Date Published: 11/11/2013
Trish DeVign knows what she needs to be single, successful and satisfied. She needs a baby. With recent relationships falling short of her expectations, she’s single by choice. With a thriving interior design company, she’s got successful covered. It’s the satisfied part that eludes her, and that’s her mother’s fault—not her adopted mother, but the mother who gave her away, sentencing her to a privileged life with two good people who don’t share with her a single drop of DNA.
Tony Corcarelli has spent his adult life as the black sheep of his large Italian-American family ever since he turned his back on running the family carpentry business so he could live a more laidback life, forcing his sister to take the reins. Now, Tony’s grandmother has cancer, and he’s expected to join the family in making her wishes come true. Unfortunately, the two things Nonna wants most for Tony are two things he can’t fathom: a wife and kids or the priesthood. There has to be another way.
When Trish asks her best friend’s brother, Tony, to escort her to a wedding, a night of fun and flirtation turns serious, with Trish confessing she wants a baby. Could a calculated conception be the answer they’ve both been looking for?
Tony turned back to the chairs and Trish, who had removed the plastic covering and settled onto the cushion, crossing her long legs and bouncing one barefoot with red painted toes in his direction. As she sat, she rubbed her palms over the arms of the chair and breathed deeply enough that he risked hypnosis by the rise and fall of her breasts. Not the sort of thing he wanted to notice about a woman he couldn’t pursue.
“You really do great work.”
He smiled and stepped closer, because he was a gentleman who’d just been complimented. “Thank you.” He squatted and ran his hand along the nailhead trim, grazing her covered calf muscle, because he was a guy who liked the way her face flushed whenever he stood too close. “I’m glad you like it. When you’re in need of my
skills again, you know where to find me.” And then he stood, taking two steps back toward the hall, because even a screw-up like him knew where to draw the line.
She sat ramrod straight, gripping the arms of the chair. “Tony, I need a favor.”
He stopped. “What’s up?”
“I need a…guest for my cousin’s wedding on Saturday. Would you happen to be interested?”
“I take it the good doctor wasn’t so good.”
A nervous chuckle escaped her lips. “Not good at all. And I RSVP’d for two with the hope that he’d still be around, and now my mother is driving me crazy, saying I can’t embarrass myself and her by cancelling this late in the game. I’m stuck.”
It was Tony’s turn to chuckle. “So you want me to unstick you?”
She shrugged, managing cute, coy, and sexy with one pouty-mouthed look. “Would you?”
If he was sane and sensible, no, he wouldn’t. “Absolutely. What time should I pick you up?”
“Thank you,” she breathed on a noisy exhale. “We should leave at three, but I’ll drive.”
“You don’t trust my driving?”
“It’s a wedding, Tony, and I’m wearing a dress. You should wear a suit, like the one you wore to Nonna’s party.” He liked the way she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth when she paused for a breath. “Dress clothes can’t be worn on the back of a motorcycle.”
An image of her creamy leg stretching out from beneath a short skirt and hanging alongside the chrome of his bike made his skin itch. He grinned to cover the not-so-innocent thought. “No bike. Got it. I’ll pick you up at three.” And before she could protest, he turned around and walked away.
He’d never been the kind of guy to let a woman down, and that was a blessing and curse. Now he needed a car worthy of escorting Trish DeVign to a family wedding, in addition to a grand gesture for Nonna’s wish list.
Talk about pressure.
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Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.
Elley writes provocative, emotional contemporary romances for Crimson Romance.