Authors: Elizabeth Bevarly
Although Sam had no intention of ever walking down the aisle again, Bridget's words surprised him. He wondered how she could make such a certain, sweeping statement.
Well, that was her business, he immediately answered himself. Not his. All he had to know about Special Agent Bridget Logan was that she was as dedicated to playing his wife, to getting the job done and to wrapping up this case as he was. He looked at her again, at the way the soft light filmed her hair in gold and made her skin glow and her eyes luminous. He noted the soft curves of her breasts and hips that even her baggy clothing couldn't hide. In her sleep-deprived state she looked soft and tempting and vulnerable.
Yeah, he thought. They
needed to dedicate themselves to wrapping up this case.
The sooner the better.
is a RITA
Award-nominated author of more than sixty works of contemporary romance. Her books regularly appear on the
and the Waldenbooks bestseller lists for romance and mass-market paperbacks. Her novel
The Thing About Men
New York Times
extended bestseller list, as well. Her novels have been published in more than two dozen languages and three dozen countries, and there are more than ten million copies in print worldwide. She currently lives in a small town in her native Kentucky with her husband and son.
New York Times
Be a part of
Because birthright has its privileges and family ties run deep.
Two FBI agents pose as newlyweds to expose a black-market baby ring. With the mission under way, this “pretend” couple finds the idea of real marriageâto each otherâvery tantalizingâ¦.
While hunting down dangerous criminals, Bridget secretly longed for a family of her own. Being a special agent didn't offer her much chance of true love until Samuel Jones became her partnerâ¦and her husband!
When his ex-wife betrayed him, Samuel vowed never to commit again. But then Bridget, hardworking and earnest, stole his heart and made him rethink his philosophy of love. Would following his heart give him the happiness he so deserved?
A wanted man:
He was on the loose and no one knew where he would strike next. Would his love for a certain Portland General nurse calm his vengeful soul?
Because birthright has its privileges and family ties run deep.
AVAILABLE JUNE 2010
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by Susan Mallery
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by Pamela Toth
by Laurie Paige
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by Victoria Pade
AVAILABLE JULY 2010
by Marie Ferrarella
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by Karen Rose Smith
Child of Her Heart
by Cheryl St. John
by RaeAnne Thayne
AVAILABLE AUGUST 2010
The Secret Heir
by Gina Wilkins
by Elizabeth Bevarly
Right by Her Side
by Christie Ridgway
by Anne Marie Winston
AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2010
The Greatest Risk
by Cara Colter
What a Man Needs
by Patricia Thayer
by Raye Morgan
by Donna Clayton
For all the great folks at Silhouette Books, with many thanks and much affection.
ridget Logan knew a lot of things about a lot of things. She knew the winner of every World Series since 1986. She knew how to speak Spanish, French and German. She knew pi to the twenty-seventh character. She knew how to make her whites whiter and her colors brighter. She knew the secret to beautiful skin. She knew all the lyrics to “Louie, Louie.” Really. She even knew how to program her VCR.
She also knew how to bug a room so that nobody, but
could tell it was wired. And she knew how to change her entire appearance with a few simple tricks and props that fit nicely into a nondescript handbag. And she knew how to disassemble and reassemble her .38 revolver, and how to hold it steady and shoot so that the bullet went straight through the white paper heart on the black silhouette at target practice.
But she didn't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies.
Nor did she have any desire to learn. Because Bridget Logan was on the fast track in her career, a rising star at the Federal Bureau of Investigations. She had risen so quickly, in fact, thatâas of a week ago, anywayâshe'd been awarded a field assignment to a counterterrorist task force in Vienna, a plum appointment that even some veteran agents had been vying to win, and which would have boosted her into a very elite investigation group at the tender age of twenty-five.
And that would have put Bridget exactly where she wanted to be. She'd decided in junior high school that she wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. Smart and driven and ambitious since her first day of school, she'd ultimately skipped two grades and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. Then she'd left her hometown of Portland, Oregon, to move across the country, earning her bachelor's in computer science in three years' time at Georgetown University. Then she'd worked another three years for one of Alexandria, Virginia's premier private investigation firms. And then, once she'd fulfilled the three years of professional work experience required by the FBI, she'd gone after her dream. She'd entered the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia, when she was only twenty-two, and had become one of its youngest graduates. Since then, she'd put in three years for the Bureau, doing the usual grunt work all the newbies had to tolerate, then becoming a full-fledged field agent before she was even twenty-four.
She'd deliberately sought out the toughest cases, then had lied, begged, borrowed or stolen to be assigned to them. And she'd worked hard, with a passion that superseded anything she'd ever felt. She was still one of
the youngest field agents working for the Bureau, yet she'd gained experience some of her older colleagues hadn't come close to achieving. She didn't have time even to think about a husband or family, because she gave everything she had to her job. The Vienna assignment would have boosted her into an even higher echelon, professionally speaking, and it would have been a hell of a lot of fun living and working in Europe.
Instead, two days after her arrival in Vienna, she'd been told she was being reassigned, effective immediately. And though she'd always had absolutely no interest in becoming a wife or a mother, she was now going to have to learn a lot about being both. Because for her new field assignment, Bridget Logan, G-woman and counterterrorist, was about to become Bridget Logan, trophy wife and mom wanna-be.
It was going to be the hardest role she'd ever had to play.
Especially since she hadn't met her husband-to-be. She wasn't even sure yet what the specifics of her assignment were, or why she had been selected for the job. She only knew that, a few days ago, she had been scheduled to be posing as a member of an obscure eastern European terrorist network, looking to score some stinger missiles from an American arms dealer working out of Germany, and today she was back in Portland. She'd gone into the Vienna office on Monday expecting to be briefed about her assignment before heading off to Zagreb, but had instead been told to turn around and pack her bags and head home, because she was needed for a “special assignment” she'd learn more about upon arrival.
Oh, and she'd also been told to spend her hours on the long flight home perusing the latest issues of
Town and Country
The Robb Report,
along with a variety of literature on clinical infertility. And because Bridget Logan knew a lot of things about a lot of things, she'd suspected right off that she'd been pulled from her work in Europe to go homeâand to learn about clinical infertility along the wayâbecause of her parents' involvement in one of Portland's most famous establishments: the Children's Connection. That could be the only reason why they'd taken her, specifically, off such an elite overseas assignment, one that would have pushed her even more quickly up the professional ladder, to travel halfway around the world for an assignment that could have gone to anyone.
Because the Logans of Portland, Oregon, were knownâeven internationallyâfor the work they did at the foundation that helped infertile couples adopt or conceive. Long before Bridget was born, her parents had suffered a terrible tragedy; their firstborn child had been kidnapped and murdered. Leslie and Terrence Logan had never quite gotten over the loss of their son Robbie, but eventually, they'd managed to heal enough to move on and start their family anew. Through adoption and conception both, the Logan children now numbered five, of whom Bridget was the youngest. That family had come about due in large part to Children's Connection, and Leslie and Terrence were so grateful to the organization for making it happen that they had virtually become a part of the organization, donating both considerable time and considerable money to help it thrive.
Before the Logans became involved, Children's Connection had consisted of a small orphanage that had been in operation since the early 1940s, and a fledgling fertility clinic associated with Portland General
Hospital. But through generous grants from the Logans, and very effective fund-raising events often orchestrated by Leslie Logan, Children's Connection had expanded over the years into a state-of-the-art fertility treatment center that included counseling for childless couples and support groups for single parents. Financial supportâagain, often provided by grants from the Logansâto orphanages in key cities around the world, especially Moscow, had, in recent years, also introduced foreign adoption as an option to prospective parents.
These days, Children's Connection had satellite orphanages all over the world, and they brought couples who were unable to conceive together with children who desperately needed homes. And their world-renowned fertility clinic had made conception a reality for couples who hadn't thought they stood a chance having biological children. Hundreds, even thousands of families had been born over the years, thanks to Children's Connection and the Logans. And thousands more would come about in the future.
Bridget utterly respected and admired her parents' dedication to the organization. Especially her mother's, as Leslie Logan was as committed to her volunteer work at Children's Connection as Terrence Logan was to his job as CEO of the Logan Corporation, the family's million-dollar computer software business. And Bridget's sister, Jillian, worked for Children's Connection, too, as a therapist. Her brothers Eric and Peter had followed in their father's footsteps, and both worked for the Logan Corporation. Well, she had to concede affectionately, Eric perhaps worked harder at being a playboy than he did at being VP of Marketing and Sales at the Logan Corporation. Or, at
least, he had until he'd been auctioned off to his now-fiancÃ©e, Jenny. Jenny had had a rather humbling effect on Bridget's slightly older brother, something all the Logans had welcomed. And her adopted son, Cole, had had rather a wonderful effect on Eric, bringing out a softer, nurturing side of him that none of them had even known he possessed. That was somethingâand someoneâall the Logans had welcomed, too.
Peter had recently married, toâwonder of wondersâKatie Crosby. The Vegas wedding had come as a surprise to all the Logans, because there had never been any love lost between the two families. Leslie and Terrence still blamed Katie's mother, Sheila Crosby, for the kidnapping and murder of their son Robbie, because Robbie and his friend Danny Crosby had been playing unattended outside when Robbie was abducted. Had Sheila been more alert and less neglectful, Robbie, to the elder Logans' way of thinking, would still be alive and well today. Still, it was good to see Peter and Katie in love and together, and maybe it was another step toward putting Robbie's memory to rest. Bridget had flown home briefly for a reception Leslie had hosted for Peter and his new wife, and the two had very obviously been devoted to each otherâand to the baby they were expecting.
Bridget's interests and passions, though, like her brother David's, had lain somewhere other than the Logan Corporation and Children's Connection. David worked for the State Department and had until recently been on assignment overseas. In fact, he'd recently gotten engaged, too, to a woman he met while in Moscow. And he, like Eric, would soon be a dad, to Elizabeth Duncan's adopted infant daughter, Natasha. But
that was where the similarities between Bridget and David ended, because she had no desire to find herself married and in the family way. Having cut her teeth on Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy, Bridget had known early on what she wanted to do with her life. And she was doing it. Exactly the way she'd envisioned.
Well, except for being pulled off of a dangerous, high-profile foreign case to be assigned to a piddling, boring, domestic one instead. But then, no life, she supposed, was completely without bumps. She had to pay her dues at some point, didn't she?
After deplaning and collecting her two tailored leather suitcases from the baggage carousel, Bridget did her best to smooth the travel wrinkles from her beige linen trousers and white linen shirt. Knowing it was futile, but being tidy by nature, she tucked a few errant strands of auburn hair back into the no-longer-neat braid that fell to shoulder length. Then she finger-combed her thick bangs, grimacing when she noted how badly in need of a trim they were. She was exhausted from the twenty-plus-hour trip and what had seemed like hundreds of plane changes, and what she really wanted most was to go to her parents' house to shower and change and catch a quick nap. But she had work to do first. And for Bridget, work always came first.
She'd been told she would be met at the airport by someone from the Portland field office, so she resigned herself to make do for now with the few hours sleep she'd stolen over the last twenty-four, and with the airline peanuts and the bagel and cream cheese she'd consumed while changing planes in Chicago. Her stomach grumbled its discontent at her decision, and she grumbled back that it was the best she could do.
What time was it here, anyway? she wondered. She searched her tired brain, trying to remember what time her flight had been scheduled to land. Three-thirteen, she recalled. But was that a.m. or p.m.? Surely p.m., she told herself. Though, truly, she wasn't sure. It
the end of April, however, that much she did know, because it had been the end of April in Vienna, too. And springtime in Portland, she recalled, meant rain. Lots of it. Of course, summer, fall and winter meant rain, too, but springtime seemed to be the worst for it. She just wished she'd remembered that
she'd packed her raincoat.
Popping a mint into her mouth, Bridget collected her things and made her way toward the exit, scanning the crowd of people beyond baggage claim before she realized she had no idea whom she was looking for. Unless maybe it was that guy over there who was holding up a hand-lettered sign that said Logan. Being a good agent, and knowing a lot of things about a lot of things, Bridget recognized a clue when she saw one. Even in her sleep-deprived state.
But she woke up a bit when her gaze wandered higher, and she saw the face of the man who was holding the sign. He looked plenty rested and was in no way rumpled, something that made Bridget feel even more disheveled than she already was. His hair was the color of imported milk chocolate, flecked with flashes of gold in the glare of the fluorescent lights overhead. Lights like that always made her hair look brassy, she couldn't help thinking. And instead of travel-worn and disarrayed locks like hers, his hair was expertly cut and styled, not a strand out of place. He was dressed in the sort of suit most field agents woreâdark, nondescript, the kind meant to draw no attentionâwith a white dress shirt and
plain blue tie. In spite of that, the man had drawn quite a bit of attention, Bridget noticed, because a trio of women standing nearby were all gazing at him with something akin to longing.
Which wasn't exactly surprising, Bridget had to concede, since the man was, in a word, gorgeous, his features chiseled and powerful and jagged, as if sculpted by the ferocious hands of an irascible artist. Instead of making him look dull and inconspicuous, the blandness of his clothing only made more appreciable his virile good looks. But his eyes, she decided as she drew nearer, were without question his best feature yet, because they were seductively hooded and breathtakingly blue. But not the kind of blue one normally saw on people. They were a dark, midnight blue, reminiscent of a twilit sky, that silky mix of purple and sapphire that slipped in just before complete darkness overtook everything.
As she drew to a stop in front of the man, she noticed he was tall, too, something that came as no surprise at all. But at five-seven, Bridget didn't have to tip her head back to meet too many male eyes. For this man, though, she had to tip her head
back, because he easily topped six feet.
She told herself not to be intimidated by himâyeah, rightâand did her best to sound efficient when she told him, “I'm Special Agent Bridget Logan.”
He dipped his head forward in acknowledgment and gave her a quick once-over, the kind of appraisal any agent would give anybody, simply because it was in every agent's nature to do so. But Bridget couldn't get a handle on what kind of impression he formed about her, which was more than a little disconcerting since she had
a real knack for reading people. It was something else that had benefited her in her quick climb up the Bureau ladder. As soon as he finished his silent assessment, he tossed the sign with her name on it into a trash can to his left, making the shot effortlessly without even looking.