Title: Just One Kiss
Author: Jean C. Joachim
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Ex-baseball star and single dad, Rusty Reisse thinks he has it all, until his son’s fancy private school gives him an ultimatum. Rusty puts his broadcasting career on hold to spend the summer in a rented cottage in the country with his boy, Tommy.
His plans for a great bonding vacation are blown apart when Meg Gunderson shows up with her son, claiming the house is hers. Forced to share the space, Rusty is hell bent on getting her out while Meg schemes to send Rusty packing.
Admitting only to himself she’s a better mother than he is a father, Rusty isn’t taking any condescending pointers from this snarky schoolteacher. So what if she’s hot? But there’s something about Meg that draws his son. Could this smart-mouthed babe be the mother Tommy needs? Over Rusty’s dead body.
Rusty stood with his phone in hand and glanced down. He was practically naked. Sure won’t look too good when the cops get here. He hustled back to his room and thrust his legs into his jeans. He grabbed a tank top and yanked it on. After he zipped his fly, he returned to the front of the house.
Little Miss Cat Burglar shifted her weight. He studied her. What’s a hot chick like her doing breaking into houses? And with her kid, too? Some people have no standards. No morals. Still, he noticed how her short blonde hair caught the dim light in the room just so. And her body? Nice. He stared at her chest, imagining his hands on her breasts. Geez, exactly the right size. Although he couldn’t see her butt, he imagined her slender legs led to a nicely-shaped rear end.
Breaking and entering, theft, and lying—remember who she is! Bad chicks can be hot, too, he reminded himself.
The siren went off and two uniformed state troopers, guns on hips, came up the path. The boys ran to the front, followed by the barking Coco. Tommy opened the door.
“Your dog? Control him.” The officer waited.
Rusty grabbed Coco by the collar. “Yes, sir.” Rusty noticed the man’s nametag.
“Now what’s the problem?” the officer said.
Rusty and the woman started speaking at the same time. Voices escalated and Coco barked. The officer raised his hands.
“Wait a minute! Wait! Slow down. Either put the dog on a leash or in another room. Then, one at a time.” Officer Bolton said. “Ladies first.”
“Thank you,” the woman replied.
“Just my luck. An unliberated cat burglar,” Rusty muttered.
“I’m not a cat burglar!”
“Your name, miss?” the officer asked.
“Meg Gunderson. My son, Charlie.”
While Meg whipped out her papers, Rusty shifted his weight. Surely hers were a forgery.
The trooper looked them over.
“And you, Mr…? Reisse, isn’t it? Rusty Reisse? You played for the New York Nighthawks, didn’t you?”
“Shortstop. Fifteen years.” Rusty tried to look modest but failed.
“You’re a baseball player? Explains the lack of brains,” Meg said, staring at him.
“Why you…lady, you’ve got a lotta balls.”
“Please! There are children here.” Meg folded her arms across her chest.
“Yeah. And they both know what balls are.” Rusty grinned.
“Mr. Reisse, would you give me an autograph?” The trooper whisked out a piece of paper and a pen. “Just make it out to Roger, my son.”
“Sure thing, Officer Bolton. Happy to.” Rusty smiled as he scratched out a phrase and his signature.
While he signed, the trooper examined his papers. He folded up each set and handed them back to the proper person. He shook his head.
“I’m sorry to tell you, folks, you both rented this place.”
“What?” Rusty and Meg said in unison.
“Right. Go ahead look at each’s leases and checks. Either someone was scamming you or playing a nasty joke. But you both contracted for this house. You both have equal rights to be here.”
“But he can’t. I mean. It’s ours. I don’t want him here.”
“Nothing I can do, ma’am. I suggest you exchange papers, and you’ll see what I mean. Toss a coin or something. You’ll have to figure it out on your own.” Officer T. Bolton folded up the autograph and slipped it in his pocket. “Goodnight.”
“This is my house.”
“No, it isn’t,” Rusty said, unfolding her papers. They each studied the others lease and shook their heads. Meg burst into tears.
“Just like a woman. Cry to get your way,” he said to himself. “You can blubber all you want to; Tommy and I are not moving out. But I will help you carry your bags back to your car.”
“We don’t have any place to go,” she said.
“Back to the city?”
She shook her head. Fishing around her purse, she finally pulled out a tissue. “I promised Charlie summer in the country.”
“Yeah? Well, the guidance counselor told me if I didn’t get Tommy away for a while, bad things were going to happen.” No way would Rusty reveal how desperate his situation was to this total stranger.
Meg sank down on the dining room chair. “It’s all Roberta’s fault.”
“Roberta? Yeah. And Fred, too. Bastards.”
“Please don’t use bad language in front of my son.”
“Sorry.” Rusty rubbed his face, then the back of his neck. “Look. Why don’t you and your son stay here tonight? It’s late. We’ll sort this out tomorrow.”
“Where will we sleep?”
BARNES & NOBLE
What’s your favorite way to combat stress?
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This book will make you laugh out loud. And then, near the end, you’ll get emotional. But you’ll feel satisfied when the novel is done, having sent you through a gamut of emotion.
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Drawing will be held on June 4.
Jean Joachim is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling romance author whose books have hit the Amazon Top 100 list in the U.S. and abroad since 2012. She writes sports romance, small-town romance, big city romance, and romantic suspense.
Jean has over 50 books in ebook, print and audio. She writes fulltime, never far from her secret stash of black licorice. An avid bird and dog fan, she has a fondness for chickadees and pugs. A music lover, especially classical, she’s married, has two grown sons and lives in New York City. She’d love to hear from you, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find her books on her website: http://www.jeanjoachimbooks.com
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Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Jean-C.-Joachim/e/B001ITRQKY/
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