The Best Man’s Baby
by Victoria James
Florist Claire Holbrook has always played by the rules her entire life, but breaks them to spend one night with sexy lone wolf Jake Manning, a man she’s adored since she was a teenager. Six weeks later things get complicated when she discovers they created a bond that will last a lifetime…
Jake has never played by the rules. Getting Minister Holbrook’s daughter pregnant wasn’t part of any life plan, but he won’t run from his responsibilities. He’ll step up and be the best man he can, even if he doesn’t have a clue where to begin. The more time he spends with Claire, though, the more he wants her, and the harder it is to get close because that would mean sharing the one thing he hasn’t with anyone–the truth and his heart.
He stood behind her and whispered in her ear. “I’m not leaving.”
She sighed and turned around to look at him. They were standing a few inches apart, and for what had to be the hundredth time in two days he wondered how he’d never noticed her eyes.
Big and bright, but with a soul that hinted at such emotion and fire, it filled him with the need to see how deep it went.
“What are you doing here?”
“You have never been back here in all the years I’ve been in business.”
“Things are different now. We’re having a baby.”
“Shhhh!” He bit back another grin as she turned her head around wildly to make sure no one had heard.
“Listen, you’re not getting rid of me. I’m here to help. Then when you’re finished, I’m going to take you out for dinner.”
He saw her cheeks flush, then she shook her head. “I have a long day ahead of me. No time for any distractions.”
“Perfect, so afterward you’ll need some time to relax. I’ll take you out to your favorite restaurant.”
“You don’t even know what that is.”
“Then you can tell me.” It was simple, really. He didn’t understand why that would upset her.
“You should know what it is. In the Claire Holbrook world, the father of my child should know my favorite restaurant,” she whispered.
“Just tell me and we’ll go,” he said with a shrug.
She shook her head, her ponytail swinging back and forth with the motion. He wondered what she’d do if he pulled her hair free, letting his hands run through it as it tumbled around her
shoulders. He stared at her mutinous expression. She’d probably try to deck him.
Victoria James always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples) and a cardboard cover and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill the dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
How to Create a Great Work Area for Inspiration (Guest post by the author)
Here’s my top-ten list for Creating a great work area for Inspiration:
1. A real work surface-table, desk, anything that’s solid and can hold your computer and work accessories.
2. Inspirational quotes-either framed or even post-it-notes on your computer screen! I love the power of positive thinking-and having some inspiring quotes easily accessible when things aren’t going right can be really powerful.
3. Music! Always have access to music. I create a playlist for each book and I find it puts me in the ‘zone’ right away…
4. A door! Okay, this might not always be possible, but if there are little people scurrying around, sometimes this helps muffle some of the louder play outside your work area!
5. A place for coffee! Or Tea…make sure you have enough room for your caffeine 😉
6. A favorite mug! I have a few…one was given by a dear writer friend, one by my husband, and one from myself!
7. Something on the wall that inspires you-either a picture, a poster, quotes…anything that makes you feel good when you look at it.
8. Some pretty stationery/calendar that can sit on your desk. It’s much more fun jotting down reminders and deadlines on something inspiring!
9. Your favorite books! What’s more inspiring than staring at a nice pile of books by your favorite authors?
10. Your own work! Your own books, covers, or notes from readers! Sometimes when you feel like you’ll never finish a particularly difficult scene or book, it’s nice a nice reminder to see that you’ve done it before-and you have readers counting on you.
Victoria will be awarding a $50 Starbucks GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.