Read an Excerpt
And Babies Make Four
By Marie Ferrarella
Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. All right reserved. ISBN: 0-373-24551-3
Chapter One"Why that no-good so-and-so."
Grabbing up the newspaper from her desk, Eloise Vale narrowly avoided tipping over her
coffee cup and sending a creamy, off-brown river pooling over the exact article she wanted to
read. The one that announced that the ever-dapper, much-sought-after mayor of New York,
Bill Harper, once her Bill Harper until she'd come to her senses, was debating overwhelming
budget cuts in order to balance the city's budget. Budget cuts that would, in addition to other
things, cripple a great many much-needed charitable programs. Her program was on the list of
Ignoring her newly rescued coffee, Eloise sat staring at the article, the words bouncing off her
eyes like so many misfired photon torpedoes, her stomach cramping up as it wound itself into
one huge knot.
There it was, Manhattan Multiples, smack in the middle. The mayor might as well have placed a
gun to her head. Or her heart.
"How could he?" she demanded out loud of the cool pastel-blue walls that surrounded her
Madison Avenue office.
Her office was the very hub that was Manhattan Multiples, an organization that had begun as a
support group championed by one lone woman. Manhattan Multiples had grown like the
proverbial weeduntil it had mushroomed into a foundation occupying three floors of the ten-story building. Rather than just a single small group of people, it now encompassed services that
ranged from support groups - including career counseling, Lamaze, yoga and meditation
classes - not to mention a thriving day-care center, all for women faced with the frightening
and overwhelming reality of giving birth to not just one life-changing child, but two or more.
Eloise knew what that was all about. She'd had to face up to it herself when she'd given birth to
her three boys, now all entering their adolescence together, a state guaranteed to turn her ash-blond hair as gray as her eyes. She hadn't had a clue how to handle the situation, not then. And
she wouldn't have had much more than a hint now if it wasn't for the organization she'd started
and now oversaw, an organization blessed with knowledgeable people who came to share their
experiences, their advice and their acquired wisdom with women who were scared out of their
"And he wants to pull the plug on us?" Eloise drew the newspaper closer as she looked at the
face of the man she had almost married instead of Walter.
"Think again, Billy-boy. If you think I'm capitulating without one hell of a fight, boy have you got
the wrong woman."
With a pronounced sigh, Eloise threw the paper aside and picked up her coffee.
That Monday morning Jason Mallory had a great many things on his mind as he hurried into the
spacious suite that comprised the securities investment offices of Mallory and Dixon. From the
ridiculous - as in where he'd stashed his dry cleaning ticket for a jacket he needed - to the
sublime, which meant going over the net-quarterly returns of a very successful firm season.
Being instantly and unceremoniously catapulted into the past, however, was not one of them.
But, scheduled or not, that was exactly where he found himself. In the past. More than eleven
years in the past to be exact, at a time when he had been the loner in a local high school where
everyone else seemed to know one another.
At that time, all he'd had were his thoughts, his books and an overwhelming ambition to become
someone. A powerful "someone." Someone a person like Mindy Conway would notice. She'd
been, as much as anything, the reason why he'd been so driven, so compelled to scale those
corporate mountains, so dedicated to accumulating not only money but respect for who and
what he was.
She had been his catalyst, his focus. His impossible dream, even after she'd left town. Because
loners like him didn't stand a chance with popular girls like Mindy Conway.
So, after high school, after she'd gone away to Northwestern, he'd stayed in New York and
attended first NYU, then Columbia University. And diligently worked toward his goal even
though he would never see Mindy again.
After a while, of course, there had been Debra. Debra, with her extensive family connections
that she'd tried to dangle before him like some kind of enticement. Debra with her sexy smile
and her own agenda. Why she'd chosen to single him out as the man she wanted to be with was
still a mystery to him. A flattering mystery.
Excerpted from And Babies Make Four by Marie Ferrarella
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.