Click on image to enlarge.
by Jayelle Drewry
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: After losing his wife, widower Logan Scott vows never to love again. The pain of loving and losing is too great. So, he raises his daughter alone, pouring his love on her. He will do anything for his daughter, even remarry in order to give her the mother he thinks she needs. Do anything that is, but fall in love. He's picked out the perfect candidate, daycare owner Amber Johnson. Single mom Amber has been burnt by love before. But her affection for a motherless toddler and her attraction to Logan has her willing to risk her heart again. Setting out to win Amber's heart and gain a mother for his daughter, Logan didn't mean to fall in love again. But he did. When Amber discovers the reason behind his seduction, will she forgive him and give them both a second chance at love?
eBook Publisher: Phaze, 2006 2006
eBookwise Release Date: August 2006
124 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [190 KB]
Reading time: 134-188 min.
"One, two, three, green light!" A childish voice sang out. There was a scuffling noise as several little feet scurried forward.
"Red light!" the voice sang out again.
Logan strolled around to the side of the house to watch a teacher direct a group of children in a game of Red Light, Green Light. He stood there, leaning against the chain-link fence, and let the children's gurgling laughter wash over him, remembering when he used to play the same game. It was a welcoming sound of peace and happiness.
A gentle summer breeze caused the limbs of an old oak tree to sway and the leaves rustled faintly. The wind brushed over Logan, ruffling his black hair, and he closed his eyes to enjoy the moment.
Straightening, he scanned for his daughter and, not finding her, went through the side entrance into the house. In the doorway, he came to an abrupt halt. Loralee was in her teacher Amber's lap, hiccuping and gazing up into Amber's face with big watery eyes. Amber was softly speaking to her, and gently rubbing her back.
Logan paused in the doorway once he realized there was no real emergency, waiting for Amber to soothe his daughter. He knew his daughter, and if Loralee thought she had an audience, she'd start crying again.
Lifting his gaze, he glanced around the room. Though he had been coming here to pick up Loralee for over a year now, he had never really taken the time to study it. The walls had murals painted on them. Not characters, but scenes. One wall had an underwater scene, complete with a school of bright yellow fish and a treasure chest. Another, woods with deer and rabbits hopping about. He rarely had a chance to observe the activities of the daycare, and he liked what he saw. There were approximately ten toddlers, ranging in age from one to maybe three, seated in a lopsided semi-circle as another teacher read to them. He could just make out the title of the book, Going on a Bear Hunt. How appropriate, seeing as they were in front of the woodland scene. He nodded in silent approval.
His gaze came back to rest on Amber and Loralee. The two of them made a beautiful picture. Both were delicate blondes, so similar they could have been mother and child. It caused a tightening sensation in his chest.
He looked away, but of their volition his eyes came back to rest on Amber. Other than his wife Lori, Amber had to be the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Afternoon sun streamed in from a window and caused her golden hair to gleam, as if there were a halo about her head. It was pulled back into a loose French braid, with wisps of hair framing her delicate face. Her wide set, green eyes were soft and intent upon the child. Even sitting in the floor it was apparent she was reed slim, with a waist that Logan could have spanned with his hands. Yet, it was not only her physical appearance that made her beautiful. It was the peaceful, calm expression on her face. Her soothing presence and gentle manner.
Amber continued to sit in the floor, rocking Loralee. In an attempt to get one of her favorite toys, the tot had tried to stand too fast and fell. She wasn't hurt, but the jolt had scared her. Already her sobs had turned to hiccups, but Amber continued to hold her for the sheer pleasure she felt in cradling the toddler next to her.
Suddenly a prickling sensation moved across her skin, and she could feel his eyes on her. Without looking up, she knew it was Loralee's daddy, Logan. She could feel his presence when he came into room. She studied him out of the corner of her eye without giving herself away.
At six-foot-two, his powerfully built frame blocked the doorway entrance. He wasn't muscle bound but the strength was there, obvious in the width of his shoulders and depth of his chest. His dark hair slightly mussed, and Amber wanted to go over and straighten it for him, just to have the opportunity to feel its texture, to see if it was as silky as it appeared. His piercing dark blue eyes, the color of denim, scanned the room. Just thinking about those eyes made her shiver.
Suddenly their gazes collided. The intensity of his stare made her skin prickle, her nipples stiffen, and she was the first to break eye contact.
Amber bent her head to whisper into Loralee's ear, "Daddy's here."
Loralee's head whipped around, and she immediately pushed off of Amber's lap to toddle over to her father as fast as her short, fat little legs would take her. Logan grabbed her under the arms and swung her up over his head. Loralee's shriek again echoed throughout the house, but this time it was a cry of joy. He tried to put her down, but Loralee would have no part of it and tightly wrapped her arms around his neck.
"You're early. I never expect you before five-thirty and it's only four." There was a smile on her face, and in her voice.
Heart racing, Amber stood up and dusted off her jeans. She paid careful attention to what her hands were doing until she could stop their shaking. He always had this effect on her. When she had herself under control, she walked across the room to join them.
Logan shifted Loralee so he could look down into Amber's eyes. "I know, but I have to go out of town again and I wanted to spend as much time with her tonight as I could. I'll be gone for most of the week this time, so I skipped out of work early."
His voice was deep and raspy, like he just had a shot of whiskey. But Amber knew better, his voice always sounded like that, and like now it always caused shivers to run down her spine. The man was sexy as hell.
"Her grandmother will be keeping her until I get back."
"Well, I'm sure Loralee will miss you, but we'll take good care of her."
Amber pasted a smile on her face. She hated it when Logan went on business trips. Not only did she not get to see him every day, but she had to deal with his witch of a mother-in-law. The woman never lost a chance to remind anyone in hearing range how wonderful Logan's marriage to her daughter, Lori, had been, and that more than likely he would never remarry.
Logan hugged Loralee to him. "She won't miss me half as much as I'll miss her. But I should be back by Friday, so it'll only be for four days this time."
Turning, he began to collect Loralee's blanket and diaper bag. Amber went to the kitchen to get what was left of Loralee's sippy cups out of the refrigerator. He left the minute she put the remaining full sippy cups in with the empty ones. Amber watched him until the door closed behind them, then she turned back to the others, a false smile on her face.
Logan drove away from Playmates with a sense of relief. Amber always made him tense, on edge. It was her eyes. She would never be able to hide what she was feeling because her eyes were too expressive. He knew she was attracted to him, more than attracted to him, because her eyes gave her away.
But that was not what made him tense. It was the unwanted response he felt whenever he was in her presence. A nagging sense of need. A need to touch her, smell her, taste her. A need to lay his head on her shoulder as he had seen Loralee do numerous times, and take comfort in her. He quickly buried the feeling before he could examine it any further.