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ABOUT THE TITLE
From the moment Philadelphia-born Verena Howard first laid eyes on the smooth talking gambler, she knew he was trouble. He was everything her mother had ever warned her about a darkly handsome man with something to hide. But as she embarked on a journey across the untamed Texas frontier, fighting off amorous ruffians and sinister strangers, he came to her rescue by pretending to be her husband and proving himself as handy with his gun as he was with a deck of cards.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The twist of fate which led Anita Mills to leave her niche in education administration after nearly eighteen years was certainly the best thing that could have happened to her. At least her fans wholeheartedly believe so. Anita's husband urged her to take her knowledge and love of history and English to create fiction. Just eighteen months later, in 1986, Anita had finished an enchanting medieval romance, acquired a first-rate agent, and sold the book, Lady of Fire, to New American Library, now Penguin USA.
Since then, Anita has published sixteen romance novels, including five with Penguin USA's Topaz Historical Romance imprint Falling Star (1993), Secret Nights (1994), Comanche Moon (1995), Comanche Rose (January 1996), and her latest novel, Dangerous. In the past few years her books have been nominated for more than twenty writing awards and she has consistently received critical praise from Romantic Times, Affair de Coeur, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal.
A devoted mother of four, Anita lives on a rural farm near Plattsburg, Missouri, with her husband Larry, five cats and three dogs.
Most of my books come into the world like babies they are conceived joyfully, gestate about nine months, and are delivered only after considerable travail. Fortunately, every now and then there is that rare one that almost writes itself the one that springs from my mind like Diana from the head of Zeus, the one with characters who never stop talking, who almost relegate me to the role of a scribe hurrying after them, trying to get everything they say and do down on paper before I lose it. In the case of Dangerous, my newest book, I almost couldn't keep up with Matt and Verena in this lively, almost comical duel of wits.
Matthew Morgan, alias Matthew McCready, is not only fleeing a hangman's noose, but also his very roots. Born the youngest son of a poor Tennessee farmer, he grew up yearning for the good things in life, and once he escaped into the Confederate Army, he knew he was never going back. At war's end, he headed for New Orleans, where his good looks and uncommon skills with cards carried him into the finest drawing rooms in the city. But that was before he killed the son of a prominent Louisiana politician. Now he's on the run, headed for an outlaw haven called Helena, Texas. Until he sees Verena Howard in Galveston.
A determined spinster, the pretty twenty-two-year-old schoolteacher is en route to San Angelo, hoping to settle more than her late father's seemingly worthless estate. She has to know why Jack Howard deserted his country, why he never returned home to her and her mother. At times, the bitterness she feels toward him is almost overwhelming. Sharing her mother's heartbreak has left her wary of men, particularly the handsome ones.
But when facing a rough and tumble Texas frontier, where life is cheap and women scarce, she discovers her aloof manner and sharp tongue provide little protection from drunken, amorous cowboys or from the handsome, dark-eyed gambler who comes to her rescue, then offers to pose as her husband until the cowboys get off the train. So begins an adventure neither can foresee, where neither quite believes the other, where everything goes wildly awry, and where the law becomes the least of Matt's worries.
"For pageantry and passion, Anita Mills has few rivals." Romantic Times