Kacie Jensen has one main priority in her life: raising her twin daughters, Lucy and Piper. Ever since her ex—the girls’ father—vanished four years ago, Kacie’s sworn to keep her head in her studies and her heart out of trouble. Moving back home to her mother’s bed-and-breakfast had seemed like the best way to start over.
But when hockey star Brody Murphy washes up on the front steps of the Cranberry Inn during a raging storm, he awakens a hunger in Kacie that she’s long forgotten…and he opens her eyes to a life she never thought was possible. With so much more to lose this time around, can Kacie trust her heart to make the right decision?
“Shit!” The clock on my truck dashboard read 6:57.
Cutting it a little close, Murphy. Don’t blow it.
I rang the doorbell. Sophia opened the door, her face contorted with confusion.
“Hi, Ms. Jensen. I’m here to pick up Kacie.”
She giggled and stepped back. “Oh, you’re adorable. Come in, Brody.”
“These are for you.” I handed her a small bouquet of tulips.
“They are beautiful, thank you.” She furrowed her brow at me, still trying to figure everything out. “Hang on, I’ll get Kacie.”
She disappeared around the corner and I stayed in the foyer, waiting for my … friend. Lucy and Piper came tearing toward me from the back family room.
“Brody, are you sick?” asked Piper.
“Yeah, do you have a fever?” Lucy asked, tugging on my shirt.
I bent down to her level as she felt my forehead. “Nope, not sick. Why?”
They looked at each other and shrugged.
“Mom was on the phone with Auntie Alexa and she said you were hot. If you’re hot, you have a fever. Do you need medicine?” Lucy continued the inquest.
“She said I was hot, huh? Interesting. I promise you, kiddo, I’m not sick, but thanks for checking on me.”
I held my hand up and they each high-fived me before they ran off.
Kacie came around the corner and my mouth started salivating. She had on a white, lacy tank top and khaki shorts that showed off more of her legs than I had seen before. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun with a few random pieces falling onto her collarbone. The closer she got, the more her green eyes sparkled. She looked simple, yet incredibly sexy. I was going to need a fucking straight jacket to keep my hands off of her all night.
Single mom Kacie Jensen’s life completely changed when she met dreamy, easygoing hockey star Brody Murphy and fell into a love affair she’d never imagined possible. Now, it seems like nothing can get in the way of their blossoming relationship—until Kacie’s ex-boyfriend and the father of her twin girls appears after a five-year absence, begging to be let back into their daughters’ lives.
With Brody’s game schedule turning their relationship long-distance, Kacie can keep her ex’s reappearance a secret for a while. She doesn’t want to hide her ex from Brody, but this news could take his head out of the game during the most important year of his hockey-playing career. Worse yet, it could drive her greatest love out of her life forever. Can Kacie do right by her daughters and keep Brody’s heart now that her past has unexpectedly returned?
“Why not? Do you ever want to be a stay-at-home mom?” Brody asked.
“I don’t know. After him, I swore to myself that I would never depend on a man again. It was embarrassing to move back home and rely on my mom to feed and take care of us.”
I spun to face him, nearly dropping the eggs that were in my hand. “What?”
“Down the road, when there are dozens of little Brodys running around the house, do you want to be home with us?”
“Dozens of little Brodys?” I chuckled.
“Why not?” He grinned.
“Uh, I can think of a few reasons. My poor uterus for one.” I poked him in the chest.
“Okay, fine. Not a dozen, but at least like… six.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “After that, we can just practice—a lot.”
“I’m definitely down for the practicing.” I batted my eyes at him. “And what do you mean at home with us? You’ll be traveling most of the time.”
“Yeah, but not forever. Eventually I’ll retire and do the full-time dad thing.”
Crossing my arms over my chest, I cocked my head to the side and looked at him skeptically. “Since when does staying home with kids all day interest you?”
He looked over at the girls, who were watching a movie in the living room, and shrugged. “Since them.”
Single mom Kacie Jensen must be dreaming. She’s finally found the love of her life in gorgeous hockey star Brody Murphy, and he’s just asked her to marry him. Still glowing from his romantic marriage proposal, Kacie shares the news with her twin daughters—who are delighted—and begins planning the wedding of a lifetime.
But when Kacie receives a letter from her dad, who walked out on her and her mother fifteen years ago, the happy whirlwind comes to a halt. He says he wants to meet her for lunch and catch up. But does he truly want to be a part of her life after all these years? Or is he only interested in her new fiancé’s money?
“Oh, I know and it’s okay. I couldn’t care less what the public or whoever thinks of our wedding. It’s for us, you and me, and that’s all that matters.”
“I’m glad you feel that way.” He bent his leg under him and turned to face me. “I had a thought while I was driving home.”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m not eloping.”
“No, no. I know that. But you’re right… about not letting them have our wedding, the paparazzi and leeches who thought it was okay to post a picture of the girls in the newspaper. I don’t want them having any part in our day, so I was thinking, what if we had the ceremony and the reception in my parents’ barn?”
My mouth fell open as he held his hand up. “Don’t freak. Just hear me out. I know it’s a crappy rundown barn, but I was thinking how cool it might look if we hung thousands of little white lights or even candles everywhere, though we don’t want to burn it down, but you get what I’m saying,” he rambled, barely taking a breath. “I can hire a company to come in and clean it up. We’ll rent some tables and chairs and whatever other crap you need for a wedding. Anything you want, Kacie. The sky’s the limit. I just want you to be—”
I put my hand over his mouth to stop the adorable, incoherent sentences that were tumbling out of his mouth.
When he stopped talking against my hand, I lowered it and scooted forward, cupping his face in my hands. I looked him straight in the eye. “Brody, I think that’s the best idea I have ever heard.”
About Beth Ehemann
Beth Ehemann lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and four children. When she’s not sitting in front of her computer writing, or on Pinterest, she loves reading, photography, martinis and all things Chicago Cubs. She’s represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.