Authors: Carly Phillips
New York Times
bestselling author Carly Phillips tossed away her legal briefs and a career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. Within the year, she turned her love of reading into an obsession with writing. More than thirty published novels later, Carly writes sexy contemporary small-town romances, striking a balance between entertainment and emotion, and giving her readers the compelling stories they have come to expect and enjoy. She lives in Purchase, New York, with her husband, two daughters, and their dogs: Bailey, a soft-coated wheaten terrier, and Brady, a Havanese, who act like additional children. Visit Carly at
or catch up with her at
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‘[An] entertaining and sexy romance . . . [A] fun and romantic summer read . . . Will please readers with its mischievous characters, red-hot passionate encounters, and spirited plot’
‘Fast-moving and sexy . . . Her many readers will clamor for this’
‘This sassy, sexy story with a rapid-fire pace . . . will send readers looking for the rest’
‘Fast-paced and fabulously fun, Carly Phillips entertains with witty dialogue and delightful characters’ Rachel Gibson,
New York Times
‘On a scale of one to five: a high five for fun, ease of reading, and sex — actually I would’ve given it a six for sex if I could have’ Kelly Ripa
‘This is one of Phillips’ best, a lighthearted, fast-moving plot filled with her signature quirky characters. The book also shows depth of heart, outlining some of the life choices we make that perhaps could use a second look. Great fun with a bit of insight tucked in — fans will be clamoring for this one! HOT!’
Romantic Times 4½ Stars
‘Once again Carly Phillips has done it. She knows how to combine suspense, romance, and comedy. Loved it’
Night Owl Reviews
‘An entertaining read from start to finish that fans of Ms. Phillips, both new and old, are sure to enjoy’
‘Carly Phillips’ characters are always believable, and I think that’s what makes her books keepers . . . The only issue a Phillips fan will have is leaving these wonderful characters’
‘A funny, sexy story with exactly the right mix of sass and heart’ Susan Mallery,
New York Times
Welcome to Serendipity, where love, fate and fortune are intertwined . . .
No longer interested in the prospect of being a trophy wife, Nicole Farnsworth calls off her wedding. All she wants is to be herself and where better to start afresh than in Serendipity – the place she met the one man who made her heart beat faster, and gave her the courage to reinvent her life.
After the heartbreak of losing his childhood sweetheart to his best friend, Officer Sam Marsden fears he can’t trust his instincts when it comes to love. Yet he’s so tempted by Nicole, who has starred in his dreams ever since their brief meeting. For Nicole and Sam, opening their hearts one more time could change their lives for ever. But who’ll be the first to take that chance?
There was something about being a Marsden that
made people think if they asked him for a favor, Sam—the younger brother and the
cop—would be nice and accommodating. Take how his sister-in-law, Cara, was looking at him with big, pleading eyes, fully expecting him to agree to her beyond-unreasonable request.
“There is no way in hell I’m going on a date with Margie Simpson.” Sam Marsden glared at Cara, a woman he usually also called his best friend, from across their respective desks at the Serendipity police station.
“Her last name is Stinson, not Simpson, and you know it.” Cara frowned back at him. “Come on, Sam. Her parents are the biggest donors for the Women’s Heart Health fund-raiser, and the Serendipity Police Department is a co-sponsor. Do you want to be the one to tell the hospital, who will be the recipient of that shiny new medical equipment, that the
Stinsons pulled their donation because one of our finest wouldn’t escort their daughter?”
“She’s more like a pit bull,” Sam muttered. “And isn’t there another single cop you can get to take her? What about Hendler?”
“He’s too old.”
She shook her head. “Too young. Besides, Margie wants to go with you.”
He shuddered. “All the more reason for me to say no. I don’t want to give her the wrong idea.” Margie was one of those women who assumed that just a look implied male interest. Sam didn’t want to go there. No way, nohow.
“Are you giving my wife a hard time?” Sam’s brother, Mike, strode over to Cara’s desk and placed a possessive hand on her shoulder.
“More like she’s giving me one. Call her off, will you?” Sam asked.
Mike laughed and shook his head. “I like my life just the way it is. Sorry, bro. You’re on your own.”
Sam rolled his eyes. Ever since his bachelor brother had fallen—hard—for Sam’s sometime partner, Cara, he was now wrapped around his wife’s cute little cowboy boots—when she wasn’t in uniform, that is. Where she went, Mike followed. Sam was happy for him. Problem was, Sam’s single friends were dwindling fast. First Dare Barron, then Mike, and even their sister, Erin, had fallen.
Sam wasn’t jealous, but he could admit that his life and the routines he’d always enjoyed were growing stale around him. But that didn’t mean he was open to marriage, let alone escorting the female from hell, even for a good cause.
rolled a pencil between her palms. “Do you already have a date?” she asked.
“Hell, no,” Mike said, before Sam could answer. “He hasn’t dated anyone in longer than I can remember. In fact, the last woman who remotely interested him—”
No, he would not let his brother go
“Don’t you have an office to get back to?” Sam pointed to the police chief’s workroom at the back of the stationhouse.
Mike grinned. “Not when this is so much more fun.”
Cara elbowed him in the stomach. “Go. I’ll have more luck if you aren’t here poking fun at him and making this worse.”
Mike shrugged. “Hey, it’s not my fault he’s such an easy target.”
“Now that you’re happily married, you’re an even bigger pain in the ass,” Sam muttered.
Mike smirked and kissed his wife on the lips, lingering way too long before he finally walked—make that swaggered—away.
“Get a room.”
“You too could find true love,” Cara said, leaning closer. “We all want that for you.”
But Sam didn’t want that for himself. He’d tried, come close, and failed in the biggest possible way. As a cop, he trusted his instincts, but when it came to women? To relationships? To personal choices? Not so much.
His so-called gut instinct had hurt one good friend, and his gullibility had led to him being betrayed by his fiancée and best friend. His family knew only some of the reasons he remained wary of trusting his personal instincts, and with his siblings settled down, Erin with a husband and a baby, they’d all turned up the pressure on him.
leveled him with a serious stare. “I’m not asking you to marry Margie, just accompany her to the benefit. Make nice and go home. Can you do that for me? For Mike and the police station? Please?” Cara batted her eyelashes over her big blue eyes.
She’d been his best friend long before she became involved with Mike, and he’d have thought he was immune—except now she was also his family and he didn’t like turning her down. Besides, as she’d pointed out, the fund-raiser was for a good cause and he’d be representing the police force.
He blew out a disgusted breath. “You’re only doing this because I can’t say no to you,” Sam muttered, shuddering at the thought of accompanying the one woman in town who sent fear into any single man’s heart.
“Is that a yes?” Cara tapped her pencil against the blotter on the desk, her expression almost gleeful.
“Yeah,” he muttered, knowing he would absolutely live to regret the decision.
“Yay!” She jumped up and hugged him tight before resettling herself into the chair behind her desk. “This is
! One huge problem taken care of. I knew I could count on you.”
Sam thought, hating that word even more than usual.
“Hey, I promise Mike and I will stick by you all night. I won’t leave you alone with that leech.”
Sam narrowed his gaze. “So now you admit she’s a leech.”
Cara didn’t look up or meet his gaze, but the red flush in her cheeks gave her away. Yeah, he was a patsy for his sister-in-law and a good cause.
“You know,” Cara said, peering out from beneath her
long fringe of lashes, “you could avoid this whole kind of thing if you’d just—”