I've Got You, Babe

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Vanessa Tower has never done anything reckless in her life — then again, she's never met anyone like Christopher "Crash" Dunmoor. The man spends his days jumping out of airplanes, canoeing down raging rivers, doing anything for a thrill — and prim, proper, studious Vanessa doesn't need that sort of excitement. But the sexy adventurer can ignite sparks in her with just a smile, something Vanessa finds most troubling ... and impossible to ignore.

A confirmed loner with no ties and...

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Vanessa Tower has never done anything reckless in her life — then again, she's never met anyone like Christopher "Crash" Dunmoor. The man spends his days jumping out of airplanes, canoeing down raging rivers, doing anything for a thrill — and prim, proper, studious Vanessa doesn't need that sort of excitement. But the sexy adventurer can ignite sparks in her with just a smile, something Vanessa finds most troubling ... and impossible to ignore.

A confirmed loner with no ties and painful secrets, Crash knows wild is the only way to live. Yet this straightlaced lady he's gotten involved with is turning out to be a bigger turn-on than adrenaline! It's crazy to think he could ever have anything in common with this gorgeous bookworm. So why is his heart telling him that holding her, touching her, and tasting her would be the most tantalizing adventure of all?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060502324
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/5/2002
  • Series: Avon Romance Ser.
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

I grew up in Austin, Texas, and have been writing since the age of four, but did not complete my first "masterpiece" until the age of eleven: a Regency spy thriller version of Orwell's Animal Farm. For some strange reason, this proved to be unmarketable. I began my first romance novel at the age of twelve but noticed after fifty-three handwritten pages that the story didn't seem to have a plot. Many years later, while at Smith College, I began to understand why plot was an important element of a book.

I now live in Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband and a menagerie of animals. I'd love to hear from my readers at P.O. Box 70185, Marietta, GA 30007-0185, or at kkauthor@aol.com

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First Chapter

Chapter One

Vanessa Tower jammed hard on the clutch of her PT Cruiser and shifted down into second gear. The machinery groaned and complained, even though it was only a year old.

Fitting that the car wanted to be here as little as she did. Yet here they were, inching up the side of a mountain at what was surely an eighty-five-degree angle. Worse, the top of the mountain -- for she was determined to get to the top -- promised no relief from stress.

No, at the top of the mountain was a person who didn't have the decency to respond to repeated requests by telephone, U.S. mail, or e-mail.

This man promised to be a louse extraordinaire. Vanessa frowned. Brain, she said to her brain, nobody uses the word "louse" anymore. "Louses," not to be confused with lice, went out with the what fifties? Her friend Shelly would laugh at her. Shelly teased her affectionately about how unhip she was, how her mind remained mired in the nineteenth century instead of acknowledging the fact that it lived in the twenty-first. But then Shel had a belly ring, and Vanessa had a Ph.D. in art history. She'd written her dissertation on Rodin, to whom her friend referred as "that rodent guy."

Brain! You're wandering again. Must get back to the business at hand. Namely what she was going to say to Christopher Dunmoor, the man on top of the bloody mountain she was scaling. "Mr. Dunmoor," she'd say, "the faces of the unforgiving look remarkably like sphincters as they age."

No, no, no! That was not an opening, calculated to persuade the louse to do what his grandmother wanted. And she had to persuade him, for Miss Eugenie'ssake.

Vanessa wrapped the Cruiser around another curve, keeping so close to the side of the mountain that she almost scraped the paint off. If she arrived at the top with deep gouges in the gorgeous shimmer of green, she'd sue the louse for criminal elusiveness. It sounded good, anyway.

She inhaled the crisp scents of pine and heather, and the danker smells of moss and loam. Though it was August, the temperature in Massachusetts for the past week had been balmy; in the lower-to-mid seventies. The higher she went up the mountain, the cooler the air became, raising slight goose bumps on her bare arms.

With a last corkscrew turn and groan from her usually purring car, Vanessa emerged from the rough trail and pulled into a clearing. In front of her sprawled a rustic cabin with a shingled roof, and upon the roof was a ... dear God. Upon the roof was a ... well. Upon the roof was the louse.

But what a glorious, glorious louse. Booted, denimed, and shirtless, he stood tall on the apex of the little house, swinging a hammer and glistening copper in the sun.

Vanessa pushed her wire-framed glasses up her nose and closed the mouth she hadn't been aware was open. She got out of the car, still staring.

The louse set his hammer down and ran a big hand through his mane of dirty gold hair. He picked up a large insulated cup, took several gulps, then sluiced a good amount of water from it down his back and chest.

Vanessa swallowed hard as the rivulets rushed, without foreplay, between his shoulder blades and down his spine into the waistband of his jeans, where they dampened the whole seat. The fabric molded instantly to his buttocks and thighs.

Oh, yes, he was a glorious louse. He had the arms of Atlas, with shoulders like ... uh, boulders, and those buns were of truly mythical quality. He seemed to sense eyes upon him, if not salacious drool, and he turned on his heel to face her.

Dunmoor's eyes were a piercing green even from the roof. They were also cool, critical, and downright crotchety. "Whoever you are," he said, "go away."

His attitude was enough to dry her drool on the spot. Vanessa gaped at him, caught off guard. Then she put her hands on her hips, and said, "No."

He shot her an annoyed look. "Why not?"

The man had a nerve! "Because, Mr. Dunmoor, I've gone to great lengths to talk to you, and I'm not leaving until I've done so."

He shrugged. "Mr. Dunmoor was my grandfather."

Yes, he was. And that was the reason she'd inched her way up his antisocial mountain. They stared at each other for a long moment, during which she didn't move a muscle. She felt like an idiot in her pale green linen suit and stockings, and she glanced down to find a wayward ant scaling her leg much as she'd scaled the mountain.

She broke the mutual glare first, to flick the insect gently back into the grass, where it hightailed away from her cream sandals and the panty hose she'd hatched fresh from the package that morning.

"If you're not leaving" -- he sighed -- "then call me Crash."

Crash? Crash? What kind of ridiculous name was that? "As a matter of fact, Mr. D-uh, Crash, it's your grandfather I've come to discuss."

His green eyes flashed from, cool to frozen. "I don't discuss my family with anyone."

Well, wasn't Miss Eugenie's Little Christopher an affable guy. But the old lady's troubled face swam into her memory, reminding Vanessa that she was here with a serious purpose. She sighed, and tried for a smile. "I'm Vanessa Tower. I teach at Seymour College, about half an hour southeast of here."

Crash Dunmoor eyed her quizzically and folded his delicious arms across his scrumptious chest. "And you came to see me on your way home from church?"

She flushed, feeling even sillier that she'd worn a suit. She'd donned it like armor, to protect her and help her feel professional ...

I've Got You, Babe. Copyright © by Karen Kendall. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 7, 2014

    Hero: 8/10 Heroine: 8/10 Romance: 7/10 Humor: 7/10 Pace: 8/10 Se

    Hero: 8/10
    Heroine: 8/10
    Romance: 7/10
    Humor: 7/10
    Pace: 8/10
    Secondary Characters: 7/10

    4.5 stars.

    Great story. Cute, fun, and funny. The pace was maintained throughout which is always a plus for me and so rare to find. I didn't really connect with the characters. They were just there. However, I don't look at that as a negative. They were fleshed out well enough, I understood them and could envision them. But I was so emerged in the story that I didn't really break things down and look at any one part individually. I didn't realize I did that until I was ready to figure my score sheet.

    Anyway, the end felt rushed and was sort of cheesy. But, in a way, I'm okay with that. I was ready for the book to be done. My attention span was pretty maxed out even though I enjoyed the story. I kind of wish the secondary romance had gotten more play time. It kind of seemed pointless here. Overall, this book was still a great read. It's worth a reread as well, so onto my keeper shelf it goes.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    amusing yet serious relationship dramas

    Seymour College Professor of Art History Dr. Vanessa Tower drives up the Massachusetts mountain to talk with Christopher ¿Crash¿ Dunmoor at the request of his grandmother, whom she met while studying the paintings of his late grandfather. Crash refuses to speak with his unwanted visitor, but she follows him to the rooftop of his house. As the last Dunmoor, grandma wants Crash to take responsibility for his grandfather¿s works valued at 2.6 million. He rejects everything she says until Vanessa tells him his grandma has colon cancer. His grandma wants the estrangement between her and Crash ended before she dies and sees the staid Vanessa as the tool. She informs her grandson and Seymour College that his grandfather¿s works will go to him only if he attends Vanessa¿s art history class and aces the course. Not going, any lower grade or dropping out means the college obtains the collection. With pressure from her boss to see that her newest student crashes, Vanessa finds she wants him to inherit while willing to skydive and join him on all his other reverie of kicks. Fans of amusing yet serious relationship dramas will delight in Karen Kendall¿s I¿VE GOT YOU BABE. The story line uses light moments notably when prim Vanessa joins Crash on his stunts to reduce the tension from the conflict between the lead male protagonist and his family. That technique turns into a two-edge sword, as readers will chuckle at Vanessa¿s discomfit, but also takes away from the estrangement subplot. Still this is a strong tale that the audience will enjoy. Harriet Klausner

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