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- KurzbeschreibungThis is a Read Pink edition. In October 2010, Penguin Group (USA) launched a new initiative in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This October, we are pleased to continue the program with a donation of $25,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation(r) and are presenting eight beloved titles in special Read Pink(tm) editions:<br>The Perfect Poison, by Amanda Quick<br>The Border Lord's Bride, by Bertrice Small<br>With Every Breath, by Lynn Kurland<br>Danger in a Red Dress, by Christina Dodd<br>Early Dawn, by Catherine Anderson<br>The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, by Lauren Willig<br>A Duke's Temptation, by Jillian Hunter<br>Tribute, by Nora Roberts <br>Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is a long way from Hollywood. And that's exactly how Cilla McGowan wants it. Cilla, a former child star who has found more satisfying work as a restorer of old houses, has come to her grandmother's farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one was able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs-but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years earlier. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla's dreams. And during waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five-times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood. By coming east, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to find some kind of normalcy for herself.<br>Plunging into the project with gusto, she's almost too busy to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer-but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore. Determined not to perpetuate the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford's quirky charm, but she can't help indulging in a little fantasy.<br>But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died-and that the father was a local married man. Cilla can't help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may-like her world-famous grandmother- be cut down in the prime of her life.<br>
- AutorNora Roberts
- Seiten451 Seiten
- Gewicht222 g
- LeseprobeCHAPTER ONE<br>According to legend, Steve McQueen once swam buck-naked among the cattails and lily pads in the pond at the Little Farm. If true, and Cilla liked to think it was, the King of Cool had stripped off and dived in post The Magnificent Seven and prior to The Great Escape .<br>In some versions of the legend, Steve had done more than cool off on that muggy summer night in Virginia-and he'd done the more with Cilla's grandmother. Though they'd both been married to other people at the time, the legend carried more cheer than disdain. And since both parties were long dead, neither could confirm or deny.<br>Then again, Cilla thought as she studied the murky water of the lily-choked pond, neither had bothered-as far as she could ascertain-to confirm or deny while they'd had the chance.<br>True or false, she imagined Janet Hardy, the glamorous, the tragic, the brilliant, the troubled, had enjoyed the buzz. Even icons had to get their kicks somewhere.<br>Standing in the yellow glare of sun with the dulling bite of March chilling her face, Cilla could see it perfectly. The steamy summer night, the blue wash from the spotlight moon. The gardens would've been at their magnificent peak and stunning the air with fragrance. The water would've been so cool and silky on the skin, and the color of chamomile tea with pink and white blossoms strung over it like glossy pearls.<br>Janet would have been at her stunning peak as well, Cilla mused. The spun-gold of her hair tumbling free, spilling over white shoulders... No, those would have been spun-gold, too, from her summer tan. Gilded shoulders in the tea-colored water, and her Arctic-blue eyes bright with laughter-and most likely a heroic consumption of liquor.<br>Music darting and sparkling through the dark, like the fireflies that flashed over the fertile fields, the velvet lawns, Cilla imagined. The voices from the weekend guests who wandered over the lawns, the porches and patios as bright as the music. Stars as luminous as the ones that gleamed overhead like little jewels scattered away from that spotlight moon.<br>Dark pockets of shadows, streaming colored lights from lanterns.<br>Yes, it would've been like that. Janet's world had been one of brilliant light and utter dark. Always.<br>Cilla hoped she dove into that pond unapologetically naked, drunk and foolish and happy. And utterly unaware her crowded, desperate, glorious life would end barely a decade later.<br>Before turning away from the pond, Cilla listed it in her thick notebook. It would need to be cleaned, tested and ecologically balanced. She made another note to read up on pond management and maintenance before she attempted to do so, or hired an expert.<br>Then the gardens
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