Scarred Hearts and Second Chances...

Cord Delafield, the Ice Man of Options, needs a wife. Fast. He must marry within the week, or lose his grandmother's Victorian mansion—the only home he's ever known.

Deborah Olstrom needs a house. Fast. She must move by the end of the month, or lose her family—a group of foster children she's come to love as her own.

The legacy of a bitter childhood has robbed Cord of his softer feelings, and a disastrous first marriage has made Deborah distrust hers. A marriage of convenience seems the answer to their problems, but passion flares with their wedding kiss. Will Cord and Deborah let their pasts cheat them of happiness, or will they learn that even in scarred hearts, there's always room for love?

Out of Print/Buy Autographed Copy

Awards and Honors:

2002 Lories Winner!

5 Stars ". . . an enchanting story built around the old idea of a marriage of convenience. . . Ms. Masek, in ROOM FOR LOVE, combines just the right amount of reality with romance to keep your hearts aglow."~Cathy Gladstone at Simegen

4 roses ".....a one-sitting read that will leave you believing in the healing power of love." ~ Julie Shininger at Escape to Romance

4 stars ". . . a satisfying tale from beginning to end." ~ Brenda Ramsbacher at Scribes World

Excerpt:

Prologue

"Marry me." Coridan MacAllister Delafield lifted his lover's hand and brushed his lips across her knuckles.

She jerked away as if his breath burned. "And divorce you in a week? I don't think so." Grabbing her half-full glass of Chateau Margaux 1995, she downed it in one swallow.

Cord sat back in the wrought iron confection that passed for a chair at La Maison. The setting was perfect for a proposal. An intimate bistro on Michigan Avenue. Candles, music. Expensive food, expensive wine. And Gloria had always struck him as mercenary enough to appreciate the financial benefits of his proposal. What more could she want? "Nothing needs to change. We can go on as we have, and at the end you'll get a nice sign-off bonus."

"You don't want a wife. You want a name on a marriage certificate." She set down the glass and blinked. Tears squeezed onto her cheeks. "I care about you, Cord, but you don't give anything."

God, he hated it when women cried. He reached forward and tapped the diamond pendant resting between her breasts. "You call that nothing?"

She knocked his hand away. "Not of yourself, I mean. We've been lovers for nearly a year, and I don't even know your favorite color."

"Blue. Now will you marry me?"

"No." Her chair scraped against the marble floor. She stood, flung her cashmere shawl around her shoulders and strode out of the restaurant.

Cord slammed the heel of his hand against the table hard enough to make the crystal ring. He'd been sure Gloria would agree to the marriage. She always said what a great couple they made, both tall, dark and fit. Even the sex was great. Who'd have guessed she'd go sentimental on him?

He stood and peeled four bills out of his money clip.

The waiter beamed. "Thank you, sir."

Cord grabbed his jacket and hurried outside. He found her at the taxi stand in front of the restaurant. She hugged her shawl, as if it were a cold January night instead of a warm May evening. A Yellow Cab pulled up as he stepped beside her. He reached for her arm. "I won't marry you," she said without looking at him.

His hand froze a breath away from her skin. "Gloria, I..."

She turned and brushed her fingers across his cheek. "But we had good times. Thanks."

Before he could stop her, she yanked open the cab door and jumped in. The cab pulled away in a cloud of exhaust.

Cord looked around for another taxi, but even as he hailed it, he knew it was no use chasing Gloria. She meant it, damn it. He'd have to find another wife.

And he only had a week.