The Seduction Of Goody Two-Shoes. Kathleen Creighton

The Seduction Of Goody Two-Shoes - Kathleen Creighton

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      “You’re going to go through with this, aren’t you? On your own?”

      Ellie shrugged and turned to walk on. “I don’t know. Maybe. If I have to.”

      McCall caught her arm and held on to it when she would have jerked away. “I can’t let you do that.”

      She gave a small, incensed gasp. “You mean you think you can stop me?”

      “No,” McCall said with a weary sigh. “I mean I’m going with you.”

      There were a lot of reactions he could have anticipated from her, and he got none of those. What she did instead was look at him for a long time without saying a word, a long enough time for him to start to have second—and third—thoughts.

      Then she put her palms flat against his chest, stood up on her toes and kissed him. And he stopped thinking altogether.

      Dear Reader,

      Welcome to another month of hot—in every sense of the word—reading, books just made to match the weather. I hardly even have to mention Suzanne Brockmann and her TALL, DARK & DANGEROUS miniseries, because you all know that this author and these books are utterly irresistible. Taylor’s Temptation features the latest of her to-die-for Navy SEALs, so rush right down to your bookstore and pick up your own copy, because this book is going to be flying off shelves everywhere.

      To add to the excitement this month, we’re introducing a new six-book continuity called FIRSTBORN SONS. Award-winning writer Paula Detmer Riggs kicks things off with Born a Hero. Learn how these six heroes share a legacy of protecting the weak and standing up for what’s right—and watch as all six find women who belong in their arms and their lives.

      Don’t miss the rest of our wonderful books, either: The Seduction of Goody Two-Shoes, by award-winning Kathleen Creighton; Out of Nowhere, by one of our launch authors, Beverly Bird; Protector with a Past, by Harper Allen; and Twice Upon a Time, by Jennifer Wagner.

      Finally, check out the back pages for information on our “Silhouette Makes You A Star” contest. Someone’s going to win—why not you?



      Leslie J. Wainger

      Executive Senior Editor

The Seduction of Goody Two-Shoes

      MILLS & BOON

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      has roots deep in the California soil but has relocated to South Carolina. As a child, she enjoyed listening to old timers’ tales, and her fascination with the past only deepened as she grew older. Today, she says she is interested in everything—art, music, gardening, zoology, anthropology and history—but people are at the top of her list. She also has a lifelong passion for writing, and now combines her two loves in romance novels.



      Chapter 1

      Chapter 2

      Chapter 3

      Chapter 4

      Chapter 5

      Chapter 6

      Chapter 7

      Chapter 8

      Chapter 9

      Chapter 10

      Chapter 11

      Chapter 12

      Chapter 13



      “This one’s alive,” the customs inspector said, “but barely.”

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Rose Ellen Lanagan—Ellie to family, friends and a few select co-workers—took the limp body in her hands, her heart thumping a slow and steady dirge. One hooded yellow-ringed eye glared listlessly at her as her fingers stroked the satiny blue feathers…such an incredible shade of blue. Hyacinth blue.

      “Sure got a full crop for being packed so long in that crate,” she remarked in a soft and even tone that would have been a warning to anyone who knew her well. Ellie Lanagan was angry. Angry with a cold intensity that shocked even her. Deep inside where no one could see, she was shaking with it.

      Her eyes went to the rows of brightly colored bodies laid out on a sheet that had been spread on the warehouse floor. The customs inspector was already bending over them, his fingers gingerly probing, careful not to disturb the bodies more than necessary lest some vital clue as to their point of origin be lost to the experts waiting to examine them in the department’s forensics labs.

      “These, too,” he said on an exhalation. Squatting on his heels, he drew a pair of tweezers from his shirt pocket. A moment later he held up a small plastic bag filled with white powder. Carefully, he opened the bag, dipped the tip of a pinky finger in the powder, tasted, then spat. He shook his head, swearing softly.

      “Two for the price of one,” Ellie muttered, as she felt the body in her hands suddenly go limp. She had to swallow hard before she could choke out the words, “I’d give anything to get these people.”

      The third person in the warehouse had been standing well back from the evidence in the spread-legged, crossed-arms stance that screamed “law enforcement” even without the shoulder holster that criss-crossed beneath an immaculate gray suit. Now he moved forward and spoke in a quiet drawl. “Anything?”

      “Anything,” Ellie grimly—perhaps recklessly—confirmed.

      USFWS Special Agent Kenneth Burnside’s eyes narrowed and his cheeks broadened with his smile, so that he looked—deceptively—like a good-natured baby. “Glad to hear you say that, darlin’,” the Savannah native drawled. “And I believe I know a way you might do that.”

      Ellie glared up at him, frustrated and torn; it wasn’t the first time Agent Burnside had tried to recruit her, and quite frankly, she’d sometimes been inclined to distrust his motives. “I’m a biologist, not a cop.”

      “You’d be fully trained.” Burnside’s voice was persuasive, in the soft and lilting way of the South. “Come on, Doc…we need you. Together we can get these guys.”

      Ellie stared down at the now-inert body in her hands, picturing it instead in the rare and heart-stopping flash of blue against the unremitting green of a Brazilian rain forest. She felt the helpless anger drain out of her and a cold resolve come to take its place.

      “All right,” she said at last, in the snappy, rough-edged, almost angry-sounding way that was her norm. “You got me. I’m there. Just tell me where I have to go to sign up.”

      Burnside chuckled and held out his hand. “You just did. Welcome to the team, darlin’.”

      Chapter 1

      Quinn McCall applied one more daub of electric-blue paint to his newest masterpiece

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