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A Perfect Strangerby Danielle Steel
Synopses & Reviews
The garage door opened eerily, its mouth yawning expectantly, a large dark toad about to gobble an unsuspecting fly. From across the street a little boy watched it, fascinated. He loved watching the door open like that, knowing that the beautiful sports car would be around the corner in an instant. He waited, counting... five...six...seven.... Unknown to the man who had pressed the remote control device on his dashboard, the little boy watched him come home every night. It was a favorite ritual and the boy was disappointed when the man in the black Porsche came home late or not at all. The boy stood there, in the shadows, counting... eleven...twelve...and then he saw it, a sleek black shadow speeding around the bend, and then in a smooth maneuver sliding into the garage. The unseen child stared hungrily at the beautiful black car for one more moment and then slowly went home, with visions of the black Porsche still dancing in his eyes.
Inside the garage Alexander Hale turned off the motor, and then sat there for a moment staring into the familiar darkness of his garage. For the hundredth time that day his mind drifted once again to Rachel. For the hundredth time he pushed the thought of her away from his mind. He sighed softly, picked up his briefcase, and got out of the car. A moment later the electronic device would automatically close the garage door. He let himself into the house through a back door in his garden and he stood in the downstairs hall of the pretty little Victorian town house, staring into the emptiness of the once cozy kitchen. There were copper pots hanging from a wrought- iron rack near the stove, but the cleaning lady hadn't shined them in ages, and there was no one else to give a damn. The plants, which hung thickly in front of the windows, were looking dry and lifeless, and he noticed, as he switched on the lights in the kitchen, that some of them had already died. He turned away then, glancing only briefly into the small wood- paneled dining room across the hall, and then walked slowly upstairs.
Now when he came home, he always used the garden entrance. It was less depressing than coming in through the main hall. Whenever he came through the front door in the evening, he somehow still expected her to be there. He expected to see her with the luscious pile of thick blond hair knotted on top of her head and the deceptively prim suits she wore to court. Rachel...dazzling lawyer...noble friend...intriguing female...until she hurt him...until she left...until their divorce, exactly two years before, to the day.
He had wondered on his way home from the office if he would always remember the day so exactly. Would some part of him call out in remembered pain on a given morning in October, for the rest of time? Would he always be reminded? It was strange really how both of their anniversaries had fallen on the same day. The anniversary of their marriage, and that of their divorce. Coincidence, Rachel had called it matter- of- factly. Ironic, he had said. How awful his mother had said when she called him the night the papers came and found him blind drunk and laughing
A young San Francisco lawyer's life changes when he meets the perfect stranger in the beautiful Raphaella, the sheltered daughter of a European banker and restless wife of a much older man. By the author of Lightning. Reissue.
The only daughter of a European banking dynasty, Raphaella had always been sheltered from the world. Married to a much older American, she was kept in the privacy of great luxury, tended to by servants, watched over by bodyguards. She was the beautiful dark-eyed woman the young lawyer from San Francisco, Alexander Hale, saw sitting alone one misty evening. Before he could approach her, she rushed away into the garden. She was the "perfect stranger" he couldn't forget. When they met again their lives would change forever.
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