A contemporary novel of romance and renewal from perennial bestseller Jude Deveraux, First Impressions is an emotionally charged story of one woman's bid to start over.
Eden Palmer knows how to make it on her own. The forty-something single mother has worked hard to raise her beloved daughter -- now twenty-seven and recently married. The offspring of a terrible event, Eden's daughter, Melissa, has long been the jewel of Eden's life, the one for whom she would sacrifice anything and everything. But sooner or later a woman must come into her own, and that's what Eden tries to do when she moves to Arundel, North Carolina, to take ownership of Farrington Manor, a beautiful old house filled with charm and memories that was willed to Eden by the person who cared for her when she needed it most. Torn between the desire to stay with her daughter and the need to build a separate life on her own, Eden opts for some distance and some much-needed perspective. But it's not long before she realizes that sometimes you have to go back before you can start over.
Arriving in Arundel -- the South's prettiest small town -- Eden quickly learns that looks can be deceiving when her move is met with delight in some quarters and jealousy in others. Pursued by two eligible bachelors -- the rugged Jared McBride and Braddon Granville, local lawyer and town catch -- Eden is flattered, and more than a little suspicious. Juggling the attentions of two men is hard enough, but soon Eden's bid to start over plunges her in the middle of a mystery that threatens not just her plans and reputation, but her very life. Can she use one man to save her from the other?
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October 24, 2005
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Excerpt from First Impressions by Jude Deveraux
The moment he saw the smirk on Bill's face, Jared knew he was going to be given a job he wouldn't like. So what did a man have to do to finally be able to choose his own assignments? he thought for the thousandth time. Get shot? Naw, he'd done that three times. How about getting kidnapped? That had happened twice. Hey! How about being home so seldom that his wife leaves him for some other guy, a used car salesman who is now the father of their three kids? Nope. That had happened too. So how about getting too old for the field? Too late. At forty-nine, Jared felt that he'd reached that age about six years ago.
"Don't look at me like that," Bill said, holding his office door open for Jared to enter.
Groaning, Jared put on a pronounced limp as he hobbled toward the chair opposite Bill's overloaded desk, WILLIAM TEASDALE on a plaque in front. Sticking his leg out stiffly in front of him, he ostentatiously rubbed his knee, as though he were in great pain.
"You can cut it out," Bill said as he sat down behind his desk.
"I have no sympathy for you, and even if I did, I couldn't let you out of this one." He picked up a folder, then looked across the top of it at Jared. "Most agents are glad to get out in the field. Why not you?"
Jared leaned back in his chair. "Where should I begin? With pain? I was in the hospital for three weeks after the last job. And life. I like living. And then there's -- "
"Got a new girlfriend?" Bill asked, his eyes narrowed.