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Claire Daniels is shopping for a home, not a man. But the house she adores comes with two males attached. One kindles an old flame, the other shields her from the heat. Both men have a disturbing past. Which one can Claire trust with her home—and her heart?
Claire Daniels admitted to breaking a few promises in her lifetime, but none as readily as this one. She’d vowed six years ago never to give in to her father, but yesterday’s frantic phone call from her mother changed all that. In less than twenty-four hours she’d tossed aside her pride, packed up her stethoscope and was going back to a place she’d sworn she’d never see again.
Claire was heading home.
Gripping the steering wheel, she maneuvered her Maxima up the steep, winding Pennsylvania mountain highway. Careful to hug the centerline, Claire kept her distance from the flimsy guardrail that stretched along the shoulderless edge. She pressed her foot to the brake as she rounded another turn and a flashing sign warned WATCH OUT FOR FALLING ROCKS.
Claire grunted and hit the accelerator. Facing a few falling pebbles was nothing compared to the landslide she was about to walk into. The emotional wounds caused by her last meeting with her father had left scars. He’d been so full of praise when she’d chosen to follow his example and become a physician, but when the direction of her career veered from his unfaltering footsteps he made no attempt to conceal his disappointment. His bitter, angry words still stung.
She lifted her chin. That was ancient history, what did it matter now? Besides, she was through trying to please her father.
A sudden thump from her right front tire had her clutching the steering wheel. Claire held tight as her car tugged toward the guardrail. Damn! It was the second time this month she’d blown a tire.
At the first sign of a shoulder, Claire eased off the road and went to survey the damage. She was just about to kick the darn thing when she noticed a motorcyclist had pulled onto the shoulder in front of her. Her breath ceased, mistrust of the Good Samaritan rising.
In one fluid move he was off his bike and pulling his helmet from his head. He walked toward her with an easy stride, his jeans hugging every sinewy inch of thigh. Claire was stunned by the mix of fear and fascination that caused her pulse to race.
"Got a problem?" His voice was smooth as silk but did nothing to ease her misgivings.
She released the breath she’d been holding and attempted a stiff smile. "I’m afraid I have a flat tire."
"I’ll have a look." He unzipped his leather jacket and tossed it onto the hood, then moved a step closer to examine the damage.
Claire took a hurried step backward.
He hesitated, his frown deepening.
Her pulse beat triple-time. She knew him. The town bad boy was coming to her rescue. Maybe her fears weren’t so completely unfounded.
Placing his hands on his hips, he squinted in the sunlight. Clearly, he didn’t recognize her, but how could he? It had been ten years since their last meeting. Gone was the reed-thin figure and short, curly perm he would remember. Still, Claire felt her skin heating beneath his regard and was thankful for the shield of her sunglasses as she stared into the face of the man she’d spent her adolescence fantasizing about.
Jake Weston was the only boy in Indian Creek daring enough to awaken her youthful sexual desire. She never understood her attraction to bad boys, but thank goodness she’d outgrown that particular taste in men. It had taken her a long time to get over him. She moved a finger to her mouth, feeling the ghostly imprint of Jake’s lips.
"Look, lady, I’d like to help you out here, but I’ll need a little cooperation. Your spare?" He nodded toward the trunk of her car.
"I’m afraid I don’t have a spare." Her cheeks warmed a second time. She’d forgotten to replace it after her last tire went flat.
His frown deepened. "Then as I see it, you have two options. Either I can offer you a lift into town, or I can go in alone and send a repair truck back. It’s your choice."
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 208
Paper Weight (lb): 9.0
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