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"A Night With the Society Playboy is an emotional tale. Ally Blake does a terrific job of starting in the present and weaving the past throughout the story so the readers see all aspects of the relationship."


«««« Romantic Times




"This is a fun-filled and yet emotionally satisfying read with plenty of hot, hot, caliente sensuality as well. Ally Blake has certainly packed a lot of punch into such a short book, combining serious questions about searching for self and true love in between some really fun and flirty repartee."






















The gorgeous Eric Dane as Caleb Gilchrist









The effervescent Zooey Deschanel as Ava Halliburton








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George Michael

Kissing a Fool


 You can listen to this gorgeous song at

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**** Romantic Times


"A Night With the Society Playboy is an emotional tale. Ally Blake does a terrific job of starting in the present and weaving the past throughout the story so the readers see all aspects of the relationship."





As society playboy Caleb Gilchrist stands up as best man to his best friend he wonders if the whole world has gone mad.  Is he the only one not running off to get married and live happily ever after?


Then within the mass of frippery and finery in the wedding chapel crowd he sees Ava Halliburton.  The girl who a decade before had left him standing in a crowded airport with his heart in ashes at his feet.  A woman who it seems can make his heart race more than any before or since.  The one that got away.  The groom's sister.


If only he wasn't the only one in the room who didn't believe in happy endings...



This book is a very special one for me.  It was a book I truly wondered if I would be able to write.  It was the first book I wrote after the birth of my little girl.

As you can imagine having a new little person in my home and in my life has been the most wondrous experience.  Her smiles, her goos and gahs, and every new milestone reached have made for much beautiful time wastage.  I mean who can possibly write when they have a digital camera permanently attached to the end of their arm?

That said, a writer writes.  And with this charming bad boy and the girl who got away mulling about in the back of my mind, the day came when they would no longer be denied their love story.

So there I sat night after night, strapped to my computer, while my hubby had our little angel all to himself for a couple of hours.  Okay, I admit, I did step out to give her a cuddle or a kiss or a tickle several times a session.  How could I not with that adorable face on offer, those chubby arms, and those moments she just stares into my eyes?  Sigh...

Even thus happily distracted, the book came together, it was really a lot of fun to write, and now I know how very lucky I am to have the two best jobs in the world; romance author and mum.  Pinch me now!



‘Will you Damien Halliburton take Chelsea London to be your lawful wedded wife?’

The minister’s words blurred into one long onerous drone as Caleb, acting as best man to his mate and business partner, fidgeted inside his tux, stifled a yawn, and pretended as best he could to pay attention.

‘I do,’ Damien said, his voice deep and true, his eyes all for his admittedly scrumptious new bride.

Though he couldn’t deny that Damien had seemed happier since Chelsea appeared on the scene it had been some years since Caleb had decided that kind of indiscriminate happiness was for chumps.  Not only was it fleeting, once gone it invariably took a little piece of you with it.

And Caleb liked himself and all his pieces.  Quite a bit in fact.

He enjoyed his privileged life.  He adored the pursuits that came with it; tennis, sailing, golf, drinks at the club.  The capacity to spend the occasional weekend basking on a private beach somewhere didn’t go astray.

And he thrived on his work.  He took great pleasure in doing whatever it took to land ostensibly ungettable clients for Keppler, Jones and Morgenstern Day Traders.  Others in the biz thought him ruthless in his tunnel-visioned pursuit of the big fish.  But the simple fact was he’d always found it easy to make people say yes.

He’d been told by a former weekend getaway companion it had everything to do with a distracting glint in his eyes.  It blinded people to the fact that he never switched off, he was always, always silently working out a way to come out on top.

To her credit it had taken him several seconds to realise she hadn’t meant it as a compliment, or in fact a come on, and by that stage she’d walked out his door never to darken it again.

Caleb glanced across the altar and caught the eye of Kensey, a bridesmaid, who also happened to be Chelsea’s older sister.  She was dark where Chelsea was fair, and he had always preferred brunettes.

He glinted for all he was worth.

Kensey’s eyes grew wide before she flipped her left ring finger at him from beneath her bouquet.  A gold wedding band flashed his way.

His smile only widened as he offered a shrug by way of apology, but as he moved his gaze away the smile twisted into a grimace.  Was the whole damn world getting married?

He gave himself a mental pat on the back for deciding not to bring a date to this thing.  Weddings stirred up all sorts of irrational emotions in people.  He’d seen it before.  Perfectly level-headed gents cut down by a giddy mix of floral scents, blinding amount of pink satin, and over indulgence in cake frosting.

Finding that scrunching his toes in his shoes wasn’t proving distracting enough to keep him from yawning again, Caleb looked over the extensive crowd filling the elegant city church.

Imagining them naked didn’t help as most of them were a generation older than he and best kept clothed if he planned to keep his dinner down at the reception.  So instead he called upon his well-tuned affluence radar to decide which unsuspecting guest would be signing on the dotted line as a client by the end of the night.

The groom’s divorced, but friendly, parents sat in the front row weeping all over one another.  After today’s fiasco if they didn’t end up renewing their vows by the end of the month he’d eat his shoes.  But they were already Damien’s clients so they didn’t count.

His own parents, the estimable Gilchrists, a couple who had taken the ‘til death part so seriously he wouldn’t be surprised if they one day throttled one another, had naturally wangled the next best seat in the house; row two, on the aisle.  They were no doubt the filthy richest pair in the room, but they had never forgotten the year he’d lost all his pocket money running a secret Spring Racing betting ring while in middle school and thus wouldn’t part with a cent of their precious dough.  Talk about the ungettable get.

Damien’s Aunt Gladys gave him a little finger wave from the fifth row.  Caleb winked back and she all but fainted on the spot.  He knew without a doubt she would have given him a perfume-scented cheque within five minutes of him courting her.  But where was the thrill in that?

The masses of faces he’d never seen and never particularly wanted to again soon passed him by in a technicolour blur.

Until his brain slowly caught up with his eyes and he realised halfway down on the left side he’d passed over a swathe of long brunette waves, the immobilising combo of soft blue eyes fringed by impossibly long dark lashes, and the kind of soft, sweet, wide, pink mouth any sane man would kill for.  Would die for.


Her name launched itself smack bang in the centre of his unsuspecting consciousness from somewhere deep inside like a guided missile gone astray.

His eyes retraced their journey over the colourful crowd, sweeping across row after row, even though he knew it couldn’t have been her.

Well logically it could.  She was Damien’s sister.  But the groom had never once mentioned his sister was coming home from Boston for the wedding and for the first time in nearly a decade.  If he had it was not the kind of crumb of information that would slip Caleb’s mind.

But he saw nothing but a sea of unfamiliar faces, none of which made his stomach clench like hers did.  Or more precisely like hers had.  Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away...

The last time he’d laid eyes on her he’d been a twenty-two-year-old business school pretender who’d been perfectly happy to bank on his family name to get where he was going.  While she’d been a nineteen-year-old humanities wunderkind prepared to go to the far end of the earth to find a place where nobody knew her family name.

They’d been friends since high school, combatants just as long, and lovers for just one night, the day before she’d left to take up a scholarship at Cambridge and never looked back.

Never written a postcard, nor a letter, nor an email.  No carrier pidgeons had been employed by her not telephones rung on his behalf. 

He frowned and curled his toes into his new black leather shoes until they hurt.  He’d searched every pew and couldn’t find the brunette waves, the smoky blue eyes, or the wide pink mouth.  He must have imagined her after all.  Great hulking fool he had always been when Ava Halliburton had been the subject of discussion...


Caleb looked at the groom blankly as a ripple of laughter washed over the crowd.

‘You’re on, buddy,’ Damien said.

‘On what exactly?’

‘The ring?’ Damien said, loaded smile playing about his mouth telling Caleb it wasn’t the first time he’d been called.

‘Right,’ Caleb said.  ‘Apologies.  I was a million miles away.’

And a million years ago.

‘Not the kind of thing I want to hear right now.’  Damien’s smile didn’t slip a millimetre but Caleb had known the guy long enough to know his patience was thinning.

Caleb slid a finger into a tiny side pocket of his waistcoat and pulled out a skinny white gold band encrusted with diamonds.  He summarily dropped it into Damien’s upturned palm lest it rub some of its unwelcome romance upon him.

From there the wedding zoomed to a brisk conclusion.

The kiss was the best part.  Damien grabbed Chelsea around the waist, dipped her halfway to the floor and planted one on her that had the two hundred strong crowd whooping it up in the aisles.

That’s my boy, Caleb thought, glad his friend wasn’t becoming a complete sap now that he was locked down.

Caleb followed the couple down the aisle, arm in arm with Chelsea’s sister who he could see out of the corner of his eye was grinning at him.  He feigned boredom as he started blankly towards the bright light of the camera at the end of the aisle.

‘I was afraid you might be about to faint on us there for a moment,’ Kensey said.

He let his mouth kick into half smile.  ‘Me?  Faint?  Simply not in me, honey.’

‘So you’re a fan of big white weddings then.’

‘Nowhere I’d rather be on a Saturday night.’

‘Really?  Must have been the way the light was hitting your cheeks that made you look like someone had walked over your grave.’

‘Must have been,’ Caleb said.

Though he couldn’t help but look to the left in search of a pair of pretty sky blue eyes and long dark hair.

Damn fool.



From "A Night with the Society Playboy " by Ally Blake
Mills and Boon Modern Heat October 2008
eISBN: 9781426824005  Copyright: © 2008 Ally Blake
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com



To my urban family, Chris, Sheree, Tom and Ben Breasley; the ones who have made my time away from home feel like home.









































The Rules of Engagement  |  The Wedding Date  |  Millionaire Dad's SOS  |  Getting Red-Hot with the Rogue

Dating the Rebel Tycoon  |  A Night with the Society Playboy  |  Hired: The Boss's Bride  |  The Magnate's Indecent Proposal

Falling for the Rebel Heir  |   Steamy Surrender  |  Millionaire to the Rescue  |  Billionaire on Her Doorstep

Getting Down to Business  |  Meant-To-Be Mother  |  Wanted: Outback Wife  |  A Father in the Making  |  The Shock Engagement  

A Mother For His Daughter  |  How to Marry a Billionaire  |  Marriage Make-Over  |  Marriage Material  |  The Wedding Wish



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