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One Night, Two Heirs Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Maureen Child is the author of more than 100 romance novels and novellas.  Her books routinely appear on bestseller lists and have won numerous awards, including the Colorado Award of Excellence and the Prism. A six time nominee for the prestigous RITA award from Romance Writers of America, One of her books was made into a CBS-TV movie called THE SOUL COLLECTER.  Maureen loves to travel and lives in Southern California with her family.     

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Marine First Sergeant Rick Pruitt had thirty days' leave to decide the rest of his life.

"But no pressure," he muttered and loped across Main Street. He lifted a hand to wave at Joe Davis. His boyhood buddy was still driving that battered, dusty red truck. Rick paused on the sidewalk when his friend pulled to the curb to talk to him. Joe rolled the passenger-side window down and grinned. "Look what the east Texas wind blew home. When'd you get here, Rick?"

"Yesterday." Rick tipped the brim of his hat back a bit, leaned his forearms on the window frame and only winced a little at the red-hot feel of the metal against his arms. If there was one thing a Texas boy learned to deal with at an early age, it was the summer heat.

Right now, the sun was blazing down from a brassy sky and there wasn't so much as a hint of a cloud in sight. July in Texas was good training, weather wise, for a marine who spent his time deployed to the Middle East.

"You home to stay?" Joe asked.

"That's a good question," Rick replied.

"And not much of an answer."

Truth was, Rick didn't have an answer yet. He had spent a lot of years in the Corps and he had enjoyed them all. He loved serving his country. He was damn proud to wear the uniform of a U.S. Marine. But, he thought, glancing at his surroundings, he'd missed a hell of a lot, too. He hadn't been here when either of his parents died. Hadn't been around to run the family ranch, instead trusting in their longtime foreman to do the heavy lifting. And, since the Pruitt ranch was one of the biggest in Texas, that was some serious duty to push off on someone else.

Funny, all those years in the Corps and not one of his buddies had ever known that he was one of the richest men in Texas. He had always been just another marine— and that's how he had wanted it.

He'd been around the world and back. Had seen more, done more than most men ever would. But, he thought, his heart had always been here. In Royal.

Rick smiled and shrugged. "It's the only answer I've got. For right now, I've got thirty days' leave and decisions to make."

"Well," Joe told him, "if you want any help deciding, you give me a call."

"I will." Rick looked at his old friend. They'd grown up together, had their first beers—and hangovers— together. They'd played side by side on the high school football team. Joe had stayed put in Royal, married Tina, his high school sweetheart, had two kids now and was in charge of the family garage. Rick had gone to college, joined the Corps and had come close to love only once.

For a second or two, he allowed himself to remember the girl he'd once thought unattainable. The woman whose memory had kept him going through some ugly days in the last few years. There were some women, he figured, just designed to get into a man's soul. And this one surely had.

"While you're in town, we should do some fishing," Joe said, drawing Rick up out of his thoughts.

Grateful, he said, "Sounds like a plan. You get Tina to make us some of her famous fried chicken for lunch and we'll make a day of it at the ranch lake."

"That's a deal." Joe stretched out his right hand. "It really is good to see you home, Rick. And if you want my opinion, maybe it's time you stayed home."

"Thanks, Joe." Rick shook his friend's hand and blew out a breath. "It's good to be back."

Nodding, Joe said, "I've got to get back to the shop. Mrs. Donley's old sedan had another breakdown and that woman hasn't let up on me for days about it."

Rick actually shivered. Mrs. Marianne Donley, the high school math teacher, could bring a cold chill to the spine of anybody in Royal who had survived her geometry class.

Joe saw the shudder and nodded grimly. "Exactly. I'll call you about the fishing."

"Do that." Rick slapped his hands against the truck, then stepped back as Joe pulled away.

He stood there for a long minute, just soaking up the feeling of being home again. Only three days ago, he'd been with his men in the middle of a firefight. Today, he was on a street corner of a quiet little town, watching traffic roll by.

And he wasn't sure which of those two places he most belonged.

Rick had always wanted to be a marine. And the truth was, since his parents were both gone now, there wasn't much to hold him in Royal. Yeah, there was the duty he felt to the Pruitt dynasty. The ranch had been in the family for more than a hundred and fifty years. But there were caretakers out there, a foreman and his wife, the housekeeper who lived in and saw to it that the Pruitt ranch went on without him. Just as Royal had.

He narrowed his gaze to cut the glare of the summer sun and quickly scanned his surroundings. Things didn't change in small-town America, he told himself and was inwardly glad of it. He liked knowing that he could go away for a couple years and come home to find the place just as he'd left it.

The only thing that had changed, he admitted silently, was him.

Tugging the brim of his Stetson lower over his eyes, Rick shook his head and turned back toward the Texas Cattleman's Club. If there was one place for a man to go to catch up on the news about town, it was the TCC. Besides, he was looking forward to the cool quiet. The chance to do a little thinking—not to mention the appeal of a cold glass of beer and a steak sandwich in the dining room.

"Bradford Price, you're living in the Stone Age." Sadie Price glared up at her older brother and wasn't the slightest bit surprised to notice he wasn't denying her accusation. In fact, he looked proud.

"If that's your roundabout way of telling me that I'm a man of tradition, then I'm all right with that." Brad leaned down and kept his voice low. "And I don't appreciate my baby sister coming in here to read me the riot act because I don't agree with her."

Sadie silently counted to ten. Then twenty. Then she gave up. Her temper wouldn't be cooled by counting, or the multiplication tables or even with thoughts of her twin daughters' smiling faces. She had been pushed too far and, like a true Price, she was fighting mad.

The main room of the Texas Cattleman's Club might not have been the perfect spot for a throw-down, she thought, but it was too late to back off now. Even if she had wanted to.

"I didn't move back to Royal from Houston just to sit at home and do nothing, Brad."

In fact, now that she was home again, she intended to make a name for herself. To get involved. And the TCC was just the place to make a start. She had been thinking about this all night and the fact that her older brother was making things hard on her wouldn't change her mind.

"Fine," he said, throwing both hands high. "Do something. Anything. Just not here."

"Women are a part of the club's world now, Brad," she insisted, glancing over at the two elderly men sitting in brown leather club chairs. At her quick look, they both lifted the newspapers they were hiding behind and pretended they hadn't been watching.

Typical, Sadie thought. The men in this once-exclusive club were determined to ignore progress of any kind. Heck, they'd had to be hog-tied to get them to allow women in the club at all. And they still weren't happy about it.

"You don't need to remind me of that," Brad said tightly. "Haven't I got Abigail Langley riding me like a bull in the rodeo? That woman's about to drive me out of my mind and I'm damned if I'm going to take it from you, too."

She hissed in a breath. "You are the most hardheaded, ornery…"

"I'm going to be in charge around here, little sister," he told her. "And you'd best remember that."

Here being the Texas Cattleman's Club, of course. Brad was planning on running for club president and if he won, Sadie knew darn well that the TCC would stay in the dark ages.

Sadie bit down on her bottom lip to keep the furious words that wanted to spill from her locked inside. Honestly, the TCC had been the bulwark of stubborn men for more than a hundred years.

Even the decor in the place reeked of testosterone. Paneled walls, dark brown leather furniture, hunting prints on the walls and a big-screen TV, the better to watch every single Texas sporting event. Until recently, women had only been allowed in the dining room or on the tennis courts. But now, thanks to Abby Langley being an honorary member—with full club privileges— due to her late husband Richard's name and history with the club, all of that was changing. And the women in Royal were counting on the fact that now that Pandora's box had been opened, the men in town wouldn't be able to close it again.

But if dealing with her brother was a sign of how difficult change was going to be, Sadie knew she and the other females in town were in for a whale of a fight.

"Look," she said, trying for her most reasonable tone—which wasn't easy when faced with a head as hard as her brother's—"the club is looking to build a new headquarters. I'm a landscape designer. I can help.

I've got the name of a great architect. And I did some sketches for the new grounds that—"

"Sadie…" Brad sighed and shook his head. "Nothing's been decided. We don't need an architect. Or a landscape designer. Or a damn interior decorator."

"You could at least listen to me," she argued.

"I may have to put up with Abby Langley giving me grief, but I don't have to listen to my baby sister," Brad said. "Now go on home, Sadie."

He walked away.

Just turned his back and walked off as if she didn't matter at all. Fuming silently, Sadie thought briefly about chasing him down and giving him another piece of her mind. But tha...


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373731094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373731091
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

USA Today best selling author Maureen Child is the author of more than one hundred romance novels and novellas. Maureen is a seven time nominee for the prestigious Rita award from Romance Writers of America. (Think Oscars for romance writers).

One of her novels, A POCKETFUL OF PARADISE, was made into a CBS-TV movie called The Soul Collector, starring Melissa Gilbert, Bruce Greenwood and Ossie Davis.

Maureen was not only on the Texas set to watch her characters come to life in front of the cameras, she was also tossed into the last scene by her husband and the producer, who both thought this would be a fun way to humiliate an author!

When her kids were small, Maureen started writing as not only a way to stay sane, but in the hopes of finding a job she could do and stay at home with them. Sanity is still an issue, but she did manage to write her way into a career she wouldn't trade for anything.

Over the years, she's written under lots of different names and she prefers the term 'pseudonym' to 'alias'. As Ann Carberry, she wrote western historical romances. As Kathleen Kane, she wrote not only Americana romances, but western paranormal romances as well. As Sarah Hart, she wrote one really spectacular western paranormal that is still one of her favorites. And once, Ann Carberry even wrote a Victorian historical which she absolutely loved doing.

Under her own name, Maureen writes short contemporary novels for Silhouette Desire--books she loves to write because of their fast pace and condensed story telling. Maureen is also writing funny, contemporary paranormal romances for NAL and darker paranormal stories for Silhouette Nocturne.

Life is busy but when she isn't writing you can find Maureen sitting under her 'thinking tree', coming up with new ideas for even more stories. When she isn't dreaming up a new book or writing a current one, Maureen loves to travel. Her favorite vacation spot is Ireland, with Scotland coming in a very close second. She and her husband love a good road trip and Maureen's looking forward to the day when she can actually drive to Ireland. Talk about the best of both worlds!

Maureen, a native Californian recently moved to the mountains of Utah and is learning how to live with snow! Visit her online at

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By FCJ on August 10, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked the overall storyline. Rick is a marine officer - a career soldier. He had a one-night stand with Sadie and left for the middle east without knowing he had fathered twins. He comes home on a 30 day leave, and Sadie, who has moved back home from Houston, decides to tell him about his twin daughters. He is shocked, angry,etc., etc., etc. And no surprise, he wants them to get married. What I liked about this story is that both characters were rich. This is not a rich guy, poor girl yawner. I also liked that Sadie stood up for herself. She had made a disastrous marriage with a man who didn't love her because her family pushed her into it. After her divorce, she vowed to never again marry a man who didn't love her,so despite Rick's insistence on marriage, she refuses. What is endearing about this book is watching Rick as a father unfold. What is also good is his own inner turmoil over whether to give up the marines and move back home permanently, or whether he will return and re-up. I gave this book 4 starts instead of 5 because it had a great first 100 pages, and a good last 25 pages, but the part in the middle seemed to drag and lose its spark. I couldn't understand why at first, but then I realized that the issue, his decision and Sadie's refusal to marry just seemed to drag on too long without moving anywhere. It's worth reading. What is particuarly cute is Sadie's shock when she finds out Rick has, in a short period of time, created a bedroom for his daughters this is a little girl's dream. The girls themselves are adorable. Finally, the romance and the sex is great!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marcela - The Bookaholic Cat on September 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After his tour in Iraq marine Rick Pruitt has returned home for his 30 days leave. He loves his life as a marine but now he is beginning to feel its toll. He is not sure if he should enlist again or retired and take the rains of his family ranch.
During his second day back in Royal, Texas he runs into Sadie Price, the woman that has attracted him all his life, the same one he had a one night stand before leaving for his tour of service 3 years ago, the last time he was in Royal. One night he hasn't been able to forget, the memories of that night made him company and help him through difficult times.
Sadie asks him to take her to her house, she needs to tell him something and she needs to do it in her house. At Sadie's place a big surprise is awaiting for him or I should say two little surprises... after their night together Sadie got pregnant with twins, she never told him anything because she was afraid of breaking the news while he was in the combat zone. Saying that Rick is upset is an understatement, Sadie hided the knowledge of his daughters for three years. Now he wants to do what is "right" and wants Sadie to marry him, to give their daughters a family, but Sadie declines his proposition, she doesn't want to marry him because she "has or should" marry him, she already marry one man because it was the right thing to do for her family and it end really bad, the guy was a cheating bastard. Next time she gets married she wants to marry for love and doesn't want a husband who would leave her for months. Rick now needs to decide what he really wants, his marine career or to have a family and if he decides for a family he needs to convince Sadie to marry him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Finney on February 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not really sure why I didn't like this book. I love most of Maureen Child's books. The relationship between Sadie and Rick was a little weird. Rick tried too hard and Sadie was just unsure of everything. I didn't like the way Sadie told Rick about his babies. It seemed awkward and, as I stated already, weird. I'm sure others loved this book, but I'm sorry to say I didn't. I will continue to read Ms. Child's books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones on December 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this story. Maureen Child brought Rick and Sadie alive for me. It's not a very long story but she managed to make us understand what made these two tick. Nice story line, good love scenes. A little predictable and a little shorter than I would like are the only reasons I do not give 5 stars.
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In the beginning I felt sorry for Sadie Price. She'd had a rough three years, she loss her brother Michael Price in a car accident while he was drunk driving, she had a lousy marriage to a low down cheating husband that she was pressured by her family into marrying in the first place, she finally gets to spend some quality time with a genuine good guy that she'd known since childhood and had a crush on just for him to leave the following day to go back to Afghanistan after they finally connected and shared a hot night together, just to later find out she's pregnant by him and decides not to tell him until he comes home on leave, which turns out to be three years later. And, once Rick Pruitt finds out that he fathered her twins, he proposes time after time to Sadie just for her to turn him down. I have to admire Rick for his constant persistence with Sadie, because if a man had to ask me that many times to marry him after my saying No. I'd expect him to set up a trust fund, visitation agreement, and everything else that he could and call it quits. However, Rick was a man of action and few on words, yet Sadie needed to hear the actual words, 'I love you' to even say yes to his proposal. One would think that after this man spent years in the battle zone under constant life threatening conditions and having signs of Survivor's Remorse that she would have cut him some slack about actually having him say the words, especially since everything he did and sacrificed was self evident of his love and commitment to her and the twins.Read more ›
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