• Publisher: BDD/Random House
  • Release Date: 1984, 1999, 2000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553576023
  • Available Formats: Audio, Print

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Dani Quinn returns home for the first time in ten years to attend her high school reunion.

Dani Quinn walked into her high school reunion with dread and anticipation. She knew Logan Webster would be there, and she had no idea how she would react the first time she saw him. She had left both Logan and the small Texas town years before. Her departure had been abrupt, painful, and not of her choosing. Now she’d come to the reunion to prove to herself that she wasn’t afraid to see him again. And to ask him for a favor.

Handsome, charming, and dangerously charismatic, Logan has grown into a man who exudes all the power and confidence of a self-made success. He listens as Dani describes her work for Friends in Need, a charitable organization that raises funds for mentally and physically challenged children. He is attentive as she explains the foundation’s hope that he will donate one of his properties for a much-needed summer camp. Then he suggests a shocking proposal of his own. A cold-hearted “business” deal that conceals a hurt that Logan has never gotten over.

Frightened by her own feelings for Logan, hoping to heal the pain she has caused him, Dani agrees to his unconventional terms. What she never expects is the chance that their love will be rekindled. But it isn’t that simple. Once again Dani is forced to leave Logan without so much as an explanation. For unbeknownst to Logan, Dani has lived through a heart-wrenching tragedy that has changed her forever, and where she must go, not even he can follow.

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Excerpt


Copyright © 2000 by Sandra Brown Mgmt. Ltd.

CHAPTER ONE

She was nervous.

“You’re being ridiculous,” she muttered to herself. “Stop it.” Unfortunately, knowing such nervousness was ridiculous didn’t make it miraculously disappear. And when one began talking to one’s self, things had come to a sad pass.

Her clammy hands shook as she locked the car door behind her and tucked the eelskin purse under her arm. She ran one of those damp, trembling hands over her golden hair. It had been wound into a chic, tight chignon at the nape of her neck. If only her anxiety could be as easily controlled as her hair.

Taking one last deep breath, she followed the sidewalk to the Elks Lodge. Music popular a decade ago was blaring from the building. She went through the door which had been propped open to prevent a bottleneck. The bass percussion of the music hit her like a soft blow to the chest. Brilliant beams of light struck her eyes as the spotlighted mirrored ball rotated overhead. Laughter and noisy conversation rippled over her in palpable waves. Her senses were stimulated by the very vibrancy of the party, yet she stood uncertainly just inside the door.

“Dani! Oh, my heavens, it’s Dani! Dani Quinn!”

The woman sitting behind the table that served as a registration desk jumped from her post and rounded the table with her arms spread wide. Dani was enclosed in a vigorous hug against breasts that were even more pillowy than they had been ten years ago. At that time those breasts had been the envy of every girl in the class; indeed, in the school.

The bearer of the enviable bosom pushed Dani back and gave her a long, thorough once-over. Disgust registered on her animated face. “I swear to God, I hate you. You haven’t gained one damn pound in ten years! You’re gorgeous. Gorgeous!”

Dani laughed. “Hello, Spud . . . I mean Rebecca.”

“Hell, it’s still Spud!” the woman shouted on a raucous laugh.

“You mean you still like french fries?”

Spud patted hips that had finally caught up to the proportions of her chest, possibly even exceeded them. “Can’t you tell?”

The women laughed and hugged each other again. “You’ll never change, Spud. It’s so good to see you.”

“And you, though we see you in the Dallas papers all the time. I was hoping that up close I would be able to see signs of age or at least detect telltale scars.” She inspected Dani’s hairline closely. “No face-lift. Just naturally beautiful and ageless, dammit. Stay away from Jerry,” she growled.

“You and Jerry are still together?”

“Hell, yes. Who else would put up with me?”

Jerry and Spud had gone together since their sophomore year in high school. Dani envied them their uncomplicated life together. “Children?”

“Four. Heathens all. But they’re with a sitter tonight and I’ve forgotten them for several blessed hours in which I plan to get downright tipsy.” She turned back to the table. “Here’s your name tag, not that anyone will have forgotten you. Most beautiful girl in the class.”

“Thank you.”

Spud yanked the back off the sticky side of the name tag and maternally attached it to Dani’s raw silk sheath. “You put us hicks to shame, Dani. Just look at this dress.” She ran her friendly gaze over Dani’s svelte figure, took in the wide, braided belt with its overlarge brass buckle, the eelskin pumps that matched her handbag. “Neiman-Marcus? But then you always did make the rest of us look like we should go home and start over.”

“Should I have worn jeans?”

Spud patted her arm. “Honey, class has nothing to do with clothes. You’d look just as good in a toesack.” She lowered her voice and leaned closer. “Have you seen him yet?”

Dani wet her lips and averted her eyes. “Who?”

“Ah, hell, Dani. You know who. Logan.”

There. It was over. Now she didn’t have to dread it anymore.

For weeks, ever since she had received the photocopied letter from Spud informing her of the ten-year class reunion, she had dreaded hearing his name spoken for the first time. Well, she had survived. Her vital organs played musical chairs before they found their way back to their proper places, but she was still standing, still breathing. Admittedly, she was breathing erratically, but she was still breathing.

Extras


A Note From Sandra


Originally published as Bantam Loveswept #66 No e-Book edition currently available.

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