Message From The Author

Linda Howard

Genre: General Romantic Suspense, Romantic Suspense

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Sometimes the long, hot summers in the South are endless; the days are bright with a scorching sun, the nights soft and fragrant, and both are punctuated by the drama of rumbling thunderstorms that march along with drums rolling a tattoo across the sky. In the south we also have sprawling, tangled family relationships that stretch back for generations, and Shades of Twilight is the tale of just such a family.

Roanna Davenport is the misfit of the family, which is ruled by her grandmother, Lucinda Davenport. Roanna isn't pretty, she isn't socially adept; she's the awkward younger cousin who never quite measures up to her beautiful older cousin, Jessie. Jessie even married Webb Tallant, the man Roanna has loved all her life. Then Jessie is murdered, and all their lives change.

Webb leaves Alabama, and by default Roanna is made the heir of Davencourt, the family estate. Ten years after Jessie's murder Lucinda is in ill health, and she makes Roanna promise to find Webb and convince him to come home. Haunted by guilt, because she blames herself for the argument that resulted in Jessie's death and Webb's banishment, Roanna goes.

"Lucinda sent me to find you," Roanna whispered.

"What does she want?" he asked, holding her face in his grip. His big hand covered her jaw from ear to ear. "If she simply missed my smiling face, she wouldn't have waited ten years to find me. So what is it she wants from me?"

His bitterness was deeper than she'd expected, his anger as hot as it had been the day he'd walked out of their lives. She should have known, though, and Lucinda should have, too. Their betrayal of him had been like pulling a tiger's tail, and now they had to face his fangs and claws.

"She wants you to come home and take over again."

"What about you?" he demanded, his voice low and hard. "All I've heard is what Lucinda wants. What do you want, little-Roanna-all-grown-up?"

"I want you to come home, too. Please."

"Now, why would you want that?" he asked softly. "Unless you're a fool. Are you a fool, Roanna?"

She opened her mouth to answer but he laid one callused finger across her lips. "Ten years ago you started it all by offering me a taste of that skinny little body. How much do you want me to come home?" He slipped his hand inside her jacket and squeezed her breast. "Just enough to give me a feel, tease me? Or enough to give me what you offered ten years ago?"

Write to me c/o Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

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