Silhouette Romance
September 2003
ISBN: 0-373-19688-1


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 I need that pay phone....

She was a polite person, normally. But Hallie Fitzgerald was expecting a call--on the pay phone outside the hardware store--from the burglar who'd robbed her. The same phone gorgeous former marine, and the town's new police chief, currently occupied!


By-the-book lawman Marc Walcott sensed the petite and feisty Hallie knew more than she was telling him about the stolen museum pieces. Marc was determined to employ all sorts of new interrogation techniques to uncover the truth--including an in-depth investigation of her lips...not matter how many kisses it took!

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For the first time in her life, Hallie understood the expression "all a-twitter," because that was just how she felt inside. She stood in the middle of the living room, totally up in the air about what to do next. She'd fluffed the pillows on the couch, turned on the lamp, the one with the pretty antique shade that stood by the fireplace, and made sure there was no dust on the coffee table.

What now? she asked herself, then ran upstairs, kicked off her three-inch heels and sighed with relief. Barefoot, she smoothed out her bed, turned down the covers. Then she pulled them up again. Too obvious.

A nervous wreck, that's what she was. Also aroused, almost senseless with need. Also scared to death, not sure what she was getting into. It was all going so fast. From a plan of a little flirtation all the way to welcoming Marc to her bed. In one night. She shook her head, amazed at herself.

She opened her closet door and stared at its contents. Should she changed out of her gown? she wondered. Or maybe greet Marc at the door in a long robe? Or in nothing at all? The thought made her giggle, which set up a giddiness that was sheer nerves and she knew it. Watch it, she told herself, aware that she was on the verge of hysterical laughter. She flew down the stairs. There was some wine in the fridge from a dinner party she'd given a while ago. Perhaps she should have a glass, to calm her down. But she stopped halfway to the kitchen. She'd had one earlier and should probably wait for Marc to come before having another.

Oh, God. What should she do . . . think . . .be now? She stood in the kitchen doorway hugging herself, as though her arms could keep her from bursting apart. The clock on the wall told her that it was nearly midnight and he was on his way.

Would she be relaxed and casual when he came to the door? Yes. A sophisticated woman of the world. She'd offer a calm hello, pour him a drink. They would sit together on the couch, chatting easily, until one thing led to another. A pleasant picture, Hallie thought.

Or . . . Marc would throw open the door, sweep her up into his arms and carry her upstairs to her bed. He wouldn't even be out of breath, he was so strong. Then he would make expert, soul-destroying, passionate love to her, twice, three times, even, until they were sated, spent, until neither of them could move a muscle.

The ringing of the doorbell startled her out of her reverie. She glanced down at herself. Still in her pink gown, her feet bare. Ah well, she thought, hurrying to the door. The decision of what she would wear had been made for her.

She opened the door to a man who was not relaxed and sophisticated. His tie and jacket were gone. Sexual intensity radiated from every pore, and Hallie stepped back at the onslaught. She was reminded of a moment in childhood when she'd stood on the safe side of a fence, watching as a bull was let in to the enclosure. He'd been brought there preparatory to mating. The animal was enormous, every part of him, and he literally pawed the ground, bellowing, waiting for the cow to be brought to him. She remembered the moment as being both scary and exciting at the same time........


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