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Cress Taylor

My life changed when I was eight. Even though she wasn’t really warm and affectionate, my mom was around all the time. But then she died suddenly. My dad wasn’t really interested in being a parent so he dumped my brother and me with my grandparents. New everything—home, school, friends. Not that I’d ever really had friends before. But I made two friends then, and they are still my friends--Micki and Paul.

    I was geeky, liked to read, wasn’t interested in sports, liked to make up stories. I was never interested in fashion or makeup or hair styles or fangirling movie and rock stars. When I first heard opera on the radiio, it was magic. Classical music really moved me.

    My grandparents were really strict. And cheap. We didn't have air conditioning and they didn't like to run the furnace in the winter. I didn’t miss affection really because I’d never had it. We only saw dad when he ran out of money and tried to get some from my grandparents. My brother and I each inherited  a sizable estate when we turned twenty-one.  My brother moved in with my dad and the two of them went through his inheritance pretty quickly.

    I went to college, then grad school, where I had my first relationship. But Kevin was pretty controlling and after a while I realized that what I thought was love was a longing for connection that wasn’t what he had to offer. After three years, he walked out. The whole thing was messy and unpleasant. It also made very wary of getting involved with anyone.  

    As I’ve become more successful, my dad has become more importunate about money. I dread every new book becoming a bestseller because I know I’ll be hearing from him, asking for a handout.

    I love writing, the research, the creating. I can’t imagine doing anything else. And yet, the dread I feel when each book comes out is sometimes overwhelming. It’s as if my father is blackmailing me, even though I haven’t done anything wrong. Who knew that success could have such a downside?

    And now this guy I collided with at Oxford has come out of the woodwork. I don’t know what to make of him. He’s really persistent, tells me he’s interested, but then does stuff that makes me worry about his intentions. I’ve been hurt enough and I’m not interested in getting hurt again. But, I’m a romantic. After all, I write historical romance. And there’s a part of my that wants him to be the one.

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