“I am not the kind of guy you want to get experience with.”
Nicole stood on tiptoe, stretching a little to make a better fit. “How will we know if we don’t even try?”
She was going to kiss him. And, God forgive him, he was going to let her.
He stood there like a dummy, like a stone, with his heart doing a hundred and forty in his chest while Nicole kissed him. Her soft mouth caressed his upper lip and tugged gently at his lower one. He angled his head and kissed her back, sucked on her soft, plump lips and explored her mouth.
She separated from him by a breath and smiled into his eyes. “Well,” she said. “That was different.”
“Yeah,” he said hoarsely. “The first time I kissed you, I was trying to scare you off.”
She blinked. “And now?”
“Now you’re scaring me,” he said.
This month we have something really special in store for you. We open with Letters to Kelly by award-winning author Suzanne Brockmann. In it, a couple of young lovers, separated for years, are suddenly reunited. But she has no idea that he’s spent many of their years apart in a Central American prison. And now that he’s home again, he’s determined to win back the girl whose memory kept him going all this time. What a wonderful treat from this bestselling author!
And the excitement doesn’t stop there. In The Impossible Alliance by Candace Irvin, the last of our three FAMILY SECRETS prequels, the search for missing agent Dr. Alex Morrow is finally over. And coming next month in the FAMILY SECRETS series: Broken Silence, our anthology, which will lead directly to a 12-book stand-alone FAMILY SECRETS continuity, beginning in June. In Virginia Kantra’s All a Man Can Be, TROUBLE IN EDEN continues as a rough-around-the-edges ex-military man inherits a surprise son—and seeks help in the daddy department from his beautiful boss. Ingrid Weaver continues her military miniseries, EAGLE SQUADRON, in Seven Days to Forever, in which an innocent schoolteacher seeks protection—for starters—from a handsome soldier when she mistakenly picks up a ransom on a school trip. In Clint’s Wild Ride by Linda Winstead Jones, a female FBI agent going undercover in the rodeo relies on a sinfully sexy cowboy as her teacher. And in The Quiet Storm by RaeAnne Thayne, a beautiful speech-disabled heiress has to force herself to speak up to seek help from a devastatingly attractive detective in order to solve a murder.
So enjoy, and of course we hope to see you next month, when Silhouette Intimate Moments once again brings you six of the best and most exciting romance novels around.
Leslie J. Wainger
Executive Senior Editor
All a Man Can Be
credits her enthusiasm for strong heroes and courageous heroines to a childhood spent devouring fairy tales. A three-time Romance Writers of America RITA® Award finalist, she has won numerous writing awards, including the Golden Heart, Maggie Award, Holt Medallion and Romantic Times W.I.S.H. Hero Award.
Virginia is married to her college sweetheart, a musician disguised as the owner of a coffeehouse. They live in Raleigh, North Carolina, with three teenagers, two cats, a dog and various blue-tailed lizards that live under the siding of their home. Her favorite thing to make for dinner? Reservations.
She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at VirginiaKantra@aol.com or c/o Silhouette Books, 300 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017.
To Jean, Andrew and Mark,
who taught me a lot about unconditional love, and to Michael, who knows everything.
Special thanks to Jane Langdell
for insights on the law and losers; and to Colleen Blake-Calvert of the DNA Testing Centre.
Both the babe and her ride gleamed, high maintenance and fully loaded.
Bartender Mark DeLucca stepped closer to the window to get a better look. Yeah.
The ride was a Lexus SUV, a cashmere-beige LX470.
The woman had to be Nicole Reed. The new owner of the Blue Moon wore a you-can’t-afford-this tailored shirt and a you-can’t-touch-me attitude.
Rich, Mark judged. Blond, to match the car. And late.
Three strikes, sweetheart, and you’re out.
He gave the bar a last swipe with a rag and crossed the planked floor to let her in. She was sorting through the keys in her hand when he unlocked the door.
“Looking for someone?” he asked.
She blushed. In embarrassment? Nah. Irritation. Recovering, she offered him a polished smile and a smooth hand. She wore thin gold rings on her fingers and neat pearl studs in her ears. Classy. Feminine. Very sexy. A pale, tiny scar on her upper lip emphasized the perfection of her face.
It was his rotten luck she turned him on.
“How do you do?” she said. “I’m Nicole Reed.”
Her hand was cool and firm. He held it a heartbeat too long, just to see if he could make her blush again. She didn’t. She looked…blank, Mark decided. Not disapproving or flirtatious. Not hopeful. Not intrigued. Not any of the things a woman usually put on her face when she thought she had his attention.
He was annoyed to find his ego was pricked.
“It was nice of you to meet me like this,” Nicole said politely.
Mark shrugged. “Not really. You’re paying for my time.”
She met his gaze straight-on. “Yes. I am.”
It was a line drawn in the sand. Mark almost smiled. He ate girls like little Miss Michigan Avenue for breakfast.
He opened the door wider. “Then I better offer you a drink.”
She frowned. “It’s only ten o’clock.”
“Ten-twenty,” he said.
Her composure flickered. “Yes, I…I know. I’m sorry.”
“Traffic?” he asked easily.
She lifted her chin. “No.”
No more explanation than that.