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Amy J. Fetzer - Awakening Beauty

Amy J. Fetzer - Awakening Beauty

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Published by Neha

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Published by: Neha on Oct 18, 2010
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04/10/2013

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Awakening Beauty--------------------------------------------------------------------------------AWAKENING BEAUTY Amy J.Fetzer~Silhouette Desire #1548~----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contents:1234567891011Epilogue----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Chapter 1It was moments like these that made Lane Douglas glad she'd changed hername.ElainaHonora Giovanni didn't get involved with the police. Police reportsmeant giving your ID and putting the incident on the blotter, and that was openseason for the press.There was one particular member of the press corps out there just waiting to readher name somewhere andcome hunting like a wolf for its prey.And something as simple as a car accident would be enough to lead him right toher.When the sound of screeching tires, splashing water and a loud solid crunch hadregistered, Lane knew before she whipped around that her car was the victim.Attacked by a low-slung, silver sports car.Theimpact popped open the trunk of her car."Buonafortunaas usual,Elaina ," she muttered to herself, dropping a box full ofbooks on the porch of her shop, then rushing down the steps to the curb. Coldwinter rain soaked through herclothes, matted her hair.She could feel the tightly twisted bun on the top of her head sagging already.Never good in a crisis, she looked first at the books in the trunk, then at theman still behind the wheel of his car. His loud cursing told her that he at leastwas uninjured. The car door opened and he climbed out, glaring at the damage beforemeeting her gaze."Are you all right?" he asked, and whipped out a cell phone."Fine, fine. I wasn't in the car, remember? Are you okay?" she shouted over therain.Page 1
 
Awakening Beauty"Yes, dammit." He kicked the tire,then winced."Smart move," she said.He smiled at her, tipping the phone away for a second. "Tyler. Tyler McKay."She knew who he was. It was hard to live inBradford,South Carolina, and not knowtheMcKays . Rich, handsome and eligible didn't begin to describeTyler. With darkhair and light-blue eyes, he was the most noticed man in town. And that wasn't evencounting that long, lean body in a leather jacket and jeans.She swung her gaze to their cars.His hadn't fared well against hers.The sports car looked like an accordion halfway through a song.Then she noticed the rain pouring over the crushed metal of her trunk like astream over rocks and dribbling onto the carton of books."Oh, no, my stock!"He barely glanced at it, still talking into the phone. Then he closed the cellphone and observed, "They're ruined."She glared at him. "Yes, thank you for pointing that out. What was your firstclue?" She tried shutting the trunk, but the twisted metal refused to oblige.He took off his jacket and like Sir Walter Raleigh, covered the books. "How'sthat?""A Band-Aid to a bleeding head wound.""Gallantry is never appreciated.""Perhaps when it's sincere it would be." She threw off his jacket and lifted out asoaked carton of books.He picked up the other carton and walked behind her. "The cops will be here in acouple of minutes."He probably pulled someone's chain for that quick service. When your family ownedpractically half the town, it wasn't hard. "Good." She unlocked the shop door andpushed inside."Look. It's my fault."She paused at the doorway to look back at him. It was a mistake. He was too close,his front to her back, and she got a full dose of him in one flash. Vivid blue eyespinned her, as if the chance to look at her would be snatched away any second andhe needed to get in a good stare while he could. The little crinkles at the cornersof his eyes spoke of countless smiles, and rainwater dripped off his dark hair ontohis leather jacket.When she caught a whiff of his warm woodsy cologne, Lane wanted to inhale deeply.Instead, she said, "The rain, the curve offBay Streetand a slick road are toblame."He grinned. "Does this mean I'm forgiven?" he said softly.That smile lit something inside her and made her pulse jump hard. Her chilled skinwas suddenly warmer, and ignoring the way she reacted to him wasn't as easy as shePage 2
 
Awakening Beautyexpected. He probably knew exactly the effect he had on a person. "Do you need myforgiveness?""No, but I'd like to have it. Being neighborly and all."That smile came again and she hurried into the shop and set the box on the counterbefore looking at him again."Then, yes, you're forgiven. But I reserve the right to needle you." She smoothedher hair back off her face. Her glasses steamed up and slid down her nose."Although since I didn't put any change in the parking meter, with my luck I'll begetting the ticket.""You won't. I promise."She arched a brow. "Falling on your sword for me? Now that's gallantry."He smiled and Lane felt her insides shift and bow. This was so not good, shethought."And your name is?" he asked."Lane Douglas." It tripped easily off her tongue after nearly two years, shethought. Sad that lying about who she was had become second nature. He held out hishand. She shook it once, quickly,then jerked back. Okay, so his skin wasdelightfully warm, and though she might have expected smooth and pampered, itwasn't. She'd felt at least one callus. He probably got that golfing.She turned her back to him, inspecting her sodden books and mentally calculatingthe cost to replace them."Nice place," he said. "Is it new?""It's been here for 150 years, Mr. McKay," she said, although she knew he meantnewly remodeled."Call me Tyler, please. Mr. McKay is my dad."She hunted in her purse. "I don't want to get that personal. I may have to sue."His gaze narrowed. "I will make full restitution, Miss Douglas."She faced him, holding out her driver's license and insurance card. "Good. Whydon't you hail the cops?" She nodded to the windows. The blue lights of the policecar flashed against the watery glass.Tylerstared at her for a second, then, with a sharp nod, took her information andstepped out onto the covered porch. She wasn't worried about the police, for LaneDouglas had nothing to hide. While he talked to the officers, Lane tried to salvagethe books, but there really was no hope. A water-damage sale was in order, andshe'd just cut her losses as usual.Like she'd done with her family.Stay a Giovanni and live in a cage. Become Lane Douglas and live like a normalhuman being.Hmm.Tough choice.Heiress to a winery or not.Page 3

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