North America

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AUSTRALIA / NZ July 2004





Check out the book's reviews,  or devour a juicy excerpt...







"I just wanted to say how much I loved Marriage Material!  Sebastian is just a darling, strong and sexy with that delicious sense of humour YUM! I think I'm in love <ggg>."

Karen, in WA



"Bought it, read it and loved it:-)  The prologue made me melt. Ahh to be envious of a kid. Sebastian sounds about as yummy as Cadbury cherry ripe muffins fresh out of the oven."  *sigh*.

Lisa, South Australia


"The characterisation is simply awesome.  It's absolutely fantastic!"

Mick, Melbourne


"I loved it!!!!   It's the best book I've read in a long time."

Nikki, UK





























































































Australia/NZ, Collection featuring MARRIAGE MATERIAL

 and books by Carol Marinelli, Yvonne Lindsay, Melanie Milburne, and Miranda Lee




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It's her job to groom him for marriage!


Lawyer Romy Bridgeport is used to demanding clients - but millionaire Sebastian Fox takes the biscuit!


All he's ever wanted is a happy marriage and kids - so he's asked Romy to make him into marriage material!  Does such a project require all Romy's legal training?  Er, no - yet as he's a valued client Romy has to take him on...


But, when her work is done, Romy can think of only one suitable wife: herself!




Furiously caressing her favourite calming crystal, a smooth, misshapen ball of blue lace agate, Romy was able to keep her mounting impatience in check.

      He’s late, Romy thought, sending a calm, no-worries, smile to the three others who sat with her around the modern kidney shaped conference table.  Make that very late.

      They were all awaiting the arrival of Sebastian Fox; an ex-golf pro turned professional tomcat, a serial fiancé who nevertheless had walked the aisle to marriage but once, lasted six months at that, and, if all went according to Romy’s plan, the soon-to-be ex-husband of her client.

      Rather than do the impolite thing and release her frustration by screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs, Romy stood and walked to the doorway.

      ‘Since we might be here a while yet,’ Romy said, her voice the model of composure, ‘who wants a cuppa?’

      Gloria, Romy’s legal assistant, dressed in her customary head-to-toe basic black, requested plain coffee, black also.

      Janet, Romy’s client, was irritable and very good at it.  Even the ambient sound of waves lapping at a far-away beach pulsing from hidden speakers could not surmount the incessant tattoo of her long painted fingernails rapping on the smooth Formica tabletop.  She ordered a tall espresso, extra-strong, and Romy wondered whether the tabletop would survive her attentions once that level of caffeine hit her system.

      Sebastian Fox’s lawyer, Alan Campbell, who sat alone on the concave side of the table, seemed hypnotized by the drumming of Janet’s fingernails.  Apparently caffeine upset his stomach ulcer so he settled on a glass of water with which to take some Alka-Seltzer.

      All three seemed on the verge of spontaneous combustion such were their palpable jitters.  Romy wondered it she ought to have offered each a nice cold cup of Prozac instead, or decaf in the least.

     With her much-rubbed calming stone in hand, Romy wandered through the ultra-modern open plan suite of legal offices of the boutique Archer Law Firm in which she had worked the last five years, feeding off the optimistic energy the place exuded.

      She waved hello to several clients who were not there for legal advice but for the numerous in-house programs to help them get back on their feet post-divorce, such as cooking classes, single-parent counseling and even a new divorcee-dating scheme Romy had been instrumental in setting up.

      With the usual spring in her step she made a beeline for the complimentary self-contained coffee hut by the lift.

      ‘Good morning, Hank.’  On tiptoe Romy leaned over the counter to give the lovely elderly guy who ran the mobile café a kiss on the cheek.
      ‘Well, it is now Ms Bridgeport.  Gloria did not come around for your usual this morning.  I was worried you had called in sick.’

      ‘Not at all.  Healthy as could be.  Vitamins every day are the trick.’

      She put in her order and was content to keep half an ear on Hank as he happily chatted away about his favourite Australian Rules football team’s mid-season winning streak.

      To combat her left foot’s growing desire to tap out her frustrations on the blond wood floor, Romy rolled her stone around in her palm, soaking up every bit of positive energy she could.  The blue lace agate was supposed to bestow clarity and would concentrate her self-expression, which she would need when the opposing client showed up, if he ever showed up.

      The lift door binged and Romy nonchalantly turned to see who had arrived.  As though rubbing her crystal had raised a genie, Sebastian Fox had arrived dead on queue.  And like any respectable genie, he had brought forth a man who looked little like the grainy pictures Romy had in her legal dossier and more like he had stepped straight out of GQ magazine.

      Well, at least he’s finally here, she rationalised.

      Romy’s rational gaze raked over dark chestnut hair. Smooth clear skin.  A square face.  Enviable sooty lashes that framed seductive grey-green eyes.  His inviting mouth that appeared on the verge of a secret smile forced her spare hand to rest on her stomach to calm the wayward butterflies cavorting within.  The reaction he invoked in her was instant, primal and unstoppable and all her conscientious crystal rubbing went to waste in a heartbeat.

      She had known men like him before.  Men with strong tall frames, with broad shoulders, slim hips and muscular thighs, encased in cashmere and cargoes that highlighted every centimetre of glorious man flesh.  But she had been there, done that, and burnt the T-shirt.

      Romy continued to spin on her high heels as his eyes locked onto the quirky aqua desk at the end of the room where two cute guys and one cute gal sat below a big plastic downward-pointing arrow suspended from the ceiling above.  As he passed Romy went to say something, to call out, to introduce herself, to yell at him for his serious lateness, but for a woman who made her living talking, she simply could not find the words.

      Sure, she had known men on the high end of the hunk scale, but she had not known a stranger to smell that good!  She caught the drifting scent of soap and cinnamon and felt an insistent physical tug like a dog on a lead, and was in very real fear that she was watching after him with her tongue hanging out.

      Though it took her a few diverted moments to recall why she so detested him, she finally managed.  The man who was leaning over the desk, causing both the girl and the guys at Reception to go goo-goo eyed, was no less than a physical affront to her whole belief system. 

    He was practically a professional groom-to-be, having been engaged to three women in seven years with very little time to himself in between.  Janet had been the third, and she wondered momentarily what she had done differently that afforded her a wedding band to match the killer diamond on her left hand.  But whatever it was in the end it still had not lasted. 

    And Romy was an anomaly in the field of divorce law.  She was an advocate for marriage.   She went to the nth degree to free her clients from bad marriages for the express purpose of giving them the opportunity to find true marital happiness elsewhere.

      ‘Are you alright Ms Bridgeport?’ Hank asked, luring her attention back to the coffee hut.

     ‘Sure, fine.  And you?’  She deserved the bemused blink Hank shot back.

      ‘I’m fine,’ he said.  ‘Your order is ready.  I’ve added a plateful of Melting Moments.’

      ‘Thanks, Hank.’

      ‘You knock ‘em dead, Ms Bridgeport.’

      ‘With pleasure, Hank.’

      Romy gathered the tray and turned around but Sebastian was gone.  Into the conference room already, she assumed.

      As she walked around the assortment of modern couches and avant-garde coffee tables in the reception area, then through winding halls to the conference room, she hung on tight to her aversion to the man, to the tray heavy with scorching hot drinks, and to the stone which she now feared she would have to swallow to reap any real calming energy.



From "Marriage Material" by: Ally Blake
Mills and Boon Tender Romance.  June 2004
ISBN: 0-263-83831-5     Copyright: © 2004 Ally Blake
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. For more romance information surf to:



This book is dedicated to  Mum who gave me my love of books, and Dad who couldn't wait to see what I would become.













































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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