The Calhouns: Catherine, Amanda and Lilah

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#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Nora Roberts brings us three enduring and classic love stories.

Courting Catherine

Catherine "C.C." Calhoun was not going to let anyone take away the Towers—especially not handsome hotel magnate Trenton St. James. As far as Trent was concerned, his dealings with C.C. were strictly business. But her mix of fire and fury ...

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#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Nora Roberts brings us three enduring and classic love stories.

Courting Catherine

Catherine "C.C." Calhoun was not going to let anyone take away the Towers—especially not handsome hotel magnate Trenton St. James. As far as Trent was concerned, his dealings with C.C. were strictly business. But her mix of fire and fury unexpectedly led his mind in a completely different direction.

A Man for Amanda

A slow drawl was all Amanda Calhoun heard when she walked into the wall of denim and muscle that was Sloan O'Riley, the architect hired to renovate the Towers. Amanda found Sloan's easygoing manner infuriating. But his irresistible smile just might change her mind….

For the Love of Lilah

Adrift in a storm, Professor Max Quartermain thought he must have hallucinated the beautiful mermaid who came to his rescue. But Lilah was no mystical creature—she was a woman of fl esh and blood, and undeniably attracted to the intense and mysterious stranger.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373281350
  • Publisher: Silhouette
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Series: Sihouette Special Edition Series , #1887
  • Edition description: 3 Books in 1
  • Pages: 571
  • Sales rank: 430,477
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Nora Roberts is a bestselling author of more than 209 romance novels. She was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 280 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone.


Not only has Nora Roberts written more bestsellers than anyone else in the world (according to Publishers Weekly), she’s also created a hybrid genre of her own: the futuristic detective romance. And that’s on top of mastering every subgenre in the romance pie: the family saga, the historical, the suspense novel. But this most prolific and versatile of authors might never have tapped into her native talent if it hadn't been for one fateful snowstorm.

As her fans well know, in 1979 a blizzard trapped Roberts at home for a week with two bored little kids and a dwindling supply of chocolate. To maintain her sanity, Roberts started scribbling a story -- a romance novel like the Harlequin paperbacks she'd recently begun reading. The resulting manuscript was rejected by Harlequin, but that didn't matter to Roberts. She was hooked on writing. Several rejected manuscripts later, her first book was accepted for publication by Silhouette.

For several years, Roberts wrote category romances for Silhouette -- short books written to the publisher's specifications for length, subject matter and style, and marketed as part of a series of similar books. Roberts has said she never found the form restrictive. "If you write in category, you write knowing there's a framework, there are reader expectations," she explained. "If this doesn't suit you, you shouldn't write it. I don't believe for one moment you can write well what you wouldn't read for pleasure."

Roberts never violated the reader's expectations, but she did show a gift for bringing something fresh to the romance formula. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred (1981), had as its heroine a strong-willed horse groom, in contrast to the fluttering young nurses and secretaries who populated most romances at the time. But Roberts's books didn't make significant waves until 1985, when she published Playing the Odds, which introduced the MacGregor clan. It was the first bestseller of many.

Roberts soon made a name for herself as a writer of spellbinding multigenerational sagas, creating families like the Scottish MacGregors, the Irish Donovans and the Ukrainian Stanislaskis. She also began working on romantic suspense novels, in which the love story unfolds beneath a looming threat of violence or disaster. She grew so prolific that she outstripped her publishers' ability to print and market Nora Roberts books, so she created an alter ego, J.D. Robb. Under the pseudonym, she began writing romantic detective novels set in the future. By then, millions of readers had discovered what Publishers Weekly called her "immeasurable diversity and talent."

Although the style and substance of her books has grown, Roberts remains loyal to the genre that launched her career. As she says, "The romance novel at its core celebrates that rush of emotions you have when you are falling in love, and it's a lovely thing to relive those feelings through a book."

Good To Know

Roberts still lives in the same Maryland house she occupied when she first started writing -- though her carpenter husband has built on some additions. She and her husband also own Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland. When Roberts isn't busy writing, she likes to drop by the store, which specializes in Civil War titles as well as autographed copies of her own books.

Roberts sued fellow writer Janet Dailey in 1997, accusing her of plagiarizing numerous passages of her work over a period of years. Dailey paid a settlement and publicly apologized, blaming stress and a psychological disorder for her misconduct.

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    1. Also Known As:
      J. D. Robb; Sarah Hardesty; Jill March; Eleanor Marie Robertson (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Keedysville, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
    2. Place of Birth:
      Silver Spring, Maryland

Read an Excerpt

Bar Harbor 1991—

Trenton St. James III was in a foul mood. He was the kind of man who expected doors to open when he knocked, phones to be answered when he dialed. What he did not expect, and hated to tolerate, was having his car break down on a narrow two-lane road ten miles from his destination. At least the car phone had allowed him to track down the closest mechanic. He hadn't been overly thrilled about riding into Bar Harbor in the cab of the tow truck while strident rock had bellowed from the speakers and his rescuer had sung along, off-key, in between bites of an enormous ham sandwich.

"Hank, you just call me Hank, ayah," the driver had told him then took a long pull from a bottle of soda. "C.C.'ll fix you up all right and tight. Best damn mechanic in Maine, you ask anybody."

Trent decided, under the circumstances, he'd have to take just-call-me-Hank's word for it. To save time and trouble, he'd had the driver drop him off in the village with directions to the garage and a grimy business card Trent studied while holding it gingerly at the corners.

But as with any situation Trent found himself in, he decided to make it work for him. While his car was being dealt with, he made half a dozen calls to his office back in Boston—putting the fear of God into a flurry of secretaries, assistants and junior vice-presidents. It put him in a slightly better frame of mind.

He lunched on the terrace of a small restaurant, paying more attention to the paperwork he took from his briefcase than the excellent lobster salad or balmy spring breeze. He checked his watch often, drank too much coffee and, with impatient brown eyes, studied the traffic that streamed up and down the street.

Two of the waitresses on lunch shift discussed him at some length. It was early April, several weeks before the height of the season, so the restaurant wasn't exactly hopping with customers.

They agreed that this one was a beaut, from the top of his dark blond head to the tips of his highly polished Italian shoes. They agreed that he was a businessman, and an important one, because of the leather briefcase and spiffy gray suit and tie. Plus, he wore cuff links. Gold ones.

They decided, as they rolled flatware into napkins for the next shift, that he was young for it, no more than thirty. Outrageously handsome was their unanimous vote while they took turns refilling his coffee cup and getting closer looks. Nice clean features, they agreed, with a kind of polished air that would have been just a tad slick if it hadn't been for the eyes.

They were dark and broody and impatient, making the waitresses speculate as to whether he'd been stood up by a woman. Though they couldn't imagine any female in her right mind doing so.

Trent paid no more attention to them than he would have to anyone who performed a paid service. That disappointed them. The whopping tip he left made up for it nicely. It would have surprised him that the tip would have meant more to the waitresses if he had offered a smile with it.

He relocked his briefcase and prepared to take the brisk walk to the mechanic at the end of town. He wasn't a cold man and wouldn't have considered himself aloof. As a St. James he had grown up with servants who had quietly and efficiently gone about the business of making his life simpler. He paid well, even generously. If he didn't show any overt appreciation or personal interest, it was simply because it never occurred to him.

At the moment, his mind was on the deal he hoped to close by the end of the week. Hotels were his business, with the emphasis on luxury and resorts. The summer before, Trent's father had located a particular property while he and his fourth wife had been yachting in Frenchman Bay. While Trenton St. James II's instincts as to women were notoriously skewed, his business instincts were always on target.

He'd begun negotiations almost immediately for the buy of the enormous stone house overlooking Frenchman Bay. His appetite had been whetted by the reluctance of the owners to sell what had to be a white elephant as a private home. As expected, the senior Trenton had been turning things his way, and the deal was on the way to being set.

Then Trent had found the whole business dumped into his lap as his father was once again tangled in a complicated divorce.

Wife number four had lasted almost eighteen months, Trent mused. Which was two months longer than wife number three. Trent accepted, fatalistically, that there was bound to be a number five around the corner. The old man was as addicted to marriage as he was to real estate.

Trent was determined to close the deal on The Towers before the ink had dried on this last divorce decree. As soon as he got his car out of the garage, he would drive up and take a firsthand look at the place.

Because of the time of year, many of the shops were closed as he walked through town, but he could see the possibilities. He knew that during the season the streets of Bar Harbor were crammed with tourists with credit cards and travelers' checks at the ready. And tourists needed hotels. He had the statistics in his briefcase. With solid planning, he figured The Towers would cull a hefty percentage of that tourist trade within fifteen months.

All he had to do was convince four sentimental women and their aunt to take the money and run.

He checked his watch again as he turned the corner toward the mechanic's. Trent had given him precisely two hours to deal with whatever malfunction the BMW had suffered. That, he was convinced, was enough.

Of course he could have taken the company plane up from Boston. It would have been more practical, and Trent was nothing if not a practical man. But he'd wanted to drive. Needed to, he admitted. He'd needed those few hours of quiet and solitude.

Business was booming, but his personal life was going to hell.

Who would have thought that Marla would suddenly shove an ultimatum down his throat? Marriage or nothing. It still baffled him. She had known since the beginning of their relationship that marriage had never been an option. He had no intention of taking a ride on the roller coaster his father seemed to thrive on.

Not that he wasn't—hadn't been—fond of her. She was lovely and well-bred, intelligent and successful in her field of fashion design. With Marla, there was never a hair out of place, and Trent appreciated that kind of meticulousness in a woman. Just as he had appreciated her practical attitude toward their relationship.

She had claimed not to want marriage or children or pledges of undying love. Trent considered it a personal betrayal that she suddenly changed her tune and demanded it all.

He hadn't been able to give it to her.

They had parted, stiff as strangers, only two weeks before. She was already engaged to a golf pro.

It stung. But even as it stung, it convinced him he had been right all along. Women were unstable, fickle creatures, and marriage was a bloodless kind of suicide.

She hadn't even loved him. Thank God. She had simply wanted "commitment and stability," as she had put it. Trent felt, smugly, that she would soon find out marriage was the last place to find either.

Because he knew it was unproductive to dwell on mistakes, he allowed thoughts of Marla to pass out of his mind. He would take a vacation from females, he decided.

Trent paused outside the white cinder-block building with its scatter of cars in the lot. The sign over the open garage doors read C.C.'s Automovation. Just beneath the title, which Trent found ostentatious, was an offer of twenty-four-hour towing, complete auto repairs and refinishing—foreign and domestic—and free estimates.

Through the doors, he could hear rock music. Trent let out a sigh as he went in.

The hood was up on his BMW, and a pair of dirty boots peeked out from beneath the car. The mechanic was tapping the toes of the boots together in time to the din of music. Frowning, Trent glanced around the garage area. It smelled of grease and honeysuckle—a ridiculous combination. The place itself was a disorganized and grimy mess of tools and auto parts, something that looked as though it might have been a fender, and a coffee maker that was boiling whatever was inside it down to black sludge.

There was a sign on the wall that stated No Checks Cashed, Not Even For You.

Several others listed services provided by the shop and their rates. Trent supposed they were reasonable, but he had no yardstick. There were two vending machines against a wall, one offering soft drinks, the other junk food. A coffee can held change that customers were free to contribute to or take from. An interesting concept, Trent thought.

"Excuse me," he said. The boots kept right on tapping. "Excuse me," he repeated, louder. The music upped its tempo and so did the boots. Trent nudged one with his shoe.

"What?" The answer from under the car was muffled and annoyed.

"I'd like to ask you about my car."

"Get in line." There was the clatter of a tool and a muttered curse.

Trent's eyebrows lifted then drew together in a manner that made his subordinates quake. "Apparently I'm the first in line already."

"Right now you're behind this idiot's oil pan. Save me from rich yuppies who buy a car like this then don't bother to find out the difference between a carburetor and a tire iron. Hold on a minute, buddy, or talk to Hank. He's around somewhere."

Trent was still several sentences back at "idiot." "Where's the proprietor?"

"Busy. Hank!" The mechanic's voice lifted to a roar. "Damn it. Hank! Where the devil did he take off to?"

"I couldn't say." Trent marched over to the radio and flicked off the music. "Would it be too much to ask you to come out from under there and tell me the status of my car?"

"Yeah." From the vantage point under the BMW, C.C. studied the Italian loafers and took an immediate dislike to them. "I got my hands full at the moment. You can come down here and lend one of yours if you're in such a hurry, or drive over to McDermit's in Northeast Harbor."

"I can hardly drive when you're under my car." Though the idea held a certain appeal.

"This yours?" C.C. sniffed and tightened bolts. The guy had a fancy Boston accent to go with the fancy shoes. "When's the last time you had this thing tuned? Changed the points and plugs, the oil?"

"I don't—"

"I'm sure you don't." There was a clipped satisfaction in the husky voice that had Trent's jaw tightening. "You know, you don't just buy a car, but a responsibility. A lot of people don't pull down an annual salary as rich as the sticker price on a machine like this. With reasonable care and maintenance, this baby would run for your grandchildren. Cars aren't disposable commodities, you know. People make them that way because they're too lazy or too stupid to take care of the basics. You needed a lube job six months ago."

Trent's fingers drummed on the side of his briefcase. "Young man, you're being paid to service my car, not to lecture me on my responsibilities to it." In a habit as ingrained as breathing, he checked his watch. "Now, I'd like to know when my car will be ready, as I have a number of appointments."

"Lecture's free." C.C. gave a push and sent the creeper scooting out from under the car. "And I'm not your young man."

That much was quite obvious. Though the face was grimy and the dark hair cropped boyishly short, the body clad in greasy coveralls was decidely feminine. Every curvy inch of it. Trent wasn't often thrown for a loss, but now he simply stood, staring as C.C. rose from the creeper and faced him, tapping a wrench against her palm.

Looking beyond the smears of black on her face, Trent could see she had very white skin in contrast with her ebony hair. Beneath the fringe of bangs, her forest-green eyes were narrowed. Her full, unpainted lips were pursed in what, under different circumstances, would have been a very sexy pout. She was tall for a woman and built like a goddess. It was she, Trent realized, who smelled of motor oil and honeysuckle.

"Got a problem?" she asked him. C.C. was well aware that his gaze had drifted down from the neck of her coveralls to the cuffs and back again. She was used to it. But she didn't have to like it.

The voice had an entirely different effect when a man realized those dark, husky tones belonged to a woman. "You're the mechanic!"

"No, I'm the interior decorator."

Trent glanced around the garage with its oil-splattered floor and cluttered worktables. He couldn't resist. "You do very interesting work."

Letting the breath out between her teeth, she tossed the wrench onto a workbench. "Your oil and air filter needed to be changed. The timing was off and the carburetor needed some adjusting. You still need a lube job and your radiator should be flushed." "Will it run?"

"Yeah, it'll run." C.C. took a rag out of her pocket and began to wipe her hands. She judged him as the kind of man who took better care of his ties than he did of his car. With a shrug, she stuck the rag back into her pocket. It was no concern of hers. "Come through to the office and we can settle up."

She led the way through the door at the rear of the garage, into a narrow hallway that angled into a glass-walled office. It was cramped with a cluttered desk, thick parts catalogues, a half-full gum-ball machine and two wide swivel chairs. C.C. sat and, in the uncanny way of people who heap papers on their desk, put her hand unerringly on her invoices.

"Cash or charge?" she asked him.

"Charge." Absently he pulled out his wallet. He wasn't sexist. Trent assured himself he was not. He had meticulously made certain that women were given the same pay and opportunity for promotion in his company as any male on his staff. It never occurred to him to be concerned whether employees were males or females, as long as they were efficient, loyal and dependable. But the longer he looked at the woman who sat busily filling out the invoice, the more he was certain she didn't fit his or anyone's image of an auto mechanic.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    Loved It, Loved It!

    This is just another of Ms. Roberts excellent offerings. Just the right amount of love, suspense, personalities etc. Susanna has two children with a rat of an ex husband and is trying, successfully, to build a new life for them at the Towers (the family home) in Bar Harbor, Maine. When she is sent to enlist the help of her great grandmothers lovers grandson, an ex vice cop, in locating the families long lost emerald necklace, all kinds of good and exciting things as well as a few not so nice things happen. Only Ms. Roberts can weave a tale of this nature with so much success. Megan also arrives in Bar Harbor with a 9 yr old son whose father just happens to be the same man as Susanna's two children. I won't spoil the story about THAT but Megan is off men for life. Until she meets Nathaniel and then sparks "happen".. Also in the mix is Aunt Coco's romance with a very unlikely chef at the newly opened Towers. BUT, read the first book The Calhouns, Catherine, Amanda and Lilah, Susanna's other three sisters first.. Great stories about family, love, adventure and a little bit of murder and mayhem. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended - A Beautiful and Powerful Story of Love

    The second of the Calhoun books this one talks about two women who were once in love with the same man and their stories of reuniting with, not only love, but what it means to come together with someone to make a family with their children. The story is inciting to read with romance, passion, a mystery, and even some action. It is beautifully told and is one you won't put down. So start reading!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    You have the LOVE the power of sisterhood.

    I picked up The Calhouns: Catherine, Amanda, and Lilah, because I needed something to read. It was a GREAT read. I couldn't wait the three months for the final books of Suzanna & Megan to come out. Suzanna wasn't my favorite book. In fact, I liked it least of the five. I just think that it had way too much stuff going on. Wrapping up the jewel mystery, the new romance (which was great), and the jerk of an ex husband. I think the last was the part I didn't like. Megan tied all five books together. It really showed you power of sisterhood and of family. I just wished we found out if, how, and when that freaking Baxter Dumont would get his....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2011

    The Best

    I have read several of Nora Roberts series and loved all of them. The Calhouns, (plus the second book about Suzanna and Megan) are the best books she has written. Absolutely loved these books. Emotions ran high within me.

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    Posted May 7, 2011

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    Posted May 10, 2011

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    Posted May 30, 2011

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