Black Rose (In the Garden Trilogy Series #2)by Nora Roberts
Roz is a woman of independent means who thinks love is all in the past-but she's about to be taken by surprise. Number-one bestselling author Nora Roberts presents the second novel of her In the Garden trilogy, as three women discover the secrets from the past contained within their historic home.See more details below
Roz is a woman of independent means who thinks love is all in the past-but she's about to be taken by surprise. Number-one bestselling author Nora Roberts presents the second novel of her In the Garden trilogy, as three women discover the secrets from the past contained within their historic home.
“America’s favorite writer.”—The New Yorker
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She considered him an interesting man and gave him top marks for not hightailing it after the experience they'd all shared the previous spring.He had, in her opinion, the credentials she needed, along with the spine and the open mind. Best of all he'd yet to bore her in their discussions of family lineage and the steps necessary to identifying a dead woman. Just now it looked as if he hadn't shaved in the past few days, so there was a dark stubble toughening his face. His bottle-green eyes appeared both tired and harassed. His hair badly needed a trim. He was dressed much like the first time she'd met him, in old jeans and a faded sweatshirt. Unlike hers, his basket was empty. "Help me," he said in the tone of a man dangling from a cliff by a sweaty grip on a shaky limb. "I'm sorry?" "Six-year old girl. Christmas. Desperation." "Oh." Deciding she liked that warm bourbon voice, even with panic sharpening it, Roz pursed her lips. "What's the connection?" "Niece. Sister's surprise late baby. She had the decency to have two boys before. I can handle boys." "Well, is she a girly girl?" He made a sound, as if the limb had started to crack. "All right, all right." Roz waved a hand and, abandoning her own cart, turned down the aisle. "You could've saved yourself some stress by just asking her mother." "My sister's pissed at me because I forgot her birthday last month." "I see." "Look, I forgot everything last month, including my own name a couple of times. I told you I was finishing some revisions on the book. I was on deadline. For God's sake, she's forty-three. One. Or possibly two." Obviously at wit's end, he scrubbed his hands over his face. "Doesn't your breed stop having birthdays at forty?" "We may stop counting, Dr. Carnagie, but that doesn't mean we don't expect an appropriate gift on the occasion." "Loud and clear," he responded, watching her peruse the shelves. "And since you're back to calling me Dr. Carnagie, I'd hazard a guess you're on her side. I sent flowers," he added in an aggrieved tone that had her lips twitching. "Okay, late, but I sent them. Two dozen roses, but does she cut me a break?" He jammed his hands into his back pockets and scowled at Malibu Barbie. "I couldn't get back to Charlotte for Thanksgiving. Does that make me a demon from hell?" "It sounds like your sister loves you very much." "She'll be planning my immediate demise if I don't get this gift today, and have it FedExed tomorrow." She picked up a doll, set it down again. "Then I assume your niece's birthday is tomorrow, and you waited until the eleventh hour to rush out and find something for her." He said nothing for a moment, then laid a hand on her shoulder so that she looked over, and up at him. "Rosalind, so you want me to die?" "I'm afraid I wouldn't feel responsible. But we'll find something, then you can get it wrapped up and shoot it off." "Wrapped. God almighty, it has to be wrapped?" "Of course it has to be wrapped. And you have to buy a nice card, something pretty and age-appropriate. Hmm. I like this." She tapped a huge box. "What is it?" "It's a house building toy. See, it has all these modular pieces so you can design and redesign your own doll house, with furnishings. It comes with dolls, and a little dog. Fun, and educational. You hit on two levels." "Great. Good. Wonderful. I owe you my life." "Aren't you a little out of your milieu?" she asked when he took the box off the shelf. "You live right in the city. Plenty of shops right there." "That's the problem. Too many of them. And the malls? They're like a labyrinth of retail hell. I have mall fear. So I thought, hey, Wal-Mart. At least everything's all under one roof. I can get the kid taken care of and get . . . what the hell was it? Laundry soap. Yeah, I need laundry soap and something else, that I wrote down . . ." He dug in his pocket, pulled out a PDA. "Here." "Well, I'll let you get to it then. Don't forget the wrapping paper ribbon, a big bow, and a pretty card." "Hold on, hold on." With the stylus he added the other items. "Bow. You can just buy them ready-made and slap it on right?" "That will do, yes. Good luck." "No. Wait, wait." He shoved the PDA back in his pocket, shifted the box. His green eyes seemed calmer now and focused on her. "I was going to get in touch with you anyway. Are you finished in here?" "Not quite." "Good. Let me grab what I need, then I'll meet you at the checkout. I'll help you haul your load out to your car, then take you to lunch." "It's nearly four. A little late for lunch." "Oh. He looked absently at his watch to confirm the time. "I think time must warp in places like this so you could actually spend the rest of your natural life wandering aimlessly without realizing it. Anyway. A drink then. I'd really like to have a conversation about the project." "All right. There's a little place called Rosa's right across the way. I'll meet you there in a half hour."
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