The Rana Look

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The author of forty-five New York Times bestselling novels, Sandra Brown is one of the romance world's most acclaimed writers. Rendezvous magazine has praised her as a novelist whose "larger than life heroes and heroines make you believe all the warm, wonderful, wild things in life." Now, in the classic romantic tradition her fans have come to love, here is another sexy and ...
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Overview

The author of forty-five New York Times bestselling novels, Sandra Brown is one of the romance world's most acclaimed writers. Rendezvous magazine has praised her as a novelist whose "larger than life heroes and heroines make you believe all the warm, wonderful, wild things in life." Now, in the classic romantic tradition her fans have come to love, here is another sexy and extraordinary tale of passion--the story of a woman who gives up fame and fortune...and discovers true love in the last place she expected to find it.

The Rana Look

The modeling world called it the Rana Look...the exotic, one-of-a-kind allure that only supermodel Rana Ramsey could deliver. With her green eyes, olive skin, and wildly lustrous auburn hair, Rana posed for ad campaigns and strutted down runways all over the world, naming her own price to sell everything from cosmetics to women's lingerie.

But all of that suddenly ended one day when she looked her demanding mother-manager in the eye and said, "Enough." That was the day Rana packed her things and left New York--and modeling--forever. Settling in Miss Ruby's boardinghouse in Galveston, Texas, Rana finds success with her own business--and cultivates a new look to go with her new life. Now her beautiful eyes are shielded behind tinted glasses, her famous figure hidden under shapeless dresses, her trademark wild hair falling straight down her back. Rana knows she'll never attract a man this way, and that's just fine with her--that is, until Ruby's nephew, football star Trent Gamblin, moves in to nurse his injured shoulder. Ruggedly handsome, charming, and undeniably charismatic, Trent is the kind of man that Rana findsirresistible...the kind of man she is certain would never look twice at a woman as ordinary as the new Rana.

But to her surprise, Trent seems unfazed by her Plain Jane look. For he is drawn to a beauty that Rana can't hide. He is determined to learn the mystery behind the elusive, reclusive boarder with the secret past. To do so, he proposes an unusual pact: they will only be friends, nothing more.As the days pass, Rana and Trent are drawn together in a sensual idyll unlike anything either of them has ever known. But the outside world cannot be kept at bay forever. And Rana fears that when Trent learns the truth about her past, he'll feel betrayed and deceived. Even worse, he'll never be able to see her as she truly is. Then an unexpected tragedy strikes, and the stakes seem higher than ever. Now they must look deep into each other's heart to determine if their relationship is just an impossibly erotic dream--or a dream of love come true.


Author Biography: Sandra Brown began her writing career in 1980. After selling her first book, she wrote a succession of romance novels under several pseudonyms, most of which remain in print. She has become one of the country's most popular novelists, earning the notice of Hollywood and of critics. There are fifty million copies of her books in print, and her work has been translated into twenty-nine languages. Prior to writing, she worked in commercial television and as an on-air personality for PM Magazine and for local news in Dallas. The parents of two, she and her husband now divide their time between homes in Texas and South Carolina.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553104240
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • Publication date: 11/26/2002
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown is the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers, with over seventy million copies of her books in print. She and her family divide their time between South Carolina and Texas.

Biography

In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    Chapter One

    She met him in the hallway on her way down to dinner.

    He was the last kind of surprise she expected. His impact on her was startling. Several things happened at once. She drew in a quick, sudden breath. Her heart slammed into her ribs. She flattened herself against the wall.

    "Hi. Did I scare you?" he asked with a smile.

    His teeth were white and straight. His easy grin lit up a darkly tanned, weathered face. When his lips tilted up at the corners, one dark brow tipped down, while the other arched high, as though reaching for the wavy lock of sable brown hair that had fallen across his forehead.

    It was an intriguing smile. Arresting. Sexy. Her heart was pounding abnormally.

    "N-no," she stammered.

    "Didn't Aunt Ruby tell you she was getting a new boarder?"

    "Yes, but I . . ."

    She didn't finish. She couldn't very well say, "Yes, but I pictured a doddering elderly man with a pipe and cardigan, not one whose shoulders practically span the hallway." She had expected the new boarder to have a benevolent face with a pleasant smile. Not one that made her think of daredevils and ne'er-do-wells.

    Still smiling, he set down the box of records and tapes he had been holding under his right arm and extended his hand to her. "Trent Gamblin."

    Rana stared at his hand for an embarrassing length of time before laying hers against it, not quite clasping it, and muttering, "I'm Miss Ramsey."

    When she dared to raise her eyes to his, his smile had deepened. She suspected that he was smiling with derision at her primness.

    "Do you needany assistance, Mr. Gamblin?" she asked starchily as she drew her hand back.

    "I think I can handle it, Miss Ramsey." His face was solemn now, but the mirth was still twinkling in his eyes. They were the color of coffee liqueur, dark and rich and fluid.

    Slightly irked that he apparently found her so amusing, she pried herself away from the wall and stood up straight. "Then if you'll excuse me, I'll go on down for dinner. Ruby gets cross if I'm late for meals."

    "Guess I'd better hurry down too. Left or right?"

    "Pardon?"

    "Which apartment is mine? The one on the left or the one on the right?"

    "The left."

    "The right one is yours?"

    "Yes."

    "I sure hope I can keep that straight, Miss Ramsey. I'd hate to come stumbling into your room some night by mistake." His mischievous eyes traveled over her. "No telling what might happen."

    He was laughing at her! "I'll see you downstairs," she said coolly. She marched past him, forcing him to press himself up against the wall to let her pass. But he didn't press quite far enough. As she went past him, her clothes dragged against the front of his. He did it on purpose, of course. She could feel his arrogant smile at her back.

    If only he knew, she fumed silently as she took the stairs. Miss Ramsey could dazzle him, freeze him in his tracks, wipe that tomcat grin right off his smug face-

    Rana paused on the third step from the bottom. Why was she even entertaining such thoughts? She hadn't cared about her appearance for months. All that was behind her. Why now, after meeting the new boarder in Mrs. Ruby Bailey's house, was she even thinking of the Rana she had been six months before?

    She disliked herself for it. She had cut herself off completely from her former life. She wasn't ready to resume it, not even temporarily, in order to put the conceited Trent Gamblin in his place.

    Becoming the internationally known Rana again would bring back all the self-doubt and pain that went with the single name. She had given up her celebrity status. For the time being she didn't want it back. She was enjoying the anonymity of her current life too much. She liked being simply Miss Ramsey, an undistinguished resident of a typical Galveston boardinghouse.

    Ruby Bailey, however, was about as atypical a landlady as one could imagine. When Rana entered the dining room, Ruby was lighting the candles she had placed in the center of the table. In honor of the new arrival, she had gone to special pains with the centerpiece this evening.

    "Damn!" she exclaimed, fanning out the match. "I almost caught my nail polish on fire." She inspected the crimson enamel on her nails.

    Her age had never been firmly established, but Rana had calculated that it must be beyond seventy, judging from the dated references Ruby occasionally let slip in her colorful dialogue. She was hardly what Rana had pictured when she had responded to the ad in the Houston newspaper advertising an apartment for lease in Galveston.

    With the directions Ruby had given her during a brief telephone interview, Rana had located the house without difficulty. Her excitement could barely be contained when she pulled up to the address. The Victorian house, built in Galveston's heyday, had withstood hurricanes as well as the ravages of time. It was situated on a tree-shaded street among other recently restored homes. For Rana, who had lived for the past decade in Manhattan's high rises, it was like stepping into another century. She was delighted. She only hoped she and Ruby Bailey would hit it off.

    The landlady's hair was white, but it hadn't been pulled into the classic grandmother's bun, as Rana had imagined. Ruby wore it short and curly, cut in a surprisingly fashionable style. She wasn't matronly plump, either, another misconception on Rana's part, but whipcord lean. Her attire, far from conservative, consisted of a pair of jeans and a sweater the color of the vibrant red geraniums that bloomed in the concrete urns on the front porch.

    "You could do with a good meal or two." That blunt statement was the first thing Ruby had said to Rana upon giving her an inspection with busy, no-nonsense brown eyes that could have snapped a longshoreman to attention. "Come on in. We'll start with sugar cookies and herbal tea. Do you like herbal tea? I swear by it. It's good for everything from toothache to constipation. Of course, if you eat the balanced meals I plan on cooking for you, you won't ever be constipated."

    And that, it seemed, was that. Ruby considered the apartment on her second floor leased.

    Rana would come to learn that Ruby's cup of herbal tea was sometimes liberally laced with Jack Daniel's, especially in the evening after dinner. Rana forgave her friend that particular idiosyncrasy, the same way she forgave Ruby the frown she made no effort to disguise as she looked up now and spotted Rana.

    "I was hoping you'd gussy up a bit tonight. Your hair's such a pretty auburn color. Did you ever think of pulling it back away from your face a tad?"

    Rana, darling, your cheekbones are to die for! Show them off, love. I see all this glorious hair, sweeping back, big, big volumes of it, like a mane surrounding your face and cascading down your back. Shake your head, darling. See! Oh God, positively to die for! Every tacky little beauty shop in the country will soon be advertising the Rana Look.

    Rana smiled at the memory of the famous hairdresser's words the first time Morey sent her to him. "No, Ruby, I like it like this." Ruby had insisted on being addressed by her first name, because she said being referred to as Mrs. Bailey made her feel old. "The table looks lovely tonight."

    "Thank you," Ruby said impatiently as she spied a smear of paint on Rana's sleeve. "You have time to change, dear," she ventured tactfully.

    "Does it matter what I'm wearing?"

    Ruby sighed with resignation. "I suppose it doesn't. You'd only put on another of your horrid baggy combinations, none of which I'd be caught dead in, and I have about three decades on you. I'm sure, Miss Ramsey, that you could make yourself more attractive if only you'd try." First names didn't apply to her guests.

    "I'm not interested in my appearance."


    From the Hardcover edition.

    Copyright 2002 by Sandra Brown
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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 9 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 21, 2010

      Good, Easy Read

      Rana Look is a fun, sexy, easy read. I read it in a day. The story is a little far-fetched but it's still a good read. It's about a model that is tired of the lifestyle. She moves away and re-invents herself. Until she meets a VERY HOT football player and things get STEAMY! It has some humor, a great message, and sex. What more can you ask for?

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 22, 2007

      A reviewer

      The 'Rana Look' is a typical romance novel however, the way Sandra Brown wrote the story was so captivating you will not able to stop reading. A funny and cute love story that will make you smile, and fall in love all over again. It is a story of a young women who dresses like an old lady with a alter ego of a supermodel and a young dashing devilish handsome man who falls inlove with the conservative woman.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 9, 2005

      Couldn't put it down!

      This was the second Sandra Brown book I've read and it was FANTASTIC! I stayed up until 3 in the morning reading it. I got lost in the passion between Rana and Trent. A truely remarkable read! Keep it up Sandra! :-)

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 24, 2003

      I found another Brown *GEM* at the local library...

      I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this book at my local library and snapped it up quickly. I have become an avid reader of Sandra Brown's book since buying 'The Switch' and have come to love her earlier works as well. As for the 'Rana Look', I once again could not put this book down. It was beautifully written with characters so three dimensional, you can almost feel the pain, the heartache and yes, the intense *heat* that radiated from Rana and Trent. It wasn't only a sensual read, but had very sweet and humurous moments as well. It also dealt with the very sensitive parental/child relationship and its effects in a person's life. Absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed the sexy bantering, the emotional sweetness between Rana and Trent and most of all, the testing of their bond. For a cynic about romance, Sandra Brown has proven once again, she can make me believe.

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      Posted October 20, 2009

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      Posted April 16, 2010

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