In This Life Cora Brent ~ Page 1

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KATHLEEN
Loner. Volatile. Wickedly hot and unforgiving.
Probably not the kind of man anyone should trust with an infant.
Definitely not the kind of man any woman should trust with her heart.
When Nash Ryan returned to town for the sake of his baby brother I thought I already understood who he was.
I also thought I was done giving my heart away until he proved otherwise.
But we don"t stand a chance.
Everything is ready to unravel.
And the secrets I"ve kept will be our undoing.

NASH
This isn"t the first time I"ve known tragedy.
Maybe that"s why I"ve chosen to remain alone.
But my life of solitude ends now because a terrible twist of fate has made me the guardian of my four-month-old brother.
Suddenly I"ve got a kid to raise and a family business to save and there"s no time for anything else.
That"s why Kathleen Doyle and I made this arrangement.
Once a skinny nerd girl who used to follow me around everywhere, she"s now a single mom with flaming hair, a killer body and too many responsibilities.
We told each other it was just sex.
We told each other there were no strings attached, no expectations.
We lied.
And the consequences will cost us.
But I"m not surrendering this new family without a battle.
Because in this life we might only get one chance to have it all.Books by Author:Cora Brent Books

Words that describe Nash Ryan:

Loner.

Unpredictable.

Wickedly hot.

Unforgiving.

Probably not the kind of man anyone should trust with an infant.

Definitely not the kind of man any woman should trust with her heart.

When Nash returned to town to take care of his baby brother I thought I knew exactly who he was.

It wouldn"t be the first time I was wrong.

I also thought I was done giving my heart away until he proved differently.

But we don"t have a chance because it"s all ready to unravel.

And the secrets I"ve kept will be our undoing.\

This isn"t the first time I"ve known tragedy.

Maybe that"s why I"ve always chosen to be alone.

But my life of solitude ends now because a terrible twist of fate has made me

the guardian of my four month old brother.

Suddenly I"ve got a kid to raise and a family business to save.

There"s no time for anything else.

That"s why Kathleen Doyle and I made this arrangement.

Once a skinny nerd girl who used to follow me around, she"s now a single mom with flaming hair, a killer body and too many responsibilities.

We told each other it was just sex.

We told each other there were no strings attached, no expectations.

We lied.

And the consequences will cost us.

But I"m not surrendering this new family without a battle.

Because in this life we might only get one chance to have it all.

The phone began buzzing in my back pocket at the exact second I pushed the key into the lock. I ignored it and opened the door to my apartment.

The drive home from Portland had been long and my adrenaline was finally wearing off. By now dried blood had stiffened over the broken skin along my right knuckles. The cuts stung when my excitable German Shepard licked at the wound with a sympathetic whine. Meanwhile, my phone issued one more plea for attention and then was silent.

"Easy, girl," I said, fending the dog off and heading for the kitchen sink.

I winced and flexed my hand under the stream of cold water. There was some antiseptic in the cabinet on my left. I twisted the top of the bottle off with my teeth and poured it over my split knuckles, hissing a curse when it throbbed like a bastard. The swelling would probably remain for several days and be a pain in the ass when the cuts scabbed over.

And yet I regretted nothing.

A few shallow scrapes were an acceptable price to pay for teaching some abusive dickhead a lesson. As I remembered the guy"s pained groan as my fist connected with his jaw I smiled.

Nope, I didn"t regret a thing about tonight.

I was still in the process of dealing with my injured hand when I heard my phone ping with a voicemail alert. My gaze landed on the digital microwave clock. It was half past two. There"d be no reason for a call at this hour. I lived alone, had no girlfriend, and barely said two words to any of my neighbors. The only reason I"d driven all the way out to Portland tonight was because an old buddy from college had a six hour layover in the city and I reasoned even an antisocial prick like me could stand to set foot in a bar once a season.

After I drove my friend back to the airport I circled back to the bar where we"d been hanging out. I had a reason, one that most people wouldn"t approve of. I wanted to see if the son of a bitch who"d made his date cry was still around. And he was. He was a soft-bellied sloppy bastard who kept sucking back shots even though he wasn"t the type to hold his liquor well. When he staggered outside a little while later I followed. He paused to take a piss in a gloomy corner of the parking lot and didn"t even have time to drop his dick before I crashed into him. He likely chalked it up to an everyday mugging until the very end when I got close enough to smell his sour breath and the rank stink of his fear and hissed, "Don"t you ever fucking hurt a woman again."

He would know what the words meant. He would remember the way he twisted the girl"s arm behind her back and whispered something in her ear while her face twisted with pain before she managed to shake out of his grip. At least she had enough sense to run out on him and the fucker must have thought that was the end of it, never guessing what kind of man was watching from the other side of the bar.

After I slammed the spineless douchebag against the wall one last time for good measure I disappeared, unconcerned about cops. There were no eyewitnesses in sight. Plus I"d parked two blocks away and pushed a baseball cap down too low for any street cameras to catch my face.

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