Cam DeSantis’ life is a hot, steaming pile. How else would you describe losing your husband, your job, and your money all at once? Desperate times call for desperate measures, so when salvation comes in the form of one intolerable a-hole, who just happens to be the starting quarterback for the vaunted NY Titans, she has no choice but to accept his offer as a live-in nanny slash teacher for his eight year old nephew. Now all she has to do is find a safe place in her mind to hide whenever she feels the need to throat punch him into tomorrow…which is often. Calvin Shaw has zero interest in women. Wait, wait––let me rephrase that. He loves women, he just doesn’t want anything to do with ‘um. Not since his wife, presently ex-wife, got knocked up by the guy she was cheating on him with. Problem is––there’s one living in his house. And he doesn’t know what’s worse, that he promised to be civil, or that he’s attracted to her.
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He’s removed his ball cap and his black hair is back up in that ridiculous bun again. I can feel a frown developing on my face as I stare at it. Everything about this guy is a total turn off. “What do you want?” I do nothing to hide my exasperation. “It’s two a.m. I’ve been running around all night, and I’m tired.” “I apologized three times,” he says, through a clenched jaw. Yeah, real genuine. Somebody needs to tell this guy he’s not the injured party in this scenario. “Because you want me to work for you, because you’ve already run off every other qualified applicant in the Tristate area, and now I’m your last hope. Well tough noogies, Mr. Shaw, this time you don’t win. I win and you lose.” And I realize I’m beginning to shout. His eyebrows, two black slashes making his eyes look even paler, rise up. Then the most unexpected thing happens. Those cold, unforgiving eyes turn into crescents and a burst of laughter explodes out of him. “Tough noogies?” His laughter is deep and rich and it bothers the hell out of me, one more insult to my already bruised ego that I refuse to tolerate. My patience has officially run out. Through clenched teeth, I grind out, “I don’t mean to be critical––but you’re an insufferable a-hole!” and walk away. I take three steps and feel a huge, warm hand grip my upper arm. In reflex, I wheel around and whisper-hiss, “Don’t you dare touch me.” He instantly releases his grip and holds up his hands up in surrender. Then he stuffs them in the front pocket of his jeans, and shrugs up his massive shoulders in a posture I’ve seen him assume when he’s uncomfortable. Despite that it’s past midnight and colder than a witch’s tit, the streets of the city are teeming with people. As they walk past us, they curiously turn to watch without breaking stride. It takes a lot more that a mountain of a man, famous or not, and a woman with smoke coming out her ears to get their full attention. One lingers longer than necessary. “Nothing to see here,” I growl. My glare convinces the onlooker to skedaddle. “I’m sorry,” he says. His voice is soft, his tone earnest. My attention immediately returns to him. I almost can’t believe my ears. “I’m really, really sorry––I was havin’ a bad day,” he continues, rubbing the back of his neck. A light southern twang hangs on the last few words. “I’m in a real bind…my nephew…” His voice trails off and his eyes are suddenly warm and searching, and for the first time since we’ve met, I may not hate his guts.
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Dangelico loves romance in all forms, shapes, and sizes, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), brick oven pizza, the NY Jets (although she may rethink that after this season), and to while away the day at the barn. What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media.
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