Read Eye of the Tiger Online

Authors: Diana Palmer

Eye of the Tiger

Is this a teenage crush…or forever love? Find out in Diana Palmer’s popular story
, Eye of the Tiger.

Once upon a time, Eleanor Whitman was a young girl with a crush. She’d offered Keegan Taber her heart on a platter, but he’d made it very clear he didn’t want her. Four years later, Eleanor still hated that memory—and the man behind it. Nevertheless, the sight of Keegan made her, now a woman grown, weak in the knees!

Keegan never forgave himself for the way he’d treated Eleanor. He’d give anything to have her feel that way about him again. But Eleanor had moved on and was with someone else. All Keegan could do was hope that man didn’t put a ring on her finger before he could win Eleanor back…

Dear Reader,

I really can’t express how flattered I am and also how grateful I am to Harlequin Books for releasing this collection of my published works. It came as a great surprise. I never think of myself as writing books that are collectible. In fact, there are days when I forget that writing is work at all. What I do for a living is so much fun that it never seems like a job. And since I reside in a small community, and my daily life is confined to such mundane things as feeding the wild birds and looking after my herb patch in the backyard, I feel rather unconnected from what many would think of as a glamorous profession.

But when I read my email, or when I get letters from readers, or when I go on signing trips to bookstores to meet all of you, I feel truly blessed. Over the past thirty years, I have made lasting friendships with many of you. And quite frankly, most of you are like part of my family. You can’t imagine how much you enrich my life. Thank you so much.

I also need to extend thanks to my family (my husband, James, son, Blayne, daughter-in-law, Christina, and granddaughter, Selena Marie), to my best friend, Ann, to my readers, booksellers and the wonderful people at Harlequin Books—from my editor of many years, Tara, to all the other fine and talented people who make up our publishing house. Thanks to all of you for making this job and my private life so worth living.

Thank you for this tribute, Harlequin, and for putting up with me for thirty long years! Love to all of you.

Diana Palmer

New York Times
and
USA TODAY
Bestselling Author

EYE OF THE TIGER

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

New York Times
and
USA TODAY
Bestselling Author

Diana Palmer

The Essential Collection
Long, Tall Texans…and More!

AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 2011

Calhoun
Tyler
Ethan
Connal
Harden
Evan

AVAILABLE MARCH 2011

Donavan
Emmett
Regan’s Pride
That Burke Man
Circle of Gold
Cattleman’s Pride

AVAILABLE APRIL 2011

The Princess Bride
Coltrain’s Proposal
A Man of Means
Lionhearted
Maggie’s Dad
Rage of Passion

AVAILABLE MAY 2011

Lacy
Beloved
Love with a Long, Tall Texan
(containing “Guy,” “Luke” and “Christopher”)
Heart of Ice
Noelle
Fit for a King
The Rawhide Man

AVAILABLE JUNE 2011

A Long, Tall Texan Summer
(containing “Tom,” “Drew” and “Jobe”)
Nora
Dream’s End
Champagne Girl
Friends and Lovers
The Wedding in White

AVAILABLE JULY 2011

Heather’s Song
Snow Kisses
To Love and Cherish
Long, Tall and Tempted
(containing “Redbird,” “Paper Husband” and “Christmas Cowboy”)
The Australian
Darling Enemy
Trilby

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2011

Sweet Enemy
Soldier of Fortune
The Tender Stranger
Enamored
After the Music
The Patient Nurse

AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 2011

The Case of the Mesmerizing Boss
The Case of the Confirmed Bachelor
The Case of the Missing Secretary
September Morning
Diamond Girl
Eye of the Tiger

Chapter One

E
leanor Whitman saw the red Porsche sitting in the driveway and deliberately accelerated past the small shotgun house on the mammoth K. G. Taber farm outside Lexington, Kentucky. She knew the car too well to mistake it, and she knew who would be driving it. Her heart quickened despite all her efforts at control, although she had every reason in the world to hate the car’s owner.

Her slender hands tightened on the steering wheel and she took slow, deep breaths until they stopped trembling, until the apprehension left her huge dark eyes.

She had no idea where she was going as she turned onto a long, calm avenue with big, graceful shade trees down the median. Lexington was like a series of small communities, each with its own personality and neighbors who were like family. Eleanor often wished that she and her father could live in town, instead of on the
farm. But the house was theirs rent-free as long as her father lived, a kind of fringe benefit for employees of the elder Taber. Dozens of employees lived on the mammoth farm: carpenters, mechanics, farm laborers, a veterinarian and his assistants, a trainer and his assistants, a black smith…the list went on and on. The farm had two champion racehorses, one a Triple Crown winner, and a prime collection of purebred Black Angus bulls as well. It was a diversified, self-contained property and the Tabers had money to burn.

Eleanor’s father was a carpenter, a good one, and he alternated between repairing existing buildings and helping put up new ones. He’d had a bad fall and broken his hip three months ago—an accident from which he was only just now recovering after extensive physical therapy. And the Tabers had been keeping him on, paying his insurance and all his utilities despite Eleanor’s proud efforts to stop them. They were holding his job open and looking after him like family until he could work again, which the doctors said would be soon. Meanwhile, Eleanor took care of him and petted him and was grateful that the fall hadn’t killed him. He was all she had.

In her teens, Eleanor had loved the big white house with its long, open porches and wide, elegant columns. Most of all, she’d loved Keegan Taber. That had been her downfall. Four years of nursing school in Louisville had matured her, however, and her decision to accept a position at a private hospital in Lexington was a measure of that maturity. Four years ago, she’d succumbed to Keegan’s charm and accepted one tragic date with him, not knowing the real reason he’d asked her out.
She’d hated him ever since. She spoke to him only when he was impossible to avoid, and she never went near him. It had taken her a long time to get over what had happened, and she was only now starting to live again.

What puzzled her was that Keegan had been acting oddly ever since her return. He didn’t seem to mind her venomous looks, her dislike. And it didn’t stop him from visiting her father at the house, either. The two men had become close, and Eleanor wondered at the amount of time Keegan had been spending with her father lately. Keegan seemed to have plenty to spare, and that was odd because his business interests were diverse and made many demands on him. Now that his father, Gene Taber, was feeling his age, Keegan had assumed most of the responsibility for the farm. Keegan was an only child, and his mother had died many years before, so there were only the two men at Flintlock, the huge estate with its graceful meadows and white-fenced lushness.

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