A desperate need Sassy Grace Atwood never expected to find her proper self accidentally tumbling into a stranger's bed. If she weren't desperate for a man to lead a wagon train of brides to a woman-starved town out West, she never would have gone near Jackson Blake-former lawman or not. She should send the ruggedly charming Texan packing...only he's perfect for the job. Now if her mind would just stop going blank every time she looked at him, they might get this train to Kansas yet. A comsuming passion What's a man to do when a beautiful woman leans over his bed in the middle of the night? Come to think of it, that was the only time Blake's ever seen the straitlaced Miss Atwood the least bit ruffled. He's certain that beneath her buttoned-up appearance lies a passionate woman aching to break free. But though Blake longs to take her in his arms, all he can offer Grace is a life on the run. And when the demons from his past catch up with them, Blake is couaght between the ties that bind and a love that could last...always and forever.
Four wish lists. Two holiday stories. The most wonderful time of the year. This two-in-one features "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Jenkins and "Second Chance Christmas" by Overton. Original.
Leah Barnett can't believe how far fate has carried her: from Boston to the towering Colorado Rockies...and into the life of an angry, ruggedly sexy man. Ryder Damien is not about to welcome this beauty with open arms, however, especially since Leah was the one who won the affection of Ryder's late father and now may inherit, his considerable wealth. But when she stands before him in the flesh -- proud, vulnerable, and intoxicatingly lovely -- desire replaces hatred in Ryder's heart. Yet can passion survive this wild land and its dangerous men...and the most breathtaking peril: untamed love?
After a grueling escape north, Belle Palmer is free, yet lost and alone. Separated from her father on the harrowing journey, Belle has nowhere to turn until she finds shelter with the Bests, the first free family she's ever known. For the first time in her sixteen years, Belle is able to express herself freely--except where her feelings for a certain dark-eyed young man are concerned. Daniel Best is headed for great things. Educated and handsome, at eighteen he is full of the promise and dreams of his people, and is engaged to the prettiest (if the most spoiled) girl around. So when a bedraggled stranger arrives in his household and turns into a vibrant, lovely young woman, his attraction to her catches him entirely by surprise. While Belle is determined to deny her feelings for him, Daniel is caught between his conscience and his infatuation with her. That the two belong together is undeniable, but that it could ever happen seems impossible.
The last thing Lacy Green needs is trouble-and handsome Mayor Drake Randolph has "danger" written all over him . . . especially when "His Fineness" accidentally runs her off the road. Despite Drake's sensuous charm, irresistible magnetism, and unwavering determination to make amends, she's thinking it might be smart to play it safe and keep her distance . . . if only his lips weren't so inviting. But trouble comes from a different source when Lacy, as the head of Detroit's Environmental Protection Department, launches an investigation into the activities of a ruthless developer. Suddenly, Lacy becomes a target, dragged down into a swamp of greed, corruption . . . and murder. Now Drake Randolph might be the only one in Motown who can keep Lacy alive . . .
On Bernadine Brown's fifty-second birthday she received an unexpected gift-she caught her husband, Leo, cheating with his secretary. She was hurt-angry, too-but she didn't cry woe is me. Nope, she hired herself a top-notch lawyer and ended up with a cool $275 million. Having been raised in the church, she knew that when much is given much is expected, so she asked God to send her a purpose. The purpose turned out to be a town: Henry Adams, Kansas, one of the last surviving townships founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. The failing town had put itself up for sale on the Internet, so Bernadine bought it. Trent July is the mayor, and watching the town of his birth slide into debt and foreclosure is about the hardest thing he's ever done. When the buyer comes to town, he's impressed by her vision, strength, and the hope she wants to offer not only to the town and its few remaining residents, but to a handful of kids in desperate need of a second chance. Not everyone in town wants to get on board though; they don't want change. But Bernadine and Trent, along with his first love, Lily Fontaine, are determined to preserve the town's legacy while ushering in a new era with ties to its unique past and its promising future.
She was the most irresistible treasure of all . . . Dominic LeVeq, the most notorious privateer ever to command the high seas, has just captured a coveted prize: a British frigate. On a dangerous mission against the Crown, Dominic should be thinking only of his ship's safety. But the rebel captain is utterly entranced by Clare Sullivan, the stunning slave on board. Consumed by desire, desperate to have her, Dominic offers Clare her freedom in exchange for a forbidden night in his bed-a night he assures her will be most pleasureable indeed. Clare believes that Dominic is nothing more than a seductive rogue used to getting what he wants. But she too feels a tantalizing passion between them, and so she submits to just one night of bliss. She'll soon realize that Dominic has captured more than her body. He's captured her heart . . . and she doesn't want him to ever let go.
Loreli Winters never imagined she'd end up a "mail-order bride" in middle-of-nowhere Kansas -- until the two adorable orphan nieces of a dusky dream named Jake Reed beg her to be their new "mama." And one look at the dark, devastatingly handsome man is enough to entice her to abandon her California plans and stay put for a while in this one-horse frontier town. Strong, sensible Jake was hoping for a wife to help him raise his girls, but Loreli may be more than he can handle. He can't stop wondering what it would be like to hold the fiery enchantress close and kiss her deeply. Surely he could never compete with the sophisticated gents she has known, yet he intends to try. But will his honest passion be enough to take a chance on a long-shot called love?
Though her Lexus may be broken down on the California freeway, Jessi Teresa Blake is no damsel in distress. Rich, smart, and beautiful, JT, or "Lady Blake," as she is called, is one of the toughest sports agents around. She's negotiated megabucks contracts for every superstar in the business, and only the most confident of men can match wits with her. Men like Reese Anthony, the impossibly sexy trucker who gives her a lift back to Oakland.
Gentleman Seeks Housekeeper. Must be willing to travel. Desperate for another life away from Philadelphia, headstrong and beautiful Mariah Cooper answersan advertisement for a housekeeper at the otherend of the continent. Waiting in California isthe most breathtaking--and arrogant--man shehas ever met . . . and he'd like nothing betterthan for Mariah to go back home! Logan Yates has run Destiny, the family ranch,since he was a boy. He doesn't need this Eastern misshis stepmother hired, though his home's chaoticstate suggests otherwise. Still, he's secretly pleasedthat Mariah gives as good as she gets--and he mustfight the urge to take her in his arms and kiss herwhenever she proudly stands her ground. But whenhe's in danger of losing her, Logan will have tochoose between pride . . . and his heart's true desire.
The beautiful daughter of a prominent Michigan doctor, Narice has never strayed anywhere near the wrong side of the law. Then her father is brutally murdered -- and suddenly federal agents are swarming around her like flies, making accusations about a stolen North African diamond. But before they can interrogate her, she is wrested from their grasp at gunpoint by a shadowy figure -- and Narice Jordan is on the run. But is this dark, good-looking stranger who calls himself Saint her kidnapper or her savior? Narice knows nothing about any missing gem, yet there are two things she knows for certain: Only at Saint's side can she find her way to her father's killers. And she'll have to trust this dangerous, ruthless, and deadly mystery man ... if she wants to keep breathing.
Blackboard bestselling author Beverly Jenkins launches her first contemporary romantic suspense with this exciting sizzler. Sparks fly when Mykal Chandler, the head of a covert government agency, fights to protect the woman he has fallen in love with. Sarita Grayson is desperate. That's the only explanation for her late night rendezvous with a bag of stolen diamonds. But then a handsome stranger stands between her and a clean getaway. In the struggle for freedom, she accidentally shoots him.Mykal Chandler, head of a covert government agency NIA, can't believe he's been shot. He's shocked, he's furious, but he's also attracted to this sassy woman. Unfortunately, Sarita has stumbled unto a smuggling plot and he'll need to protect her, even if he has to kidnap her to do it. But Sarita isn't one to go quietly into the night...
For two couples, paradise is about to heat up...Hawaii Magic by Beverly JenkinsWorkaholic attorney Anita Hunt is on the job 24/7. She's looking to make partner, not party. While on a forced vacation in Hawaii, she meets gorgeous pilot Steve Blair. When engine trouble forces them to make a crash landing, the seductive airman shows her a side of the exotic island and herself she never expected-and a passion that could make them partners in paradise forever....Fiji Fantasy by Elaine OvertonConnie Vaughn will never forget her thirtieth birthday present to herself: a passion-filled week in Fiji with a sensual stranger who knew her only as Contessa. But Michael Hillard is about to reenter her life in a big way. And from the moment the corporate playboy meets his mystery lover again, he wages an all-out campaign of seduction. This time the stakes are much higher-a love to last a lifetime!
A proposal she had no choice but to accept . . . Though Eli Grayson is one of the most handsome, charming, and intelligent men in Grayson Grove, no one will take a chance on a confirmed bachelor. Unwilling to give up his dreams, Eli convinces his friend Jewel to pose as his wife. Their masquerade is to last just one night . . . but when word gets out, Eli and Jewel must tie the knot to save his career-and her reputation. Became a love she never expected . . . Angry at being forced to turn her life upside down, Jewel never imagined that a white-hot passion would consume her once she and Eli became husband and wife. Sharing a bed has turned their prim friendship into a sensuous love affair . . . but when a woman from Eli's past returns to stir up trouble, he and Jewel will learn just how far they'll go to protect the precious gem of their newfound passion.
A businesswoman at 17, sassy Josephine Best has a sharp tongue--especially where Adam Morgan is concerned. He may be a Union soldier in the War Between the States, but that doesn't mean he's Jojo's hero. Or does it?
Have yourself a sexy little holiday...Overtime Love by Beverly Jenkins Drew Davis's goal is to buy the semipro football team where he is general manager. But the owner's grandaughter, Tasha Bloom, unexpectedly inherits it first. Still, Drew's not brokenhearted, since their mutual passion for football runs second only to their attraction to each other. But can the team and their budding romance make it to the New Year's Day championship?Ex-mas Reunion by Kayla Perrin Kendra Harris and Damien Monroe had a summer fling years ago. Now fate has left them stranded together at the airport during a winter snowstorm. Sharing a rental car makes sense if they want to get home for Christmas. And so does sharing a hotel room...and a bed. Because sometimes the one that got away is the only one you ever wanted....A Holiday Affair by Maureen Smith Over the holidays, Atlanta attorney Ava Cameron is dumped, depressed...and primed for a one-night stand with sexy stranger Colby Austin. How is she to know he will end up being opposing counsel on a major case-and the best mistake she has ever made?
In a time of peril, she fears nothing-except the forbidden passions of her heart. In Boston, revolution is in the wind-yet none would ever suspect Faith Kingston of treason. But under cover of darkness, the beautiful daughter of a Tory tavern owner becomes the notorious spy "Lady Midnight," passing valuable secrets to the rebels. Dedicated to fighting British tyranny, she'll let nothing distract her- until a dark, mesmerizing stranger enters her life. A reckless, worldly adventurer, Nicholas Grey has returned to troubled Massachusetts seeking revenge for the death of his rebel father. He suspects a local innkeeper, but it's the man's breathtaking, ebony-skinned daughter who has truly captured his interest. Nicholas burns for the sensuous, secretive lady-and Faith cannot mask her own blazing desires. But when destiny unites their causes, the passion that draws Midnight into Nicholas's arms is as dangerous as it is glorious-and it could spell disaster for them both.
Outlaw.Preacher. Night Hawk. He's had many names, but he can't escape the past. Since Ian Vance's beloved wife was murdered years ago, the hardened bounty hunter knows he'll never feel love or tenderness again, so he's made it his mission to ensure others get their justice. But when he's charged with delivering a sharp-eyed beauty to the law, Ian can't help but feel he may still have something left to lose. Orphaned at twelve, Maggie Freeman has always found her way out of trouble. But now there's a vigilante mob at her back who would like nothing more than to see her hang for a crime she didn't commit. Maggie may have to accept help for the first time in her life . . . even if it's from the one man standing between her and freedom. As the past closes in, the sassy prisoner and toughened lawman may just find a passion between them that could bring blinding happiness . . . if they'll let it.
A Traitorous Heart . . . Cara Lee Henson knows no soldiercan be trusted to stay in one place--and thatincludes handsome Sergeant Chase Jeffersonof the Tenth Cavalry. Dallying withthe dashing man in blue could cost the pretty, independent Kansas schoolteacher herjob and her reputation. So Cara is determinedto repel Chase's advances--even thoughher aloof facade barely masks hersmoldering desire. A Blazing Passion . . . Never before has Chase longed for a woman the way he ached for lovely Cara Lee. The strong-willed ebony beauty, however,will not surrender easily. But with tenderwords and soulful caresses, Chase intendsto conquer the reluctant schoolmarm'smisgivings--and teach her how to love fully,sensuously . . . and forever.
"Holiday Heat" by Beverly JenkinsFor Eve Clark, winter usually means cold nights alone, until she's persuaded to attend a masked ball. Abandoning her inhibitions, she shares a tryst with a mysterious partner. Though she runs the next morning, Leyton Palmer is determined to track Eve down and show her that night was only the start. . . . "Candy Christmas" by Adrianne ByrdPeace on earth and goodwill to all men? Not if the man is sexy Montel Starks, Candy Lahane's competitor at their ad agency. But on a business trip, rivalry gives way to a red-hot affair that makes Candy realize what she really wants for Christmas. . . . "Chocolate Truffles" by Kimberly Kaye TerryIt started as an innocent drink with a stranger to celebrate her promotion. It turned into the most erotic night of Camille Jackson's life. But the man she was sure she'd never see again is now her instructor in a managerial workshop, and Gideon Taber would love to relive every delicious detail of their encounter. . . .
Wearing her shades, a black Stetson, and snakeskin cowboy boots, security agent Maxine "Max" Blake is the baddest thing walking. Ex-marine, ex-cop, and a whole lotta 'tude, Max doesn't have time for anything but her job. Her latest assignment: to protect Dr. Adam Gary. Her problem: he doesn't want her there. Adam wants to focus on his work, not to be distracted by this tall, sexy woman. A foiled kidnapping attempt may have forced him to take an undercover agent into his household, but no one said anything about the agent being a woman, or that she'd be beautiful, or that she came with two monster rottweilers. How is he supposed to concentrate on his top-secret project that could revolutionize the world when all he can think about is her smooth, coffee-colored skin and those long, lean legs? But as danger nips at their heels, love may be a distraction neither of them will live to enjoy . . .
The citizens of Henry Adams are starting to take bets-will Lily Fontaine and Trent July finally tie the knot? All they want is a nice, simple wedding, but their well-meaning neighbors are turning the no-fuss affair into the event of the decade. Bernadine, the town's fairy godmother, wants Lily to have a storybook wedding fit for a princess, and Lily's nine-year-old foster son is campaigning to be town preacher so he can officiate at the ceremony. Trouble multiplies when Trent is called on to help a new family move to town, not to mention Lily and Trent's task of blending their families together. With the bustle of the tight-knit, and often tightly wound, friends and family pushing them to the breaking point, the couple begins to wish they'd eloped. But, as they'll soon be reminded, happiness in Henry Adams is meant to be shared.
No Man Could Tame Her Jessi Rose Clayton would do anything to keep the family ranch from falling into the wrong hands-even agree to take on a rough-and-tumble outlaw as her protector. With his rugged, handsome face and muscular bronze body, Griffin Blake can draw a sigh from a lady's lips almost as fast as his strong, sculpted arm can draw a gun from its holster. But Jessi Rose has no intentions of falling for his charms. No, her relationship with him is strictly business. Until He Came Along Robbing the railroad is Griffin Blake's game, but he has no choice. Either he agrees to help Jessi Rose or he gets sent back to jail-so he arrives at the ranch ready to help the ornery female protect her land. But underneath Jessi's all-business exterior is a femininity she's kept hidden for far too long-making Griffin think it might be time to tame this wild Texas rose.
Ambitious newspaper reporter Kate Love's determination to unmask a railroad stock swindler has led her to the brink of matrimony with the wealthiest, most eligible black man in the East-the very scoundrel she intends to expose! But at the last possible moment a champion appears to whisk her away from the altar: Dix Wildhorse, a Black Seminole marshal from Oklahoma's Indian country. A daring black knight whom Kate's father sent to rescue-and wed-the free-spirited ebony hellion, Dix ignites fires within her with just a touch, a whisper, a brazen kiss. But Kate isn't about to abandon her career to become the dutiful wife of a lawman who wants to keep her wrapped up in a protective cocoon. As the battle of wills intensifies, the heat of their passion blazes with unmatched fury. And only total surrender will unleash the sweet ecstasy of love.
Archer Le Veq owes his life to the woman who rescued him from certain death at the height of the Civil War...a woman known only as "the Butterfly." Now, in the dark, waning days of Reconstruction, he needs the courageous and beautiful former spy...in more ways than before! Zahra Lafayette thinks her days of intrigue are far behind her, until she is asked to go on one more mission. Posing as an infamous madam in New Orleans, Zahra must gather information to ensure the safety of the South's freedmen. The last thing she expected was to see Archer Le Veq again. He is as arrogant as he is handsome, but there is something about this dusky and debonair hotelier that sends her senses singing. Zahra knows she will need to guard her secrets, but no peril awaiting her compares with the treachery of Zahra's own heart-for, Lord help her, she burns to taste the man and to lose herself in his powerful embrace.
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