Dear Reader,

I’m just back from RT and riding high from all the fun and excitement of my week in L.A.  If any of you managed to make it to the convention, I hope you had as good a time as I did.

I’m so excited my newest Harlequin release, Deserving of Luke. It is on the shelves this month, as I feel like I’ve come full circle in the months since I wrote it.  I wrote this book at the end of summer, as my house was gearing up to send my oldest to eighth grade and my youngest to his very first year of preschool. Now it’s April, and here in Texas, the end of that school year is just around the corner.  It’s hard to believe another year is done—almost as hard as it is to believe that my oldest starts high school next year.

In Deserving of Luke, time has passed much too quickly for Paige and Logan, who broke up when Paige was pregnant with their now seven year old son.  This is a reconciliation story and a redemption story, one where a man who has made terrible mistakes must figure out how to not only fix those mistakes, but also how to forgive himself.  I walked a fine line while writing Logan and hope that you like the man he becomes as much as I do.  Have a wonderful week!

Tracy Wolff



Excerpt from Deserving of Luke

© Tracy Wolff


Paige finished planting the last group of flowers in the front yard, then stepped back to look at her handiwork.  There were bright pinks and yellows and reds—cheerful colors that looked incredibly happy against the newly painted picket fence that rimmed the yard.  Luke had chosen them in town the other day, and she had fallen in love with them the second he’d pointed them out.

Stretching, she rested her hands on her lower back, which still ached from the marathon painting session she and Penny had embarked on the day before.  Then she turned and stared out at the vast and endless ocean just beyond the cliffs that bordered her sister's land to the west.  Three weeks had passed since her last fight with Logan, five weeks since she and Luke had arrived here, and a lot had changed. 

Penny's beach house was almost finished.  With the added influx of capital from Paige, she'd managed to get the plumbing and electric fixed in record time.  And they had finished nearly all the rooms-- painting, stripping the hard wood, re-staining it, arranging the furniture and hanging curtains.  If things stayed on track, Penny might be able to open by the end of July.  It was a little late in the season, but they both figured catching half the summer was better than missing it completely, as they'd originally planned on.

And it wasn't like there weren't tourists around looking for places to stay.  In the last couple of weeks, the beach in front of the inn had filled up as flocks of tourists had moved in, laughing and surfing and building sandcastles on the stretch of beach she had somehow started to consider hers.  They annoyed her, with their happy chatter and carefree games.

And yet she watched them religiously, brought Luke down to the sand to play with the children nearly every day. And wondered what it would be like to be part of a family like that.  With a mom and a dad and children, all of whom were secure in the love of the other members of the family.  All of whom knew exactly where they belonged.

With a sigh, she pushed to her feet.  She was getting maudlin, a surefire sign that she'd had too much time to think.  Better to go upstairs and get started retiling the last bathroom.  Penny and Luke had gone to town to get more grout, but there was enough left that she should be able to get started.  If she kept busy, she wouldn't be able to brood about Logan and the absolute mess she had made of hers and Luke's lives.

She was halfway up the stairs between the second and third floors when the phone rang.  She almost left it to the answering machine, but some sixth sense she was barely aware of told her to answer it.  Taking the stairs two at a time, she managed to reach it just as the answering machine clicked on.

"Hello."

"Paige, it's Logan."

She hated that her heart beat faster at the sound of his voice, hated more that tears welled behind her eyes.  This whole thing just stunk and she wanted nothing more than to escape back to L.A., where she wouldn't have to see him or hear about him or think about him whenever she had a few moments of down time.

But then, when she thought of never running into him again-- never seeing him again-- something deep inside of her screamed in protest.  It was an untenable situation, one that was slowly driving her out of her mind.

Forcing herself to be strong, she injected steel into her voice in an effort to keep him from finding out just how much he still affected her.  "I can't talk right now, Logan.  I'm in the middle--"

"There's been an accident.  Luke and Penny are at the hospital.  It's pretty bad--"

The phone slipped from her hand, hit the ground hard as Logan's words replayed themselves in her head.  And then she was running for the front door, grabbing her purse on the way. 

The ride to the hospital usually took close to thirty minutes-- it was halfway between Prospect and Sunshine, another small Oregon coastal town.  She did it in fifteen minutes, praying the entire way.

Panic was alive within her, making it nearly impossible for her to think as she slammed her car into a parking spot and then took off for the emergency room doors.  She didn't know what was wrong, didn't know who to talk to, didn't know anything--
Luke, oh God, Luke.  Penny.  A sob welled in her chest, but she pushed it down.  There would be time enough to cry later after she knew how bad it was.  After she'd seen her sister and her baby.

She all but flew into the emergency room, terrified, confused, miserable.  The first thing she saw was Logan, standing just to the right of the doors, his silver eyes fastened on the entrance.

And then his strong arms were around her, holding her up when her knees would have buckled.  "Tell me," she said against his chest.  "Luke.  Penny.  Please.  Tell me about my baby."

"There isn't much to tell.  They were involved in a headlong collision with a bunch of drunk teenagers who were driving on the wrong side of the road.  Luke was unconscious when we got to the scene and he hasn't woken up yet, that I'm aware of.  They're doing some tests now, a CAT scan and a few other things trying to see if-"  His voice broke.  "Trying to see if there's any damage."

"Damage?" she asked, trying to comprehend what he was saying ... and what he wasn't.

"Brain damage, Paige.  He hit his head really hard and they're trying to see--"

Not even Logan's strong hands could keep her from sliding to the floor.  "He might be ..."

"They don't know, darlin'."  He crouched down next to her.

"Well, what do they know?" she shrieked.

"Nothing yet.  It's going to be a while."

"Oh my God.  Oh my God.  Where's the doctor?  And why aren't you with Luke?"

"I was with him, Paige.  They took him away to run the tests and the nurse promised to come get me as soon as he was back in the ER."

"I want to see him.  I need to see him, Logan."

"You will, baby.  I promise.  As soon as he gets back, I'll take you to him." 

She nodded, but she could barely understand the words coming out of his mouth, could barely comprehend where she was and what she was doing there.  Logan lifted a hand to her face, brushed her hair back from her eyes.  As he did, she realized he was trembling.  Big, tough Logan Powell was shaking like a leaf.


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Contest!




Tracy's hosting another contest for ASR readers! Just visit her website (www.tracywolff.com) and find the answer to this question:

Where did Paige think Luke would probably be when she couldn't find him near the miniature car collection?

Then email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with your answer by midnight on April 20th, 2011. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'Deserving Of Luke'.

Four winners will each receive a copy of Unguarded.

Good luck!

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