With a priceless collection at stake...Is everything for the taking It had taken centuries for Max Bannister's family to acquire their treasures, and now he's been asked to risk his collection as bait for a master criminal. For his own reasons, Max allows a public exhibition, and to protect the family fortune he must rely on the skills of his half brother--a world-class security expert--and his smart and savvy exhibit director, Morgan West.
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September 30, 2002
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Excerpt from Once a Thief by Kay Hooper
' Somebody ought to put her in one of the display cases. Talk about an eye-poppin' show."
Morgan West stopped in her tracks to lift an eyebrow at a suddenly flustered workman. "Voices carry in museums," she said gently. "You might want to keep that in mind."
"Yeah. I mean--yes, ma'am. Sorry, ma'am. No offense meant."
"None taken. It's always been my ambition to be a museum display."
He cleared his throat. "Priceless things. That's all I meant. Treasures. Works of art." He eyed her, then sighed. "I'm not gonna win, am I "
"No, I'm afraid not."
"I'm a sexist pig."
"This woman anyway. Yes, I'd say that was what you were doing."
"I apologize, Miss West."
Perfectly aware that the other workmen near enough to overhear this exchange were hiding grins, Morgan knew when it was time to let her prey off the hook on which he'd impaled himself. "Accepted. Have a nice day."
"Yes, ma'am. You too."
Morgan strolled away, knowing that laughter would erupt the moment she was out of sight. Which it did.
Her measurements had been causing her problems since her thirteenth birthday, so by now she should have been at least somewhat accustomed to it.
There were men who admitted that long, shapely female legs inspired amorous fantasies; there were those who had the same basic response to the rich curves of swaying hips. But men whose primitive instincts were aroused by an ample bust, Morgan had found, undoubtedly outnumbered the rest.
Probably something Freudian about it.
Or something infantile.
At any rate, her centerfold measurements had caused her more trouble than joy. A lot more. Her dates during high school and college had been so entranced by her charms, she often wondered if they knew what her face looked like. Even the Rhodes scholar she'd briefly gone out with--hoping his mind was on a higher plane--had stuttered dreadfully whenever his gaze strayed to her chest.