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Authors: Elise K. Ackers

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Dear Stranger (3 page)

BOOK: Dear Stranger
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“How many did you give away today?”


“Five more drafts and we would have been even.”

She laughed, delighted.

A woman wearing black pants and a white collared shirt stepped through the bar doorway and lowered their drinks onto the nearest table. Reese stopped rocking to accept the wine glass Ian passed her.

He lifted his beer and said, “To fate.” When she hesitated, he cringed. “Too cheesy?”

“No,” she said quickly. And it wasn’t just the fire which warmed her now. “I would love to toast to that.”

They touched their drinks together and drank, watching each other over the rims.

What else could it be, but fate?
Reese wondered. Of all the people in the city to find one of her letters, this man was not only a little familiar to her, but incorrigible. The things he had done to get a reply to her…and to think she had been wishing for one mere hours ago.

“I see you sometimes,” she said, “when I come into work.”

His brows crept together and he lowered his beer. She waited to see if he would recognise her. Within moments, small thrills of excitement were shooting around her body, for his eyes had cleared and he’d pointed at her.

“That’s why I recognised you in the coffee shop! We catch the same train?”

“Only when I’m early.” She smiled into her wine and relished the feeling of being noticed and remembered.

She moved her foot, intending to push off and rock again, but bumped against Ian’s. When she didn’t move away, his expression softened. He glanced down at their touching shoes and moved his thumb through the condensation filming his bottle.

“Let’s get to know each other,” he said softly.

And they did. For two wines, two beers and two coffees, they talked and laughed. They made confessions, they teased each other and they found frequent excuses to touch. Reese didn’t rock on her chair, but rather sat on the edge of it, close to Ian, who was sitting on the edge of his.

It was easy and natural, and more intoxicating than the wine in her belly. Her body was trying to feel everything at once: casual yet excitable, grounded yet wistful. Their varied questions kept her guessing and kept her hungry, but the rhythm of their conversation was relaxing.

When they stopped ordering drinks, they walked to Flinders Street Station together, huddled beneath Reese’s umbrella. They caught the same train, sat side by side and talked until Ian’s station, which was closest on the line.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he murmured against her ear before rising from his seat. He stepped onto the platform and turned back to smile at her.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” she returned.

And though neither said it, she knew they were both counting down the hours until he would step on the train again. They were going to have breakfast together tomorrow morning, and tonight they were going to dream of the possibilities.

The doors closed, and everything moved forward.


Chaos Bound

by Rebekah Turner

The long-awaited sequel to Chaos Born takes us back into the Applecross, where Lora faces increasing threats to her survival and her chance at love.

Lora Blackgoat — mercenary and smuggler — has only just recovered from the last threat on her life and hasn’t even begun to sort out the mess of having both a nephilim warrior and a reborn hellspawn as potential lovers. Work should be a refuge, but a job finding missing persons puts her in the crosshairs of a violent gang and a merchant with a taste for blood sport.

Reluctantly, Lora turns to the two men in her life for help. Roman — the nephilim — professes to be her soul mate and turns to her when he feels the darkness of nephilim madness descending. But though Lora is drawn to Roman, it is Seth, ex-lover and reborn hellspawn, who Lora must ultimately ask to protect those she loves. Can she trust Seth to save Roman and her adoptive family, or will this be a fatal mistake?


The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton

by Viveka Portman

When faced with a rakish, lusty husband, what is a proper English wife to do but educate herself in the art of bedplay?

“Marriages are strange things, none stranger perhaps than this betwixt me and my lord husband.”

Lady Cecelia is married to the dashing and philandering Lord William Stanton, a situation that would distress even the most composed and refined gently-born lady. However, Cecelia has a secret balm to her dissatisfaction: her maid, Bess Miller.

Cecelia’s inexperience and William’s insatiable appetites fuel her desire to learn, and Bess is a willing teacher. Then, when Cecelia blossoms into pregnancy and can no longer accommodate William’s needs, he distances himself, and Bess becomes her only solace and comfort — and the channel for her most intimate desires. As Cecelia struggles to understand her own feelings, gossip begins to spread. William starts asking questions, and wicked confessions must be made…



by Elise K Ackers

In hospital following a near-fatal accident, Connor has temporary retrograde amnesia, and there's a blank slate where the last three years of his life should be. It's a woman with haunted eyes and secrets who offers to help him rediscover his past.

Colleague, friend and ex-lover, Emma warns Connor they must be discreet. No one knows about their past relationship, and for the sake of their jobs, no one can. She reintroduces him to his life and the fascinating redevelopment project they are working on, and the more time Connor spends with her, the more he wants a future with her in it.

But Emma blames herself for Connor's accident and she won’t confess to what broke their relationship in the past. Now Connor is fighting for love, for his job, and for another chance.

A story about second chances, a second look, and the futility of fighting fate,
explores the concept of walking a path already travelled and learning from your mistakes.

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ISBN: 9780857991249

Title: Dear Stranger

Copyright © 2014 by Elise K. Ackers

All rights reserved. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher, Harlequin Enterprises (Australia) Limited, Locked Bag 7002, Chatswood D.C. NSW, Australia, 2067.

All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.

® and ™ are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and are used under license to the Publisher. Trademarks indicated with ® are registered in Australia, New Zealand, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries.

BOOK: Dear Stranger
12.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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