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A spellbinding story of love and money, desire and ambition, DEEP IN THE HEART sweeps from a small town in 1960's Texas to the heady elegance of Houston in the money-worshiping '80s ... when oil flowed like water, and black gold set fantasies on fire. It was a time of excess and ecstasy, where wealth and power knew no bounds. For a woman with big dreams, Texas was the place to be ...

Carly Anderson is as different from the other girls in Verity, Texas, different as day is from night. Stifled by the petty jealousies and close-mindedness of the small town, Carly leaves Verity -- and her broken heart behind and heads for Houston. There, ambition and financial savvy combine to make her one of the most powerful and respected businesswomen in the city. Daring to enter a profession dominated exclusively by men, Carly becomes a major player in a vast real estate empire. Yet with each step up the ladder, she will be tested -- and tempted -- by three extraordinary and very different men:

Boomer Bannerman -- The high school sweetheart who loved her and left her, he becomes the city's most influential developer by turning the oil boom into his own private pot of gold. But even as he and Carly rekindle their desire, capricious fate demands that they choose separate paths, separate lives, separate loves.

Cole Coleridge -- Scion of one of Texas's wealthiest families, he will marry Carly, but he will never wholly possess her. His fast ride on the high-rolling tide of the crude oil bonanza will come to a crashing halt, leaving the man who has everything with nothing but dreams of dust.

Ben Coleridge -- The enigmatic black sheep of the Coleridge family, he's a rebel without a cause ... until he finds his place in the world of journalism -- and in Carly Anderson's arms. But theirs is a union born of daring and desperation, and a calculated act of deception that will join them by the most precious and unbreakable of bonds.

Then there are the women -- Carly's mother, Francey, whose lost dreams finally find their way back home ... Her friend Zelda, who endures a life of shame and humiliation -- until an act of violence gives her a second chance ... Alexandra, Houston's reigning princess and financier -- and Carly's chief rival for the man they both adore.

Once again, BARBARA BICKMORE proves herself a master storyteller in a dramatic, richly atmospheric novel of ambition, desire and the many faces of love. Another gem in a stellar career, DEEP IN THE HEART is also a story of mothers and daughters, and the enduring friendships that fulfill and sustain us. And in Carly Anderson, Ms. Bickmore gives us a true heroine for the ages ... a woman who confronts the critical choices each of us must face in order to discover where true happiness lies.

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