The Husband Quest (Luchetti Brothers Series) [NOOK Book]


There's no telling where a quest might lead…

Jilly Hart is used to being called an unsavory thing or two. Gold digger. Serial bride. You name it. All because Jilly doesn't believe in love…or magic. Just cold hard cash. There's no way she's going to go back to living a life of poverty.

But when she finds herself a widow—for the fourth time—all she has left is a nineteenth-century inn in South Fork, Arkansas. ...

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The Husband Quest (Luchetti Brothers Series)

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There's no telling where a quest might lead…

Jilly Hart is used to being called an unsavory thing or two. Gold digger. Serial bride. You name it. All because Jilly doesn't believe in love…or magic. Just cold hard cash. There's no way she's going to go back to living a life of poverty.

But when she finds herself a widow—for the fourth time—all she has left is a nineteenth-century inn in South Fork, Arkansas. Her plan is to sell the inn to make enough money to hunt for wealthy husband number five.

Jilly's plan unravels when she finally lays eyes on the place. It's a wreck. And locals say the building is haunted. But can Evan Luchetti, the local handyman, turn the place around? Even more, can Evan convince Jilly there's magic in their love—a love that could make her far richer than any life money can buy?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459228825
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 1/17/2012
  • Series: Harlequin Super Romance Series , #1226
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 751,381
  • File size: 577 KB

Read an Excerpt

The Husband Quest

By Lori Handeland

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-71226-X

Chapter One


Thinking there must still be water in her ear from taking a shower that morning, Jillian Hart tapped the side of her head.

"I'm sorry? I didn't catch that."

"Your money is gone."

Her late husband's lawyer, Jay Daggett, spoke slowly, as if she were a half-wit. Sadly, Jilly often had to act as if there wasn't a brain in her head. Men liked that, especially older, wealthy men. Her specialty.

"My money has gone where?"

"Into someone else's bank." Daggett, a short, stout, balding man of indeterminate age, shuffled his papers and put them in his briefcase. "Actually, several someones."

"Get it back."

"I can't. Henry owed everyone in town. His reputation kept them from collecting while he was alive and there was a possibility of his recouping the losses. However ..."

Jilly was drawn to the peaceful, panoramic view of the ocean visible from her house on Laguna Beach. "Now that he's dead, they want their money."


Her fourth husband, Henry Duvier, had died of a heart attack only a week ago. Considering he was eighty, that wasn't a surprise.

They'd been married five years - longer than any of her other marriages. Jilly had been fond of Henry, enjoyed his company and that of his friends. She'd hoped his assets would allow her to remain a widow for at least a year or two - something she'd never been able to do before.

Jilly turned her back on the ocean. "So you're telling me Henry's money is gone."

Daggett shook his head. "Everything. You'll need to be out of this house by Friday."

Not her beautiful beach house. She loved the sand, the surf, the endless expanse of blue. How would she sleep at night if she couldn't hear the soothing cadence of the water nearby?

"This makes no sense. Henry was a very wealthy man."

"Until he decided to become a movie mogul."

Damn. Jilly had known Henry's interest in Hollywood would bite him on the butt someday. Unfortunately, she seemed to be the one feeling the teeth.

Henry's ancestors had begun Duvier Publishing back when Gutenberg was a pup. Henry had spent his life making the family business even more successful. Then, when he was in his seventies, he'd sold out to a German conglomerate and retired to California.

But a lifetime of being a workaholic did not a good retiree make. Never having spared the time to create a family, Henry was not only bored, he was lonely. Which was where Jilly came in.

Some called her a gold digger; the society pages referred to her as a woman of means; the tabloids had long ago labeled her a serial bride. Jilly was both all and none of the above.

"There was just that one movie," she said.

Daggett peered at her over the rims of his glasses.

"There were three."

Jilly sighed. In the manner of trophy wives, she was not expected to meddle in Henry's business affairs. She'd been in charge of his loneliness; his Hollywood friends had taken care of the boredom.

Henry had always wanted to be a producer. All he'd produced had been bombs.

"He used his money on Aliens Are Easy," Daggett continued. "Mortgaged everything for Gunfight in Cleveland. Your funds went into the Beverly Hillbillies Return."

Annoyance and disappointment flooded Jilly. She and Henry had made a good marriage, one based on trust and affection. But she should have followed her mother's advice and stashed her personal hoard in Switzerland. Instead, she'd let Henry manage the fortune left to her by husbands one, two and three. It had hardly seemed fair to deny him access to her money when she had access to his.

Fair? When had life been fair?

She'd been dragged from town to town as a child, on the whim of her mother's husband of the moment. Genevieve Hart had married once for love. Love had gotten her a child and poverty when her husband skipped off with every penny they had. He'd gambled it away, then promptly gotten himself shot by someone he couldn't pay.

Jilly had been five at the time, but she remembered the overwhelming sense of panic that pressed down on them, the countless times they'd had nowhere to sleep but the street, nothing to wear but the clothes on their backs, not a thing to eat but what they could beg or steal. She would not be in that predicament again.

"Is there anything left?" she asked.

"Just the Inn at South Fork. In Arkansas."

"Arkansas?" Her voice reflected the horror that was no doubt all over her face. "Why on earth would Henry buy something there?"

Daggett glanced at the single paper he'd left out of his briefcase. "The inn was supposed to be the setting for the hillbilly movie."


"They never used it." He tilted his head. "I'm not sure why."

"The vultures couldn't leave me the villa in Tuscany?"

"They devoured that first. I suspect the inn wasn't worth the trouble."

"Great," she muttered.

Daggett shrugged. "Take it or leave it." Jilly snatched the paper from his hand. "I'll take it." What choice did she have?


Excerpted from The Husband Quest by Lori Handeland Copyright © 2004 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Great book

    A must read, a fast reader, i couldnt put it down, best $ 1.00 i ever spent.

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