Available November 5th 2012
Reagan Hilt is down on her luck after a recent breakup that leaves her with an expensive wedding to pay for that never even happened. Not to mention she already has two sisters meddling in her business and a sleazy landlord knocking on her door. The last thing Reagan needs is a hot guy sniffing around who may or may not be the father of the teen girl she’s been court appointed to mentor. He should have been off-limits, and would have been if he didn’t blow her world away with every one of his kisses.
Reed Morely’s daughter was just dropped in his lap after his piece-of-work ex-wife kept her from him for years. She’s no longer daddy’s little girl but a nose-pierced, smart-mouthed teenager. Being a father is suddenly a full-time job and trying to make up for lost time has Reed attempting to keep his hands off his daughter’s pretty mentor.
Reagan and Reed have their hands full already, but when they’re confronted with their pasts, and with the odds stacked against them, they’re left wondering if they could ever be lucky enough to have it all.
*Special Sneak Peek Excerpt*
“The last time I saw her she’d been an angel,” Reed said about his now fifteen-year-old daughter Chloe. He was talking to his best friend, business partner and pseudo-younger brother Tad Dundee. “Now, she’s a … hellion.”
Tad laughed at his friend. “God, do you remember what I was like at fifteen? What Chloe’s mom had been like at fifteen? Jesus.” Tad swore under his breath. “I don’t envy you at all.”
“Callahan’s set to go,” Shea the seventeen-year-old part-timer announced about their most lucrative customer’s car. Donald Callahan was the richest man in Whisper Hollow and brought all his cars to R&T Automotive when he could well afford to take them to the fancier shops in Glenn Hill, the town over, or straight to the dealer.
“Okay, park it out back,” Tad hollered.
Reed stood up from underneath the hood of the car he was working on. His arm was elbow-deep into the engine and getting greasier and more cut up with every turn of the wrench. “Yeah?” He pulled out of the engine, wiping his hands on a rag.
“I need to go to the store. Can I take the car?” Chloe twirled a strand of her dark red hair. She’d put highlights in it and had somehow made the underside black. She had flawless tanned skin that—God help him—she liked to show off. Thank goodness it was December. She was tiny and petite but guys were noticing her, and she was Reed’s constant worry.
“Absolutely not.” Reed laughed, which only gained him crossed arms and raised eyebrows.
“Why not? I have my permit?” she debated, and it was really a silly debate.
“Exactly. You have a permit. Not a license,” Reed pointed out.
“I’ll be careful. It’s only a couple of blocks.”
“I’ll take you to the store later. Or you could walk.”
“It’s like eighteen below out there!”
“It’s not eighteen below.” Reed laughed. “You just need to get acclimatized again. Taking a couple of blocks walk should help you start.” Reed was holding firm. The law was the law, and he drew the line at breaking it.
Chloe threw her hands up and groaned in exasperation. “You’re impossible to reason with.” She went back into the office with a loud slam of the door and a rattle of the windows.
Tad shook his head. “Reed? She calls you Reed?”
Reed didn’t find anything funny about that at all. He’d picked her up from the airport Friday night. The whole weekend had been awkward. Reed hadn’t seen Chloe in three years and not for lack of trying. He just hadn’t had the funds to fly out to Hawaii often to visit her, and Amanda, her mother, hadn’t been very accommodating either.
Now that Amanda was getting married she wanted some time to spend alone with the guy. So she’d shipped Chloe to Michigan to her father. The plan was that Chloe would go back home after summer vacation, after Amanda and Jason were “settled.”
He’d been so excited to see her. She used to be his shadow. He’d had the perfect, adoring, mild-mannered daughter. Reed’s sweet little princess had pierced her nose and had begun calling him by his first name.
“Yeah.” Reed rolled his eyes. “Her first night home, I take her out to that place down on Rochester in Glenn Hill, with the peanut shells you toss onto the floor.”
“Randall’s Roadhouse?” one of the other mechanics working on another vehicle supplied.
“Yeah, Randall’s, and while she’s in the bathroom, I do something nice for her. I remember what her favorite used to be and I order it for her. I get her the steak and sweet potato for the side instead of fries, and I get it loaded with marshmallows and bacon like she likes.” Reed stops and still in bewilderment shakes his head. “She comes back to the table. They bring us the food and she throws a fit. Apparently she’s a vegetarian and she doesn’t just refuse to eat the steak and order something else, she doesn’t want to eat at all anymore. ‘Lost her appetite’ apparently and she demands I take her home or she’s going to make a scene.”
“Well, what’d you do?” Tad asked.
“I took her home.”
“How’d you think you’re doing there, Pops?” Tad grinned ear to ear, obviously enjoying Reed’s agony.
Before Reed could answer him there was a loud boom. Reed threw the hood down, shot Tad a look, and he and the rest of the mechanics hurried out the back to get a look at what was happening in the parking lot.
Shea the part-timer was pacing back and forth in front of Reed’s smashed truck, giving Chloe the tongue-lashing of the century. Seeing his rear end muddled with Callahan’s front end he couldn’t decide if he wanted to cut Shea off and take over himself or start ripping into Shea for talking to his daughter like that.
Chloe had her hands on her hips, and Reed fought back a grin. She sure was no shrinking violet. She was digging him an early grave, and he could feel the gray hairs sprouting up out of his head, but he doubted he’d ever have to worry about his daughter being a doormat.
“How do I think I’m doing?” Reed looked over at an ashen-faced, slack-jawed Tad and said with only a quarter of the sarcasm he felt, “Just fine.”
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