Cover image for Seventh heaven
Seventh heaven
Anderson, Catherine.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
379 pages ; 18 cm
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Open Shelf

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Ten years ago Joe Lakota had left behind his small Oregon town and the only woman he'd ever truly loved for the empty promises of the big city. Now he's returned, seeking to raise his young son with values you can only find at home, and longing to rekindle the passion he'd once had with beautiful Marilee Nelson. But Marilee isn't anything like the gentle yet self-assured girl he'd left behind. In her place is a woman tormented by a secret she refuses to share, even with Joe.

Marilee never wanted to see Joe again; their parting had been too painful. And though his strong arms and powerful body could protect her, she knew only too well the harm they could also bring. Her head tells her to resist Joe's persistent advances, her heart is telling her something very different. And then he makes her the sweetest proposition of all: become his wife and mother of his child. But how can she agree to a marriage, even in name only, when she can't stand to tell him the truth?

Author Notes

Catherine Anderson was born in Grants Pass, Oregon on December 22, 1948. She is the author of more than thirty historical and contemporary romance novels including Cherish, My Sunshine, and New Leaf. She received the Romantic Times Reviewers' Career Achievement Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)



Seventh Heaven Chapter One Monday, July 17 Laurel Creek, Oregon It had been nearly a year since Marilee Nelson's last panic attack, and she honestly believed she'd never have another one. Until she saw the football helmet. As football helmets went, it was ordinary enough, gray and striped with crimson, the team colors of Laurel Creek High, her alma mater. Nothing very frightening about that. No, what struck terror into her was that the helmet lay in the back window of an unknown blue Honda with California plates that was parked in front of her garage. That was enough to send Marilee straight past panic into full-blown hysteria. After her car had rocked to a stop, she cut the engine and stared at that California plate until her eyes burned. JOE, it read. A very ordinary name. It was undoubtedly pure coincidence that some guy named Joe from California had parked his vehicle in her driveway. A kid working his way through college by selling magazine subscriptions, maybe. Or a census taker who'd wandered into the wrong state. She might have convinced herself, only there was that helmet. Only one Joe from California would have Laurel Creek High football gear in his car. Her Joe. Six feet plus of muscular, lethal-edged male. "Oh, God." At the sound of her voice, her bloodhound Boo stirred awake from his nap on the passenger seat. Casting her a disgruntled, droopy-eyed look, he yawned and licked his nose. "Don't look at me as if I'm a coward. You're the one who needs a Valium to get through an appointment with the vet." Marilee dragged in a shaky breath, gulped, and tried to relax her body. Slow, even breaths. Center your thoughts. The routine came second nature to her now, and though sometimes ineffective, it worked this time to decelerate her heartbeat. Thank heaven. Having a panic attack at the mere sight of his car would be a dead giveaway. "This is silly. I mean...why be upset? He's moved home after ten years. So? We used to have a thing going. Big deal. After being back for almost two months, he's suddenly decided to drop by and say hello. Why, I have no idea. To make me miserable, maybe? Yeah, that works.," Boo whined, rested his massive head on his paws again, and closed his saggy red-rimmed eyes. "Exactly. Boring. Like I care anymore." She dropped her keys in her purse. "I mean, really. I'm a self-sufficient twenty-eight-year-old in the dawn of an enlightened century. No matter how sticky the situation, I can handle it." Gathering her courage, Marilee stepped from the car. All she had to do was take control and think up a really good lie to get rid of him. Oh, God, why is he here? Her hands shook as she walked around the car, opened the door, and rousted Boo from his nap. The hound groaned when she patted his broad, bony head. "Come on, you big chicken. For once, put that nose God gave you to good use. Sniff him out. Act vicious. Chase him away, and I'll feed you juicy top sirloin for dinner." Boo grunted as he slid off the seat. Closing the door, Marilee turned to follow him, determined not to let this throw her. Everything had been going so well for her this last year. She'd be damned if she would let Joe waltz back into her life now and turn her world topsy-turvy. No way. She had important things on her agenda for this afternoon. It mattered not a whit that it was only a huge pot of beef stew simmering on the stove. At precisely four-thirty, she had to put in the potatoes. That qualified as a pressing engagement, right? She'd simply act glad to see him again -- ha, ha -- and regretfully explain that he'd caught her at a bad time. Situation handled. Boo lumbered along in front of her, taking up most of the walkway with his rawboned frame, his loose skin rolling just above his protruding shoulder blades. At the Y in the concrete, he hung a left, taking the path that cut between the garage and house. Following on the canine's heels., she brushed nervously at the brown fur that clung to her white slacks and sleeveless pink cotton shell. Oh, God. What was she doing? As if she cared how she looked. She absolutely would not suck it in. She puffed at her bangs to get the frizzy blond-streaked brown curls out of her eyes. Joe Lakota was the last man on earth she wanted to impress. He was dangerous to her well-being, and if she forgot that, even for a second, she'd find herself nose to nose with more trouble than she could handle, about two hundred twenty pounds of it. Halfway to the house, Boo stumbled to a stop, his stance wary as he snuffled the air. Marilee saw Joe sitting on the side porch. Leaning forward at the waist with one leg bent and the other extended, he was massaging his knee. Even from a distance, he was gorgeous -- if you went for bronze skin, tousled sable hair, and lots of muscle. He wore gray sweatpants and a matching athletic T-shirt with Laurel Creek High School printed in red block letters across the chest. When he spotted her, he straightened. Like many canines, Boo was slightly myopic and evidently couldn't see Joe until he moved. Marilee might have laughed at the dog's reaction if she hadn't been so dismayed by their unexpected visitor herself. Boo's demeanor said, "Holy smokes! An intruder?" Almost instantly, long strings of white drool began to stream from the hound's floppy jowls. "Hi there!" Joe called, his tone friendly and not at all threatening. Unfortunately, he looked dangerously capable of leaping to his feet at any given moment to twist a slightly overweight bloodhound into pretzel shapes... Seventh Heaven . Copyright © by Catherine Anderson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Seventh Heaven by Catherine Anderson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.