October 25th, 2014
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October's crisp autumn nights are perfect for reading

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The stakes climb higher!


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She's ready to give him total control


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An unlikely princess... An even more unlikely sorcerer... And using magic always exacts a price…


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One warrior fights for the love of his life, while another warrior finds his.


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The O'Brien's holiday magic


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The Affair continues...


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The Affair continues...


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Is he dead or alive?



Purchase


HQN
August 2006
Featuring: Lacey Kinkaid; Tyler Benson
320 pages
ISBN: 0373771266
Hardcover
$19.95
Add to Wish List

Romance Contemporary

Also by Carly Phillips:

On the Naughty List, October 2014
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Playing for Passion, September 2014
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Perfect Together, February 2014
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Dare To Love, November 2013
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Perfect Fling, August 2013
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Hot Summer Nights, July 2013
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Perfect Fit, January 2013
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Fated, December 2012
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Karma, May 2012
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Destiny, January 2012
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Kismet, November 2011
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Serendipity, September 2011
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Midnight Angel, July 2011
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The Right Choice, June 2011
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Solitary Man, June 2011
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Perfect Partners, May 2011
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More Than Words, April 2011
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Hot Item, April 2011
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Love Me If You Dare, September 2010
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Kiss Me if you Can, August 2010
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Hot Stuff, January 2010
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Lucky Break, October 2009
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Lucky Streak, June 2009
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Secret Fantasy, January 2009
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Lucky Charm, October 2008
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Hot Property, July 2008
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Seduce Me, January 2008
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Sealed with a Kiss, October 2007
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Cross My Heart, July 2007
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Simply Scandalous, January 2007
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Simply Sinful, January 2007
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Brazen, January 2007
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Simply Sensual, January 2007
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Simply Sexy, January 2007
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Santa, Baby, November 2006
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Cross My Heart, August 2006
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Summer Lovin', August 2006
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Hot Item, June 2006
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Body Heat, January 2006
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Undone, September 2005
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Summer Lovin', August 2005
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Brazen, April 2005
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Stroke Of Midnight, November 2004
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Under The Boardwalk, June 2004
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The Heartbreaker, June 2004
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Invitations To Seduction, July 2003
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The Playboy, January 2003
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The Bachelor, July 2002
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Erotic Invitation, December 2001
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Excerpt of Cross My Heart by Carly Phillips

Prologue

The sky was jet black. No stars. No moon. No light to give them away. Tyler Benson led the way to the top of the cliffs with Lilly by his side. Daniel Hunter, their best friend, lagged behind. Lilly held onto Ty’s hand. Every once in awhile she’d squeeze tighter, giving away her fear. Otherwise Ty would think this was just another of their adventures. He knew better.

Soon, Ty would start the car, slam it into drive and then jump out before it toppled off the cliff into the murky quarry waters below. Afterwards, Lilly Dumont would be reported missing. Her uncle’s car would be found at the bottom of the lake. Or it wouldn’t be found at all. No body would be recovered. Lilly would head for New York, take the new name the three of them had chosen for her and Ty would never see her again.

All so Lilly wouldn’t have to leave the safety of Ty’s mother’s foster home and return to her bastard uncle for more abuse. She was only seventeen. She wouldn’t survive a month let alone a year if she returned to her uncle. The man didn’t love her but her trust fund, Ty thought.

“Hurry up, Daniel!” Lilly called back to Hunter, breaking the silence. She was probably afraid he’d lose them in the dark.

“It’s Hunter,” their friend and foster brother muttered loud enough for them to hear.

Ty grinned. Once Ty had told him to go by his last name, the kids at school stopped calling him “Danny Boy” and Hunter quit trying to beat the crap out of anyone who got in his face. Hunter and Ty were like real brothers and Ty looked out for his own. Hunter did the same, which was why Hunter stayed back now, so Ty could have these last few minutes with Lilly.

The girl they both loved.

Hunter had never said as much, but Ty knew. He wasn’t sure Lilly did. She was so damn innocent despite her attitude and that was what made Ty care about her so much. They weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend but they were something. Too bad they’d never have time to figure out just what that was.

The locket he’d bought her burned a hole in his pocket. He’d bought it so she wouldn’t forget him. Ever. His stomach cramped and he halted suddenly.

Lilly bumped into him. “What’s wrong? Why are you stopping? We aren’t there yet.”

Ty swallowed hard. “I just wanted to give you something.” He whispered even though nobody was around to hear.

Hunter, who knew what Ty had planned, waited somewhere behind them.

Ty shoved his hand into his pocket and pulled out the small gold heart. A hot flush washed over him as he held out his hand. Good thing it was dark and she couldn’t see his burning cheeks.

“Here,” he muttered. It wasn’t much and that embarrassed him as much as giving the gift.

Lilly accepted the tiny locket. Though it was hard to see, she turned it over in her hand, studying it for so long he shifted uncomfortably on his feet while waiting for her reaction.

“It’s beautiful,” she finally said, a catch in her voice.

He exhaled his relief. “I …” Ty wasn’t a guy of many words and he didn’t know what to say now.

“I know.” As always, she stepped in, reading and easing his mind. She clasped the heart in one hand and threw her arms around his neck, holding him tight.

He smelled the sweet scent of shampoo in her hair and he hugged her back, pulling her soft body against his. Too many feelings and sensations rushed through him at the same time. All the things they’d never do or get to say to each other passed between them in this one final touch.

Ty couldn’t think or even speak past the lump in his throat.

She pulled back suddenly and looked down. She messed with the necklace and somehow she managed to hook the heart around her neck despite the lack of light.

“Thank you,” she said softly, meeting his gaze.

He nodded stiffly. “You’re welcome.”

Seconds of silence passed, neither one of them wanting to say the words but someone had to. They couldn’t risk getting caught.

“We need to get moving,” Hunter said, joining them. “The longer we spend here the more we risk getting caught.”

Ty nodded. “He’s right. We have to go,” Ty finally said.

“Okay then let’s do this,” Lilly said and the three friends started forward.

A few minutes later, they walked through the underbrush and came out near the cliff. A car was waiting for them just like Ty’s friend who worked with him at the gas station had promised. So was the reality of what they were about to do. He got nauseated and struggled against getting sick.

“Is it really Uncle Mark’s?” Lilly asked, rubbing her hand over the dark blue Lincoln.

Ty nodded. “A buddy of mine knows how to hot wire cars. He owes me a favor for not turning him into the cops, so this was no biggie.” Ty had friends in different groups, different places. Pulling this off had been too easy.

“I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Lilly said.

She stared at him, wide-eyed and afraid. But behind the fear Ty saw her determination. She was strong and gutsy and he was really proud of her.

“It’s not like we have a choice,” Hunter reminded her.

“I know.” She nodded, her dark hair falling over her face before she tucked it behind her ear. “You guys are the best, helping me like this.”

“One for all, all for one,” Hunter said.

Ty shook his head, trying not to laugh and embarrass his friend. Hunter always said the dumbest things, but Ty didn’t mind. Besides he figured Hunter wasn’t thinking any clearer than they were at the moment.

“We’re the Three Musketeers,” Lilly said, grinning. Just like always, she stepped in to agree with her friend and prevent him from being mortified.

Besides she was right. So was Hunter. The three of them were alone in this and it would bind them forever. Ty stuffed his hands into front jeans pocket.

“So tonight Lillian Dumont dies and Lacey Kinkaid is born.” Her voice quivered.

He didn’t blame her for being afraid. She was leaving Hawken’s Cove, their small upstate New York town. She’d take off for New York City alone with just the summer money Ty made working at the gas station and the petty cash Hunter picked up busing tables at the only restaurant in town.

“Nobody talks about what happened here tonight. Not ever,” Ty reminded them. They couldn’t afford for anyone to discover even a part of their plan and piece things together. “Right?” he asked, wanting to hear them say the words. His heart pounded so hard in his chest he thought it would explode.

“Right.” Hunter agreed.

The three of them had planned her escape down to the last detail. And Ty knew they’d both protect their secret forever.

“Lilly?” Ty prodded. She had the most to lose if her uncle found out she was alive.

She nodded. “I’ll never talk about it.” Her gaze remained locked on his, her fingers toying with the little heart around her neck.

Ty stared into her brown eyes and suddenly everything was okay. They’d go back to his mom’s house and he’d sneak into her bedroom so they could hang out and talk all night. They’d be together.

Instead she broke the spell. “I’ll never forget what you guys did for me,” she said to them both.

She hugged Hunter first and Ty waited, clenching and unclenching his fists.

Then she turned to him and pulled him tight. He held her for the last time, closing his eyes and fighting the fullness in his throat.

“Be careful,” he managed to tell her.

She nodded, her hair soft against his cheek. “I’ll never forget you, Ty. Cross my heart,” she whispered, the words for his ears alone.

Excerpt from Cross My Heart by Carly Phillips
All rights reserved by publisher and author

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