Cover image for Uneasy alliance
Uneasy alliance
Krentz, Jayne Ann.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, 2003.

Physical Description:
327 pages ; 23 cm
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X Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print

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A New York Times Bestselling Author Life has taught Abby Lyndon the value of independence -- and the price of that lesson was high, leaving her wary and determined to control her own life. Torr Latimer is equally determined to make Abby his own. When a nightmare from her past resurfaces, Abby has little choice but to accept Torr's help. But is he offering her shelter or trying to possess her?

Author Notes

Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master's degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian.

She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. Her novels include Truth or Dare, All Night Long, Copper Beach, River Road, and Promise not to Tell..

She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance. In 2015 she made The New York Times Best Seller List with both Trust Me, Trust No One and Secret Sisters..

(Bowker Author Biography) Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of twenty-seven New York Times Bestselling novels. She is also the author of several other bestselling novels written under the name Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick.

(Publisher Provided)



It was during the third class in the art of Japanese flower arrangement that Torr Latimer finally permitted himself to acknowledge exactly what it was about Abby Lyndon's designs that stirred his curiosity. They made him wonder if she would bring the same impulsive, warm abandon to a man's bed that she brought to her floral creations. More than that, he reflected wryly as he carefully added a thistle stalk to his own spare design, Abby's arrangements made him wonder about other things too: such as how she would look sitting across from him at the breakfast table the morning after he had made love to her. His instincts told him she would appear as charmingly cheerful and disarrayed as that design of ferns and jonquils she had put together the week before. He eyed the long honey-colored hair that was loosely arranged in a topknot. The fact that she was wearing sleek black jeans and a black sweater vaguely amused him. She had worn the black leather trench coat again this evening and the entire outfit was reminiscent of military commando attire. But nothing Abby wore could camouflage the bright, vividly impulsive woman beneath. He wondered why she bothered to try. Hell, he thought grimly. It had been too long since he'd been with a woman. But that wasn't the real problem. The real problem was that it seemed like forever since he'd actually been thoroughly drawn in, mystified by a woman. When a man was facing forty he had no excuse for not knowing the difference between a passing attraction and something far more risky. Torr knew the difference. And to think he'd signed up for these classes in flower arrangement because the discipline and austerity of the Japanese way with flowers had appealed to his controlled, severe way of dealing with life. It had been a philosophical whim to take the course. Who could have guessed that the most interesting aspect of the class would be the least disciplined, least austere student in the room, he asked himself. Abby Lyndon would never master the highly formal floral design if she repeated the four-week class all year long. It had first amused and then fascinated Torr to watch Abby's chaotic, blithe arrangements grow and grow until there was nothing of simplicity or moderation left. She was the despair of the instructor, Mrs. Yamamoto, but Torr found himself enthralled and recklessly captivated. Tonight he wanted to take Abby Lyndon home and do all sorts of intriguing, foolhardy things. The realization made him strangely restless. He eyed the exuberant design of Queen Anne's lace and daffodils taking shape under her hands as she worked industriously at the table next to his. She had exciting hands, Torr thought. Long, delicate fingers tipped with graceful, oval nails that had been painted the color of carmine tulips. He watched her add a daffodil at an unstudied angle and lifted an eyebrow in silent surprise. There was something different about the way she was creating her arrangement tonight. Something too intent and almost desperate about the way she was stuffing the flowers into the plastic holder. If he hadn't been watching her so closely for the past few classes he might not have noticed. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a daffodil stalk break as she stabbed it too quickly into the plastic. "Oh, nuts." The exclamation was a hiss of disgust as Abby tossed aside the broken daffodil. Her brows drew together in a fierce frown as she contemplated the unbalanced creation in front of her. She shot a surreptitious glance at the beautifully simple design taking shape at the next table. Torr Latimer's materials never accidentally snapped or broke under his careful, precise fingers. She chewed her lip morosely as she studied his work. He looked up as if he knew she were watching him and a cool, reserved smile curved the corner of his rather grim mouth. Everything about Torr Latimer was a bit grim, Abby decided abruptly. Perhaps that was what had been bothering her about him for the past few weeks. There was a remote, reserved aura about him that made her wary. It hinted at strength and willpower, she told herself. Not bad qualities in a man. It was just that she was always going to be careful around strong, self-willed men. She'd had enough of masculine resoluteness and aggression to last her a lifetime. "I have some more daffodils if you'd like a replacement," Torr murmured gently in the dark, gravelly voice that always made her think of a riverbed. "You always seem to have extra materials and I never have enough," Abby observed regretfully. "Mrs. Yamamoto says I still haven't learned restraint." She surveyed the conglomeration of daffodils and Queen Anne's lace in front of her gloomily. "It's just that my arrangements always seem to run out of control." "They have a charm all their own." Abby smiled in quick gratitude before frowning once more at her flowers. "That's very kind of you, but it should be obvious by now that I don't seem to be getting the hang of this particular style of floral design. You're a natural at it, though. How can you resist the temptation to add more and more materials?" Torr shrugged, his eyes on the elegantly simple and vital design he had created. "Perhaps I'm just not as naturally adventurous as you are. Do you want another daffodil?" He picked one up from the small pile of floral materials on his table and extended it to her. Abby looked at the flower lying across his palm and experienced an unexpected wave of curiosity and uneasiness. The hand that held the flower was a strong square one, capable of crushing far more than a daffodil. But the flower appeared quite at home and protected by the blunt fingers. Why did she hesitate to take it from him? Annoyed with herself for the odd reluctance, Abby reached out quickly and snapped the small gift from Torr. As she did so, she found herself meeting his remote amber gaze. It wasn't the first time she had met his eyes but the small confrontations didn't get any less disturbing with repetition. That grim watchful expression aroused her sense of caution at the same time as it fascinated her. Abby wondered what secrets lay at the bottom of the intelligent amber pools. A man like this would have a few secrets. She was getting fanciful, she chided herself angrily. Her own little secret was probably making her oversensitive to nonexistent secrets in others. "Thanks," she said. As she turned back to her arrangement, she continued with a determined chattiness, "I'm sure Mrs. Yamamoto will say the last thing I need is another daffodil in this thing, but it seems to me it's just crying out for one extra bit of yellow. What do you think?" "What you do with flowers looks like you," he said calmly. "And therefore I'm inclined to give it what you think it needs. By all means, add some more yellow." "Very diplomatic," Abby shot back dryly as she eyed her design, wondering where to position the daffodil. "You know very well Mrs. Yamamoto is going to shake her head over my creation and then tell the whole class that you've created another masterpiece!" He shrugged, not bothering to deny the remark. They both knew it was true. "Mrs. Yamamoto understands and appreciates discipline and restraint. She's naturally going to be biased in favor of my arrangements." Excerpted from Uneasy Alliance by Krentz Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.