Carly Phillips

Lucky Charm

The first book in the Lucky series, 2008

Dear Reader,

I am so excited to bring you a brand-new series starring three sexy men dogged by a centuries-old family curse. It’s common knowledge in the small town of Stewart, Massachusetts, that any Corwin man who falls in love is destined to lose his love and his fortune. After all, every male in the family line has fallen victim.

Lucky Charm introduces Derek Corwin, the first of three cousins to tackle his unwanted birthright.

Derek has never gotten over his first love, Gabrielle Donovan. When they were young, he’d broken up with her rather than lose her to the curse. But a decade later-with a failed marriage to a woman he didn’t love and a child he adores behind him-she still haunts his dreams.

Now Gabrielle is back in town. She’s become a successful author who, not so coincidentally, debunks myths and curses for a living. And she’s determined to put the Corwin curse to rest once and for all and reclaim her man. Only, it’s soon clear someone doesn’t want her disturbing old ghosts…

Don’t miss the next two books in the series, Lucky Streak (6/09) and Lucky Break (10/09). And in between, enjoy a reissue of Secret Fantasy in January 2009.

Visit www.carlyphillips.com for release dates and more. You can write to me at P.O. Box 483, Purchase, NY 10577 or e-mail me at carly@carlyphillips.com.

As always, thank you for buying my books, and happy reading!

Best wishes,

Carly Phillips

To the professionals in my life who make all things

possible:

To Dianne Moggy, Tracy Farrell, Brenda Chin and

everyone at HQN Books-thank you for believing in

me and allowing me to bring my characters to life.

To Robert Gottlieb, Kim Whalen and Jenny Bent

for your guidance and support-you’re all the best.

And to the people who make

my everyday life special:

To Phil, Jackie and Jen-I love you always!

To Mom and Dad-thanks for setting the best

example in life and in romance. I love you, too!

And last but not least, to the Plotmonkeys-

Janelle Denison, Julie Leto and Leslie Kelly. As usual,

I couldn’t do it without you and I wouldn’t want to try.

XXX OOO

INTRODUCTION

IN THE LATE NINETEENTH century, the small village of Stewart, Massachusetts, 1.5 miles west of Salem, site of the now-infamous witch trials, fear of curses and witchcraft ran rampant. During this time, William Corwin fell in love and eloped with a woman who was already betrothed to another. The man William wronged, Martin Perkins, was the oldest son of the wealthy Perkins family, from the neighboring village of the same name. To William Corwin’s misfortune, Martin’s mother, Mary Perkins, was a witch.

And she immediately sought revenge on her son’s behalf with this curse: Any Corwin male who falls in love will be destined to lose his love and his fortune.

No male Corwin since has walked away unscathed…

CHAPTER ONE

THE SMALL TOWN OF STEWART, Massachusetts not so proudly boasted two claims to fame. Its proximity to Salem and the Corwin Curse.

Derek Corwin was well acquainted with that damned curse, as his family had come to refer to the albatross one of their ancestors had saddled them with. All because William Corwin couldn’t keep it in his pants, what should have just been a scandal had turned into a centuries-long damnation.

So said town lore. So said history.

Every male Corwin since had suffered its wrath. Derek included.

A man with half a brain wouldn’t return to the scene of the curse, but Derek had figured when the chips were down-or in his case, the Dow Jones-he might as well head home. That had been six months ago.

“Dad!” His eleven-year-old daughter’s yell reminded him of why it was a good thing he’d come back.

After two long years of keeping his child from him, Derek’s ex-wife had just remarried and decided she wanted a summer alone in Paris with her new husband. She’d sent his daughter, Holly, to live with him here in Stewart, in the renovated barn directly behind the house that had been in Derek’s family for generations. All the girl had were males to guide her through this long, hot summer. Poor kid.

But Derek was happy to have her back, to get a second chance at being a father who was there instead of one focused on his career. He wanted to get to know his daughter. Unfortunately he didn’t have a clue how to deal with her moods or her girlish tastes.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, pausing at the landing of the stairs that led to the loft, which held two small bedrooms, his and hers.

After two years of living alone in an apartment that was huge by New York City standards, Derek actually enjoyed being among family in the small barn he was slowly but surely making his own.

“The dog chewed up my Abercrombie flip-flops!” Holly yelled downstairs.

He closed his eyes and groaned. The damn dog. “He chewed what?”

She came into view at the top of the loft and rested her elbows on the ledge. “My flip-flops. You know, sandals? Thongs? Flip-flops?” she asked, exasperated.

He nodded, finally understanding the problem. “Sorry. We’ll pick up a new pair at Target.”

“Target? But, Dad, then they won’t have the moose on them,” she said in a pleading yet sweet voice.

“In other words, you want to go to the mall near Salem?” he guessed.

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