An Irresistible Bachelor

BOOK: An Irresistible Bachelor
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Table of Contents
—Huntress Book Reviews
An Irresistible Bachelor
“I enjoyed every page of this book. It's packed with mystery, intrigue, power, passion, and a love story too beautiful for words.”
—The Best Reviews
“Irresistible . . . a well-written, engaging, and intelligent love story.”
The Romance Reader
“[An] emotion-filled romance. . . . Readers who appreciate books rich in strong feelings, such as those by Barbara Freethy, Kathryn Shay, and Judith McNaught, will also enjoy this tale.”
“This is a warm contemporary romance that stars a delightful lead couple. . . . Jessica Bird's tale is irresistible.”
Midwest Book Review
An Unforgettable Lady
“Searing tension and intense emotion add special flair to this sensational romantic suspense.”
Romantic Times continued . . .
“I anxiously await her next book.”
—The Romance Readers Connection
“Exhilarating romantic suspense.”
—The Best Reviews
“Fantastic characters, plenty of heat and tension.”
—Errant Dreams Reviews
Further Praise for Jessica Bird and Her Novels
“A tumultuous tale.”
—Escape to Romance
“Truly awesome. Well done, Jessica Bird. Highly recommended reading here.”
—Huntress Book Reviews
“This romantic drama has it . . . an emotionally enthralling read.”
Romantic Times
—The Romance Readers Connection
By J. R. Ward
The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide
Lover Avenged
Lover Mine
Lover Unleashed
Novels of the Fallen Angels
Writing as Jessica Bird
Heart of Gold
Leaping Hearts
An Unforgettable Lady
An Irresistible Bachelor
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Previously published in an Ivy Books edition. Published by arrangement with the author.
First Signet Printing, July 2011
Copyright © Jessica Bird, 2004
Excerpt from
An Unforgettable Lady
copyright ©
Jessica Bird, 2004 All rights reserved
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
ISBN : 978-1-101-51633-1

For my Bluegrass Family, with love
Dear Readers:
An Irresistible Bachelor
is the fourth of the first quartet of books I wrote, and to be perfectly honest with you, by the time I finished drafting the manuscript, I was pretty sure my career as a published writer was going nowhere. Well, to be honest, it was going somewhere . . . right into the sewer.
Way to start this on a high note, right! Wait, stick with me, I'm going to get to how hot the hero is, I promise. . . .
Here's the thing. Most books are written well in advance of publication, and when I handed
in to its editor, it was clear that my print runs were declining, my sell-throughs were bad . . . and I was not likely to have my contract renewed. Which meant I was out of a job and wouldn't have a home for my material anymore.
Ultimately, this hitting rock bottom was the single best thing that has ever happened to me—because it forced me to get really clear really quick on what my strengths and weaknesses as a writer were and, thereafter, reinvent myself. (The irony, of course, was that the following spring, the book was nominated for the RITA, which is the Romance Writers of America's big national award.) I firmly believe that the incredible success of my Black Dagger Brotherhood books and my Fallen Angels series would not have come about without the singeing fear that hit me as I was working on
The idea that every book I write could be my very last has stuck with me—as has the idea that playing it safe with plotting and conflict is not the way to go for my stories.
On that note, about the hero! I remember being utterly in love with Jack Walker. First introduced properly in
An Unforgettable Lady
, he's your quintessential wealthy businessman, and in a lot of ways, he harkens back to the heroes I loved when I started reading Harlequin Presents a million years ago. Back in the early and mideighties, there were a lot of aloof, powerful men just waiting for the right women (come to think of it, there are still a lot of them out there on the shelves right now!) and I thought that shark-in-a-suit routine was just fabulous.
But here's the thing. During the editorial process, Jack actually got watered down a lot. He was much darker in the first draft—his self-destructive streak was more pronounced, and he was hotter-tempered and more edgy (remind you of certain alpha males with fangs and/ or wings I write about?!). With
, I was already heading in the direction that I give free rein to in the Black Dagger and Angels books, and sometimes I've wondered how different Jack's story would have been if I'd been able to tease out more of his intensity.
I still think this is a great story, however, and that Callie Burke's down-to-earth innocence is the perfect foil for his worldly persona. Callie's a great heroine . . . and she happens to be in a profession that I'm absolutely fascinated by. As an oil painting conservation and restoration expert, she is doing work that has always captivated me—and I was so lucky, while doing research on her job, to get a chance to visit the conservation department of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to meet with their head conservationist. What an amazing afternoon that was—as well as a bit of a shock. When I arrived, he met me down in the lobby and took me to a back elevator. That thing was the size of an RV, and just as the doors were closing, someone yelled out to hold up. From around the corner, a man came forward with this huge rolling pallet, and as he pushed it in . . . I realized that it had a Monet on it that was big as a desktop. Along with about four other paintings. Okaaaaaay. It was my first and only time going anywhere with $100 million worth of art. And I remember glancing over at the conservationist, who was chatting up a storm, and thinking . . . Buddy, do ya see what's next to us?? But he was used to it! And come on, it's not like you could strap those puppies on your back and hoof it up a set of stairs. . . .
I digress, however. The main conflict between Jack and Callie comes from the fact that she's the product of an illicit love affair and is trying to keep that a secret to protect her half sister, who's been really good to her. Jack, on the other hand, is deciding whether or not to run for governor—and if he does, the press is going to delve into every part of his life . . . including who he's dating.
BOOK: An Irresistible Bachelor
6.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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