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Ann B. Morris
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When noted New Orleans anesthesiologist and widower, Sam Stone, and aspiring veterinary student, Emma George, enter into a two-year marriage contract, their goal is simple: keep the lives of his two, young, daughters as stable as possible while he fulfills an obligation to the World Health Organization.
What begins as a temporary contractual agreement between two people of vastly different backgrounds, eventually turns into a mutual discovery that will last forever--the true meaning of the finer things in life.
It wouldnâ€™t have worked. Not in a million years, would it have worked, Emma repeated to herself over and over as she hurried down the sidewalk. At the corner she rushed across the street to wait for the approaching streetcar.
She had taken a cab to the meeting with Sam Stone, intending to take one back as well. Under the circumstances though, she couldnâ€™t very well have waited thirty minutes or more under his roof for a return cab.
Hurry, hurry, hurry, she chanted silently, stomping her feet against the cold and pushing her hands deeper into her pockets. Her fingers automatically curled around the crumpled piece of paper. Sam Stoneâ€™s address and private telephone number should she have needed to call him before her visit. She mashed the piece of paper into her palm with the tips of her fingers and shook her head in consternation.
Fifty thousand dollars. The man must be insane. No one in his right mind would pay that kind of money to marry a complete stranger. Especially not someone like Dr. Sam Stone who must certainly be at the top of the list of every eligible woman on the social register. For some reason that thought brought a knot to her stomach.
She climbed aboard the streetcar and found a seat near the back, closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on the thwack, thwack, thwack of the carâ€™s wheels against the iron tracks. It didnâ€™t work. All she heard was Sam Stoneâ€™s voice. We wonâ€™t be sleeping together. We wonâ€™t be sleeping together.
She forced her attention outside the window while the streetcar clacked its way past some of the oldest and most elegant homes in one of the oldest and wealthiest neighborhoods of New Orleans. But all she saw was Sam Stoneâ€™s eyes peering at her from behind the tortoise rims, baby Malloryâ€™s arms reaching out to her, Meredithâ€™s warm smile of recognition.
Darn it all. Why did she have to leave so abruptly? She could have at least listened to his explanation. It wouldnâ€™t have changed anything, but it might have made him feel a little better. It might have made her feel better, too. Instead, she felt terrible. Ashamed of herself. After all, he hadnâ€™t asked her to do anything illegal or illicit. Heâ€™d simply asked her to marry him. A marriage in name only.
Still, people didnâ€™t do that anymore. Not in America, anyway. People married for love, or at least they were supposed to. She knew there must be other reasons some people married, but what he had suggested was so impersonal, so lacking in any kind of emotion, soâ€¦so perfunctory. No, she couldnâ€™t do it, no matter how much he paid her.
She would call John McCurdy the minute she got home and let him know how upset she was. If he had given her the slightest hint of what Sam Stone had in mind she would never have agreed to meet him at all. By now she would probably have found another job and another apartment.
She thought suddenly of the children and her disappointment over the unexpected turn of events was magnified. Sheâ€™d been looking forward to taking care of them much more than sheâ€™d realized.
lives in Lacombe, Louisiana, thirty miles north east of New Orleans, with her husband, two dogs and two cats. In a prior writing life, she wrote poetry and served for a time as Guest Editor for the then New Laurel Review. She has a collection of childrenâ€™s poems she hopes to illustrate and submit for publication. Writing novels has been her lifetime dream--the one thing she dared not pursue until she was certain she could pursue it single-mindedly. She is also a serious art student and her passion for art is second only to writing. She has a two contemporary romances due out in 2002 from Wings e-Press and is hard at work on a contemporary romantic suspense, her favorite sub-genre.
THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE spins a touching tale of family ties and tenderness, grief and healing. Sam and Emma's struggle to find a balance between elegance and earthiness, panache and practicality will make you smile and make you sigh. And in the end will prove that love can bridge even the widest gaps of social class and melt the staunchest heart. -- Erin Fox, author Beyond Innocence
Change of Plans by Ann B. Morris
Cara Lewis, a widow with a 19-year-old son, owns her own catering business and doesn't want or need romance in her life certainly doesn't need a man around. She s had enough of an overbearing selfish husband and doesn't intend to go back to the days of following someone else s lead. She desperately wants to keep her independence. All her well-laid plans falter when Zack Sheridan, father of two young sons, comes into her life. Zack s divorce is imminent, and then he will be free to pursue Cara.
Change of Plans proves that love is definitely more wonderful the second time around. Cara and Zack s story reaches a very satisfactory conclusion, despite many setbacks along the way, proving that you can mix business with pleasure.
Change of Plans is a delightfully sexy and sensuous love story. - Tricia McGill--AMARYLLIS, DESIGNING HEART. www.wings-press.com www.geocities.com/triciamcgill2
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 264
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