Passion and Illusion

( 2 )


New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky captures the magic and truth of love in this delightful tale, first published in 1983, of opposites attracting.

A controversial Boston radio talk-show host, Monica Grant is a strong, willful, and independent woman. She wants an equally strong man. Someone like the heroes in the romance novels she's addicted to . . . someone like Michael Shaw.

A cop with the heart of a poet, Michael is looking ...

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Passion and Illusion

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New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky captures the magic and truth of love in this delightful tale, first published in 1983, of opposites attracting.

A controversial Boston radio talk-show host, Monica Grant is a strong, willful, and independent woman. She wants an equally strong man. Someone like the heroes in the romance novels she's addicted to . . . someone like Michael Shaw.

A cop with the heart of a poet, Michael is looking for that special someone, too—an old-fashioned, feminine woman. And for some reason he thinks Monica just might be the one. By turns infuriatingly chauvinistic and irresistibly attractive, Michael demands something from Monica that she doesn't know if she can give—or even wants to. With Michael, can she find the happy ending of her own love story?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061042324
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,140,533
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky, a lifelong New Englander, was a sociologist and photographer before she began to write. There are more than 30 million copies of her books in print.


Born Ruth Greenberg, and raised in suburban Boston, Barbara Delinsky worked as a sociology researcher in children's services and was a newspaper photographer and reporter before turning to fiction writing full-time. In point of fact, she never intended to pursue a literary career. But, in the early 1980s, a newspaper article profiling three women who successfully balanced home, family, and romance writing caught her attention. Intrigued, she spent months researching and writing her first novel. It sold -- and Delinsky was off and running.

Praised by critics and fans alike for her character driven studies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship, Delinsky is one of a small cadre of successful women writers (including Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown) who started out writing pseudonymous paperbacks for the category romance genre and muscled their way onto the bestseller lists with hardcover escapist fiction. Yet she is candid about the hard work involved and insists there's no tried-and-true formula that converts automatically to easy money. As if to prove her own point, Delinsky works from eight in the morning to about seven at night, writing in the office above the garage in her Newton, Massachusetts home; doing research; handling interviews; or -- her least favorite part of the job -- touring the country making author appearances.

Over the decades Delinsky has written dozens of novels that have landed on The New York Times bestseller list, including Twilight Whispers (1988), For My Daughters (1994), Three Wishes (1997), Flirting with Pete (2003), and Family Tree (2007). In 2001, she published her first nonfiction title, Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. A cancer survivor herself, she has earmarked all the profits from the sale of this book to benefit breast cancer research.

Good To Know

When she isn't writing, one of Delinsky's favorite pastimes is kayaking.

She gets some of her best ideas in the shower. "It's a little harder to write ideas down there," she wrote to fans on her web site, "but I've been known to yell something out to my husband, who does it for me!"

The family cat, Chelsea, is named after her 1992 novel The Passions of Chelsea Kane.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Billie Douglass, Bonnie Drake; born Ruth Greenberg
    2. Hometown:
      Newton, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

First Chapter

Chapter One

Monica Grant reached for a final book to add to the stack in her arms. She picked it up, skimmed the back-cover copy, then replaced it on the shelf. It was set in the Caribbean. She'd already chosen one story set there, plus several others that were set abroad. No, she mused, pensively studying the display before her, she was in the mood for something American, something contemporary, something dramatic. She pondered two other books before settling on a third and tucking it into the crook of her arm with the rest. Then she stole a glance to either side of her.

To her relief the aisle was still empty. The bookstore itself was nearly deserted. There was a browser one row to the left in Games and Hobbies, another two rows to the right in Psychology, and several others scattered along the far Non-Fiction rack, She had Romance all to herself.

With a smile of satisfaction she snapped up a magazine to camouflage the selections nearest her heart, then at a more leisurely pace she ambled toward the best-sellers. A first and a second, each by authors she hoped to interview during their forthcoming publicity stops in Boston, topped the pile. Then, with another cautious glance around, she headed for the cash register.

Luck was on her side. There was only she and the clerk, a studious-looking young man who tactfully rang up her sales without commenting on either her choices or the sheepish look she was trying so hard to suppress. She half-wished he'd ask, then she might tell him the tale of her friend in the hospital who was hopelessly addicted to love stories. But he didn't ask, and she left well enough alone.

It was only when thebooks were all safely tucked into a bag and hidden from public view that she dared look the clerk in the eye. "Thank you." She smiled more comfortably.

He nodded. "Come again." "I will," she said and knew that she would. Next week, next month, the month after ... whenever her supply ran out, she'd be back.

Clutching her treasures to her breast, Monica stepped out into the bright midmorning sunshine, took a deep breath of pleasure, and turned to head for home. But just as quickly the breath was knocked from her lungs when a body barreled into her, throwing her against the concrete wall of the building. Stunned, she slid to the sidewalk, oblivious to the shouts around her until one deep voice came through, close by her ear.

"Are you all right, miss?"

She gasped in the struggle to catch her breath but didn't move from where she sat slumped against the wall, her legs curled beneath her, her arms gripping herself and her belongings protectively. Her head was bowed, sending curled ribbons of light brown hair cascading over her face like a screen, behind which she slowly regained her composure.

"Miss?" The deep voice came again, and a gentle hand drew back her hair. "Are you hurt?"

Eyes still closed, Monica shook her head.

"I don't think so," she whispered, but already she felt a stinging in her forehead, another in her shoulder.

"Can you stand up?

Again she shook her head. "Give me a minute."

Her rescuer held her arm lightly as he reached into his shirt pocket. "Here, press this to your head." Without a pause he did it himself. "You've scraped your temple. It doesn't look serious. Anything else hurt?"

Lifting a shaky hand, she relieved his hand and pressed the handkerchief to her temple. "My shoulder." Only then did she open her eyes to examine the damage herself. It might have helped if it had been winter and she had been bundled up to the hilt. But this was the middle of June, it was hot, and she wore a bare sundress that had offered no protection when she'd hit the wall. Her shoulder was badly scraped, and she could begin to imagine what her forehead looked like.

"Can you move your arm?

She gave it a try and grimaced but succeeded. "It's okay. Just messy, I guess." Then she caught sight of the crowd gathered around in a semicircle and winced with distaste.

"Okay, folks." Her attendant understood instantly that she needed privacy and gestured toward the crowd. "Move on now. She's all right."

When she heard the note of authority in his voice, Monica looked up for the first time at the man who'd come to her aid. He had crouched down beside her, one knee braced on the sidewalk. He wore navy-blue pants, matching navy shirt with a badge on the breast pocket and the departmental insignia on its sleeve, and the standard patrolman's hat. Had it not been for the surprisingly warm depth of his brown-eyed gaze she might have stiffened on pure reflex. Instead she could only stare for a perplexed moment before gathering her strength to stand up.

He was right beside her, lending his firm support with a hand at her elbow, an arm a her waist. When it appeared that her legs would hold her, he released her. "Better?" His voice was as deep and as warm as his gaze.

"A little shaky ... but, yes." She dabbed her forehead with the clean handkerchief he'd given her, folded it over, then replaced it on the swelling bruise. "I suppose I'll have a whopper of a headache later." She laughed weakly, feeling strangely self-conscious. "What hit me, anyway?" Chancing a glance past him, she saw that the crowd had dispersed, leaving no sign of a guilty party.

"A pickpocket" came the quiet reply.

Monica's eyes widened in disbelief as she raised them to meet the more penetrating gaze of the policeman. "The pickpocket?"

His lips twitched. "Unless my buddy catches him, we'll never know, will we?"

She followed the link of his sight up the street ...

Passion and Illusion. Copyright © by Barbara Delinsky. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    .? Harlequin ??

    This was a big disappointment . It was all about sex, not much of a story line. I resent that I paid $7.99 for 161 pages. What a rip off. Save your money

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    good read

    Passion and Illusion by Barbara Delinsky
    female talk show hostess via radio is hit and she gets scraped up coming out of the bookstore where she's purchased a bunch of
    romantic novels. the cop that aids her drives her home while his partner gets subs for their lunch. the mugger has not put anything
    into her bags. the stalker is at it and tries to get to her again.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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