Hannah Pace needs a pretend husband, just for the weekend! She’s told her long-lost mother that she’s married–well, she was, then, see, but isn’t now, you understand? So in desperation, she hits up the local bad boy Nick Archer. He’s a local wheeler and dealer who stays just on the good side of the law, but boy is he handsome…
Jenny Kent is a foundling, a nobody. But she has a friend, one Bella Rossini, who’s been helping her along of late, and they’re the best of pals, even loaning Jenny her name so that Jenny can work at the fabulous Italian-themed Venetian Forum market in her Australian hometown…until they’re in a car crash, and the real Bella is killed, and everyone thinks that she is Bella…
Meanwhile, in Italy, Dante Rossini has a problem on his hands; his beloved grandfather is dying, and wants to see the grandchild he has never met, and wants to make amends for banishing his own son from the family all those years ago. Dante must go to Australia, and bring Bella home!
Twice a week for the last three years, nurse Clotilde Collins has worked with the handsome Doctor James Thackery at St Alma’s Hospital, but she’d never dream that he was actually interested in her! Besides, she’s been dating a young surgeon, Bruce Johnson, for some time now, and as soon as he finds the right practice to buy into (he’s very fussy about that; he wants into Sir Oswald’s practice, not some penny ante bunch), her father will give them the money for him to do so, they’ll be wed, and happily ever after, right?
Well, until Clotilde’s parents are killed in a car crash in France…
Professor Viola Bennett has written a scathing review of Stephen Silkwood’s latest novel, finding his detective hero Max quite a brute–and now she gets to share a stage with him on a panel. Oh, but there’s more: eleven years ago, when she was a tender 17-year-old, he was her first love, and her first kiss!
Cole Sawyer, Army Ranger, has just returned from a devastating tour of duty in Afghanistan. He blames himself for the death of a group of soldiers, because the suicide bomber that he didn’t shoot was a woman; he hesitated a beat, and that was all it took. He reacts on instinct the day he sees a bank robbery start to unfold, but moments later, the real robbers escape, with Lisa Meador’s toddler son! Frantic to save her child, she and Cole engage in a pursuit that will cross Texas.
Ann Colbert–recently married to the charming Glenn Stacey–is struck by a sudden blow: her father dies, leaving her alone in Boston. After receiving a desperate, half-finished letter from her childhood nurse, Miss Lucy, Ann rushes to fly to her childhood home in Devon. There, she meets the cousins she’d never known: the Thornes of Valicombe, a crumbling old mansion. After learning of Miss Lucy’s sudden death just days before, Ann sets herself up in her nurse’s cottage, determined to wait for her husband to arrive. Glenn never appears, however, and Ann finds herself drawn into a terrible intrigue.
Felicia Simmons and her family have fallen on hard times. Ever since her mother’s death and her father’s subsequent mental decline, the resourceful and kind young woman has labored intensely to maintain her unusual household. Charitable as can be, Felicia collects stray, socially-outcast servants and insists on feeding poor children. She gives up her place in society, teaches music lessons, economizes, and even polishes her own brass doorknob (though so early in the morning that no one on her fashionable street can see her–except for the cynical Sir Christopher Wilde, newly arrived from India).
Ariel Adams is in a bit of a pickle; her now-former business partner, darn her, has gone and fallen in love, abruptly. Ariel had been planning to spend a couple of years building up the business, then going on her own, but this change means she’ll have to really step up her game. Fortunately, the now-googly-eyed ex-partner has handed over all the client leads–and a beach house! She gets to the beach house, and discovers something she hadn’t been told: it is in the process of renovation, by a sexy beach bum named Jake Renner!
Five months ago, Elena Richards had finally had enough. Her husband Travis was a bully, mean and violent, and she had decided it was over, after he took her to a high mountain ridge–knowing of her fear of heights!–and had sex with her there. But he never came down that mountain after she walked down alone, and his body was never found.
Elena is pregnant from that last encounter–and suddenly, Travis walks back into her life, but he’s got amnesia–he remembers very little of his past life, and he’s a very different man! Or is he?
When her Aunt Louisa–never very capable–loses both her husband and his heir (her eldest stepson), the competent Miss Jane Ash rushes to town to offer aid and comfort. What she finds there is chaos: a household in uproar; the youngest stepson turning into a slick and foolish town sprig; the blind teenager Felix throwing fits and suffering from being coddled; a pair of daughters nearing their come-outs without being anywhere near ready for them; two devilish twins; a baby; and an hysterical widow who is certain that her husband’s next heir–the only stepson she’d sent away to be raised by his grandfather–is going to avenge himself by making her family’s life a misery.