The Temptation of Savannah O'Neill

By: Molly O Keefe

Savannah tried not to look




But Matt was a magnet. The gray T-shirt clinging to his back was nearly black with sweat. His dark brown hair was wet and thick against his strong neck. Through her open window it seemed the wind carried his scent to her.

The urge to close her eyes and inhale, to stick out her tongue just a little bit and taste the air that had touched him, was nearly stronger than her. For so long she’d been in control of these sudden cravings. And now they threatened to take over.

Which added a spice to Matt that was infinitely appealing. At least to Savannah.

This was worse than inappropriate. These ridiculous feelings she had for him were flat-out wrong. Wrong because he worked for her and wrong because he was a stranger and wrong because…well, just wrong.





Dear Reader,

I have wished, more times than I can count, that I was Southern. Not just so I could have an heirloom pecan pie recipe, though that would be fantastic. And not just so I could say “bless your heart” and have it mean the many nice and not so nice things it seems to mean when Southern women say it. But so I could have serious skeletons in my closet. And I could walk around in a slip like Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and not catch pneumonia.

But I am not Southern. I am from the Midwest and I moved to Canada. But my Deep South fantasies are now being played out on the page in this very fun new series—THE NOTORIOUS O’NEILLS—about a Louisiana family plagued by family secrets, stolen gems and broken hearts.

I am often asked what inspires me about a certain idea, and I usually say something lame, such as love is always inspiring. But here is the truth: I love the heroes. I love torturing them, redeeming them; I love taking their shirts off. Heroes are why I adore romance novels. As I started Savannah’s book, I swore this book was going to be about her. And how could it not? A betrayed woman, locked up in a prison of her own making, she was a heroine I could sink my teeth into. But then onto the page walked Matt Woods. And I was totally intrigued by the question, what makes a good guy go bad?

I hope you enjoy the first book in this series. Please drop me a line at www.molly-okeefe.com. I love to hear from readers!

Happy reading,

Molly O’Keefe






CHAPTER ONE




“KATIE,” SAVANNAH O’Neill sang. “Come out, come out wherever you are.”

She snuck up to the mountainous rosebush, searching through the wild abundance of pink tea roses for a glimpse of red curly hair, a freckled cheek or bright blue eyes.

“Gotcha!” she cried, pushing apart the thorny branches only to find C.J., the orange tabby, sleeping beneath its leaves.

No Katie.

This is getting ridiculous, she thought.

A quick Saturday morning game of hide-and-seek with her eight-year-old was beginning to take all day. Savannah pushed through the kudzu vines, ivy and weeping willow branches that dominated the back courtyard, but Katie wasn’t in any of her usual spots.

She’d upped her game.

Savannah tripped over a broken cobblestone, catching herself against a thick blanket of kudzu vines that had eaten up the fountain and obliterated the bird feeder.

It was getting very third world back here. Soon enough, these games with Katie would require a machete.

That would add a whole new dimension to kamikaze hide-and-seek.

“I told you,” she called out. “You can run but you can’t hide.”

The branches of the cypress rustled over her head and Savannah smiled, backtracking to the trunk of the old tree.

It was only a matter of time, Savannah thought, before Katie worked up the courage to climb the tree. The hundred-year-old cypress was a beauty—bigger than the two-story house in front of it, and its roots were pushing through the cobblestones, breaking up the courtyard like some kind of underground monster.

As if it had been yesterday, Savannah’s foot found the small lee in the trunk, her hands found the knobs on the lower branches and within seconds she was halfway up into the leaves. She was careful to look for snakes, and hoped her daughter had done the same.

What, she wondered, would her clients say if they could see their staid researcher now? The kids at the library, who made faces at her behind her back, would fall over their stolen library books if they saw mean old Ms. O’Neill climbing trees.

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