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Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits

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Sequel to Scandalous Spirits

Amazing Grace. . .What kind of paranormal prank is this, anyway?

Shoved from the tower of the haunted Van Buren mansion, 21st century chick magnet Rufus Sinclair wonders how in Hades he's landed in Atlantic City in the Roaring Twenties. Why does he have to be the one to help wayward flapper Izzy Van Buren find redemption? Worse, why does he have to go and fall for flirtatious Izzy's best friend, daredevil barnstormer Grace LaRue? Even in her tomboy togs and aviator goggles, needs-a-man-like-bees-need-knees Grace instantly kindles his erotic interest-then hijacks his love-proof heart. It's almost as if he's lived-and loved her-before. She Dubbed Him Ace . . .

Who is this sheik-sexy stranger who appears out of nowhere, claiming amnesia and wearing pilot's wings? A gift from above, sent to help restore her stunt pilot reputation? Or a Federal agent intent on bringing down her scandalous friends? All Grace knows for sure is that the zing-zap electricity shooting between her and Ace threatens to short-circuit her self-control.

Kindred Spirits? . . . With the friction between them mounting, Rufus risks life and limb to wing-walk on Grace's Word War I biplane . . . slow dances and swills bootleg hooch with her in an all-night speakeasy . . . and creates a media frenzy guaranteed to restore her rep as the East Coast's best aviatrix. Together, they generate enough sexual heat to melt Grace's fear-driven defenses and his no-strings-attached armor. But his panic grows by the hour. He dreads he'll be blown back to the future, failing to save Izzy . . . and leaving his amazing Grace-and his heart-behind.
Sequel to Scandalous Spirits

Amazing Grace. . .What kind of paranormal prank is this, anyway?

Shoved from the tower of the haunted Van Buren mansion, 21st century chick magnet Rufus Sinclair wonders how in Hades he's landed in Atlantic City in the Roaring Twenties. Why does he have to be the one to help wayward flapper Izzy Van Buren find redemption? Worse, why does he have to go and fall for flirtatious Izzy's best friend, daredevil barnstormer Grace LaRue? Even in her tomboy togs and aviator goggles, needs-a-man-like-bees-need-knees Grace instantly kindles his erotic interest-then hijacks his love-proof heart. It's almost as if he's lived-and loved her-before. She Dubbed Him Ace . . .

Who is this sheik-sexy stranger who appears out of nowhere, claiming amnesia and wearing pilot's wings? A gift from above, sent to help restore her stunt pilot reputation? Or a Federal agent intent on bringing down her scandalous friends? All Grace knows for sure is that the zing-zap electricity shooting between her and Ace threatens to short-circuit her self-control.

Kindred Spirits? . . . With the friction between them mounting, Rufus risks life and limb to wing-walk on Grace's Word War I biplane . . . slow dances and swills bootleg hooch with her in an all-night speakeasy . . . and creates a media frenzy guaranteed to restore her rep as the East Coast's best aviatrix. Together, they generate enough sexual heat to melt Grace's fear-driven defenses and his no-strings-attached armor. But his panic grows by the hour. He dreads he'll be blown back to the future, failing to save Izzy . . . and leaving his amazing Grace-and his heart-behind.

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Published by: BelleBooks Publishing House on Mar 28, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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03/28/2014

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Prologue
“IZZY, DON‟T!”
 Isadora Van Buren, heiress cum flapper, resident poltergeist, grinned in league with the devil as she swooped down on the bent-over construction worker and pinched his derriere. Her doe eyes
 widened. “So firm!”
  The muscle-armed
handyman wheeled around. “Was that you, Bob?”
 
Bob looked over at José from his sawhorse. “Was that me what?”
 Bulging biceps looked around the decaying room, noting the tarp-covered furniture, dust motes floating in the rays of sun. And Bob
 — 
 who stood a good
two feet away. “Never mind.”
  José bent down again.  James, the youngest of the scandalous Van Buren ghosts, flew over to his sister, a blur of kinetic
energy. “Cut it out, Izzy! You‟ll make trouble for Professor Bookman.”
 She fluffed her sleek bobbed hair
and sniffed. “He could use some trouble. It‟s been duller than death around here. I‟m glad he sprained his ankle. If his big foot hadn‟t busted through the rotting floor, he wouldn‟t have called these guys.”
 
She eyed the workman‟s tight behind. Before Jame
s could stop her, she pinched José again.
He bolted up and grabbed his hammer. “That‟s it. I‟m gonna break your fingers.”
 Bob held up his screeching circular saw in self-
defense. “Move closer, José, and I‟ll give you a nip and tuck. Free of charge.”
 Izzy clasped her hands to her flat bosom and wiggled.
“Ooh, I love it when men fight over me!” 
  Jonas, the eldest and, lately, the most sedate of the ghostly trio, turned away from his usual post,
the arched window of Laguna Vista‟s west tower. He slid his hands
into the pockets of his pleated trousers and furrowed his brow.
“This is hardly the same thing, doll.” 
 She shrugged.
“When you‟ve been dead for over seventy years, you take what you can get.” 
 
 The two workers faced off, José with hammer cocked, Bob‟s saw wh
ining in the air. Things
 were about to get ugly. James acted. He pinched Bob‟s behind.
 Bob jumped. The saw went flying into the water-stained wall, knocking out a good-sized chunk of plaster before hitting the floor. The men eyed each other for a heartbeat, then bolted from the  west tower, their boots devouring the creaky steps that led down to the first floor. Seconds later the front door slammed. Izzy giggled.
“You pinched a man‟s butt.” 
  James frowned.
“Only to save it. You had those two ready to kill each other.” 
 Bee-stung lips twitching with delight, Izzy whipped off a hideous plastic tarp and stretched out on the threadbare indigo settee.
“You‟ve never fought over a woman?” 
  Jonas smiled.
 
“I hate to break it to you, doll, but those fellows weren‟t fighting over you.” 
 She threw one arm over her eyes.
“Can‟t a girl dream?” 
 She sighed. Twirled her pearls. Sighed again.
“Izzy,” 
 James said through clenched teeth.
“Professor Bookman hired those men to reinforce the floor and
to patch the leaky ceiling. In our d 
ay the west tower was the elephant‟s eyebrows. Now look at it.”
He gestured around the combination bedroom/sitting room. Tattered velvet drapes hung limply from bent rods.  Wind whistled through cracked windowpanes. Floorboards bowed against chipped marble tiles.
“It‟s crumbling around our ears. We haven‟t aged, but the tower has. It‟s depressing. I, for one, could use some cheering up. Why the heck did you have to scare off those handymen?” 
 
 
“I couldn‟t help it!” 
 She bolted to her feet, fists balled at her sides.
“I‟m bored.” 
 
 Jonas raised hopeful eyebrows.
“Might I suggest a change of scenery?” 
 
“Go chase yourself.” 
 
She knew full well he was talking about the “other side.”
  James thumbed up the brim of his brown felt Fedora.
“Go pester Professor Bookman. He can take it.” 
 
“That‟s the problem! I‟ve tried scaring him, shocking him, seducing him. The man‟s unspookable!” 
 
“He‟s a parapsychologist, for cryin‟ out loud.” 
 
“Hired by our grand 
-nephew to solve whatever mystery has you and me and Jonas chained to Laguna Vista. To
help us cross over to the next plane, blah, blah, blah,” 
 she mimicked.
“A waste of money.”
Besides, she didn‟t
 want to cross over. She preferred Limbo to Hades, thank you very much.
“You‟re just scared,” 
 James said.
“And stubborn,” 
 Jonas added.
“Let it go, Izzy. Whatever regret you‟re clinging to, come to terms with it and let it go. I can almost guarantee you won‟t end up dancing with the devil.” 
 
“„Almost,‟” 
 she grumbled.
“How reassuring.” 
 
“Jonas cheated on his wife, and he‟s not going to Hell,” 
 James said.
“I‟d say you‟re in fair shape, sis. So you drank. So you slept around. Big deal. It‟s not as if you hurt anyone. Not intentionally.” 
 She turned her back on her brothers and lit a Chesterfield, hoping th
ey wouldn‟t notice her
trembling hands.
“I‟m thinking you‟re right, Jimmy,” 
 she said in a chipper voice.
“I should have shown some
restraint. I should have toyed with those handymen instead of giving them the heebie-jeebies. Then again, as Jonas has  pointe 
d out time and again, restraint is not one of my most glowing attributes.” 
 She blew out a stream of smoke and sighed.
“I suppose I could swap the professor‟s toothpaste with his muscle ointment. That could be fun.” 
  Jonas sighed.  James groaned. She distracted herself by remembering better days. To think that Laguna Vista, the former summer home of their parents, department store tycoon J. B. Van Buren and his socialite wife, Ella, had once been the high-
society playground for some of America‟s most popular c
elebrities. Not to mention occasional politicians and assorted European dignitaries.
Now the deteriorating mansion belonged to Jonas‟s grandson, Marcus Van Buren, the reigning
CEO of the family empire. Marcus, unlike his father and grandfather, was a bit of a stuffed shirt.
 Although he‟d inherited Laguna Vista over thirty years ago, he hadn‟t spent the night until recently.  That he‟d stayed away so long had struck her as the ultimate snub. She was, however, willing to
forgive her grand-nephew. He was family 
. Family stuck together. Besides, he‟d married that ghost
-
busting tomato, Daisy Malone. Izzy didn‟t appreciate the woman‟s attempts to help them cross over, but she did welcome the frequent visits of Daisy‟s numerous brothers and sisters.
  Then there was Ru
fus Sinclair, Marcus‟s personal assistant. Handsome, muscular,
he
 was the
cat‟s meow. But Marcus and Daisy were on their honeymoon, Daisy‟s family had stopped coming around, and Rufus, to her dismay, hadn‟t been back since the wedding. That left Professor
Bookman, a man hell-bent on helping the infamous Van Buren siblings move on.
Izzy didn‟t want to move on. She wanted to go back. Wanted to do it all again. She‟d enjoyed
five glorious, hell-raising summers under this terra-
cotta roof. Sure, there‟d been so
me bad times,
but they‟d been few and far between, and Izzy refused to dwell on anything sad. Though, she had to
admit, every now and again, she did reflect on one particular evening in 1928. The night Jimmy
accidentally drove the family‟s luxury automobil
e off a bridge, ending his fast-lane life along with
hers and Jonas‟s. Kind of hard to blot
that 
 out. It seemed like yesterday instead of seventy-
odd years past. She‟d talked Jonas and Jimmy into
accompanying her to Purgatory, one of her favorite speakeasies, two nights before her thirtieth
birthday. Some might say she‟d been selfish, dragging Jonas away from his wife and one of her silly

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