Demon Rumm

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Overview

When Rylan North flashes Kirsten Rumm his heart-stopping smile, she knows she can't refuse him...even if letting the actor share her home for a week will force her to relive the last terrible days before her stunt pilot husband fell prey to his own daring acts. Rylan is the perfect choice to play "Demon" Rumm in the movie about his life: no one is more brash, bold, or demanding. But before Rylan immerses himself in Kirsten's world, he must exorcise the explosive secrets that haunt her dreams...and gamble she'll ...
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Overview

When Rylan North flashes Kirsten Rumm his heart-stopping smile, she knows she can't refuse him...even if letting the actor share her home for a week will force her to relive the last terrible days before her stunt pilot husband fell prey to his own daring acts. Rylan is the perfect choice to play "Demon" Rumm in the movie about his life: no one is more brash, bold, or demanding. But before Rylan immerses himself in Kirsten's world, he must exorcise the explosive secrets that haunt her dreams...and gamble she'll find the courage in his arms to risk loving again...
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Romance and drama unfold on a movie set. Simultaneous with Bantam reprint. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Brown’s novels define the term ‘page-turner.’ "—Booklist

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553218268
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1987
  • Series: Loveswept Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown is the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers, with over seventy million copies of her books in print. She and her family divide their time between South Carolina and Texas.

Biography

In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    Chapter One

    "I let myself in.”

    He hadn’t known she wore eyeglasses until her head snapped up at the unexpected sound of his voice. She whipped them off and dropped them on the stack of manuscript pages lying on the Queen Anne desk in front of her. Her red pen, too, fell from her fingers onto the manuscript. One hand momentarily covered her left breast as though to still a pounding heart.

    “You startled me, Mr. North.”

    “Sorry. Actually I’m perfectly harmless.” Compared to the bright, pristine room, he figured he looked like something that had suckled at the tattooed breast of one of Hell’s Angels. Her haughty expression told him he didn’t belong here. Smiling covertly, he set his canvas duffel bag down near his feet and slid off his sunglasses. “I knocked on the front door, but no one answered.”

    “Maybe you should have tried the bell.”

    She was miffed all right, he thought. One hundred pounds . . . and that was a generous guess . . . of irritated female. Prickly broad, wasn’t she? Were these first few moments going to set the tone for the next several weeks? Not if he had anything to do with it.

    One of his knees unlocked, throwing his body slightly off center and into that thigh-melting, mouth-drying, heart-stopping stance that had beaten Farrah Fawcett’s poster as the all-time bestseller.

    “Should I try another entrance?” He curved his sullen mouth into the suggestive smile that was as famous as his arrogant stance. “Obviously my timing was off on this one.”

    She didn’t return his smile. “Why bother? You’re in.”

    “Right.”

    She stood up and walked around the desk. Not until she had taken a few steps across the terrazzo tile floor did he notice that she was barefoot. She caught him looking at her bare feet, but she didn’t apologize for them or go through any of those flustered motions and babbling apologies that women usually do when caught in dishabille.

    Her small face was set in an expression that strongly suggested, “If you don’t like my bare feet, that’s just too damn bad.”

    What she was better off not knowing was that he liked her bare feet. A lot. So far, he liked everything he saw, from the top of her glossy, dark hair to those ten, tempting toes. She was wearing white jeans, which fitted her a tad too well. In contrast, her white shirt was at least three sizes too large for her, somehow far sexier than a skin-hugging T-shirt would have been. The wide sleeves had been rolled back almost to her elbows, and the hem was brushing her thighs. It looked like a hand-me-down man’s dress shirt. He wondered if it might have belonged to her late husband.

    In any event, she was adorable.

    “Did I catch you at work?” he asked.

    “Yes, you did.”

    “On the book?”

    “That’s right.”

    “Forgive the interruption. I know how hard it is to pick up a thought once it’s interrupted.”

    Impatiently, she pushed her fringe of bangs off her forehead. “My housekeeper went to the market, so I’ll show you to your room. Where’s your luggage?”

    “That’s it.”

    He nodded at the ugly duffel bag. One split seam had been haphazardly repaired with silver duct tape. Scuffed, scarred, and stained, it looked like the sole survivor of a baggage handlers’ training convention.

    “I left my Louis Vuitton at home,” he drawled sardonically. “This is all I can carry on my bike.”

    “Your bike?”

    “Uh-huh.”

    She gazed at him and his duffel bag with repugnance. He wanted to laugh, but didn’t dare. Instead he let his attention wander to the glass wall that provided a panoramic view of the beach far below and, beyond it, the Pacific Ocean.

    “You came by motorcycle from L.A. ?” she asked. “You didn’t fly?”

    “Depends on how you define ‘fly.’ The California Highway Patrol might have called it flying.” He grinned at her over his shoulder and slid his hands, palms out, into the holey, threadbare back pockets of his jeans. They had seen better days. Better years. “Terrific view.”

    “Thank you. The view was one of the reasons Charlie and I bought the house.”

    Pivoting on the heels of boots which no self-respecting cowboy, not even one down on his luck, would have been caught dead in, he faced her again. “Charlie? You didn’t call him Demon?”

    “Hardly.”

    “Why not?”

    “He was my husband, not my idol.”

    His expressive hazel eyes, bridged by sleek black eyebrows whose arches were pointed at the apexes, focused on her. Most people thought that Rylan North’s incisive stare was a trick of camera angles and expert lighting, possibly a device the actor used to convey his vast range of emotions. But it was a natural, unaffected characteristic—one eyebrow a fraction of an inch higher than the other; thick, short, black lashes; unmoving, brown-speckled hazel irises.

    Rylan didn’t deliberately subject her to that unsettling stare. He was only trying to gauge if there was a hidden meaning behind Mrs. Rumm’s words. Perhaps there wasn’t. But perhaps there was. He was there to find out. He watched her nervously wet her lips and decided that the odds were in favor of his intuition being right on target.

    “If you’ll get your bag,” she said in a breathy voice, “I’ll show you to your room.”

    “I like this room.” He wasn’t ready to be shuttled off into a back room like a disobedient child. He wanted to look at her some more.

    “I’m working in here, Mr. North, and you’re a distraction.”

    “Oh, really?”

    He learned something then. She didn’t like being teased. Her lips formed a pucker of disapproval. How far could he push before she lost the rigid control she imposed on herself? He was itching to know, but now wasn’t the time to test it, not when he’d just arrived. “Okay, I’ll leave you to your work while I soak up some scenery outside. Is that all right?”

    “Fine.”

    “Good.”

    He raised one foot, pulled off his boot and sock, and dropped them onto the floor. Then he did the same with the other foot. He took hold of the hem of his black T-shirt and peeled it over his head, ignoring her gasp of outraged surprise.

    His shirt joined the heap of foot apparel on the floor. “Go back to work. I’ll see you later,” he casually tossed over his bare shoulder as he slid open the panel of glass and stepped through it. He walked around the swimming pool toward the steps that led down the rocky cliff to the beach, wondering if she was watching. He would have bet his next Oscar nomination that she was.

    He was tempted to turn around and find out, but didn’t. He had an image to uphold, that of being an I-don’t- give-a-damn bastard where women were concerned. And I-don’t-give-a-damn bastards didn’t react to women no matter how attractive they were. He’d almost broken that unwritten law last week when Kirsten Rumm entered her lawyer’s office and they met for the first time.

    The appointment had been arranged at his, Rylan’s, request. He had known the moment Mrs. Rumm came in, shoulders back, chin high, carriage militant, that she considered the meeting an imposition. Only her eyes had indicated any vulnerability. They had been wary.

    Her tailored, linen business suit had made him ashamed of his appearance. He had been up late the night before reading the movie script and jotting dialogue revisions in the margins. That morning he had overslept and hadn’t taken the time to shave. He had dressed in the first clothes his hands had touched when he reached into the closet, a pair of slacks and a raw silk sport coat. Beneath the jacket, his partially unbuttoned shirt was wrinkled. Thank God the rumpled look was in.

    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 3.5
    ( 44 )
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    (14)

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    (13)

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    (3)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 23, 2010

      Would Recommend

      Just read this book yesterday... A quick, well written story... I am an avid reader and I did not see the end coming... The characters were well defined... The story was believable and yet different from any of the hundreds of books I have read....I loved Ryland and Kirsten and would recommend this book... A short book - only 268 pages as I recall...

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 2, 2006

      Amazing!

      This was my first Sandra Brown Book and I loved it! I love both of the characters, especially Mr. North! It is a passionate story of how an audacious man falls in love with a woman and shows her his true compassionate self, while helping to relieve her of her past and open her up to love again. It is awesome and I highly recommend it!!!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 28, 2006

      Great for the Beach!!

      I am normally a Sandra Brown mystery reader and not into the romance books much. But I loved this one. It is really almost inspirational in terms of learning to trust and love again. I read it on the beach in one day. I loved it and highly recommend it!!

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted October 23, 2011

      Preorder date is ridiculous

      I will be dead before I receive this ebook in 2035???

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 11, 2011

      Alright, nothing too special

      I'm a fan of Sandra Brown's suspense/thillers and thought I'd give this one a try. The characterization wasn't all there for me, I wanted to know more about the characters. Brown describes the characters and gives some background information about them, but it didn't grasp me. The storyline and plot was a good idea, but it just happened so quickly. They fell in love too fast and everything just seemed jumpy. The story had potential and it could have been better. The romance scenes were very intimate and well written, but again the characterization wasn't quite there. Overall, I thought the book was bland. No intense drama or dilemma. If you like quick reads and straight to the point, this book isn't too bad.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 11, 2007

      not bad

      The way her characters get together is a bit creepy to me. However the love scenes had me blushing and needing a cold shower.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 7, 2005

      Disappointing

      Not one of Brown's better efforts. The Heroine is too much of a drama queen and not all that likable. The final plot twist is really weak. What was all the fuss about anyway?

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 7, 2005

      Good Story

      I like a book with a different twist. Not your typical romance but to a certain extent predictable. It is still a good book to read.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 5, 2005

      Passionate glimpse!

      The book is lovely and compelling in every pages I read. Just love the way the story goes. It's all about how Sandra Brown writes her story. Passionate! And whimsical to some! Actually to many! I am speaking for my sister too. Thanks!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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      Posted September 17, 2010

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