Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Love to Believe

“An emotionally captivating story you don’t want to miss!” 

 

LtB Final Ebook 072115A woman in a man’s world . . .

CPA Rebecca Walker wields a hammer and saw with skill, but it’s like fighting tooth and nail to prove to her chauvinistic father that she’s capable of managing the family construction business. Romance is a luxury Rebecca can’t afford.

A man with secrets . . . 

Thanks to his past, romance isn’t in Sean Kinkaid’s future, so when Rebecca proposes ‘friends with benefits,’ Sean agrees. It’s the perfect scenario until love sneaks in—and Sean’s secrets tear them apart.

Believe . . .

But Rebecca has a secret too, one she fears Sean will never accept. It will take intervention from an unlikely source to convince these two lovers they have the one thing neither of them ever expected to find . . . a love to believe.

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EXCERPT from Love to Believe:

Rebecca drove from the parking lot and cranked the radio full blast, singing loud and proud with Miranda Lambert, undaunted by her own lack of a musical ear. Who needed pitch? What she lacked in talent she more than made up for with attitude and enthusiasm. Between the pounding bass and her own singing she never heard the boom of thunder warning of an impending downpour, nor the telltale thwunk-thwunk-thwunk when her tire went flat. She felt it, though, and with a curse pulled onto the shoulder of the road.

The heavens opened up the second she stepped her suede boots onto the ground. She zipped her jacket up and ran around the car to confirm the flat—yep, front passenger side—and then got back in the car to call Nate.

She grabbed her phone and groaned. No service. Perfect.

The dashboard clock glowed the time, and she knew she would miss the surprise portion of Caleb and Maddie’s engagement party if she didn’t get back on the road.  She’d have to brave the elements. She chewed the side of her thumb while eyeing the steady fall of rain, and steeled herself for another blast of the wet cold, courtesy of the North Georgia mountains November night.

“Man up, Rebecca,” she said aloud and climbed from the car.

A few minutes later she stared into the trunk which looked just as she had left it earlier in the week. Empty, save for the folded comforter still tagged and bagged from a journey to the dry cleaners—a trip made necessary by her cat, Mr. Peabody, who had puked up two fur balls along with the remains of an unfortunate catnip mouse—and the space beneath the matting that should have housed her spare tire lay hollow.

Oh, yeah, she remembered now. She’d loaned her spare to Vern’s mom, her neighbor Etta, a few months ago. Never got it back. Great.

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Do either and you’re a damned fool idiot.” So went the altered quote by Rebecca’s Grampa Boone.

Rain sluicing over her, she slammed the trunk and would have run to get back into the car, but headlights winding up the two-lane highway held her to her spot of relative safety on the road’s shoulder. She cursed the other car—no, not a car, a Chevy Silverado, tricked out and badass—and its driver as she waited for them to pass. The falling rain, mixed with sleet, pricked the skin of her hands. Great. Just freaking great. She hunkered into her jacket and shivered, willing the truck to hurry by. Damn, it was cold. Since when did it sleet this early in the year anyway?

The truck slowed as it approached. Panic trickled into Rebecca’s extremities.

No, no! Don’t slow down. Keep going!

Why was the guy stopping? What if he was some crazy serial killer? What if he whacked her in the head and forced her into his truck? He could dump her into a ditch, or drag her into the woods. She gulped. Nothing but protected state forest as far as the eye could see. Lots of places to hide a dead body.

The door of the truck opened. The guy got out, and she planted her stance, curled her hands into fists and slid her keys between her fingers. She’d poke his eyes out if he—

“Rebecca, is that you?”

Well, hello, gorgeous. Relief pumped through Rebecca’s veins and she relaxed her muscles. Not a serial killer after all, just a guy with killer looks. Damn those crime shows. A smile brightened her face and she jogged around her car to meet her savior halfway.

“Sean Kinkaid, you sexy beast, your timing is impeccable.”

“C’mon, let’s get out of this mess.” He took her arm and led her around to the passenger side of his truck and helped her climb up and in.

“Nice ride,” she said after he slid behind the wheel. “Sorry, I’m dripping all over your leather seats.” She held her hands in front of the warm air blowing from the dashboard and the heat made her shiver.

“Who cares? It’s a truck.” He flashed a smile. “Did you already call for help? You weren’t planning on changing that tire yourself were you?”

“I was, but I loaned my spare to a neighbor. I’ll have to call a tow later.”

“I assume you were headed to Cal and Maddie’s party?”

“You assume correctly. Let’s just go on ahead. I’ll have to take care of this tomorrow.”

“You sure? I don’t mind waiting with you if you don’t want to leave it.”

“No cell service on this stretch of road, so I can’t call for towing. Anyway, neither of us wants to miss the party. I need to get my stuff though.”

Sean held out his hand. “Give me your keys. I’ll get whatever you need.”

“My purse, laptop and cell phone are on the passenger seat. And there’s a big bag of M&Ms in a grocery bag in the back. I’ll share. Consider it your reward for rescuing me.”

His eyes, those amazing Kinkaid peepers of dark denim-blue, dropped to her mouth. When he met her gaze again mischief played at the corners of his lips and Rebecca’s cheeks heated under his perusal. Sean must have seen her blush, because his eyes crinkled at the corners and his expression slid into one of unabashed amusement.

“Be right back,” he said, still grinning as he headed out into the wet mess.

Okay, score one for Kinkaid.

Rebecca cursed herself for falling into Sean’s sexy little trap. The man was incorrigible. Gorgeous, but incorrigible.

She thought back to the first time she met Sean, at last year’s Fourth of July picnic in the park when her mother, Sada, and his mother, Edie, had combined their matchmaking skills for the purpose of bringing Caleb and Maddie together. She remembered seeing Sean and thinking he was too good looking to be real, and had put it to the test by beginning an outrageous exchange that had set the tone for their relationship, a casual friendship anchored in extreme flirting and wild sexual innuendo with not even one teeny bit of action to back it up.

Rebecca snapped her seatbelt and adjusted it for comfort. Sean had gotten the best of her with that look and he knew it, the bastard. She settled back into the seat.

Next point goes to me.

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