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BY LINDA POITEVIN
A story of love, family, and learning to trust…
When injured police officer Sean McKittrick heads to his cottage, he’s planning on some much needed rest and recuperation. But the idyllic peace he expected to find is shattered by…children?
It’s not that Sean dislikes kids, he just isn’t interested in having any of his own. Or in settling down, for that matter. Ever. Unfortunately, the woman in charge of his young neighbors has an unsettling way of making him forget why.
Grace Daniels is attractive, single, and despite her brave face, overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for three nieces and a nephew. When she helps Sean out of a jam, he feels obliged to return the favor, but he soon realizes there’s more to this cobbled-together little family than meets the eye. Grace is hiding something, a secret that piques Sean’s cop suspicions—and stirs his protective instincts.
As Sean digs for the truth, however, the line between professional curiosity and personal interest becomes increasingly blurred. A family might not be quite what he had in mind for his future, but he’s beginning to wonder if he can live without this one…or if he wants to.
BY LINDA POITEVIN
Sean’s hands came down on Grace’s shoulders, tugging her inexorably closer. Her heart thudded wildly, threatening to break out of her chest altogether. She knew she should object, knew she should pull away, but his bottle-green gaze had turned so intense. It seared into hers, holding her captive. His hands slid down her arms, spanned her waist, drove the last remaining oxygen from her lungs. His head descended. Desire licked through her veins. Need hollowed her belly.
“Oh, Grace,” he whispered, burying his face in her hair, wrapping her against him.
A hand cupped the soft flesh of her breast, thumb circling the nipple, teasing, tormenting. Grace closed her eyes and arched against him.
“More,” she gasped. “Please…more.”
“Baa,” Sean replied.
Grace’s eyes shot open. Baa?
She stared up at the shadowed ceiling, struggling to regain her bearings and calm her breathing. Reality slowly filtered in. She was in bed. Alone. Her skin tingled with remembered sensation, but it wasn’t real. She’d dreamed it. Dreamed it all.
She sat bolt upright, sweat-soaked sheets falling away from her. Dear God, she’d dreamed about Sean McKittrick? Heat flooded her—part mortification, part something she didn’t want to think about.
And what the hell was baa?
“Mooo!” came a deep male voice from the other side of the wall behind her head. Grace froze. Her gaze darted to the portable crib in the corner of the room, then to the door standing partially ajar. Her heart dropped into her belly. Annabelle.
She scrambled from the bed, tripping over the covers wrapped around her feet and narrowly avoiding a flat-on-her-face fall. How on earth had the child gotten out of the crib? She’d never—
Utter horror stopped Grace dead in her tracks. Wait. Sean hadn’t—he wouldn’t—oh, Lord, please don’t tell her he’d come in to get Annabelle and seen her all tangled up in the covers and dreaming of—
Her last functioning brain cell snorted at her. Really, Grace? A man who can barely stand up on crutches, coming into the room and lifting a wriggly two-year-old out of her crib without you hearing a thing? Really?
She put her hands to her overheated face and stood swaying in the middle of the floor, willing her lungs to draw air. Her pulse slowed. Reason returned. Mortification subsided.
It didn’t quite disappear altogether, but it was enough.
She opened the door and tiptoed down the still-dark hallway toward the glow of lamplight and the first pale streaks of dawn. Reaching the living room, she found her niece comfortably tucked into the crook of Sean’s arm, intent on the book he held. Annabelle removed the pacifier from her mouth with one hand and pointed to a page with the other, looking up at Sean. He’d put his shirt back on but only half buttoned it. From where Grace stood, the deep vee opening allowed a rather tantalizing glimpse of crisp, curling, sandy-colored hair and the muscles that had featured so prominently in…
She swallowed on a suddenly parched throat.
“Whassat?” Annabelle asked Sean.
“That’s a dog,” he responded. “Woof, woof!”
“Oof! Oof!” Annabelle repeated. “Whassat?”
“A goldfish. I don’t think he makes any noise, though.”
“Fiss!” Annabelle pursed her lips and made a little popping sound as she imitated the gaping mouth of a fish.
“I see.” Sean chuckled. “I stand corrected.”
As if suddenly aware of Grace’s presence, he looked over his shoulder. “Ah. Good morning.”
Linda Poitevin is the author of both contemporary romance and dark urban fantasy–something her husband refers to as her light and dark sides. In her other-than-writing life, she’s a wife, mom, friend, coffee snob, gardener, and food preserver (you know, just in case that whole Zombie Apocalypse thing really happens). She’s also the walker of a giant dog and minion to the world’s cutest itty bitty kitty, too.
Links to Linda’s website, blog, books, etc.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Linda is giving away a full set of Ever After ebooks (GWYNNETH EVER AFTER, FOREVER AFTER, and FOREVER GRACE) to one lucky reader (choice of format) who comments on her *Author Peek* Interview or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs. Don’t miss the chance to read this book! Thanks, Linda, for sharing your story with us!