Bedded by a Bad Boy
aka Bedded by a Playboy
by Heidi Rice
JESSIE CONNOR is an impetuous, wildly romantic English girl in America who believes that family is everything. As long as she can remember, she’s dreamed of having a gorgeous husband and a house full of beautiful children -- just like her big sister Ali. So when Jessie and the heavily pregnant Ali return to Ali and her husband Linc Latimer’s seaside home in Long Island and spy a naked trespasser taking a swim in the pool, Jessie knows just what has to be done. The guy may have a body like Brad Pitt but he’s on private property and she’s going to sort him out. Nobody messes with her family.
MONROE LATIMER is a loner who’s spent the last 14 years roaming America on his Harley. He believes in nothing and nobody, except himself. After two spells in prison as a teenager, Monroe knows that he’s the only person he can count on. He’s driven to the Hamptons out of curiosity, but no way is he going to visit his long-lost brother Linc once he sees the swanky neighbourhood where Linc and his family live. But then he spots an empty house with an empty pool and figures, what harm could a little swim do, before he heads back to the interstate?
Turns out quite a lot, when he pulls on his jeans and is tackled by a beautiful girl with a crisp English accent, firecracker hair and a temper to match. Then Linc and Ali and their two young children show up and Monroe is trapped, forced to accept an invite to stay in their garage apartment. The apartment — full of light and overlooking the beach — is the perfect place to paint and Monroe’s secret passion is painting, so he agrees to stay, but only if he does yard work to pay his way. He’s no goddamn freeloader. The one other compensation is Linc’s feisty little sister-in-law who Monroe thinks is cute as hell when she’s riled, which is whenever she’s around him.
Jessie decides Linc and Ali must be insane. What are they thinking inviting a stranger into their home? He may be gorgeous but he’s obviously a complete reprobate, why else would he get such a kick out of making her mad?
After a trip to town on Monroe’s Harley, an errant kiss in front of the A&P on Main Street and the discovery that Linc and Ali’s five-year-old daughter Scout has become Monroe’s biggest fan, Jessie’s opinion of the new house guest begins to change. She loves art, but she’s never had the talent to create it herself, so when she discovers that Monroe is an artist, she finally has to admit she’s hooked. But still she resists. He’s way too dangerous for her.
However hard he tries to distance himself, Monroe finds himself falling for the family against his will -- and the gorgeous Jessie is the catalyst. He wants her, badly, but knows he shouldn’t touch her. She’s got quality written all over her and that’s a word he can barely even spell.
When Linc gives Monroe a birthday gift, Monroe’s fear of becoming a part of the family comes to a head and he snubs his brother. Thinking Monroe has been unbelievably rude, Jessie confronts him. During the heated exchange that follows, Jessie sees through Monroe’s cool, cocky facade to the vulnerable, lonely man beneath. He needs love, companionship -- and who better to give it to him than her?
With Linc and Ali and their children away in New York for two weeks, Jessie and Monroe begin a tempestuous affair. But while Jessie becomes convinced Monroe is her dream man, Monroe knows he’s exactly the opposite. He can never give her family or commitment; he just doesn’t live that way.
When Ali and Linc return, Ali cautions Jessie about the affair. The sex may be fantastic, but Monroe’s going to be a hard man to love, especially if he won’t share his feelings with her. Jessie is blinded by her love for Monroe, though, and allows him to dictate the terms of the relationship, especially when she watches him deliver Ali’s baby — the doctor was unable to get there in time — and begins to spin dreams about what a wonderful father Monroe would make.
Jessie becomes increasingly uneasy, however, when she tells Monroe she loves him, countless times, and he says nothing in return. Eventually, at Ali’s suggestion, Jessie gives Monroe an ultimatum she won’t sleep with him anymore until he tells her how he really feels.
Desperate to guard his heart, scared that he is falling in love with someone he can never keep, Monroe closes himself off from Jessie and the rest of the family. If only he could just get on his Harley and go now, but somehow he can’t bring himself to do it.
Jessie makes the startling discovery that she’s pregnant. She tells Monroe and is horrified when he accuses her of cheating on him. The baby isn’t his. It can’t be. His mother -- an abusive woman who hated both him and Linc -- had him sterilised as a young teenager. Jessie flees to New York, now convinced that she has been fooling herself about Monroe all along. How can he ever have loved her if he can accuse her of something so hideous?
Linc forces Monroe to get tested by a fertility specialist. Monroe discovers he is the father of Jessie’s baby, something that he knew all along in his heart. He tracks Jessie down in New York.
Hurt and angry, Jessie resists him. Monroe is forced to finally lay his feelings bare, to admit to Jessie that he loved her all along but was too scared to tell her. Because he thought he could never give her what she dreamed of. Home, hearth, family.
Jessie sees Monroe for who he really is. Not a dream man, but a real one. He’s vulnerable and insecure after the horrors of his childhood, but he loves her, and he needs her and is at last willing to admit it. She doesn’t want a fantasy anymore, she wants Monroe, their baby and a life they can build together.
Phew, that was a bit long... But now you get my drift I hope. Conflict, conflict, conflict....