Man in Control

Man in Control

by Diana Palmer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426842313
Publisher: Silhouette
Publication date: 07/01/2009
Series: Long, Tall Texans Series , #33
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 131,678
File size: 789 KB

About the Author

The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.

Read an Excerpt

Man In Control

By Diana Palmer

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-76537-1

Chapter One

Alexander Tyrell Cobb glared at his desk in the Houston Drug Enforcement Administration office with barely contained frustration. There was a photograph of a lovely woman in a ball gown in an expensive frame, the only visible sign of any emotional connections. Like the conservative clothes he wore to work, the photograph gave away little of the private man.

The photograph was misleading. The woman in it wasn't a close friend. She was a casual date, when he was between assignments. The frame had been given to him with the photo in it. He'd never put a woman's photo in a frame. Well, except for Jodie Clayburn. She and his sister, Margie, were best friends from years past. Most of the family photos he had included Jodie. She wasn't really family, of course. But there was no other Cobb family left, just as there was no other Clayburn family left. The three survivors of the two families were a forced mixture of different lifestyles.

Jodie was in love with Alexander. He knew it, and tried not to acknowledge it. She was totally wrong for him. He had no desire to marry and have a family. On the other hand, if he'd been seriously interested in children and a home life, Jodie would have been at the top of his list of potential mates. She had wonderful qualities. He wasn't about to tell her so. She'd been hung up on him in the past to a disturbing degree. He'd managed to keep her at arm's length, and he had no plans to lessen the space between them. He was married to his job.

Jodie, on the other hand, was an employee at a local oil corporation which was being used in an international drug smuggling operation. Alexander was almost certain of it. But he couldn't prove it. He was going to have to find some way to investigate one of Jodie's acquaintances without letting anyone realize they were being watched.

In the meantime, there was a party planned at the Cobb ranch in Jacobsville, Texas, on Saturday. He dreaded it already. He hated parties. Margie had already invited Jodie, probably because their housekeeper, Jessie, refused to work that weekend. Jodie cooked with a masterful hand, and she could make canapés. Kirry had been invited, too, because Margie was a budding dress designer who needed a friend in the business. Kirry was senior buyer for the department store where she worked. She was pretty and capable, but Alexander found her good company and not much more. Their relationship had always been lukewarm and even now, it was slowly fizzling out. She was demanding. He had enough demands on the job.

He put the picture facedown on his desk and pulled a file folder closer, opening it to the photograph of a suspected drug smuggler who was working out of Houston. He had his work cut out for him. He wished he could avoid going home for the party, but Margie would never forgive him. If he didn't show up, neither would Kirry, and Alexander would never hear the end of it. He put the weekend to the back of his mind and concentrated on the job at hand.

There was no way out of it. Margie Cobb had invited her to a party on the family ranch in Jacobsville, Texas. Jodie Clayburn had gone through her entire repertoire of excuses. Her favorite was that, given the right incentive, Margie's big brother, Alexander Tyrell Cobb, would feed her to his cattle. Not even that one had worked.

"He hates me, Margie," she groaned over the phone from her apartment in Houston, Texas. "You know he does. He'd be perfectly happy if I stayed away from him for the rest of my natural life and he never had to see me again."

"That's not true," Margie defended. "Lex really likes you, I know he does," she added with forced conviction, using the nickname that only a handful of people on earth were allowed to use. Jodie wasn't one of them.

"Right. He just hides his affection for me in bouts of bad temper laced with sarcasm," came the dry reply.

"Sure," Margie replied with failing humor.

Jodie lay back on her sofa with the freedom phone at her ear and pushed back her long blond hair. It was getting too long. She really needed to have it cut, but she liked the feel of it. Her gray eyes smiled as she remembered how much Brody Vance liked long hair. He worked at the Ritter Oil Corporation branch office in Houston with her, and was on the management fast track. As Jody was. She was administrative assistant to Brody, and if Brody had his way, she'd take his job as Human Resources generalist when he moved up to Human Resources manager. He liked her. She liked him, too. Of course he had a knockout girlfriend who was a Marketing Division manager in Houston, but she was always on the road somewhere. He was lonely. So he had lunch frequently with Jodie. She was trying very hard to develop a crush on him. He was beginning to notice her. Alexander had accused her of trying to sleep her way to the executive washroom ...

"I was not!" she exclaimed, remembering his unexpected visit to her office with an executive of the company who was a personal friend. It had played havoc with her nerves and her heart. Seeing Alexander unexpectedly melted her from the neck down, despite her best efforts not to let him affect her.

"Excuse me?" Margie replied, aghast.

Jodie sat up quickly. "Nothing!" she said. "Sorry. I was just thinking. Did you know that Alexander has a friend who works for my company?"

There was a long pause. "He does?"

"Jasper Duncan, the Human Resources manager for our division."

"Oh. Yes. Jasper!" There was another pause. "How do you know about that?"

"Because Mr. Duncan brought him right to my desk while I was talking to a ... well, to a good friend of mine, my boss."

"Right, the one he thinks you're sleeping with."

"Margie!" she exploded.

There was an embarrassed laugh. "Sorry. I know there's nothing going on. Alexander always thinks the worst of people. You know about Rachel."

"Everybody knows about Rachel," she muttered. "It was six years ago and he still throws her up to us."

"We did introduce him," Margie said defensively.

"Well, how were we to know she was a female gigolo who was only interested in marrying a rich man? She should have had better sense than to think Alexander would play that sort of game, anyway!"

"You do know him pretty well, don't you?" Margie murmured.

"We all grew up together in Jacobsville, Texas," Jodie reminded her. "Sort of," she added pensively. "Alexander was eight years ahead of us in school, and then he moved to Houston to work for the DEA when he got out of college."


Excerpted from Man In Control by Diana Palmer Copyright ©2003 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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Man in Control 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an older story, and not bad, but just strange to read considering the change in the romance genre recently. It was the usual angst driven love story with rich man and young virgin. It's the kind of story Diana Palmer does best, so if you're looking for an easy, mindless read, this is a good one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Handsome,rich, older hero determined never to marry, combined with the innocent, morally conservative, younger heroine crushing massively on him. Only when the h faces grave danger does the H admit his love for her. Yes, Ms. Palmer has told the story before, but reading her books is like watching a Shakespeare play; you know from the start how it will end, but the enchantment comes from finding changes - even slight nuances - that make each version fresh and interesting. Plus, the inclusion of details about characters known from previous books keeps everything new. She is a good storyteller, her plots are strong, characters believable, plus, she includes just enough detail on science, technology, and business/social/political events to keep the stories current. I just love her Texas stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Diana Palmer hit it out of the park.
deembook More than 1 year ago
Love a man in control...
sassySG More than 1 year ago
You get into the writings of Palmer. This is great reading.
Anonymous 12 months ago
The free sample says 30 pages. The first 29 and a half are a list of all her books. The actual review of this book is half a page. What a rip off. Not even worth one star.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All beginning to read the same, sad. Loved reading her books , need to take a break from them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
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Walking from the medical bay after my weeks of bed rest was a blessing. Everything was cleared and l was ready to go back to work. Vengence once said it was a unwise choice to go right back at it. I disagree. I was heading to the combat room for some early training. I would spend hours in their at time before the attack. Now i need to train to get away from the scary nightmares. Holograms poped up a few minutes later. I went at them swinging. I punched a "con" hologram in the face before bashing my knee into the metal gut of the guy. "Not bad." I spun around aiming for the mech that startled me. "Calm down i'm on your side!" The silver mech put his hands up in surrender. "Sorry l dont like being startled and right after the..." l didnt finish my sentance. "Its understandable. I am Sideswipe. Its a pleasure to meet you." He responded with a cheerful tone. "Silentecho." I replied softly. I bid my good bye quickly sprinting out of the combat room. I ran into Vengence. Just my luck. "Why are you running Echo?" "Oh , hey Vengence. I'm not running just...moving at a slightly fast pase." I replied. He gave me a look. "Echo.." "It's fine you big over protective bear." He gave a grin. "Aww but who else would care for you." He said. I shrugged and waved good bye to him. I made my way to the medical bay with regreat. "Ratchet...You in here?" i called out. I heard a grumble coming from deep in the bay. "You and your brother on my last nerve Sideswipe. " Ratchet yelled. I gulped. Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were known for their extream pranks and their tag team in battle but put against Ratchet. Not so pretty. Their was a yelp. I cringled only imagining what was going on. "Ratchet" l yelled. I heard a crash and winced. I walked further in and yelped when a wrentch hit my helm. "Ratchet", l whined rubbing the area. "Sorry", came his gruff responsive. "My weapons, were they put in my room?" I asked softly. I looked down from the watching optics of Sideswipe. Rathets tone softend."Echo they are. I had the trigger happy one put them their." "Thank you Ratchet." I barely whispered before basicly turning and quickly running out of their. I heard some along the lines off "Shes kinda cute" come from Sideswipe before a loud crash came across metal hitting metal. "To cute for you trouble maker", Ratchet grumbled. Good old Ratchet is just like an over protective uncle. A small smile graced my lip plates. Optimus was out to go see family. I think he mentioned about having a baby sister he wanted to see meaning that no one would be in the data room. I made my way to the data room and started to read on the golden age. I got settled down smiling as l continued to read the data pad. Something beeped. I looked up smiling. Little Spark was curled up by me. I gently petted his spiky metal furish frame." Aww come to keep me company little one." He responded with a soft tap of his tail. My optics started to close as l faded into a peaceful recharge. My recharge was filled with horror. Nightmares of what would have happened had the autobots not gotten me. Nightmare of Megatrons evil presence burned into my head as i turned restlessly in the chair that which I had fallen in statis on. I awoke with a start to dark blue optics staring straight into mine.