Though she certainly never expected to come face-to-face with her estranged husband again, Claire McCane didn't have the luxury of recovering from the shock his presence caused. For another tremendous surprise awaited her.

Even more troubling than the fantastic emotions Joshua's unexpected arrival stirred, was the century-old, black-and-white photograph they discovered, which captured their exact likenesses. Now, reluctant partners on a treasure hunt, Claire suddenly found ...

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A Gift from the Past

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Though she certainly never expected to come face-to-face with her estranged husband again, Claire McCane didn't have the luxury of recovering from the shock his presence caused. For another tremendous surprise awaited her.

Even more troubling than the fantastic emotions Joshua's unexpected arrival stirred, was the century-old, black-and-white photograph they discovered, which captured their exact likenesses. Now, reluctant partners on a treasure hunt, Claire suddenly found herself depending on Joshua again and feeling things she'd long forgotten. Would this lead to the reconciliation they both longed for?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426883743
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Series: Soulmates, #1669
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 549,136
  • File size: 427 KB

Meet the Author

Carla Cassidy is an award-winning author who has written more than 55 books. In 1995 she won Best Silhouette Romance of 1995 from Romantic Times Magazine for Anything for Danny. In 1998 she also won a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times Magazine for Best Innovative Series, and her 1998 release, Pregnant With His Child, was both a nominee for Best Silhouette Romance from Romantic Times Magazine and a RITA nominee in the Best Traditional category.

She has been a professional cheerleader, an actress, and a singer/dancer in a show band before settling into her true love...writing.

Carla loves to order items she'll never use from catalogs and believes all exercise should be banned. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, Frank, and their dogs, Sabra and Spooky. She believes the only thing better than reading a good book is creating a good story.
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Read an Excerpt

A Gift From The Past

By Carla Cassidy

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373196695

Chapter One

Claire McCane looked like a bag lady. But, as far as she was concerned, most amateur treasure hunters looked like street people. Of course, the small town of Mayfield, Missouri, didn't draw many true treasure hunters.

It had only been since Clark Windsloe, owner of Windsloe Automotive and the mayor of Mayfield, had begun the Pot of Gold contest that the citizens of Mayfield had transformed themselves from ordinary people into half-crazed puzzle-solvers and earth-diggers.

The final three clues leading to where the ten-thousand-dollar treasure was buried would appear in the Saturday morning paper over the next three weeks, but Claire thought she knew where to find the windfall. And heaven knew she could use a windfall.

She briskly walked across the large expanse of manicured lawn that surrounded the two-story brick building that housed City Hall and the police station. She didn't want to draw attention to herself, didn't want anyone else to know where she was going to hunt for the buried money.

Behind the city building were thick woods and it was there she was headed, to the base of a certain tree. Unfortunately she hadn't been able to afford one of those treasure-finding machines with all their bells and whistles. She was armed only with a trusty spade and a healthy dose of excitement.

The late June air felt hot on her shoulders and was sweetly fragrant with the scent of the blooming flowers surrounding the building. As she left the well-trimmed grass for the taller, more tangled underbrush of the woods, she glanced at her wristwatch.

Time was of the essence. She always felt guilty leaving her grandfather in anyone else's care for any length of time. Thank goodness for Wilma Iverson, her neighbor who was available to sit with Sarge.

It was cooler here, with the canopy of leaves overhead to shade the ground. The tree she sought was on the far side of the wooded area, a tree scarred by lightning that had been referred to as the Dragon Tree when she was a child.

The clue in the paper that morning had been something about the roots of fire and ash yielding sweet fruit. She had instantly thought of the Dragon Tree. She desperately hoped she was right. She had a hundred plans for the money if she managed to find it.

She quickened her pace, ducking beneath tree limbs, picking her way through vines and brush, hoping she was the only one who had thought of the lightning-scarred tree.

She heard him before she saw him, somewhere ahead of her, like a bear lumbering through the brush, only there were no bears in Mayfield. At the same time, she became aware of the faint scent of expensive cologne lingering in the air.

Somebody was after her treasure. She quickened her pace, dismay sweeping through her. If she could get to the tree first and get her spade in the ground before whoever was in the woods with her, the treasure would rightfully be hers.

The tree was just ahead when she heard the sound of a shovel hitting the ground. She halted, disappointment crashing through her, then continued forward, intrigued to see who had beaten her to the punch.

As she stepped closer to the tree, she spied him. His back was to her and he was far too well-dressed for a treasure seeker. Dark-blue dress slacks encased long muscular legs and slim hips. A white dress shirt stretched across an impossibly broad back, the center of the shirt damp with sweat.

"Looks like you beat me to the punch," she said dispiritedly.

He whirled around to face her, and she gasped and stumbled back a step as shock riveted through her.

"Joshua." She whispered his name as she stared at the man she hadn't seen for five years, the man who had been her husband ... the man who was still her husband.

"Hello, Claire."

His voice, that deep, whisky voice, raked millions of unwanted memories through her at the same time as his eyes, as green as the woods that surrounded them, swept over her from top to toe.

Defensive walls shot up inside her. "What are you doing here?" she demanded, irritated by the fact that just for a moment she'd wished she was wearing something other than her oldest pair of jean shorts and a T-shirt streaked with the remnants of white paint.

He gestured to the shovel stuck in the ground. "I'm treasure-hunting."

He certainly didn't look as though he needed to find a treasure. The loafers on his feet looked Italian and had probably cost enough to keep her and Sarge in groceries for a year.

Somewhere in the back of her mind she realized she was in shock. The last person she'd expected ever to see again in her life was Joshua McCane. "I meant, what are you doing here ... in Mayfield. Nobody told me you were in town."

He pulled the shovel out of the ground and leaned it against the base of the tree. "I got in late last night. I had coffee this morning in the diner and read the clues to the Pot of Gold contest and thought I'd try my luck in figuring it out."

"Why don't you go try your luck someplace else? This is where I was going to dig." She sounded like a petulant child and she wasn't sure what she resented most, the fact that he looked like a million dollars or that he was thwarting her chance to gain ten thousand dollars.

"It appears I beat you to it, Cookie." To accentuate his point, he grabbed the shovel and dug into the earth at the base of the tree.

She bristled at his use of her old nickname, the one he used to call her when his eyes were lit with love or fired with passion - the name he'd used when he'd loved her ... when she'd loved him.

"What are you doing here?" she demanded once again. She didn't want him in Mayfield, and she certainly didn't want him here at the Dragon Tree.


Excerpted from A Gift From The Past by Carla Cassidy 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.

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