Charlotte braced both hands against Roman's shoulders. "Your staying is not a good idea."
"Then why does it feel like one?"
Waves of sensation rushed through her. "It feels good because there's nothing rational about sex. But I'm being rational now. You can't stay because you came over here to say goodbye."
"And then I kissed you and realized there's no way in hell I can walk away."
"What? What are you saying?"
"There's always been something between us. Something that won't go away." His blue eyes stared into hers. "If you've got the guts to take the risk and see where it leads, then so do I."
-From THE BACHELOR
Will this bad boy make it to the altar?
It takes a very special woman to catch a Chandler man...
Meet the Chandlers--a trio of sexy brothers and the most eligible men in town...until their mother falls ill. As her three sons gather at her side, she makes two desperate demands: "Get married! Give me grandchildren!"
Foreign correspondent Roman Chandler has always prized his freedom above all else. Now losing a coin toss has sealed this youngest brother's fate. Finding someone to escort down the aisle is the easy part--every wannabe bride in sleepy Yorkshire Falls is itching to get hitched to this gorgeous, globe-trotting Chandler man. But Roman still lusts after the woman who got away. Stunning heartbreaker Charlotte Bronson has come home to put down roots and get her erotic lingerie business off the ground. She wants a man who won't go chasing off to the far corners of the earth for a breaking news story. He wants her to say "I do."
Will she-or won't she? Can the love of the right woman transform a go-it-alone guy into a stick-around-forever kind of man?
The small town of Yorkshire Falls and its colorful inhabitants including a mysterious panty-raider and a fun-loving but devious mother are a sturdy stage for Phillips's (Erotic Invitation) romantic romp. After news of his mother's weak heart summons him home, globetrotting journalist Roman Chandler loses a coin toss with his brothers that determines who will relinquish his bachelor status to give their mother a grandchild. Roman decides to "settle down" without giving up his travel-intensive job, and as one of the most handsome men in town, he can have his pick of the local women except for Charlotte Bronson, his high school crush. Thoughts of her parents' miserable long-distance marriage keep Charlotte from accepting Roman's proposal, despite the sexual sparks that fly at their every encounter. Mutual attraction eventually proves too powerful to resist, however, but first Roman must win her trust. Though Phillips gives sensual friction and emotional introspection equal attention, the emotional chemistry between Roman and Charlotte merely simmers while the sexual chemistry explodes. The first in a Chandler brothers trilogy, this entry will encourage readers who enjoy dining on passion to pick up the next book, but those who prefer more emotionally bonded characters may chose a different course.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 01, 2003
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Excerpt from The Bachelor by Carly Phillips
Roman Chandler glared at his oldest brother, or more accurately he glared at the quarter in Chase's right hand. After getting the phone call about his mother's heart problem, Roman had grabbed the first flight out of London. He'd flown into JFK Airport, taken a connecting flight to Albany, and then rented a car so he could drive an hour to his hometown of Yorkshire Falls, just outside of Saratoga Springs, New York. He was so tired even his bones ached from sheer exhaustion.
And now he could add stress to his problems. Thanks to his mother's heart condition, one of the Chandler brothers would have to sacrifice his freedom in order to provide Raina with a grandchild. A coin toss would decide which brother would shoulder the burden, but only Rick and Roman would be involved. Having already done his family duty by giving up college to run the paper and help his mother raise his younger brothers, Chase wouldn't take part in the toss--despite his argument to the contrary. He'd wanted things equal. Rick and Roman had insisted he opt out.
He'd play executioner instead. "Call it. Heads or tails," Chase said.
Roman glanced at the unpainted ceiling, toward the upstairs of his childhood home where his mother was resting, as per doctor's orders. Meanwhile, he and his brothers stood waiting on the dusty, dirt-smeared floor of the garage that was attached to the family house. The same garage where they'd stored their bikes and balls as kids, and where Roman had snuck beers when he thought his older brothers weren't around. And the same house they'd been raised in and their mother still held on to, thanks to Chase's hard work and his success with the newspaper.
"Come on, guys, someone call it," Chase said in the wake of the surrounding silence.
"You don't have to sound like you're enjoying this," Rick muttered.
"You think I'm enjoying this?" Chase twisted the coin between his fingers, frustration tugging at his lips. "That's bullshit. I sure as hell don't want to see either of you lose the life you chose just because of some whim."
Roman was certain his oldest brother felt so strongly because Chase hadn't chosen his own life path. Instead he'd been thrust into the dual roles of publisher and parent overnight. At seventeen and the oldest sibling when their father died, Chase had felt a duty to take his father's place as head of the family. And that was the motivating factor for Roman's participation in the coin toss now. Roman had been the one to leave Yorkshire Falls and follow his dreams, while Chase had stayed behind and given up his.
Both Roman and Rick looked to Chase as their role model. If Chase thought their mother's dire health and her deep desire for a grandchild warranted a sacrifice, then Roman had to agree. Not only did he owe his brother, he shared the same sense of devotion to family.
"It's no whim Mom suffered," Roman said to his siblings. "She said it's a weak heart that can't handle stress."
"Or disappointment," Rick said. "Mom didn't use that word, but you know damn well she meant it. We've disappointed her."
Roman nodded in agreement. "So if grandchildren will make her happy, then it's up to one of us to give her one to coddle while she's still around to enjoy being a grandmother."
"Knowing one of us is happily married will take the edge off that stress she's supposed to avoid," Chase said. "And a grandchild will give her life direction."
"Can't we just get her a puppy?" Rick asked. Roman understood the sentiment. At thirty-one, his lifestyle precluded settling down. Marriage and family hadn't been in the future. Until now. It wasn't that Roman didn't like women. He did. Hell, he loved women, how they smelled and how their soft skin felt gliding against his aroused body. But he couldn't imagine giving up his career in favor of looking at the same female face across the breakfast table every day for the rest of his life. He shuddered, amazed that his life choices had come down to this one moment.
He turned to his middle brother. "Rick, you've tied the knot once. No need to do it again." Though Roman had no desire to announce himself the man for the job, he couldn't let his sibling repeat his past-marrying to help someone else while sacrificing himself in the process.
Rick shook his head. "Wrong, baby brother. I'll take part in the coin toss. Last time has nothing to do with this. This is about family."
Roman understood. The Chandlers were all about family. So he was back to where they left off. Would he return to his job as foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, continue to land in political hot spots and get the untold stories out to the rest of the world, or would he settle down in Yorkshire Falls the way he'd never planned?