In the Arms of a Stranger
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by Mary Eason
Description: Everything Kate Bradshaw believed to be real about her marriage to her husband Alex slowly slipped away from her as the newspaper reports explained the sordid truth in black and white. Their marriage and Alex's seduction had been nothing more than a lie, a means of accomplishing one thing--Alex's revenge against the man he believed responsible for killing his one true love--Kates own father. Rating: Spicy. Genre: Contemporary Romance.
eBook Publisher: New Concepts Publishing, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: November 2010
8 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [186 KB]
Reading time: 123-173 min.
"Are you sure you don't want me to stay and help you finish up here? It won't kill me to skip one class, you know." Brandy Richards slung her backpack over her shoulder and eyed the stack of books that still needed putting away with concern.
"Thanks, but no way, Brandy. You need this credit to graduate at the end of the year." Kate Edwards placed the last of the latest self-help books on the display next to the register and turned to her younger cousin. "Besides, this is your last class before finals. You can't afford to miss tonight. Go to your class. I'll finish up here."
Brandy had struggled with World History for weeks now, using every available minute to study. Luckily, the bookstore was unusually quiet this time of year due to the pre-holiday slump.
"Okay, but promise you won't stay too late? And don't forget to lock the doors at six this time. You know how crazy this part of the city gets after the sun goes down."
"Yes, Mother." Kate smiled affectionately at her cousin's concern before shooing her in the direction of the door. Of course, Brandy was right. The downtown Austin business district transformed itself at night, from the bustling financial center of the city to a twenty-something's party haven.
Crowds of young people flocked to the bars and clubs along Sixth Street.
Brandy hesitated for another moment before giving in. "Okay, I'm going but I'm calling the store when I get out of class and you'd better not still be here."
Kate had hired her cousin to help at the bookstore part-time after her parents' death, when Brandy seemed to be floundering. It wasn't long before the girl excelled at the job. With Kate's help, and thanks to Brandy's excellent GPA average, she'd been able to enroll at the University of Texas, Kate's alma mater. After a few bumps that first year, Brandy was back on track and scheduled to graduate with a degree in business at the end of the fall semester.
"Go to class, Brandy, and stop worrying about me. I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself."
"Yeah, well it wouldn't hurt you to have some fun every now and then, you know. When was the last time you didn't put in fourteen hours a day at this place?"
"Brandy," Kate warned. She knew exactly where this conversation was going. Brandy loved the single life. She constantly invited Kate to go clubbing with her friends down on Sixth Street, but Kate always refused. She'd put those days behind her after college. When her last serious relationship ended in a bitter breakup, Kate decided she needed to take some time off from men as well.
"Well, you know it wouldn't hurt you to get laid."
"Brandy!" The last thing Kate wanted to get involved in right now was yet another discussion about her sex life, or more specifically her lack of sex life. "Will you let me worry about my love life for once? You just concentrate on passing that test so you can graduate and start working here full time, okay. Then I won't need to work fourteen hour days."
"Whatever you say, Kate, but technically, you have to have a love life to worry about one," Brandy retorted. She blew Kate a little kiss then made a hasty exit, before her cousin could manage even a single retort.
Kate shook her head. Her cousin just refused to let up at times. Brandy meant well, but she just didn't understand. Kate picked up the last remaining stack of books--a group of romance novels and eyed the couple on the cover with scorn.
Yeah right. If men like that existed in the real world, then women wouldn't need to read those novels.
If I could find a man like that, I'd give up my self-imposed exile and sleep with him in a heartbeat
So far, she hadn't found anything resembling Prince Charming in the men she'd dated in the past, certainly not in Seth Mathews.
She'd been engaged to Seth for two months when she'd finally given in and had sex with him, which ultimately resulted in Kate's self-imposed exile from dating entirely. After Seth got what he wanted from her, he'd quickly moved on to another woman. Seth was a lousy excuse for a man. And a cheat. Not to mention terrible in bed.
But to Kate's credit, her judgment had been impaired by all the lies Seth was so good at feeding her. She actually believed he meant it when he told her she was the only woman he ever wanted to make love with, until she'd discovered the truth.