September 3rd, 2015
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Ringside #1 - Jack never saw love coming!

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It's never easy to leave the past behind

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Revenge never tasted so sweet…

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His secrets could destroy her…

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Diamonds are a girl’s best exfoliator.



Signature Series
Signature Select
February 2006
400 pages
ISBN: 0373836937
Add to Wish List

Romance Anthology, Romance Series

Also by Isabel Sharpe:

Feels So Right, October 2012
Light Me Up, July 2012
Just One Kiss, May 2012
Hot To The Touch, June 2011
Long Slow Burn, April 2011
Turn Up the Heat, February 2011
Knit In Comfort: A Novel, June 2010
Trade Size
Surprise Me..., May 2010
Mass Market Paperback
While She Was Sleeping..., April 2010
Mass Market Paperback
A Mother's Heart, April 2009
Mass Market Paperback
No Holding Back, January 2009
Mass Market Paperback
As Good As It Got, July 2008
Trade Size
Indulge Me, May 2008
Mass Market Paperback
My Wildest Ride, February 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Women On the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough, February 2007
Trade Size
Secret Santa, December 2006
What Have I Done for Me Lately?, April 2006
And The Envelope, Please..., February 2006
All I Want…, December 2005

Also by Barbara Bretton:

Maybe This Time, November 2014
e-Book (reprint)
Sentimental Journey, October 2014
Stranger in Paradise, October 2014
Somewhere in Time, July 2014
The Princess and the Billionaire, February 2014
e-Book (reprint)
Spells & Stitches, December 2011
Spun by Sorcery, November 2010
Trade Size
Laced With Magic, August 2009
Casting Spells, November 2008
Trade Size
The Reluctant Bride, June 2008
Paperback (reprint)
Just Desserts, March 2008
A Wedding in Paris, June 2007
Paperback (reprint)
Just Like Heaven, March 2007
And The Envelope, Please..., February 2006
Someone Like You, July 2005
Forever In Time, January 2005
Hardcover (reprint)
Chances Are, September 2004

Also by Emilie Rose:

A Better Man, August 2012
The Price Of Honor, November 2011
Her Tycoon To Tame, September 2011
Executive's Pregnancy Ultimatum, February 2010
Mass Market Paperback
His High-Stakes Holiday Seduction (Silhouette Desire), November 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Bedding The Secret Heiress, October 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Pregnant On The Upper East Side?, November 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Wed By Deception, September 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Bound By The Kincaid Baby, July 2008
Hot City Nights, July 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Shattered By The Ceo, May 2008
Secrets Of The Tycoon's Bride, November 2007
The Playboy's Passionate Pursuit, August 2007
Mass Market Paperback
The Prince's Ultimate Deception, July 2007
Mass Market Paperback
The Millionaire's Indecent Proposal, June 2007
Mass Market Paperback
Forbidden Merger, October 2006
Bending to the Bachelor's Will, August 2006
Exposing the Executive's Secrets, July 2006
Paying the Playboy's Price, June 2006
And The Envelope, Please..., February 2006
Scandalous Passion, June 2005
Breathless Passion, February 2005

Excerpt of And The Envelope, Please... by Isabel Sharpe, Barbara Bretton, Emilie Rose


JACK WYATT HAD ESCAPED twenty-three enemy ambushes, survived sixty-seven leaps from doomed fighter jets and dodged one hundred and seventy-three bullets with his name on them, but not even Hollywood's favorite action hero could find a taxi on Saturday night in midtown Manhattan.

"Sorry, Mr. W.," the doorman said as he scanned Park Avenue north and south. "No cabs anywhere. You want me to get you a dial-up?"

"How long would that take?"

"Ten, fifteen minutes," Horace said. "You'd be cutting it close but we'll get you there on time."

Jack was scheduled to appear at the Reel New York Film Festival awards ceremony, where he would be handing out the trophy for Lifetime Achievement in Directing.

Root canal without anesthesia would be more fun. "It's only five blocks, Horace. I might as well walk it."

"Not that it's any of my business," Horace said, "but I wouldn't if I were you. Midtown's swarming with fans and you're one of the guys they're all waiting to see." According to Horace's grapevine, The Hotel, the trendy new establishment where the awards ceremony was taking place, didn't have its crowd-control chops yet and wouldn't know how to handle a celebrity who arrived on foot and without the requisite handlers and bodyguards.

Jack thanked Horace for his concern, then set off south on Park Avenue just the same. This was what he was looking for, wasn't it? No handlers. No bodyguards. A return to real life...or what passed for real life after twelve years in the public eye.

Tonight, after the show was over, he was going to get behind the wheel of his car and point it east toward Montauk, and he wasn't going to stop until he was up to his front tires in the Atlantic Ocean. What had started out as a plan to help an old friend had turned into something different. Jack needed this break more than he had realized. Years of living in a world of weekend grosses and six-pack abs had taken its toll on him and skewed his perception of what was normal and what wasn't.

Wearing a tux in broad daylight?

Definitely not normal. Traffic on ParkAvenue was at a standstill. The weather was unnaturally warm for earlyApril, and frazzled drivers leaned out their open windows to see what was holding things up. It was tough enough to fly beneath the radar when you were six feet five and sporting a tux, but try keeping a low profile when your films were a regular feature at the local multiplex, where your face was projected higher than a two- story house. To his dismay the buzz of recognition was starting to build.

He deftly sidestepped a regal King Charles spaniel whose spaced-out owner daydreamed at the other end of the leash. It hadn't rained in New York for two weeks. The day had been sunny and dry. So could somebody explain to him why both the dog and its owner were wearing Burberry raincoats?

Money did weird things to people. The green stuff seemed to climb into the cerebral cortex and yank the wires that were linked to traits like common sense, perspective and a sense of humor. He saw it in Hollywood. He saw it here in Manhattan. Hell, he saw it in the mirror every morning and it was starting to scare him.

It started small, with Burberry raincoats for King Charles spaniels, and then before you knew it you actually believed you needed four houses, eight cars and a private jet. For the last year he had been teetering on the brink of craziness and he knew it. There was still time to make changes in his life before he found himself turned into a parody of a human being. When the opportunity to help his manager, Clive, and help himself at the same time arose, Jack had jumped on it.

"I understand your need for some downtime, but you cannot back out on the awards show," Clive had barked into the phone. "It's far too late to bring in a replacement."

"Call Tom or Harrison. I told you, Clive, my year off begins today." Jack had been careful not to let his manager suspect that his own welfare was in any way a part of the decision.

"Your year off begins at midnight as agreed. You dodged the rehearsal yesterday and I managed to explain that away. You bloody well better show up tonight for the show. You're presenting a lifetime achievement award and I'm too old to explain your absence to Clint."

"You're a year younger than Clint," Jack had said with a laugh. "The only award I'll be handing out tonight is for best bowl of Manhattan clam east of Riverhead."

Clive Bannister knew which buttons to push, which was something that happened when your former father-in-law was also your friend and manager. Clive was family, and family had always been Jack'sAchilles'heel.

"You need a new manager," a studio executive had told him over dinner a few months ago. "This is a young person's game."

It wasn't the first time someone in a position of power had told him Clive should retire, and each time, Jack had a vulgar two-word answer ready and waiting. They were a team, he and Clive. Clive and his late wife, Rosie, had seen something in a rough, unpolished dishwasher-busboy at the Union Square Café, and had handed him a life. They became his family. They helped him build a future. They didn't turn away when his marriage to their daughter, Linda, fell apart. They were family, all of them, and they always would be.

But lately he had begun to wonder if maybe Clive deserved more than the daily grind of keeping Jack's star burning bright. Clive had always seemed ageless, a force of nature who operated above the frailties of mere mortals, but over the last few months there had been enough forgotten messages, tangled communications and downright screwups that even Jack had to admit his friend might be feeling the effects of his seventy-five years on the planet.

"Why don't I just tell him he needs to slow down?" he had said to Linda during one of their planning sessions.

"Because you know him as well as I do," his ex-wife had said. "The only way Dad will ever slow down is if we make sure he has no choice."

Which was how Jack finally decided to take a year off. The idea had been floating around in his subconscious for a long time. The thought of climbing behind the wheel of his Jeep and taking off for parts unknown sounded pretty damn good to him. A year without contracts or commitments. A year where he could grow a beard, shave his head, forget cell phones and e-mail and box office grosses. A year where he didn't have to save the world from whatever ninety-four minute peril was threatening it this time.

"So are you seeing anyone these days?" Linda had asked after they had planned her father's future for him.

"A few people."

"But are you seeing anyone special?"

"You'll be the first to know when I do." Marriage had briefly interrupted a terrific friendship, which divorce had quickly restored.

"You have to put yourself out there, Jack, or it's never going to happen for you."

"I'm out there on 3,123 screens this week. You can't get more out there than that."

She gave him one of those disgusted looks that only family can deliver. "Fine," she said. "Swell. You don't want me to talk about it and I won't. But trust me on this — one day some woman is going to come along and knock you flat, and I hope I'm there to see it so I can say, "I told you so.'"

Linda believed in the kind of love that knocked you off your feet and left you gasping for air while destiny stomped all over you. She had wanted the whole package: the can't-live-without-you romance, the fairy-tale wedding, the until-death-do-us-part marriage, with children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren all gathered around for the golden anniversary.

He hadn't been able to give her any of that, and when they parted he had been genuinely happy that she found everything she wanted and more in her husband, Mike. Maybe the second time really was the charm for some people.

Jack maneuvered around the Burberry spaniel and picked up speed. He had been knocked flat by love a hundred times in his movies. Love at first sight had rocked his world over and over again, to the delight of audiences in more countries than he knew existed. He had the dialogue filed away in his brain. He knew how it should feel, how he should act while it was happening, how it played out along the way to the happily ever after ending.

But he had never experienced it for real. The thunderbolt of legend, that pow! of recognition when the woman of your dreams walked into your life — it was all still Hollywood special effects to him, and he was beginning to think it always would be.


FOR THE LAST THREE HOURS Julia McGraw Monahan had been primped, prodded, highlighted, colored, washed, blow dried, pinned up, brushed out, waxed, powdered, shadowed, mascaraed, perfumed, buffed and polished to a high-gloss gleam, all in the name of friendship.

By anyone's standards Julia was a low-maintenance woman. A single mother of preschool twins didn't have time to be anything else. Once upon a time she had had more than a passing acquaintance with elaborate beauty rituals designed to turn your average geeky computer nerd into a bombshell, but those days were long gone.

Or so she had thought before her best friend and part-time fairy godmother got her hands on her.

Julia's usual scruffy ponytail had been transformed into a sexy tumble of fiery red curls that skimmed her shoulders. Her everyday uniform of T-shirt and jeans had been replaced by a shimmering bronze Versace knockoff that fit her like a glove. Her skin was flawless alabaster. Her eyes were smoky jewels surrounded by thick curly lashes. And for the first time in years she smelled like perfume, instead of laundry detergent.

Miracle was the only word that covered it. "Wow," she said, adjusting her glasses. "I think this qualifies as an extreme makeover."

"Take off those glasses," Bonnie, her best friend and fairy godmother, ordered. "You're ruining the effect."

"If I take them off, I won't be able to see."

"I don't care," Bonnie said. "You're not doing geek chic tonight. Off with 'em!"

Julia reluctantly slipped off her glasses and squinted in the general direction of the mirror. "This isn't going to work. I can't see a thing."

"Just for tonight," Bonnie said. "Think of it as one of those sacrifices women make for beauty. Besides, it will keep you from going crazy around all those movie stars."

The thought of Julia going crazy for a movie star made them both laugh out loud. She hadn't been to a movie since before the twins were born, and that was nearly five years ago. All you had to do was look at her to know she wasn't the type to gush and fawn over a celebrity. Julia was a self-described nerd who by day ran a computer repair business named Wired, and by night wrote how-to articles.

An extra 512MB of RAM would get a bigger response from her than a candlelight dinner with Brad Pitt.

Bonnie dashed from the room, and Julia took the opportunity to slip her glasses into her tiny sparkly purse. There were limits to what she would do in the name of beauty, even for her best friend.

Bonnie returned seconds later waving a pair of impossibly high, impossibly gorgeous strappy sandals overhead. "The pièce de résistance," she announced. "My lucky Manolo Blahniks!"

"The shoes you won at the Actors Equity raffle last year?"

Bonnie nodded, eyes gleaming with pride. "A moment of silence for perfection, please."

Even Julia, who wasn't a shoe person at all, knew a great pair when she saw them. A one-of-a-kind masterpiece created and signed by the master himself. The shoe lover's equivalent of the Holy Grail, and probably more famous than ninety percent of the actors who had purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win them.

"It's been a long time," she said. "I'm not sure I remember how to walk in heels."

"It's like riding a bike. No woman worth her estrogen could forget how to walk in heels." Bonnie gestured for her to sit down on the edge of the bed. "We don't have time to argue shoes, Jules, so you might as well just give in. Rachel's waiting outside in the limo and she's feeling mean as a snake." Bonnie had called in a favor, and apparently her cousin was finding it hard to be gracious.

Julia slid her feet into the obscenely expensive sandals and tried to ignore the ripple of pleasure she felt when she made contact. The straps felt like silky spider-webs against her bare skin, fragile as a whisper. "What if I lose them? You know I'm always losing things."

Bonnie shot her a look. "They're shoes. They have straps. They won't come off unless you take them off, and I know you wouldn't do anything that foolish, would you."

"I don't know," Julia said. "Are they insured?"

"I'm lucky my car's insured."

Excerpt from And The Envelope, Please... by Isabel Sharpe, Barbara Bretton, Emilie Rose
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