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The 100-Year Itch

Come Celebrate Harlequin's Duets 100th volume!

THE 100-YEAR ITCH
by Holly Jacobs
Harlequin Duets 100th Volume!
ISBN #0-373-44166-5
May 2003 

RERELEASED as eBook 2/12

Mace Mason is a reporter for WMAC news in Erie, PA--the station where Nice News Matters. Bleck! He wants to report on the big news--world events--not candy-coated human interest stories. Instead of sending him abroad, WMAC sends him to Hiho, Ohio to cover their centennial celebration. It's not exactly the kind of story he's looking to cover. And small-town girl Zoe Wallace isn't the type of woman who attracts Mace, and yet, there's something about Zoe he just can't shake. Some secret power she seems to have over him.

Once upon a time Zoe Wallace worked for a big city paper...and all she got was an ulcer. Now, she owns and operates a weekly paper, The Hiho Herald, and she couldn't be happier...at least until Mace Mason shows up. He's opinionated, annoying...and the most intriguing man she's met in years. But Mace has made it clear he's not interested in what small towns have to offer, and she doubts he's interested in what she has to offer either...her heart. So she's going keep her feelings a secret.

And Hiho has a secret, too...it's really not one hundred...it's only ninety-nine. If anyone finds out, their college and library lose their huge endowments. Secrets, celebrations...and love await you in Hiho, Ohio and The 100-Year Itch. 

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

 

Reviews:

"Holly Jacobs’s latest, THE 100-YEAR ITCH, is a very special blend of warmth and wit, highlighted by clever dialogue." ~Catherine Witmer, RT Bookclub

"As always, this story is another winner for Ms. Jacobs. The Hundred Year Itch is full of everything indicative of her personal style and flair. There are loveable characters that come to life, a charming storyline, and an abundance of the humor one has come to associate with Holly Jacobs’ books."
~Kelley Hartsell, Love Romances

"...a trip worth taking to leave you smiling and feeling good." ~Carol Carter, Romance Reviews Today

"Holly Jacobs works her magic again with The 100-Year Itch." ~Sharon Wren, Women on Writing

"...a charming romance filled with plenty of laughs." ~Harriet Klausner

"Ms. Jacobs does a fabulous job describing the personalities, foibles, and follies of small town living. Zoe and Mace have a wonderful chemistry, and their dialogue is sharp and witty. Ms. Jacob’s characters are funny, fresh, and make you want to sit down and chat with them a while."
~ Cat Cody, Romance Junkies

"I highly recommend THE 100 YEAR ITCH for someone looking for a little laughter."
~ Marlene Breakfield, Escape to Romance

"...a wonderfully funny story." ~Lydia Funneman , Writers Unlimited Reviewer

"The simple joy of creation shared by authors Drew and Jacobs makes this collection sparkle with every word. They very obviously had a great time creating Hiho and its memorable citizens. Consequently, this Duets comes very highly recommended!" ~Cindy Penn, Senior Editor, Wordweaving.com

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

EXCERPT The 100-Year Itch 
by Holly Jacobs
ISBN #0-373-44166-5
Harlequin Duets, #100, 05/03

Copyright 2003

"...We’ll wrap things up Sunday night with a huge firework display. The Centennial Celebration has been such an economic boon for the community--"

Her sentence stopped dead in its tracks and so did she.

Zoe was staring at something. Before Mace could turn and see what, she sprinted across the grassy park.

What was she doing now?

He’d known her less than twenty-four hours, but already suspected that she wasn’t a normal sort of woman.

Bad make-overs. Cloak and dagger meetings.

Running across the park after a...

A bull?

Not just any bull.

A big bull.

Giant even.

If you painted the thing blue it could have belonged to Paul Bunyon himself.

"Zoe," he cried, squeezing her name past the huge lump in his throat.

"Zoe!"

He sprinted after her, although he didn’t have a clue what he could do to prevent the giant bull from attacking her and trampling her to the ground.

He didn’t know anything about cattle and suddenly wished he did. What good was knowing about English literature or even journalism in a situation like this?

"Zoe, damn it, stop!"

His warning was too late. She had something in her hand.

It was her belt, he realized.

She’d taken off her belt and was going to lasso it around the bull’s thick neck. It would kill her.

"Hey! Hey bull," Mace called.

The stupid thing was probably going to gore him, but at least Zoe would get away.

"Bull!" he screamed, trying to get it to come toward him rather than Zoe.

He waved his hand, wishing he had something red. That was the color bulls liked he was pretty sure.

"Bull!"

Visions of Zoe gored by the beast flashed through his head.

"Bull!"

The bull turned and just stared at him with a rather bored expression on its big, homely face.

If someone had asked him yesterday he would have denied that a bull could look bored, but this one did.

Zoe slipped the belt over its neck, then patted it and murmured something in its ear.

Mace approached more slowly, not wanting to spook the giant beast now that Zoe was holding on.

"What are you doing?" he asked trying to keep his voice soft and calm.

Other than being slightly out of breath, she looked none the worse for wear. As a matter of fact, she shot him a dazzling sort of smile. "You tried to save me. That’s why you were shouting, right? To get the bull to chase you instead of going after me?"

Mace shrugged, unsure what to say. Zoe didn’t look overly moved by his shot at heroics. To be honest, she looked slightly amused.

"Sorry if I scared you. There was nothing to worry about. Jed here is one step from the grave and doesn’t have the stamina to chase after you. Where he gets the energy to walk to the campus every day is a bit of a mystery. If he was any other bull, Don David would have gotten rid of him long ago. But he holds onto him because he’s sentimental. Don’s sentimental, not the bull. Although, Jed may be as well."

"Well, this Don David should keep the beast locked up."

"Nothing Don does can keep Jed penned. No fence is high enough or strong enough." She covered the bull’s ears. "You see, Jed has a crush on Bessie, the college’s mascot. He likes to visit."

"Pardon?"

"The college’s mascot is a bison--The Cloverleaf Bisons. They don’t have enough money to buy one yet--though we do have a Buffalo fund--so Don donated Bessie to sort of fill in until they raise enough for a real bison. And Jed misses her. Love’s like that. Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do to stop it. It will break through any obstacle."

"Oh, no," Mace groaned.

"What?" Zoe asked.

"Not only are you crazy enough to chase after a bull--"

"He’s gentle as a lamb," Zoe argued.

Mace ignored her and kept right on talking, "But you’re also a romantic."

"So?"

"Honey--"

"Don’t call me honey." Her terminal good cheer evaporated just like that.

"Zoe," Mace said with emphasis. "Love is just an excuse to propagate."

A man came running up to them. His face lit up when he saw Zoe and the bull. "You got him."

"Yes. You know, you’ve really got to watch him this week, Don. It’s going to be crazy what with the festival going on. I know Jed’s sweet, but I’d hate to see him scared by the crowd."

"I’m taking him out to Old Mac’s farm. Figure even if he gets out, we could catch him long before he gets all the way into town. Mac’s a lot further out than I am. I was just getting ready to load him into the truck when he got away. Thanks for catching him."

"Glad to help."

He slipped a rope around the bull’s neck and handed Zoe her belt before leading Jed, the lovelorn bull, down the street.

"Old Mac?" Mace asked.

Zoe threaded her belt through the loops on her pants and a small sliver of her stomach showed. Just a tiny little band of skin. Nothing overt, not even overly sexy. And yet, Mace couldn’t tear his eyes away.

She finished, tucked her shirt back in place--much to his disappointment--and looked at him and grinned. "Mac’s last name is MacDonald and he--"

"Has a farm?" Mace supplied.

"Yep."

"This whole town is insane," Mace muttered. He felt rather proud that he didn’t add, and you’re the biggest lunatic in this asylum.

"Maybe...but we’re happy. Can you say as much, Mace?"

"I don’t know where you got the idea I’m not happy," Mace said, not caring if he sounded annoyed.

First Stephanie said he was terse and needed to take a vacation, and now Zoe--an utter stranger--was telling him he was unhappy.

Like he should listen to what a crazy woman who lassoed bulls with her belt said.

"I’m deliriously happy at this moment in time...happy you didn’t get yourself killed by that beast."

"Like I said, Jed wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s sort of a town fixture. And Mace, I know happy when I see it, and you’re not happy...delirious or otherwise."

"I am happy."

"Nope, you’re not." She smiled then. It was the same smile that had punctuated his dreams last night. Hot dreams. A smile that begged him to do just what he’d done in those dreams.

And before he could think about it and talk himself out of it, Mace did just what he’d done in his dreams.

He kissed her.

Planted a hard kiss right on her lips.

It didn’t mean anything.

Their lips remained closed, for pete’s sake.

It was practically platonic.

Of course, practically was the key word.

Because he wasn’t feeling totally platonic about Zoe Wallace.

Not at all.

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

From the book: The 100-Year Itch
By: Holly Jacobs
Imprint and Series: Harlequin Duet
Publication Date: 5/03
ISBN: 0-373-44166-5
Copyright © 2003
By: Harlequin Enterprises
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

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