The Backup Plan (Charleston Series #1)

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Overview

It's finally time for Dinah Davis to go home. The world-weary correspondent wants to settle down with the sweet guy she left behind in South Carolina's Low Country. Instead, she's confronted by his black-sheep brother, and—despite her longing for serenity—sparks fly.

How can she possibly trade her perfectly safe backup plan for a risk-taking guy like Cordell Beaufort after all the dangers she's already faced? But to Dinah's dismay—backup plan ...

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Overview

It's finally time for Dinah Davis to go home. The world-weary correspondent wants to settle down with the sweet guy she left behind in South Carolina's Low Country. Instead, she's confronted by his black-sheep brother, and—despite her longing for serenity—sparks fly.

How can she possibly trade her perfectly safe backup plan for a risk-taking guy like Cordell Beaufort after all the dangers she's already faced? But to Dinah's dismay—backup plan or not—her heart has its own ideas.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778321491
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Publication date: 3/1/2005
  • Series: Charleston Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.66 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She's also especially partial to small towns, wherever they may be. A member of Novelists Inc., Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home, with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida.
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Read an Excerpt

The Backup Plan


By Sherryl Woods

Wheeler Publishing

Copyright © 2006 Sherryl Woods
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781597222402

Chapter One

Her producer was tiptoeing around bad news. Dinah could see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice. After a decade of working in TV journalism with basically the same news team, she'd learned to recognize the signs.

Ray Mitchell was an outstanding producer, but he was lousy at subtle communication. Barking out directives was more his style. In fact, he belonged in another era, one of hard-drinking, cigar-smoking journalists and legendary war correspondents such as Ernie Pyle, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. They had brought battle coverage to new heights through shrewd performances. Watching Ray try to sheepishly soft-pedal whatever was on his mind was painful.

"What is it you're trying so hard not to tell me?" she finally asked. "Is there something wrong with the piece I just turned in? It was a great interview."

The pictures had been good, too, even if they weren't as great as her previous cameraman's would have been. But they were better than adequate.

Ray looked even more uncomfortable. "For somebody else, maybe," he said with the familiar bluntness Dinah had always respected. "Not for you."

On some level Dinah had been anticipating that comment. Still, she stared at him in shock. She wasn't used to being evengently criticized for her work. The many years of accolades from her colleagues in the field and her superiors in their lofty New York towers made her expect praise. "What are you saying, Ray? Just spit it out."

It was hot as blazes without air-conditioning in their makeshift newsroom, but Dinah knew that wasn't the reason Ray needed to mop his round face with a handkerchief. He was so nervous that he looked miserable.

"Okay," he said eventually. "You want the truth, here it is. You've lost your edge, Dinah. It's understandable, given what happened a few months ago, but -"

Dinah tuned him out. Nobody ever mentioned the incident in front of her anymore. Not being able to talk about what had happened had been difficult for Dinah. Whenever she brought up the subject of that tragic nightmare, everyone's eyes filled with pity as they murmured soothing nonsense and then cut off any further discussion.

That was partly because for weeks after the episode, Dinah had listened dry-eyed to everyone's sympathy or made the kind of impersonal, caustic comments that all reporters made to keep their fears and grief at bay. They'd all taken their cues from her and had stopped discussing it. Now that she was finally able and eager to talk, their grieving was over and they didn't want to be reminded that only through the grace of God had they not been on that deadly roadside. They no longer wanted to face their own mortality, or consider the risks inherent in this hellish assignment.

War correspondents were a special breed of journalists. The burnout rate was high for those who favored ambition over self-preservation.

"They're asking questions in New York," Ray continued.

That got her attention. "What kind of questions?" she asked testily. She'd grown complacent about the network's hands-off approach to most of her pieces.

"They want to know whether you shouldn't be taking a break, you know, just until you've had time to deal with what happened," Ray said carefully. "You're due some time off, anyway. More than a little, in fact. No one can remember the last time you took a vacation."

Her stomach sank. A break was the last thing she needed. Work defined her. It motivated her to get out of bed in the morning. Turning in one supposedly subpar interview when she'd given them dozens of prize winners and nearly single-handedly earned the up-start cable news operation industry-wide respect deserved better than this treatment.

"I don't need time off," she said flatly. "I need to keep working."

"How about a different assignment then?" Ray suggested. "Go to the London bureau for a while. Or Paris. Maybe even Miami. Now there's a cushy one. Sunshine, palm trees and beaches."

The image didn't impress her. In the days immediately following what she still thought of as the "incident," she'd considered quitting. But then she had realized that this was the only work she truly wanted to do. If it was harder, if she was scared every minute of every day, she was determined to overcome her fears. Now when she walked out of the hotel and into uncertainty every single day she considered her actions a personal tribute to the bravery of every correspondent who'd died while making sure that the world had a close-up view of the action.

"Come on, Ray. I'd be wasted in London or Paris. And you can forget about Miami," she said with a shudder. "Covering war is what I do. And I do it better than ninety percent of the other reporters around."

He looked at her with concern. "Until recently you were better than all of them."

"And I will be again," she insisted. "I just need a little time to ..." What? Adjust? Not possible. Go on? Maybe. That's what she was aiming for, one day at a time.

"Wouldn't it be better to take that time someplace else?" he asked, trying one more time. "You've paid your dues, Dinah. You were due for a break before any of this happened. We talked about it, remember? I thought you were planning to go home, see your folks. Why not do it now? People rotate in and out of here all the time because nobody can live like this without getting their heads all screwed up. You're not Superman. Why should you be any different?"

Because if she left now, everyone would see it as a sign of weakness, she thought. They would think she'd folded in a crisis and she wouldn't allow anyone to see her that way. She was used to commanding respect.

Ray went right on. "I'd think you'd want a chance to see your family, do something normal for a while. Weren't you looking forward to that?"

She had been, but not any longer. Things had changed too drastically. Working was what she needed to do if she were to remain sane and maintain her self-respect. She wasn't sure she wanted to go home until everyone there had forgotten whatever they'd heard about her. She didn't want to face all the questions back home just yet.

"Not now, dammit!" she said more sharply than she'd intended. "Forget it, Ray! I'm not going anywhere."

Alarm flared in Ray's eyes. "This is what I'm talking about. You never used to snap, no matter how tense things got. You're not yourself, Dinah, and I'm worried about you. I don't want you coming unglued on air one of these days."

She stared at him with sudden understanding. "That's why I've done so few live shots lately, isn't it? You're afraid I'll lose it."



Continues...


Excerpted from The Backup Plan by Sherryl Woods Copyright © 2006 by Sherryl Woods. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 175 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(76)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 176 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    deep character study

    War correspondent Dinah Davis has covered many of the recent hot spots. Currently she is reporting on Afghanistan, but has lost her edge since she witnessed the death of a friend and was nearly killed too. Physically Dinah has healed, but her boss tells her she is not the same and should return to the States to marry and have babies. Initially refusing to listen, Dinah realizes that her career is over and wonders if her boyfriend Bobby Beaufort still waits for as he promised a decade ago when she chose journalism over marriage. Back home in South Carolina, Dinah¿s mom worries that her daughter has not recovered from her last overseas assignment. Meanwhile Bobby¿s older brother Cord, who thought his sibling was a fool to agree to Dinah¿s backup plan, quickly wants to revise the arrangement by inserting himself as the groom. As Dinah suffers the malaise of post traumatic syndrome, she turns to Cord not her family or Bobby for comfort while he worries whether he will prove enough in the long run. Though the actual backup plan of Bobby waiting for a decade seems strange, fans will appreciate this deep look into the traumas and tragedies civilians in combat areas can suffer. The story line is character driven once Dinah returns home moping and depressed. Adding to her depression is that she realizes her plan is a failure as she finds the sibling more attractive than the chosen one, but does not want to hurt the loyal Bobby. This is a strong tale that showcases the aftermath of horrific situations on survivors. Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2005

    Backup Plan

    Dinah Davis was a hot war correspondent until she barely escaped a car bombing that killed a dear friend right before her eyes. Her editor sends her home to recuperate, and Dinah fully intends to do so by going to plan B, marrying Bobby, the young man who promised to wait until she was home to stay and then become her groom. Bobby's older brother, Cordell, thinks little of this plan, and intends to disrupt it. In so doing, he winds up romancing Dinah himself, and truly falling for the lady, but she has problems. Survivors guilt has made her slide into depression and virtual agoraphobia. Before he can win her heart, he has to mend it. ............... This proves a story can be sweet, yet have grit. Dinah's trauma is credible, though I'll grant that Bobby seemed to be overly beta to wait so long to be her second choice. Yet, despite a minor quibble or two, this is a heartwarming story that celebrates healing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    love beats all odds

    a wonderful love story that will leave you really feeling happy. sherryl woods has a talent for writing this type of story. this is the first in a series of three, and not one is to be missed1

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011

    I do not recommend this book at all for Nook user.

    This Nook book has so many errors. The work "appointment" for example is used numerous times where in no way is it appropriate. This is just one example. I'm sure these errors did not appear in the print edition. I finally stopped reading and even deleted from my list.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    A Very Romantic Read

    This is a riveting story that follows the guidelines of any romantic comedy or drama. You definitely know how it will end but you will enjoy every minute of the ride, although, the author does take her sweet time getting you there. It's the authors 100th book so she is well versed in how to fill you with the desire to turn the page. This is the first piece that I've read by her and am looking forward to adding her works to my library. The Backup Plan is definitely a book for women who love the idea of having a tall, strong hero who saves the heroine from herself. She's got a lot of demons and it takes his pushing and prodding to make her walk towards the light. I'll do you this favor though. The author uses the word "appointment" instead of "dancing". I don't know why but I thought that you deserved that much of a heads up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    highly recomended

    great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Fun and serious story lines

    Love the characters. Cant wait to see where the next in this series takes us. Was kinda hard to figure out how long dinah had been home before the story ends. Would like to have seen a better timeline. Also a couple of places that the story was choppy and you didnt know where the characters were or if it was the same day or what. Overall nice job sherryl woods.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Moonstar

    Hey

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    THIS IS A GREAT START OF A SERIES!!

    Sherryl Woods writes great books and most of them have a southern setting.She makes you feel like you are friends or know someone like the people in the book.Start with this book book first theres two more to go with it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Great Book

    I read this book over the weekend and I am now excited to read the series!

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Loved it!

    I really enjoyed this for a quick easy read. Can't wait to read the others in the trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Nice read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Found another great author

    I am definitely adding her to my personal favorite authors list. Love when I can find a 'new to me' author. I am now on the third book of this series and plan on finding more of her books to read.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fun, light reading

    The first of the three books sets up the series. Entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Good reading

    Easy reading. Light and airy. Enjoying all her books because they are pleasant to read.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hot love story

    Fell in love with this story almost i was part of the characters. Couldn't put the book down!!!!!

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted April 17, 2011

    Awesome Twist

    I really liked this book. I especially enjoyed the twist in the story. I cannot wait to read the others in the series.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Absolutely loved it!

    This was my first Sherryl Woods book, but it won't be my last. It kept me engaged, and I loved the characters. I listened to the audio version of it and more than once I took an extra trip around the block to hear what would happen before I stopped the car! If this is what to expect regularly from Woods, she'll be a regular author in my rotation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2011

    Fun read but predictable

    one twist at the end that made this predictable romance a fast, fun read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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