“I’m not baby-sitting you.”
“I don’t expect any special attention,” she said.
Well, she damned sure had it. Rick took a step closer, grinning when she sucked in a quick breath. He allowed his gaze to linger at the level of her blue eyes, to saunter down to her ample cleavage.
“Excuse me,” she said. “I’m up here.”
Rick chuckled as he took his time making eye contact with Daisy. “Since I’m not about to spend the rest of my life helping you escape, let’s set a time limit.”
“Sounds reasonable. How about two weeks?”
He chuffed. “Do you think I’ve got nothing better to do? One.”
“One and a half.”
He wasn’t going to win this round, and Rick Shane had a pretty good idea when to cut his losses. “Not a day more,” he said.
Love is in the air, but the days will certainly be sweeter if you snuggle up with this month’s Special Edition offerings—and a box of decadent chocolates. First up, award-winning author and this year’s President of Romance Writers of America®, Shirley Hailstock is a fresh new voice for Special Edition, but fans already know what a gifted storyteller she is. With numerous novels and novellas under her belt, Shirley debuts in Special Edition with A Father’s Fortune, which tells the story of a day-care-center owner and her foster child who teach a grumpy carpenter how to face his past and open his heart to love.
Lindsay McKenna packs a punch in Her Healing Touch, a fast-paced read from beginning to end. The next in her widely acclaimed MORGAN’S MERCENARIES: DESTINY’S WOMEN series, this romance details the trials of a beautiful paramedic who teaches a handsome Special Forces officer the ways of her legendary healing. USA TODAY bestselling author Susan Mallery completely wins us over in Completely Smitten, next up in her beloved series HOMETOWN HEARTBREAKERS. Here, an adventurous preacher’s daughter seeks out a new life, but never expects to find a new love with a sexy U.S. marshal.
The fourth installment in Crystal Green’s KANE’S CROSSING miniseries, There Goes the Bride oozes excitement when a runaway bride is spirited out of town by a reclusive pilot she once loved in high school. Patricia McLinn delights her readers with Wedding of the Century. Here, a heroine returns to her hometown seven years after running out of her wedding. When she faces her jilted groom, she realizes their feelings are stronger than ever! Finally, in Leigh Greenwood’s Family Merger, sparks fly when a workaholic businessman meets a good-hearted social worker, who teaches him the meaning of love.
Don’t miss this array of novels that deliver an emotional charge and satisfying finish you’re sure to savor, no matter what the season!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Karen Taylor Richman
There Goes the Bride
To Aunt Alina:
You are an inspiration and a treasure to us all.
lives in San Diego, California, where she writes full-time and occasionally teaches. When she isn’t penning romances, she enjoys reading, wasting precious time on the Internet, overanalyzing movies, risking her life on police ride-alongs, petting her parents’ Maltese dogs and fantasizing about being a really great cook.
Whenever possible, Crystal loves to travel. Her favorite souvenirs include journals—the pages reflecting everything from taking tea in London’s Leicester Square to backpacking up endless mountain roads leading to the castles of Sintra, Portugal.
She’d love to hear from her readers at: 8895 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 105-178, San Diego, CA 92122-5542.
THE KANE’S CROSSING GAZETTE
Beauty-Queen Bride Flees!
by Verna Loquacious, Town Observer
Greetings from your friendly neighborhood grapevine!
My, oh my. When she won the crown of Miss Spencer County, Daisy Cox was merely a senior in high school. Now she’s “running” for another title— “Little Miss What-do-you-think-you’re-doing?”
Ms. Cox was last seen sprinting from the Pioneer Square church, and rumor has it that she eluded her husband-to-be and his wedding guests by taking up with that no-good Rick Shane. Supposedly he flew her right out of Kane’s Crossing in that tin can of a plane he owns!
Will Ms. Cox fall for Rick Shane’s bad-boy charm? Read the next installment to find out…
I t should have been the perfect wedding.
Through the misty haze of sentimental, goodbye-single-life tears, Daisy Cox clutched her $300.00 bouquet of orchids, the bodice of her Vera Wang original gown siphoning air from her lungs. Surrounded by thousands of dollars worth of lilies and roses, serenaded by the most expensive string quartet money could buy, she should have been walking on air.
Instead, she was choking on it. Especially when her gaze skimmed over her fiancé, Peter Tarkin.
She shut her eyes, listening to the drone of the preacher’s voice. When she blinked open again, her husband-to-be was still there, as Dracula-dapper as ever, his midnight-black tuxedo and silver-templed coif at odds with the late-September sunlight dappling through the church’s stained glass.
Silently, she willed him to step into the light. Maybe he’d turn to dust, liberating her from the worst decision she’d ever made in her entire, misspent life.
Daisy glanced at Coral, her maid of honor. Her big sister. Tears glistened down Coral’s ruddy cheeks, and Daisy couldn’t help thinking that they were tears of relief.
The preacher was on a throbbing-veined, ecstatic roll. “Love is a precious thing, a fragile blossom braving the cold of winter and the heat of summer….”
Daisy breathed deeply, calming herself, feeling the ten extra pounds she’d gained during the past two months straining against the satin of her dress. Do something, she told herself. This is the first moment of the rest of your life.
“Excuse me,” she said, her voice a thin whisper.
The preacher stopped mideffusion, his mouth agape.
For a blind moment, Daisy considered pretending like she’d merely hiccuped. Then the ceremony could continue, everything hunky-dory, just as smooth and unruffled as a cup of cream. Just like Peter’s life. But when her fiancé narrowed his eyes, reminding her that he’d pressed his fingers against her throat only this morning when she’d