The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men [NOOK Book]

Overview

Page Four asks: Which Palm Springs party girl has been caught canoodling with an out-of-town "Adam"?

Eve Caruso keeps her finger on the pulse of Palm Springs and reports every spicy celebrity tidbit to her loyal readers. She knows everyone in this town—except that mysterious hunk who just strolled into the exclusive spa where she's conferring with hot new starlet Jemima Cargill.

Nash Cargill—nicknamed "The Preacher" by all his rowdy ...

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The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men

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Overview

Page Four asks: Which Palm Springs party girl has been caught canoodling with an out-of-town "Adam"?

Eve Caruso keeps her finger on the pulse of Palm Springs and reports every spicy celebrity tidbit to her loyal readers. She knows everyone in this town—except that mysterious hunk who just strolled into the exclusive spa where she's conferring with hot new starlet Jemima Cargill.

Nash Cargill—nicknamed "The Preacher" by all his rowdy friends—is here to protect his flighty sister from a stalker, not fall for a sexy society columnist. But Eve has the perfect name—she's wildly tempting. Nash should resist; after all, her luscious lips speak trouble, her two sisters are too interested in their affair, and the rest of her family defines "notorious." But Eve is more vulnerable than she seems, and Nash has never said "no" to a lady in distress . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061842337
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 200,856
  • File size: 816 KB

Meet the Author

Christie Ridgway has never lived east of the Pacific Ocean, north of San Francisco, or south of San Diego. To put it simply, she's a California native who loves to travel but is happy to make the Golden State her home. She began her writing career in fifth grade when she penned a volume of love stories featuring herself and a teen idol who will probably be thrilled to remain nameless. Later, though, after marrying her college sweetheart, Christie again took up writing romances, this time with imaginary heroes and heroines. In a house full of males—one terrific husband, two school-age sons, a yellow dog, and tankfuls of fish, reptiles, and amphibians—Christie makes her own place (and peace) writing the kinds of stories she loves best.

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Read an Excerpt

The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men


By Christie Ridgway

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Christie Ridgway
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060763507

Chapter One

"Leader of the Pack"
The Shangri-Las
"A" side, single (1964)

The rain was pouring down on the Palm Springs desert in biblical proportions the night he stalked into the spa's small bar. He was a big man, tall, brawny, the harsh planes of his face unsoftened by his wet, dark hair. Clint Eastwood minus forty years and plus forty pounds of pure muscle. Water dripped from the hem of his ankle-length black slicker to puddle on the polished marble floor beside his reptilian-skinned cowboy boots.

She flashed on one of the lessons her father had drilled into her. A girl as beautiful as you and with a name like yours should always be on guard for the snake in Paradise.

And as the stranger took another step forward, Eve Caruso heard a distinctive hiss.

The sound had come from her, though, the hiss of a quick, indrawn breath, because the big man put every one of her instincts on alert. But she'd also been taught at the school of Never Showing Fear, so she pressed her damp palms against the thighs of her tight white jeans, then scooted around the bar.

"Can I help you?" she asked, positioning her body between him and the lone figure seated on the eighth and last stool.

The stranger's gazeflicked to Eve.

She'd attended a casual dinner party earlier that evening -- escorted by her trusty tape recorder so she wouldn't forget a detail of the meal or the guest list, which would appear in her society column -- and hadn't bothered to change before taking on the late shift in the Kona Kai's tiny lounge. Her jeans were topped with a honey-beige silk T-shirt she'd belted at her hips. Around her neck was a tangle of turquoise-and-silver necklaces, some of which she'd owned since junior high. Her cowboy boots were turquoise too, and hand-tooled. Due to pressing financial concerns, she'd recently considered selling them on eBay -- and maybe she still would, she thought, as his gaze fell to the pointy tips and her toes flexed into involuntary fetal curls.

He took in her flashy boots, then moved on to her long legs, her demi-bra-ed breasts, her shoulder-blade-length blonde hair and blue eyes. She'd been assessed by a thousand men, assessed, admired, desired, and since she was twelve-and-a-half years old, she'd been unfazed by all of them. Her looks were her gift, her luck, her tool, and tonight, a useful distraction in keeping the dark man from noticing the less showy but more famous face of the younger woman sitting by herself at the bar.

Eve placed a hand on an empty stool and gestured with the other behind her back. Get out, get away, she signaled, all the while keeping her gaze on the stranger and letting a slow smile break over her face. "What would you like?" she asked, softly releasing the words one by one into the silence, like lingerie dropping onto plush carpeting.

"Sorry, darlin', I'm not here for you," he said, then he and his Southern drawl brushed past her, leaving only the scent of rain and rejection in their wake.

Eve froze in -- shock? dismay? fear? "I'm not here for you."

What the hell was up with that? Granted, life hadn't been going her way lately, but though she knew not to depend on men, surely she could depend upon their reactions! Blonde hair and blue eyes, long legs and big breasts . . . they'd never failed her before.

What did it mean? What was the world coming to? Rain in the desert. Men underwhelmed by her beauty. Next the dead would rise from their graves. A shiver rippled down her spine. Come to think of it, just a few weeks before that had actually happened.

"What the hell are you doin'?"

The sound of the man's next words released Eve from her paralysis. She spun around, but his wide shoulders blocked her view of the person he was speaking to. Eve could imagine her, though, huddling in her corner, big-eyed, her broken arm hugged tight against her thin body. She remembered the feeling herself, she remembered feeling lost and helpless as the darkness closed in, squeezing the air from her lungs, choking her throat. Her first experience with the claustrophobia that could still make her cower.

Then the light, the voice. "What a pretty girl. I'd never hurt you."

"Well?"

The man's impatient tone banished the memory, and Eve's pulse skittered. A second shiver bolted down her spine. Move, she ordered herself. Get between them again.

Or get out, her weaker self reasoned. You're no Wonder Woman, we both know that. Do what you do best.

Look out for #1.

Trapped by indecision, Eve heard the scrape of the barstool's legs and tensed. If Jemima Cargill decided to run for it, Eve would be right behind her. The Clint-clone looked that dangerous.

The younger woman's fingers gripped the man's slicker sleeve and yanked him forward. "Oh, sod off, Nash," she berated in a soft, pseudo-British voice, "and sit down and have a beer."

To Eve's surprise, he merely grumbled, then obeyed. Jemima Cargill, Hollywood's latest and greatest waif-actress, looked over her shoulder, all enormous dark eyes and sharp pointed chin. "Would you mind serving the dope a drink?"

Eve obeyed too, moving around to the other side of the bar, her wariness easing a little now that the big man was sitting down, even though he couldn't look less dopey as he narrowed his eyes at the young woman seated beside him. "Don't mess with me, Jem. I've been doing the whole trains, planes, and automobiles thing for the last" -- he squinted down at the watch on his burly wrist -- "thirty-eight hours."

"I didn't call for the cavalry," Jemima answered, her British accent evaporating into her usual California-speak. "As you can see, I'm just fine."

Continues...


Excerpted from The Care and Feeding of Unmarried Men by Christie Ridgway Copyright © 2006 by Christie Ridgway. 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.

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Customer Reviews

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( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 31, 2012

    It was ok, quick light read, but cliche & commonplace. The

    It was ok, quick light read, but cliche & commonplace. The only good point of the book is to be honest with yourself, which will allow you to let others in. Otherwise, I wasn't captivated by the main characters, their romance seemed unrealistic and predictable, threw in some steamy sex scenes, and that's all you had going. The supporting characters like Nash's sister didn't have an interesting subplot and though I liked Eve's sister, Tea, she wasn't really in the book much. The ending was rather anticlimatic, not one of her better novels. I would quickly forget this and tell you to pass on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2006

    It Sizzles!

    This book was fun, witty and had great steamy love scenes......the interaction between Nash and Eve left nothing to the imagination. There were so many elements of surprise, comic moments, passion, etc.---the book has it all.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A fine tale

    Nash Cargill arrives in California after receiving a zillion faxes from Allison that his about to be twenty-one years old baby sister Jemina needs a bodyguard. Leaving the monster truck circuit behind in Europe, Nash, known as the Preacher, races to the States to protect his actress sibling, but becomes irate when he meets society columnist Eve Caruso, who exposed Jemina¿s whereabouts in her column just before someone tried to run her over. He blames Eve for his sis¿ broken arm though the columnist saved the young woman¿s life.---------- As Eve and Nash become acquainted they begin to fall in love. However, she has no idea how to care and feed an unmarried man as her career has been everything besides which the SEC wants a piece of her though currently she is tottering on bankruptcy. As he keeps his sister safe, Nash is frustrated with his Eve because she cannot see they are in love and belong together.--------------- The second Caruso sister contemporary romance (see AN OFFER HE CAN'T REFUSE) is a lighthearted romp starring two likable protagonists. The relationship between Nash and Eve hinges on her as once he realizes she saved his sister¿s life and that she is not an irresponsible twit, he reassesses her and knows he is in love. He also begins to wonder if she is the target not his sibling perhaps tied to her grandfather¿s mob activities. Fans will enjoy this fine tale of a woman undecided about love.------------ Harriet Klausner

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