Read The Mighty Quinns: Logan Online

Authors: Kate Hoffmann

Tags: #Contemporary, #Fiction, #Romance

The Mighty Quinns: Logan

BOOK: The Mighty Quinns: Logan
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He’s just an average, irresistibly sexy guy...

It’s a long, hot trip from one side of Australia to the other, but horse breeder Logan Quinn has a job to do—sell his favorite filly, and dream of a home and a horse ranch of his own. When he stays over at posh horse farm, however, his dreams turn to fantasies about the owner’s daughter. And for just one night, he gives himself up to sweet surrender….

One night isn’t
nearly
enough for heiress Sunny Grant. She’d be crazy to let a scrumptious bloke like Logan disappear from her bed
and
her life. Now she wants more—even if it means stowing away in his camper van!

With nothing in common but a white-hot attraction, they’ll travel across the Land of Oz—together. But nothing in this journey will ever prepare them for their destination!

Praise for Kate Hoffmann's Mighty Quinns

“This truly delightful tale packs in the heat and a lot of heart at the same time.”
—
RT Book Reviews
on
The Mighty Quinns: Dermot

“This is a fast read that is hard to tear the eyes from. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down.”
—
Fresh Fiction
on
The Mighty Quinns: Dermot

“A story that not only pulled me in, but left me weak in the knees.”
—
Seriously Reviewed
on
The Mighty Quinns: Riley

“Sexy, heartwarming and romantic, this is a story to settle down with and enjoy—and then reread.”
—
RT Book Reviews
on
The Mighty Quinns: Teague

“Sexy Irish folklore and intrigue weave throughout this steamy tale.”
—
RT Book Reviews
on
The Mighty Quinns: Kellan

“The only drawback to this story is that it's far too short!”
—
Fresh Fiction
on
The Mighty Quinns: Kellan

“Strong, imperfect but lovable characters, an interesting setting and great sensuality.”
—
RT Book Reviews
on
The Mighty Quinns: Brody

Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing for Harlequin for nearly twenty years. It seems like only yesterday that I completed my first novel and sent it in, hoping that it would be good enough to publish. Now, many books later, people sometimes ask if I ever run out of ideas. Fortunately, I don’t. There always seems to be a line of characters just waiting to have their story written.

This month I kick off another set of Mighty Quinns. Only, this time I’m doing something a little different—I’m setting the stories in four different countries! This first book,
The Mighty Quinns: Logan,
takes place in Australia, and the next book,
The Mighty Quinns: Jack,
will bring you back to the U.S. The last two books are still in progress, so I won’t give out any spoilers just yet. But you might want to watch out for a couple of hot Irish guys named Rourke and Dex.… :)

As always, without you I wouldn’t have the chance to continue to tell my stories. Whether you’ve been with me from the start or you’ve just discovered my books, thank you for reading! Be sure to check out my page on Facebook for all the latest news.

All my best,
Kate Hoffmann

The Mighty Quinns: Logan

Kate Hoffmann

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Hoffmann has written more than seventy books for
Harlequin, most of them for the Temptation and Blaze lines. She spent time as a
music teacher, a retail assistant buyer and an advertising exec before she
settled into a career as a full-time writer. She continues to pursue her
interests in music, theater and musical theater, working with local schools in
various productions. She lives in southeastern Wisconsin with her cat,
Chloe.

Books by Kate Hoffmann

HARLEQUIN BLAZE

279—THE MIGHTY QUINNS: MARCUS
285—THE
MIGHTY QUINNS: IAN
291—THE MIGHTY QUINNS: DECLAN
340—DOING
IRELAND!
356—FOR LUST OR MONEY
379—YOUR BED OR
MINE?
406—INCOGNITO
438—WHO NEEDS MISTLETOE?
476—THE MIGHTY
QUINNS: BRODY
482—THE MIGHTY QUINNS: TEAGUE
488—THE MIGHTY QUINNS:
CALLUM
520—THE CHARMER
532—THE DRIFTER
546—THE SEXY
DEVIL
579—IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE MISTLETOE…
  “When She Was
Naughty…”
585—INTO THE NIGHT
641—THE MIGHTY QUINNS:
RILEY
647—THE MIGHTY QUINNS: DANNY
653—THE MIGHTY QUINNS:
KELLAN
675—BLAZING BEDTIME STORIES, VOLUME VI
  “Off the
Beaten Path”
681—NOT JUST FRIENDS
702—THE MIGHTY QUINNS:
DERMOT
707—THE MIGHTY QUINNS: KIERAN
712—THE MIGHTY QUINNS:
CAMERON
719—THE MIGHTY QUINNS: RONAN

HARLEQUIN SINGLE TITLES

REUNITED
THE PROMISE
THE LEGACY

For Michelle. Never stop believing.
It can happen for you, too!

Prologue

D
ROPLETS
OF
RAIN
spattered against the wavy glass in the manor-house windows. Aileen Quinn stared out into the lush green of her garden, her gaze fixed on a niche in the tall stone wall. A small statue of an angel was nestled into the ivy, the rain dripping off the outspread wings as if it wept.

“Are you certain?” she asked.

“I know this is a lot to handle, Miss Quinn. Perhaps we should continue later?”

She gripped the head of her cane and turned back to the genealogist. “No,” she said. “I'm ninety-six years old. There will be no more secrets in my life. That's why I chose to write my autobiography. I want it all out there so I can leave this world in peace.”

“You realize the chances that your older siblings are still alive are virtually zero.”

Aileen moved to a wing chair near the fireplace and sat down, turning toward the warmth. “Of course. But I would like to know if they had children and grandchildren. I have a family and I'd like to know at least a little bit about them before I die.”

She stared into the flickering flames, her thoughts carrying her back to her childhood. She only had the thinnest of details, facts that the nuns at the orphanage had relinquished after years of persistent questions. Her father had died in the Easter Rising of 1916, shot through the heart by a British soldier. Her mother, left pregnant and desperate to provide for her newborn daughter, grew sick with consumption and brought Aileen to the orphanage a few weeks before she died.

The story had been told so many times in the media, the rags-to-riches tale of an Irish orphan girl who became one of the world's most popular novelists. Aileen's stories had been a reflection of her life, tales of struggle and triumph, of heartache and great happiness, and all set in the land of her birth, her beautiful Ireland.

“Tell me again,” she said. “Their names. What were my brothers' names?”

“The eldest was Diarmuid. He was twelve when he was sent off to work as an apprentice to a shipbuilder in Belfast in 1917. Then there was Conal. He was nine and Lochlan was six when you were born. And Tomas was five. There were three other children who didn't survive. A baby girl between Diarmuid and Conal who died at birth. And a daughter named Mary and a son named Orin between Tomas and you. They both died of scarlet fever the year before you were born.”

“So there were seven, not four.”

The young man nodded. “Yes.”

“I need to know where they went,” Aileen said, leaning forward in her chair. “How they lived. You need to find everything you can about them.”

“Yes, ma'am,” he said. He riffled through his papers. “I was able to learn that the youngest, Tomas, was sent to Australia. He traveled with a missionary and his wife on a ship called the
Cambria,
which sailed from Cork and landed in Sydney in December of 1916.”

“Then that's where you'll begin,” Aileen said. “In Australia. I don't care how many people you need to hire to help you or how much it costs. I'm giving you unlimited funds to do whatever is needed, Mr. Stephens. And I want a weekly report of any progress you've made, no matter how inconsequential.”

“Yes, Miss Quinn.”

“That's all for now,” she said.

He nodded and walked out of the solarium, his research tucked under his arm. Aileen watched him leave, then drew a deep breath. She'd spent her whole life believing she was alone in the world, a victim of circumstances beyond her control. But now, in a single instant, she had a family, siblings who had once held her and kissed her...and loved her.

The housekeeper walked into the room, her footsteps silent on the ornate rug. Sally set the tray down on the tea table. “I've baked some lovely scones,” she said. “Will you not have one?”

Aileen shook her head. “Just the tea, Sally.”

“Did your Mr. Stephens have anything interesting to share?”

“Not at the present,” she replied. The news about her family was so startling that she wanted to keep it a secret just a bit longer. It wasn't a good thing to hope. She'd learned that as a child, every Sunday, when visiting day at Our Lady of Mercy orphanage arrived. Just over a hundred girls, dressed in their very best, would stand in proper rows, hoping that someone would come, would choose to take one of them home.

But she'd been a sickly child, smaller than the others and plagued with respiratory infections, and often pushed into the background. After a time, she'd decided to stop trying. She was safe with the nuns and had dreams of joining the Sisters of St. Clare herself.

The orphanage provided a harsh type of life. Punishments were meted out regularly for the girls who refused to conform. Those that were considered chronically impure—the illegitimate, the criminal, the intractable—bore the brunt of the nuns' disdain. But Aileen was pious and penitent for even the slightest sin.

When Sister Mary gave her a coveted job in the school library, shelving books and reading to the younger girls, she'd quietly been marked as a favorite and was spared the worst of chores.

By the time she was eleven, she'd run out of books to read in the school library and was allowed to accompany the lively young teacher, Sister Bernadette, to the Kinsale library, where she'd been handed a copy of
Jane Eyre
and told to hide it from the older nuns.

The book had opened a whole new world for her. The story of the plain orphan girl, snatched from her cruel fate and whisked into a life as a governess, had been a revelation. How was it possible to put words in such an order that they could create a truth in her mind?

From that moment on, Aileen had begun to write her own stories, at first just weak copies of what she read. But as her methodical march through the town library shelves continued, she learned more about how to craft a plot and develop a character.

In the evenings, she'd offered to empty the rubbish bins at school, just for the chance to gather spare paper for her work. And then, when she was in the seventh form, Sister Bernadette became her teacher. The sweet-tempered nun recognized Aileen's talent for writing. From that moment on, Aileen always had pencils and tablets to spare, and someone to read her stories.

Though the girls at the orphanage were trained toward industrial employment, Aileen had been encouraged in her plans to devote her life to God and join the order as a novitiate. But the closer she got to the decision, the more Aileen knew that the life she wanted, and the stories swimming around in her head, couldn't be contained within the walls of the convent. She'd have to go out in the world and make her own way, to live the life that she so desperately wanted to write about.

And so she did what Jane Eyre had done. She became a governess for a wealthy family in Dublin, moving from the orphanage into a grand home situated on a posh street. She cared for three boys by the name of Riley while their father ran a bank and their mother busied herself with charitable works.

And at night, after the boys had been tucked into bed, she wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. She saved her meager salary and bought a secondhand typewriter for her twenty-first birthday, then spent what she had left on paper and inked ribbon.

At night, she'd sneak up to a far corner of the attic, lantern in hand, so that the family wouldn't hear the tap-tap-tap of the keys. She sold her first novel five years later, the story of an orphaned Irish girl who falls in love with the son of her employer, only to be cast aside and left to rebuild a life for herself. Set between the two world wars, the novel sold well enough for her to leave the Rileys and rent a tiny flat in a run-down section of Dublin.

Now, seventy years later, Aileen Quinn had become the grande dame of Irish women writers, the one they all referenced when they talked of their greatest influences. She'd won every award and accolade available to her and had enjoyed her life and her success.

Her only regret had been that the love her characters always struggled to find had never found her. She'd always thought there would be time for a husband and a family. But the years between thirty and fifty had seemed to fly by in a blur. Then, she'd still hoped a man might come into her life. And then another blur between fifty and seventy. By then it was too late for hope. Too late to have a family of her own.

But all that had changed now. She did have a family, people who were related to her by blood. And she was going to find every last one of them.

BOOK: The Mighty Quinns: Logan
12.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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