Join the authors as #MFRWHooks here http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com for some great excerpts. Mine pits an attorney and an Occupational Therapist student into a shared guardianship
Lauren Grant’s first meeting with Tony Carlin happened four years ago at her sister’s wedding to his older brother. There’s been an attraction but a wary one. The handsome arrogant attorney had showed disdain. At that time Lauren had been a troubled teen with streaked hair and piercings. Now, she’s working toward her Master’s in OT and has no time for more than school and her infant nephew. The death of Jamie’s parents has left Tony and Lauren as joint guardians of the baby.
Tony makes assumptions about Lauren’s current life-style. He’s as attracted to her as he was four years ago. But he’s a player and has no thought of making any commitments other than having sole custody of his nephew. He is grieving for his brother. Lauren grieves for her sister and Tony’s brother. A moment of mutual comfort sends them on a spiraling course.
Will they solve the problem of the custody and come to admit their feelings for each other?
When she placed him in the crib he was asleep. She turned on the monitor. For a time she studied him. How much he resembled his father and uncle except for his hazel eyes, a gift from Carrie.
With a sigh she walked downstairs, straightened the kitchen and leaned against the counter. Her grief refused to be contained any longer. As though a water pipe had ruptured tears gushed and gasping sobs accompanied the flood.
Attempting to control the gushing grief she gulped deep breaths. She cried for her nephew deprived of the parents who had adored him. The tears turned bitter when her own loss hit. Carrie and Jim had dragged her from a slide into self-destruction and helped her become a woman with a future. The sobs morphed into mourning for the couple who would never reach their potential and never see their son become a man.
As she wiped her eyes thoughts of Tony rose. He had as little family as she did. Only Jamie belonged to both of them. Her body shook. He was determined to shove her from their nephew’s life. His vision of her was based on a single meeting four years ago in
a few months after Carrie and Jim had helped straighten her life. A few of her
rebellious quirks had remained.
Not now. Not for a long time.
Two years ago she had returned to the area where she and Carrie had grown up. She’d started college. When Jim had accepted a position at a nearby research laboratory she’s been happy. Carrie had found a position teaching English at one of several local colleges. Since their arrival she’d seen them several times a week.
Grains of resentment abraded her thoughts. In the five months Carrie and Jim had lived here Tony had never visited once. Her sister and brother-in-law had trekked to the city maybe three times to see him. They hadn’t wanted to intrude on his busy work and social life.
What was wrong with him? Didn’t he care?
She didn’t know why Carrie and Jim had named Tony and her as co-guardians for Jamie. She didn’t know what kind of relationship Jim had with his brother. She only knew she missed them. Fresh tears began.
The doorbell rang. She blew her nose and blotted her eyes, a useless gesture. Tears continued to drip. The glass panel of the door and her tears blurred the man’s face but she knew the dark hair and broad shoulders meant he had arrived. She opened the door.
In an instant his arms enfolded her. She pressed her face against the gray wool of his overcoat. As he stroked her back Lauren fought the desire to allow the comfort he offered make her forget they weren’t friends.
His hands slid lower. He cupped her rear pulling her against his erection. Lauren raised her head to protest. Before a word emerged his mouth covered hers in a kiss shooting dolts through her body.
One of his hands shipped beneath her sweater and stroked her skin. Slowly he backed her from the door, past the kitchen and the stairs leading to the second floor. He steered her toward the couch. His tongue played along her lips. Awareness struck. He didn’t like her. Why this passionate assault? A reason shoved into her head. He would use her response against her when she asked for sole custody of Jamie.
She jerked her mouth from the drugging kiss. “Stop!”
“Stop. You’ve gone too far.”
“I haven’t gone far enough.” His dark eyes glittered with lust.
She pulled free and nearly tumbled over the arm of the couch. His hands on her arm prevented a fall. She glared. “I know what you’re thinking. You’re wrong.”
He grinned. “I don’t think so. I want you. You want me. Believe me, it’s going to happen.”
A cry from the monitor ended the discussion. She ducked under his arm and ran upstairs. Hopefully once she rescued Jamie, Tony would be on his way back to the city.