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by Connie Crow
Description: Best selling novelist Karen Stevens has it all--a hit book, a loving husband and a wonderful son about to graduate from the Air Force Academy. A picture perfect life--that unravels in an instant when she meets her son's fiancée's parents. She comes face to face with her past as David Carlson, a long forgotten lover, is introduced as the father of the bride. Only Karen knows he may also be the father of the groom.
eBook Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books, 2004
eBookwise Release Date: February 2004
14 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [323 KB]
Reading time: 216-302 min.
"Jenny?" Karen asked, throwing an "I told you so" look over the seat. Joe grinned back as she continued, "Is this your mysterious person we're going to meet?"
Mark glanced sheepishly at her, then quickly turned his eyes back to the road. "Well, she's one of them. We're going to have dinner at her parents' house. That's where we're going. I thought it was time you met my fiancée."
Mark held his breath, waiting for his mother's reaction. He glanced sideways, exhaling cautiously. She was half-smiling, biting the edge of her lip. When their gaze met, she said, "Is this really as sudden as it seems? You haven't mentioned her in your letters."
"No, not really. I was afraid that if I talked about her, you'd think I wasn't paying attention to my studies. I think I've managed pretty well. " By this time, a broad smile danced around Karen's lips.
"What's so funny?" he demanded. "This is serious, Mom!"
"I know it is dear, but--"
"Your mother and I just had a discussion about this, son," Joe finished for her. "She's graciously not saying, 'I told you so'. She had you all figured out from the minute you asked us to come out early. You know you can't keep a secret from her for long."
"You're right, Dad," Mark said. "Mom's the only one who could ever keep a secret." He smiled at his mom, relieved she didn't seem too upset.
"Does Jenny have a last name?" asked Karen. "It would be nice to know it before we meet her."
"Oh, sure. It's Carlson. Jennifer Carlson. Her dad teaches at the Academy. They live here in Colorado Springs. I met her at an interschool dance at the community college last September. She's just finishing her second year there. You'll love her. She's smart and pretty and...what's wrong, Mom?"
The smile disappeared from Karen's face and a small frown replaced it at the mention of Jenny's last name.
"I used to know a Carlson family years ago, dear. Long before I met your father. The name brought up some memories I don't generally disturb."
"It's just a coincidence, hon," Joe said, patting Karen's arm. "There are lots of Carlsons in this world."
Karen's smile returned, though a little less bright. "I'm sure you're right," she said, covering Joe's hand with her own, "and the Carlsons I knew were good people. It's a good name. Onward driver, let's meet your intended and her family."
"Oh Mom, it's not that big a deal. Don't get literary on me. We don't need to be in one of your books. " The smile on Mark's face belied the firmness of his tone. He'd read most of her books, over her protests.
"Now dear, you're both too young to be in my books. Anyway, you know I never write about family." She laughed. "I wouldn't want to have my favorite son disown me."
Karen tried to remain excited as the car sped onward. A tiny dark thought tried to edge its way into her consciousness. She pushed it aside. She never expected to see any of the Carlsons again