He's back--for the valentine he never should have let go...
When Kane Healey had to fight the hardest battle of his life, he learned the true meaning of "if you love someone, you have to let them go," and decided to face his future alone.
Young and afraid, Rhiannon discovered she was pregnant. But Kane had gone, unaware of the precious miracle he'd left behind....
Now they have one last chance to put past mistakes behind them. As the Valentine's Day ball approaches, will Kane get down on one knee and make his valentine his bride?
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February 11, 2008
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Excerpt from Her One and Only Valentine by Trish Wylie
A tennis racquet was the first thing her hand settled on. Anything would have done, to be honest. The fact she had even heard the noise to begin with when it was so stormy outside was miracle enough. But, more than likely, her first night in the huge house alone with her daughter, combined with the thick walls holding the worst of the storm at bay, meant Rhiannon MacNally had more sensitive ears than normal.
And there was definitely someone there. She knew for sure as she stepped off the last stair and heard movement, a tremor of fear running up her spine. Going to see who it was probably wasn't the best idea she'd ever had, and she'd always detested heroines in horror movies who went where they were bound to be--well--eaten, but this was her house now, damn it! And she wasn't going to lie cowering in her bed.
So she crept along the hall, ignoring the goose-bumps on her skin and the chill of her bare feet on the slate floor, while her body hugged the wall and she held the tennis racquet in front of her, clasped firmly in both hands.
She froze, her pulse skipping. There it was again. This time a much more distinct rattle, followed by a muffled curse as someone bumped against furniture in the kitchen. So she swallowed hard, ran her tongue over her dry lips and crept closer to the door, fully prepared to scream her lungs out and frighten whoever it was more than they were currently frightening her...
It swung open as she reached out for the handle. And, with a stifled scream in the base of her throat, she raised the racquet to hit whatever might come through.
The shadow moved out towards her, but she sidestepped and swung hard at where she guessed the shadow's waist might be, fully prepared to swing lower than that if the need called, but making enough of a contact to double him up briefly. And she immediately knew it was a him from his deep grunt of pain.
He swore in response, moving remarkably fast, catching the end of the racquet, using the fact she didn't let go of it to twist her arm and pushing her much smaller body in tight against the wall so that she was trapped against the cold stone.
'What the hell--'
This had been a big mistake!
'Get off me!'She struggled for all she was worth, desperate to find a way to swing the racquet again.
'I phoned the police; they'll be here any minute! So you better just leave while you can!'
That was a fib, actually; she hadn't been able to find her mobile in the dark but he didn't need to know that!
The sound of her name in such a gruff, rumbling tone stilled her. And then his scent hit her, tingling against her nostrils and attaching to the back of her throat, with low tones of sweet cinnamon and a familiar something else that her memory immediately recognized.
Rhiannon knew that scent, even after ten years. She'd never forgotten it, no matter how hard she tried, and now he wasinher house! He had her trapped against a wall! This was a nightmare!
'Kane!' There was no need to question; she already knew exactly who it was. What she didn't get was, 'What the hell are you doing here?'
His warm breath teased the strands of hair touching her forehead, his huge body still pressed along the length of hers. And Rhiannon hated that she was so aware of everywhere he touched, every breath he took, of how his scent opened the door to so many memories.
So she struggled again.
'Get off me!'
His large frame remained tight against hers, tension radiating from every pore.
'I'll only consider it if you promise not to hit me with whatever that is again.'
'You were lucky I didn't find anything larger or aim any lower, you frightened the life out of me! What in hell are you doing creeping around in the middle of the night? How did you even get in? You shouldn't be here! You have no right to just walk in here and--and--'
His voice held an amused edge to it.
'Let's cover the frightened part first, shall we? A lone female taking on what I assume she thought was a burglar was a stroke of genius, don't you think? And why shouldn't I be here? I've been a guest in this place just as many times as you have over the years. What makes you think I don't still have things here that might belong to me?'
The question flummoxed her for a second, a wave of panic forming in the pit of her stomach, so she took a moment to force it away with several deep breaths. Because he couldn't possibly have meant--
She stopped struggling, sighing a little in resignation when she realized that at least by staying still she didn't feel quite so sensually aware of him. That was a start. Then she took another deep breath and tried to form a coherent line of thought.
'Brookfield is my house now. You can't just pop in here when you fancy it now that Mattie is gone! If you have things here that belong to you then you could have got them in daylight, or better still they could have been couriered to you!'