A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.
Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.
Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.
When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.
An alarm pierced the air.
Belle shot up from Benji’s chest. “What the hell is that?”
He leapt to his feet and grabbed the ringing phone from the nightstand. “What?” His knuckles whitened around the receiver. “Yeah, the code is 0708. And no, I didn’t trip my damn alarm.” He sighed as the noise shut off. “Fine, you do that.” He slammed the phone back on the base before stomping into the closet. His voice carried. “Someone broke in downstairs. The lady from my security company is calling the cops.” He darted to his dresser, holding a shotgun, and grabbed a box of shells from a drawer.
She stiffened. “You have a gun.”
Benji loaded the shells and strode to the door. “Stay here.”
“Wait.” She hurried after him but stopped short as he held out his hand.
“If it’s safe, I’ll call you down. Please, wait here. For the baby.” He quickly kissed her and rushed from the room.
She cursed and drummed her hands on her belly, counting the seconds. A minute stretched endlessly. How she hated the you’re-a-pregnant-woman card. The pasta she’d eaten for dinner threatened to return. Yuck. She swallowed the sour taste of bile and stomped from one wall to the other. If someone planned to hurt her man, they better watch out. No way in hell would she lose her fiancé on the night of their engagement.
Belle crept from the room and halfway down the stairs. Hinges squeaked from somewhere below her. She flattened her back against the wall as the hammering pulse in her neck beat in her ears.
Benji’s red hair popped into view between the slats in the stairway banister.
She relaxed. Pent-up air rushed from her mouth. Whew. He was okay.
“Belle? Goddamn it.” Benji scowled at her from beyond the slats.
Busted! She descended the steps. “Can it, macho man. Is anyone here?”
“Damn obstinate woman.” He muttered a few more choice words and shook his head. “Someone jimmied the front door open, but the alarm scared him off. We’re alone.”
She shivered and scowled at the now-closed door as though she could lay all her problems at its feet. “A robber?”
“It’s probably the same person who ransacked your apartment. I’ve lived here for fifteen years, and nothing bad has ever happened. It’s too much of a coincidence I get my first break-in after what happened to you.”
“I’m sorry.” Shit. This was her fault. She fingered the engagement ring.
“Never be sorry. He probably spied on us at your apartment and followed us here. None of this is your fault.” Benji hugged her.
She gripped him close. No one read her mind as he could.
He stepped back as sirens wailed in the distance. “Better put the gun away. Don’t want the cops to think I’m the trespasser and shoot on sight.” He grasped her elbow and pulled her up the stairs. As she eyed the weapon, he unloaded the shells back into the box. “It was my dad’s. I’ve never used it outside a firing range.” He stored the shotgun on the top shelf in the closet.
“You need to get a gun cabinet with a lock before the baby is born.”
“I will. C’mon. Let’s wait downstairs.”
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Excellent scene, Amber – action AND emotion!
Truly enjoyed your excerpt. Action and emotion. I don’t believe I’ve read this one. Adding to my TBR list. I’ve enjoyed all your books! Thanks for sharing!
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