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Yes, they are both heroes, on screen and off; yet DANE PIERCE and CORY "MAC" MACKENDALL are as different as cognac and Perrier, and starlet JESSICA TAYLOR loves them both. It doesn't take her long to decide that despite his tantalizing green eyes and raw sexuality, Dane is not the man she needs. It is the solid and devoted-if sometimes hot-headed-Mac who wins her hand and her heart, and who must endure a lifelong challenge to keep that heart safe from Dane's unending pursuit.
From Hollywood soundstage to the Grenadine Islands, STARCROSSED HEARTS makes a journey not only around the world but also through the lives of some very real characters you will not soon forget.
PART ONE: A DANGEROUS HEART
The Dali Capitan
“And what have we here?” the pirate asked. He walked slowly around the two young wenches brought to his cabin by the first mate, appraising them as they stood trembling in wide-eyed terror.
“A bit o’ female cargo from the St. Vincent, Cap’n. What shall we do with ‘em?”
“I’ll decide their fate when I’m ready.”
The evaluation continued as the buccaneer came close to the first one, an aristocratic young woman with an expensive gown and dainty slippers.
“And what might be your name, miss?” The pirate’s sinister tone belied his polite words. Handsome and virile, the rogue captain towered over her in both size and aura.
“I am Marlena D’Medici,” she said bravely, as if the sea dog should recognize her name. “And you are the ‘dread’ pirate, Simon the Dancer. I have heard the good people of the Barbary Coast call you the Dali Capitan.”
“The Devil Captain! Yes. You are well informed, my lovely.”
“We were bound for Portugal. How, now, are we to arrive there?”
The pirate chuckled.
“Arrive indeed,” he murmured, taking the liberty of caressing the woman’s powdered cheek. “And this sweet package, what name be hers?” He moved to peer into the eyes of the second woman, who turned her face away in trepidation and disgust.
“Ah! She is feisty, this little one.” He grasped the servant’s chin and forced her to look at him. For a moment, his gaze softened in what might have been sympathy for the girl, so recently torn from the St. Vincent and her would-be protectors.
“She is my handmaiden, Lucida. Sir, I must insist—”
“You must insist what!?” Like emerald fire, the pirate’s green eyes flashed at her words. Any sentiment dissolved as quickly as it had appeared.
“I do not understand your intentions. This ship is not even underway, the waters are so calm. Will we drift for an eternity?” the Medici woman asked, finding strength in words but not in spirit.
“Little faith have ye in the winds of Hades, dear lady.” He peered out the porthole at the sea, a mirror of jade ice. “Why, the fetid breath of Satan himself moves this vessel through these waters…’Fetid breath?’ What the hell is that?”
“Cut! Dane, what’s the problem now?” The Assistant Director slammed his script to the floor.
“I want a re-write. I don’t like this ‘fetid breath’ crap! Who authorized this change?”
The cast began to move around uneasily as the tall, rugged Dane Pierce, leading man and executive producer of Bellerive, stormed past them and off the set. It was the third such outburst of the morning, and filming was already behind schedule.
Jessica had been waiting since yesterday to utter her first and only line in the film. And they’d been almost there! As Lucida, the young lady-in-waiting to the main character, the hopeful starlet would soon be finished with the role and off-camera; but today she’d had enough of the pompous, arrogant Dane Pierce.
Merrily Mitchell also left the stage.
“I’ve gotta have a smoke. Wanna come?” The leading lady swept past Jessica, her taffeta gown rustling with her brisk pace.
“I don’t smoke, but I wouldn’t mind a break from this circus.” Jessica hurried to match Merrily’s stride as the two headed for the soundstage door.
Soon they were standing in the bright sunlight outside Studio B, where all the interior scenes of Bellerive had been shot on an elaborate sound stage built to recreate the interior of a three-masted pirate schooner. Merrily lit her cigarette and leaned against the stucco wall.
“Dane’s got a hair up his ass about something. I wish he’d just get off it,” Merrily commented, looking into the distance across the studio lot.
“I don’t really know him,” Jessica said quietly.
“Maybe you don’t want to. He’s a killer. God, I could just about fall into those deep green eyes of his! A killer.”
“I don’t know. He’s no Errol Flynn,” Jessica replied candidly. “He seems pretty full of himself.”
“Everyone needs a little romance in their lives,” Anne Carter will assure you. “Some need more than others.” She should know. A storyteller since 7th grade, Anne and her younger sister would dream up a new chapter to a romantic saga each night before going to bed. Soon, writing became an obsession. Raised in Southern California where she, her husband and three children make their home, Anne interrupts her passion occasionally to run her bookkeeping business and possibly put dinner on the table.
Although A HERO’S PROMISE centers on the lives of those stellar gods and goddesses of the silver screen, Anne is quick to point out that this book isn’t about Hollywood glitz. “I’ve always been a teenybopper, and proud of it,” she confesses. “But my stories reach to the human side, the deep, heart-wrenching emotions unleashed by the forces of true love.”
A HERO’S PROMISE is Anne Carter’s fourth published novel. Visit her website at www.beaconstreetbooks.com
"A good mystery romance that keeps the reader guessing for most of the story. In Too Deep is rich with turmoil, and ties up all the loose ends.
"Ms. Carter had done an excellent job with In Too Deep. It is rare to find a hero as believable as Jack, and a heroine as true to life as Maddie. Their trials are real life and their fears and anxieties something every reader can relate to. Ms. Carter's story is funny, touching, and poignant. A true pleasure from beginning to end." --Tamara McHatton, Rhapsody Magazine
"Maddie Tyler has no idea what she’s setting in motion on the day she speaks to the man who was her first high school crush. Maddie is married, with a teenaged son, but her marriage is floundering, her heart is vulnerable, and Jack MacKenzie is by all accounts a wonderful man. Maddie’s husband wants a divorce, and Maddie realizes she doesn’t love him. Soon she’s falling in love with Jack. Her life is looking just about perfect. But life is not done with Maddie. Behind the scene, someone is watching, someone who has a vested interest in how Maddie’s life turns out.
"Anne Carter writes competently about life and love. Her characters are real with flaws as well as heroic qualities. In Too Deep is Maddie’s story, and following her sometimes mundane, sometimes turbulent life, is fascinating. 4-1/2 stars" --Rickey R. Mallory, Affaire de Coeur
“A VERY enjoyable story, unique and thought-provoking.
IN TOO DEEP has so many unique and exciting twists and turns that I couldn't turn my Rocket off until I knew how Anne Carter planned to solve her heroine's dilemma! The characters are well-drawn and believable, the story unlike any romance I've read. It leaves the reader with a smile and the feeling that Jack McKenzie and Madelyn Cross were made for each other. I would recommend this book to anyone in search of a satisfying, warm-hearted romance. “
"IN TOO DEEP is the sweet, tear-jerking story of two people who have both failed miserably in love, but finally get it right... [Maddie and Jack's] love is of the sweetest kind, and their chemistry is wonderful..." -- Christine Chambers, Romantic Times
“...Dane has mellowed, but...he’s still the most amazing, vital, appealing hero I have had the pleasure of curling up between the covers with in a very long time!” -- Roberta Olsen Major, author of BOUND
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 424
Paper Weight (lb): 17.6
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