First published in 2003, Roxanne St. Claire is a RITA® Award-winning author of thirty novels, including her bestselling Bullet Catchers and Guardian Angelinos series. Her critically acclaimed books have been published in numerous languages and recognized with multiple awards including the National Readers' Choice Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and the HOLT Medallion, all for best romantic suspense. She currently lives on the east coast of Florida with her husband and two teenagers.
When you think you know your heart's desire . . .
Tessa Galloway is a gifted nurturer-her verdant garden at Barefoot Bay's new resort is living proof. If only the woman who can grow anything could grow what she wants most: a baby. Her friends think the right guy will come along, but Tessa doesn't want to wait. All she needs is the perfect donor to make her dream come true. Then John Brown is hired at the resort. If anyone could make beautiful babies, it's this gorgeous, mysterious man. So why does Tessa suddenly find herself wanting so much more?
Can you give up all your dreams for love?
It's been three long years since John Brown had to leave his old life. Forced into the witness protection program, he's desperate to be reunited with his toddler twins. When he gets that chance, there's a catch-he must prove he's got a steady job and a new wife. Landing a gig as a chef in Barefoot Bay is easy enough. And falling for lovely Tessa is even easier. The hard part? Can he win the heart of a woman who prizes honesty-when the truth may shatter it?
“Tessa,” he said softly, looking from side to side for a second. “I have to tell you something about me. Something you didn’t ask in your interview.”
Interesting, since he didn’t even answer the questions she did ask. Still, she waited, dying to see where he’d go with this.
“I don’t shy away from anything,” he finally said. “When I see something I want, I get it.” He gave her a hard, straight look.
Did he mean the job as chef or…her?
“So, what are you here to get?”
“My plan is that we start all over again.” Reaching down, he lifted her hand and very slowly drew off the gardening glove, sliding one finger out at a time out of the rough canvas. She couldn’t do anything but stare at his large, tanned, masculine hand undressing her much smaller one, her throat parched and every nerve ending dancing at the touch.
“We could shake on it,” he said, dropping the glove to the ground but still holding her hand. His skin was warm. A little rough, a little dry, but very warm. “But I’d rather do this.”
He lifted her fingers to his lips, barely brushing the knuckles, the sensation shooting fireworks down her arms. “To new beginnings, pretty Tessa. A new job, and a new…” He looked up from her hand and met her gaze, his own so serious she forgot to breathe again. “Friendship.”
For a moment, she stared at him, a thousand emotions erupting like a volcano in her chest. Disbelief and excitement and desire and disbelief and longing and—yeah, mostly disbelief.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Well, I’m not really trusting by nature, so I’m fighting the sensation that you might be full of shit.”
He laughed. “I deserve a chance.”
Did he? “And you’ll probably get one, but what happened?”
He lifted both brows. “I want the job.”
“So you’re suddenly Prince Charming? After being guarded, evasive, and walking out in the middle of an interview?”
He curled his fingers around her hand and sighed with resignation. “I guess I’m going to have to do some seriously high-quality groveling.”
“Major high,” she agreed.
“Let’s start with dinner tonight. We can finish the interview.”
Obviously, he didn’t know she’d called all his references and they glowed like polished gold, and he certainly didn’t know about the wedding planners and the urgent need for a chef. Instead, he’d come to grovel and take her to dinner.
“I’ll give you time to clean up and change for our date,” he said, as if she might be looking for an excuse to say no.
As if a groveling man offering dinner and looking like a sex god fell into her lap on a daily basis.
“I thought it was an interview,” she said.
He shrugged. “You call it an interview, I call it a date.”
“I call it a pretty remarkable turnaround for the guy who suggested a one-night stand of tongue-tattooing the last time we talked about going out.”
His smile was sinfully slow and so damn confident. “Haven’t you ever changed your mind about something,Tessa? Ever looked at a situation in the light of day and realized you’d need a new approach to get what you want?”
She tried to ignore the little thrill of his words and be smart about this. “What about trust?”
He lifted his brows. “What about it?”
“Did you change your mind about the advice you gave me in the bar? Or don’t you remember when your one word about trusting you was ‘Don’t’?”
She could have sworn a little bit of color left his face.
“How else are you going to know if you should or not unless you have dinner with me?”
She couldn’t argue with that logic. Or maybe she just didn’t want to.
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Giveaway ends November 8th, 2013