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The Return of Connor Mansfield

The Return of Connor MansfieldOne of the Mansfield brothers was dead to everyone else…except her.

Having mourned the "death" of her fiancé, Darby Kent isn't prepared for the moment they come face-to-face. For years, the man she loved and lost has lived in hiding. Until now. Connor is the only person who can save their ailing daughter, a living testament to the passion they once shared. But time is running out. And while Darby prays for their daughter's survival, she must confront old desires…and powerful new enemies who've patiently awaited Connor's return.

"The suspense part of the story was very well done. I was captured by the story from the beginning and was rooting for a way for Connor, Darby and Savannah to be together. ...With every page I wondered what was going to happen next." -- Susan, GoodReads

"Cornelison gives us a story that touches the heart with an interesting plot, vulnerable characters and solid storytelling." -- Melanie Bates, RT BookReviews

Copyright Beth Cornelison 2014

She stared at the back of the man in the cap as she ran to catch them. The broad shoulders and confidence in his stride seemed familiar, though his hair was many shades darker than Connor's.

She closed the gap between them before trying again to get their attention. "Mr. Orlean! Please, wait!"

The man in the cap stiffened, slowed. When he started to turn, the black man beside him glanced over his shoulder and pushed the dark-haired man toward a silver sedan. With the fob in his hand, the tall, older man clicked the locks off and opened the back door of the sedan. With a jerk of his head, he motioned for the man in the cap to get in the car.

They were more than ignoring her. They were escaping from her. Puzzled and more than a bit miffed, Darby shouted again, "Wait! Sam Orlean, I need to talk to you!"

When she reached the silver sedan, the black man tried to block her path, but she shoved past him. She grabbed the arm of the man she believed was Sam Orlean as he tried to climb in the backseat.  "Wait!"

He froze for a moment, dropped his chin to his chest, then straightening to his full height, he turned.

Mumbling an earthy obscenity, the older man stepped forward, as if to intervene, but Mr. Orlean raised a hand to stop him.

Winded, Darby gasped for a breath and grabbed the open car door for support, her body shaking as she studied the beard-covered face. The man's coloring was wrong, his hair too dark. His eyes were hidden behind the sunglasses and shaded by the cap. And yet...

He stood stock still, except for a slight shudder as he drew a stuttering breath.

The chant in Darby's brain screamed louder— Connor, Connor, Connor! Reaching up, she snatched away his cap, pulled his sunglasses off.

His jaw tightened, and he looked away, scowling at the cars parked across the aisle.

"Look at me," she whispered, and when he refused, she screamed, "Look at me, damn it!"

She grabbed his chin and wrenched his head toward her. When he lifted his eyes to hers, they were damp with tears, brimming with regret and apology. Her heart slammed against her ribs. Her knees buckled, and her lungs seized.

She knew those golden brown eyes. Intimately. They were her daughter's eyes.

"Connor." Her voice squeaked as her throat clogged with emotion. Her body shook with unspent adrenaline, and she lifted a hand toward his cheek. He wrapped long, warm fingers around hers, moving her hand off his face and squeezing her hand. Stunned, she grappled with what her heart was telling her, while her brain rejected the truth. A hesitant joy filled her chest like helium, expanding, lifting her hope. But a darker edged emotion lurked at the edges of her shock. She shoved the darkness aside, not wanting anything to shadow the moment.

Tears filled her eyes as a half laugh, half sob bubbled up from her chest. "You're alive!"

He gave the slightest of nods, but that tiny confirmation sent a tidal wave of conflicting emotions coursing through her. Relief and elation tangled with disbelief. She surged forward to hug him, to celebrate their reunion. But the older man beside them caught her arm, separating them. "Not here."

She blinked her confusion, looking to Connor for answers. His expression was grim, full of grief and regret. "I'm sorry."

His apology released the darkness she'd tried to hold at bay. A chill crept from her scalp to her toes as the first flicker of understanding dawned on her. Anger and resentment elbowed past her other emotions.

He'd left her. On purpose. He'd deceived her, let her think he was dead. He'd said he loved her, but he'd abandoned her.

Just like her father.

Her hand flew up, surprising herself as much as him when she struck his cheek. Hard. "You bastard!"

"That's enough," the black man growled. He grabbed her, restraining her arms as he pulled her away from Connor.

Darby fought the captive arms. Furious. Heartbroken. "You lied to me! You said you loved me!" she spat at Connor.

"Get in." With a hand on Connor's head, the older man pushed him into the backseat.

"No!" she shouted, desperation rearing its head. She couldn't lose Connor again. "Wait!"

The older man hitched his head to the black man, whose muscular arms held her like a vise. He hitched his head toward the backseat. "Bring her. We need to contain this."

The Mansfield Brothers
January 2014
Harlequin Romantic Suspense #1784
ISBN 978-0-373-27854-1


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Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.  Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.  All rights reserved.  ® and ™ are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license.

  Box Set

Harlequin Romantic Suspense January 2014

French Version

  A Child to Save







All Rights Reserved ©2007-2024 Beth Cornelison