Worth the Risk
Children's librarian Amanda Lloyd values privacy above all else. Three years ago her wedding ended in disaster when her groom was arrested at the altar and the story of the 'Embezzler's Bride' appeared in the supermarket tabloids. The experience has left her determined to avoid being caught in the public eye again. Until she meets a sexy single dad with a scandalous past…
Ex-racer Mitch Delaney is a public figure whose life has been plastered across the tabloids more than once. But he believes that anything worth doing is worth a risk. After the death of his ex-wife, he moved to Southern California to take care of his son Josh. He doesn't need the complication of a woman in his life, especially since Josh's grandparents have filed suit for custody. But Josh is on the hunt for a new mother and he has his heart set on Miss Amanda, and Mitch can't fault his son's taste.
Against her better judgment, Amanda finds herself falling for both of the Delaney men. When she agrees to accompany Mitch to a high-profile movie premiere, they draw the attention of the tabloids. Overnight Amanda’s private affair becomes very public indeed, threatening her job and Mitch’s custody suit. She’s waited twenty-eight years for the right man. But will happiness come at too high a price?
(Golden Heart Finalist, previously published as Private Affair, Kensington Precious Gem #121)
The town was lovely, with tall palm trees and a sandy crescent of beach ringing the glistening bay. It was a picture perfect day as they strolled along the waterfront to one of her favorite seafood restaurants.
After a delicious lunch of fresh swordfish they walked the town, stopping at all the tourist spots. They hiked up to the botanical gardens, visited the Casino where haunting echoes of the Big Band era seemed still alive, and went on the Glass Bottom boat.
“Let’s take a walk on the beach,” Mitch suggested as they stepped onto the pier.
They shed their shoes and socks, enjoying the feel of the warm sand on their toes. Amanda breathed deeply of the sea air and sighed in contentment.
“It’s been such a nice day, I hate to go home,” Mitch observed.
“You just don’t want to get back in the plane,” she teased.
“On the contrary, I can’t wait to take off over that drop-off gorge. I hope it doesn’t leave Josh fatherless.”
“You don’t have any confidence in me.”
“I haven’t booked passage on the boat, have I? You can’t get rid of me that easily.”
He gave her a look that told her the man loved a touch of danger. Her plan had backfired. Instead of discouraging him, he seemed even more interested. That should bother her, but somehow it didn’t.
“I’ve really enjoyed this.” He gestured at the town. “It’s like another world.”
She nodded in agreement. “That’s the reason I enjoy flying over here. It’s so easy to forget about the stress of daily life.”
He slipped his arm around her shoulders. “What kind of pressure are you going back to at the library?”
The pressure is right here. She was constantly fighting her attraction to this man. “Nothing really,” she remarked casually. “We’re getting ready for Halloween and I’ve got to get a costume together. I’m supposed to be Sleeping Beauty.”
“Oh? That has possibilities.” He leaned closer so his lips brushed her temple. His throaty voice whispered in her ear, “You’ll need a prince to kiss you awake, you know. I’ll be happy to volunteer for the job.”
Amanda’s breath quickened as she stared into his darkened eyes. He wouldn’t. Not here, on a public beach, in front of everyone.
She felt her knees weaken as his mouth descended. Her mind told her to pull away but her body had no desire to back out of his embrace. His kiss was as light and tender as an ocean breeze, but her reaction was anything but cool. Her pulse pounded and her heart jumped erratically.
It’s just a kiss, she told herself. But even as they pulled apart she felt a burning desire, an aching need, to feel his arms around her.
Worth The Risk is also part of the Hearts and Heroes boxed set.
Lyn O’Farrell’s Interview of Amanda Lloyd
Tell us about your job.
I’m a children’s librarian at Santa Elena Public Library and I love it!
What is your favorite type of pet?
I love dogs. My current companion is a miniature Dachshund named Willie who loves untying my guests’s shoe laces.
Name a favorite place to visit.
I love to hop over to Avalon on Santa Catalina every chance I get. It’s such a little town.
What is your worst fear or nightmare?
Being publicly shamed… again.
What is your secret desire or fantasy?
I’d love to have children some day. But first I have to find the right man to help me make that possible.
For Amanda to get her secret desire, she’s going to have to get over her fear of being in the public eye.
Lyn O'Farrell is the writing team of Anne Farrell and Linda McLaughlin. Their romance novel, Private Affair, was a finalist in RWA's prestigious Golden Heart contest and was first published in paperback by Kensington Precious Gems. Anne and Linda live in sunny Southern California, the inspiration for the fictional town of Santa Elena.
You can find the authors online at:
Linda McLaughlin http://lindalyndi.com