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In Her Dreams

In Her Dreams

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In Her Dreams

Comprimento:
266 página
3 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jul 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781311755971
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

IT WAS MIND OVER MATTER

Love didn't affect Maggie Turner in the usual way. Instead of getting starry-eyed, Maggie got psychic static.

No sooner had Dr. Ethan Baxter moved into her Monterey, California guest house than her long-dormant psychic gift ran riot. She was tantalized by glimpses of a blissful future. And terrorized by recurrent nightmares.

Having denied her gift for so long, Maggie feared she'd never interpret the conflicting images of danger and desire.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Jul 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781311755971
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Linda Wisdom was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California. Her career began when she sold her first two novels to Silhouette Romance on her wedding anniversary in 1979. Since then she has sold more than 75 novels to four different publishers. Her books have appeared on various romance and mass market bestseller lists and have been nominated for a number of Romantic Times awards. Linda also has been a finalist for the Romance Writers of America Rita Award. She lives with her husband, two dogs, two parrots and a tortoise in Murrieta, California.

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In Her Dreams - Linda Wisdom

In Her Dreams

by

Linda Wisdom

A LINDA WISDOM CLASSIC ROMANCE FROM JOYRIDE BOOKS

* * * * *

PUBLISHED BY:

Joyride Books

In Her Dreams

Copyright © 2014 by Linda Wisdom

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

* * * * *

In Her Dreams

Prologue

April, New London, Connecticut

She looked up into his mad unseeing eyes and felt his hands circling her throat in a mock lover's clasp. She knew she was about to die.

I can't allow you to return to him, my darling, he told her in the soft voice that was at odds with the implied violence in his touch. You can understand that, can't you? He doesn't love you as much as I do. He never can. He rejected you before and he'd only do it again. You must remain mine forever.

She could say nothing. She was having enough trouble trying to breathe, with the heel of his hand pressed so insistently on her trachea. She was still reeling from the shock of commenting, that a male co-worker had taken her out to lunch for her birthday and he suddenly turned into a maniac, accusing her of the most obscene things. Her vision blurred, then turned black as she heard his soft voice caressing her like a poisonous fog.

This is only for your protection, Jessica. His lips were curved into a gentle smile. He'll only hurt you. He doesn't know how to cherish and love you the way I do.

The last thing she remembered was wanting to explain to him that her name wasn't Jessica but Denise.

ETHAN, I CAN'T BELIEVE you're really doing this. The man dressed in Navy whites leaned against the doorway, watching his friend fill a suitcase with neatly folded clothing. Hell, old buddy, you're too young to retire. How can you do this to me? What am I going to do if you're not around to keep me out of trouble?

A faint smile graced Ethan's austere features. The last, person I would be concerned about would be you. It's me, Dave. I've put in m twenty-odd years and now I'm looking for something new, Ethan replied, looking around until his eyes spied his shaving kit, which he fitted in a corner of the suitcase.

But the Navy's all you've ever known, he argued still bewildered by his friend's decision. When Ethan had talked to him several months ago about his determination to retire, Dave dismissed it as nothing more than the beginning of midlife crisis and bluntly informed Ethan he couldn't retire. Just yet. Since then hadn't said anything more, Dave thought he had forgotten all about it. But Dave should have remembered just how determined his friend was. What the hell are you going to do once you're out of here? You’re too, young to sit in a rocking chair on some porch watching the flowers grow.

Ethan looked up and grinned. '''I don't know--It sure sounds good to me."

Dave shook his head. Uh-uh you may look like a sloth, but your personality is as far from lazy as it can get. You're a damn good doctor, Ethan. You can't mean to throw it all away.

I don't intend to. When I find the right place, I plan to setup a private practice. I've been following rules and regulations for too many years. It's time to make a few of my own.

Dave pursed his lips. You're not doing this because of Denise's death, are you?

Ethan shook his head. No, Denise has nothing to do with this. Oh, I admit her death was a shock. It was a shock to everyone on the floor. She was an excellent nurse and a lovely lady. No one should die the way she did. He looked somber. But we certainly hadn't dated enough to call what we had the grand passion. I think my ex-wife took care of any ideas in the direction of a full-blown love waiting out there for me. I simply feel the need to break away from the navy's apron strings and do something on my own. He silently begged his friend to understand. He didn't want to admit that he felt a little unsure about going out into the wild world on his own, but a restless spirit urged him to at least try.

Dave sighed. Okay, I guess you can't fight it, but if you ever need anything, I'm here.

The two men shared an awkward hug.

Dave picked up one of the suitcases. I'll help you carry these out. And you better keep in touch when you finally settle down.

The sharp angles of Ethan's lean face relaxed in a smile.

Don't worry, I will. Who knows, maybe you'll decide to kick the traces and join me. Although let me warn you I intend to settle down as far away from the sea as I can get. I've had enough of the ocean to last me a lifetime. Right now the Midwest looks really good to me.

I just might take you up on that offer. But if you do decide that living by the ocean wouldn't be so bad, after all, try Monterey, California. The town can't be all bad if it could produce me, he joked. Who knows, maybe some good looking lady will snap you up.

Ethan shook his head, remembering the bitterness at the end of his marriage that had spilled over into .the divorce. No, I think I'll remain a crusty old bachelor. It's much safer.

Chapter One

October, Monterey, California

She was a gypsy. She was a witch. Damn, she was beautiful.

Ethan sat at a corner table, unable to keep his eyes off her as she entered the restaurant. A pale lilac sweater skimmed her hips, topping a lilac, peach and pale blue floral-print skirt floating around her legs. Hair the color of rich mink swung freely to her waist, framing a cameo face that would have been classified as too long, but to him was just right. And her eyes, oh, her eyes. Even Elizabeth Taylor would envy that deep shade of purple, Of course, her figure was as great as her face. She was slender; with gently curving breasts under the soft fabric and hips that flared out enough to give a man something to hold on to. Yep, a figure no man could resist looking at, and he ought to know. He had been an excellent student of anatomy, both in and out of medical school.

Ethan had only driven down to roam Cannery Row because he had enjoyed Steinbeck's books so much he wanted to see the author's source material for himself. That it was how tourist oriented didn't bother him; he had enough imagination to recreate it the way it used to be, even to the overpowering aroma of fish meal hanging in the air. He had also promised Dave that if he made it as far west as California, he would visit Monterey. He had to admit he was glad he had stopped here. Even if only to gaze at a woman whose face belonged in an old-fashioned portrait.

The first thing h had done when he'd arrived at Cannery Row was park his camper in one of the public lots so he could be free to roam around, have some lunch and decide what to do next. After almost six months of wandering the country, he was beginning to get tired of living out of a suitcase and wondered whether. It wasn't time to look for that perfect town to set down some roots and consider getting back to work after his self-imposed vacation.

Still, he couldn't complain about his time on the road. He had seen sights he couldn't have imagined: While the Navy had been good to him and sent him all over the world, his only duty in the United States had been in Connecticut for the past few years, and he knew it was time to see something more of the country. He had certainly done just that.

Are you ready to order? A smiling waitress with a badge that named her Joyce stood over him.

He looked up as he handed her the menu. Cheeseburger with a slice of onion, fries and a large Coke.

She nodded and scribbled away. Would you like your drink now?

Yes, please, he said absently, his attention caught elsewhere.

Your meal shouldn't be too long, she assured him before moving off to her next customer.

Ethan didn’t hear her as he was too busy watching the woman greet the male cashier with a heart stopping smile and speak to him, her words too soft to carry in his direction. He gathered by the way the man was writing that she was giving him a good order to go. The cashier nodded and moved away, and the woman stood waiting patiently. As if sensing Ethan’s intense regard, she turned her head, looking directly at him. Her eyes widened for a split second, and she swiftly turned away, not looking his way again. When the cashier returned with a foam take-out container, the woman paid him and hurried out without a backward glance.

And they say looks can't talk, he murmured, rubbing his forefinger across his mouth in an absent gesture.

Ethan couldn't blame her for turning away. He'd bet everything the visual encounter had shaken her up as much as it had him. If asked, he couldn't have described what had just happened, couldn't put a name to it. Deciding to cop out and consider it nothing more than that meeting of eyes across a crowded room, he returned to his perusal of the local newspaper's classified ads section. Still, he felt a bit of sorrow she hadn't stayed here to eat her meal. He would have liked to have studied her longer maybe figure out what caused that sudden drop in the pit of his stomach when he looked into her eyes. He glanced over the rental ads in the newspaper, using his pen to circle the promising ones.

One-bedroom guest house in rear of lovely Victorian home situated above Cannery Row. All the comforts of a past era with modern facilities.

He read it twice and passed it over to mark an ad for a condo in Pacific Beach.

Here you go. The waitress smiled as she set down his plate. Her eyes passed over the paper. Planning to stay?

I'm looking. He wasn't inclined to commit himself. She recognized the hint and smiled before walking away. You're among civilians again, Ethan, he muttered, wondering whether Carmel with its famous golf course wouldn't be more to his liking. So what if he hadn't played golf for at least fifteen years? He could brush up on his strokes in no time. you're going to have to act like one.

He ate his cheeseburger as he finished the newspaper, folding the pages so the circled ads were in front. He laughed to himself, imagining Dave's surprise at his decision to settle right on the coast after all his declarations that he wouldn’t live near the sea again for any reason. Oh, well, maybe a few surprises in his life might be good for him.

The Waitress returned. Would you like anything else? He shook his head. "Except perhaps directions to this address he pointed to one of the circled ads.

She read the fine print and shook her head, If you don't mind my 0pinion, I wouldn't bother checking there, she advised him. Not unless you're into wild parties, that is. A majority of the residents of that complex are under the age of twenty-five and tend to live it up. It looks nice and quiet during the day, but at night it's the opposite. Of course, if that's you thing. She left the rest unsaid.

Ethan chuckled. No, thanks, I earned these gray hairs honestly, not by overindulging. Then would you mind helping me out by look king over the others so I won't make any mistakes?

She picked up the paper and looked over each ad. Two more she discounted for similar reasons.

I know the owner of that Victorian home, she said casually, pointing to the ad he'd read and earlier dismissed. It's very nice. Several other people live there, but they pretty much keep to themselves. The guest house there is well away from the main house, so you'd have a lot of privacy.

Thanks for the advice, but I don't think it's what I'm looking for, he replied, flashing her a slow smile that left any red-blooded woman feeling very good about herself.

Still, it wouldn't hurt to check it out, she insisted, picking up his pen and circling it herself. After all, decent rentals around here are pretty sparse.

Okay, I'll try it. Thanks for your help. He reached into his jeans pocket for his wallet as he picked up the bill.

Any time. If you have any more questions, I always work the breakfast-and-lunch shift, she explained. And don't worry, this isn't a come on. I just remember the hard time my husband and I had when we were first looking for a place to live. Someone in the know helped us, so I feel it's only fair I do the same.

Ethan dropped the tip on the table. I'll remember that. Joyce waited until he had paid the bill and walked out of the restaurant before heading for a nearby pay phone. She quickly dialed a number and impatiently waited as it rang several times.

Hello, Sadie, it's Joyce. She kept her voice low. I'm sending someone over to you. Tall, dark, not bad looking and obviously single. She laughed softly at the woman's reply. Are you kidding? Maggie'd have my head if she knew what I just did. Just lay on that infamous charm of yours and don't scare him off. This one just might be what you're looking for. Let me know how it comes out.

GET OUT of my head! Maggie Turner ordered the apparition floating in her brain. It had been bad enough that she lost her appetite for the clam chowder she had picked up for lunch. When she had entered her favorite restaurant for a quick lunch to take back to her shop, she hadn't expected to encounter a pair of brown eyes that gave her a jolt. Correction not just brown eyes, but brown eyes with flecks of gold dusted throughout the dark iris. Features that were too sharp and angular to be handsome, and more gray in his hair than that rich auburn, but that didn't stop him from imprinting himself on her mind. She may only have seen him for a split second; but it was enough. The current that flowed between them was tangible as electricity, even when she tried so hard to dismiss it. He was a healer, her soul told her. That little piece of psychic information shouldn’t matter to her. He couldn't heal what was wrong with her.

Excuse me, but does this rabbit in the three-piece suit have a female counterpart? A woman interrupted Maggie's errant thoughts.

Maggie forced a smile to her lips, right now grateful for anything to take her mind off the man she'd seen in the restaurant. Yes, he does. She's right over here. She led the way to another corner of the shop, where shelves were filled with various stuffed animals dressed in clothing from various decades, whether it be a plush pink pig dressed in a Roaring Twenties fringed dress or a gray wolf dressed in Little Red Riding Hood's red cape. Maggie picked up a white rabbit dressed in a navy pin-striped jacket and skirt and armed with a tiny briefcase dangling from one paw.

The woman frowned when she read the price tag. These appear to be awfully expensive for toys, she murmured, looking up from under lashes liberally coated with mascara.

These are not toys meant for children to play with. Not only the clothing, but the animals themselves are handmade and are considered collectible, Maggie explained blandly. She was used to some people hesitant to pay the high prices she believed her stuffed animals were worth, but she wasn't worried. There were too many serious collectors more than willing to pay for the unique animals.

The woman made a few more unsubtle comments about the high prices as she browsed through the shop, picking up one animal then another. In the end she purchased the two executive rabbits and picked up several of Maggie's business cards for her collector friends.

With the shop once again quiet, Maggie straightened the shelves and ducked into the stockroom to bring out several new animals.

"Maggie:' A male voice, hesitant in tone, called out. She looked out and saw a bearded blond man standing near the doorway.

Hello, Richard. A warm smile curved her lips.

He smiled back shyly. I was going over to the pizza place for a Coke and I thought I'd come by to see if you'd like one also.

That would be nice, thank you. She grabbed her purse and pulled out a bill. A large Diet, please.

He stuffed the money in his pocket as he looked around the shop. I noticed you made another sale. You're doing pretty well today.

Maggie nodded. She bought an executive bunny. I'm very proud of that new line. It became pretty popular almost immediately, she replied, smiling politely. Since Richard managed the jewelry store next door, she saw him a great deal. Especially since he appeared to have a crush on her and had a habit of popping into her shop several times a day asking whether she wanted something to drink, go to lunch with him or go out for a drink after closing hours. So far, Maggie had been able to keep him at arm's length but she wasn't sure how long it would last when he looked at her with those deep blue eyes that seemed to anticipate and accept rejection at every turn, and here she was the kind of person who couldn't turn away a stray animal.

I'll be back in a moment. He smiled uncertainly and disappeared out the door.

Richard soon returned with their drinks and handed one cup to Maggie. He stood near the cash register, fiddling with his straw.

Are you leaving at six? he mumbled, staring down into his drink.

She nodded. Lois is coming in late this afternoon and will close up. Finding someone to work evenings wasn't easy, so Maggie had been ecstatic when the young woman answered her ad for evening help.

I'm not working this evening, either. Would you like a ride home? he asked in a low voice, continuing to study his cup as, if there was something vitally important in the contents.

She must red(XXX) up a bright smile. She sincerely wished she could conjure up some sincere feeling for the man; but then she hadn't experienced anything for any man for several years. Except... She stubbornly thrust the unknown man out of her mind. That's very nice of you, Richard, but it's been such a nice day think I'd like to walk home. After all that rain we’ve had lately, I feel the need to get out and get some fresh air. Her smile softened her refusal.

He nodded jerkily shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Sure, he muttered, looking out the open door and noticing several people milling around in the jewelry store. Well, I better get back to the shop. Doris is still new enough that she feels uncomfortable when there are too many customers.

Thanks for the coke, Maggie told him as he left.

You're welcome.

A silver-haired woman, resplendent in a paint-smeared shirt, walked into the shop, barely nodding a greeting to the man leaving.

Sadie, don't you are touch anything, Maggie warned the older women as she leaned against the counter.

Margaret Ann, I am not a child, she reproached, waving her hands to prove that they were clean. I just thought I'd let you know that someone called about the guest house arid wants to come over this evening to see it.

For a split second a vision of the man from the coffee shop entered Maggie's mind. She viciously pushed it out. A man, I suppose.

Sadie offered her a sparkling smile that just bordered on innocence. I really wouldn't know, dear. Louisa took the call. She only said that someone called and would like to come by this evening to see it. You know how vague she can be at times.

She's vague only when it benefits the four of you. You're planning something I can feel it. Maggie's eyes narrowed. She had a funny feeling about this appointment that had been so conveniently made when they knew she wouldn't be at home. Isn't it amazing that he's planning to come by tonight. I suppose it'll be when I'm at Valerie's.

Maggie, you're terribly suspicious; She shook her head, visibly saddened by her friend's attitude although

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