Copyright 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Limited ® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher)

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

Around the Square:
By Designt
by Holly Jacobs
By Design

RT Bookclub 4 1/2 stars TOP PICK!
2003 Laurie Finalist!
'03 More Than Magic WINNER!!!!!

Donovan is an attorney on the rise. He's next in line for a partnership at his law firm. There's just one item missing from his resume...a wife. 

Sarah is trying to get her fledgling business off the ground. She's looking for an attorney to help recoup the money she's owed. Money that could mean the difference between a successful business and scrapping her dream. She is absolutely NOT looking for a fiance, much less a husband. But when Donovan offers Sarah an engagement-of-convenience, she lets herself get persuaded it's just business. 

Donovan and Sarah both discover when love enters the picture, their engagement isn't convenient in the least! 

Book, Reviews, Excerpt




"... a beautiful, and sweet, love story. ...I can highly recommend this one it will stay with you long after you close the back cover." ~Romantic Times Bookclub, 4 1/2 Stars, TOP PICK!!

"My favorite Holly Jacobs book yet! What starts out as an engagement of convenience turns into a charming and delightful love story. Elias Donovan and Sarah Madison seems like extreme opposites until core values and heart's desires are revealed in this tale of awakening love. Ms. Jacob allows her energetic writing and talent for pairing entertaining characters to shine." ~Cheryl St.John, Author of MARRY ME…AGAIN, SSE, 8/03

"Ms. Jacobs has done it again! She has penned a delightful tale, full of her trademark humor and pure, sweet emotion. She has taken what could be a tired storyline – a marriage of convenience – and worked her own brand of magic on it, making it different and new. Of course, as said before, humor abounds, and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to be found." (4 1/2 stars) ~Kelley Hartsell, Love Romances

"...you will love this one." ~Helen Slifer, Writers Unlimited Reviewer

By Design "... is sure to put a smile on your face..." ~Sharon Wren, Women on Writing Reviews

Book, Reviews, Excerpt


By Design
Copyright Holly Jacobs

Sarah wasn’t sure what she expected. Maybe something along the lines of a demand that she wash his car once a week, or she do the laundry. Yeah, washing clothes was definitely more in line with what she was thinking.

Instead, his lips drew closer, as if in slow motion, and she knew just what he wanted. She could pull away. She knew he’d let her. But instead, she moved forward and her lips met his.

Nothing else touched except their lips, leaving Sarah an open window of escape if she chose it. But she didn’t.

She welcomed this kiss. It was a soft introduction...hardly more than a peck.

Donovan pulled back, breaking the short contact and stood there looking at her as if she’d suddenly grown a second nose.

Sarah ran a finger lightly over her lips just to make sure they were unchanged. "What do you call that?"

"A kiss," he said, a questioning tone still in his voice.

"No," she argued. She focused on Donovan’s lips. They were perfectly ordinary lips. A tannish pink. Not too full or too thin. They were nice enough, she guessed. But that didn’t explain the earth-shaking feeling she’d had when they’d touched her. But she wasn’t going to call it a kiss. A kiss implied...well, more than she was willing to infer from the contact.

"Your lips barely touched mine. It was just a light graze. Why, if it hadn’t been our lips, but our elbows--"

"Elbows?" he asked.


She forced her gaze from Donovan’s lips to his elbows. They were nice, but didn’t make her knees shake like his lips did.

"Yes," she said. "If our elbows had touched that briefly, that softly, why we’d never have noticed it."

"I’d have noticed," he assured her.

"No you wouldn’t. You’d have simply kept walking right by me, if our elbows had accidentally grazed."

"But it wasn’t our elbows, it was our lips, and it wasn’t an accident."

"It wasn’t?" she asked, though she knew it wasn’t. She’d seen his intent and welcomed it.

"No," he said. "I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time."

"Why?" Sarah asked. In all the reasons he’d argued for a marriage, kissing was never one of them.

"Why what?" he asked.

"Why would you..."

"Kiss you," he filled in helpfully.

"No. Graze. Why would your lips graze mine on purpose. This is a farce and we’re business partners. Do your lips frequently graze your law practice partner’s on purpose?"

"Ah, but I’m not a partner yet, just an associate," he pointed out.

Was he joking again? Sarah decided then and there she didn’t like a joking Donovan any more than she liked a grazing one. "But when you’re a partner, and not just an associate, will you be planning on more grazing then?"

"You make us sound like a herd of cows," he said.

"You’re avoiding my question."

"What was your question?"

"Why did you...," she didn’t want to say graze again, he was right, it did sound as if she was talking about cows, so she settled for, "why did you peck me on the lips on purpose."

"Ah, pecking. So we’re not cows, but chickens?" he asked.

"We’re no farmyard animal. And we’re not doing that again."

"You didn’t like it?" he asked.

"No." Okay, that was a lie, but Sarah wasn’t about to admonish herself for it. She wasn’t going to take it back either. Better he think she didn’t enjoy what they’d just done.

"Well, why didn’t you like it?" he asked, sounding put out.

"I don’t want your lips touching mine on purpose again." She took a full step backward.

There. She’d put enough distance between them that his lips couldn’t touch hers accidently or on purpose. She’d just have to be sure to maintain a non-pecking distance from him in the future.

"How about if my lips touch yours by accident?"

Just to be safe, she took another step backward. "No. You keep your lips off this partner, unless you’re going to go around kissing your other partners, too."

"Associates. We’re just associates for now."

"Whatever. No more."

"Why are you so upset?" he asked, taking a step toward her.

"Because I am." She eyed the space separating them and decided she needed more than space, she needed a door. She hurried toward her room. "Listen, I’m going to bed now."

"Do you need a bedtime story?" he called. The proximity of his voice suggested he hadn’t stayed put.

She turned and saw he was a couple steps behind her. "No."

"Then I don’t supposed you want to be tucked in either, right?"


"Because if I tucked you in, I’d have to kiss you goodnight," he pointed out.

"Good night," she cried, because she wasn’t sure what else to say. The image of Donovan leaning over and kissing her goodnight was too intense for any more logical arguments to get around.

She stepped into her room and called, "Good night," again.

"Sweet dreams," he whispered. He’d followed her and was close enough to whisper, his voice all husky and inviting. The kind of voice she’d love to have tell her a bedtime story...one that involved lips.

Book, Reviews, Excerpt


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