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Future Perfect

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Overview

Now back in print after many years, a captivating story of sweet seduction and unexpected love from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann
 
Dressed in Victorian attire, Juliana Anderson gives guests at her cozy New England bed and breakfast a taste of old-fashioned hospitality. Whether she’s cooking up delights in her kitchen or maintaining the rooms in her beautifully decorated inn, Juliana...
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Future Perfect

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Overview

Now back in print after many years, a captivating story of sweet seduction and unexpected love from New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann
 
Dressed in Victorian attire, Juliana Anderson gives guests at her cozy New England bed and breakfast a taste of old-fashioned hospitality. Whether she’s cooking up delights in her kitchen or maintaining the rooms in her beautifully decorated inn, Juliana stays busy and content. Until Webster Donovan arrives—tall, rugged, and sexy beyond belief.

The lean, dark-haired author has a bad case of writer’s block and he’s planned a six-week stay to cure it. But this beautiful woman is proving even more distracting to the cause. For prim, polite Juliana has a wild side: She rides a Harley and hides a troubled past. The moment Webster watches her take off her motorcycle helmet and shake loose those long, flame-colored curls, he finds his muse—and loses his heart. But can romance with a woman afraid to trust in love last longer than a moment in time?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345528940
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 862,673
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.92 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Brockmann
The award-winning author of fifty books, Suzanne Brockmann is widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year and two RITA Awards. Brockmann divides her time between Siesta Key, Florida, New York City, and Boston. Find her on Facebook by searching for Suz Brockmann’s Troubleshooters World.

Biography

Although Suzanne Brockmann can't remember a time when she wasn't scribbling something (one of her earliest masterpieces was an action-packed radio play called "Mice on Mars"), she didn't begin to write seriously until she was married with young children. She spent several years trying to break into the super-competitive field of screenwriting before deciding to try her hand at genre fiction; and, it was only after months of intensive research that she finally homed in on Romance. In June of 1992, she sat down to write her first book. By year's end, she had completed ten manuscripts, and in August of 1993, she sold her first book, the contemporary romance Future Perfect.

Brockmann's first novels were stand-alones. But as her career progressed, she noticed that romance mini-series, with their opportunities for character development and intersecting story lines, had become extremely popular. Seeking to increase her readership, she decided to write a mini-series of her own. She found her "hook" in a magazine article on Navy SEALs and, in 1996, she released Prince Joe, the first novel in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series. The alpha males of Brockmann's fictional SEAL Team 10 proved to be the perfect romantic heroes, and the series was an immediate hit with readers. Four years later, she launched a second series of military/romantic thrillers centered on the friendships, romances, and working relationships among a team of Navy SEALS and members of an elite security agency called Troubleshooters, Inc. Starting with The Unsung Hero in 2000, the Troubleshooters books have catapulted the author to the top of the charts.

Brockmann is known in the industry as a risk-taker, having written stories around such sensitive topics as interracial romance and homosexuality, In 2004, she garnered attention for her eighth Troubleshooters novel, Hot Target, which involved one of her most popular recurring characters, openly gay FBI agent Jules Cassidy, in a romantic subplot. Brockman, who dedicated the book to her gay son Jason, was not sure how readers would respond. To her surprise, the reaction from gay and straight alike proved positive. She stated on her website: "I love the fact that the world I've created in my books -- a diverse American world filled with the same variety of people who live in my urban American neighborhood -- has been so enthusiastically embraced by readers."

Brockmann's distinctive literary blend has come in for its fair share of praise. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, veteran Booklist reviewer John Charles stated: "Brockmann strikes the perfect balance between white-knuckle suspense and richly emotional romance." And USA Today has called her "[t]he reigning queen of militaray suspense." As further proof of her mainstream appeal, she remains one of a handful of Romance novelists to have made the leap from mass market paperback to hardcover.

Good To Know

In an interview with the online magazine All About Romance, Brockmann says: "I started reading when I was three (my first 'real' book was Beverly Cleary's Here Comes the Bus -- I remember this because no one believed that I was really reading it and I got really upset when my older sister took it back to the school library before I'd finished it!)."

A serious history buff from her youth, Brockmann has read widely on WWII and has been known to incorporate stories from that era into the books of her Troubleshooters series.

Brockmann loves music. She attended Boston University as a film major with a minor in creative writing but dropped out to perform with a rock and roll band. She also sang with and served as music director for a Boston-based a cappella group called "Serious Fun" and produced its first and only CD in 1998.

Brockman is married to novelist Ed Gaffney.

The mother of an openly gay son , Brockmann is a proud member of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays).

In her writing, Brockmann employs a device she calls Deep Point of View. She explains it in an interview with the online writers' journal Writers Write: "In my books, I use subjective point of view, but I'm not satisfied with merely showing the reader what that camera sees from its perch atop a character's head. I bring the camera down, inside of that character's head, so we see the world through that character's eyes. We hear things through his ears. We smell what he smells, feel what he feels, think what he think. With deep POV, I write using words that that character would use. I tell the story with that character's voice."

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The early morning air was biting, and the ground was white with frost. But Juliana Anderson opened the kitchen door and stood at the screen, welcoming the cold. She closed her eyes for a moment, feeling the chill air sweep over her flushed face, feeling the perspiration on her forehead grow icy.

The smell of the pancakes cooking on the huge old griddle made her turn back to the work at hand.

It was breakfast time at 31 Farmer’s Hill Road, the most illustrious bed and breakfast in all of Benton, Massachusetts.

The only bed and breakfast in all of Benton, thought Juliana wryly as she plucked the sticky buns from the hot depths of the ancient oven with one mittened hand even as she flipped the pancakes with the other.

She smoothed her apron, tucking away a stray wisp of her willful red-­gold curls before hoisting up the heavy platter of warm buns and a pitcher of foaming milk. She opened the swinging door into the dining room with her back, smiling gently, always the gracious Victorian hostess, as she placed the food on the huge oak table.

Five of last night’s six guests were already at the table. With any luck, the sixth would arrive shortly, and Saturday’s breakfast would soon be history.

She smiled to herself at the expression. Life at 31 Farmer’s Hill Road tended to be mostly history all of the time.

Juliana and her aunt Alicia ran the huge old Victorian house as if it were a guest house of the early 1900s, even to the point of dressing in period outfits when guests were in residence.

This morning, Juliana wore a stiffly starched white blouse with a high, standing collar and leg-­of-­mutton sleeves that were puffy at the shoulder but formfitting from the forearm to the wrist. The blouse was carefully tucked into a pale-­gray, high-­waisted, full skirt that trailed behind her as she walked.

“Will you be joining us this morning, Miss Anderson?” one of the guests asked as Juliana picked the large glass bowl of fresh fruit salad off the table.

“Of course, Mr. Edgewood.” Juliana smiled. “After one more trip into the kitchen, I think.”

Many of her guests stayed with her regularly as they traveled the Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston to points west. The Edgewoods had relatives in Ohio and booked a room whenever they passed through. She could count on seeing them at least four times a year. It was like a visit from friends. In fact, the Edgewoods had been among her very first customers when the bed and breakfast had opened nearly five years ago.

She enjoyed their company and looked forward to seeing them.

But not all her guests were like the Edgewoods.

Juliana piled the pancakes onto a plate and put them into the oven, pouring more circles of batter onto the griddle.

Some of her guests came and went without a word, without even a greeting. She shrugged. Products of modern times. Most people had forgotten how to be friendly these days. Or even polite.

She crossed to the old-­fashioned, rounded refrigerator, pulling a huge plastic container of cut fresh fruit from its chilly interior.

Take, for example, last night’s mystery guest, one Webster Donovan. Mr. Donovan had been due to arrive yesterday evening. Juliana had waited up ’til long past midnight, but the man didn’t even bother to telephone. Bad manners. Very bad manners.

Filling the ornate glass fruit bowl, she covered the plastic container and put it back in the fridge.

Yet Mr. Donovan had booked a room for six consecutive weeks, she mused as she crossed to the stove and turned the pancakes. He was bound to turn up sooner or later. He was a writer—­that much Alicia had told her after he’d called to make his reservation. Juliana had been hoping he was a little elderly man, someone friendly, someone who could entertain her with the stories of his life during the next six weeks of breakfasts.

Please, she thought with a flash of desperation, let me like him. Don’t make me have to endure a silent, surly, unpleasant, modern guest. But if his failure to call last night was any indication of his manners, she was in for a long six weeks.

Juliana crossed back to the glass bowl, peeled several bananas, and quickly cut them into the already huge mound of fresh fruit. With a quick stir, she mixed the fruit, then went back to the stove for the pancakes.

Juliana picked up the plate heaped with steaming, aromatic pancakes and the huge bowl of fruit and backed toward the dining room door. But instead of the giving swing of the door, she slammed into something hard and unyielding.

No, someone, she realized, as a large hand, attached to a strong arm, encircled her waist to keep her from falling. Another hand snaked out and grabbed the plate of pancakes, leaving her to concentrate on the bowl of fruit, which, much to her relief, she didn’t drop.

“Sweet heavens,” she breathed, closing her eyes in relief. That bowl was an antique, a work of art, valued at over five hundred dollars. Alicia had been suggesting for months now that they stop using it as common dishware, and it would have been too awful for Juliana to have to explain that she’d dropped it.

Juliana opened her eyes slowly, suddenly aware that whoever was holding her hadn’t let go. In fact, he had put the plate of pancakes down on the sideboard and now wrapped his other arm around her.

She tried to pull free, but couldn’t. She turned her head to find the roughness of a several-­days-­old growth of beard against her cheek. She took a deep breath, prepared to order him sharply to release her. But she was stopped by the most intoxicating mixture of male scents she’d ever come across.

He smelled like the outdoors, like the pine trees on the top of Sleeping Giant Mountain, like sun block, baby shampoo, and clean sweat. There was a touch of city about him, too. She could smell a trace of gasoline, or maybe it was oil, and an echo of stale cigarette smoke, as if he’d recently spent time with a heavy smoker. He didn’t smoke himself. Juliana knew that without a doubt. His mouth was inches from hers and smelled only sweet. Like apple cider.

He must’ve stopped at Greene’s Orchards just a few moments ago, Juliana realized, feeling oddly off balance.

Large fingers gently took the bowl from her hands, and still she couldn’t find the words or the will to protest.

She turned her head to look up at him, and time seemed to stand still. It was only a few seconds, but it seemed like hours, days, centuries that she stood there, gazing into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. They were an unreal shade of pure, deep crystal-­blue, framed by sinfully long, dark lashes. Those eyes dominated his face. And his wasn’t a face easily dominated. High cheekbones gave him an exotic cast. Thick, wavy black hair tumbled over a broad forehead. He had a straight nose, a strong chin, and a mouth . . . His lips were sensuous and beautifully shaped. Fascinated, she watched as he slowly moistened his lips with his tongue.

And still he held her tightly. She’d turned so that she faced him, and she could feel his thighs pressing against her. Long thighs, lean thighs . . . This man was tall. Juliana couldn’t remember the last time she’d met a man that she couldn’t stare down nose to nose. But judging from the crick in her neck, this man had to be at least six and a half feet tall.

His grip on her tightened, and she looked up into his eyes again. The sharp, crystal blue had somehow become softer, gentler, and she knew without a doubt that unless she moved quickly, he was going to kiss her.

She pulled away, eyes wide, feeling a flush creep into her cheeks.

“God almighty,” he said, his voice a rich, husky baritone. “You’re so beautiful.”

She felt her color deepen. Unable to speak, she snatched the plate of pancakes and the bowl of fruit from the sideboard and disappeared into the dining room.

Catching a glimpse of herself in the gilt-­framed mirror that hung on one wall of the dining room, Juliana was amazed at how calm and composed she appeared. Her face was slightly flushed, but the heat from cooking often did that. Redness in her cheeks didn’t necessarily mean that a rough, handsome stranger had waltzed into her kitchen and grabbed her.

“More coffee?” she murmured, filling Mrs. Edgewood’s cup with decaf.

How dare he come into her kitchen like that.

“Do sit down, dear,” Mrs. Edgewood urged.

“One more trip to the kitchen,” Juliana said, years of practice keeping her smile serene. “And this one will be the last. I promise.”

She put the coffee pot back on the sideboard and pushed the kitchen door open. When the door swung shut behind her, the man was still standing in the same spot.

He was wearing a worn pair of jeans, stained and grimy with grease—­that was where the oil smell came from, Juliana realized. Over a dark T-­shirt, he wore an unbuttoned plaid flannel shirt. The sleeves were rolled halfway up his forearms, and veins and tendons stood out against long, sinewy muscles. His hair was too short to pull back at the nape of his neck, but too long to be called short. It curled wildly about his head as if he hadn’t bothered to comb it after waking up. And he looked as if he hadn’t shaved in at least three days.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Author's liberal leanings show

    Like many of her other books, Ms Brockmann tells a good story, but incorporates her VERY liberal idiology. When I read a book--especially a romance, I want a little action romance and sex. I don't want to know what the author thinks is wrong with the world or how she feels about women's rights, gay people's rights, ecology, or politics. If I wanted those things, I would watch CNN or MSNBC. What do you expect from someone who lives in a suburb of Boston where the govenor gives illegal aliens a pass! If you can get past all her liberal steriotypes, then you might enjoy this book.

    6 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Dude:(by that I mean wing nut) it is a fiction book written by an engaging author many enjoy and I for one appreciate. Thank you Ms. Brockmann

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Obvious

    It's obvious this is an early book of hers. It certainly does not compare to her Seal and Troubleshooter books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Future Perfect

    Quick great read!!!! Loved it!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Rerelease - good but not up to current standards

    Written 10 years ago, not up to the level of romantic suspense she is currently writing.

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  • Posted December 10, 2011

    Great read - a must have!

    A must read. Another great Brockmann book.

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    Posted December 6, 2011

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