Big, sexy men who don’t relate well to kids need not apply…
Kezia Murphy plays her widow card well. When you don’t trust people not to let you down, it’s easier to not get involved—and getting involved with a man who makes her skin sizzle just by looking at him would be una pazzia—crazy! Four years ago while Kezia’s daughter, Zoe, battled leukaemia, a tragic accident stole her husband’s life. Starting over in the little town of Oban where she’s adopted into the close knit community on Stewart Island, Kezia and her daughter are all the family the other needs. Except Zoe yearns for more.
New Zealand’s worst candidate for instant fatherhood…
Ben doesn’t do gooey emotional stuff. He doesn’t do cosy home and family. And he sure isn’t the big teddy-bear Kezia Murphy, the woman he secretly fantasises about, thinks he is. So when Jade, his surprise eight-year-old daughter arrives on his doorstep, he’s a D-minus student struggling to pass a crash-course in parenting.
They’ll either melt or raze their lives to the ground…
When the sparks of attraction between Kezia and Ben fan into an inferno, Ben doesn’t know how much longer the layers of resistance around his heart can resist melting into the gooey mess he fears. The more he fights it the harder it is to make the choice that will destroy the family he now longs to claim.
Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.
Kezia swayed toward him, his gravity too strong to resist. His fingers still stroked her knuckles, distracting her from the close bulk of his body.
“How do you see me now?” she asked.
If his legs weren’t in her way, she would’ve kicked herself for the breathy, flirty words falling from her mouth. Her toes curled inside her slippers. She wasn’t a flirt—well, she hadn’t been a flirt for many, many years. Had assumed she’d forgotten how in the midst of rebuilding her and Zoe’s lives.
“As a woman. A beautiful woman.” His low voice twined around her, as rich and luxurious as the most expensive silk.
“You shouldn’t. You have to stop.” She tugged her hand from the sweet torture of his fingers and pushed against his chest. His broad, muscled, warm-to-the-touch chest.
Fine lines around his eyes crinkled. “What I’ve seen can’t be unseen.”
Kezia’s gaze dropped to his lips, outlined with the dark growth of five o’clock shadow. Soft and rough and oh-so-bad for her. “Ben—”
He dipped his head, and like a flicked switch, her eyelids slipped down and her lips parted. If her mind had forgotten those exquisite moments before a kiss, her body hadn’t. Breathless anticipation squeezed low in her belly at Ben’s salty, smoky scent. His soft breath feathered her skin. One large, calloused hand covered her fingers, which clutched fistfuls of his tee shirt.
“Easy.” He followed the word with the pressure of his lips to hers, the impact of his touch like a zap of static electricity.
Her eyes popped open, a shiver skating down her spine. Ben stared, his eyes narrowed, lashes masking his expression. Had he felt the spark of intense connection too? Or was it the overactive imagination of a woman who hadn’t had sex in almost half a decade? Sexually frustrated widow over-reacts to a simple kiss. Like a newspaper headline running through her mind. Mortifying.