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Match Made

When a young successful woman is ready to get married and have a baby, all she needs is the perfect man to take his place at the altar.

When a handsome, wealthy man is being pressured by his father to produce a legitimate heir there isn’t anything he can do besides find a suitable lady with the right genes and upbringing to marry as soon as possible.

Age Rating: 18+

 

Match Made by Samantha Newburg is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

The app has received recognition from BBC, Forbes and The Guardian for being the hottest app for explosive new Romance novels.
Ali Albazaz, Founder and CEO of Inkitt, on BBC The Five-Month-Old Storytelling App Galatea Is Already A Multimillion-Dollar Business Paulo Coelho tells readers: buy my book after you've read it – if you liked it

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

1

Summary

When a young successful woman is ready to get married and have a baby, all she needs is the perfect man to take his place at the altar.

When a handsome, wealthy man is being pressured by his father to produce a legitimate heir there isn’t anything he can do besides find a suitable lady with the right genes and upbringing to marry as soon as possible.

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: Samantha Newburg

Donna Quinton never would have imagined marrying her older sister’s fiancé but when fate brings Gregory Marshall back into her life at the perfect time, how can she say no?

Neither of them is designed to maintain a long term relationship. But they need each other.

“That boy is going to kill himself,” muttered Grant Marshall, putting down the newspaper.

Lifting his coffee cup, he stared blankly at the computer screen in front of him. His cousin, Gabriella Marshall-Stone sighed impatiently.

“Well for a dog’s sake at least hurry, Grant. My pooch has an appointment at The Canine. Type the damn document, let me sign it and go.”

“Sorry, Gabs. And Monty,” he added to his lawyer, who had been sitting silently since Grant had opened the paper to find the latest article on his son, which Gabs had told him about.

His fingers flew across the keyboard and within minutes, Gabs was walking her pedigree ‘pooch’ out of the office.

As she opened Grant’s door, she bumped into a mass of muscle and golden skin concealed in a designer suit.

“Gregory, darling, must run but I think you came just in time. Your father’s got something up his sleeve, the lovely man,” she murmured under her breath.

“So he must Gabs, he only calls after hours or during his lunch break on a weekday,” came the wry reply.

After closing the door behind his elegant relative, Gregory Marshall walked further into his father’s office and nodded to the two men seated not at the desk but at the round oak table in the corner.

He looked at his father closely, making an effort to hide any concern he felt.

“You look almost haggard today, Dad. What’s curling your barbered beard?”

Instead of sitting with them, Greg leaned against the window pane and waited for his father to speak.

“What else but your antics being splashed in the papers, son?” came the good-natured response. Grant loved his son and made no moves to hide that much, but that didn’t mean he loved everything the young man did.

“Wouldn’t know, I don’t read everything- you do, Dad.”

“Maybe you should.”

“I-”

“Some woman is claiming she is pregnant with your child and that she thinks you will take the honourable route with her.”

Gregory’s face clouded over with annoyance and nothing more. “Is that why I’m here?”

“Partly,” Monty said.

With a sigh, Greg moved to sit down. “What is it?”

Grant ran a hand through his greying hair. “I’m not getting any younger, son. I’m-”

“Are you ill?” Greg interrupted sharply.

“No-”

“Then, please don’t make it sound so serious. If not about myself, I do worry about you and Mom.”

Grant smiled. “Oh son, it’s funny you should say that. Becauseyou don’t worry about yourself, I feel I must.”

Grant paused.

“And?” his son prompted, not impatiently.

“This newspaper article talks about marriage,” he carried on.

“Yes, so?” Greg asked.

His father threw him another smile. “When areyou getting married?”

***

Donna tried her damnedest to put the woman’s ideas on paper but frills and ruffles just didn’t look right on the type of clothing she wanted.

“I want to feel exuberant and- and- and feminine at the same time,” the client breathed.

Hence the lace on a black catsuit, but black wasn’t exuberant in Donna’s book. That was when she had a flash of genius. Or at least she pretended to have one.

“Mrs. T-”

“Candy. Call me Candy.”

“Candy,” Donna amended, “what’s your favourite colour?” she asked the blonde woman with the double-D cup wearing all pink, holding a dog that wore a matching collar.

She bet herself it was-gasp- pink.

And lo, Candy smiled and gushed, “Pink!”

“Great.” Donna took out a fresh sheet of paper and the colours she had in mind and made a rough sketch. “See, I cannot think of any more exuberant, feminine colour than pink.”

She showed her a completely different ensemble. “And if we make it a bit darker, you’d look even more ravishing and mature than the first Mrs. T.”

Candy’s eyes brightened and Donna bit her tongue to keep from adding ‘and the second, the third and the other two!’

An hour later, she was at a table laughing about Candy with her friends over lunch.

None of them could believe that Candy was the latest acquisition of a well-known businessman and that she had fallen for Donna’s smooth talking.

They talked about it for a bit and then someone told her, “Your sexy friend was in the paper again.”

“Who?” She had no particularly ‘sexy’ friends.

“Greg Marshall,” Denise fanned herself.

“Oh. Him. I haven’t seen him in nearly ten years!” Except briefly at his grandfather’s funeral the previous year. It’s a wonder they were still considered friends.

“And it’s a crying shame!” one of her other lunch mates, Meghan, said.

“You two would be dynamic together,” her best friend Shirley chipped in.

Donna sent her a look. “Everything’s dynamic to you, right now.”

Shirley grinned back. “But I mean it! The hot designer fashion lady and the hot, hot rich guy,” she said, not really knowing what the notorious playboy did other than make loads of cash.

“Oh, so I’m hot and Greg Marshall is ‘hot, hot’?” Donna sniffed.

“Sweetie, I’m heterosexual. It’s only natural.”

The six ladies paid the bill and stepped out into the bright blustery autumn afternoon.

With time to spare, they went into the lingerie and accessories shop that was next to the sky scraper where they worked. It was a great place to purchase feel-good items and goodies for first dates.

Shirley, Donna, Denise and Meghan were unmarried. The older of the two married ones, Anna, held up an aquamarine hat and asked, “So who’s getting married next? This hat would match a suit in my closet perfectly. Excellent wedding attire.”

“Ooh, pick me!” Donna laughed.

They all looked at her surprised.

“Donna, you don’t even have a serious boyfriend!” Anna chuckled.

“We should find her one!” Shirley declared, making Donna laugh a little.

She already regretted saying it out loud.

“What about Luke?” Meghan asked. Everyone knew Luke was crazy about Donna Quinton.

“He’s never around,” Donna said, dismissing him.

“How about Max whatsit?”

Donna’s nose wrinkled in distaste. “He’s a bore! And don’t even mention Vernon. He’s cute but he’s oh so hung up on himself. No one could love that man more than he does and-”

With an exasperated sigh, Anna looked at her as if to say, ‘So how are you going to get married first?’

“Hey,” Shirley cut in, “she has made her mind up, it’s going to happen. Only I know the girl behind the fickle facade.”

“Shut up, Shirley.”

Not wanting to be psycho-analyzed in a lingerie shop, Donna picked up a lovely white veil. “I want to get married,” she explained, holding it up to her face and batting her eyelids, “but there’s no one to get married to.”

“What about me?” a voice said behind her.

The teal hat dropped from her colleague’s hand the same time the woman’s jaw unhinged. The other women had similar expressions on their faces.

Donna turned slowly, expecting to see Brad Pitt or Colin Farrell- the only men who Shirley’d go speechless over.

Neither of them appeared before her eyes when she got a look at her suitor, but her jaw dropped too.

Momentarily. Then she was transported back a decade.

With inexplicable happiness, she smiled.

“Oh my gosh, Greg Marshall!” She practically jumped on him and hugged him enthusiastically.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

When Greg had asked his father why he was there and had been thrown the question about marriage he’d been furious.

“I’m not marrying Marie!”

His father hadn’t missed a beat.

“Okay. So who are you going to marry?”

That question had stunned him momentarily. He looked from one old man to the other. Then looking back at Monty, he had asked, “And why are you here? Is there a law suit from the-” he bit off his expletive. He never swore in front of his father.

“Can’t an old man visit his friend?” his father asked with yet another smile.

The younger man’s eyes narrowed. His dad was smiling too much.

“Not you two. Not during working hours.”

He had leaned back in his chair and regarded the lawyer once more. “Tell us, Monty… has Dad put a clause in his will that says I have to marry before I’m forty or be disinherited?”

He’d grinned at the end of his statement but it soon faded when Monty cleared his throat and pushed a piece of paper in his direction.

“What’s this?”

“A codicil,” his father had told him calmly.

He’d read through the brief document and frowned. “Why are you doing this?” he raised a hand, “And don’t tell me it’s because you care.”

“Oh, but I do, son. I care so much I don’t want you to be alone when you’re my age.” Grant Marshall watched his handsome son fight the desperation off his face with a little concern.

When Gregory had finally found the easiest argument to throw his dad’s direction, he said mildly, “Don’t you want me to be happy? Chaining me down is not the way to achieve that.”

His father had thrown his head back and laughed. “I’m not chaining you son. I’m merely protecting my interests. I’d like to die peacefully, knowing that there will be a legitimateheir after you and the only way the Marshall name will continue is if you do your part and get married to a suitable woman. You are,” Grant had reminded him, “my only son. My only child.”

Grant had smiled as his son’s fine face had clouded further. “Now why are you scowling at your dear Pops? Because I said legitimate?”

“Marie is not having my child,” he’d ground out between clenched teeth, eyes flashing with suppressed rage.

“Ok,” Grant had said after a pause. “I believe you.”

His son had only relaxed slightly.

And throughout the rest of the discussion, Greg’s countenance had slowly progressed downward.

He had tried to understand that his dad was concerned about the family’s future- and his own, as they were basically one and the same thing.

Despite his efforts to comply, he was mentally digging his heels in the dirt because he wasn’t ready for this kind of commitment on anyone’s terms.

He wasn’t even sure if he had a heart anymore to give away even for the purposes of procreation.

A list of families and candidates had been produced the following week and by then, Greg was looking at it like a business deal.

Virginal candidates were discarded first, to Monty’s dry amusement, followed by college students and bookworms like the elegant Professor Witt.

And so they had gone through the list. Monty would read a name, Greg would search his mental banks for an image and then ask Monty to give him a brief history of the family.

If a picture was available, he would stare at her, read through the history again and make a decision. Shortlist or waste bin.

The list had gotten down to five women by lunch the same day.

Grant had watched all this with quiet apprehension before he felt something pushing him to speak.

“Monty, please go ask Liz to get us some food.”

He’d waited until the door closed behind his lawyer and friend before speaking to his beloved son and heir.

“Don’t think I’m not pleased that you’ve narrowed the list down, but I need you to really think now.” Pause. “I know you fear love like the plague so I won’t even bring that into the equation.”

He received a relieved grin for that. “But please think carefully before you commit yourself to a single lady. Consider these things,” Grant told his son. “Your old age when libido is hardly a priority. You may also think of a woman who will put up with whatever you do and not pack up and go to Daddy to sue for the prenuptial and some.”

Another pause. “Think of a family with values like ours and at least a remote link to ours. I can’t imagine going through the niceties at my age with any new family who might have a radical contrast in traditions.”

“I’m sure you can’t… what’s in all this for me, Dad?”

“Has that been worrying you?”

Greg nodded once, “I love you and Mom very much but this is a hugeprice to pay for your peace of mind.”

“Ah. Once you’re married, or at least engaged, your mother and your aunts will stop shoving women under your nose, socialites won’t hunt you for that illustrious ring and you will be financially secure.”

Greg laughed. “I already am.” He didn’t bother to mention that the aunts and socialites were all something he could deal with in his stride- he’d met a few tasty bedfellows in that very fashion.

“But a large portion of that could be tied up for wife and child if they don’t exist before I die. And you know how your uncle Gerry died so unexpectedly… as did my father.”

It seemed to be the way with the Marshall men.

Greg sat back and considered all his father had said.

Granted, he made a good salary at work and he had a few investment funds, but some of his finer habits were currently covered by a trust. That had always made it easy for him to enjoy life.

He considered ignoring the codicil altogether and carrying on with the way his life was but he soon dismissed the idea.

The last thing he wanted was to embarrass his parents or irrevocably tarnish the name of his family. He didn’t want to disappoint his father- the man who had made his entire lifestyle possible.

It was obviously starting to grate on the old man’s nerves and that made Greg feel a little guilty. Maybe marriage would keep his antics out of the papers.

Running a hand through his hair, he leaned forward and went back to the list, keeping his dad’s words in mind. The next name was Cassandra Smith.

She had a pretty face, he conceded to himself, but he hardly knew the Smiths so it was no loss to lose their only daughter Cass.

She didn’t really appeal to him physically and her family wasn’t into any business he was looking to get his hands on. Marrying her wouldn’t do anyone good. Except maybe her.

That left him with only four names.

Monty slipped back into the room to watch Greg struggle.

“Greg, Marie is still out for your blood. Whatever you did to her… the sooner you establish an official stake on someone else, the sooner she might back off,” the lawyer intoned, placing a newspaper on the table.

Greg barely glanced at the paper. “Give me another day or two,” he said, his voice nearly a whisper. He felt as though he was being pushed into cold black water. His lungs were clogged and his temples felt compressed to the point of bursting.

Standing up on that Tuesday, he had already learned to look at the situation as a game no longer. But it wasn’t even just a business deal. It was his future.

When he had repeated those words to his best friend on Wednesday night, Craig Willis had nearly choked on his brandy.

“So that’s why you haven’t been to the club in a week. A wife. Whoo.” The sweet man’s wicked grin flashed out. “So who’ll it be? The leggy Flora? The bootylicious Tina?”

Greg’s mouth turned down in distaste. “My mother wouldn’t attend my wedding. They have their uses but marriage isn’t among them.”

“Ouch. I forget you come from a long line of GG Marshalls who’ll never marry beneath them. Only bed the best of them- but never marry or love them.”

Greg’s grin appeared making him look more appealing than he did with a frown on his handsome face. His eyes turned their normal light grey and he said, “No, that last part’s just about me. Everyone else in my family- my parents particularly- are either single, exclusive or married and happy that way. I’m the only one who can’t get enough.”

“Couldn’t, man. You’ll have a fiancé soon,” Craig reminded.

He received a bark of a laugh in response. “Oh no my friend, I’ve narrowed it down to two. From what I’ve heard, they’re as unlikely to marry for love as I am.”

Craig’s deceptively innocent face perked up with interest. “Oh?”

“Yes.”

“Tell us, man. We’re all ears.”

“There’s the insatiable Barbara Lawrence. Her mom is part of the same circles as my mom. I think I met her a couple of years ago. She was pretty hot but I was caught up in-” pause, “someone or other.”

He went on to list a few of her known attributes and a bit about her family. When he had finished, Craig had winced. “Didn’t you start by saying insatiable? Greg, do you want a competitor or a wife who’ll put up with you? The marriage may be a powerhouse of convenience and certainly a sham where love is concerned but at least make it a plausible one. I’m sure your dad is trying to halt the publicity your sex life receives.”

Greg had considered this, stroking the immaculately trimmed hair on his chin. “So that leaves only one lady,” he’d said finally.

Craig had looked at him closely. He could have sworn he detected reluctance in his friend’s voice and waited for the name.

“Sweet little Donna.”

Doubt was written all over Craig’s face. “Er, pardon me, brother, but pray tell one; how can she be sweet when you are choosing her for her need to stay unattached as much or almost as much as you?”

Craig was surprised when Greg hesitated again.

“She was sweet last time I saw her.”

“You know her?”

“I did. A long time ago.”

“What’s her last name?”

“Quinton.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Craig held up his hand. “Didn’t you almost marry her sister ten years ago? Wasn’t that a milestone in the consolidation of your bachelor theories?”

Greg’s eyes glinted with sardonic humour. “But I didn’t.”

“Yes, but-”

“But what? Give me one reason why I shouldn’t link the Marshalls and Quintons- two of Illinois’s great families.”

“Er, I think I mentioned it, G… You were engaged to her sister.”

Greg chuckled. “Craig, I didn’t know you had a conscience.”

“I don’t,” he said as automatic as Swiss clockwork. “It’s called common sense. My ego wouldn’t let me return. She ditched you!

“Exactly what I would play on. Her sense of family duty. The Qs and Ms know from here to the Eastern Seaboard that once we’re joined, it’s the world- or at least America on a silver platter.”

Greg went on to list the aspects of the Quinton’s business empire that would be an added advantage to his own pursuits. As he spoke he actually seemed to be trying to convince himself.

After a considerable pause, Craig shrugged.

“Okay, man. Go for your high school sweetheart’s little sister. Just don’t come to me when Diana and all her baggage rises from the dead.”

“Craig, believe me, Diana was no sweetheart of mine. She was like a friend with benefits. We just did what our parents wanted. And when she disappeared, the Qs and Ms lost a bit of love, but after reports of the train accident came through, we raised white flags and just lost touch. It was easier to bury the whole thing and believe she was dead. We never got a body back, but there were no responses to the missing persons report we filed either.”

“So there was nothing between you two?”

Greg shook his head.

“How old is she?”

“She should be about twenty-five.”

Craig raised his glass in a toast, “To Donna Marshall.” And he burst out laughing, for Greg had gone as pale as a ghost.

The following morning, he had showed up at his father’s office, looking positively grim. Monty was not there.

“Is something wrong?” his father had asked him.

“I’ve made my choice,” came the reply.

Relief flooded through Grant, followed by a torrent of doubt when his son revealed the name of the woman he had finally decided on marrying.

“Are you sure?”

“You want me to be happy?”

“Of course.”

“Then give me Quinton and at least I’ll get the west coast in return.”

It was always business first when Greg was serious. Even women took a backseat.

“I’ll call Bob tonight.”

“Great. Now, I need her phone number.”

Grant watched his son sit down and begin to unwind.

He must have realised how much Greg was giving up for the sake of his family because he picked up the phone and asked his PA to find Donna’s Quinton’s number as soon as yesterday.

The rest played out rather naturally.

On Friday, Greg had called Donna’s office to be told she’d gone to lunch. He had then hightailed it over there to wheedle the location out of the receptionist.

Satisfied that he had both the address and the secretary in his pocket, he left.

He thanked his lucky stars when he figured he’d have to wait at least twenty minutes for her to finish lunch with her reported five workmates.

He sat across the street in his car, trying to picture her as she probably was now. A dark beauty with a cynical outlook on life. That would suit him perfectly.

How would she react to seeing him again, had been his first question. A mixture of caution and interest, he had decided.

Listening to her dismiss potential marriage partners had been amusing, because it reminded him of what he’d been doing the days before.

He certainly hadn’t expected a hug for offering himself.

***

“It’s so good to see you!” she said.

He felt his mouth form a responding smile as he held her at arms’ length.

“So is that a yes?”

“What?” she laughed. “No! Are you serious?”

Before he could shock the silk stockings off her and tell her he was dead serious, one of her friends cleared their throat.

“Sorry, Shirley,” Donna said. “Everyone this is an oldfamily friend, Gregory Marshall.”

After she finished the introductions, he offered to walk her to the office.

“Sure, let me just put this back,” she agreed, shaking the veil.

He followed her to the rack and was amused at how all her friends made themselves scarce.

Except for one who curiously picked up a hat from the floor and smiling to the till, bought it before she exited.

He took her all the way up to the sixteenth floor lobby of her company’s offices. The conversation went like this:

As they left ‘N’ Ties, he asked her, “Were you serious about the marriage thing?”

“Yes. Just that no one seems worth it. Were you serious about offering yourself?” she chuckled.

“Yes, actually.”

There was a split second’s pause as he opened the door for her.

“Oh. Thanks.”

As they got into the elevator, he asked, “May I take you out for dinner, tonight?”

“Um, I have a date already,” she told him with regret.

Without thinking, he moved closer and put a hand on the wall beside her head. “Is he important?”

“No,” came the honest answer, her eyes widening a little.

“So cancel. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

Donna Quinton’s face broke into the smile Greg had seen so many times in his early twenties. Now he was thirty-three and it looked no different.

“Was that instinctive or are you genuinely showing interest in me?”

He stayed where he was, a smile of his own appearing. He waited until the elevator door was wide open to say, “Both.” Then he moved away.

She sent him a speculative glance as she stepped out. Greg didn’t move.

“Think about it and call me when you’ve decided,” he said as the door closed again.

She waved and turned away, betting herself a hundred dollars he’d left his details with Ginny already.

***

“I’m sorry, Vernon. Something came up and I can’t go to dinner with you anymore. No, I didn’t promise!” She smirked, “Of course I’m not dumping you. We were never an item. No we were not… I have to go,” she lied.

She stared at the number on the business card that read G. Gregory Marshall, Chief Architect with the Marshall Architects and Construction insignia on it. She picked up the phone.

It rang three times.

“Marshall Architects and Construction, how may I be of service?”

“This is Miss Quinton, put me through to Greg Marshall please.”

“Please hold the line.”

It took ten seconds for her to be put through.

“Donna, hi.”

“Hey, Greg. Is your offer for dinner still open?”

“You bet. Can I pick you up at eight?”

“Yes.” She gave him directions to her home and rang off.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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