(May 26, 2015, Gallery Books)
Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin…and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.
When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.
Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?
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The streetlamp flickered as he pulled up to her cheerful yellow house, which looked as happy as she used to be.“Ready, sweetheart?”
She nodded and climbed out. Grabbing their bags from the trunk, he walked up the curved pavement. She froze in the doorway. He peered over to study the scene.
The place looked empty. Sure, it was still fully furnished, with the aqua blue sofa and throw cushions, bright watercolors on the walls, braided rugs, and the sturdy pine table that reminded him of Mama Conte’s. The curvy metal spiral staircase leading to the tiny loft/attic gave the place a quaint charm. But the space pulsed with a hollow gloom, and a fine sheen of dust covered the surfaces. It had been empty only for a few months, but damned if he didn’t get the impression of sadness, as if the place needed human inhabitants in order to be happy.
“I never thought I’d be back here,” she said faintly. “I have nothing. No clothes. My laptop. Even my toothbrush.”
He gently pushed her through and shut the door behind them. “That’s easily fixed in the morning. Besides, I’m not minty fresh myself. I’ll run into town early and get what you need.”
“David wanted me to put it on the market. I refused. Not sure why.”
He didn’t say the truth because they both knew it. She’d sensed something wasn’t right between them, and selling her home gave her no exit plan. Wolfe checked the closets and found a set of sheets and blankets. He quickly made the bed while she stood and watched, so exhausted she seemed to sway on her feet. He took her hand, pushed her gently onto the edge of the mattress, and knelt before her. Untying her sneakers, he removed them, giving each foot a quick squeeze, then urged her under the quilt. Her face reflected a childish trust that made his gut clench and a fierce sense of possession rush through him. Damned if he wouldn’t battle anyone in order to protect her. He’d let her go once to another and her heart got trashed. From now on, any guy would have to get through him first.
Wolfe refused to analyze the emotions beneath the thought. He pulled the tie from her hair so it was loose, and pushed the unruly waves back from her forehead.
“Sleep, sweetheart.” He turned to leave but her whisper stopped him.
“Will you stay with me? I’m sorry—I’m such a baby, and a mess, but I’m just—scared.”
She blinked furiously, her lower lip trembling. Hell. He didn’t like sleeping with anyone because of the nightmares, but he wouldn’t leave her alone. Not like this. Wolfe nodded. Toed off his shoes. Then settled himself on top of the quilt and drew her against him. Her scent swamped him, the sweet scent of daisies, and the pureness of soap. Fresh. Clean. So unlike him.
She wiggled her butt, settled in, and slowly, her muscles relaxed. He tightened his grip around her waist, soaking in the closeness and body heat that simmered like a campfire. Cursing under his breath, he concentrated on his breathing and tried not to get aroused. He’d kissed many women. Slept with even more. Yet the honest passion she gave him during that one kiss would haunt him forever. But Gen was his friend. His confidant. His everything. He’d never ruin it with sex. Sleep came slowly.
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.
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