Authors: Suzanne Brockmann
bestseller Brockmann goes back to her romantic roots with this charming tale of romance, ghostly matchmaking and murder.… The romance is tender, the danger real and the ghost a delight. What more can you ask for?”
(4 1/2 stars)
is the perfect combination of humor, mystery, danger, intrigue and romance. A very fun read.”
“Brockmann continues to use her patented style of weaving intersecting story lines around a number of different protagonists and relationships. Like an excellent chocolate, a Brockmann book never disappoints.”
“The action grabs you and drags you along.… [
] will immediately grab your interest.”
Romance Reviews Today
DARK OF NIGHT
“Provides real chills … a true Brockmann masterpiece!”
“Once again Brockmann neatly blends high-adrenaline suspense and scorchingly sexy romance into an addictively readable mix.”
“Brockmann fans will cheer.”
INTO THE FIRE
“Brockmann skillfully keeps her adrenaline-rich, testosterone-fueled plot moving at a thrilling pace. With its realistically complicated, beautifully crafted characters and captivating combination of romance, suspense, and danger, it’s another sure-bet winner from the always reliable Brockmann.”
“A multilayered tale that includes emotion, romance, action, and pulse-pounding suspense … Readers will root for new and old romances and worry about what the future holds for other characters—a trademark of Brockmann’s that increases fan anticipation for the next book.”
Into the Fire
is lucky number thirteen for fans of this ever-popular series.… [Brockmann] juggles multiple story lines while keeping the emotional quotient intact.… [Her] thrillers make you think and hold your breath!”
“A jaw-dropping ‘conclusion’ suggests more fireworks ahead.”
FORCE OF NATURE
“Intense and packed with emotion, this book is truly a force of nature!”
“Brockmann deftly delivers another testosterone-drenched, adrenaline-fueled tale of danger and desire that brilliantly combines superbly crafted, realistically complex characters with white-knuckle plotting.”
ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT
All Through the Night
, Suzanne Brockmann strikes the perfect balance between white-knuckle suspense and richly emotional romance.”
“For the holidays, Brockmann gifts her readers with the culmination of a long-delayed love story—that of fan favorite Jules Cassidy. Of course, in true Brockmann style, this wedding tale is packed to the gills with plenty of danger, bombs, terrorists, and stalkers. But, most of all, it is a satisfying love story.”
“A winning, innovative runup to Christmas from the best-selling Brockmann.”
INTO THE STORM
“Sexy, suspenseful, and irresistible … [This] novel has all the right ingredients, including terrific characters [and] a riveting plot rich in action and adventure.”
“Brockmann is an undisputed master at writing military and suspense fiction [with] action, danger and passion all rolled into one.”
—Curled Up with a Good Book
“Readers will be on the edge of their seats.”
“An action-packed and breathtaking thriller.”
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
2011 Bantam Books eBook Edition
Copyright © 1993 by Suzanne Brockmann
Born to Darkness
copyright © 2011 by Suzanne Brockmann
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Bantam Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Originally published in mass market in the United States by Meteor Publishing Co., Bensalem, Pennsylvania, in 1993.
This book contains an excerpt from the forthcoming novel
Born to Darkness
by Suzanne Brockmann. This excerpt has been set for this edition only and may not reflect the final content of the forthcoming edition.
Cover design: Lynn Andreozzi
Cover illustration: Gregg Gulbronson
The early morning air was biting, and the ground was white with frost. But Juliana Anderson opened the kitchen door and stood at the screen, welcoming the cold. She closed her eyes for a moment, feeling the chill air sweep over her flushed face, feeling the perspiration on her forehead grow icy.
The smell of the pancakes cooking on the huge old griddle made her turn back to the work at hand.
It was breakfast time at 31 Farmer’s Hill Road, the most illustrious bed and breakfast in all of Benton, Massachusetts.
bed and breakfast in all of Benton, thought Juliana wryly as she plucked the sticky buns from the hot depths of the ancient oven with one mittened hand even as she flipped the pancakes with the other.
She smoothed her apron, tucking away a stray wisp of her willful red-gold curls before hoisting up the heavy platter of warm buns and a pitcher of foaming milk. She opened the swinging door into the dining room with her back, smiling gently, always the gracious Victorian hostess, as she placed the food on the huge oak table.
Five of last night’s six guests were already at the table.
With any luck, the sixth would arrive shortly, and Saturday’s breakfast would soon be history.
She smiled to herself at the expression. Life at 31 Farmer’s Hill Road tended to be mostly history all of the time.
Juliana and her aunt Alicia ran the huge old Victorian house as if it were a guest house of the early 1900s, even to the point of dressing in period outfits when guests were in residence.
This morning, Juliana wore a stiffly starched white blouse with a high, standing collar and leg-of-mutton sleeves that were puffy at the shoulder but formfitting from the forearm to the wrist. The blouse was carefully tucked into a pale-gray, high-waisted, full skirt that trailed behind her as she walked.
“Will you be joining us this morning, Miss Anderson?” one of the guests asked as Juliana picked the large glass bowl of fresh fruit salad off the table.
“Of course, Mr. Edgewood.” Juliana smiled. “After one more trip into the kitchen, I think.”
Many of her guests stayed with her regularly as they traveled the Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston to points west. The Edgewoods had relatives in Ohio and booked a room whenever they passed through. She could count on seeing them at least four times a year. It was like a visit from friends. In fact, the Edgewoods had been among her very first customers when the bed and breakfast had opened nearly five years ago.
She enjoyed their company and looked forward to seeing them.
But not all her guests were like the Edgewoods.
Juliana piled the pancakes onto a plate and put them
into the oven, pouring more circles of batter onto the griddle.
Some of her guests came and went without a word, without even a greeting. She shrugged. Products of modern times. Most people had forgotten how to be friendly these days. Or even polite.
She crossed to the old-fashioned, rounded refrigerator, pulling a huge plastic container of cut fresh fruit from its chilly interior.
Take, for example, last night’s mystery guest, one Webster Donovan. Mr. Donovan had been due to arrive yesterday evening. Juliana had waited up ’til long past midnight, but the man didn’t even bother to telephone. Bad manners. Very bad manners.
Filling the ornate glass fruit bowl, she covered the plastic container and put it back in the fridge.
Yet Mr. Donovan had booked a room for six consecutive weeks, she mused as she crossed to the stove and turned the pancakes. He was bound to turn up sooner or later. He was a writer—that much Alicia had told her after he’d called to make his reservation. Juliana had been hoping he was a little elderly man, someone friendly, someone who could entertain her with the stories of his life during the next six weeks of breakfasts.
, she thought with a flash of desperation,
let me like him. Don’t make me have to endure a silent
. But if his failure to call last night was any indication of his manners, she was in for a long six weeks.
Juliana crossed back to the glass bowl, peeled several bananas, and quickly cut them into the already huge mound of fresh fruit. With a quick stir, she mixed the fruit, then went back to the stove for the pancakes.
Juliana picked up the plate heaped with steaming, aromatic pancakes and the huge bowl of fruit and backed toward the dining room door. But instead of the giving swing of the door, she slammed into something hard and unyielding.
, she realized, as a large hand, attached to a strong arm, encircled her waist to keep her from falling. Another hand snaked out and grabbed the plate of pancakes, leaving her to concentrate on the bowl of fruit, which, much to her relief, she didn’t drop.
“Sweet heavens,” she breathed, closing her eyes in relief. That bowl was an antique, a work of art, valued at over five hundred dollars. Alicia had been suggesting for months now that they stop using it as common dishware, and it would have been too awful for Juliana to have to explain that she’d dropped it.
Juliana opened her eyes slowly, suddenly aware that whoever was holding her hadn’t let go. In fact, he had put the plate of pancakes down on the sideboard and now wrapped his other arm around her.
She tried to pull free, but couldn’t. She turned her head to find the roughness of a several-days-old growth of beard against her cheek. She took a deep breath, prepared to order him sharply to release her. But she was stopped by the most intoxicating mixture of male scents she’d ever come across.