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"That's Il Re to you, babe." I stared up into the blinding light. Holy Cow, could I still be alive? Nah, no one lives
through being shot five times in the chest with a Glock.
"In the afterworld there is only one King."
I shrugged. I wasn't going to argue with God or God's emissary. "Then call me Ray."
"There is a chance for you to redeem yourself, Ray."
I laughed. This broad was too much! "Me? Yeah, right. A guy like me doesn't just play nice once he's dead and still
manage to get to heaven."
"With your dying breath you asked for forgiveness. He likes to do what he can."
All right. "Great, so I'm going Up?"
"Not so fast. There are conditions."
Of course there were. Madon' I was acting like a babbeo. There was no such thing as a free ride. "I'm
"We want you to unite in love as many couples as enemies you murdered in hate on earth."
"We don't use that term here."
"Excuse me," I said sarcastically. "I was a capo for twenty-five years, I ordered a lot of men killed. And that
doesn't count the scuffles I had making it to the top."
"We know you were a crime boss. We don't have all day. Will you be accepting this offer?"
"Babe, I thought we had eternity."
"You don't have a prayer if you call me babe again."
I bit back a chuckle. This broad was feisty. "Okay, I'll do it."
"There are a few rules."
I spread my hands. Hey, I could do a few jobs. It wouldn't be the first time. "I'm not exactly a rule-abiding kinda
"You're about to experience a modification," she said. "First, you will select a couple for the assignment. You will
take on human form and a new persona each time. Once the couple is together I will appear to you again."
"That's all?" Piece of cake. Heaven here I come.
"Not quite. If they don't fall in love on their own, you have to help them."
What did I know about love? I knew what it took to destroy a relationship, but I'd never been able to hold onto a
woman. Even the ones who weren't looking for forever had deserted me long before I was ready to let them go.
Merda, this wasn't going to be easy. "What, do I look like a marriage counselor?"
"You better hope you do to them."
An image of Tess, the only woman who'd ever tried to make my life better, who'd loved me through things that would have
destroyed a lesser woman, swam in front of my face. It wasn't a happy image, I'd done what I could to destroy the
feelings she'd brought to life in me. Did what I could to survive in a world where a soft man - a man in love couldn't
But this world was different. I'd do it for Tess. In repayment of the love she'd given me. The love I'd never taken the
time to realize I wanted until it had been too late. "So, who's up first?"
A stack of manila file folders appeared on her desk. "Pick a number."
"Cute. Just give me one." I definitely didn't like this broad.
"Number one. Good place to start," she said.
She held the file folder toward me. I flipped it open and scanned the file. Sarah Malcolm, a struggling restaurant
owner and Harris Davidson, a wealthy CEO.
They had nothing in common. Skimming farther down the didn't page help. These two weren't meant for each other.
"You've got to be kidding me. No way in he - heck, these two are going to fall in love. Give me another one."
The pile disappeared. "The system doesn't work that way. It's your job to see that they fall in love. And the Boss
likes them married," she said, standing up and walking to the front of the desk.
"If I fail?" She had nice legs. It didn't change the fact that she pissed me off, but I filed that tidbit away for
"You asked Him for forgiveness," she reminded me.
"Yeah, but I never thought I'd get it."
"Well, you did. Do you have any other questions?" she asked.
A million questions. This was the strangest thing I'd ever experienced. But I couldn't screw up. Matchmaker, damn if my
compares saw me now they'd be laughing their asses off. "Yeah, how do I contact you?"
"I'll be around."
She disappeared in a puff of smoke. What a come-down, I thought, as my body began to fade. Once a capo in the
mob and now freakin' matchmaker to the lovelorn. Holy Mary, what a mess.
Excerpted from In Bed With Beauty
by Katherine Garbera
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.
Posted January 23, 2011
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Posted February 15, 2011
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