The Surrogate Read Online Penelope Ward

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Angst, Contemporary, Forbidden Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 98
Estimated words: 96833 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 484(@200wpm)___ 387(@250wpm)___ 323(@300wpm)

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward comes a new, STANDALONE novel…I’m falling for the father of the baby I’m carrying.The problem it’s not my baby.And the broody widower is not looking for a long-term partner.As a surrogate, the deal was that I’d only be in England long enough to give birth.At first, the man seemed as pretentious as his Sigmund Benedictus.He and I butted heads.Sig challenged my intentions, accused me of just wanting to do this for the money.Gradually, he learned to trust me.He even became protective.Over time, our heated animosity turned into fiery chemistry.I was falling in love with him.But my time here had a limit.I needed to protect my heart from the devastatingly gorgeous older man who’d end up breaking it.When my in-laws told me they wanted to use my dead wife’s eggs to conceive a grandchild, I wasn’t immediately on board.They swore that on her deathbed Britney told them it was what she wanted—but only if I fathered the baby. Her parents insisted they would be the ones to raise it.Against my better judgment, I agreed.I vowed to keep my heart out of it, though.I’d continue to pretend it wasn’t happening and live the empty, single life I’d become accustomed to the past five years since Britney died.And despite the fact that a certain younger American named Abby Knickerbocker had awakened things inside me that I thought were long dead…I most certainly wouldn’t fall in love with the surrogate.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


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Track 1: “Rhinoceros” by The Smashing Pumpkins

I might as well have had a rhinoceros in my bed. That snoring had to be what a rhino would sound like.

I never let women stay over at my London flat—ever. But Monica had fallen asleep when I’d gone to the toilet after our encounter last night. I hadn’t had the heart to wake her. And considering her snoring had kept me up most of the night, I’d paid heftily for that decision.

As with the other handful of women I’d slept with in the nearly five years since my wife died, there had been no real spark between Monica and me. In fact, that was exactly how I preferred it. I had no interest in building anything with anyone after Britney. I’d lost my one true love, and no one else was going to compare. I didn’t need to get emotionally involved, nor did I have it in me anymore. So, I intentionally sought out women I knew had no expectations and with whom the chemistry was merely physical.

When Monica’s snoring had first reared its ugly head, I’d tried rolling her over, but to no avail. I’d ended up moving to the guest bedroom. How could someone’s incessant snoring disrupt everyone’s sleep but their own?

I pondered that while staring blankly at the coffee machine, until a knock at my door interrupted my thoughts.

Who the hell is knocking this early?

If I’d known who would be standing on the other side of that door, I would never have opened it—especially since I wasn’t wearing a shirt, and there was a half-naked, snoring woman in my bed.

“What are you doing here?” I asked them as I opened.

“Nice to see you, too,” Phil chided.

My in-laws, Phil and Kate Alexander, stood in the hallway. While they lived in the US, they came to England from time to time to visit Britney’s grave and see me. We’d stayed quite close over the years. Phil had purchased an apartment here that he rented out as an Airbnb, but he kept it open for the weeks he and his wife would visit the UK.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” I asked.

“We emailed you about our trip,” Kate answered. “You never responded.”

I hadn’t checked my personal email account in over a week. “You should’ve texted.”

Phil looked me up and down. “Aren’t you going to invite us in?”

I supposed I had to do that, didn’t I? What choice do I have? “Sure.” I stepped aside. “Of course. Come in.”

After they entered, Phil looked toward my bedroom. “What is that sound?”

“It’s a woman,” I reluctantly admitted.

“Ah. You devil. I should’ve known.” He smacked my arm and turned to his wife. “I told you we should’ve called first.”

“I’m sorry.” I cleared my throat. “This is terribly uncomfortable for me.”

“Nonsense.” Kate waved her hand. “You shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It’s been almost five years. You think we don’t realize you have women over from time to time?”

“I’ve never had someone spend the night, actually. But I’d also never had anyone fall asleep before I could call them a ride.”

“You must’ve entertained her quite well.” Phil smirked.

I cleared my throat again. “She’s been snoring all night, but I haven’t had the heart to wake her.”

“Shall I do the honors, then?” Phil wriggled his brows.

I shrugged. “Go for it.”

He proceeded to yodel for several seconds. Kate and I just looked at each other. Phil was always a bit of an oddball character, so neither of us was surprised. When he stopped, I peeked into the room to find that while Monica was stirring, she hadn’t woken up.

“She’s still asleep,” I announced. “Care for tea?”

“I would love some,” Kate said.

Phil and Kate took seats at my kitchen table.

After boiling some water, I poured their tea and brought two cups over.

A minute later, Monica sauntered in. “Oh.” She scratched her head. “Hello.”

“Monica, these are my in-laws.”

“Your in-laws?” Her eyes widened. “You’re married?”

Phil pretended to be surprised as he looked over at me. “You bastard!”

Monica looked ready to blow.

“He’s only joking. He’s a ballbuster,” I assured her.

“I apologize for my husband’s behavior.” Kate whacked Phil on the arm. “Our daughter was married to Sig, but she passed away several years ago. We’re just visiting. We didn’t know he had anyone over.”

“Oh.” Monica’s expression softened as she looked over at me. “You didn’t say anything about...”

I sipped some tea. “We didn’t say much to each other at all, though, did we?”

“Right.” She looked down at her feet. “Uh…I’d better get going.”

“Alright, then.” I stared into my teacup without making eye contact.

“You have my number,” she said.

“I do.” I nodded once.

Monica left the kitchen. The three of us were quiet as we listened to the sound of her exiting my apartment.

After the door slammed closed, Phil turned to me. “She’ll never hear from you again, will she?”