Rachel Laine (The Women of Merryton #3) by Jennifer Peel
Rachel Whitney’s life changed forever when Drew, the son of her twin sister, Sydney, was placed in her arms—and there he stayed. At twenty-two, she had no idea what she was doing, but in that moment, she knew that raising Drew was what she was meant to do with her life.
Fiercely independent, Rachel makes her own way managing her family’s insurance agency. Decidedly against introducing any men into her life, or Drew’s, she protects her heart against all romantic entanglements. But what she didn’t count on was a letter from her sister that leads a famous secret to her door eight years after her sister’s death. A secret with the same eyes as her son’s.
Desperate not to get the courts involved, Rachel allows Drew’s previously unknown father, Andrew Turner, into their lives, and to her surprise, little by little into her heart. But for Rachel, taking that step could open her family to a firestorm of media attention that not even Merryton can protect them from. Is love worth the risk? Or will Andrew’s fame and ambition ruin their chances?
With reluctance, I answered. “Hello.”
“Hey, Rachel Laine.”
“Andrew, why are you calling?”
“If I didn’t know better, I would think you didn’t want to hear from me.”
“Imagine that,” I responded.
His laugh came through, loud and clear. “I wanted you to know I made it safely to Chicago.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way—”
He laughed even louder before I could finish.
“—but why would I care?” I got in.
“Ouch. That hurts, Rachel Laine. You know, when I use that line on you, at least I follow it up with a compliment.”
“Yes, and I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear a man tell me all weekend he’s not interested in me.”
“It wasn’t all weekend.”
“Why are you calling?”
“I wanted to check in with you, because of the weather.”
“That’s nice of you, but we only got a few inches, and we’re used to the snow up here.”
“Yeah … of course you are. So, what did you guys do today?”
“We went to church and then overdosed on super hero movies.”
“Aren’t you going to ask how my day was?”
“Are you being serious?”
“It’s only polite.”
“Okay … How was your day?”
“It was horrible. My first flight got cancelled and then I had to wait for hours in the airport for the next available flight, and to top it off, I had to fly coach.”
“Oh, how terrible.”
“You’ve seen how long my legs are. They don’t belong in coach. And now I find out I could have been watching action movies with you guys all day.”
Was this guy for real? I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. “And what makes you think you would have been invited?”
“Why do you think I would have waited for an invitation?”
I was deep in thought about the Andrew predicament when my phone went off. I shook my head and picked it up. It was a text from Andrew.
Tell Drew to watch the Spartans pitcher. He throws a good 4-seam fastball.
I relayed the message to Drew. He was already glued to the TV anyway.
“Hey, Mom, did you know that there are different ways to hold a baseball when you throw it?”
“No, I didn’t know that.”
“Yeah, Andrew told me.”
“So, you really like Andrew?”
He turned his attention away from the flat screen for a second. “He’s awesome.”
I sighed and got another text. Did Drew see that pitch?
“That’s the pitch Andrew was talking about,” Drew exclaimed.
Yep, I texted back.
He texted a few more times about different things Drew should pay attention to, like the way the pitcher had to look for those trying to steal the base, or how he always needed to be ready to catch or field the ball if it was hit.
Aren’t you supposed to be watching the game? I texted back after several messages.
I’m so talented that I can do both.
How does your head fit inside your hat?
I’m not wearing one tonight.
Since we’re talking about my big head, watch for my interview with tonight’s commentators. It should play during one of the breaks.
Darn, it’s bed time. I guess we’ll miss it.
I saw your DVR. Put it to good use.
You’re so bossy.
I didn’t respond. He was really getting on my nerves. I thought since he was gone I wouldn’t have to deal with him, but he was like a fly buzzing around, annoying me. And every time I tried to swat him away, he only became more persistent.
See what I mean?
Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you’re beautiful when you’re annoyed.
I’ll record your dumb interview.
You’re the best. Tell Drew goodnight for me.
Thank you for the flowers. They’re lovely, but unnecessary, I texted. Maybe that wasn’t the politest, but really, he didn’t need to keep giving me flowers. Besides, no amount of flowers or compliments were going to make this okay for me.
I set my phone down and took a deep breath. I went back to the unpleasant task of dealing with overdue accounts. It was the least favorite part of my job, and my head was already pounding.
Thirty minutes later my cell phone rang. I answered it in resignation, but not before I lay my head down on my desk and put him on speaker. “Yes?” I grumbled.
“If I didn’t know better, I would say you’re not happy to hear from me.”
“So, maybe you’re smarter than I thought.”
“Hey, I sent you flowers.”
“I said thank you.”
“But you didn’t call and thank me for them personally.”
“Is that required?”
“Maybe not required, but definitely warranted. I don’t think anyone has ever texted me a thank you when I’ve sent flowers, or told me they were unnecessary.”
“Do you regularly send women flowers?”
“Define regularly.” I could hear the laughter in his voice.
“You know what? I don’t even want to know.”
“That’s probably for the best.”
“Great, now that we agree on something, thank you again. I should probably get back to work.”
“I know you don’t have to go so soon. Tell me how your day is going.”
If anyone could see me with my head on my desk, they wouldn’t have had to ask. “Well, let’s see. For starters, I’m living off caffeine since someone kept me up way too late. And to top it off, I have the unpleasant task of contacting people to let them know I will be canceling their policies unless they pay.”
“Sounds like maybe I should come up there.”
I popped up. “Why in the world would you think that?”
“Well, that way I can make dinner and take care of Drew for you.”
“Andrew, believe it or not, we’ve functioned just fine without you for a very long time. I’ve even spent my fair share of sleepless nights taking care of Drew, only to have to be up the whole next day, too.”
“That’s why you’re amazing, but you don’t have to do it all alone now.”
But what if I wanted to?
Praise for the Book
“You nailed it!!! These books keep getting better and better each time! I looovvved it!”
“How is it possible that you just keep getting better? I swear this one is my favorite.”
“I literally got lost in Merryton again. It is one of my favorite places to visit.”
Jennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-one years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.