Slow Burn (Madaris Family Series)

( 66 )

Overview

ONCE YOU FIND

Everything in accountant Skye Barclay’s life is fitting smoothly into place until she makes the startling discovery that she was adopted. Not only does she learn that her birth mother has died, but now Skye finds out that she has a biological brother: Vincent. Skye wants to track him down, and her parents, as well as her fiance Wayne refuse to support or accept her. And Wayne, takes it a step ...

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Slow Burn

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Overview

ONCE YOU FIND

Everything in accountant Skye Barclay’s life is fitting smoothly into place until she makes the startling discovery that she was adopted. Not only does she learn that her birth mother has died, but now Skye finds out that she has a biological brother: Vincent. Skye wants to track him down, and her parents, as well as her fiance Wayne refuse to support or accept her. And Wayne, takes it a step further by abruptly ending their engagement.

A LOVE THAT’S TRUE

Skye’s search for Vincent leads her to his adoptive parents, Dr. Justin and Lorren Madaris, and, lo and behold, Slade Madaris—Vincent’s tall, dark, and sexy cousin. Slade is by far the most compelling man Skye has ever met, but she isn’t ready to get involved so soon after Wayne’s rejection…not even when Slade offers her a job so she can stay in town and get to know her brother better.

MAKE IT LAST…FOREVER.

Slade is a shrewd businessman, but hiring Skye is one of the riskiest moves he’s ever made. Soon their mutual attraction explodes into a steamy summer affair. When Wayne shows up in town, determined to win Skye back, Slade sets out to prove that he and Skye are meant to be together. Because a Madaris man never walks away from a challenge—especially when true love is on the line…

“The Madaris family is one that fans will never tire of!”

Romantic Times BOOKreviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An entertaining story...Jackson brings back beloved characters from her popular series, and the reunion is exceptionally satisfying."—Romantic Times BOOKreviews

"A good solid story with fiercely tender and intensely romantic protagonists."—Single Titles.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312940492
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Series: Madaris Family Novels Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 273,841
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Jackson

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Jackson lives in the city where she was born, Jacksonville, Florida. She is a graduate of William M. Raines High School, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University. Brenda also has a CLU designation. Brenda is a recent retiree who worked thirty-seven years in management for a major insurance company. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Brenda lives in Florida with her husband of thirty-eight years, Gerald. She has over 75 novels in print. She is currently at work on her next novel. You can visit her at: www.brendajackson.net.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Slade Madaris opened the door and was suddenly entranced by the woman he found standing there. He inhaled. Then exhaled. He repeated the process several times before forcing himself to speak. “May I help you?”

He saw the glint of surprise in her eyes and thought they were beautiful eyes. Warm and expressive. “You aren’t Dr. Justin Madaris, are you?” she asked in a soft voice with a New England accent.

Her question made a grin tug at his lips. “No, I’m not Dr. Madaris. I’m his cousin. Do you need to see the doctor?” It wouldn’t be the first time someone had come to the front door instead of following the sign and going around the back to where Justin had built a separate facility for his medical practice.

“Yes. No.” As if to explain her hasty response, she smiled and said, “This is not a medical call. I’m here to see both Dr. and Mrs. Madaris.”

Her smile did something to Slade’s insides, actually made his heart skip a beat. “I see,” he said, watching her nervously nibble on her lip. He wondered what had her so tense. He continued to watch the torture she was giving her mouth and thought they had to be the most kissable pair of lips he’d ever seen on a woman.

Deciding he’d seen enough and any more would push him to do something outlandishly bold—something his twin brother, Blade, would not hesitate to do—like pulling her into his arms and kissing her, Slade sighed heavily, then pushed away from the door frame and took a step back. “Then won’t you come in while I let them know they have a visitor?”

“Yes, thank you.”

Skye Barclay walked into the house feeling slightly off-key. If this man was an example of how they grew them in Texas, then she had lived in the wrong state all her life. He was simply gorgeous. And his eyes were so sinfully dark and alluring that she couldn’t help the warm surge that began coursing through her.

She put his age in the early thirties, no more than thirty-two or -three, and he had to be every bit of six feet three or more and was dressed in a pair of neatly starched well-worn jeans, a belt with a wide brass buckle, and a white chambray shirt. In her opinion he was the epitome of just what a Texan man should look like, all the way down to his booted feet.

And then there was his face. The man was as ruggedly handsome as any man had a right to be. In addition to the gorgeous pair of eyes, he also had a pair of lips that made you think of stolen kisses on a hot summer night and a pair of dimples that were responsible for the shiver she suddenly felt inching up her spine. His dark hair was cut low and neatly trimmed around his head, and his firm jaw more than complemented the rest of his striking features.

“Would you like something to drink while we wait?”

The man’s question recaptured Skye’s attention. She gave him a bemused look. “Wait?”

“Yes. Justin and Lorren are out riding. I’ve sent a text message letting them know they have a visitor.”

“You did?”

“Yes.”

She glanced around feeling somewhat embarrassed. She was acting like a sixteen-year-old noticing the opposite sex for the first time, instead of the twenty-six-year-old woman that she was. She’d been too busy checking him out to notice he’d used his cell phone. The one he was now placing back into the pocket of his jeans. Doing so made the denim material stretch tight across muscular thighs. She fought to hold back the little moan that threatened to escape her throat. She’d never reacted this way to a man before. Certainly not to Wayne.

“Introductions are in order, don’t you think?” he asked, smiling and offering her his hand. “I’m Slade Madaris.”

She took his hand, and the moment their hands touched she felt a tingling sensation flow through every part of her body. She cleared her throat and said, “And I’m Skye Barclay.”

His smile deepened. “Skye?” At her nod, he said, “I like that. It’s different.”

“Thank you. My mother named me after someone she once knew.”

“And where are you from, Skye? Although I have to admit that your accent gives you away. You’re a New Englander, right?”

She chuckled. “Yes. I’m from Augusta, Maine.”

Slade nodded. “The capital city. I’ve been there once, to a political fund-raiser a few years ago with my uncle Jake.”

“Jake Madaris?”

Slade lifted a brow. “Yes, one of my grand-uncles. Do you know him?”

She figured that now was not the time to let Slade know that her private investigator had given her a preliminary report on certain members of the Madaris family and Jake Madaris’ name topped the list since he was so widely known on a national level. “I don’t know him personally,” she replied honestly. “But you don’t have to be from Texas to know who he is. Everyone knows he married Hollywood actress Diamond Swain a few years ago and they have two children.” A teasing glint shone in her eyes when she then added, “See, I’m caught up on my entertainment trivia.”

Slade thought her chocolate-brown eyes held a warmth that nearly stole his breath. “You did pretty good. Their four-year-old son is Granite and their one-year-old daughter is Amethyst.” Then without missing a beat he said, “And you never did give me an answer about that drink. Do you want one while we wait?”

She shook her head. “No, thank you. I’m fine.”

It was on the tip of Slade’s tongue to say yes, she definitely was fine and in all the right places, but he knew such a comment would be inappropriate. Because of the number of projects Madaris Construction, the company he co-owned with Blade, had acquired in the last few years, he had basically put his social life on hold. The woman standing before him was making him think that maybe it was time for it to get reactivated. Every nerve in his body was coming to life just by looking at her. In all his thirty-two years he’d never felt remotely attracted to this degree toward a woman before, and he wasn’t quite sure just what to make of it. Blade was the playa in the family, the one who assumed it was his God-given right to have any woman he wanted.

Slade studied Skye thinking her age couldn’t be any more than twenty-five and she was no taller than five feet, three inches, with what he considered a perfect face: the coloring that reminded you of dark coffee with a smidgen of cream; full lips; high cheekbones; eyes the color of rich chocolate; and copper brown hair styled in twisted curls that stopped short of touching her shoulder blades. Her makeup, if she was wearing any, was light, and instead of lip coloring her lips shone from a touch of gloss.

She was wearing a floral top and matching skirt that complemented her petite figure, and a pair of flat leather shoes that seemed more for comfort than for show—although he thought they looked cute on her small feet. There was something about her that reminded him of a prissy, prim and proper lady. It was there in the gracefulness of her walk and the correctness of her talk. She was yet to slaughter a single verb.

“Would you like to have a seat then, Skye?” he heard himself asking.

Before Skye could answer, a smiling couple practically breezed into the room. From the genuine warmth in the handsome man’s incredibly dark eyes that connected to Skye’s—which were so much like Slade’s—she immediately got a comfortable feeling. And the woman by his side, whose smile was just as radiant as her beauty, sent out an air of friendliness. Skye knew from the private investigator’s report that Dr. Justin Madaris was forty-six. She immediately thought he wore his age well. Except for the sprinkling of gray at his temple, he looked younger than his years, and he appeared to be in great physical shape.

Skye’s gaze then moved to zero in on Lorren Madaris. At thirty-six she was definitely a beauty with her nutmeg complexion, dark brown hair that fell in soft curls to her shoulders, and eyes the color of rich caramel.

The first thing Skye picked up on was that they appeared happy together, very much in love, which was evident by the way Dr. Madaris was still holding his wife’s hand.

“Hello. I’m Dr. Madaris and this is my wife, Lorren. Slade said you wanted to meet with us.”

Dr. Madaris’ words pulled Skye’s thoughts back to the business at hand. She knew that in order to make them understand the reason for her visit she would have to tell them everything, which meant revealing information she herself just recently had discovered.

Sighing deeply, she took a step forward. “Yes, I’m Skye Barclay,” she said, offering both individuals her hand and immediately feeling the genuine warmth she had detected earlier radiating from their touch. “And I’ve traveled from Maine to meet with the both of you,” she continued. “It seems the three of us share a common interest in something. Or should I say someone.”

She saw a puzzled look appear in their eyes, and a quick glance at Slade, who was standing not far away, showed that same perplexed look in his gaze as well. It didn’t go unnoticed that Lorren Madaris instinctively moved closer to her husband’s side and he placed an arm protectively around her waist. Slade had taken a step to stand closer to the couple, sending a silent affirmation that as Madarises they stuck together. When Skye thought of just how disjointed her family was, she couldn’t help but admire such loyalty.

“And who might that someone be, Ms. Barclay?” Dr. Madaris asked in a clear yet non-intimidating voice.

Skye inhaled deeply. She had rehearsed this part many times over the past few weeks, since finding out the truth of her birth and deciding to make the journey to Texas. But now that the time had come, she was feeling more than slightly nervous. What if Dr. and Mrs. Madaris were not the pleasant couple they seemed? What if once she told them of the nature of her visit they saw her as a threat to their well-ordered life?

“Ms. Barclay?”

She knew that everyone in the room was waiting for her response, and an ingrained need pushed her to give them one. “Vincent.”

It was Lorren Madaris who spoke, and the question seemed to tremble off her lips in a soft tone. “Our son Vincent?”

“Yes. Vincent Madaris, your oldest son. I recently discovered that he’s my brother.”

Copyright © 2007 by Brenda Streater Jackson.

All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 66 )
Rating Distribution

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(36)

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(19)

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 67 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2007

    Sizzlin' As Always

    Okay, all I want to know is how can I marry into the Madaris Family?...LOL...What can I say Mrs. Jackson has done it again! 'Slow Burn' offers another thrilling rollercoaster ride with the Madaris'. The characters as always just leap off the pages. The storyline is intriguing as usual. The passion and desire between Slade and Skye definitely scorched each and every page. I love the way Mrs. Jackson always brings you up to speed with what's going on with all the rest of the family and their circle of friends. And you also get a secondary romance for the price of one. Now, this is a CLASSIC Brenda Jackson romance! I can hardly wait for the next Madaris novel. Congratulations and Kudos on this being your 50th novel Mrs. Jackson, and keep 'em coming! One error the description on the back of the book states that Skye Barclay is an attorney, but in the novel, she's an accountant...oops! Still, if you are a true Madaris fan, this is a DEFINITE MUST READ!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    Slade Maderis was visiting his cousin Dr. Justin Maderis and his wife Lorren when he meets Skye Barclay. They are immediately attracted to one another, but she is on a mission that takes precedence. Skye, from Augusta, Maine, recently learned that she was given up at birth for adoption and that she is the half-sister of Justin¿s son Vincent, who was also adopted when his parents died in a car crash. After telling them her bombshell, she explains she overheard her aunt pleading with her parents to tell her the truth as she was marrying Wayne Bigelow until he called off their engagement when he told her choose between him and Vincent thus her being in Texas brings joy to Slade¿s mind.------------ Whereas Skye wants to be in Vincent¿s life like the big sister she should have been, Slade knows she is his beloved life mate. He plans to marry her, but goes slow as to not spook her he even provides her a job while she becomes acquainted with Vincent. What he failed to calculate was her New England former fiancé coming to Texas to claim her or else cause problems like threatening Vincent. There is quite a lot of money at stake and the identity of the biological father remains an enigma.-------------- The latest Maderis family saga is a fantastic romantic suspense tale that grips the audience from the moment Skye informs Justin and Lorren who she is and never slows down until the final confrontation occurs. Readers will need to set aside time for a one sitting experience as Brenda Jackson enticingly reveals secrets that make for quite a thriller. The romance between the lead couple enhances the excellent SLOW BURN.------------- Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Time to keep

    this book will keep you intact with your inner self, your emotions will run with the story as it pulls you in for a ride of your life

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    A NEW BRENDA JACKSON (THE MADARIS NOVELS) READER !!!!!. I PURCHASE THE BOOK, SLOW BURN AND STARTED READING IT COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN... I REALLY ENJOYED THE STORY. I WENT BACK TO THE BOOK STORE AND PURCHASE, THREE MORE OF ( THE MADARIS FAMILY).

    FOR A FIRST TIME READER , OF BRENDA JACKSON . I GIVE HER 10 OUT 10. I WILL CONTINUE TO READ THE REST OF HER BOOKS I'M ON MY SECOND ONE ,OUT OF FOUR. AND LOOKING FORWARD THE NEW ONE'S THAT ARE COMING NEXT YEAR.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2008

    The Madaris Family is never boring

    I was needing a Madaris fix and Slade & Skye sure obliged. Brenda you made us wait for a Madaris story and it was well worth it. I like how all the other family members are included in Brenda's story's. Keep them coming. I Hope Blade or Luke are next in line for a story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    One great love story

    This book has the same life line as my own life I just love it im ordering it now!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Wow

    From start to finish true page turing romance and I love their family

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Loved it!

    This was another great piece of the Madaris family puzzle!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    Good read

    Truely enjoyed, sweet story with just the right amount of everything.

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    A+MUST+READ%21%21%21

    This+is+the+first+book+I%27ve+read+by+Brenda+Jackson%2C+and+I+must+say+that+I%27m+hooked....its+a+page+turner+and+i+couldn%27t+put+it+down.+I+love+the+Madaris+saga%2C+I%27m+pretty+sure+I+have+the+entire+series+as+well+as+the+Westmorelands....+Brenda+you+are+truly+gifted.+

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    HIGHLY Recommended, OOH SLOW and GOOD

    Brenda you put your foot in this one, I thought a movie on this book is a must!

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    great read!

    great read...i love the madaris saga...need moe Brenda!

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    A keeper!

    Where are the Madaris brothers or friends at now to come sweep me off my feet!!!! The book is a page turner. The plot was great and as always Ms. Jackson has you believing love can conquer all

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted April 25, 2011

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    Posted December 20, 2010

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    Posted August 4, 2010

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    Posted February 22, 2011

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    Posted March 5, 2012

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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