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The High Valley
Anne Mather

The High Valley
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. Do not be alarmed.My reasons for keeping you are completely dissociated from personal desires…Morgana has been warned not to get involved with the mysterious Luis Salvador… But dazzled by her first, never-to-be forgotten encounter with the darkly handsome Luis in the opulent surroundings of the Montraverdian Embassy, Morgana believes herself to be more than a match for him.When her plane is hijacked to Luis’ remote hideout in the high valley of the Rio Quimera, Morgana finds herself completely at his mercy. She soon begins to get to know the man behind the rumours, but is she dicing with danger – or at risk of becoming his more than willing captive?

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.

The High Valley

Anne Mather

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

Table of Contents

Cover (#u05688e89-aac6-510c-b088-e47e4aecc637)

About the Author (#u2e709a41-a021-5aff-95a5-d806a6a631e7)

Title Page (#u285db646-d199-5f01-a56a-c9cc30667ea2)

CHAPTER I (#ulink_dd50378e-3900-5c38-a25d-b884267cc506)

CHAPTER II (#ulink_84b22c2e-12ab-5490-9d41-fc1717eec1fe)

CHAPTER III (#ulink_a93a0589-6a48-5a16-b67f-a4f61d693232)

CHAPTER IV (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER V (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER VI (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER VII (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER VIII (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER IX (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER X (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

CHAPTER I (#ulink_91c3607a-1154-597f-8e01-5d3c4a013da0)

THE ballroom of the Monteraverdian Embassy adjoined the buffet area, allowing the guests free passage between the two. Tonight it was a blaze of light and colour, the high-arched ceiling with its intricately painted frescoes illuminated by a hidden iridescence in a multitude of shades, from palest yellow to deepest purple. The tall, fluted columns that supported the ceiling were festooned with climbing tropical plants that here and there blossomed into perfumed beauty, while the orchestra on its dais at the far end of the ballroom was partially concealed by a bank of flowers. The dancers themselves in their vivid evening attire provided a constant panorama of visual sensation, and a delicious aroma of Havana tobacco and expensive cosmetics mingled with the more exotic scents of good food and rich wine.

Morgana Mallory glanced towards the spot where Ruth and her parents had been only a moment before, wondering how they were reacting to such an overwhelming atmosphere and found that she was momentarily alone.

Immediately, she felt almost panic-stricken, her eyes searching the crowds that thronged around her in careless haste. She was not used to receptions of this kind, indeed this was the first she had attended, and she had not been long enough in Brazil to feel any confidence when she could not speak the language. After all, her life with her father back in England had been singularly uneventful, and since arriving in Rio to stay with Ruth and her parents she had found the hectic pace of their lives rather terrifying.

Now, she turned and began to thread her way through the assembled groups of guests, avoiding a carelessly-held drink here or a rather too amorous gaze there, wondering all the while how she could have been so stupid as to get separated from her friends. Obviously, her absorbed contemplation of her surroundings had made her deaf to their instructions and now she felt hopelessly alone.

She reached one of the ornately carved arches that led through to the buffet supper room and breathed slightly more freely out of that encroaching mass of humanity. She looked about her desperately, longing to see a familiar face, but suddenly without warning she came up against an immovable force, and strong arms grasped her forearms preventing her from stumbling backwards as she most certainly would have done.

“Oh, I beg your pardon –” she began, apologetically, attempting to free herself with all speed, and looked up into a dark, arresting face, the eyes of which regarded her with faint amusement. Abruptly, the man let her go and stepped back out of her path, and Morgana hastened on, aware that her arms still tingled from that unexpected encounter.

Just as she was beginning to wonder whatever she was going to do a hand grabbed her arm, and Ruth's familiar and slightly impatient voice said: “Morgana! What are you doing? I've been looking everywhere for you!”

Morgana turned, a relieved smile spreading over her flushed face. “Oh, Ruth!” she exclaimed. “Thank goodness, it's you! I was beginning to think I'd never find you again. What happened. Where did you go?”

“Where did we go?” Ruth gave a toss of her head. “I should be asking you that question. Heavens, Mummy and Daddy had to go and be introduced to the Ambassador, and I was with them. We thought you were with us, too, but then – you weren't!”

Morgana bit her lip. “Oh, I'm sorry, Ruth. I guess I was just so excited looking about and everything. I didn't hear what you must have said.”

Ruth sighed, her rather plain features not enhanced by this display of bad humour. “Very well, then, come along. Mummy and Daddy are waiting for us over there.” She waved a careless hand in the direction of the ballroom.

Morgana gave her a slightly placatory smile and Ruth seemed to relent, for she tucked her arm into Morgana's and said: “Aren't there some simply ghastly gowns being worn? Have you seen that enormous woman in a kind of chiffon bell-tent in that awful shade of cyclamen?”

Morgana squeezed Ruth's arm. “That's rather unkind,” she said teasingly. “No doubt the dress is at least worth a dozen times the price of this.” She glanced down at her own gown, a simple affair of dark blue crěpe, with a long straight skirt below a swathed bodice, which nevertheless was the ideal foil for her pale hair.
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