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Outlaw Derek

Cover of Outlaw Derek

Outlaw Derek

New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper mixes suspense and romance in this classic novel of two unlikely souls who find love on the run.

After asking the wrong people the wrong questions, Shannon Brown barely escapes with her life--and crosses paths with a handsome outlaw who cannot resist a lady in distress. Moved by the troubled stranger, Derek Ross agrees to help Shannon elude her pursuers. But the ferocity of his desire for Shannon stuns him . . . and mystifies her. She's known so much hurt in matters of the heart--how can Derek be any different?

Drawn into a shadowy world of danger and deception, Shannon is reborn in the arms of a man who lives by no one's rules. Derek's voice calms her fears and lowers her guard, making Shannon long to hear another heartbeat beside her own. But trusting Derek might cost Shannon deeply, as she wonders whether this outlaw is hers to keep or merely an intoxicating illusion.

New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper mixes suspense and romance in this classic novel of two unlikely souls who find love on the run.

After asking the wrong people the wrong questions, Shannon Brown barely escapes with her life--and crosses paths with a handsome outlaw who cannot resist a lady in distress. Moved by the troubled stranger, Derek Ross agrees to help Shannon elude her pursuers. But the ferocity of his desire for Shannon stuns him . . . and mystifies her. She's known so much hurt in matters of the heart--how can Derek be any different?

Drawn into a shadowy world of danger and deception, Shannon is reborn in the arms of a man who lives by no one's rules. Derek's voice calms her fears and lowers her guard, making Shannon long to hear another heartbeat beside her own. But trusting Derek might cost Shannon deeply, as she wonders whether this outlaw is hers to keep or merely an intoxicating illusion.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Derek Ross struggled up through the heavy layers of jet-lag exhaustion with an awful buzzing in his ears. Rolling over in a tangle of bedclothes, he started to reach for the phone on the nightstand, but then recognized the sound he heard. Sitting up instead, he raked his fingers through his hair.

    The door. In the middle of the night. No. He looked blearily at the clock on his nightstand. At four a.m. A visitor? Even in exhaustion, his mind automatically considered and rejected possibilities of felonious intent. It wasn't likely. In general, the guys in the black hats didn't lean on door buzzers to announce their arrival, especially at four in the morning, when stealth tended to be a prime consideration.

    He kicked the blankets away and got up, finding his jeans in the darkness and struggling into them to the accompaniment of a few sleepy curses. He turned on lights as he made his way through the apartment to the front door, and, when he reached it, said in a voice little more than a growl, "Yeah, what?"

    "Mr. Ross? I need to talk to you."

    Standing well to one side of the still-closed door, Derek frowned. A woman whose voice he didn't recognize. In his business, that tended to be a bad sign. He realized that he had tensed. "It's four o'clock in the morning," he said shortly. "Who are you, and what do you want?"

    "Mr. Ross, please, I--I have to see you. It's very important."

    Derek hesitated, then leaned forward cautiously so that he could look through the security peephole. He was taking a chance, because the door was composed of only a few flimsy layers of plywood, which wouldn't stop a bullet or even withstand a well-placed kick. His view through the tiny hole was distorted, but he saw enough to make him relax--if only a bit. "Hold your hands where I can see them," he said curtly.

    Outside in the well-lit hallway, the woman held both hands up at shoulder height, palms out toward him. She didn't seem surprised by his extreme caution, but then, she was obviously too distraught to be surprised by anything.

    "Keep them up," he said, and drew back away from the door as he unlocked and opened it. Instantly, the woman came into the apartment, her hands still held at shoulder height. Derek closed and relocked the door.

    "I'm not armed," she said softly.

    He was reasonably sure of that; it was why he had relaxed. The silk dress she wore clung like a second skin and left little to the imagination. She couldn't have hidden a bullet under the garment, much less a gun. But he hadn't lived to be thirty-five by being reckless or taking unnecessary chances, so he kept his distance while watching her intently. "All right. Into the den, straight ahead."

    Following her, Derek observed thoughtfully that her walk didn't fit the dress. She had the carriage of an athlete or dancer, fluid and graceful in spite of an obvious limp. The dress, on the other hand, was designed to emphasize curves and wiggles, in fact to make it nearly impossible for a woman to walk in it without wiggling. She managed, however, despite the limp; the slight sway of her hips was utterly feminine, but in no way exaggerated.

    Still seductive as hell, though.

    She stopped by the couch, continuing to hold her hands as he'd instructed. "Can--can I sit down?"

    Derek circled slowly until they faced each other. "I don't know," he said dryly. "Can you?"

    She blinked, then glanced down at the bright red skintight sheath. A flush lightly colored her pale face. "Oh. I haven't sat down since--well."

    "Try," he invited her.

    She did, gingerly. And managed the feat, although the strapless bodice might have slipped downward half an inch...

About the Author-
  • Kay Hooper, who has more than thirteen million copies of her books in print worldwide, has won numerous awards and high praise for her novels. She lives in North Carolina.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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