Калинка-малинка для Кощея. Марина Комарова

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Калинка-малинка для Кощея - Марина Комарова

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      “We kissed and now you’re avoiding me. I want to know why,”

      Brodie said. “It wasn’t because you didn’t enjoy it. That much I do know.”

      Chey glared at him. “What is that supposed to mean?”

      “It means you liked it as much as I did. So what’s your problem?”

      “I never get involved with clients.”

      “Then I’ll have to cancel your contract.”

      She immediately launched to her feet. “You can’t do that!”

      He rose smoothly and brought his hands to his hips. “The contract that cannot be broken has never been devised.”

      “I’ll sue you!”

      “Before or after we make love?” he returned smoothly.

      Chey folded her arms. “I don’t sleep around.”

      “I don’t want you to sleep around,” Brodie retorted. “I want you to sleep with me.”

      Dear Reader,

      International bestselling author Diana Palmer needs no introduction. Widely known for her sensual and emotional storytelling, and with more than forty million copies of her books in print, she is one of the genre’s most treasured authors. And this month, Special Edition is proud to bring you the exciting conclusion to her SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE series. The Last Mercenary is the thrilling tale of a mercenary hero risking it all for love. Between the covers is the passion and adventure you’ve come to expect from Diana Palmer!

      Speaking of passion and adventure, don’t miss To Catch a Thief by Sherryl Woods in which trouble—in the form of attorney Rafe O’Donnell—follows Gina Petrillo home for her high school reunion and sparks fly…. Things are hotter than the Hatfields and McCoys in Laurie Paige’s When I Dream of You—when heat turns to passion between two families that have been feuding for three generations!

      Is a heroine’s love strong enough to heal a hero scarred inside and out? Find out in Another Man’s Children by Christine Flynn. And when an interior designer pretends to be a millionaire’s lover, will Her Secret Affair lead to a public proposal? Don’t miss An Abundance of Babies by Marie Ferrarella—in which double the babies and double the love could be just what an estranged couple needs to bring them back together.

      This is the last month to enter our Silhouette Makes You a Star contest, so be sure to look inside for details. And as always, enjoy these fantastic stories celebrating life, love and family.


      Karen Taylor Richman

      Senior Editor

      Her Secret Affair

      Arlene James



      grew up in Oklahoma and has lived all over the South. In 1976 she married “the most romantic man in the world.” The author enjoys traveling with her husband, but writing has always been her chief pastime. Arlene is also the author of the Inspirational titles Proud Spirit, A Wish for Always, Partners for Life and No Stranger To Love.


      Chapter One

      Chapter Two

      Chapter Three

      Chapter Four

      Chapter Five

      Chapter Six

      Chapter Seven

      Chapter Eight

      Chapter Nine

      Chapter Ten

      Chapter Eleven

      Chapter Twelve

      Chapter Thirteen

      Chapter Fourteen

      Chapter Fifteen

      Chapter One

      Chey peered up through the car windshield at the double doors standing a good ten feet tall beneath the wide overhang of the balcony above, then down at the letter in her hand. She was of two minds. One part of her would have liked to wad up the imperious summons and toss it into the face of the arrogant man who had sent it. The other had waited years to get her hands on the crumbling, century-old mansion known as Fair Havens. Since she salivated at the prospect, she knew that part of her would win. Restoring Fair Havens would be a definite coup for her career and a very lucrative one, not that she particularly needed the funds.

      Chez Chey, the elegant little French Quarter antique shop from which she operated her interior design business, was as well known and respected as were her abilities as an architect specializing in renovation and restoration. Five years of hard work had made that so. Only last week her expertise had earned her the spot of honor at a tea sponsored by the influential Heritage Society, which wielded great power in historic New Orleans. It was there that Chey had met Brodie Todd’s grandmother. As a result, the wealthy and much-ballyhooed owner of BMT Travel had summoned her here to his dilapidated mansion.

      Chey felt a fresh stab of indignation at his high-handedness. Todd was well known for his eccentricity. The newspapers had speculated heavily about his return to the area, wondering in print if he would also move BMT’s corporate offices from Dallas to New Orleans. Then again, it was said that he all but ran his business from his bedroom—when he wasn’t playing in some jet-set hot spot. He certainly had no respect for anyone else’s schedule. His brief letter had stated flatly when and where he would receive her and had neither left room for negotiation nor made provision for her convenience. It irked her that she felt compelled to respond as dictated. On the other hand, the Fair Havens mansion was the stuff of dreams for her.

      Constructed before the Civil War of dark red brick with once-white pilasters and balconies, the house featured deep porches, double doors and windows, and broad, impressive front steps built of brick arranged in an elegant half-circle. Staring around her dreamily, Chey couldn’t help noting that all of the exterior woodwork would need scraping, sealing and painting, and that much of the brickwork would require repointing. Furthermore, the brick had crumbled in places and would require replacing.

      Overall, however, she was impressed with the building’s apparent soundness. It sat level and square upon its foundation, and all of its five chimneys stood straight and whole. If it looked a bit woebegone and tired, it was no wonder. Old Mr. Houser, the previous owner, had neglected the stately dear shamefully. Chey hoped that could be rectified with little more than good grooming, and Brodie Todd seemed of the same mind if the activity around her was any indication.

      The house sat back a good fifty yards from the street and was screened from general view by an overgrown tangle of greenery, but a small army of gardeners were at work taming the jungle that had been allowed to grow rampant. Already the yard was shaping up nicely, and she could see workers in the distance replacing a section of fencing that had been removed for some reason. She wondered if Brodie Todd was building a pool and hoped intensely that he wasn’t slapping some garishly modern cement job into the backyard of this graceful old antebellum mansion.

      She left the car parked to one side of the wide brick drive that arced in front of the house, gazing sadly at a magnificent marble birdbath which had been toppled onto its side in the grassy center of the looping drive. Measuring at least three feet across, the bowl would require several able bodies to lift it back into place. Chey sincerely hoped that Brodie Todd meant to do just that, and promised herself that she would mention it to him at the first opportunity. Leaving everything but her keys behind in the car, she climbed the steps and crossed the front porch.

      For this meeting she had chosen from her spring

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