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Getting to know – Carolyn LaRoche

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband and their two sons.
She’s been known to lug her laptop to the baseball fields and keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down the next big story idea in the wee hours of the night.
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Daisies in the Outfield
After his professional baseball career crashed and burned, Jamie escaped to the scenic coastal town of Falmouth for a fresh start. With a new career that fit his personality, Jamie lived life on his terms. His terms were simple—fight fires for the adrenaline rush, coaching MLB hopefuls for the love of the game, and spending his nights with one of the many pretty faces that crossed his path. Plenty of women passed through his life but none had tempted him to settle down.
Until a feisty brunette changed all that. Too bad the sexy paramedic had no interest in Jamie or spending the night with him. She carried an attitude as thick as her New York accent and he wanted to coax a smile on her face.Mandy was running from something and Jamie couldn’t help but be intrigued
Can a sexy little wager convince a confirmed bachelor and a woman running from her past to take a chance on love?
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Dandelion Wishes
When a terrible injury ended his pro career, Grant knew nothing would ever take the place of his one and only love—baseball. Fighting fires didn’t hold the same kind of excitement as catching a ninety mile an hour fast ball at Fenway Park but he loved every minute of it. Especially when he met the sassy, sexy as hell paramedic that’s as complicated as a three-alarm fire.
Callie had already lived through her fair share of serious. At twenty-eight, her current plans for the future included having a good time and enjoying the MLB hopefuls that showed up on the Cape every May to play in the summer baseball league. College boys were fun but didn’t hold half the appeal as the sexy firefighter that kept showing up when she least expected it.
He wanted her and she wanted absolutely none of it. Or, so she thought. Grant could not only set her body on fire with just a look but with only a few kisses she started to forget that serious was off the table for her life. After hiding so much for so long, can she open her heart up and trust that Grant’s in it for more than just the chase?
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Tell us about you
I’m a proud wife to the bravest man I know and mother to two amazing boys. I love cheering on my kiddos at baseball games, teaching high school science and trying new recipes I find on Facebook.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My alarm clock? Okay so maybe that’s not exactly what you meant… We only have one life to live and I am not going to spend mine sleeping it away. There’s so much to see and do in this world.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to step back in time and spend a day with Robin Williams. He was such a gifted man. His ability to tap into the exact emotion of any given situation went beyond pure talent.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I love baseball, I love Cape Cod and hot firefighters make for good heroes. Combining the three seemed like a really good idea for a sexy, funny romance.

Tell us your writing process
I am a total seat of my pants writer. My process is nearly non-existent. Once I start work on a story, I write it until its done, do a couple read-throughs and send it off to my beta readers. From there, edits and prep for publication. I don’t have a specific snack or music I like to listen to or anything like that.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Network and get comfortable with social media. The internet can be an author’s best friend if it’s used properly. Also, something my husband says to me frequently—make sure you are writing because you love writing. Let the rest fall into place.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not really sure. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. The idea to publish my work just sort of evolved over time and a series of unexpected decisions.

Tell us about your main character:
Jamie is a former MLB player with a slightly messy past. After his baseball career comes to an end, he discovers a new love in firefighting. He’s a ladies man with no interest in ever settling down until he meets Mandy.

What are you working on next?
I’m about halfway through the third book in this Cape Cod series. I’ve also begun work on a humorous cop drama.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Does raising two teen boys count?

Who are your favorite authors?
I love Janet Evanovich. Her characters are so imperfectly real. I am also a big fan of Jill Shalvis. Her romances have a lot of humor and relatable characters.

What do you like to do with your free time?
I’m a beach girl. I love the ocean, the sand, the smell of the air. I dabble a little in crochet but I am not very good at it and I love to try new recipes.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I have always wanted to write a story based on the many letters my father wrote to my mother while he was fighting in the Vietnam War. I think that might be next big project.

Where can people find you on the web? 
Twitter: @CarolynLaRoche
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynLaRoche

Any final thoughts?
Don’t be afraid to try out new authors. In the last three years my indie horizons have been broadened tremendously. I’ve discovered amazing writers I’d have never known existed if I’d stuck with only the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

An Excerpt from Daisies in the Outfield
“Come on, Sally, when’s dinner gonna be served?” All the guys had a girl name for their night on kitchen duty. Jamie’s was Sally. Grant had been harassing him big time and it was getting way beyond annoying. Every time the door to the house opened, he held his breath hoping Mandy would walk in.
“You’ll get your food when it’s ready,” he snapped, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
“Touchy today, aren’t we. Is it your time of the month, Sally?”
“Go to hell.” Jamie stirred the sauce then poured the five pounds of pasta into the oversized colander to drain it.
“Damn, man. You need to get laid something serious.”
“You might not understand this, but there is more to life than getting laid and getting drunk.”
“Tell that to my liver and my dick. They are pretty feisty little guys and they want what they want when they want it.”
“You really need a life, Grant.”
“I have a great life. A job I like, a twenty four hour grocery store across the street and
plenty of pretty ladies around town with a thing for firefighters.”
“Why don’t you and your dick go tell the guys grub’s on. I need to step outside for some air.”
“Thinking about my parts got you all hot and bothered, does it?” Grant left the kitchen laughing and Jamie stepped out the back door to the little grassy area behind the fire station. Stretching, he let the cool ocean breeze that always accompanied nightfall, wash over him. The smell of sand and salt assaulted his senses. It was a heady combination on a warm summer night. Even better if he had a certain woman in his arms watching the waves crash in over their toes.
“Hey,” a voice called out quietly from the dimness of dusk. A very familiar voice. A voice that made his heart jump around wildly in his chest. Mandy.
He turned around and saw her standing at the corner of the building, peering at him with an amused look on her face. Suddenly feeling a little shy, he replied, “Hey, yourself,” instead of striding over and taking her in his arms like he had ached to do all day long. Mandy giggled and twisted her hands in front of her.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I came here to meet a guy named Jamie but it looks like I’ve found Betty Crocker instead.”
Oh, shit. The apron!
“You got a problem with a man in an apron?” He grinned and she laughed again, shaking her head.
“No. I don’t suppose I do.”
“Good.” This time he did close the distance between them but he didn’t touch her. She shivered a little and he hoped it was because of his proximity and not the evening breeze. “It’s a house joke. The guy on kitchen duty has to wear one—the frillier, the better—and he gets a girl name. Hazing at its best, I suppose.”
“What’s yours?”
“My what?” It was getting hard to think when all he could focus on was her lips and how badly he wanted to taste them.
Mandy ran a finger lightly up his arm until she reached the place where the full length apron started up around his neck and hooked her finger there. “Your girl name. What is it?”
“Sally.”
“Hmmm…I’ve always had this secret fantasy of kissing a girl named Sally. Ever since I heard the song Mustang Sally.”
“You have? Maybe we should do something about that.”
“Maybe we should.” Mandy was more
relaxed than he had seen her over the last few days, flirting with her words and ravaging him with her eyes. He sure liked this side of her.
Jamie bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Mandy wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned back slightly and murmured, “Oh, Sally. You have the most amazing—eyes.” She ran her tongue over her lips, never once looking him the eyes.
“So do you,” he replied focused only on those now slightly dampened lips. The space between them disappeared as she took his mouth with a passion he wouldn’t have thought her capable of. Worried one of the guys might walk outside and see them, he carried her into a stand of pine trees on the side of the building, never once breaking their contact. She let a tiny little moan escape as she ended the kiss.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.” She sounded embarrassed.
“I never want you to not do that if you have the urge. Did that even make sense?” He chuckled huskily against her throat as he placed tiny little kisses across the neck line of her top. The thin, silky material was erotic, caressing his chin and cheek as he explored the bare skin of her shoulder with his tongue.
“Yes. It made sense.” She pulled his mouth back up to hers. “I feel like doing it again.”
Jamie dropped to his knees, setting Mandy gently onto the ground. He sat in the cushion of the pine needles and pulled her onto his lap. “Then by all means—”
The second kiss was better than the first as his tongue sought hers. She was as fervent as he was in her desire to get as close as possible. If he weren’t in uniform, twenty feet from ten other guys, he would have given into her every demand. As it was, they were about to go to a place he wouldn’t return from without an ice cold shower so he pulled back reluctantly.
“Did I miss something?” he whispered against her ear.
“No. Why?”
“This morning I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again. I mean, there was something—”
“I know. I’m sorry. I was having some doubts but then I talked to Callie and worked a few things out.”
“I like when you talk to Callie.” He grinned and pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, behind her ear. “Can you talk to her more often? Preferably on a day when I am not on duty?”
Mandy laughed. “I think that can be arranged.”
“Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “Not anymore.”
There was no mistaking the meaning in her words. “Yeah, me either. Unfortunately, I have to get back inside. The captain can be a bit of a ball-buster.”
Mandy moved to stand but Jamie pulled her back in, crushing his lips to hers in one last hard kiss. He wanted to remember the feel of her lips all night long. She snaked her arms around his neck and murmured, “I know exactly what you mean.”
His hands slid up her back slowly, slipping under the hem of her top and finding the soft skin of her lower back. A groan rumbled through his chest. Frustration mounted and that ice cold shower was definitely about to become reality.
“I should go,” she whispered. “I don’t want you to get in trouble on my account. I’m thinking you are going to need those balls your captain will want to bust in the near future.”
He groaned again, this time in sweet agony over the image her words had conjured in his mind. They walked out of the stand of trees hand in hand, Jamie cursing his need to be employed.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t want to get in the way.”
“You are never in my way.”
He loved the way all her skin, not just her face, changed colors when she was embarrassed. Half the time he said stuff like that just to make her blush.
“See you for the game tomorrow night?” he asked, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her in for one last kiss.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, Coach.” She batted her eyelashes exaggeratedly and gave him a sugary sweet smile.
“Good. I’ll make sure one of my uniforms is clean just for you.”
“You can but you’ll be wasting your time.” Mandy stepped away and gave a little wave. “I never lose a bet. Enjoy the rest of your shift.”
He watched as she walked away, stopping just before she turned the corner and blew him a little kiss.
What the hell was all that?
That was a side to Mandy, he hadn’t expected. All her temperature changes over the past few days hadn’t prepared him for what had just gone down.
The door opened behind him. “Where the hell’d you get off to, man? I was about to call in search and rescue.”
“Nowhere. I’ve been out here the whole time.”
“You’ve got dirt on your knees.”
“I dropped something.”
“And found it by rolling around under the trees?” Grant reached up and pulled a pine needle out of Jamie’s hair.
“I guess so.”
“You look like a freak in that apron.”
“Mandy likes it.”
Grant’s eyes widened as he scanned the area. “She’s here?”
“Was. I invited her for dinner.”
“Well, why didn’t you all come inside then?”
Jamie turned and grinned at his friend. “Because she skipped the meal and filled up on desert.”
“You dog! You didn’t—?”
“No! Not that. I would have but you know, work and all.”
“Always getting in the way of the good stuff,” Grant grumbled as they returned to the kitchen. “If I could get paid for having sex, I would.”
“You can. But, you can also get arrested for it.”
“I meant legally, you ass hat! Maybe I’ll become a porn star.” He gyrated his hips exaggeratedly, making Jamie laugh.
Jamie pulled off his apron and tossed it to Grant. “Sorry, dude. You better stick with fighting fires. You’re on cleanup. I need a shower.”
A very, very cold shower.

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VBT – Daisies in the Outfield

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband and their two sons.

She’s been known to lug her laptop to the baseball fields and keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down the next big story idea in the wee hours of the night.

Facebook Blog Goodreads Twitter Amazon

Daisies in the Outfield

After his professional baseball career crashed and burned, Jamie escaped to the scenic coastal town of Falmouth for a fresh start. With a new career that fit his personality, Jamie lived life on his terms. His terms were simple—fight fires for the adrenaline rush, coaching MLB hopefuls for the love of the game, and spending his nights with one of the many pretty faces that crossed his path. Plenty of women passed through his life but none had tempted him to settle down.

Until a feisty brunette changed all that. Too bad the sexy paramedic had no interest in Jamie or spending the night with him. She carried an attitude as thick as her New York accent and he wanted to coax a smile on her face.Mandy was running from something and Jamie couldn’t help but be intrigued.

Can a sexy little wager convince a confirmed bachelor and a woman running from her past to take a chance on love?

Goodreads Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Nook

Dandelion Wishes

When a terrible injury ended his pro career, Grant knew nothing would ever take the place of his one and only love—baseball. Fighting fires didn’t hold the same kind of excitement as catching a ninety mile an hour fast ball at Fenway Park but he loved every minute of it. Especially when he met the sassy, sexy as hell paramedic that’s as complicated as a three-alarm fire.

Callie had already lived through her fair share of serious. At twenty-eight, her current plans for the future included having a good time and enjoying the MLB hopefuls that showed up on the Cape every May to play in the summer baseball league. College boys were fun but didn’t hold half the appeal as the sexy firefighter that kept showing up when she least expected it.

He wanted her and she wanted absolutely none of it. Or, so she thought. Grant could not only set her body on fire with just a look but with only a few kisses she started to forget that serious was off the table for her life. After hiding so much for so long, can she open her heart up and trust that Grant’s in it for more than just the chase?

Goodreads Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Barnes & Noble iTunes

An Excerpt from Daisies in the Outfield

“Come on, Sally, when’s dinner gonna be served?” All the guys had a girl name for their night on kitchen duty. Jamie’s was Sally. Grant had been harassing him big time and it was getting way beyond annoying. Every time the door to the house opened, he held his breath hoping Mandy would walk in.
“You’ll get your food when it’s ready,” he snapped, not bothering to hide his annoyance.
“Touchy today, aren’t we. Is it your time of the month, Sally?”
“Go to hell.” Jamie stirred the sauce then poured the five pounds of pasta into the oversized colander to drain it.
“Damn, man. You need to get laid something serious.”
“You might not understand this, but there is more to life than getting laid and getting drunk.”
“Tell that to my liver and my dick. They are pretty feisty little guys and they want what they want when they want it.”
“You really need a life, Grant.”
“I have a great life. A job I like, a twenty four hour grocery store across the street and
plenty of pretty ladies around town with a thing for firefighters.”
“Why don’t you and your dick go tell the guys grub’s on. I need to step outside for some air.”
“Thinking about my parts got you all hot and bothered, does it?” Grant left the kitchen laughing and Jamie stepped out the back door to the little grassy area behind the fire station. Stretching, he let the cool ocean breeze that always accompanied nightfall, wash over him. The smell of sand and salt assaulted his senses. It was a heady combination on a warm summer night. Even better if he had a certain woman in his arms watching the waves crash in over their toes.
“Hey,” a voice called out quietly from the dimness of dusk. A very familiar voice. A voice that made his heart jump around wildly in his chest. Mandy.
He turned around and saw her standing at the corner of the building, peering at him with an amused look on her face. Suddenly feeling a little shy, he replied, “Hey, yourself,” instead of striding over and taking her in his arms like he had ached to do all day long. Mandy giggled and twisted her hands in front of her.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I came here to meet a guy named Jamie but it looks like I’ve found Betty Crocker instead.”
Oh, shit. The apron!
“You got a problem with a man in an apron?” He grinned and she laughed again, shaking her head.
“No. I don’t suppose I do.”
“Good.” This time he did close the distance between them but he didn’t touch her. She shivered a little and he hoped it was because of his proximity and not the evening breeze. “It’s a house joke. The guy on kitchen duty has to wear one—the frillier, the better—and he gets a girl name. Hazing at its best, I suppose.”
“What’s yours?”
“My what?” It was getting hard to think when all he could focus on was her lips and how badly he wanted to taste them.
Mandy ran a finger lightly up his arm until she reached the place where the full length apron started up around his neck and hooked her finger there. “Your girl name. What is it?”
“Sally.”
“Hmmm…I’ve always had this secret fantasy of kissing a girl named Sally. Ever since I heard the song Mustang Sally.”
“You have? Maybe we should do something about that.”
“Maybe we should.” Mandy was more
relaxed than he had seen her over the last few days, flirting with her words and ravaging him with her eyes. He sure liked this side of her.
Jamie bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Mandy wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck. She leaned back slightly and murmured, “Oh, Sally. You have the most amazing—eyes.” She ran her tongue over her lips, never once looking him the eyes.
“So do you,” he replied focused only on those now slightly dampened lips. The space between them disappeared as she took his mouth with a passion he wouldn’t have thought her capable of. Worried one of the guys might walk outside and see them, he carried her into a stand of pine trees on the side of the building, never once breaking their contact. She let a tiny little moan escape as she ended the kiss.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself.” She sounded embarrassed.
“I never want you to not do that if you have the urge. Did that even make sense?” He chuckled huskily against her throat as he placed tiny little kisses across the neck line of her top. The thin, silky material was erotic, caressing his chin and cheek as he explored the bare skin of her shoulder with his tongue.
“Yes. It made sense.” She pulled his mouth back up to hers. “I feel like doing it again.”
Jamie dropped to his knees, setting Mandy gently onto the ground. He sat in the cushion of the pine needles and pulled her onto his lap. “Then by all means—”
The second kiss was better than the first as his tongue sought hers. She was as fervent as he was in her desire to get as close as possible. If he weren’t in uniform, twenty feet from ten other guys, he would have given into her every demand. As it was, they were about to go to a place he wouldn’t return from without an ice cold shower so he pulled back reluctantly.
“Did I miss something?” he whispered against her ear.
“No. Why?”
“This morning I wasn’t sure I would ever see you again. I mean, there was something—”
“I know. I’m sorry. I was having some doubts but then I talked to Callie and worked a few things out.”
“I like when you talk to Callie.” He grinned and pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, behind her ear. “Can you talk to her more often? Preferably on a day when I am not on duty?”
Mandy laughed. “I think that can be arranged.”
“Are you hungry?”
She shook her head. “Not anymore.”
There was no mistaking the meaning in her words. “Yeah, me either. Unfortunately, I have to get back inside. The captain can be a bit of a ball-buster.”
Mandy moved to stand but Jamie pulled her back in, crushing his lips to hers in one last hard kiss. He wanted to remember the feel of her lips all night long. She snaked her arms around his neck and murmured, “I know exactly what you mean.”
His hands slid up her back slowly, slipping under the hem of her top and finding the soft skin of her lower back. A groan rumbled through his chest. Frustration mounted and that ice cold shower was definitely about to become reality.
“I should go,” she whispered. “I don’t want you to get in trouble on my account. I’m thinking you are going to need those balls your captain will want to bust in the near future.”
He groaned again, this time in sweet agony over the image her words had conjured in his mind. They walked out of the stand of trees hand in hand, Jamie cursing his need to be employed.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come in for a bit?”
She shook her head. “No. I don’t want to get in the way.”
“You are never in my way.”
He loved the way all her skin, not just her face, changed colors when she was embarrassed. Half the time he said stuff like that just to make her blush.
“See you for the game tomorrow night?” he asked, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling her in for one last kiss.
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world, Coach.” She batted her eyelashes exaggeratedly and gave him a sugary sweet smile.
“Good. I’ll make sure one of my uniforms is clean just for you.”
“You can but you’ll be wasting your time.” Mandy stepped away and gave a little wave. “I never lose a bet. Enjoy the rest of your shift.”
He watched as she walked away, stopping just before she turned the corner and blew him a little kiss.
What the hell was all that?
That was a side to Mandy, he hadn’t expected. All her temperature changes over the past few days hadn’t prepared him for what had just gone down.
The door opened behind him. “Where the hell’d you get off to, man? I was about to call in search and rescue.”
“Nowhere. I’ve been out here the whole time.”
“You’ve got dirt on your knees.”
“I dropped something.”
“And found it by rolling around under the trees?” Grant reached up and pulled a pine needle out of Jamie’s hair.
“I guess so.”
“You look like a freak in that apron.”
“Mandy likes it.”
Grant’s eyes widened as he scanned the area. “She’s here?”
“Was. I invited her for dinner.”
“Well, why didn’t you all come inside then?”
Jamie turned and grinned at his friend. “Because she skipped the meal and filled up on desert.”
“You dog! You didn’t—?”
“No! Not that. I would have but you know, work and all.”
“Always getting in the way of the good stuff,” Grant grumbled as they returned to the kitchen. “If I could get paid for having sex, I would.”
“You can. But, you can also get arrested for it.”
“I meant legally, you ass hat! Maybe I’ll become a porn star.” He gyrated his hips exaggeratedly, making Jamie laugh.
Jamie pulled off his apron and tossed it to Grant. “Sorry, dude. You better stick with fighting fires. You’re on cleanup. I need a shower.”
A very, very cold shower.

VBT – All She Never Wanted

All She Never Wanted

By

Carolyn LaRoche

Author Bio:

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys and one sweet kitty. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.

carolyn-laroche-author-picture

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynLaRoche

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7734909.Carolyn_LaRoche

Twitter: @CarolynLaRoche

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Carolyn-LaRoche/e/B005OKHIDI

Blurb:

One moment changed everything…

Evie Ward had everything she’d ever dreamed of. An action-packed job where no two shifts were ever the same, the best friend a girl could ever want, and a fairy tale wedding just days away. Her life was absolutely perfect. Until one bullet—one horrible choice—left her with a broken heart and shattered dreams. Fleeing the city she loved and a lifetime of memories, Evie took a job in the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the hopes that the ocean air and fresh beaches could somehow restore her soul. Falling in love again wasn’t part of the plan.

Landon Reed was on top of the world. The money, the women, the status—he had it all until one bad decision nearly cost him his life. His father gave him three months to get his act together or be cut off from the family fortune and business. No house, no job and no money. His will and his patience are tested further when his father hires a nurse to whip him into shape. She may be little but she’s mean and it looks like Landon has finally met his match.

With her shattered heart and his broken spirit, the road to recovery will be long. Can they help each other heal or will their fractured pasts be too much to overcome?

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/All-Never-Wanted-Carolyn-LaRoche-ebook/dp/B01N482RPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1482863987&sr=8-1&

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-she-never-wanted-carolyn-laroche/1125256179;jsessionid=5AE6953DE3B8225254775CEF163079C5.prodny_store02-atgap01?ean=2940153523552

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1181246769

Excerpt:

Good morning, Landon!” Amelia hummed a little tune quietly as she set up the bedside table. “It’s a beautiful day, today. Perhaps you’d like to go down to the beach after your physical therapy appointment?”

I pulled the covers over my head. “I changed my mind. I’m not going to any appointment.”

Come on, Landon. You can’t spend the rest of your life sitting here in this room.”

Yes, I can.”

You are going to physical therapy.” The covers disappeared from my face as I looked up into the smiling grey eyes of Amelia. “Rise and shine!”

I’m not getting up.” I buried my head under my pillow.

Amelia walked toward the door. “Maybe you’ll have better luck with him.”

Good morning, Mr. Reed. Do you plan to stay in bed all day?” A different voice, one thick with the distinctive accent of New York City replaced Amelia’s soft southern sound.

What’s it to you?”

Well, it’s all the same to me if you want to rot away in that bed. I get paid either way.” I heard soft footsteps cross the room toward the little sitting area.

Rolling over on my side, I shifted the pillow enough to peek out. From my vantage point, all I could see was a pair of canvas shoes. The television turned on. I heard her flip through channels, finally settling on that home improvement show with the twin brothers. Every woman I knew loved them.

Nobody watches those stupid shows anymore.”

Either she didn’t hear me or she was ignoring me.

Those shows are ridiculous.” I made sure to project my voice from under the pillow.

No more ridiculous than a grown man hiding under a pillow and acting like a two-year-old.”

I threw the covers off and shot up to a sitting position, ignoring the burning pain in my leg. “What the fuck is your prob…” Holy shit. The woman sitting on the couch looking at the television and completely ignoring me wasn’t hideous or horrible. In fact, she was fucking hot. “Who the hell are you?” I knew exactly who she was.

She looked over at me, boredom in her expression, before returning her attention to the television. “The nurse your father hired. Who do you think I am?”

I don’t need a nurse.”

I agree.” She flipped the channel to a news program and grimaced. “The way you’re acting, you need a nanny.”

What’s that supposed to mean?” I turned so I could swing my legs over the side of the bed, my knee making my movements jerky not angry and pronounced like I’d intended.

It means, you can’t even dress yourself so how can anyone expect you to do anything?”

I followed her glance down to my lap. “See something you like?

Nope. I’m a nurse. I’ve seen worse. Of course, I’ve seen better too. Much better.” She clicked to another station. I could have sworn I saw her lip twitch as I growled over her insult.

Just get out. I don’t need you. Tell my father to go to hell.”

She tossed the remote control on the coffee table and checked her watch. “You have ten minutes to get ready for physical therapy or I’m taking you the way you are.”

I pulled the sheet onto my lap and crossed my arms over my bare chest. “I already told Amelia, I’m not going.”

You are going to get dressed.” She stood and looked me in the eye. “You’re down to nine minutes.”

And just how do you expect me to get down all of those stairs?”

The same way you got up them. Walter showed me the elevator.”

Damn it. I was hoping she hadn’t found that yet. “Are you planning to watch?”

Watch what? There’s nothing to see.” She dropped her gaze to my lap and gave me a little smile that was way more taunting than friendly.

Fine. Suit yourself.” I whipped the sheet back and reached for my wheelchair. Instead of turning away, she stayed right where she was with that little smile dancing around on her lips. With about as much grace as a bull in a china shop, I managed to get from the bed to the chair while she just stood there and watched.

I thought you were supposed to be here to help me.”

You didn’t say you needed my assistance.”

Really? I had to ask? Isn’t that what you are here for?”

Let’s get something straight, Mr. Reed.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at me. “I’m a trauma trained RN. I am not your maid or your gopher or any other thing. It is my job to get you back on your feet both literally and figuratively. I’ll handle your medical care and your personal care as needed but I am not at your beck and call.”

Just get out of my way so I can get dressed.” I pushed past her to the large walk-in closet and started grabbing clothes. Dragging a pair of sweats, some boxer briefs and a t-shirt into the bathroom, I struggled my way into them. The doctors had promised me that things would get easier once the pain wasn’t so excruciating but my knee just refused to bend like it used to.

When I was done, I ran a comb through my wild hair, mostly so I won’t have to see the look on Amelia’s face when we leave the house.

Come on, we’re going to be late!” The nurse called.

I’m coming already!” I whipped open the bathroom door and scowled at her. “You never told me your name.”

She shrugged. “You never asked.”

She was fucking infuriating—despite the way her long brown hair tumbled in sexy waves over her shoulder from the pony tail it was secured in.

Fine. What is your name?”

Evie.”

What’s your real name?”

That is my real name.” She stepped behind me and turned the wheel chair toward the door. She stopped and grabbed a pair of tennis shoes from the floor, placing them in my lap.

I meant, is Evie short for something?”

Yes.” She pushed the chair down the hall toward the door at the end and pressed the button for the small service elevator—the number one reason I had chosen the beach house as my home base after the accident.

Are you going to tell me what it is?” The elevator opened and Evie pushed me inside.

Nope.”

Why not?”

It’s none of your business. You can call me Evie or nurse. That’s all you need to know about me.”

Anyone ever tell you that you can be a real bitch?”

Honey, I grew up in New York. They teach a class on that in high school.”

The door opened at the ground level. Evie pushed me out of the elevator and down the ramp Walter had constructed to get me in and out of the house.

I’m going out on a limb here but I bet you aced that class.”

You’re smarter than you look, Mr. Reed.”

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