Part time caregiver, Thea Gayle, is left to care for two young girls who've been abandoned by their father. She turns to the only other family the twins have - their uncle, Logan McCall. But is Logan up to the job? He's hidden his heart from his friends and family for so long, he's forgotten he has one.
Heat level: As with all Harlequin Heartwarming books, this story has no overt sensuality.
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The red caught his eye first as Logan rounded the bend toward his driveway.
Red giving way to a slender pair of legs.
Then the other colors hit him. Yellow, blue, orange. The spectrum of the rainbow glinted against the light dusting of snow on the ground and the yellow Volkswagen in his driveway.
By the time Logan got out of his truck, it had registered that a woman did indeed belong to the car. A woman with killer legs and a dog.
Said dog was little and white with brown spots and short fur. At the moment he was lifting his leg over the shrubs edging Logan's porch.
"Good morning. Are you Logan McCall?" The woman's voice was melodious, as colorful as the red denim skirt she wore topped with a bright orange T-shirt. Totally inappropriate attire for spring in the mountains.
Not that he didn't appreciate the view. He just didn't appreciate the invasion of his privacy.
Logan pushed his sunglasses higher up on his nose and emitted a gruff reply. "Yeah, I'm McCall." Thoughts of coming home to silence, a hot shower and twelve hours of sleep faded. Why was this woman here?
"It's a beautiful day, isn't it? Not a cloud in the sky." She laughed a little self-consciously and shifted her feet.
Logan stared at the woman's bright red sneakers. She'd laced her shoes with little silver bells so that her feet tinkled every time she moved. He made the mistake of looking her in the face for the first time. She had warm brown eyes that crinkled when she smiled. Somehow he'd known she'd have the kind of expression that made you want to smile back. No one could drive a Volkswagen like that and not be cheerful.
Something was wrong. He could feel it. Women like this didn't show up on his doorstep.
The Story Behind the Story
This is a re-edited version of one of my Hot Shot series books that was released in 2004 (The Family Man). It was re-edited to fit into the Harlequin Heartwarming line - Wholesome editions of refreshed romances that celebrate traditional values and true love (their tagline, not mine).
How does this work?
An editor goes through the original manuscript and deletes anything that is too racy or sexy. Then they send a printed copy of the manuscript to the author and ask them to read through it with only minimal time for changes due to tight production schedules. What I found in the case of my book was that if you wiped out all the sexual tension, it didn't leave much to support the romance. So in my story I had to add a lot of the romance back in - sweetly, of course. It's interesting for me to compare the two books now, because it's almost like the romantic dynamic depicts two versions of the same two characters falling in love.
It's an interesting concept for Harlequin to put forth. I enjoyed the process and hope they'll select another one of my stories in the future.
Cover buzz: I wasn't asked for input on this cover. It looks like a fabulous update of the original artwork (without the cute dog).