***STANDALONE new adult romance from the author of The Butterfly Project and the Full Tilt Duet***
Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl…
Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship–a job he desperately needs–awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again.
When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.
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“Who are you?” he demanded rudely, shifting the diaper bag higher on his shoulder while hoisting his little girl in his other arm. He was six feet of hotness in a rumpled suit, glaring at me with suspicion in his dark eyes.
“I…I’m your new neighbor?” It sounded more like a question; as if I needed this guy’s permission to live. I straightened to my full height. “I just moved in upstairs. I’m a dancer. Well, I was. Had to take some time off but I’m going to get back into it soon…ish.” I put on my friendliest smile. “I’m a massage therapist now. Just got my license and…”
My words died under Sawyer’s withering stare.
“A dancer. Fantastic,” he said bitterly. “Just what I always wanted. Someone leaping and thumping above me, waking my kid up and disturbing my studies at all hours of the night.”
I planted my hands on my hips. “I can’t dance in a dinky apartment, and besides…”
Words failed me again as the sharp planes and hard angles of Sawyer’s face melted when his daughter–I guessed her to be about a year old–suddenly clapped her small hand over his chin. Sawyer’s hard gaze softened, and his broad mouth turned up in a smile–a beautiful smile I was sure only his little girl ever got to see, and so full of love that for a moment I could hardly breathe.
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. And love always wins. Always.
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