The Shaughnessy Brothers are back
He lives by a schedule
Aubrey Burke is on the run from an about-to-be-disastrous mistake when resort owner Hugh Shaughnessy catches her climbing through his office window. Until Aubrey tumbled into his life, Hugh had relied on work and discipline to safeguard a heart damaged by family tragedy. Now his careful world will never be the same.
She lives for the moment
Hugh’s approach to life and love is the opposite of Aubrey’s, but she soon finds herself falling hard for the handsome hotel mogul. There’s a darker reason behind her “live for today” attitude than Hugh could possibly know, but for the first time Aubrey dares to hope this man’s love might make it worth taking a chance on the future.
She smiled at the hint of uncertainty in his voice. “I feel the same way, Hugh. I mean, I know it’s only been two weeks and I know we shouldn’t be this comfortable with one another and yet, we are.”
“Does it freak you out?”
“No,” she replied honestly. “It just feels right.” Then she thought about it. “Why? Is it freaking you out?”
“I’ll admit I may be feeling a little…unsettled. I don’t want to feel like I’m rushing you or like we’re acting…”
“Impulsively?” she teased.
Hugh must have noted her tone because he grumbled, “Yes.”
Aubrey was certain Hugh had his reasons for being so cautious in all areas of his life—and she’d find out what they were. Eventually. For right now, however, she was content to just let the topic go.
“If it’s any consolation,” she began silkily, “I really enjoy being impulsive with you.”
She could hear the smile in his voice when he said, “I enjoy it too.”
“Well, good. Now how about we both get some sleep and plan on me driving down on Saturday.”
“Aubrey, I was serious. You don’t have to. I really don’t mind driving to you.”
“Do you want to get away from your family already?”
“Because if that’s why you want to come here, then we’ll do it. If you want to do all the things you were telling me about, then let me come to you. I don’t mind. I haven’t been to the Carolina coast in years. I would love to see it.”
“Only if you’re certain…”
“I do have one stipulation.”
“Name it,” he said.
“I’m not sleeping on Ninja Turtle sheets. I have to draw the line at that.”
Hugh burst out laughing. “I think we can work something out. We’ll find someplace else to stay. My brother Aidan has an apartment over his garage I’ve stayed at before. Or if you’d prefer something a little more private, I can get us a hotel room.”
“You live out of hotels all year long. I think your brother’s apartment sounds perfect. We can food shop and cook meals together and lock the world away if we want to.”
“What? What’s so funny?”
“Wait until you meet my family. They’re not going to give us much privacy no matter where we stay, but if we’re staying at Aidan and Zoe’s place, I have a feeling they’ll be just as intrusive as housekeeping at any resort.”
The idea didn’t bother Aubrey. No one bothered her much in her everyday life. At least not because they loved her and wanted to spend time with her. It was normally about work and obligations. It would be nice to see how a loving family behaved with one another.
“I don’t think it will be so bad,” she finally said. “But I’ll leave the choice up to you. I’m just happy to be seeing you—it doesn’t matter where we stay.”
“Oh, don’t do that. Which would you prefer?”
“Surprise me.” Aubrey yawned loudly. “I hate to hang up but I really am exhausted. It’s been a long day. Can I call you tomorrow?”
“You can call me any time you want, sweetheart,” he said softly.
“Mmm…” she purred. “I like that. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay. Good night, Aubrey.”
About Samantha Chase
Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.