Title: Start Me Up by Nicole Michaels
Hearts and Crafts Series Book One
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
WHY DO DO-IT-YOURSELF…
Single mom Anne Edmond can handle—and hand-make—just about anything. From table settings to party favors, floral arrangements to nursery décor, there is no project her creativity and a glue gun can’t tackle. But dating? That’s a whole ’nother story. Case in point: Mike Everett. He’s a gorgeous mechanic and known car-whisperer, a man who can work with auto parts like nobody’s business. And he has thrown a monkey wrench into Anne’s carefully-crafted life…
WHEN YOU CAN DO IT TOGETHER?
One look at Anne is enough for Mike to know that she’s no fixer-upper. She’s perfect just the way she is—and the chemistry between them works like a charm. Mike’s always been a no-strings kind of guy, but Anne’s impressive self-reliance—and gorgeous exterior—gives him pause. This time, a fast joyride just doesn’t seem like enough. But first he has to convince Anne that he means to take her all the way…
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“So Anne has a website?” he asked.
“Oh yeah.” She turned fully, her eyes lighting up. “She has this amazing blog with two of her friends. My Perfect Little Life, where she highlights all these parties she does, and the other ladies post other stuff, too. I mean it’s crazy creative stuff that the average person wants to do, but doesn’t really have time for, you know what I mean?”
He didn’t really know, but he nodded in agreement and fake enthusiasm. “That sounds interesting.”
“Oh my gosh, it’s totally interesting, you should . . . well, I don’t know if a guy like you would like it, but you could find something cool for Bailey to do on there I’m sure.”
He was trying to figure out what she meant by a guy like him, although he was pretty sure he knew, when Anne came back outside with another woman, a cute little blonde wearing jeans and a pink T-shirt. She had her curly hair in a messy bun and her front was covered with flour and what he hoped was chocolate. When she walked closer he read her T-shirt. callie’s confections. He was pretty sure he recognized the name from an awning down on Main Street.
The other moms immediately began singing praises about the cupcakes and cake pops to the woman, as if most of them hadn’t been on the verge of real shit talk just moments before. Even the tone of their voices changed. Were all women capable of this complete 180? He’d heard of this kind of behavior, but witnessing it was nuts.
Suddenly something occurred to him as he glanced at Anne. Her left hand was lifted, her fingers lightly fidgeting with a beaded necklace that rested on her golden skin. Anne wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Huh. Now, that was interesting. The thought of her being . . . available made everything around him look different. The world shifted and all the pink and . . . no, all the raspberry and aqua seemed a lot more vibrant and interesting. Not to mention the guilt of potentially becoming a home wrecker lifting off his shoulders and bringing a lot of possibilities. She caught him staring and gave him a small smile before looking away. When was the last time just a woman’s smile threatened to give him a hard-on?
He spotted a grill tucked away behind the party and he instantly pictured himself there and making Anne dinner, sitting outside on a beautiful evening in this backyard, a cold . . . jar in his hand. Shit, he needed to stop
thinking. This woman and her Better Homes and Gardens lifestyle were really fucking with his brain. She was gorgeous, stylish, and instead of thinking about how sexy she’d look out of that dress, covered only in him, she had him considering a life that included more than a cold beer and a hot date, but a house that felt like a home, family. The way Anne made everything and everyone feel special—damn, it was hot as hell, and crazy appealing.
That thought sobered him and brought his fantasizing back into focus. He wasn’t polished or fancy. He was dirty cars, facial hair, and longneck bottles. He was definitely not meant for little kids and parties with hand- crafted goody bags. Hell, he was wearing one of his better T-shirts and nice jeans, yet he still felt out of place. This woman was a catch—that much was obvious—but she wasn’t for someone like him.
When she’s not writing, cooking, or hanging out with her husband, NICOLE MICHAELS is a portrait and wedding photographer. She enjoys writing love stories with happy endings and lives outside of Kansas City with her husband and three sons. Visit her at http://nicolemichaelsbooks.com/
St. Martin’s Press is giving away One PRINT Copy of Start Me Up. Contest is limited to US Addresses ONLY. To enter today’s contest, fill out the form below by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday March 6:
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