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Your Planet or Mine [Secure eReader]
eBook by Susan Grant

eBook Category: Humor/Romance
eBook Description: With outrageously false accusations piling up against her famous political family and an ex-fiancÚ in hot water determined to take her down with him, the last thing Jana Jasper needs is more trouble--especially man trouble. But when she heads to the grocery store for an ice cream fix, not only does the muscled hunk in the frozen foods section ranting about spaceships and invasions look crazy, he looks--familiar. Cavin of Far Star has never forgotten the girl he met during his weeks spent on that quaint little world, planet Earth, the girl who didn't believe he was real. And now he'll risk his future to save her. All she has to do is take him to her leader. Simple enough plan--although Jana isn't so easily convinced. Hell-bent on charming his way past her defenses, he's determined to stay one step ahead of the galaxy's most feared assassin--and may just capture his favorite Earthling's heart in the process.

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/HQN
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2006


87 Reader Ratings:
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PEARL AWARD (Honorable Mention) 2006 -- Paranormal Romance Org.


CHAPTER ONE

FROM THAT DAY FORWARD, Jana talked. And talked. With eloquent abandon. She talked her way through the rest of her school years, through four years at Stanford and a Rhodes scholarship to Cambridge University in England. By the time she was twenty-nine, she'd talked her way through a landslide election that ended with her taking office as the youngest state senator in California history.

As the first female Jasper to hold public office, much was said about her gift of gab and how it helped forge a real connection with her constituents. To her dismay, even more was said about her social life.

"You go through men like I go through chocolate," Evie told Jana after the breakup of her most recent relationship. This time, it had been an actual engagement. It was the third time Jana had gone that far with any of the men she'd dated and she'd hoped the third time would be a charm, but as soon as the marriage plans began in earnest, she'd gotten cold feet. Now at thirty-two Jana was back to being California's Most Eligible Bachelorette, a title she wore as comfortably and as enthusiastically as a purple tutu. Lately, even her family had gotten in on the matchmaking pressure. Everyone except for Grandpa, wheelchair-bound in his nineties but with a mind as sharp as ever.

Clutching a mug of coffee, Jana sat across the dining table from him as she did every Tuesday morning. Foggy daylight filtered through the French doors in the breakfast room. Bagels and cream cheese were set out on antique china that had been in the family since the 1800s.

"Jana, your personal life and your political future are intertwined." Grandpa crossed two thick fingers and shook them at her. She supposed he thought she needed a visual. "You're going to have to commit to someone soon, or risk being seen as a person who can't commit to anything at all."

Sixty years between them, but to this day, they remained the closest of friends. He'd certainly been the best political mentor around, but nothing beat getting a second opinion on men from one who'd been around for almost a century. "I don't sleep around," she said. "I date around."

"To the public, to your rivals, it's the same thing."

"My social life is nowhere near as exciting as everyone thinks."

"And there you have it, girl. It's what people think that counts, not what you actually do—or not do. What you have to work on now is changing the perception that you're a playgirl who won't, or can't, settle down. Marriage will do that for you. Use your stubbornness, punkin. That relentless drive. Focus on the kind of life partner you want and go for it. Don't consider anyone who doesn't fit your specifications, and you won't be left with doubts. Choose wisely."

She drained her coffee and gazed at the grinds left on the bottom of the cup. They formed a little heart. Oh, for goodness sake. She shook the cup, scattering the grinds. There, now they more closely resembled her love life: no direction, no substance. "I want magic, Grandpa. That's what I'm looking for and can't find. A man with the kind of magic you can taste in the very first kiss."

Surprised, her grandfather sat back in his wheelchair.

"I want to feel like I did when I kissed my imaginary friend Peter when I was a little girl," she blurted out, feeling her face warm.

"You kissed him?" Gripping the armrests of his wheelchair, he leaned forward. "You never told me that."

"He was imaginary, remember?"

"Yes, but…" he blustered.

"Besides, I was nine. Kissing any male who wasn't a family member would have been too mortifying to admit. But I tell you, Grandpa, imaginary or not, he spoiled me for anyone else."

"Good thing you didn't tell me this then. I'd have gone after that boy with my shotgun."

Jana laughed. "I can picture you raging all around the ranch, firing at nothing, trying to catch something that wasn't there."

"Is it any different from what you're doing right now with your love life? Trying to catch something that's not there?"

Was that what she was doing? Was that why it never worked out? Deflated, Jana sagged back in her chair. Sometimes, her grandfather's insight sliced right to the heart.

His blue eyes softened with love. "Don't settle, punkin, but don't pine for what never existed in the first place, either."

"I won't settle. I promise you." How can you say that when every man you've ever dated has been a compromise?

She'd never stopped searching for the magic she felt with Peter, looking for it in every male she'd kissed since, comparing each and every one of them to an imaginary figure from her childhood. How sad was that? Jana pouted at the coffee grounds strewn across the bottom of her cup.

"You're all heart, my girl, but now it's time to leave your heart out of it and give this manhunt some serious thought. Picking the right man will increase your odds of winning the White House."

"That's years away." Nothing could convince him she wouldn't be the president someday.

"No time like the present to prepare for the future."

Jana checked the time. "Speaking of which, I've got to go. I'm supposed to be at the fish farm by nine."

Vaguely unsettled by the conversation, she picked up her attaché bag and hooked the strap over her shoulder, smoothing a hand over the skirt of her butter-yellow suit. "Well, keep your eyes open for me," she said with forced cheer, "because I trust your taste more than Mom's."

Copyright © 2006 by Susan Grant.


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