Message From the Author
WHAT YOU DO TO ME is a fun, flirty romantic comedy about two individuals who are set up by the heroine’s mom, who hopes a little male flirtation with the Twin Cities’ local lothario will nudge her daughter back into the dating pool.
Sam is outed on radio talk show as being the “handsiest handyman” in the twin cities. Having lost his parents as a young teen, Sam definitely has commitment issues. When his family’s construction business begins offering handyman services, and his women clients start throwing themselves at him, he sees the situation as the perfect solution to his relationship-free lifestyle—that is, until he meets Haley, who makes him want to prove there’s more to him than his reputation.
Haley’s heart was broken when her fiancé moved to Indonesia two weeks before their wedding. Since then, she’s been taking out her anger and frustration on her poor house, which is now a wreck. Sparks fly when Sam, hired by Haley’s mother, shows up at her door to do an estimate for putting her house back together. After he hands her the estimate, Sam makes a pass. Mortified, Haley realizes her mother has set her up, and she fires Sam.
Sam is also mortified. The curvy brunette believes he’s so incompetent as a carpenter that he has to offer sex on the side to get jobs. Fueled by a need to prove she’s wrong about him, he makes a deal with Haley: He’ll do the job and keep his hands to himself. Haley agrees, so long as he’s willing to teach her how to do the work herself along the way.
Though he’s hot, Haley doesn’t see Sam as date-worthy. Sam is attracted to the curvy paralegal, but she’s uptight and judgmental. Surely they can keep things strictly professional, right?
About the Book
Whether it’s repairing a home or taking care of clients’ other needs, Twin Cities handyman Sam Haney is in demand from his mostly female clientele. Despite Sam’s lothario reputation, love isn’t part of his portfolio. He’s built a lot of walls in his time, but the one that’s surrounded his heart ever since the death of his parents is his most solid yet.
Haley Cooper has had enough heartache for a lifetime. Her high school sweetheart up and moved to Indonesia—alone—just two weeks before their wedding. Her mother thinks it’s time for Haley to move on and contracts Sam to work on Haley’s wreck of a house—and anything else, if he’s got the notion.
Sparks fly and passion ignites. But Haley isn’t into Sam’s love-’em-and-leave-’em act. She wants something more. Fixing a house is one thing, but for this handyman, building a relationship will need a whole different set of skills.
Whatever prompted him to reach for her, it didn’t explain the letdown he couldn’t shake. Haley Cooper was the cutest little brunette he’d ever laid eyes on. Petite, with a sweet figure, silky brown hair and a wholesome girl next door appeal. A man could get lost in those large brown eyes of hers. Whoa. Probably a good thing she’d fired him.
Still . . .You can’t be any good . . . Her words bounced around inside his head and churned in his gut. If Grandpa Joe got word of this . . . Oh, man, his rear end was going to be in the wringer for sure.
He scrubbed the lower half of his face with his hand and stared back at Haley’s bungalow. The woman had exposed electrical wires in her kitchen. If they connected, arced, the place would go up in smoke. The house was a disaster waiting to happen. He shut the passenger door, circled around to the back of his van and fished out a few electrical wire caps from his tool box.
She’d dissed his skills as a carpenter. He couldn’t let that fly. Then there was the mystery of why such an attractive woman’s mother would feel the need to set her daughter up the way she had. He wanted answers. His feet started him back up the path leading to the front door.
He rapped his knuckles against the door and took a step back. The door swung wide, and Haley gaped at him in surprise. She was probably expecting some suit-and-tie guy come to take her out. Of course. She looked like a suit-and-tie kind of woman, not his type at all—not that he had a type. “Hey, I think we got off on the wrong foot.”
“You think?” She arched a single brow and managed to look down her nose at him, even though she was a good half a foot shorter. “Don’t worry about it,” she said with plenty of attitude. “I’m not going to complain about you to your HR department.”
Haney & Sons didn’t have an HR department. Far Worse. They had Grandpa Joe and Grandma Maggie. Ms. Cooper’s smugness annoyed him. “Obviously you have mother issues, and—”
“I don’t have mother issues.” A blotch of red blossomed on her collarbone.
Another red blotch appeared on her neck, and another on her cheek. Interesting. Ms. Cooper was not a woman who blushed. She blotched. He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. Why hadn’t he noticed that before? Oh, right. Probably because he was too busy trying to come up to speed on the whole mother-called-pretending-to-be-daughter thing and all. “OK, your mother has issues.”
“I’ll concede the point.” Haley crossed her arms in front of her, lifting her breasts slightly.
Do not stare. Do not even glance in that direction. “I’m just as much a victim here as you are.”
She snorted, and the smugness returned to her expression.
“Hey,” he said, giving her his most charming smile. “I’m very good at what I do. Give me a chance to prove it to you.”
Her brow rose, and one side of her mouth twitched up a millimeter. “I’m sure you’re very good at what you do, Mr. Haney, but I’m still not going to have sex with you. Still not interested in your special touch.” She made quote marks in the air, bracketing her words.
Well, that stung. Doggone it, not only had she insulted him, but now she wanted to rub salt into the wound? “I’m not talking about my skills in the bedroom, Ms. Cooper. I’m a skilled carpenter. The best.” He straightened and crossed his arms in front of him, mimicking her stance.
“All I’m asking is that you give me the chance to prove to you that I . . .” Don’t need to offer sex on the side to get jobs? Why did he feel the need to prove anything to this uptight little paralegal? “Look. Your mother already hired me to put your house back together. She’s footing the bill, right? Let me do the job I was hired to do.”
About the Author
Award-winning author Barbara Longley moved frequently throughout her childhood, but she quickly learned to entertain herself with stories. As an adult, she’s lived in a commune in the Appalachians, taught on a Native American reservation, and traveled extensively from coast to coast. After her children were born, she decided to make the state of Minnesota her permanent home. Barbara holds a master’s degree in special education and taught for many years. Today she devotes herself to writing contemporary, mythical, and paranormal stories. Her titles include Heart of the Druid Laird, the Love from the Heartland series (Far from Perfect, The Difference a Day Makes, A Change of Heart, and The Twisted Road to You), and the Novels of Loch Moigh (True to the Highlander, The Highlander’s Bargain, The Highlander’s Folly, and The Highlander’s Vow).