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"Amazingly enough, that information doesn't make things easier," Dani Buchanan murmured, feeling equally scared and excited which made for a very queasy stomach. She'd already talked her way through a receptionist and two assistants. She could actually see Mark Canfield's door at the end of the corridor. But standing between her and along warehouse hallway was a big, determined-looking guy.
She thought about pushing past him, but he was pretty tall and she wasn't. Not to mention the fact that she'd actually worn a dress and high heels—neither of which were normal for her. The dress was no big deal, but the heels were killing her. She could handle the pain in the balls of her feet and the slight pulling in her arches, but how did anyone stay balanced on these things? If she moved at anything faster than a stroll, she was in danger of snapping an ankle.
"You can trust me," the man said. "I'm a lawyer."
He actually made the statement with a straight face.
Dani laughed. "A profession designed to inspire trust? I don't think so."
His lips twitched, as if he were holding in a smile. A good sign, she thought. Maybe she could charm her way past this guy. Not that she'd ever been especially good at charming men, but she didn't have much of a choice. She was going to have to fake it.
She drew in a breath and tossed her head. Of course her hair was cut short, which meant there was no flip over her shoulder. Which left Dani completely out of charming-men-type tricks. Good thing she'd sworn off dating for the rest of her life.
"Think of me as the dragon at the gate," the man said. "You're not getting past me until I know your business."
"Didn't anyone ever tell you that dragons are extinct?"
Now he did smile. "I'm living proof they're alive and well."
Fine, she thought absently. She would go all the way to fine for this guy. He had a nice face— handsome enough that you wouldn't turn to stone looking at him, but not so pretty that he wouldn't need to develop a personality. Killer blue eyes. A strong jaw, which meant stubborn.
"I'm here for personal reasons," she said, knowing that wasn't going to be enough, but feeling the need to try. What else was she supposed to say? That she'd recently discovered she might not be who she'd thought she was and answers to her questions were in this building?
Dragon-man's face tightened as he crossed his arms over his chest. Dani had the instant sensation of being shut out and judged, all at the same time.
"I don't think so," the man said sharply. "The senator doesn't play those kind of games. You're wasting your time. Get the hell out of here."
Dani stared at him. "Huh?" What was he… Oh. "You think I'm implying the senator and I—" She grimaced. "Yuck. No! Never. Eww." She took a step back, a dangerous act, considering the shoes, but she had no choice. Distance was required. "That is too disgusting for words."
She sighed. "Because there's a chance I'm his daughter." Better than a chance, if her upset stomach were anything to go by.
Suit-guy didn't even blink. "You'd do better to imply you were sleeping with him. I'd be more inclined to believe you."
"Who are you to pass judgment on what Mark Canfield may or may not have been doing twenty-nine years ago?"
"I'm his son."
That got her attention. She knew all about the senator's large family. "Alex, I presume?"
Interesting. Not that she and the senator's oldest son were blood relations. Mark Canfield and his wife had adopted all their children, including Alex. But it was possible they were family.
Dani wasn't sure how she felt about that. Dealing with her known family was complicated enough. Did she want to take on another one?
Obviously, she thought. After all, she was here.
The sense of needing to belong by blood burned hot enough to give her the answer. If Mark Canfield really was her father, she wanted to get to know him, and no one was going to get in her way. Not even his adopted son.
"I've been patient through one secretary and two assistants," she said firmly. "I've been polite and understanding. If nothing else, I'm a registered voter in this state and I have every right to see my senator. Now please step aside, before I'm forced to escalate the situation."
"Are you threatening me?" Alex asked, sounding almost amused.
"Would it work?" she asked.
He slowly looked her up and down. In the past six months she'd learned that male attention was not a positive thing in her life. It inevitably ended in disaster. But even though she'd sworn off men, she still felt a little quiver as his steady gaze drifted across her body.
"No, but it might be fun," he said.
"You are such a guy."
"Is that a bad thing?"
"You have no idea. Now step aside, dragon-boy. I'm going to see Mr. Canfield."
The amused voice hadn't come from the person in front of her. Dani turned toward the sound and saw a familiar man standing by an open door.
She recognized Senator Mark Canfield because she'd seen him on television. She'd even voted for him. But those acts had been from a distance. She'd never thought of him as more than a political figure. Now he was here and there was a very good chance he was her father.
She opened her mouth, then closed it. Words faded from her brain as if she'd just lost the power of speech.
The senator walked toward them. "Are you dragon-boy, Alex?" he asked the younger man.
Alex shrugged, looking faintly uncomfortable. "I told her I was the dragon at the gate."
The senator put a hand on Alex's shoulder. "You do a good job, too. So is this young lady causing trouble?" He turned to Dani and smiled. "You don't look especially threatening."
"I'm not," she managed.
"Don't be so sure," Alex told him.
Dani glared. "You're being a little judgmental here."
"You're going to make trouble with your ridiculous claims."
"Why are they ridiculous? You don't know for sure, yet."
"Do you?" Alex asked.
The senator looked at both of them. "Should I come back at a better time?"
Dani ignored Alex and turned to the senator. "I'm sorry to barge in like this. I've been trying to make an appointment to see you but every time they ask me why, I can't give them the real reason. I…"
The enormity of what she was about to do crashed in on her. How could she just blurt out what she'd been told? That twenty-nine years ago he'd had an affair with her mother and she was the result? He would never believe her. Why would he?
Mark Canfield frowned at her. "You look familiar. Have we met before?"
"Don't even think about it," Alex told her. "You don't want to mess with me."
She ignored him. "We haven't, Senator, but you knew my mother. Marsha Buchanan. I look a little like her. I'm her daughter. And, I think, maybe yours."
Mark Canfield's face barely showed any reaction at all. Must be all that political training, she thought, not sure what she was feeling herself. Hope? Terror? A sense of standing on the edge of a cliff, not sure if she should jump?
She braced herself for rejection because it was crazy to think he would just accept what she said.
Then his expression softened as he smiled. "I remember your mother very well. She was…" His voice trailed off. "We should talk. Come on in to my office."
Before Dani could take a step, Alex moved in front of her. "You can't do this," he told the senator. "You can't meet with her in private. How do you know she's not with the press? Or the opposition? This could be a setup."
Mark glanced from Alex to her. "Is it a setup?" he asked Dani.
"No. I have ID, if you'd like to run a background check on me." The last statement was aimed at Alex.
"I will," he said smoothly and held out his hand.
"You expect me to hand over personal information right now?" she asked, not sure if she should be impressed by his efficiency or nail him in the shin with the pointy toe of her shoe.
"You expect to speak with the senator. Think of this as a security deposit."
"I'm not sure this is necessary," Mark said calmly, but he didn't try to stop Alex.
Dani dug in her purse for her wallet and pulled out her driver's license.
"You wouldn't happen to have your passport on you?" Alex asked.
"No, but maybe you'd like to take my fingerprints?"
"I'll do that later."
She had a feeling he wasn't kidding.
Mark glanced between them. "You two finished?"
Dani shrugged. "Ask dragon-boy."
Alex nodded. "I'll join you as soon as I get one of the IT people working on this." He waved Dani's license.
"IT people?" Dani asked as she followed the senator into his office.
"Information technology. You'd be amazed at what they can do with a computer." He smiled and closed the door behind her. "Or maybe not. You're probably very computer literate. I wish I were. I know as much as I need to so I can get by, but I still have to call Alex every now and then to get me out of a bind."
He motioned to a conversation area at the rear of the room. There were two worn sofas, a couple of chairs and a coffee table that looked as if it had served time in a frat house.
"Have a seat," he said.
She perched on the edge of one of the sofas and glanced around the room.
It was big and open, but lacking in windows. Not a surprise, what with the entire campaign office being in a warehouse. From what she'd seen so far, the senator didn't believe in spending a lot of money on appearances. The desk was old and scarred, and the only color on the wall came from large-scale maps of different parts of the country.
"Are you really running for president?" she asked. That someone she'd just met could be doing so now was beyond astonishing. It was just plain weird.
"We're exploring the possibility," he told her as he settled in a chair opposite the sofa. "This isn't a permanent arrangement. If my campaign looks like a go, we'll move to a more accessible location, but why spend the money now if we don't have to?"
He leaned forward and rested his forearms on his knees. "I can't believe you're Marsha's daughter. It's been what? Thirty years?"
"Twenty-eight," Dani said, then felt herself blush. "Although I suppose for you it's been closer to twenty-nine."
He nodded slowly. "I still remember the last time I saw her. We were having lunch downtown. I remember everything about how she looked. So beautiful."
There was a darkness in his eyes, as if he were lost in a past Dani couldn't begin to imagine. She had so many questions and wasn't comfortable asking any of them.
Mark hadn't been married then, but her mother had been. Dani barely remembered either of her parents. The man she'd always thought of as her father, at least until she'd found out otherwise a few months ago, was little more than a blur.
Still, she found herself thinking about him, wondering when her mother had stopped loving him and whether Mark Canfield had been a part of that decision.
"I never knew why she ended things," Mark said quietly. "A couple of days after that lunch, she called me and said she couldn't see me anymore. She wouldn't say why. I tried to get in touch with her, but she'd taken the boys and gone away. She wrote me and told me she was serious about us being over. That she wanted me to get on with my life, to find someone I could have a real relationship with."
"She left because she was pregnant with me," Dani said.
The moment was too surreal, she thought. She'd wondered what her first conversation with Mark would be like, but now that she was having it, she felt almost disconnected.
"That would be my guess," he said.
"So that means you really are my biological father."
Before Mark could answer, the door to his office opened and a woman entered. She gave Dani a quick glance, then looked at Mark.
"Senator, you have a call from Mr. Wilson. He says you know what it's about and that it's urgent."
Mark shook his head. "His definition of urgent and mine differ, Heidi. Tell him I'll call him back later."
Heidi, an attractive woman in her early forties, nodded and left the office.
Mark turned back to Dani. "I think it's very possible I'm your biological father."
The interruption had thrown Dani. It took her a second to mentally recreate the emotional storm that had been swirling inside of her. But the senator seemed very calm about the whole thing.
"You didn't know about me before?" she asked.
"Your mother never said anything and I never considered she could be pregnant."
And if you had? But before she could ask that, the door opened again and Alex entered.
"I've run a preliminary background check on her," he said as he crossed the room. He stopped in front of Dani and looked down at her. "No felonies."
"You mean that bank robbery conviction from last week hasn't posted yet? The federal government is just so busy these days."
"This isn't a situation I find amusing," Alex told her.
Dani stood. Despite the dangerous heels, she was still a good six inches shorter than him.
Posted August 5, 2009
Tempting was just that from the moment Dani Buchanan entered the Senator's office to find out if he was her biological father. What she didn't expect was to run head on into the handsome and sexy Alex Canfield, the Senator's adoptive son. Dani's luck with men during the past few years was a disaster......a failed marriage, a cheating and lying married man; she was his victim, and then meeting an ex-priest, what a mess. So Dani decided she would swear off men and would concentrate on her new job and finding out if Senator Canfield was her biological father.
The only way to describe this book was an emotional one for me and the end of Susan Mallery's incredible Buchanan family series. The past books sum up my thoughts, Delicious, Irresistible and Sizzling. In each former book you meet Dani's strong and callous Grandmother Gloria and her three brothers, Cal, Walker and Reid all of whom are involved in Buchanan Enterprises and run a chain of restaurants, a coffee company and a sports bar.
Dani you'll learn is the only family member other than her sister-in-law Penny in having a career with Buchanan Enterprises. The others are blackmailed by their "nasty" grandmother Gloria into helping save the business and when Gloria becomes seriously ill, they all rise to the cause and pitch in to help out Cal takes over the Waterfront Restaurant, Walker runs the corporation, Reid moves into to the mansion to help out with Gloria and her recovery. However, Dani is hurt that all of her years trying to impress her Grandmother have been for nothing. In the end when Gloria strikes out and tells Dani, she's not really a Buchanan and that her mother had an affair and she was the product of it, she's plain and simply devastated.
Of course, she takes stalk in her life, swears off men, begins a new job in a new restaurant and sets out to find out who she is with her brothers and sister-in-laws giving her the love and support she needs. During this "discovery" time, her Grandmother realizes with the help of her nurse that she needs to appreciate her family and Gloria rises to the cause, by making amends with her grandsons, their wives and makes strides to mend her relationship with her granddaughter, Dani. The bond these two women form will make you weep!
Tempting is about family, trust, temptation, healing and the power of love. But most of all about family and discovery! I applaud Susan Mallery on her very powerful series, one I will long remember!
It's family, finding one's self, family dynamics and Susan ties everything together in only the way she, this talented author does with every book she writes.-------------------Reviewed by: Marilyn's Romance Reviews
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2013
i read all the books in this series..this was the most slow going for me..it really didnt grab me and keep me..so i was disappointed in this book. but if u have read all the others..might as well read this..if not..then i would not run out to get this one..
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 24, 2012
Posted January 17, 2012
I have read many other books by Susan Mallery and really love her style. I liked this series more than the " Fools Gold" series. The characters in all these books are so realistic and lifelike. You feel like you are standing right there because the dialogue is so great. There were many times in the books when I laughed out loud, the conversation was so funny! I enjoyed the matriarch of the family, Gloria. What an interesting person. The guys are hunks and the women gorgeous so attractions going on are intense! I would really like to see this series continued!!!!!!!!!!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 13, 2011
Posted September 16, 2011
Posted June 14, 2011
Posted March 20, 2010
Posted November 27, 2009
Dani's story was the one I was looking forward to the most of the four. I think my expectations were too high because while the book was excellently written, like the others were, and tied up all the plot lines really well, it was slightly less exciting then I was expecting. I didn't feel like it went as far into the characters as the other three books did - rather just scratched the surface. I found the book interesting and well-written, but not as interesting as I was hoping for. Overall, the series is a good one and one I would like to reread in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2009
Posted February 23, 2009
Posted April 1, 2008
This is the last of the series and I have to say I was very sorry to see it end. I enjoyed this one however I was a little disappointed in the characters. I have read through the previous 3 books about Dani's struggle and I was hoping for a little more. Her father seemed like a jerk and really did not redeem himself fully in the end to me. I felt like the love between the two main characters was not developed and nurtured as in the other books. It just kind of happened. All in all I liked how the story wrapped up all the loose ends of the previous books and made me laugh out loud. Good read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
On top of three failed romances in a year, her pompous grandmother Gloria Buchanan informs Dani that she is not genetically related to her. Stunned she has a need to know who her biological father is. To Dani's shock, she learns her dad is presidential candidate Senator Mark Canfield.-------------------- Dani tries to meet Mark, but one of his eight adopted children (with wife Katherine) Alex refuses to allow her access. However, Dani becomes part of the media frenzy as someone leaks her connection to Mark. As she tries to hide from making the headlines, she and Alex begin to fall in love. He being the adopted son and she the biological daughter of the candidate complicates their relationship, which if they take a chance may torpedo Mark¿s run for the White House.---------------------- The Buchanan family saga is an IRRESISTIBLE miniseries as the SIZZLING key players mature and change in a reasonable manner while keeping their DELICIOUS basic essence. Dani is a delight as she tries to meet her father while his stepson Alex intercedes. To their chagrin, the couple falls in love complicating the complex. Fans will enjoy Susan Mallery¿s fine finish starring two people who have always felt like outsiders inside the respective families that raised them.-------------------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2007
Posted July 28, 2007
Ms. Mallery has another wonderful hit on her hands. The only bad thing about the book was that it was the final book in the series of 4 Buchanan stories. Each book got better than the previous and that is saying a lot. There is a lot going on in this book and the characters are very strong and warm. Even the thirddary 'like secondary' characters of Bailey and Ian are wonderful. Bailey just pulled at my heartstrings and Ian uses humor in handling his handicap. Dani has had several bad romantic relationships and Alex had a bad childhood til this adoptive parents came along as well as having had a bad marriage - so each has trust issues are not not looking for romance. Dani finally gets to meet her father who just happens to be Alex's adoptive father. Alex is very protective of his family and loyalty is really important to him. Ms. Mallery really has a gift of evoking varied emotions from the reader. The scene with Bailey, Dani and the 2 teenagers was very powerful and I wanted to kill the boys myself. Won't say anymore as I don't want to be a spoiler. It was great to see the reformed wicked Gloria again and to see her relationship with Dani grow. Anyway, what are you waiting for? Go out and get and copy - you won't be sorry.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 4, 2011
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Posted May 5, 2010
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