One Man Rush (Mills & Boon Blaze) (Double Overtime, Book 1)

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But she has secrets of her own… Tatiana Doucet has dealt with sexy, arrogant athletes most of her life. But Jean-Pierre Reynaud is a whole different animal -- in bed and on the field. Her boss wants her in his office -- and as his bride! Adelaide Thibodeaux grew up with Dempsey Reynaud, and she's worked for him for years. But when the billionaire football coach springs a surprise engagement to keep her from resigning, it's a l Fashion buyer Shea Walker had a fast track lifestyle until a car accident sidelines her to a painful recovery. Seeking quiet for the holidays, Shea returns to the snowy mountains where she grew up to make peace with her past and spend time with her e Chance of a lifetime It's finally Heather Finley's moment.

After spending years looking after her mother in the tiny town of Heartache, Tennessee, Heather's about to follow her dream of singing country music. She can nearly hear the audiences hol Heartache--the best place to heal Erin Finley heads home to Heartache, Tennesee, after the perfect guy turns out to be anything but. She throws herself into running a vintage store with her sister and surrounding herself with the comforts of her The trouble with Heartache Nina Spencer swore she was done with Heartache, Tennessee, when she left the town -- and her sexy ex, Mack -- in her rearview mirror.

But when her bakery business is rocked by scandal, she needs a place to regroup. Scotland, Doomed to eternal wandering for over a century, Highlander Magnus Darroch has never encountered any creature -- mortal or fae -- like American heiress Elizabeth Harrison. She may be considered too tall and ungainly for polite societ Scotland, Lillian Desalles has no business trespassing in Iain Darroch's family stronghold.

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By rights, the American beauty shouldn't even be able to see him. Cursed to wander the Highlands for all time, Iain appears to other mortals as a spec But when the beguiling gray-eyed beauty demands that Reinn Geirsson take her with him when he leaves her father's conquered stronghold, he c Yorkshire Coast, After paying a hefty bride-price for Lady Matilda of Glen Rising, Simon of Longford is furious when her father reneges on the agreement.

Prepared to fight for what is rightfully his, Simon journeys to the earl's stronghold--a Scotland, Violet of Caladan refuses to be any man's prize, though her father insists she marry a warrior who can protect their land from a vicious killer. A deadly storm brings Duncan the Brave back to Cristiana Domhnaill's home, but the Highland laird is seeking more than shelter As their rekindled passion for each other heats up the long winter nights, Duncan is sure he can win Cristiana back But when his dark reputation causes his betrothed, Lady Helene MacKail, to flee from him every time he attempts to get close to her, it is an insult he cannot ignore Exiled noblewoman Isolda of Iness longs for the one thing her forest home cannot provide--a baby to inherit her family's lost lands.

She has already chosen the virile hunter who visits her woods to father her child, intending to lure him to her bed b Having been duped into marriage, then exiled in disgrace, Sorcha trusts no ma Gareth of Domingart has abducted Lady Emma of Westleigh to get revenge on her cousin, the man who plundered his home and sold him into slavery. Gareth meant to simply hold Emma for ransom, yet once he brings the fiery noblewoman back to his keep, the Widowed single mom Amanda Emory wants a fresh start--far away from Los Angeles and her troubling past.

All she wants out of her new job is a secure income and a safe haven for her kids. But her matchmaking nine-year-old has other ideas Horse t Baseborn Sir Tristan Carlisle had fought his way to a knighthood. On the threshold of gaining land and power, he would not be distracted from his ultimate goal. Until, deep in the Bohemian forest, he encountered a woman wi Madison Blair is in need of a little self-indulgence. They don't call Vegas Sin City for nothing. And now that prime tourist season is around the corner, it's time to kick some criminal butt.

Enter three full-throttle Vegas detectives, ready to eat their undercover assignments alive Clarissa Ri Danielle Chevalier has a taste for the finer things in life, especially the lush, exotic scents she creates at her fragrance business. Under pressure from her brother to sell the small outfit, Danielle is thrilled when she's invited to an exclusive c Quiet and studious, Lady Ivy Rutherford is content merely to observe the intrigues and scandals of Queen Eleanor's glittering court.

But then the Queen insists that Ivy would be the ideal mentor for notorious heartbreaker Roger Stancliff. Her duty? She may be on a cruise liner, but lately, Rita Frazer's life looks more like a shabby dinghy. Working as a seamstress on a ship called the Venus, Rita hasn't been feeling very goddesslike.

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More like a Swamp-Thing with red hair and a mouthful of pins When Malcolm McNair sees the ethereal beauty on the battlements, wielding her crossbow, he swears he's been bewitched by a powerful fairy queen. But Rosalind of Beaumont is definitely all woman, a lady of fierce determination, ready to do all it take Alyssa Reynolds is trying to conjure up The King in a backroom seance at her Elvis memorabilia shop when Brett Neale walks into her store.

With his hypnotic blue eyes, Brett is Elvis -- or he will be once she helps him win Vegas's American Idol-style No man would own her, Elysia Rougemont swore, though she knew the vow to be mere fancy for a noblewoman such as herself. Now, although fate had spared her one unwanted union, she found herself bound to Conon St. Simeon by virtue of his valor, his chi Young widow Brenna Kirkpatrick calls upon old love Gavin Blackburn to rescue her kidnapped children. The brawny Highlander agrees -- if she'll handfast with him for one year. Brenna plans to abstain from Gavin's charms, but soon realizes how tempting The curse of spinsterhood lay upon her For prophecy The last thing Christine Chandler expects when she takes this job is to be distracted by jet-setting Vito Cesare.

She should be focused on the landscaping that could make her company a success. Instead, her gaze constantly strays to Vito's hot bod.

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Kidnapping a novice from her convent was only one sin among his many, Lucian Barret mused, but in desiring his brother's intended bride, the offense grew darker. Why then did his passion for Melissande seem so pure and Francesca Donzinetti just spent a mortifying week being voted off a romantic reality show by the TV audience. She had no idea that Lucky Adams -- the show's sexy bachelor -- secretly lusted over her. Now he's offering Francesca her very own reality s These conventions are, moreover, strongly enforced by editors and publishers, who act as gatekeepers guarding the genre and line profiles.

Narratives that do not incorporate the various conventions are simply not published in the category romance system. Indeed, regardless of our interest in or knowledge of the genre, most of us are able to instantly recognize a category romance novel when we see one. The question arises why the genre consistently chooses to adopt such material uniformity. What are the functions and effects of this remarkable semiotic strategy? In his seminal study Paratexts he examines the role paratexts play in the reception and interpretation of a book.

He argues that the paratext is. Whereas the former is targeted at a very specific and ideal kind of reader, who has the background knowledge necessary to understand and unlock the text, the latter is directed at a far more substantive and heterogeneous group of consumers without a clear-cut profile. The public code consistently suggests a uniformly generic interpretation of the text as a popular romance novel.

The reader code, by contrast, advocates a more specific and even idiosyncratic interpretation of the text that aims to distinguish the individual text from the generic group in which it is situated. To illustrate how the dual semiotic decoding of these properties may work, I will focus on three illustrative examples in the rest of this paper. In the majority of cases this is an image of a scantily clad man and woman locked in a passionate embrace. It appears to be a very apt visual representation of what the romance genre is all about.

In a way it also offers a visual representation of what is arguably the core fantasy offered by the genre, namely that of an overwhelming and passionate romantic love focused absolutely on one other. To the public at large, the clinch image likely signifies simply the genre identity of the popular romance. This interpretation is based on the strong semantic connection between this image and the popular romance genre that exists in our culture as a result of the incessant reformulation of this type of image on the front cover of category romance novels since the s.

Although the constant reformulations of the image on a seemingly endless string of category romance front covers reinforce and perpetuate a number of cultural stereotypes about the romance genre, including interpretations of the genre as formulaic, overly sexualized and more than a little ridiculous, the category romance is steadfast in its love for the clinch cover. That models on the cover of historical category romances wear clothes that are instantly recognizable as period costumes comes as no big surprise and is a fairly obvious example of such a secondary codification of the clinch image.

Other clothing-based codifications that are common in the romance genre are perhaps less obvious to the public at large. The relatively recent trend in paranormal romance to deck out cover models particularly women in leather clothing is probably not well-known outside the genre. Nonetheless, as romance bloggers Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan have observed, within the romance genre a female cover model dressed in leather or spandex-like clothing serves as a reliable semiotic sign that the novel in question features a paranormal storyline Although in the past this code seems to have been stricter than it is today, 12 as a rule of thumb we can still assume that the more flesh is visible on the cover, the more sexually explicit the love scenes in the narrative are.

Whereas to the former it likely functions as a code that signifies a very stereotypical, internally homogeneous kind of popular romance generic identity, to the latter the same image signals various kinds of specifications within this generic identity and essentially provides a message of generic heterogeneity. It is a core principle that, as the rest of the analyses illustrate, underlies nearly every aspect of this materiality.

While each line or imprint has its own characteristic template, most of these templates also have certain elements in common e. It is perhaps most noticeable on the front cover, where its dominant color scheme, prominent imprint logo and overall composition create an extreme sense of similarity between individual category romance novels published in the same line see figures 2 and 3. The back cover is designed in a very similar fashion, which makes for books that look altogether very similar see figure 4.

Indeed, as we can see in these examples, it is hardly possible to visually distinguish these individual books from each other. The same compositional principle also applies to the materiality inside the book, which, much like its outside cover, is designed on the basis of the line template. Category romances published in the same line consequently share the same font, font size, composition of the title page, foreword, etc.

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In other words, they all look quite similar. Instead, category romances all look the same and appear to be mutually interchangeable. Instead, these elements appear to merely be insignificant variations upon an already-existing pattern that in effect appears to be more meaningful. This interpretative difference is located in two aspects. Second, the romance reader again, as in her reading of the clinch, detects a number of coded information parameters in the line template that in her eyes develop a more specific textual identity. This difference in interpretation or codification of the line name is particularly important in lines that appear to be quite similar.

The preview scene is a scene or more often part of a scene printed on the first page of the category romance novel. It is a brief piece of text usually about five to ten lines that is placed before the title page, colophon, foreword or any other kind of introductory page. It consists of a partial scene that is extracted from the main narrative and that functions somewhat like a trailer for a film. Although the scene is presented without any explicit framing, its strategic placement at the beginning of the book sets up a metonymic interpretation of the scene as representative of the narrative from which it is extracted.

The scene then functions to provide a first, very brief but supposedly representative taste of the narrative that follows a few pages later in the same volume. The fact was that his formidable control had finally slipped and he was clearly in danger of losing his temper ratcheted the tension up several notches. A heady sense of anticipation gripped her. She had the feeling that for the first time she was going to see the real Constantine and not the controlled tycoon who had a calculator in place of a heart.

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