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Heart's Desire: A Collection of Their Most Touching Love Stories (Regular Print) [Paperback]

Jayne Ann Krentz , Linda Howard , Linda Lael Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1998
Indulge your HEART'S DESIRE with your most beloved authors in this very special collection. Selected from the heartwarming anthology Everlasting Love,these remarkable tales are treasures to cherish -- and reminders that love is always just a heartbeat away....
Jayne Ann Krentz
"One of the hottest writers in romance today" (USA Today) continually lends her master touch to tales of grand passion laced with intrigue. Here she again delights readers with her "tremendous talent" (Detroit Free Press), as in modern-day Washington, treachery ignites an unlikely affair of the heart in "Connecting Rooms"....
Linda Howard The celebrated author who "knows what romance readers want" (Affaire de Coeur) and whose "unforgettable novels [are] richly flavored with scintillating sensuality and high-voltage suspense" (Romantic Times), now whisks you to a bewitching country "Lake of Dreams," where a woman is lured into a dangerous embrace....
Linda Lael Miller
In "Resurrection," the writer whose "talent knows no bounds" (Rendezvous), travels back to 1880s Montana, where an abandoned bride searches for a love she thought forever lost in a story that makes it easy to see that "the sweetest kind of magic comes from the pen of Linda Lael Miller!" (The Literary Times).

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About the Author

Jayne Ann Krentz is a New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romantic-suspense novels. She also writes historical romance under the name Amanda Quick and paranormal romance under the name Jayne Castle. Jayne loves to hear from her readers and can be found at www.facebook.com/JayneAnnKrentz.

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is the author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels. Now living in Spokane, Washington, the “First Lady of the West” hit a career high when all three of her 2011 Creed Cowboy books debuted at #1 on the New York Times list. In 2007, the Romance Writers of America presented her their Lifetime Achievement Award. She personally funds her Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women. Visit her at LindaLaelMiller.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One from Connecting Rooms

No one ever said that the devil couldn't have a rose garden, Amy Comfort thought. It just seemed a trifle out of character. On the other hand, the rose garden of the old Draycott place was no ordinary one. And Owen Sweet, Amy had decided, was no ordinary gardener.

"Are you, or are you not, a private investigator?" Amy demanded.

"Depends," Owen Sweet answered. With the lethal precision of a fencer, he used a pair of garden shears on a clotted mass of evil-looking vines.

"What does it depend on?"

"On whether or not I feel like working at it." Owen took hold of the severed vines with heavily gloved hands. He ripped the old vegetation away from the window with a single, powerful motion. "I'm a little busy at the moment."

"Yes, I can see that."

Owen took no notice of her sarcasm. He seized another tangle of vines and dispatched them with ease.

Amy watched, morosely fascinated. She couldn't help it. She liked watching Owen Sweet.

The vegetation he was attacking with such diligence had grown so thickly over the windows of the old house that it had effectively blocked all sunlight from reaching some of the rooms.

Not that sunlight was a common commodity here on Misplaced Island, Amy thought. The forgotten little patch of land located off the coast of Washington sat squarely in the middle of a rain shadow. A perpetual mist shrouded the island on good days. Dense rain poured down the rest of the time.

The local joke was that the island had earned its name when its original discoverer had temporarily misplaced it in the fog. Whatever the truth of that story, there was no doubt but that one had to be determined to find Misplaced Island.

And, Amy thought, one had to have either a powerful motivation or an extremely odd sense of whimsy to make one's home here. She wondered which of those two possibilities applied to Owen Sweet.

"Owen, this garden went wild years ago, just like the house." Amy was growing increasingly exasperated. Time was running out, and she needed Owen Sweet. "It can wait a few more days before you tame it."

Owen paused briefly to look at her. His sea-green eyes gleamed in the misty gray light. "I'm in the mood to do it now."

Sweet was definitely a misnomer, Amy reflected, not for the first time. As far as she had been able to discern, Owen was anything but sweet, in either nature or temperament. She suspected he was yet another result of a baby having been switched at birth. Happened all the time, they said. Amy wondered what Sweet's parents had thought when they discovered that they had been given a little green-eyed, black-haired demon to raise.

He was proving to be stubborn and thoroughly irritating, but there was something about the man that fascinated Amy. She did not know him very well, even though she had sold him the Draycott place. No one on the island really knew Owen Sweet.

He had moved to Misplaced Island two months ago. Amy had met him when he walked into the real estate office she operated out of the parlor of her cliffside cottage. She had been stunned by her reaction to him. Hunger and longing and a singing sense of joyous discovery barely began to describe it.

She had tried to squelch the feelings. True, she was a struggling romance novelist on the side, but Amy was far too pragmatic to believe in love at first sight. On the other hand, she trusted her own instincts when it came to people. They had stood her in good stead in the real estate business, and she saw no reason to discount them when dealing with members of the opposite sex. One thing was for certain. Those instincts had never reacted with such overwhelming intensity to any of the handful of men she had dated.

Owen had appeared oblivious of her carefully concealed response to him. He had announced without preamble that he'd already toured the island on his own and had checked out the available properties. He had decided to buy the Draycott place.

Amy had been horrified. Everyone on the island knew that the old Draycott house, a Victorian monstrosity, was a disaster from foundation to roof She had dutifully done her best to steer Owen toward other real estate opportunities, but he had refused to listen to her advice. In the end a sale was a sale. Amy had reluctantly written up the deal.

The only good part about the transaction, she had told herself, was that Misplaced Island was a very small community. She would see Owen Sweet again. She could only hope it wouldn't be in the course of a lawsuit over the Draycott sale. Some buyers tended to blame the real estate agent when they discovered they had made a bad bargain.

But Owen had appeared to be content with his new home when, to her secret delight, Amy had begun to encounter him with increasing regularity at the post office, in the checkout line at the island's only grocery store, and at the tiny bookshop. One of the few facts that she had gleaned concerning him was that he was a voracious reader. At the rate he ordered books from Mrs. Akers, the owner of the bookshop, he would single-handedly keep her small store in the black during the coming winter.

But last week had been the real turning point. After running into her at the post office, Owen had invited Amy to join him in a cup of coffee at the town's one and only café. The conversation had concerned such riveting matters as the weather, the latest novels they had each read, and the limited ferry schedule. Amy had walked on air all the way back to her cottage. Hope had bloomed within her.

She stifled a small, wistful sigh as she watched Owen free another window from its shroud of clinging vines. There was a lean, supple strength about him that captivated her senses. While it was true that, objectively speaking, Owen's grim features could have been created by someone who would have been equally adept at designing junkyard dogs, Amy found him strangely compelling. Which probably said far too much about the limited social life on Misplaced Island, she told herself.

Then again, she had not even been aware of a lack of a social life until Owen had arrived.

She watched him now with brooding determination. This was the first time she had paid a call on Owen Sweet since he had moved into his crumbling abode. She had come on business, not for social reasons. She needed this man. She needed him badly.

It wasn't as if she had a lot of choice. The small sign on the front door of the old Victorian ruin Owen called home said it all. It read SWEET INVESTIGATIONS.

Owen Sweet was the only private investigator on Misplaced Island. There was not a lot of call for his type of work in the small community. Amy was quite certain that since his arrival he had yet to get a single case. She had naively believed that he would be thrilled to have work. Obviously, she had been mistaken.

Amy braced one hand against the garden's stone wall and drummed her fingers with simmering impatience. Unaware or uncaring of her irritation, Owen Sweet went about his work among the grotesquely tangled rosebushes which clogged the garden.

The roses had been abandoned along with the crumbling ruin of a house years ago. Instead of dying off in a bittersweet, genteel manner, they had gone wild, with a vengeance. They climbed the garden walls as though bent on escaping a prison. They formed impenetrable thickets across the cracked paths, choked the empty fishpond, and had apparently been intent on marching up the steps and into the sunporch. Owen Sweet had arrived in the nick of time.

"Can I take it from your attitude that you are not interested in working for me?" Amy asked bluntly.

"Yeah." Sleek muscles moved easily beneath Owen's black T-shirt as he shifted an armload of defeated vines to a growing pile in the center of the garden. "You can draw that conclusion."

"Very well then, you leave me no choice." Amy removed her hand from the stone wall and straightened in resignation. "I shall have to find someone else."

Owen's mouth curved slightly. "Good luck. The last time I looked in the phone book, I was the only PI on the island."

Amy brushed her hands together and started toward the sagging gate. "I had hoped to give my business to someone local because I believe in supporting the local economy. But since you're not interested, I'm sure I can find someone in Seattle who will be happy to take my money."

"Seattle?"

Amy was aware that Owen had gone very still behind her. She did not turn around. "If I hurry, I can catch the afternoon ferry."

"Damn. Hold on just a minute."

Satisfaction surged through Amy. She had been in real estate long enough to sense when a buyer had undergone a quick change of heart. She paused at the gate to smile at Owen with polite inquiry.

"Was there something you wanted, Owen?"

He scowled ferociously, an expression which did nothing to soften his harsh face. "Yeah. Some answers."

"Sorry, I don't have time to chat. The ferry leaves in a couple of hours and I haven't finished packing."

"Let's get real here." Owen stripped off his gloves as he strode toward her along the garden walk. "What does a woman like you need with a private investigator?"

"A woman like me?"

"No offense, Amy, but you're hardly the type to have the sort of problems that require the services of someone in my line of work."

"What would you know about my problems?"

Owen came to a halt in front of her and planted his fists on his hips. "You're not exactly a mystery woman. You've been living on Misplaced Island for nearly a year. During that time you've opened a real estate agency and published a romance novel. Before you came here, you worked the condominium market in Seattle. You aren't exactly rich, but you did all right in your own real estate investments."

Amy was taken back. "Good grief. How did you -- "

"Everyone on the island seems very fond of you," Owen continued ruthlessly. "I seriously doubt that you have any enemi...

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NO ONE EVER SAID THAT THE DEVIL COULDN'T HAVE A ROSE garden, Amy Comfort thought. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Lake of Dreams Oct. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you want the book for the Linda Howard story (Lake of Dreams) you're better off getting Strangers in the Night. It has Lake of Dreams, Whiteout, and Blue Moon, all by Howard. I really enjoyed Lake of Dreams and highly recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Read for Linda Howard. April 27 1999
Format:Paperback
I agree with the reviewer who said read Lake of Dreams and ditch the rest. I've never been fond of Linda Lael Miller and her short story in this just reaffirmed that for me. Also, for the Lake of Dreams story, buy it in the Everlasting Love Collection. It's cheaper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well Crafted Oct. 7 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a short story that speaks louder than many full length novels. Beautiful fiction. Read and enjoy!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda Howard gives a deep and intriguing tale:) April 17 1998
Format:Paperback
The others were good too, I suppose, yet the main lure of the book was Linda Howard. She again delivers a strong and moving performance with her "Lake of Dreams", though I would advise her fans who would purchase this book solely due to Linda's legacy to not procure the book as the story is the same one in "Everlasting Love". However, u definitely have to read one or the other, meaning "Everlasting Love" or "Heart's Desire: A Colle..". "Lake of Dreams" is an incredible story of a man and woman who have had 12 lifetimes together and still fail to make it in love. The story is about their last chance and how they learn that only through trust can their passionate and lustylove survive. Incredibly moving and touching. It's definitely a Linda keeper. The other authors are OK but are not yet in Linda's league and do not hold a candle to her incredible, yet touchingly romantic love story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read for Linda Howard. April 26 1999
By Elizabeth Isabella - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I agree with the reviewer who said read Lake of Dreams and ditch the rest. I've never been fond of Linda Lael Miller and her short story in this just reaffirmed that for me. Also, for the Lake of Dreams story, buy it in the Everlasting Love Collection. It's cheaper.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda Howard gives a deep and intriguing tale:) April 17 1998
By Jesuisnu@aol.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The others were good too, I suppose, yet the main lure of the book was Linda Howard. She again delivers a strong and moving performance with her "Lake of Dreams", though I would advise her fans who would purchase this book solely due to Linda's legacy to not procure the book as the story is the same one in "Everlasting Love". However, u definitely have to read one or the other, meaning "Everlasting Love" or "Heart's Desire: A Colle..". "Lake of Dreams" is an incredible story of a man and woman who have had 12 lifetimes together and still fail to make it in love. The story is about their last chance and how they learn that only through trust can their passionate and lustylove survive. Incredibly moving and touching. It's definitely a Linda keeper. The other authors are OK but are not yet in Linda's league and do not hold a candle to her incredible, yet touchingly romantic love story.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lake of Dreams Oct. 29 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you want the book for the Linda Howard story (Lake of Dreams) you're better off getting Strangers in the Night. It has Lake of Dreams, Whiteout, and Blue Moon, all by Howard. I really enjoyed Lake of Dreams and highly recommend it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great work from three of my favorite authors May 13 2013
By SloJen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Jayne Krentz always has a tale to tell with her para-normal characters, she didn't leave me hanging.The thrill and plots of Ms Howard are equally stimulating and Ms Miller always pulls on my heart strings.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Crafted Oct. 6 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a short story that speaks louder than many full length novels. Beautiful fiction. Read and enjoy!
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