wants her babies so much that he will force her to marry him by threatening to withhold the money she needs for an operation for her tiny son.

Miguel knows women aren’t to be trusted. Didn’t his devious fiancé give him up for dead and marry someone else while he spent months being held hostage in the jungles of Columbia? If his mother hadn’t brought a team to save him and end up getting shot during the rescue, he wouldn’t be alive. Therefore, if the only thing that can help his Mamacita from succumbing to her wounds is to adopt his dead brother’s surrogate children, then he will do anything to see that happen. Even marry the ditzy blonde whose saving grace, beside her gorgeous body and beautiful face, is her absolute devotion to her babies.

Scandalized, it took Sheri a few moments to grasp his meaning. The lunatic wanted to buy her babies. “What?” She jumped up and loomed over him, her face turning downright mean. “You can stick your claims where the sun doesn’t shine, mister. Those are my babies. Not only was Mary-Anne like a sister to me, she also used my eggs during the In Vitro process. Therefore, I have a much stronger claim than yours.” The word ‘claim’ coated in venom exploded. “Any judge would grant me custody, particularly if you tried to remove American babies from this country without a birth parent’s permission.”
You are their genetic parent?” He choked on the last word.
Yes.” Unmistakable pride rang in her tone.
Please. Sit down.” His voice, steel encased in velvet, ordered, while at the same time soothed. He patted the sofa next to him in vain. “Even so, correct me if I’m wrong. Weren’t you a surrogate mother for my brother? At the beginning, you had to know you’d be giving the babies away to their rightful parents. Yes?”
Yes, but—”
Look. You’re a single woman in acutely reduced circumstances, if the disreputable neighborhood you live in is any indication. Your home is a small apartment..” His chin jutted out as if he’d lost the ability to speak coherently. “Aye yai yai! Is this all you want for Felipe’s offspring? They deserve their birthright. It’s vital for them to be brought up in the land of their Papá.” He stood and moved in close. This was clearly an intimidation technique.
It’s none of your business where I live. I have friends to help me, and when Felipe’s partner buys out his half of their In Vitro clinic, we’ll have enough money to move into a small house. Understand this Miguel Rivera. I will never give up my babies. Never!” As she hissed the last word, her hand slashed in front of his face, coming pretty darn close.
He trapped it between both of his and proceeded to caress her gently. Quivers worked their way up her arms, bypassing her common sense, and exploded in the pit of her stomach.
Desires, dormant for the last few years, suddenly awoke and invaded her body. Pleasurable surges overflowed. The kind she hadn’t experienced since she’d been a teenager making out with the horny love of her life. Without forethought, she glanced up and saw his eyes glued to hers. The heat she saw shocked her and became too hot for her to handle. Instead, she looked down at their locked fingers.
Querida, calm yourself. I had no way of knowing you were the true mother of the babies. When Felipe phoned me at the start of the pregnancy to tell me that you had agreed to surrogate for them, he mentioned nothing about this not being their own child.”
Yanking her hands from his, she crossed her arms to hide her trembling and flopped back onto the sofa. “Felipe never knew. Mary-Anne made me swear to keep it a secret. Your brother was determined to have a baby. Even though he knew my friend’s injuries from an accident in her teens would make her chances slim-to-none that she would ever get pregnant, he persuaded her to undertake all the tests. Mary-Anne agreed to go along, but only if we could use a clinic other than the one he owned.”
He frowned. “Sneaky.”
No. Protective. She knew how much a baby meant to him, and it was her dearest wish to make him happy.” Tears gathered and a sob broke down Sheri’s restraint. “Now see what you’ve gone and done. You’ve made me cry. I hate crying.”
His eyes widened. “Please don’t….”

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