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Other titles in the Avon Light Contemporary Romances series:
He Could Be the One (Avon Light Contemporary Romances)by Elizabeth Bevarly
Synopses & Reviews
For this we flew two thousand miles?"
Wyatt Culver noted the wariness in his partner's voice, but he couldn't quite share Julian Varga's distaste for the view--even if it did lay on the opposite side of a security gate. Oh, sure, he could see right away why Luther Van Dormer's Santa Barbara estate was also known as "The Keep," but that didn't necessarily mean that he and Julian would actually be prisoners here during their stay. Probably not, anyway. Not unless Luther Van Dormer really had gone off the deep end this time-well, a deeper end than he'd been going off of the last time Wyatt had seen him. Of course, that had been nearly two decades ago, and a lot could happen in twenty years. Like, for example, deep ends could become really, really deep.
So Wyatt only replied, "Four thousand miles, if you count the trip back to Cincinnati."
The observation didn't seem to appease Julian. Go figure. "And why is it, exactly, that we came?" the other man asked. "You promised you'd give me all the details once we got here."
Wyatt grinned. "Oh, we came to kidnap a woman. Did I forget to tell you that part?"
Julian turned to gape at him. "We came to what?"
"Oh, man, I did forget to tell you," Wyatt said, feigning contrition. "I could have sworn I at least mentioned to you how we'd be perpetrating a felony while we were visiting sunny California." He smacked his open palm against his forehead, dislodging a handful of light brown hair. "Gee, I really apologize, Julian. Imagine my chagrin."
Instead of replying, Julian only continued to gape. So, in turn, Wyatt only continued to grin. Then he turned his attention back to the view he had been surveying.
In spite of itsoppressive moniker, the Van Dormer estate was breathtakingly beautiful, a sprawling, lowlying, Spanish-style villa that was invitingly lit, inside and out, now that twilight was falling. The elegantly manicured grounds, canopied by moss-dripping jacarandas and lush bougainvillea, evoked a sense of utter tranquility, and the very air Wyatt inhaled was heavy with the mixed and narcotic aromas of jasmine and gardenia and fast-falling night.
Yeah, all right, so there was the small matter of the double-steel, reinforced, Mediterranean-style fence that surrounded the place, and the double-steel, reinforced, Mediterranean-style bars striping each of the windows. There was the oh-so-casually strolling trio of Dobermans who gazed back at him with frank and identical expressions of challenge. And, of course, the one, two, three-my goodness, four-armed guards placed strategically about the roof and balconies did sorta contribute to that prisonlike quality.
Maybe Luther Van Dormer really had gone off the deepest of deep ends this time, Wyatt thought. He hadn't honestly considered that to be a real possibility when Luther had called him earlier in the week, not even when the old man had asked Wyatt to kidnap his daughter. Luther Van Dormer had always been considered eccentric by the residents of tiny, suburban Woodhaven, Ohio. Still, Wyatt thought, eccentricity did sometimes have a rather bothersome tendency to turn into other things. Other things like, oh ... Wyatt didn't know ... stark, raving lunacy, for instance. Criminal insanity, for another.
Okay, so Luther's place was a fortress, he conceded, regardless of its indolent beauty. Lots of people lived in fortresses. Granted, most of thosepeople had either committed heinous crimes or were madder than hatters, but that was beside the point ... probably. For now, Wyatt decided, it might just be best to reserve judgment on that deep end business.
"Um, I didn't think it would be necessary to remind you," Julian said, scattering Wyatt's thoughts, "but we work as private investigators. Which means we're the guys who would normally investigate a kidnapping. Not commit one."
"A minor technicality," Wyatt assured his partner. "We go where the jobs take us. And this job should be verrrry interesting."
"Oh, I don't like the sound of that at all," Julian said.
"Trust me," Wyatt told him.
"I like the sound of that even less." Instead of waiting for a reply to that comment--since none seemed necessary-Julian nodded toward the estate again. "So, this Van Dormer. is he a total security freak, or what?" he asked, having evidently chosen not to pursue the kidnapping question for now.
"Nah," Wyatt answered. "Luther's just your garden variety paranoid, that's all. Except that he has a couple I hundred million more dollars than most paranoids have."
"Mm," Julian remarked eloquently.
"He also has one of the most unbelievably delicious daughters on the planet," Wyatt added cheerfully before he could stop himself. Because in recalling Luther Van Dormer, he inevitably also recalled the lovely and talented Eve Van Dormer, with whom he'd attended Woodhaven High School back in suburban Cincinnati. And also with whom he'd shared one of the most ...
Well, best not to go there. He had a long night ahead of him, after all. Not to mention that kidnapping business to consider, which he decided not to mention--or consider-for now.Mostly, because he still wasn't sure what to make of it, unless he wanted to bring up Luther Van Dormer and that deep end again. And he really didn't want to do that.
"Finally, you say something that makes you sound like your usual self," Julian said. "I was beginning to get concerned about you, Wyatt."
"Luther's daughter is the one we're supposed to kidnap." Okay, okay, so Wyatt couldn't quite help considering-for mentioning-the kidnapping thing again. So sue him.
Julian sighed. "Okay, I'm concerned about you again."
"Not to worry," Wyatt told him. "I have a plan.
"Now I'm really concerned," his partner replied.
Eve Van Dormer can't believe that her over-reactive millionaire father hired her high school boyfriend Wyatt Culver as her bodyguard. Wyatt has instructions to keep Eve's ex-husband away from her at a class reunion, and to keep her happy. But the free-spirited girl he once knew has become all-too-serious, and he knows she will only be happy when she allows passion back into her life.
Eve Van Dormer can't believe it — the beautiful, brainy millionaire's daughter is stuck with Wyatt Culver as her bodyguard, thanks to her over-reactive father. She's doubly shocked at the choice too — after all, dear old Dad once tossed Wyatt's rather attractive backside out of her life. As for attending their class reunion ... what's the most dangerous thing that could happen — assault with a deadly yearbook? Besides, Wyatt's strong, quiet sensuality is making Eve quickly realize that her body definitely needs guarding — from his!
Protecting Eve is a job Wyat can handle, but what's happened to the Eve he once knew, a woman filled with teasing laughter who'd do anything for a stolen kiss with him? Wyatt has his instructions — keep her ex-husband away and keep her happy — but he knows Eve will be happy only when she allows passion back into her life...so how can he convince her that he's the man for the job?
About the Author
Elizabeth Bevarly is an award-winning romance author with over a dozen books to her credit. Her novels have been translated into fourteen languages, and there are over three million copies of her books in print worldwide.Elizabeth lives with her husband and young son in Louisville, Kentucky.
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