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Cherished by Tari May
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Wes Edwards, the charismatic star of action movies, can't imagine anyone better to help him develop his break-through script about a young boy's struggles against cancer than Claire Sutherland. The President of the Sutherland Foundation for Cancer Research and the most intriguing of the powerful Sutherland political dynasty, Claire knows all about cancer -- she lost half her leg to the disease before she hit her teens. When raging desire sparks between the two, Claire relentlessly denies her growing feelings. Stung by rejections from those she has loved the most, Claire can't believe that a man like Wes, a man who could have any woman, could ever want her.
Awe-Struck Publishing; June 1999
120 pages; ISBN 9781928670117
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Title: Cherished
Author: Tari May
"You're my favorite actor but my mother says that you don't have much dialogue in your movies because you're not too smart and don't speak English very well."

Her bluntness caught him so off-guard he laughed out right. But the remark hurt. Deeply. It was the kind of quip said frequently by producers and directors who refused to give him the substantial roles he craved. He wanted audiences to see him as more than a muscular hunk who seduced the heroine and karate chopped his way to saving the world.

"Oh she did, did she?" Wes knelt down on large legs made all the more powerful by years of martial arts training. "What is your name?"

"Mary Beth."

"Well, Mary Beth, tell your mother that I try very hard to soften my French accent. And tell her that to prove I am smart, I'm writing my own movie about a little boy named Daniel who goes through the same treatments you do."

"Are you still going to get the bad guy?"

He brushed his fingers softly along her cheek. "You can count on it."

She cuddled his autograph next to her heart. "Why don't you write about a little girl -- like me?"

"I can have a little girl like you in my story. A little girl who goes to a camp like the one Claire Sutherland runs."

Wes stole a moment to look beyond the circus tent where Claire chatted with her family, a wave of heat washing over him. She was the sexiest woman here today. Her faded blue jeans caressed her hips like a lover's hand. Her plain white T-shirt pressed erotically against the swell of her breasts. Such articles of clothing should be outlawed except on a moonlit night when a man like himself could watch a woman like Claire slip them off, revealing a bare, silken body waiting for his touch.

Wes raked an unsteady hand through his hair. He hadn't expected to feel this way for the woman he needed to approach about backing Daniel's Story.

"Claire's camp is in two weeks," said Mary Beth. "Are you going to be there, too?"

He looked back at Mary Beth. "If everything goes the way I want it to, I'll be seeing quite a lot of Claire."

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