Women of Bayberry Cove: Hometown U. S. A. (Harlequin Super Romance #1232)

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The Women of Bayberry Cove

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373712328
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Series: Harlequin Super Romance Series , #1232
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.82 (d)

First Chapter

The Women Of Bayberry Cove


By Cynthia Thomason

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

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

ISBN: 0-373-71232-4


Chapter One

LOUISE DUNCAN, who regularly apologized to friends and business associates for being late, was fifteen minutes early this morning. The Fort Lauderdale legal firm of Oppenheimer Straus and Baker didn't officially open until nine, but when Roger Oppenheimer had called her at home the previous evening and told her to be in his office at eight, Louise knew she'd be on time. She'd been waiting ten years for this call.

She exited the elevator on the top floor of the Moroccan-style building that had graced Las Olas Boulevard since the 1940s. Continuing down a wide hallway flanked with offices, Louise stopped outside Mr. Oppenheimer's door. She knocked lightly and responding to Roger's request, stepped inside.

He turned from the bank of windows and smiled at her. "Right on time, I see, Louise." He gestured for her to take a seat in a deep-tufted green leather chair, and he sat in a similar one on the other side of a mahogany coffee table. He lifted a chrome serving pitcher from a silver tray. "Coffee?"

Louise smiled back at him, growing even more confident in the cordial atmosphere. "I don't know. Did you make it yourself?"

Roger chuckled and poured a cup for himself and one for Louise. "Yes, I did." He set his mug on a coaster and molded his thick fingers over the edges of the chair arms.

Louise peered at him over the rim of her mug. It wasn't her imagination. The good humor of the last moments was fading from his features. His eyes had narrowed, the lines around his mouth deepened. The time for small talk was over. That was fine with Louise. She was ready to hear the good news.

"Perhaps you know why I called you to the office so early, Louise," he said.

She set down her mug. "I think I have a pretty good idea."

"I wanted to speak to you in privacy, without the interruptions of normal business hours."

And so the others who have been considered for the promotion wouldn't be around when you tell me I'm the one who got it. Louise allowed herself a bit of mental gloating. "I think that was a good idea, Roger."

He moved his hands to his knees and leaned slightly forward. "As you know, since Harker Penwright left, the firm has been considering moving someone from inside the organization to his position of junior partner."

She nodded. Oh, yes, she knew. The promotion had been the subject of whispered comments at the water cooler and murmured predictions during happy hours. Two days ago, Louise had gotten wind of what she believed was the true inside scoop from her secretary, who'd heard from Oppenheimer's own assistant. The promotion was going to Louise.

"We all knew that a decision was forthcoming," she said.

Roger cleared his throat. "Right. And that decision was reached last night. It probably comes as no surprise to you that you, Ed Bennett and Arthur Blackstone were the principal candidates for the promotion."

Louise folded her hands in her lap and connected her gaze with Roger's in that direct way she was famous for in the courtroom. "I had assumed as much, yes." Oh, this was going to be so sweet.

Roger looked away from her penetrating stare and seemed to find something fascinating in the weave of the green-and-tan carpet. The first hint of unease prickled along Louise's spine.

After a moment, he looked up. "There's no easy way to say this, Louise. Especially since I am fond of you on a personal level. And of course I admire you on a professional one."

Louise turned cold to the tips of her fingers. She held her breath.

"We've decided to give the position to Ed," Roger stated with agonizing blandness.

Louise shook her head, replayed the stunning announcement in her mind several times to be sure she'd got it right. She leaned forward and stared at Roger's face, at the capillaries expanding and reddening in his plump cheeks. "You what?"

"I'm sorry, Louise, but in the end, all three of us agreed that this decision was best for the firm."

Uncharacteristically, words failed her. She blew out a long breath, blinked several times and finally uttered, "Roger, I have seniority over Ed by more than a year."

"I know, and we took that into consideration. Unfortunately, there were other factors that weighed more heavily in our decision."

"Other factors? May I ask what they were?"

"Louise, I don't want to go into this ..."

"Roger, you owe me an explanation. You know you do."

He sighed heavily. "All right. Basically we feel that Ed projects a more appropriate image for the firm. He's wonderful with the clients. They like his give-and-take attitude with regard to decision making. He oozes confidence, Louise...."

"And I don't?" Good God, if there was one trait that clearly defined Louise Duncan, it was confidence, not pretended or fleeting, but real, no-nonsense confidence that Ed Bennett could only dream about.

Roger remained calm, his tone of voice even. "You do, of course, and for the most part your work in the courtroom is exemplary, but ..." He rolled one shoulder, resettled his bulk in the chair. "Frankly, Louise, we've had complaints. You come across as somewhat intimidating, forceful."

"I'm an attorney, Roger. It's my job to be forceful."

"To an extent, yes. But you shouldn't necessarily act that way toward our own clients. Ed is dignified, solid, almost courtly. He's stable and reliable, the picture of old-company trust. In the field of corporate law, Louise, his demeanor is most impressive."

"You're saying I'm not stable?"

He had the nerve to smile. "I'm certainly not suggesting you need psychiatric help, but to a client who's contemplating putting the future of his empire in our hands, you come on a little strong." He threaded his fingers together, resting his hands in his lap. "Let me put it this way. Ed Bennett bonds with the clients. He's both compassionate and capable. And while there's no doubt that you're a top-notch litigator, Louise, you do have a tendency to bully everyone around you."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Women Of Bayberry Cove by Cynthia Thomason 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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Customer Reviews

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( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Loli

    She looked around and took out her paint. She painted the walls with cool designs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    Lana

    Waved. By you guys! And wlkd yo her house.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Author

    (Thanks! But I can say that I did write chapter 3, no one else. And if someone is saying this then I guess they just will know the truthin their heart. If u dont believe me thats okay.)

    Chapter four-Berry
    She woke up with a yawn. Sunlight poured into the den. "Come on! I'll show you around camp!" Said a friendly voice, it was the Riverclan she cat from yesterday the one who had called Toger foxhearted, which he was not! "Okay." Berry agreed. She followed the she cat out of the den, it sirprised Berry to see all the warriors in one den, 'Why don't they all have their own dens? One to share with their mate, of course.' Berry thought silently to herself. But a voice interupted her thoughts "Ah, showing our guest around camp, Riverlily?" It was a strong and sturdy tom. "Yep, I am! Are you heading out on a patrol?" The she cat named Riverlily asked. "Yes indeed. Oh, Im Thrushlight." He introduced. "B-berry." She replied with a curt nod. "Nice name, welcome to Riverclan. I'll be seeing you two around then!" He said before turning to go meet up with serveral other cats in his patrol. "Handsome, isn't he?" Riverlily teased as she caugt Berry staring. "I guess." She admitted sheepishly. "Don't worry everyone in Riverclan is nice. Except for Tangleweed, but he's an elder so I guess he has the right to be cranky. But you might want to still stat away from him." Riverlily advised. Then the she cat lead them in front of a den that smelled of milk and warmth, just then two kits tumbled out. "Careful you two! You're going to get ran over someday, always charging out of the nusery as if you two rule camp. Now behave!" Riverlily scolded though Berry could see she wasn't trying to be mean. "Yes, Riverlily!" They said and ran back into the den they had come from. "This is the nusery, and those two troublemakers are Rainkit and Hailkit. Their mother is Robinwing." Riverlily explained.
    Later that day....
    "Uh... Riverlily? Can I ask you a question?" Berry asked. "Go ahead!" Riverlily said cheerfully. "Why is Tiger so bad? I get that everyone dislikes him for helping that apprentice but why?" Berry asked. "Why? Why? I'll tell you why! But what apprentice? He killed my own sister as an apprentice because she did not love him, and he loved her. Im sorry if this upsets you, but I have to say you look just like her. Perhaps this is why Tiger loves you so....." Riverlily said quietly her head bowed in defeat. "Oh..." Berry said. "Um.. I got to go." Berry lied. "Okay, bye." Riverlily said. "Bye!" And with that Berry disappeared out of camp. Her paws eventually lead her to a river. And under a huge willow she sat, trying to make sense of the past moons. 'I thouht he loved me.. and I loved him... but now I'm not so sure.' She thought sadly.

    End of chapter four. Hope u enjoyed!!!!~Author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    Willowsong

    Good but wheres chapter three?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    WHERE'S BERRY'S LOVE?

    Where?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fun tale

    In Fort Lauderdale, Roger Oppenheimer of Oppenheimer Straus and Baker informs Louise Duncan that she has been passed over for promotion because she lacks people skills. The selected attorney Ed Bennett may have the required people skills but is a toady with half as good of a case record as Louise has. Roger tells her to go on a needed vacation and her job was not in jeopardy so she decides to spend time with her best friend Vicki (see THE HUSBAND SHE NEVER KNEW) in Bayberry Cove, North Carolina........................ Though she plans to relax and not look at a law book, Louise becomes embroiled in a women¿s class action suit; her legal opponent is former JAG attorney turned marine biologist (National ocean and Atmosphere Administration has given him a research grant) Wes Fletcher, representing his family. As the duo battle over legal matters they fall in love, but he wants to remain near the Outer Banks while she has her life back in Florida making the commute too far to forge a permanent relationship..................... This sequel is a fun tale due to the gender wars in and out of the courtrooms. The story line moves briskly forward as Louise ably defends her clients in North Carolina and goes the extra mile to offer solutions to complex problems (something her Florida firm is just realizing the hard way). Although Wes seems like a Renaissance Man (the grant seems farfetched - how did he find time to even fill out the paperwork?), fans of contemporary tales will enjoy meeting THE WOMEN OF BAYBERRY COVE especially the apparent transient newcomer.................. Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2004

    Another winner from Cynthia Thomason

    The Women of Bayberry Cove is another fun romp by author Thomason. This time two opposing lawyers are the hero and heroine, and both Louise and Wes are strong characters who challenge each other both in and out of the courtroom. Louise battles for women's rights in a small town candle factory that has been run by an all-male board for decades. Wes represents the men who try to convince him that the 'big city lawyer, Louise' is changing the very fabric of their community. The resolution of the problem is both touching and clever, and readers will enjoy how Wes uses the entire town to win Louise's heart. The dialogue is crisp and entertaining, and a couple of secondary plots add variety. The small-town setting is homey and realistic. All in all, this is a fun, fast read with an excellent message for working women.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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