Desert Rain

Desert Rain

4.1 22
by Elizabeth Lowell, Fredericka Ribes
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

She is a contradiction, one woman with two lives. She is Shannon, one of the world’s great beauties, her face and figure gracing the fashion pages of the world’s most elegant magazines. She is also Holly, a fragile innocent, haunted by painful memories of her past—and by dreams of the man who once shared her secrets. She is assured yet vulnerable,

Overview

She is a contradiction, one woman with two lives. She is Shannon, one of the world’s great beauties, her face and figure gracing the fashion pages of the world’s most elegant magazines. She is also Holly, a fragile innocent, haunted by painful memories of her past—and by dreams of the man who once shared her secrets. She is assured yet vulnerable, irresistible yet untouched.

Destiny has brought Holly Shannon North back to Hidden Springs, where she can be one person, where romance once touched her tender young heart. Here Lincoln McKenzie waits—the proud California rancher, long since hardened by his life’s tragedies. Now, in the icy chill of a desert storm, together they must somehow find the way back to love . . . and rekindle a fire whose healing warmth will truly draw them home.

A classic story of love and redemption from the incomparable New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By revising and padding her first contemporary romance, Lowell (Autumn Lover) has created a new full-length novel. Holly Shannon North is a tomboy turned fashion model who meets up with former flame, Linc McKenzie, during a photo shoot near Palm Springs. She realizes that Linc loves "Holly," the girl she was at 16, but has no interest in "Shannon," the sophisticated cover girl she has become. Holly tries to convince Linc, who seems to believe otherwise, that beauty does not equal evil. The love scenes are trademark Lowell: dynamic, sensual and thoroughly satisfying, but the book's premise is so weak and the characters so flat they can't sustain the added (in fact, doubled) verbiage. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380767625
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
1,197,273
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

"Come on, Shannon, smile like I'm your lover. You do know what a lover is, don't you, sweetie?"

Holly Shannon North bit back what she wanted to say and smiled as she had been trained to do.

Jerry was the hottest fashion photographer outside of Paris, but he had a mouth like a razor blade. Since Holly had refused to sleep with him, he had become nearly impossible to work with.

The flash that burst in Holly's face was reflected in flexible metal shields held by sweating technicians.

"Better, but not good enough," Jerry said. "I know you're ice from the neck down, but let's keep it our secret, lovey."

Holly lowered her eyelids until her unusual sherry-colored eyes were only glints beneath thick black lashes. Long hair fell like black water over her bare shoulders and upper arms. Her smile widened without becoming a bit softer.

Jerry grunted.

Motionless, Holly waited. Perspiration made fine tendrils of hair curl over the high temples and slanted cheekbones that had transformed a young girl called Holly North into Shannon, an internationally famous model.

"Now give me a pout," Jerry ordered. "Lots of lip just begging to be bitten."

Holly pouted.

"Turn left," Jerry said harshly. "Make that hair fly. Make every man who looks at you want to feel it sliding over his naked skin."

Holly turned with the grace that was as much a part of her as her long legs and lithe body.

The heat that had everyone else shorttempered andsweating was like wine to her. She had been raised in Palm Springs' scorching, brilliant, endless summers. The desert sun that bleached out most people made her bloom.

A delicate rose flush glowed beneath her skin, hinting at the heat within, a heat that only one man had ever touched.

Lincoln McKenzie.

Don't think about him, Holly told herself automatically. It only hurts you.

Though she tried not to think of Linc, she couldn't help herself. The feel of Palm Springs in the summer was too unique. She couldn't make herself believe that she was in New York or Paris, Hong Kong or London or Rome, and Lincoln McKenzie was half a world away.

Holly knew that Linc lived here, near enough

to touch. He was part of the desert, as strong as the mountains rising in stark grandeur beyond the city.

Memories of Linc, like the sun, fired her skin.

She had worshipped Linc since she was nine years old and he was seventeen, riding one of the Arabian horses his family raised. The first time she saw him was a moment so vivid Holly could still smell the sage and dust, see Linc's slow smile and hazel eyes, feel the velvet flutter of the horse's nostrils and her own heart as she stood in the path of his mount and smiled up at him.

"Lovely!" Jerry said. "Keep it up! Over the shoulder now. Turn. Faster! Again. Again! Again!"

Feeling like a leaf caught in the winds of time, Holly turned and spun, giving herself to the desert heat and her memories of one man.

She couldn't mark the day or even the month when her young girl's crush on Linc had changed into something deeper, hotter, more consuming. Although their ranches shared a common boundary, the two families did not socialize.

Yet as Holly grew older, she saw Linc frequently at horse shows and auctions and training rings. With each meeting she fell more completely under his spell.

Each time, it crushed her that Linc didn't notice her.

"Yeah, good," Jerry muttered. "Now a little brighter, less pout. Big smile, baby. Gimme teeth."

Holly smiled at the camera, but her eyes were focused on the past.

On her sixteenth birthday she had been baby-sitting Beth McKenzie, Linc's half-sister, who was only nine. The McKenzies came home very late, arguing and more than a little drunk. Holly had never heard people swear at each other like that.

When Linc showed up unexpectedly, Holly ran to him. He drove her home, talking softly to her until she stopped shaking. When he learned that she had turned sixteen at midnight, he teased her gently about "sweet sixteen and never been kissed."

What began as a comforting gesture became different, deeper, the timeless kiss of a man holding a woman he desired. Holly responded with an innocent abandon that had all but destroyed Linc's control.

After a long time he had taken her face between his hands and looked at her, memorizing the moment and the moonlight pouring over her dazed face. The smile she gave him had been that of Eve newly awakened to the possibilities of being a woman.

"That's the smile I want!" said Jerry triumphantly. "My God, babe, if you were only half as hot as you look. Left shoulder. Gimme some heat. Yeah. Yeah! Turn on for me, babe!"

Holly barely noticed the photographer's chatter or the battery of flashes going off around her. She was sixteen again, smiling up at the man she had always loved.

Linc had wanted to take her out the following night, but Holly had promised to baby-sit for her father's foreman. That was where she had been when Linc came and told her there had been an accident, a head-on crash along a twisting county road.

He had driven Holly to the hospital where doctors were trying to save her parents. He had held her through the long night while first her mother and then her father died.

Linc had held Holly while she screamed and wept, held her while her world shattered, held her until she fell into an exhausted sleep in his arms.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell has more than eighty titles published to date with over twenty-four million copies of her books in print. She lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains with her husband, with whom she writes novels under a pseudonym. Her favorite activity is exploring the Western United States to find the landscapes that speak to her soul and inspire her writing.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 5, 1944
Place of Birth:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Education:
B. A., University of California, 1966

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Desert Rain 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want a book where the hero spends most of his time with the heroine insulting her and being abusive and cruel, this is the book for you. Personally, I found the book sickening and almost offensive in places. Ms. Lowell has written some wonderful books but his is not one of them. Avoid at all costs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I think the characters sre wonderful and the story engaging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favs by elizabeth
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. The story is a bit weaker then her usual plots but this book is my favorite by this author. I enjoy her breath taking description of the land and emotion the charators display.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable, great, and satisfying story. Ms. Lowell once again puts together a story that warms your heart. She never disappoints her readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandpaw followed a rocky path. "I hope your listening," mewed Sandpaw. "It's raining!" "I know," said Pepperpaw, her new BFF. All her siblings had sadly passed away— Checkeredsun luckily gave birth to three kits—Badgerkit, Pepperkit, and Lambkit. "Acreforest, and Foamfall—" "Acreforest!" "You already said Acreforest," suddenly his gray fur arrived. "Ivypaw sur—" "Vived!" Sandpaw jumped. "FANTASTICO!"