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The Last White Knight
Cover of The Last White Knight
The Last White Knight
by Tami Hoag
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With her frayed jeans and cascade of tousled dark hair, Lynn Shaw looks more like one of the teenage residents of Horizon House than their counselor. So it’s no wonder State Senator Erik Gunther mistakes her for one. Not that he exactly fits the description of a politician, with his movie-star looks and athletic build. Even Lynn, cynical, stubborn, and decidedly not looking for a relationship, can’t ignore her body’s response to the man.
Allegedly, he’s come to defend Lynn from angry locals who don’t want her home for delinquent girls in their neighborhood. But as far as Lynn is concerned, he’s looking for a photo op, a chance to play the hero–the last thing either she or her troubled girls need.
What they need is understanding. Lynn knows teenage rebellion all too well. And she knows firsthand its heartbreaking price. She won’t touch the good senator with a ten-foot pole only to watch him disappear once he gets what he wants. Unfortunately, Erik refuses to go away.
The moment Erik looks into her emerald eyes, his interest in work falls into serious competition with his interest in Lynn Shaw. Her rejection of his assistance only intrigues him further. He is determined to know her–and to help her. If that means practically moving into Horizon House, so be it.
But as the two engage in a battle of hearts, it becomes clear that Lynn is waging a private war of her own, against demons of the past–and against her overwhelming desire for the one man who may be worth fighting for.
With her frayed jeans and cascade of tousled dark hair, Lynn Shaw looks more like one of the teenage residents of Horizon House than their counselor. So it’s no wonder State Senator Erik Gunther mistakes her for one. Not that he exactly fits the description of a politician, with his movie-star looks and athletic build. Even Lynn, cynical, stubborn, and decidedly not looking for a relationship, can’t ignore her body’s response to the man.
Allegedly, he’s come to defend Lynn from angry locals who don’t want her home for delinquent girls in their neighborhood. But as far as Lynn is concerned, he’s looking for a photo op, a chance to play the hero–the last thing either she or her troubled girls need.
What they need is understanding. Lynn knows teenage rebellion all too well. And she knows firsthand its heartbreaking price. She won’t touch the good senator with a ten-foot pole only to watch him disappear once he gets what he wants. Unfortunately, Erik refuses to go away.
The moment Erik looks into her emerald eyes, his interest in work falls into serious competition with his interest in Lynn Shaw. Her rejection of his assistance only intrigues him further. He is determined to know her–and to help her. If that means practically moving into Horizon House, so be it.
But as the two engage in a battle of hearts, it becomes clear that Lynn is waging a private war of her own, against demons of the past–and against her overwhelming desire for the one man who may be worth fighting for.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One Chapter One


    "What we need is a white knight." Lillian Johnson looked up toward the big house, worry creasing her forehead above the rims of her glasses. She stood stiffly at the nose of her Volvo, slender shoulders set as if to take a blow, the summer evening breeze just teasing the ends of silver hair cut in a sleek pageboy. In her blouse with the Peter Pan collar and pleated skirt, she looked like a librarian about to be set upon by a mob of book-burning fanatics.

    The sidewalk in front of the house was crowded with unhappy people, neighbors who were not inclined to feel neighborly toward the new folks on the block. Many were holding hand-lettered signs aloft. No Delinquents! Runaways Go Home! Citizens for Family Neighborhoods. A news crew from the local television station was capturing the action on videotape.

    Lynn Shaw frowned as a breeze caught at strands of her long black hair and whipped them across her face. She raked them back with one hand, green eyes fixed on the crowd. "There's no such thing as white knights." She leaned down into the trunk of her middle-aged Buick and emerged with a box of kitchen utensils cradled in her arms. "Besides, I'll be damned if I'm waiting around for some man to come and save me."

    Leaving her friend and employer behind, she stepped up onto the boulevard and started toward the house with a determined stride. She was a counselor, after all. She knew how to handle people. She had the skills to defuse the situation–provided she didn't lose her temper. Of course, there was an ever-present danger of her losing her temper these days.

    The relocation of Horizon House should have been simple. Call a moving van, pack a few boxes, change the letterhead on the stationery. The home had been in its former location for three years without incident. Lynn doubted if most of the citizens of Rochester, Minnesota, had had any idea it existed until the building that housed Horizon's residents had been scheduled for demolition to make room for a new hotel. And the Horizon staff might have pulled off the move to this nondescript house with the neighbors going on in self-absorbed, quiet bliss if it hadn't been for one pompous, ill-informed, obnoxious man.

    "We don't want you here!"

    He materialized in front of Lynn as if her thoughts had conjured him up. Elliot Graham. A man who looked so normal, so ordinary, he might have been a mailman or a dermatologist. He stood before her, a man of average height, average build, average brown hair neatly combed. His face was an average face, unremarkable in every way except one–he had the eyes of a fanatic.

    He looked self-important and self-righteous in his charcoal slacks, white shirt, burgundy tie. The epitome of the well-dressed protestor. Lynn caught a whiff of woodsy aftershave and knew instantly who had called the news crew. They were too late for the six o'clock news, but Elliot would look just as spiffy at ten. She, on the other hand, would look like a street person in her old jeans and faded T-shirt.

    She closed her eyes briefly against the warning flash of pain in her right temple. As she opened them again a cameraman stepped into her line of vision, a minion behind him raising a blinding white spotlight on a long pole. Lynn flinched from the light as a reporter stepped up to her, microphone in hand.

    "What do you have to say about community resentment against this move?"

    "We don't want this institution in our neighborhood," Elliot Graham said emphatically, butting in front of Lynn.

    "St. Stephen's Church has graciously donated the use of this house...

About the Author-
  • Tami Hoag's novels have appeared regularly on national bestseller lists since the publication of her first book in 1988. She lives in Los Angeles.
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Tami Hoag
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