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Read an excerpt from In The Cards by Jaime Beck

About the Book

Lindsey Hilliard flees her charmed life in New York, searching for answers after her fiancé’s betrayal fills her with self-doubt. Unfortunately, her rented Malibu home is next door to Levi Hardy, the sexy but insufferable man who humiliated her years ago.

Hardened by a grim past he keeps concealed, Levi prefers maintaining a comfortable distance from folks, especially a nosy princess like Lindsey. But then a motorcycle collision brings him to his knees, forcing him to accept her assistance with his recovery. Sparks begin to fly when the woman who doesn’t believe in herself teaches the cynic how to have faith in others. Levi realizes his body will recover, but his heart won’t if Lindsey returns to the ex who wants her back.

In the biggest gamble of his life, Levi teaches her to trust her own voice, and hopes she’ll use it to say good-bye to her past and hello to a future with him.

Excerpt from In the Cards by Jaime Beck

Levi

At first, returning home felt foreign. I’d been away for almost
seven weeks. Lindsey changed the sheets on my bed and cleaned
the house for me. Whenever I’m convinced I’ve seen the limit of her
generosity, she goes a step further. She’s the kindest person I’ve ever
met and I’ve missed her company these past two days.
In just two months, she’s blown into my life and reshuffled
everything. My solitude now leaves me empty instead of comforted.
My house now seems cold instead of peaceful.
I’ve seen her a bit, only because she’s still running errands for me
until I’m permitted to drive. I’ve purposely kept her at bay. Foolishly, I
thought my life would return to normal once I came home and dived
into my old routines. Not happening. I’ve simply spent most of the
past two days consumed with thoughts of her. To top it off, I’m more
aware of my aches and pains without her company to distract me.
No matter how I convince myself of the benefits of my no-strings
philosophy, or of us being only friends, the truth is I want her—all of
her. I want her heart and soul, her warmth and compassion, and her love.
It’s a startling and completely uncomfortable need, but I want
her to love me. It’s unfair, too, because I doubt I’m capable of giving
love in return.

I’m sure my confession has Pop rolling his eyes in heaven, or hell.
But I’m no fool. She deserves better than me and she knows it. Hell,
considering what she’s learned about my parents, my background,
and my love life, she’d probably run for the hills rather than give me
a chance to break her heart.
Can’t say I’d blame her, either. Also, while she hasn’t mentioned
Rob lately, it’s not over between them, in my opinion.
Her parents arrive today, sure to hound her to return home, and
to him. Although I don’t stand a chance against them, I’ve decided
I can’t let her take off without any fight.
This past week I purchased the first birthday gifts I’ve bought
anyone in decades. I ordered a Wüsthof chef’s knife, a paring knife,
and an apron. Although these things aren’t romantic, they’re sentimental,
considering this whole thing between us began with a cooking
lesson. I expect she’ll appreciate the intention.
She intimated to Jill she’d be staying through her lease term,
which gives me a few months to wrest her from her past. I need to
start with these gifts and get them to her before her mother arrives.
I feel like a ten-year-old boy trying to impress a girl.
When did I become such a pansy? Scowling at myself, I
straighten my shoulders and make my way to her house.

Excerpted with permission from Montlake Romance from In The Cards © 2014 by Jamie Beck. All rights reserved.

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