Murphy's Law [Damaged Heroes Book 1]
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by Sandy James
Description: Seth Remington had a fortune at his fingertips, but something was missing in his life. Purpose. Knowing he has one last chance to redeem his son, terminally ill Sterling Remington rewrites his will. To earn his inheritance, his son Seth must labor as a groom for a horse trainer. Katie Murphy's orderly existence is turned upside down by Sterling Remington's will. Raised on hard work and dedicated to her harness racing stable, Katie agrees to take Seth on as a groom. How can she ever fulfill the challenge of instilling a work ethic in Seth and still keep her faltering stable running? Kept at arm's length by the strict terms of Sterling's will, Seth and Katie are forced to struggle with their growing attraction until a devastating racing accident forces them to take a hard look at their relationship. How much is he willing to risk for her love? [Mainstream Contemporary Romance]
eBook Publisher: Siren-BookStrand, Inc./BookStrand Mainstream Romance, 2009 2009
eBookwise Release Date: October 2009
20 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [539 KB]
Reading time: 333-467 min.
"You Gotta Read: Ms. James has written an outstanding piece of work that was packed with one thrill after another. The action scenes blew me away and the romance had such sexual tension, I was cheering for Katie and Seth the entire story long. Murphy's Law is not a book you want to miss, trust me. It has all the elements of a superb novel that will tug at your heartstrings one minute and want to destroy someone the next. I highly recommend Murphy's Law and watch out for Ms. James, she is on her way to the top."--Val, You Gotta Read Reviews
"5 STARS: The plot line was magnificent and I gained knowledge of how a real race track works. I was able to see the horses' personalities through Seth and Katie and I actually walked away wanting to ride a horse and know more about them. I always hope that books have epilogues so that I can see how the main characters are doing a little bit into the future. This epilogue was explosive! Ms. James has outdone herself on Murphy's Law. It truly is one of the best developed and engaging books I have ever read. With action, rejection, animosity, suspense and a stimulating love relationship, Murphy's Law is certain to grip your emotions and do flip flops with your heart. I highly recommend Murphy's Law; it is a well crafted page turner. Ms. James is an extremely talented writer that I will continue to follow in the future."--Val, Manic Readers
"5 HEARTS: I have been impressed with what I've previously read by Ms. Sandy James. This book, however, gave more depth to her characters. This proved her abilities to delve into a plot and create a masterpiece. The main characters were, of course, attracted to each other (it's a romance). They were so opposite that it was amusing. The entire cast of her characters was realistic, endearing (or aggravating) and so believable I was totally absorbed in her story-telling. There were many individuals in this book which could have been confusing. It wasn't! James' writing ability was exemplified through the basic storyline as well as several "side" actions going on. I love her ability to make readers (me!) forget everything except what is happening at the time. There was a sensual undertone but the sexual activity was minimal. I loved how the book flowed and I did not see how the book would bring about its happily-ever-after. The tension and happenings were surprising. I cannot imagine a better conclusion. I highly recommend this book to anyone whether or not you love horses and racing. Finding out at the end that there is a sequel was an added bonus. Ms. James has found a place on my must-read list."--Brenda Talley, The Romance Studio
"4 CUPS: The intense drama that played out between Seth and Katie was beautiful to watch. I especially liked how Katie guides Seth throughout the story, showing him that a true person cannot get away with using his looks or his money to live his life. Watching the blooming romance grow between them was great, and seeing how Katie came to trust Seth helped make the story all the better. Overall, this reverse Cinderella story is a nice way to make a modern-day fairy tale; it shows that sometimes that little extra push is all Prince Charming needs to find his true love."--Danielle, Coffee Time Romance & More
"4 KISSES: Sandy James has a sweet romantic novel with Murphy's Law. I loved the character of Katie. She is tough, yet soft. She doesn't let Seth get away with anything, and can be the most vulnerable too at times. She needs Seth as much as Seth needs her. Seth is very self absorbed. He has a long way to fall to learn that things you work for are twice as sweet. He does learn that money will never be able to buy him the happiness he craves. But will he choose the money or Katie? Read Murphy's Law when you want to smile and believe in true love again."--Tina, Two Lips Reviews
"Unreasonable old bastard."
Seth Remington would never understand his father. Just because the Old Man thrived on working eighteen-hour days didn't mean his son should have to follow in his footsteps. Remington Computers had done just fine without Seth's involvement, and he had no damned desire to enter the corporate world now.
"C'mon, Baby," he encouraged his pristine Porsche Cayman as he pressed harder on the accelerator. He needed the rush that came when the speedometer hit the century mark. Seth eased the car between lanes, weaving through the sparse traffic crawling along the highway, obeying the ridiculous speed limit. He craved the excitement that came with each mile marker he left in his wake. Driving the Cayman was like flying, and God, he was addicted to the thrill.
Thoughts of the looming deadline entered his mind, making his neck muscles tense again. His father had given him one more month to sow his wild oats. After that, Seth's future mapped out like some yuppie wet dream. The job. The marriage. Grinding his teeth at the mere thought of riding a desk and wearing a tie like all of the other corporate monkeys, Seth reached for the Bose stereo and cranked Metallica's "Fuel" louder. But even the thrumming beat of the heavy metal music couldn't drown out his thoughts.
I'm not like everyone else. I'm different.
The idea of marriage wasn't much more consoling than the notion of working. Seth had chosen the pick of the litter when he proposed to Kirsten Scott, but even her sophisticated good looks and regal bearing gave him no comfort. Marriage was nothing more than a way to appease his father, a way to beget an heir to the dynasty. The simple truth was he didn't love her. Had he ever really loved any woman? No, that emotion was completely foreign.
I need to fly!
The snow began to fall in big, thick flakes, quickly covering the road in a layer of white. Seth found a familiar comfort in the way the Porsche responded to his slightest command, even on the slick pavement. His fingers caressed the steering wheel. Zipping around several cars slowing in his path, he felt his tension finally begin to ease.
He took his eyes away from the road for a second as he flipped on the windshield wipers. He glanced back up, and the brake lights that suddenly appeared in front of him caught him off guard.
"Holy shit!" Seth frantically jerked the steering wheel to the left, trying to prevent a collision with the rusty sedan sliding into his path. He jammed his foot on the brake as his mind screamed thoughts that offered absolutely no help in his precarious situation.
The Old Man's going to kill me. If I don't kill myself first.
The Porsche passed over the rumble strips on the shoulder, hit the grass and mud of the median, and began to fishtail as its speed rapidly dropped. As if watching the scene like a slow motion movie, Seth saw the approach of the large yellow barrels through the passenger window. They were the only things standing between him and the enormous concrete pier supporting the overpass. He braced for the impact, well aware of what would happen.
In an eruption of sand and water, the containers exploded from the force of the crash. The car slammed to an abrupt halt as the front passenger fender and door disintegrated into nothing more than pieces of crumpled sheet metal.
Airbags deployed with a bang and a shower of white powder. Seth blinked his eyes against the fine particles now filling the inside of his car. His right hand swelled, throbbing in rhythm with his rapidly beating heart. His chest hurt, but at least he could draw a full breath. No broken ribs. His right knee already felt twice its normal size as he tried to ease away from where it was wedged against the dashboard. A sharp pain sliced across his neck and shoulders as he tried to turn his head. Flipping down the visor to look in the mirror, he yanked the collar of his shirt aside and saw a bruise forming where the seatbelt had restrained him.
He breathed a sigh of relief.
Knowing it was only a matter of time before the police arrived, he let his aching head fall back onto the headrest and tried to relax. Things were definitely going to get crazy in a few minutes. Thank God, no one else had been hurt. The rusty sedan was probably several miles up the highway by now.
He was in deep shit now. No way around it.
Oh, yeah. The Old Man's definitely going to kill me. * * * *
The police cruiser rolled through the front gates. After a few moments watching the car work up the long snow-lined drive, Sterling Remington let the heavy drape fall back into place. His heart had been pounding a fast and furious rhythm since the phone call informing him of Seth's latest accident. Marching out into the cold, he waited on the front steps for his prodigal son.
Watching Seth ease his way out of the patrol car and carefully walk over to the marble porch, Sterling thought his son looked more than a little fragile. The usual cocky swagger had vanished.
Sterling glared down from his lofty perch. "How bad is the Porsche?"
"Huh?" Seth frowned then shrugged. "Can't hear you, Pops," he explained in a voice much louder than necessary.
Seth slowly worked his way up the stairs, his cautious steps betraying his pain. I won't baby him. He'd been down that path too many times with his son. Any display of emotion, relief or anger, would only start another family confrontation.
"What's wrong?" Sterling shouted when Seth reached his side.
"Air bag." Seth pointed to his ear. "Can't hear a damn thing."
"Thank you," Sterling called to the state trooper.
"You're welcome, sir." The trooper had already returned to his squad car.
Taking Seth by the elbow, Sterling helped him into the foyer, surprised his son didn't resist his assistance. Sterling leaned in to get closer to Seth and raised his voice. "Why didn't you go to the hospital?"
"Didn't want to waste my time. I'm fine. Just sore."
"How bad is the car?"
"How many is that?" Sterling asked, trying to control the fury quickly bubbling to the surface. All the relief he'd felt when he saw his son in one piece and not on a coroner's slab evaporated. He already knew the answer, but he wanted to gauge Seth's reaction.
His son appeared more than a little proud when he tucked his thumb to his palm and held up four fingers. Then Seth folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the intricately carved oaken banister.
"Are you ever going to grow up?" The volume of Sterling's words had little to do with his son's impaired hearing. He didn't realize just how loud he'd yelled until he saw Seth flinch.
"Love you too, Pops."
"What am I supposed to do with you?" Sterling had reached his boiling point. Passed it.
Seth shrugged his answer before one of his patented smug grins crossed his face. "You could always give me my inheritance now. I'd take it and get out of your hair."
"You'd burn through it in six months. You've done absolutely nothing with your life. Nothing! I'd hoped the plans for the wedding would settle you down, but..." Judging from the shocked look on Seth's face, he'd forgotten all about Kirsten. "You didn't even call her to tell her about the accident?"
Seth shook his head. "You know what, Pops? I'm going to my suite. Why don't you call her and tattle on me? She's more important to you than me anyway."
Seth withdrew slowly up the staircase to the second floor. Entirely discouraged at his son's prospects for the future, Sterling retreated to the study, his sanctuary.
The fire had ebbed, and the only light in the room came from the desk where he'd been reading the legal papers his friend and attorney Arthur LaGrange had sent. Heading to the oaken bar, Sterling flipped on the track lighting and then poured himself a scotch. He walked over to sit in one of the black leather chairs, stretched out his legs, and nursed his drink for a moment. The liquid burned a trail down his throat, but at least he finally felt himself relax enough to sit back and sink into the soft leather. Balancing the glass on the armrest, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.
Seth still didn't know what was to come, nor did Sterling have the intention of telling him any time soon. His son had enough trouble dealing with reality. Finding out about Sterling's prognosis would only exasperate the situation. No, Sterling would keep his diagnosis to himself. He took a long pull on his drink.
What's going to happen to my son? An amusing but highly disturbing picture of Seth dressed in a polyester uniform and asking if someone wanted fries with his order crossed his mind. What I'd give to see him drag in after working his ass off for one damn day!
Sterling felt the guilt drape over him like a shroud. He'd raised Seth since the boy was four, spoiling Seth rotten because he looked so damned much like his late mother. God, how he missed Brenda. She would have known what to do. She would have known how to fix this.
"Soon, Bren. We'll be together again soon."
Finishing the last finger of scotch, Sterling tried to formulate a plan, Seth's last hope for a good dose of reality. Somehow, someway, he would figure out how to save his son. Seth needed to learn what life was like for people who had nothing, people who worked from before the sun rose until long after it set--just like the people who took care of Sterling's racehorses. Suddenly thoughts flew through his head like shooting stars.
In his mind's eye, a face appeared. Her face.
"Now why didn't I think about this sooner?"
Putting his empty glass on the desk and picking up the phone, Sterling dialed the familiar number. "Arthur? Yes, I know it's five in the morning. Of course I know you're home. I called you. I don't care if you are ... Please, will you just listen to me for a second? I'll be at your office at nine. We've got work to do."