Just a Kiss Away

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671023720
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 9/25/1998
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.79 (h) x 0.96 (d)

First Chapter

From "Just a Kiss Away" Luzon Island, Cavite Province,

July 1896

The machete just missed his head.

And Sam Forester needed his mercenary head, preferably still attached to his body. He spun around. A guerrilla soldier stood a foot away with the long curved knife held high, ready to strike again. Sam punched him. A familiar crunch rang from his callused knuckles to his wrist. He shook the soreness from his hand and stared down at the soldier. The man wouldn't get up soon.

Sam picked up the machete and a moment later whacked a path of escape through the dense jungle bamboo. Where the growth allowed, he ran. Damp, pointed leaves of oleander scratched his face. Cut bamboo crunched under his feet. Wet, furry vines slapped at his shoulders and head. He raised the machete and sliced through a low, smothering ceiling of jade vine. All the while he could hear the others chasing him.

He burst into a clearing -- no jungle to tangle him up, to hold him back. He pushed harder for the chance to gain a little ground. Running, running, pulse throbbing in his ears, he looked up. It was still dark. A virid canopy of giant banyans blocked out the afternoon sun. Ahead all he saw was a wall of green -- the never-ending sea of tree-palm fronds and another dark wooden forest of island bamboo.

Mist steamed up from the humid ground as if the earth had cracked open over the seas of hell. A sweet, almost sickening smell hung like fog in the heavy air. The smell grew stronger, the leaves around him thicker. He ripped at them, driving on, harder and harder, tearing through a dense, twisted prison of sweet jungle jasmine. The rough, woody vines caught on his shoulder, scratched his arms and hands. They seemed to suddenly wrap around him like long grasping fingers, determined to slow him down, hold him, or trip him. But he couldn't trip. His escape depended on it. One fall and they'd have him. The guerrilla soldiers were that close. Though now he couldn't hear them over the pounding of his heart, he could still sense them, could feel them. They were hot on his heels.

Then he heard them right behind him, crashing through the underbrush. They panted. They swore. They stuck to him as if they were his own shadow, ever present. He heard the crack of their machetes -- long, deadly, curved steel blades that splintered a path in the tall bamboo. With each chop, each hack of metal against splitting wood, the frenzied sound of pursuit ran an icy path of fear through Sam's bones.

Sweat streamed down his tanned face, under the black leather eye patch he'd worn for eight years, over the hewn angles of his life-weathered face, and trickled down through the dark shadow of a three-day beard. His perspiration mixed with the sweltering beads of humid, thick, steamy air that cloaked everything on this heaven-and-hell island.

His vision blurred from the wet air...or from the sweat; he wasn't sure which. He sped on, stumbling once when he couldn't see anything but a dark wet blur. He swabbed his good eye with a torn sleeve. His heart drummed in his ears. It was a beat to run by.

A new fragrance filled the air. The smell of risk.

A sudden blood rush sent him running faster, pounding through the jungle. The bitter metallic taste of danger was so palpable, so real, that it swelled in his dry mouth with the same urgency of sexual impulse. His brink-driven breaths increased, faster, faster, until they burned in his chest like hot acid. His legs churned. His ridged thighs contracted. Mud suddenly swallowed his feet. He couldn't move.

Damn! He pulled forward, determined not to let dirt and water stop him. He fought on, dragging and slogging his legs forward. His boots felt like lead. The mud got deeper. It sucked at his thighs. His calves ached. The muscles in his forearms tightened. He trudged on and on. Now the mud was only ankle-deep. He broke free, still ahead of the men who chased him, and soon he had gained ground once again.

He ran. They pursued. It was a game in which he wavered on the edge, maybe even the edge of death. He was in his element. He tested the fates. He challenged the odds. And he gambled with his life, because the thrill was keener and so much more intense when the price of failure was so dear.

A white, wicked smile cut like lightning across his hard jaw.

Sam Forester lived for this.

Binondo District, Manila, 4:00 p.m.

The house stood tall, impressive by its sheer height. Prized white coral rock formed the walls around the city estate, walls that blocked out the strange foreign mix of cultures on the island, walls which also ensured that the area within was the way the owner wanted it -- private, protected, and perfect.

There were two iron gates, one in front and one in back, embellished with an intricately carved grapevine motif, the exact same design used in the high transom windows of the house. Layer after glossy layer of thick black paint coated the gates and the small iron grilles that crowned the many windows of the house. Not one spot of the ever-prevalent island rust marred the home of Ambassador LaRue, of the Belvedere, South Carolina, LaRues, owners of Hickory House, Calhoun Industries, and Beechtree Farms.

Within those precious coral rock walls there was no bustle, just a courtyard paved in rich burnt-red imported tiles identical to those that shingled the steep pointed roof of the house. No breeze fanned the dark glossy leaves of the crape myrtle trees that stood like proud sentries in that still courtyard. But beads of humidity spotted and sparkled from the thick climbing vines of Chinese honeysuckle that draped just like South Carolinian wisteria from the wrought-iron balconies of the second story.

A fragrance swelled through the courtyard, the rich, sweet smell of the tropics. Breaking the silence, a distant tapping drifted down from an open corner window in the second story. The tapping was slow, yet for some odd reason had the sound of impatience. It faded for a moment, then grew, faded, then grew, repeating over and over until it stopped with the suddenness of a gunshot.

Eulalie Grace LaRue plopped into a chair and rested her chin on a tight fist. She frowned at the tall clock ticking away its eternal minutes. It read four o'clock. She switched fists. That took up two more seconds. She sighed -- a delicate, all encompassing southern sound, honed to perfection over the years by the genteel alumnae of Madame Devereaux's Ladies' Conservatory, Belvedere, South Carolina. That took up four whole seconds.

She glanced at the clock again, wondering how three hours could seem like years. But it had been years, she reminded herself, seventeen long years since her father left Hickory House, the ancestral home of the LaRues of South Carolina, for his foreign post somewhere in Europe.

Her mother, a descendant of John Calhoun, had died in childbirth when Eulalie was two, so her father had left her in the care of her five older brothers and a few trusted family servants. She could still remember how, days after he'd left for his foreign post, she had asked her eldest brother, Jeffrey, where the place called Andorra was. He'd taken her hand and led her down the curved mahogany staircase to the giant dark oak doors of the room Eulalie had been forbidden to enter -- one of the many things forbidden her because she was female. At the time, her five-year-old mind had dubbed her father's study "the forbidden room," but over the years there were so many "forbiddens" she had run out of terms.

On that particular day when her brother first opened the doors, she had balked, standing in the doorway twisting the blue velvet ribbons that held back her blond hair. He'd reassured her that it was all right for her to come into the room as long as one of her five brothers was with her. She could still remember the sense of awe with which she had tentatively followed Jeffrey into that huge, dark, wood-paneled room.

The room had seemed stuffy and tight and she'd felt a flush of heat that made her stomach tighten. She'd taken a few deep breaths and hardly had a chance to take in her surroundings before her brother led her to the tall globe that stood next to a massive desk. He spun the globe, an action that'd made her even dizzier until he stopped it, and showed her a small pink spot on the map. He told her that was where her father was.

She could remember staring at the small pink dot for the longest time. Then she'd asked if their father would be okay and when he would come home. Jeffrey had just looked at her for a long moment, then told her what a pretty little LaRue lady she was, with her big blue eyes and silky blond hair, just like their mother, and that little girls, especially the LaRues, needn't worry about such things. At that exact moment, Eulalie had been struck with the stomach ague, and she'd upchucked on the desk.

Jeffrey never answered her question.

And in the subsequent years, the question had still been evaded. Yet whenever a letter from her father had come, Jeffrey had always brought her into the study -- first making sure she was well -- to see the colored dots on that globe: from Andorra to Spain to Hejaz to Persia to Siam and, most recently, to the Spanish colony of the Philippine Islands. Somewhere around the age of fifteen, Eulalie had stopped asking when her father would come home, but she'd never stopped hoping.

All that hope and prayer came to fruition three months ago, when another letter had come to Hickory House. She had been arguing with her brother Jedidiah about whether she should be allowed to take the carriage to a special tea without a brother in tow -- a request she knew was fruitless but was nonetheless worth the effort since it killed the boredom of that afternoon -- when Jeffrey had called a family meeting. Jedidiah had immediately scowled at her and asked what the hell'd she done now.

Offended by his attitude, yet no less anxious to hear what Jeffrey had to say, she'd used every bit of Madame Devereaux's training and stuck her nose high in the air, grabbed her skirts in hand, and walked right past her scowling brother with all the ladylike grace of an organ hymn, for about five feet....Then she'd hit a sour note. She'd tripped on the silk fringe of the Aubusson carpet and had reached out to grab the nearest thing -- the mahogany smoking stand. They both went crashing down, along with her brothers' imported cigars and fifty-year-old French brandy.

Eulalie chewed a nail and frowned at the memory. It had taken three days to convince her brothers, especially Jed, that she could travel to the Philippines as her father's latest letter had requested. She could still remember the joy she'd felt when Jeffrey read the letter. Her father wanted her to come to the Philippines as soon as possible.

All five brothers had started arguing about it. Jeffrey said he still felt she was too young, but then, he'd always thought of her that way because he was fifteen years older than she. Harlan said she was too fragile, Leland claimed she was too naive, and Harrison said she was too helpless, but Jeffrey read on, and all those fears were put to rest because her father had arranged for her to travel with a family, the Philpotts, Methodists who were on their way to save the heathens of the lower Philippine island of Mindanao.

Eulalie had been so excited. The excitement died the minute Jed had opened his mouth. Although eight years her senior, he was the most vocal of her brothers. He'd claimed that wherever she was, an accident would happen. Immediately five sets of blue male eyes had turned to the empty spot where the smoking stand had once stood. Then they'd all looked at her.

She'd claimed he'd never forgiven her for falling into that old dry well when she was three and he was the only one small and thin enough to be lowered down to save her. She'd said it wasn't fair to blame her for something that happened when she was three. For three days they argued, mostly Eulalie and Jed. He had rambled on, likening her to the opening of Pandora's box. He'd spouted off a parcel of things that could happen to her and made her sound like the plague. She'd argued she wasn't a jinx, as he'd said. Everyone knew there was no such thing. His only answer had been that he had the scars to prove it. So by Saturday night she was reduced to tears, deep sobs that swelled from her disappointed depths like the sea in a storm. She cried all night.

But God must have been on her side because it was the sermon on Sunday that freed a puffy-eyed Eulalie from Jed's claim. Pastor Tutwhyler picked that exact morning to talk about how superstitions were the devil's foolery, and a true Christian would never succumb to such ideas. She could have run from the LaRues' front pew and kissed the man the moment he'd started preaching. After the service she'd heard Mrs. Tutwhyler talking about how the Reverend was inspired by Belvedere's newest establishment, a palm reader from New Orleans. But Eulalie didn't care what inspired it. The sermon had done the trick.

And now, three months later, she was here, sitting in a bedroom of her father's home in Manila, waiting as she had for all those years. She'd arrived a day earlier than expected and her father was in Quezon Province, supposedly returning by noon today.

A knock sounded at the door and Eulalie looked up. Josefina, her father's housekeeper, entered, a piece of paper in her hand. "I'm sorry, missy, but your father's been delayed."

Her stomach dropped, and the air in the room seemed suddenly stuffy. She wanted to cry, but she didn't. She sagged back in the chair, disappointment making her shoulders droop far more than Madame Devereaux would have ever allowed. She took a deep breath, gave the ticking clock one last look, and did what she'd been forced to do for so many years. She waited.

The jungle thickened. The machete couldn't cut through fast enough. The bushes blocked Sam in. He dropped to the ground and crawled under the wood ferns, dragging himself over the hard exposed roots and clammy earth. Lizards shot past him. Several bamboo beetles over two inches long crept over from the thick humus that covered the jungle ground. Twigs and damp leaves caught on his hair, pulled at his eye-patch string. He stopped to unhook it, breaking off the green twig that had snagged it. A milk white sticky sap dripped from the broken vine. Sam rolled, dodging the liquid. It was a leper plant whose sap could eat an acid path through human skin in less-than two minutes.

One deep relieved breath and he crawled farther. The vines and jungle seemed an endless trap. The sound of hacking still echoed from behind him. They hadn't reached the thick stuff. That knowledge sent him on, crawling over the damp ground, completely entrapped by twisted jungle cover. Sweat still eked from every pore in his body. It was sweat from the humidity and sweat from his nerves.

A slick black vampire snake with a bite more torturous and deadly than a stake through the heart slithered among the vines near his head. He lay still as stone. The sound of hacking knives and splitting bamboo broke from behind him. Without taking a breath, he watched the small reptile's glassy green stare. Luckily, the snake's thick-lidded eyes were turned away from him. Its jet-colored triangular scales undulated as it slid in a sinuous motion up, over, and through the tangled roots.

From behind him, the hacking stopped. So did Sam's heart. The men had reached the dense thicket of jungle. His heart took up the beat again, growing louder and louder. Between the snake and the soldiers, Sam was trapped.

The narrow street swelled with people -- Spanish, Chinese, and native -- a common island sight, unlike the frilly pink parasol that was the exact color of the Calhoun azaleas. It twirled like a brilliant silk top above the dark natives who milled in the busy street. The parasol paused, letting a Filipino family pass by. The woman turned and chided her daughter along. The daughter, a lovely girl of about thirteen, giggled and, in their native language, said something to her parents. The man and woman laughed, joined hands with the smiling daughter, and disappeared into the crowd.

Beneath the shade of that absurd little pink parasol, Eulalie turned quickly away, her stomach somewhere around her throat. It didn't do any good to wish for something that could never be, but she couldn't help feeling a little lonelier and a little sadder.

She picked nervously at her high lace collar, now little more than a damp bit of scratchy linen that had flopped over her mama's wedding cameo. She tried to block out the image of the family while rearranging the collar. Her fingers hit the cameo, paused, and unconsciously ran over the delicate carved contours of the brooch. She attempted to smile, but failed, swiping in agitation at her damp hair instead. She looked heavenward, at the sun, as if seeking the strength she needed to ignore her desire for the loving parents she'd never had. A long moment passed before she moved her parasol a bit closer to her head, an attempt to block out the heat of that withering tropical sun.

Her expression pensive, she gave a small sigh for what could never be, and she walked through the Intramuros, where the old walled sections still protected the inner city of Manila. She went out one of four dark gray-stone arches and into the outlying northern streets, heading for the marketplace. Josefina said the Tondo market was a busy, teeming place where she could bide some of her time until her father returned from the interior that night. She had been so nervous and anxious that she'd spent the morning pacing and watching the tall clock in the salon. Finally she'd chewed one nail to the quick before she decided that the housekeeper was right.

Parasol twirling, she stepped up on a primitive walkway and continued along, her small, squat heels tapping a hollow sound like a bamboo marimba, only slower, for a lady never hurried. Instead, she glided, just as Madame Devereaux inbred in her girls, imagining the yards of skirts as sails, moving around her in a slow undulating rhythm, like a wave hitting the shore. A true lady could feel the correct tide of rhythm as naturally as a native felt the beat of a drum.

Her French kid shoes -- the new ones with the darling square toes in shiny black creaseless patent leather -- crunched on a bed of slick stones inlaid in the middle of the dirt walkway. She'd heard tell that the stones were there to pave the dip where tropical rainwater and mud collected nine months out of the year.

She stepped on a stone and sank ankle-deep into mud. She jerked her foot out of the mud hole and hobbled over to the adobe building across from her. She closed her parasol and leaned it against some stacked baskets lined up like tin soldiers along the walkway. Hankie in hand, she cleaned her shoes and then stared at the ruined hankie. It wasn't worth saving, so she tossed it into a spittoon and turned to retrieve her parasol. In one quick motion, she popped it open and turned, never seeing the baskets teeter and fall, one by one, like dominoes down the walkway.

Off she went in the opposite direction of her father's house, nestled in Binondo. The streets were filled with wagons, carts, and crowded horse-drawn trolleys emblazoned with the name CompaÞia de Tranvías. Josefina had told her about the trolleys and how her father felt about them.

A fatal disease called surra ran rampant, sucking every bit of life from the native horses. The trolley company didn't care, choosing instead to run the poor animals until they literally dropped dead in the streets. Sympathy for the horses and anger at the company's cruel practice kept her father from using the trolleys.

As she rounded the corner just a few blocks from her new home, she saw why he refused to ride them. Horses -- ponies really, no bigger than three-month-old calves -- struggled to haul a loaded trolley through the street in front of her. She'd never seen horses look so poorly.

She just stood there, stunned, immobile, trying to come to terms with something so pitiful and foreign to her. The horses at Hickory House and Beechtree Farms were her brother Harrison's prized possessions and treated as much. They were almost part of the family. These animals were as thin as the skinny lizards called geckos that scurried all over the island. She'd never been exposed to animals so feeble and sick. The sight turned her stomach. Nothing, not the hot sun or the crowds, would make her set foot on one of those vehicles.

Before she'd ever seen the trolleys she'd make the decision to walk, since that was what her daddy did, and she was eager to please him. Now, as she watched the horses struggle to pull the loaded cars she felt ashamed that her first reason for walking was selfish, only to please the father she so needed to please. Because of her own worrying she hadn't thought about the animals.

But it was hard for her to understand something she'd never seen. Diseased animals were surely not something she could ever remember seeing. Not in Belvedere, at Hickory House, at Beechtree Farms, or at Calhoun Industries, not at any of the homes of the families with whom they mixed socially. And if there were any, her brothers would have shielded her from the sight.

The LaRue men protected her. She was the last living female in the LaRue family, a respected, honored southern name as old as the hickory trees that lined the long drive of the family estate. Her mother had been a Calhoun, another name that was practically an institution in the state of South Carolina, a place where blood lines determined social acceptance.

Her mother had also been a true lady, cherished and coddled and loved by all the LaRue men. But she had died when Eulalie was so young that the only image she had of her mother was from the picture over the salon mantel and the descriptions by her brothers and the others who'd worshiped and adored her. Like her mother, she'd been sheltered from anything her five brothers deemed the least bit dangerous or unsavory or unrespectable. Other than Madame Devereaux's -- a school she'd been expected to attend, where she'd been escorted to and from that bastion of female propriety in the family carriage -- church, and an occasional soiree, she had always been attended by at least two of her five brothers.

Thus she hadn't mixed much, hadn't seen much but her well-guarded little world, where everything ran its smooth and normal course, where her name gave her acceptance and opened the magic doors of society, where ladies behaved as such and were in turn cherished and protected by their menfolk.

All except one man, the man whose name she bore, her father. The one man who hadn't been around to cherish Eulalie was her father. He was the reason she was here, and he was the reason she was so nervous and unsure, wondering how one went about meeting the father she hadn't seen in seventeen years, wondering what his impression would be. When he finally returned tonight that meeting would take place, and more than anything she wanted it to be perfect.

His heart pounded louder and louder, booming like cannon blasts through his head. The snake slithered on. Sam exhaled for the first time in almost two minutes. He was free again, almost. He had to get to the river. He moved on, dragging his body through the brush. He could feel the thorn vines scratching through his shirt. A deep mulch of leaves blanketed the ground, and soon the vines grew sparser. He crawled farther, until wet, loamy dirt as black as a moonless sky covered the ground.

An instant later he was free again. He shot upright and ran on. Birds burst like buckshot from a giant banyan tree. Their dark shadows filled what little sky bled through the jungle overhang. Feathers rained down. Unknown animals screeched and rustled off.

Suddenly he was surrounded by a sea of color -- red frangipani, yellow hibiscus, and purple orchids. The sweet smell of tropical blossoms swelled in the air and over his dry tongue and throat. He was in a floral jungle, layer after thick layer of flowering plants. He tore through it. The perfume faded.

Then it was there. Water. He could smell the river. Humidity and dankness swelled around him, signs that the river was nearby. The taste of silty water filled the air. The hum of Spanish and native dialect faded behind him in the distance, replaced by the rush of fast-moving water.

If he could reach the river, he might make it. The Pasig River led to Tondo, outside Manila. The crowded market streets were his only chance of losing the men who chased him. They were Aguinaldo's guerrillas, and they wanted him. He had information on a gun shipment that the Spanish, Aguinaldo, and Sam's commander, Andrés Bonifacio, all wanted. If anyone but Bonifacio caught him, he was as good as dead.

Eulalie moseyed around the corner and there it was. The Tondo marketplace. A bustling, noisy hub of activity where everything seemed to scurry so fast it almost made a lady dizzy. Primitive wagons and gray weathered carts stood in clusters with their gates down, while rainbows of merchandise spilled out into the cobbled square. Everywhere there were merchants hawking their wares.

Drawn by her exotic surroundings, she wormed her way through the marketplace, mesmerized by the colors -- a myriad of glistening Chinese silk moires and downy velvets in royal purples, rich dark reds, ocean-deep blues, and glowing saffron yellows piled in teetering stacks of thick and thin bolts that towered above the small Chinese merchants. She moved farther into the crowd, where a cartful of giant tubelike rolls of wool and silk rugs blocked her path to those wonderful silks. She paused, looking around, seeing only native heads and colorful baskets surrounding her.

As she stepped back to find a new path, something caught her eye. She stopped and stared. The Filipino women walked around the circumference of the marketplace with baskets of merchandise atop their heads. Although it wasn't a new sight to her -- the washerwomen back home carried their baskets the same way -- these baskets were twice as big, and the women were so small they were almost half-size. The tall baskets held heaps of golden papayas mixed with green and pink mangoes, and some right strange orangish melons that were foreign to her.

Rising from her right was the strong odor of the sea, and she turned toward it. A few carts stood catawampus to her, and they were smothered in a whole mess of dead fish. The fish sellers poured buckets of ocean water over the catch trying to keep them fresh in the intense island heat of the afternoon. Every time they doused the fish, the odor subsided for a short time. But soon the smell returned and sent her moving away through the crowd and away from its stench.

The excitement and freedom of the frenetic atmosphere of the Tondo marketplace captured Eulalie just like those snared fish. Fate set the line, destiny the hook, and she was lured by her fascination with the crowd, completely unaware of the deep, raging waters toward which she swam, and of how this one afternoon would take her small sheltered, protected, socially prominent and lonely little life and shoot it all to hell.

Copyright © 1991 by Jill Barnett Stadler

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Really funny, at times laugh out loud, adventure romance of a ro

    Really funny, at times laugh out loud, adventure romance of a rough-edged mercenary soldier saddled with a dumb (naive) blond. Not meant to take too seriously, this love story is rare fun with a great ending. One of my desert island keepers.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    My favorite book of all time!

    I read this book when it first came out..and have read it ever year since. Has been my favorite book for 20 years. LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY with a hero and romance you fall in love with. Don't miss out..it truly is a wonderful story that you will read again and again!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2012

    Great read

    When i first read this i was like oh my freaking gosh i love this hero. He is absolutely perfect. Cynical, sexy, brash and just an all- around badass who takes crap from no one including lollipop. Yeah that thenickname he gave her better than her real name eulalie.The heroine at first meeting her i thought was an empty headed blond but she just had been too sheltered and suffers from an unloving father. He helps build her confidence by being so brutally honest with her that i at times cringed and said oh that was a bit harsh. However she needed this to grow and become aware of the world around her instead of living in a nice comfortable bubble her brothers created to protect her from a father that did not see her value no one did not even her, only the hero did. What a wonderful read.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    Avid Reader from NY

    I loved this book. I read many books but I don't alway find a book that keeps me glued to the end. This is a very funny, spirited book. Great Romance. Highly Recommended

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Proofreader needed

    Did someone do a search and replace substituting but for hut? Once okay, you can ignore it and move on. But every single time?

    She had never seen a but.
    She looked around his but.
    He threatened to lock her in her but.

    I've never seen a published book with quite so many typos requiring deciphering. Reads like a rough draft.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    Not worth it - too many mistakes!

    I couldn't read very much of this book; all the errors were too distracting. IF THERE WAS A PROOFREADER OR EDITOR, THEY MUST HAVE BEEN ASLEEP! I have never seen a book with this many mistakes before and that is a blessing as I love to read. Many many times I would read a sentence, that except for one word, did make sense. In more than half the sentences where the word should have been "hut" it was typed as "but"!

    I would love to get a refund!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2013

    The book is a fun read, a good break between heavier hitting boo

    The book is a fun read, a good break between heavier hitting books. The story is entertaining enough, but the Nook book is very poorly edited. There are numerous misspellings, extraneous characters and instances where special characters replace letters. It's very hard for me to keep reading when there are so many mistakes throughout the book. I've seen many editing errors in eBooks, but I think this is the worst case that I've seen. I'd love to have a job cleaning up eBooks, if such a position existed, if it doesn't exist now, it needs to because it doesn't seem right to pay for unfinished products.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Not one of her bettet ones

    I like some of her books but not this one. The heroine cries and screams way too much. I like the hero but I didn't laugh out loud.
    The editing was very poor. 80% of the time hut was corrected to but, the number 1 was used for capital "I"s. I struggled to finish reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    The book is good so far, but someone didn't do a very good job o

    The book is good so far, but someone didn't do a very good job of editing the Nook version.
    There are missing letters, punctuation marks where letters should be ";purred" instead of  "spurred". 
    It makes me want to take out my pen and correct everything, but I can't because it's the electronic version. It's rather distracting to have to stop and figure out what the word should be.
    I am only on page 36, but I have found at least 10-15 instances of this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    This heroine is a ditzy blonde before that was a term. I didn't

    This heroine is a ditzy blonde before that was a term. I didn't find this book funny - just silly. My first Jill Barnett read and probably my last.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Full gamet of emotions

    Be prepared to laugh, cry, be scared, feel comforted, and sizzle a time or two. This was a thouroughly enjoyable book. I would definitely read this author again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Nook format is terrible!

    This nook book might have been a fun summer read, but there were literally hundreds of spelling and grammatical errors that made attempting to read it nothing but burdensome. For example, the word, "hut", is typed as "but" numerous times. I'm asking for a refund, it was so horrible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Great

    Great book! I really loved Sam and Lollie's story! It was a great story filled with lots of laughs and smiles while reading this tale! Medusa, the mynah cracked me up, funny assed bird! Just a kiss away was fun and funny story filled laughs, love and other kinds of humorous bits! Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    Awful

    couldnt get past page 42. Waste of money

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  • Posted October 20, 2013

    Charming laugh out loud romantic adventure with a wonderful fema

    Charming laugh out loud romantic adventure with a wonderful female lead and a hard-edged soldier of fortune.
    Great love story of mismatched  couple guanteed to make you feel good.  an all-time favorite.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    hkfhfihri

    That was my neice maddim

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    It was ok

    This book had 298 pages. It was painfull in several places, how dume can one girl be. I was surprised that Sam didnt leave her. Even in the 1900 I think the women and girls had some common sence. Omg

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Bad

    Bad really bad

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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