Enchanting Baby The Birth Place (Harlequin Super Romance #1152)

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Enchanting Baby

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373711529
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Harlequin Super Romance Series , #1152
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.81 (d)

First Chapter



Enchanting Baby




By Darlene Graham


Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.



Copyright © 2003

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.



ISBN: 0-373-71152-2






Chapter One


The name of the place, Enchantment, struck Greg Glazier as slightly ironic. After all, hadn't he driven to this remote
town as if under some kind of spell, chasing the illusion that he was going to find and bond with the woman carrying
his baby - a baby that was nothing more, at this point, than an enchanting fantasy?

And what about the woman? What was she to him? A cutesy television personality? A pretty face on the screen?
Another illusion.

On her weekly TV show, Ashleigh Logan came across as intelligent and charming, but God only knew what she would be like
in person.

The town lay in the valley ahead like a scene from a picture postcard. From his vantage point on the winding highway,
Greg could see a desert vista to the south, grassy ranchland to the east, and to the north and west, the vast
aspen-rimmed pine forests that rose to the mystical snow-capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Greg might have attributed the breathless sensation in his chest to the stunning view if he hadn't known it was
actually altitude sickness, mixed with a walloping dose of anxiety and fatigue. Battling a killer headache and an
unslakble thirst, he took a deep pull on his water bottle, then gritted his teeth as he steered his Lincoln Navigator
around another curve as the highway snaked into the valley ahead.

He should have had more sense than to travel over the mountains straight off the eastern Colorado ranching plains. He'd
lived in the shadow of the Rockies all of his life, but every time he went up into the thinner air, as soon as he
ascended those steep, winding roads, he got sick.

But he didn't have time to lay low now. Ashleigh Logan already had a two-day head start on him.

When Greg's efforts to contact Ashleigh at the TV station and then at her home failed, he'd tried her sister's house,
but the woman had acted spooked when she answered the door.

"Ms. Miller?" he inquired while she peered at him with the privacy chain still fastened. "I'm sorry to bother you, but
I'm looking for your sister. Ashleigh Logan?"

The one eye he could see grew wide with surprise ... or was it fear? "Wait here" was all the sister said. Then she
slammed the door.

The next thing he knew, a black-and-white patrol car came zipping up to the curb. In short order, the officer made him
produce identification and vacate the premises.

That's when Greg had decided that somehow, this Ashleigh Logan woman had figured out what he was after and had bugged
out on him. So he'd hired himself a detective.

In Greg's opinion the private investigator in Denver had taken too long to figure out where Ashleigh Logan had vanished
to. But what did Greg know? Even in his days as a deputy sheriff, he'd never done anything this crazy. No, he
corrected himself. Chasing down the woman carrying his baby wasn't crazy. It was vital. All-important.

But two precious days had ticked by before they traced Ashleigh Logan here, to Enchantment, New Mexico.

Enchantment. So named, Greg supposed, because it lay nestled in the heart of the Enchanted Circle north of
Taos. He had to admit it was a pretty little town, with its clear mountain air, expansive blue skies, gurgling silver
streams. Wide meadows flanked the curved road into town, where the highway narrowed and became the main drag of
Enchantment, Paseo de Sierra. Avenue of the Mountains. The name made sense since the street pointed straight toward the
Sangre de Cristo range, centering on Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico.

Centuries ago, the Spaniards had apparently thought Sangre de Cristo - blood of Christ - was an apt name for this
rugged mountain range. Legend said they had come from the west and saw the range painted red by the setting sun. Coming
from the east, the peaks actually looked hazy, purple, backlit by an apricot sun dipping below a bank of atomic-orange
clouds. It was aspen-turning time - late September - and the thick stands of shimmering golden trees added to the
feeling of rarefied light. If he hadn't been sick as a dog, he might have appreciated the stunning beauty.

In the village core he passed charming gift shops and rustic ski-rental establishments, plus a small adobe post office,
a civic complex and library building, an American Legion hall, the office of the Arroyo County Bulletin - the
town newspaper, he presumed - and an interesting-looking bed-and-breakfast. He'd come back there later, get a room and
crash.

"After I find Ashleigh Logan," he muttered to himself, and took another swig of water.

Finding her might prove harder than he thought. The town looked bigger than he'd imagined. From the base in the valley,
new construction sprawled far up onto the mountainsides. Southwest-style log cabins, Alpine A-frames and classic
chalets shared the foothills and mountainsides with cozy hotels and weathered homesteads. Subsistence farms dotted the
lower surrounding countryside, while farther up, the vast windows of the lofty retreats of the wealthy glittered in the
setting sun.

The main street led straight to an old Spanish-style square where there were more shops, restaurants and art galleries.
Like the name implied, it was all very ... enchanting.

But the place wasn't totally charming. On the southern edge of town, Greg saw evidence of poverty - dusty,
dented pickups, ramshackle trailer houses.

Why had Ashleigh Logan run away to this remote place?

If it was because she already knew the truth, Ms. Logan was certainly going to a hell of a lot of trouble to evade the
father of her child. But he would find her and he would demand his rights. He would not allow anything to separate him
from the only child he would ever have.

As close as he could tell, Ashleigh's decision to come to this particular town was connected to a birthing center run
by a bunch of midwives. The place was called - he glanced at the notes the private detective had given him - The
Birth Place. It had better not be some hippie-dippy asylum where they used herbal remedies and scented oils instead of
real medicine. Not if his baby was going to be born there.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from Enchanting Baby
by Darlene Graham
Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd..
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Good storytelling

    After her husband died, TV star Ashleigh Logan turns to artificial insemination using her deceased spouse's sperm to become pregnant with his child. Because Ashleigh is a name, the media goes wild over her final salute to her husband. However, besides the infringement on her life, a stalker also surfaces frightening Ashleigh.<P> The Creep frightens Ashleigh, but not for her own safety. Concerned over her unborn, Ashleigh flees the limelight to hide in the New Mexico mountains north of Taos at the remote The Birth Place to keep her and her unborn safe. Not long afterward Greg Glazier finds Ashleigh, but wonders why she came to this remote locale perhaps because she knows her deceased husband is not the father. Still now that he is here he struggles to tell her that he is father of her baby. However, though attracted to him, she knows he is hiding something from her, leading Ashleigh to wonder if he might be her stalker.<P> Though at first glance the sperm bank mix-up and celebrity stalker themes might seem trite, Darlene Graham develops a solid romance with touches of suspense and spiritualism. The story line works because the audience wants Ashleigh and Greg to fall in love and raise their child together.<P> Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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