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Snowfire
Anne Mather

Snowfire
Anne Mather

Mills & Boon are excited to present The Anne Mather Collection – the complete works by this classic author made available to download for the very first time! These books span six decades of a phenomenal writing career, and every story is available to read unedited and untouched from their original release.In love with a younger man!Running into Conor Brennan after eleven years produced a disturbing uneasiness Olivia couldn’t quite understand. The boy she once knew had grown into a man. A very sexy man.Olivia had grown up too. A bad marriage and shattering accident had ravaged her emotionally. She felt old, jaded, and convinced she had nothing to offer a man like Connor. So why did the delicious warmth he kindled in her make her feel so wonderfully alive?

Mills & Boon is proud to present a fabulous collection of fantastic novels by bestselling, much loved author

ANNE MATHER

Anne has a stellar record of achievement within the publishing industry, having written over one hundred and sixty books, with worldwide sales of more than forty-eight MILLION copies in multiple languages.

This amazing collection of classic stories offers a chance for readers to recapture the pleasure Anne’s powerful, passionate writing has given.

We are sure you will love them all!

I’ve always wanted to write—which is not to say I’ve always wanted to be a professional writer. On the contrary, for years I only wrote for my own pleasure and it wasn’t until my husband suggested sending one of my stories to a publisher that we put several publishers’ names into a hat and pulled one out. The rest, as they say, is history. And now, one hundred and sixty-two books later, I’m literally—excuse the pun—staggered by what’s happened.

I had written all through my infant and junior years and on into my teens, the stories changing from children’s adventures to torrid gypsy passions. My mother used to gather these manuscripts up from time to time, when my bedroom became too untidy, and dispose of them! In those days, I used not to finish any of the stories and Caroline, my first published novel, was the first I’d ever completed. I was newly married then and my daughter was just a baby, and it was quite a job juggling my household chores and scribbling away in exercise books every chance I got. Not very professional, as you can imagine, but that’s the way it was.

These days, I have a bit more time to devote to my work, but that first love of writing has never changed. I can’t imagine not having a current book on the typewriter—yes, it’s my husband who transcribes everything on to the computer. He’s my partner in both life and work and I depend on his good sense more than I care to admit.

We have two grown-up children, a son and a daughter, and two almost grown-up grandchildren, Abi and Ben. My e-mail address is mystic-am@msn.com (mailto:mystic-am@msn.com) and I’d be happy to hear from any of my wonderful readers.

Snowfire

Anne Mather

www.millsandboon.co.uk (http://www.millsandboon.co.uk)

Table of Contents

Cover (#ub8967a90-3ade-5255-8243-ec83e8ee78cd)

About the Author (#u3426be05-dfc0-57f6-a0ae-0c15b38d4288)

Title Page (#uc0f38123-3c6b-5fc6-b460-962cb4742a53)

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

PROLOGUE (#u01c17df0-6021-5d2c-91a4-0372f18c7d16)

HE WAS standing in the dining-room, by the window, gazing out at the rain that had been falling solidly ever since they left the church. Olivia guessed he must be thinking it was an omen. After weeks and weeks of dry weather, it had to be the day of the funeral that it changed.

She halted in the doorway, realising he was not yet aware of her presence, and dreading the moment when she would have to say goodbye. If only she were older, she thought. If only Sally had considered before blithely making Philip her son’s guardian. But who would have expected Sally and Keith to die before either of them was thirty-five? And Philip was Sally’s brother. He was obviously the natural choice.

Even so …

Olivia caught her lower lip between her teeth as she stared at the boy’s drooping figure. Today had been more of a strain for him than for anyone, and his bent head and hunched shoulders spoke of a misery he could no longer hide. He had done well, she thought, handling himself through the tortuous rites of the burial with a dignity and self-possession enviable in a much older man. But now, believing himself unobserved, he had given way to his real feelings, and Olivia’s heart went out to him as she recognised his grief.

’Conor.’

His name was barely audible across the silent room, but he heard her. He turned then, dashing his hand over his face as he did so, struggling to resume the defensive posture that had kept his tears at bay.

’Oh—hi, Aunt ‘Livia,’ he said, forcing a smile that was determinedly bright. ‘I was just watching the rain. The garden’s waterlogged. Mum’s—–’ He broke off abruptly as the mention of his mother’s name disconcerted him, and then continued with an obvious effort, ‘Mum’s dahlias are really taking a hammering.’

’Are they?’

Olivia came to stand beside him, noticing almost inconsequentially that he had grown another couple of inches in the last twelve months. He was almost as tall as she was now, and at five feet seven inches—nine in her heels—she was considered above average height.

But now she feigned an interest in the flowers Sally had planted in the borders. The rain-soaked garden showed little of the colour it had flaunted earlier in the summer. The last time Olivia was here they had all had tea on the lawn …

She glanced at the boy beside her, more concerned about him than about his mother’s flowers. What was he really thinking? she wondered. Was he wishing he had gone with his parents on that fated day trip to Paris? He looked so pale and drawn, his sandy hair, which always seemed to need cutting, straggling over the collar of his dark suit.

If only they had made her his guardian, she thought helplessly. At fifteen, a boy needed to know who he was; he needed roots. Everything he knew and loved was here in Paget. He knew no one in the United States. He hadn’t even been to Florida for a holiday.

’Do I have to go?’

The low, impassioned words were uncannily like an echo of her own thoughts, and Olivia wondered if he could read her mind. Certainly her association with the Brennans had always been a close one, and only in the last couple of years, since she had gone to live and work in London, had their friendship suffered because of the separation.

Of course, it was his mother with whom Olivia had had the most in common, she acknowledged. She had been ten when Keith and Sally Brennan had moved into the big old house next to her grandmother’s cottage. And, from the beginning, she had been a welcome visitor there. Naturally the fact that the Brennans had also had a baby son had been a great attraction, but as Olivia grew older it was Sally who had shared all the hopes and fears of her teenage years.

Olivia had hardly known her own parents. They had been involved in a car accident when she was little more than a baby herself, and although her mother had lingered on in the hospital for several weeks after the crash there had never been any real hope of her recovering consciousness. In consequence, Olivia’s paternal grandmother had taken her to live with her and, although Mrs Holland had done her best, she had been too used to living alone to have much patience with a lively toddler.

That was why Olivia felt such an enormous sense of empathy with Conor now. She had known him since he was two years old. She had watched him grow from a mischievous schoolboy into a confident teenager. She had combed his hair and scrubbed his knees, and sometimes told him off. And lately she had teased him about his girlfriends: the procession of budding Madonnas who hung around outside his gate. He was the closest thing to a nephew she was ever likely to have, and she was going to miss him badly.
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