August 17, 2007
Parker Publishing
ISBN-13: 9781600430138
ISBN-10: 1600430139

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Love For All Seasons

Love for All Seasons

LOVE FOR ALL SEASONS will keep you aroused with four sensually charges romances guaranteed to keep temperatures boiling no matter what time of year. Barbara Keaton’s Spring Fling is a story of professors gone wild in Jamaica, that proves that spring flings aren’t just for the young. Sapphire Blue’s Summer Lovin’ is set in Miami, where the heats gets the creative juices flowing for a sexy producer and the beautiful screenwriter he abducts. The sulty summer has them both tied up in knots. Maureen Smith’s Falling Into You shows when good girl grad student goes undercover to explore the world of strippers, she finds herself exploring her own seductive side with an undercover cop who teaches her the real meaning of Vice. A.C. Arthur’s The Snowflake Seduction is the story of a jilted bride, who meets a jilted groom at a sex camp ski resort and discovers that romance on the rebound is the best kind of all.

including “The Snowflake Seduction” by A.C. Arthur

What’s a girl to do when her wedding is interrupted by a paternity suit she didn’t know her fiancé had against him? Leave town and spend the honeymoon alone, what else!

Kyle Jackson has joined the ranks of men who got cold feet and left a woman at the altar. Except this wealthy sport’s writer is sure he’s done himself and the model he was engaged to a huge favor.

Sydney wasn’t looking for a man or any instruction in the art of making love; Kyle was supposed to be focusing on writing a book about sports, not sex, so how does their impromptu snowball fight end up in the bedroom?

Read an Excerpt

Sydney Mills dropped her bags and slammed her palm down on the chrome bell. It dinged loudly, but she didn’t care. She’d been on an airplane for about ten hours, her feet hurt, she was hungry…oh and she’d just left her fiancé standing at the altar.

There was no concierge in sight, so she hit the bell again. Then she groaned at the loudness and buried her head in her palms. Closing her eyes called up the scene she was sure she’d never forget in this lifetime.

It was her wedding day, and she’d been in the tiny room next to the church office waiting for her sister or her coordinator to come and claim her so she could walk down the aisle and marry the man she’d loved for five years.

She heard the door open and turned expectantly with a huge grin on her face. She was sure she’d never been happier in her life then she was at that moment. Unfortunately, this was only three seconds before the bottom fell out from beneath her.

“My name’s Rachel,” the strange woman who had entered her room said.

Sydney raised a brow at the female standing across from her. She gathered up her dress and took a cautious step forward. “Am I supposed to know you, Rachel?”

The woman named Rachel reached into her bag and pulled out an envelope. Sydney watched as long fingernails maneuvered effortlessly over the black leather purse. She was tall and slim, her hair braided into thick coils that hung past her shoulders. Sydney eyed her cautiously.

“No, you don’t know me. I’m a frie…ah…I’m an acquaintance of your fiancé,” she began.

Sydney relaxed just a bit. “Oh, you’re here for the wedding. The sanctuary is down the stairs and to your left.”

Rachel gave a bleak smile. “I doubt I was included on the guest list.”

“Excuse me?”

Without another word, Rachel moved toward Sydney, thrusting the envelope in her direction.

“This will explain.”

Sydney looked from the woman to the envelope she now held, back to the woman again.

Reluctantly she opened it, sliding her own just manicured nails under the flap, removing the envelope’s contents. Tension filled the air as she unfolded the paper. Before reading she glanced up at the woman named Rachel again. She was watching her intently, as if the words on that paper were somehow detrimental to her life.

Sydney’s eyes returned to the paper she now recognized as some sort of report. The header read Precise Laboratories. Her heart made one loud thump as her eyes roamed further down the page.

Subject No. 1: Rachel Ann Johnson, Subject No. 2: Diamond LaShae Winters and Subject No. 3: Derek Jonathan Winters.

The next thump of her heart seemed to echo off the walls as she continued.
99.7% probability that Subject No. 3 is the father of Subject No. 2.

There were no more thumps because she was certain her heart had ceased beating. Her fingers gripped the paper tighter as the words seemed to blend together. The letters spelling Derek’s name and the numbers 99.7 stood out amongst everything else. “What is this?” she asked.

Sydney possessed a college degree in marketing and worked at one of Chicago’s biggest telecommunications companies. She was intelligent enough to know the answer for herself. Still, she wanted to hear the woman say it.

“Derek and I met almost two years ago in Tampa, after one of his games. We went back to his hotel room and—”

“And you got pregnant,” Sydney finished her sentence. Groupies were her worst nightmare.
Rachel rolled her eyes. “No, we went back to his hotel room and made love.”

“Oh, is that what they’re calling sleeping with another woman’s man these days?” Sydney moved the hand holding the letter to her hip.
Rachel folded her arms across her chest, lightly tapping her foot on the carpeted floor. “No, that’s what you call consensual sex between two adults,” she continued when Sydney rolled her eyes. “Derek and I were involved for about six months before I found out I was pregnant.”

Sydney froze. “Six months?” Six months wasn’t a groupie. That was a girlfriend.

“When I found out I was pregnant I immediately called Derek. He doubted that the baby was his. I knew it was. He agreed to a paternity test, and here it is.” She motioned toward the letter still clutched in Sydney’s hand. “The lab sent me a copy of the results, and I sent a copy to Derek.”

Sydney looked at the paper again, hoping desperately that this was all a big mistake. Yet 99.7% still glared at her. “How old is this child?”

“My daughter is four months old now.”

“Has Derek ever seen her?” Sydney wasn’t sure why she even wanted to know. Why should she care if Derek had seen this woman’s daughter or not? Then reality set in. This woman’s child—Subject No. 2: Diamond LaShae Winters—was Derek’s daughter. That fact was 99.7% true.

“He came to the hospital when she was born. That’s when we took the paternity test. He’s been to my apartment a couple of times since then.”
Sydney laughed, an eerie sound that vibrated through the room. “So is he supporting you and his child?”

“Yes,” Rachel answered.

“And your purpose for being here now? You’ve had plenty of time to tell me this. The letter is dated over six weeks ago. Why wait until my wedding day?” This was her wedding day, Sydney thought dismally. She glanced at the clock on the wall. In a very few minutes her coordinator/cousin, Ebony, would come in and tell her it was time. And she was supposed to make her way down the steps to the sanctuary to walk into Derek’s waiting arms. Fat chance of that happening today or any other day for that matter!

“I told Derek he should tell you about us. He said he would, when the time was right. I figured that was after he’d married you.”

Derek was a professional football player, a wide receiver to be exact. So you would think it would be common knowledge that he was involved with someone and had been for the last five years. But because Derek was in the public eye alot, he wanted his personal life kept quiet. Or at least that was the reason he’d given Sydney. Their engagement hadn’t exactly been a secret but it wasn’t known to the press. Derek said it was to protect her and their life together. In actuality it seemed like it was to protect him and his shady dealings. “So you plan to stop the wedding?”

“Look, don’t take this personally, but I have to look out for myself and my child. I’ve invested a lot of time in this relationship with Derek, and now I’ve had his baby. I’m not thrilled about him marrying you, giving you that great big house and your kids going to private schools. But I’m not trying to stop you from getting those things. I just believe I deserve the same things!”

Had she said “her relationship” with Derek? Since when did she and Derek have a relationship?

She had to know Derek already had a girlfriend. Regardless, Sydney had heard enough. “I’m not even going to get into what you deserve at the moment. Nor am I concerned with how you take care of your child. This is my wedding day, and you’ve caused enough damage. I’d appreciate it if you would go now.”

As she finished speaking Sadie, Sydney’s oldest sister, came in. “Syd, they’re almost ready. The bridesmaid’s are starting to walk down.” Sadie was the maid of honor, so she would walk down just before Sydney. She was probably coming to get her because Ebony was tied up making sure everybody walked down correctly. Sadie looked from her sister to the stranger across from her. “What’s going on?”

Sydney stuffed the paper back into its envelope. “Nothing. She’s just leaving.”

Rachel inclined her head, staring at Sydney a moment longer. “Fine, but this is not over.” She strode out of the room before Sydney could say another word.
Rachel brushed past Sadie without a word. “Who the hell was that, and what’s stuck up her butt?”

Sydney swore loudly. “Apparently, my fiancé was!”