Can't Say No

Can't Say No

3.8 21
by Bette Ford
     
 

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Funny, sexy, and hot, ex-NBA star Ralph Prescott is Vanessa Grant's dream lover. He's also a notorious, no-good player—the wrong kind of man for a woman with big responsibilities. But at a mutual friend's lavish wedding, passion and curiosity get the best of maid of honor Vanessa, and Ralph reveals himself to be the best man in more ways than one.

Ralph

Overview

Funny, sexy, and hot, ex-NBA star Ralph Prescott is Vanessa Grant's dream lover. He's also a notorious, no-good player—the wrong kind of man for a woman with big responsibilities. But at a mutual friend's lavish wedding, passion and curiosity get the best of maid of honor Vanessa, and Ralph reveals himself to be the best man in more ways than one.

Ralph has had more than his share of women, but none has captivated him like Vanessa. To convince her that his player days are behind him, he'll have to show her what kind of man he truly is. He'll have to fight every inch of the way to break through her defenses and claim the blazing ecstasy they both want . . . and show her why she can't—and shouldn't—say no.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061982699
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Series:
Prescott Series , #3
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
115,630
File size:
793 KB

Read an Excerpt

Can't Say No


By Bette Ford
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008

Bette Ford
All right reserved.


ISBN: 9780061143502


Chapter One

It was a late-spring day, not a cloud in the sky, despite the chill in the air. Vanessa Grant had been rushing around since she'd overslept that morning. Even though she was late, she fought the urge to pound on the steering wheel of her dated SUV. As usual, the Metropolitan Detroit traffic was hopelessly snarled due to freeway construction.

She didn't bother to glance at her reflection in the rearview mirror. She knew her small African-American features, her toffee brown skin and dark brown eyes, showed just how tired she was. She'd not intentionally neglected herself, but there was always someone or something that needed attention. And there was never enough time to kick back and relax. Not that she was complaining, for she dearly loved her family and never regretted becoming her younger brother and sisters' legal guardian when they'd lost their mother, six years ago.

This morning was no less hectic than most. By the time Vanessa had her family dressed, packed, fed, and in the car, she was indeed ready for the minivacation she would be sharing with her girlfriends. After dropping the kids off, she headed for the home of her best friend, Brynne Armstrong.

Brynne had invited all six of her bridal attendants to fly down to spend four days and three nights, in Atlanta's Buckhead district. They were all thrilled, looking forward tobeing pampered in the day spa at the luxurious hotel. The all-expenses-paid trip was Brynne's way of thanking them for all they'd done to make her upcoming wedding perfect.

Brynne would be marrying Devin Prescott, her longtime sweetheart and father of her three-year-old daughter, Shanna next weekend. Although Devin was the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, he was from Detroit and part of a large, close-knit family.

Vanessa, along with their good friends and fellow book club members, Laura Murdock, Trenna McAdams, and Maureen Hale Sheppard, were in the bridal party, as well as Brynne's soon-to-be sisters-in-law, Anna Prescott Mathis and Kelli Warner-Prescott.

"Finally." Vanessa sighed as she stopped her SUV at the security gates outside Brynne's gated community. After giving her name to the security guard on duty, she was waved through.

"Oh, no," she wailed as she pulled into the crowded driveway and parked behind Maureen's car. Evidently, she was the last one to arrive. Slamming her car door, she hurried to the back to retrieve her garment bag and makeup case.

Vanessa and Brynne had formed the book club in the hopes of sharing a beloved hobby by participating in lively book discussions and developing new friendships. The five single ladies decided early on they didn't need to have a man in their lives to be happy or fulfilled. Maureen, Laura, and Brynne worked together at the Sheppard Women's Crisis Center. Trenna owned the nursery school where Brynne's daughter, Shanna, attended. Of the five, Vanessa knew that at six feet she was the painfully shy one. The others teased her good-naturedly because she couldn't remember the last time she'd been out on a date.

But Vanessa wasn't like the other "Elegant Five" book club members, who were into fashion, shopping, and, for those still single, men. Although single, what little free time she had away from the children was spent designing glamorous evening gowns and wedding dresses, dresses she couldn't imagine herself wearing. She kept to herself the fact that the closest she had come to being intimate with a man was the fantasy lover who filled her dreams.

"It's about time you got here!" Brynne complained as she hurried out to help Vanessa with her luggage. "I was worried, afraid one of the kids was sick."

Vanessa smiled as she hugged her petite, beautiful friend. "Nothing like that. Just took forever to get us all out of the house. The twins were so excited because they will be staying several nights with friends, I couldn't get them to settle down last night. And Lana couldn't decide what to take with her." The twins were six and would be in first grade in the fall, while Lana, seventeen, would be starting her senior year in high school. "Where is your sweet baby girl?"

Brynne smiled. "Shanna's with Devin's parents. She loves spending time with them. She won't even miss me."

The foyer was crowded with luggage and people. Vanessa received hugs from her friends.

Laura Murdock was the first to scold, "What took you so long?" as she kissed Vanessa's cheek. "Leave her alone. She's here now, and we're going to Hot 'Lanta," Maureen Hale Sheppard, said with a welcoming smile. She owned and ran the Sheppard Women's Crisis Center.

"Kelli and I would have been happy to pick you up, Vanessa," Anna Prescott Mathis volunteered. She had recently married Vanessa's boss, Gavin, and was Wesley and Devin's baby sister.

"I was fine. Just running a little late," Vanessa said with a smile. She was surprised that the married ladies didn't mind leaving their gorgeous husbands behind. "Kelli, I love that outfit."

"This old thing?" Kelli teased, referring to the designer pantsuit. "Got it last week on sale." Before she married the Detroit Lions' star quarterback, Wesley Prescott, the tall beauty had been a full-figured model. Now she spent her days caring for their toddler.

"You missed the show, girlfriend." Trenna McAdams laughed, clapping her hands excitedly. "We got an eyeful."

"Really?" Vanessa asked, looking from one to the other. "What happened?"

"Laura has a new man," Brynne teased.

"New man? What about Ralph?" Vanessa blurted out, then immediately wanted to take back the name, afraid she had given herself away.

Laura scoffed, "Ple-e-ase! Old news. Ralph has never been more than a friend."

Vanessa frowned. The last she'd heard, Laura had been interested in Ralph Prescott. She couldn't help wondering what had gone wrong between Laura and Ralph.

How had Laura overlooked the fact that the six-foot-seven-inch confirmed bachelor was not only gorgeous but very wealthy? Ralph, like his cousins, had been a professional athlete. He didn't bother to hide what he was, a player. There was no shortage of adoring women in his life.



Continues...

Excerpted from Can't Say No by Bette Ford
Copyright © 2008 by Bette Ford. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Bette Ford grew up in Saginaw, Michigan, where she continues to live. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Bette began her teaching career in Detroit and completed her master’s degree from Wayne State University. She has taught for the Detroit Public Schools HeadStart program for many years, and is the author of eight previous novels.

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Can't Say No 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
LadyBug4101 More than 1 year ago
This book seemed a little drawn out. Vanessa was not consistant in who she was. There were moments when she was a very shy, unsure woman and then there were times where she was this bold "won't let anyone get to me" person. I really liked Ralph because although he had many women in the past, you could really see that he cared for Vanessa and her family. The Vanessa character really drove me crazy.
PE More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't what I expected at all. I hoping since this was the last story in this series that it will be really good and it wasn't. In my opinion, Ralph and Vanessa was so unmatched because all they did in this story was fight about stupid stuff that didn't make any since. Also, I didn't experience any love and passion for one another. The story started off really well and then it just skyrocketed down from there. I read somewhere that someone said they didn't feel a confident woman in Vanessa. I totally agree with that because in the beginning you read a confident woman and then she turned crazy and so unsure about herself. Actually Ralph deserved a better female character for him to give up being a bachelor and player for so long. Vanessa was not that person. This is the first book that I felt that the main characters was not good together. The plot was not good and this book was not worth 372 pages. I skipped pages and I am not ashamed to say that. Don't get me wrong I love Bette Ford's books, but I feel cheated in Ralph story. On a really good note, I love the book cover.
DarleneGinn-Hargrove More than 1 year ago
NOT QUITE WHAT I EXPECTED.....THE STORY STARTED OFF WELL.  IT HELD MY ATTENTION AND HAD ME EAGER TO KEEP READING.  BUT, AFTER READING AND REREADING THE CAT AND MOUSE GAME THAT RALPH AND VANESSA HAD GOING ON, I STARTED TO LOSE PATIENCE VERY QUICKLY.  I KID YOU NOT, IT TOOK ME ABOUT 2 1/2 WEEKS TO FINISH THE BOOK.  I WAS GLAD TO SEE THAT EVERYTHING WORKED OUT JUST AS I GUESSED.  I AM ON THE FENCE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR READING.  THAT IS MY HONEST OPINION.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wesrox More than 1 year ago
Wow were all the Prescott men players.......and I understand guarding your heart but come on Vanessa a little to guarded .......... this made me laugh and get angry couldnt put it down tjose kids were so well adjusted and mannerly also I wish Vanessa an Ralph had more conversations about the loss of their parents but still a god read. The twins fatber I would strung up by his toes he was a butt...altough I would love to read his stroy also great follow up keep them coming
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DSB11 More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't on my to-read list. I needed something to read and saw it on a friend's book shelf. It was a good read. Vanessa is a typical damsel in distress -n- Ralph rescues her. It was predictable like other romance novels but it had a unique plot and it was edited very well.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ralph, the handsome ex-NBA player and Vanessa, the sister caring for her siblings, nothing in common, but the attraction sizzles off the pages. Ms.Ford created an awesome couple who managed to bring out the best in each other. A man who has compassion and admiration for a woman who cares for her sisters and brother and helps her every step of the way!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bette, Sheee BACK, and with a BANG. We have been waiting for this book for so long and I know if you was like me it had been pre-order for a year that is just how BAD we WANTED this book. I love the book from beginning to end. Now like any other book of course the either both or one of them will get on your nerve. In Detroit former NBA star Ralph Prescott is highly desired by all women. Ralph is a straight shooter tell it like it is in the beginning of any type of relationship so you have to respect a GUY like that huh, but what Ralph fail to realize is that once everybody thinks that he is a PLAYER they will continue to think that even if you try to change your ways. Vanessa Grant has had a crush on Ralph for as long as she has known him and she knew of him being a PLAYER but at the moment Vanessa does care all she wants is ONE NIGHT with Ralph then she will go back to her life working and taking care of her sisters & brother. So she THOUGHT... Once you start to read this book you will not want to put it down. I love the book from beginning to end and you will not be disappointed. Ralph has his reason for not wanted to get serious about relationship or LOVE and he can't understand why Devin, Gavin was so willing to give up their playing card. During the engagement party Ralph & Vanessa begin working together and at some point during Devin & Brynne engagement their feeling beginning to change but neither of them was ready or willing to admit it until one surprise weekend. Ralph knew that one of the Groomsmen was liking Vanessa and Ralph felt like it was his place to protect her little did Ralph know that Vanessa didn't have her eye on the other guy but ON him. Ralph knew that Vanessa is a good girl so when she proposition him HE was shock. Vanessa Grant offers him the proposition of being his lover she pledges to herself he will not break her heart. Now the question does he accept and will it be for only one night? Now to find out the answer you have to read the book, and let me tell that ONE NIGHT.........LAWD that RALPH. LOUISE
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read only one other book of this author before buying this one. I read 'when a man loves a woman' and I have to say she outdid her self here. She writes with such passion and creates beautiful chracters. This book is a must read. I just found out is part of the 'prescott' trilogy but I can't wait.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Detroit former NBA star Ralph Prescott enjoys being a highly desired ¿all pro¿ player when it comes to slam bam scoring with women. Although used to females making shocking proposals, he is stunned when the queen of responsible behavior good girl Vanessa Grant offers him the proposition of being his lover she pledges to herself he will not break her heart. He accepts.---------------- However, his behavior is far from the roguish cad she expected whose only asset is in bed. Instead, he is there for her and her family during a crisis caused by a rat who once dated her late mother. To her chagrin she falls in love with the kind hunk, but refuses to believe he reciprocates. He knows the clock is running out on his chances of proving to his beloved they belong together.---------------- The third Motor City Prescott sports romance (see UNFORGETTABLE and AN EVERLASTING LOVE) stars two strong protagonists who in spite of their deep sexual attraction initially believe they have nothing else between them especially wanting no part of Prescott is Vanessa while he wants no overtime. The story line is fast-paced and deep actually because of her family troubles caused by a clever villain. Fans will say yes to Bette Ford¿s engaging drama that effortlessly switches from the bedroom to the courtroom as Ralph proves to be much more than a womanizing former pro athlete. Now if Ms. Ford can use an even more shocking athlete in her next Prescott family saga.---------------- Harriet Klausner