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Midnight Seduction (Silhouette Desire #1557) [NOOK Book]


Millionaire treasure hunter Harlan McClaren's last adventure had nearly cost him his life. All he wanted now was to be alone, and this distant port--where nobody knew his true identity--seemed the perfect place. But then an innocently seductive young woman stepped aboard his sailboat and asked his help in solving a deadly mystery....

From that first moment, Emma Purcell was entranced by this mysterious stranger with the haunted eyes and the shadowed past. But she couldn't let ...

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Midnight Seduction (Silhouette Desire #1557)

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Millionaire treasure hunter Harlan McClaren's last adventure had nearly cost him his life. All he wanted now was to be alone, and this distant port--where nobody knew his true identity--seemed the perfect place. But then an innocently seductive young woman stepped aboard his sailboat and asked his help in solving a deadly mystery....

From that first moment, Emma Purcell was entranced by this mysterious stranger with the haunted eyes and the shadowed past. But she couldn't let herself be distracted from her desperate search--even as she ached to give herself to a man who could be the key to the secrets that had brought her here....

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426867941
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/21/2010
  • Series: Redstone, Incorporated Series , #1557
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 254,822
  • File size: 460 KB

Meet the Author

Justine Davis sold her first book in 1989, and followed that up with the sale of 19 novels in less than two years. Her first four books were published in 1991, and she saw all reach the finals for either the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award or the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award.

She has since won the RITA Award four times, along with several Reviewers' Choice Awards and three Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times. At the 1998 national conference, Justine was inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame, making her one of a very select group of just eight writers. She also had four titles on the Romantic Times "Top 200 of All Time" list.

Her sales now total more than 40, and her books have appeared regularly on bestseller lists, including the USA Today list. She has been featured in several local newspapers and nationwide by Associated Press, has appeared on CNN, and on two episodes of a cable television series on romance.

She has given workshops for many chapters of RWA, has spoken at several regional and international conferences and has taught at the UCLA Writers' Program. She is also featured in North American Romance Writers, an academic reference on the romance genre.

Her limited free time is spent on reading, music, photography, watching the eagles near her home, and driving her restored 1967 Corvette roadster -- top down, of course.

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Read an Excerpt

Midnight Seduction

By Justine Davis

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

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

ISBN: 0-373-76557-6

Chapter One

The tide had to turn soon. Didn't it?

Emma Purcell tried to tune out the noise of the jet's engines and concentrate. Her business was barely staying above water anyway, and at this rate, with Frank Kean's demands for higher rent, Safe Haven was going to go under soon. Unless she found a sizable life preserver, they would -

Emma cut off her thoughts and smothered a sigh. Ever since she'd left the attorney's office, she - who didn't even like the sea - had been thinking in watery metaphors. She'd wanted a distraction from the aching grief of her cousin Wayne's untimely death and the financial woes of her beloved animal shelter, Safe Haven, and now she had one. A big one. And it was all wrapped up in one huge question.

Why on earth had Wayne left his ocean-hating cousin a boat?

Maybe I can sell it, she thought as the pilot announced the presence of the remains of Mt. St. Helens on the right side of the airplane. Might get enough to keep us going for a couple of months. Maybe even more, with luck. Hey, maybe I could even get a haircut!

But she would fulfill Wayne's request first, she told herself. As he'd asked of her in the cryptic letter she'd received - eerily - three days after he'd died, she would look at the Pretty Lady in person before she did anything. She owed him that much at least.

Emma fought the wave of sadness threatening to swamp her again. She made herself look out the window as they neared SeaTac airport. It looked beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest, she admitted. She'd never been to this part of the country before, and now she wondered why. It was true she wasn't fond of the ocean, but this was different. From the air Puget Sound seemed more like a huge, calm lake, dotted with islands and edged with peninsulas large and small.

The ocean had always seemed so vast and frightening to her, and had since her childhood. Silly, of course, but there it was. But this felt safer somehow. It wasn't just the lack of crashing waves, it was that you were never out of sight of land here, and that was comforting to her landlubber's soul.

"This won't be so bad," she told herself as she signed the papers for her small rental car. "Maybe this can really turn out to be like a vacation after all."

And then the smiling young man behind the counter blithely told her it was a breeze to get to her destination from here, she simply headed up I-5, got off at exit 177 and headed for the ferry that would deposit her on the other side within a few miles of the very marina she wanted.

Ferry? Other side?

Images of Charon and his dark boat gliding across the River Styx flitted through her suddenly panicked mind. She shoved aside the image and studied the map on which the young man was drawing her route.

Once she was outside the terminal, she pulled out her cell phone to place the promised call to Sheila, her indefatigable assistant at Safe Haven.

"I'm here, safe and sound," she said. "How are things there?"

"Fine. I stalled off the county, and Mrs. Santini's son came and picked up Corky."

"She's going home?"

Emma could almost hear Sheila smiling. "Yes, tomorrow. He wanted Corky there to greet her."

Warmth flooded Emma at the thought of the reunion between the sweet, gentle elderly woman and her beloved terrier. This was what made all the work, the long hours, the strain of approaching strangers and begging for money or supplies, worth it. This was what Safe Haven was for, to take care of pets when their sick or injured owners couldn't.

"I'll check back with you tonight," she said.

"Don't you dare," Sheila said sternly. "You're on your first vacation in two years."

"But -"

"You trying to insult me, girlfriend? Saying I can't run this place without you?"

Sheila's anger was feigned, but Emma knew the sentiment was not. She also knew Sheila could handle things quite competently, that it was only her ambivalence making her nervous. She let the woman reassure her, and disconnected with a promise not to call again unless it was an emergency.

As Emma drove she tried to distract herself. She made herself focus on her surroundings, thinking she owed it to Wayne to at least open herself to whatever he'd found here that had made him stay so far from home.

Not that Wayne had anything to come home for, she thought, her mouth twisting. It was hard not to be more bitter than ever now. His family's cruelty had driven Wayne away long ago, and now he was dead with that rift never mended. Not for lack of trying on her part; she'd tried countless times to be the go-between, to help Wayne establish some kind of relationship with his family. But she'd failed. Even her parents hadn't been much help.

It didn't matter anymore, she told herself before the old anger could build. Wayne was dead, so he could no longer be an embarrassment to his stuffy, self-righteous parents.

Emma bit her lip to stop the tears that threatened to flow yet again, and tried to stop thinking about it. When that minor pain didn't work, she thought about the fact that she would soon be driving this little roller skate of a car onto a boat that was going to head out to sea. Well, not exactly out to sea, but still ...

That seemed to work, and kept her occupied until she had to steel herself to actually drive onto the huge green and white Washington state ferry. It was so big it seemed silly to be afraid, especially when she saw how casually the other passengers took it all, chattering happily as they headed upstairs for a snack or a drink.

"The drink part I understand," Emma muttered to herself, thinking uncharacteristically of something alcoholic. And the last thing she needed was a snack, not when she was trying to get rid of those extra twenty pounds she'd somehow picked up.

But by the time the boat actually left the dock she had a muffin in her hand, and she was surprised to note she actually felt like eating it. And had no desire to dull her senses with anything liquid.

Maybe this boat thing wouldn't be so bad after all.


Excerpted from Midnight Seduction by Justine Davis 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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