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'HEART TO HEART' MINISERIES

 

 

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

- NORTH AMERICA  -

 

AUSTRALIA & NZ EDITION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holt Medallion Award Finalist Traditional Category 2006

 

 

 

 

Check out the book's reviews,  or devour a juicy excerpt...

 

 

 

 

 

 

5  ROSES, Romance Reviewed

 

From the get-go this story is a wonderful read.  Ally Blake takes Siena and James on an exhilarating emotional ride that leaves both them and the reader breathless.   Ally Blake has written an emotional, tender romance that will have the reader reaching for the tissues at some points, and letting out a satisfying sigh at others. Perfect!

 

 

Romantic Times

 

"Ally Blake's Meant-to-Be Mother has ...likable characters and lots of humor."

 

 

 

 

4.5  stars, Cataromance

 

"This book speaks not only to your imagination but also to your heart, it goes that extra mile and gives the reader what they crave, romance. So go out today and get your copy of this fabulous book because you will not be disappointed, it is pure romance."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

MAY 2011

UNITED KINGDOM REPRINT

 

"HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!"

featuring "MEANT-TO-BE MOTHER"

 

 

 

 

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Siena Capuletti is a flight attendant.  She has the wind at her heels and the world at her feet. Well, 30,000 feet below her feet, to be precise, and that's the way she likes it.

 

When she is called back to Cairns in tropical North Queesland, for what amounts to a fabulous job opportunity, it feels more like the winds of change have knocked her off course.

 

Or will she find that her flight path has finally taken her home?


 

James was sure he heard the screech of car tyres over the sound of his electric sander.  He let the sander whir to a slow stop, and whipped his protective goggles to the top of his head.

He stared through the sun drenched dust floating in the air about him in his backyard workshop, listening.

But there was nothing bar the regular sounds of suburbia – a creaky Hills Hoist clothesline twirling in the tropical breeze, noisy miner birds fighting over scraps, an amateur pianist a few houses over practicing his scales...

He must have imagined it.

His hand moved back to the goggles on his head, ready to get back to work when he heard a car door slam in his front yard.

He was out of his workshop and sprinting down the driveway before his work gloves even hit the ground.

The first thing he saw was a green Ute mounted halfway up the curb, it’s driver’s side door open wide, it’s front fender crunched in against his front tree, and a soft wisp of smoke spiralling from the bonnet.

The second thing he saw was Kane’s bike lying on its side on the street behind the car.

The image ripped through him like someone tearing a photograph in half.  If Kane was taken from him too...

Determined to just know, his numb feet took him to the curb, and once there he saw enough to stop him from thinking such seditious thoughts.

Kane sat on the road, leaning back against the far side of the car.  He was alive.  He was animated.  And he was talking to a young woman who was crouched down in front of him, running frantic hands over his limbs and head.

A slight young woman with shaggy brunette curls finishing just below her ears.  A gauzy sort of black top sat high on her back as she crouched, revealing a wide band of olive skin above the waistline of her tight dark jeans.

James stared at the skin, realising in a completely unexpected flash of awareness that it was the first time he had seen that part of a woman’s anatomy in an age.

James brought the disturbing thought and his feet to a very definite stop with a crunch of work boot on gravel.

Kane looked over, his pale brown eyes widening as he saw that he and his new friend weren’t alone.  Instant tears ensued as though the magnitude of what had happened was only realised once James was there to witness it.

“Dad?” Kane said, his high voice cracking.

“I’m here now,” James said as he willed his feet to pick up where they left off.

One step at a time, he repeated in his head with each footfall.

He had no idea where he had picked up such a mantra – Kane’s varied counsellors, late night Internet browsing, or even Dr Phil, but it seemed the right mantra for that moment.

He moved towards his son, still not ready to find blood or pain or cracked bones.  “Buddy, are you okay?”

Kane nodded and stood as though he knew James needed to see that he was in one piece.  “I’m fine.  I scraped my arm, but as I told Siena, it hardly hurts.”

At the mention of the woman’s name, James looked back to find her face drawn with apprehension, her thin eyebrows arched into a frown, her stunning ocean green eyes wide and blinking, and a full lower lip hooked guiltily beneath her two front teeth.

She wiped shaking hands down her tight jeans as she stood, her slim legs wobbling on ridiculously high, fire engine red, pointy heels.  Why anyone would drive in such contraptions he had no idea.  He fought down a sudden urge to tell her exactly that.  To yell, to let loose with every thought that was streaming through his frantic mind, to twist his recent fright back into much more comforting anger.

But every thought that crossed his mind flitted across her remarkable face and he knew that he didn’t have to.  He saw mortification.  Embarrassment.  Something else so quick he missed it, but he caught the tail end of it through a brief flash of pink across her cheeks.

And then, with an almost imperceptible shake of her head, he recognised the moment she reached the “get over yourself and go talk to the guy” phase.

“I’m Siena Capuletti,” she said in a lilting voice, holding out a thin hand.

“James Dillon,” he said in return, moving to her to shake.

Her hand was warm.  And almost impossibly delicate.  This was a hand that had known more manicures than manual labour.  For the first time ever he actually felt self-conscious of the work-hardened calluses marring his own large hands.

He let go first but she whipped her hand back with equal speed.  As she tucked it into the back pocket of her dark, low rise jeans, James caught a flash of flat tanned stomach.

His insubordinate gaze flickered upward, but he then had to contend with those eyes.  Big, green, framed by the darkest thickest lashes he had ever seen.  Suddenly he wasn’t quite sure where to look.

“This is my car,” the woman said, pointing at the green Ute when he said nothing.  “Well, it’s my brother Rick’s.  I would never buy a T-shirt in such a colour much less a sixty thousand dollar car.  I was only going slowly, thank goodness, but I didn’t see Kane until he was upon me and when I did I braked as hard as my size sevens would allow, and I swerved, and I missed him completely.”

Suddenly she turned at the waist and pinned Kane with a stare.  “You are quite sure I missed you completely?”

Kane nodded earnestly, watching Siena with extreme interest, and James could see that the kid was as captivated as he was himself.

“Oh, thank God,” she continued, crossing herself with a flourish.  “This car is just so bloody big and powerful and...excuse my French.  I think I may have hurt your gutter and I have definitely hurt the car and Rick is going to kill me but I will of course pay for any damage to your garden, or driveway, or tree or anything.”

It took James a few moments to realise she had come to the end of her speech.  He looked back down at Kane who was now leaning beside the car, sniffling but no longer crying.  He was cradling his elbow, but of the two of them, James was pretty certain Siena Capuletti had come out of it the more afflicted of the pair.

James offered the woman a smile by way of acceptance of her apology.  Thankful for the reprieve, she smiled back, her eyes glittering like sun off the coral-laden waters off Green Island.

He stamped out his own smile before his imagination got the better of him.  He leant over and picked up the bike and rested it against his thighs, creating a wall between himself and the winsome stranger.

“If Kane says you missed him,” he said, “then you missed him.  He shouldn’t have been riding out onto the road as it is.”

She shook her head, her riotous dark curls swishing about her ears.  “I should have been more careful, especially driving down a suburban street.”

She looked up at his house, staring at it for a few moments, her face haunted, overly so he believed, considering how little damage had been done to either person.

She swallowed, and then looked back over at him, her big green eyes blinking ten to a dozen.  He couldn’t help himself - he just stared right on back.  Was it because she was familiar?  Perhaps she lived locally and he had seen her at the supermarket.

No.  That wasn’t it.  He had never seen this woman before.  But there was definitely something tugging at him.  Something potent enough that he found a sudden need to drag his eyes away and down to Kane.

“Now what have you done to your arm, buddy?”

Kane twisted his arm to show him the nasty scrape.  And blood.  Seeing blood dribbling down Kane’s arm clouded James’s mind until he felt like he was watching the world through a pinhole.

At the behest each and every counsellor who had drifted in and out of Kane’s life over the past year – the first recommended by the hospital, yet another organised through Kane’s school, and even a private one who James thought smelled of his old gym bag but Kane liked him and that was recommendation enough - James had pared his life back to one core mission: devoting himself to Kane.  To protect him.  To keep him safe.  To shield him from all further pain.  So how the hell had he allowed this to happen?

“Maybe we should whip you down to the emergency room to make sure.”

As soon as the words left his mouth James knew it was the exact wrong thing to say.  Kane’s pale eyes grew as big as saucers, and his face lost the last vestiges of colour.

Damn it!  Over a year of being a single dad and he still managed to find new and interesting ways of screwing it up.

The last time the poor kid had seen his mother she was in the care of a pair of smiling ambulance drivers on her way to the hospital for tests.  And she had never come home.

James ran a quick hand back and forth over his short hair.  This wasn’t the time for all that.  Late at night, while Kane slept, he could kick himself for any mistakes he’d made before and since to his heart’s content, but in daylight hours, it was all about keeping Kane on an even keel.

“What was I thinking?” he said, bending down until he was eye level with his son.  He reached out and tucked his hand behind Kane’s thin neck.  “A bit of Dettol and a bandage ought to do it.  It might sting a bit, but you can take it can’t you, Buddy?”

Kane nodded, the fear in his eyes dampening.  “’Course I can.”

“I know first aid,” a modest voice said from behind them.  “Only last week I took my yearly refresher course.”

James turned to find Siena shuffling from one high-heel shod foot to the other, wringing her slender hands together so hard he could see her knuckles turning white. 

“This is entirely my fault,” she said, decreasing the distance between the two of them until she was close enough that he could smell her perfume.  Subtle.  Expensive.  Drinkable.  “Please let me make it up to you.”

                                          

v

From "Meant-To-Be Mother" by Ally Blake
Harlequin Romance
January 2007
ISBN: 0373039301 ~ Copyright: © 2006 Ally Blake
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

 


To my gorgeous genius of a godson, Lachlan. 

Hugs and kisses from your Auntie Ally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Wedding Date  |  Millionaire Dad's SOS  |  Getting Red-Hot with the Rogue

Dating the Rebel Tycoon  |  A Night with the Society Playboy  |  Hired: The Boss's Bride  |  The Magnate's Indecent Proposal

Falling for the Rebel Heir  |   Steamy Surrender  |  Millionaire to the Rescue  |  Billionaire on Her Doorstep

Getting Down to Business  |  Meant-To-Be Mother  |  Wanted: Outback Wife  |  A Father in the Making  |  The Shock Engagement  

A Mother For His Daughter  |  How to Marry a Billionaire  |  Marriage Make-Over  |  Marriage Material  |  The Wedding Wish

 
 

 

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