The Wrong Man for Her [NOOK Book]

Overview

Never say "Never again"

Nick Logan had a gift for counseling teens who came from violent homes, but his job at the Rockford Crime Victims' Center wasn't easy. Three years ago he and Madelyn Walsh had started out as coworkers and turned into lovers. Until he'd broken their engagement, convinced anyone else would make a better husband.

Now Madelyn was "Dr." Walsh and the boss. Their new relationship was about rules—not romance—and she wasn't ...

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The Wrong Man for Her

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Overview

Never say "Never again"

Nick Logan had a gift for counseling teens who came from violent homes, but his job at the Rockford Crime Victims' Center wasn't easy. Three years ago he and Madelyn Walsh had started out as coworkers and turned into lovers. Until he'd broken their engagement, convinced anyone else would make a better husband.

Now Madelyn was "Dr." Walsh and the boss. Their new relationship was about rules—not romance—and she wasn't about to let herself fall for him again. But time had taught Nick a thing or two about love—like not worrying too much about being wrong for her if she was right for him….

GOING BACK
What if you discovered that all you ever wanted were the things you left behind?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459217232
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Series: Going Back, #1418
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 186,718
  • File size: 297 KB

Meet the Author



Kathryn Shay is a lifelong writer. At fifteen, she penned her first "romance," a short story about a female newspaper reporter in New York City and her fight to make a name for herself in a world of male journalists-and with one hardheaded editor, in particular. Looking back, Kathryn says she should have known then that writing was in her future. But as so often happens, fate sent her detouring down another path.

Fully intending to pursue her dream of big city lights and success in the literary world, Kathryn took every creative writing class available at the small private women's college she attended in upstate New York. Instead, other dreams took precedence. She met and subsequently married a wonderful guy who'd attended a neighboring school, then completed her practice teaching, a requirement for the education degree she never intended to use. But says Kathryn, "I fell in love with teaching the first day I was up in front of a class, and knew I was meant to do that."

Kathryn went on to build a successful career in the New York state school system, thoroughly enjoying her work with adolescents. But by the early 1990s, she'd again made room in her life for writing. It was then that she submitted her first manuscript to publishers and agents. Despite enduring two years of rejections, she persevered. And on a snowy December afternoon in 1994, Kathryn Shay sold her first book to the Harlequin Superromance line.

Since that first sale, Kathryn has written more than fifteen books for Harlequin (as well as two Online Reads), several mainstream contemporary romances for the Berkley Publishing Group, and two online novellas, which Berkley has published in traditional print format.

Kathryn has become known for her powerful characterizations-readers say they feel they know the people in her books-and her heart-wrenching, emotional writing. (Her favorite comments are that fans cried while reading her books or stayed up late to finish them.) In testament to her skill, the author has won five Romantic Times BookClub Magazine Reviewers' Choice Awards, three Holt Medallions, two Desert Quill Awards, the Golden Leaf Award and several online accolades.

Even in light of her writing success, that initial love of teaching never wavered for Kathryn. She finished out her teaching career in 2004, retiring from the same school where she began. These days, she lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.

"My life is very full," she reports, "but very happy. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to pursue and achieve my dreams."
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Read an Excerpt


Nick logan slammed on the brakes of his little red Mitsubishi Eclipse. Too late. The front end rammed into the back of the van ahead of him. Damn it! Though he'd only glanced away from the snarl of traffic to check the clock, it had been enough time for the long line of vehicles snaking down Route 390 to come to an abrupt halt.

"Great," he said, unbuckling the seat belt. "Just great." He vaulted out of the car and hurried to the driver's side of the van.

Behind the wheel, a man in a business suit had a cell phone to his ear. The guy said something into the mouthpiece, closed the instrument and stuffed it into his pocket. He finally opened the door and got out. "What the hell did you do?"

Nick refrained from reminding him that using a cell phone while driving in New York State was illegal. "You stopped fast. I hit you.Are you all right?"

"No, I'm not all right." The man's face flushed. "I have an important meeting in thirty minutes, and I don't have time for this." He pointed to his van. "Or this." He gestured toward the traffic around them.

"Me, either." The last thing Nick needed was to be late for his first day on the job. Well, his first day back on the job. He glanced at the two bumpers. "I think I took the brunt of it."

The man strode to the rear of the van and whistled. "That's what you get for going foreign. And buying a sports car."

"Whatever." Nick hated lectures. "How do you want to handle this?"

"You'll pay, of course."

"I mean, do you want to call the police or take care of this privately?"

The driver raised his brows. "Can you afford the cash outlay? The cost of your repair is going to be steep, even if it's just a crumpled bumper."

"Probably not." Nick wasn't thinking clearly. He'd been up pacing the floor most of the night, worried about returning to his old job after a three-year absence. He whipped out his cell. "I'll call."

The guy surveyed the traffic. "They won't be able to get through."

"The cops'll find us." They always did. Nick knew that from personal experience.

"I…"

The wind picked up around them, along with a fine March drizzle. Oh, man, this just kept getting worse. As he punched in 9-1-1, Nick hoped like hell his lousy morning didn't foreshadow the rest of the day. At least he'd given himself an hour-and-a-half leeway before his meeting with John. And his good friend would be an understanding boss. Or he used to be, anyway.

It took close to sixty minutes for the police to arrive, deal with the reports and for Nick to exchange information with the other driver. It took another twenty to get out of the heavy traffic, which had worsened because of the accident.

He pulled into the Rockford Crime Victims Center parking lot at nine. His need for haste kept him from succumbing to the memories that swamped him as he took in the old, brick building on Plymouth Avenue. He shoved aside any feelings of nostalgia at being back at the Center, where he'd spent several years doing a job that helped other people and made him feel worthwhile.

It was also the place where he'd fallen in love. Though at the time, he wouldn't admit it to himself. Or to Maddie. At least she wasn't working here anymore. He didn't know where she was now, or even if she was still in Rockford. He'd made sure, whenever he'd seen John over the past three years, or exchanged e-mails with Bethany, the Center's parttime minister, that they didn't discuss Maddie. All he'd learned was that she'd left the RCVC shortly after he had and had gone on to graduate school. Today, there would only be painful reminders of her within those walls.

The entrance door was unlocked and the reception area was empty. Nick knew Francy Baker, the Center's secretary, still worked here so perhaps the staff meeting had started. He headed to John's office on the first floor to check where he was supposed to be.

The door was ajar.

Nick stopped short when he heard the voice that had haunted so many of his midnights say, "It's past nine. Do you think he's coming?"

Maddie. His Maddie? What the hell? "Yes, of course." John sounded weary. "Today's his first day as the teen counselor. I'm surprised he's late."

Nick stepped into the entrance. "I'm here." When Maddie faced him, his pulse sped up. This was his first sight of her since that cold November night three years, four months and two weeks ago when he'd broken off their relationship. She'd changed. Her dark blond hair was shorter now, falling over her eyes in cute bangs. And she wasn't smiling at him.

He tried to calm his thumping heart. "Hi, Madelyn. John. Sorry I'm late." He shrugged one shoulder. "Car accident."

"Hey, buddy." Rising from a chair, John Kramer, the founder and head of the RCVC, circled around the desk. Without hesitation, he gave Nick a bear hug. When he drew back, he held Nick by the arms. John's hair was grayer than the last time Nick had seen him,

"Only the front of my car. At least it's still drivable." He glanced at Maddie, then dropped into a chair when she did the same. John went back to his desk. "What's going on?" Nick asked. "Why are you here, Maddie? I was under the impression you left the Center a few years ago."

John sat forward. "Nick, some things have happened you need to know about. Things that have brought Maddie back to the RCVC."

"What?"

"Lucy had a heart attack six weeks ago."

Nick recoiled. "Oh, no. H-how is she?"

"Recovered, miraculously. I took the month off to be with her."

"I see." Relief came quickly and, on the heels of it, a glimmer of understanding. "So Maddie filled in for you?"

"In a sense." He cleared his throat. "My wife's illness shocked me into admitting some things. Ever since my daughter died, I've devoted my entire life to this place and neglected other important aspects. It's time to focus on them now."

"Well, that's good. I told you before you needed to slow down."

Something wasn't right here, though. He and John had kept in touch since he'd left the Center and it was unusual for them to go six weeks without talking. Of course, Nick had spent the past few months rearranging his life to move back up to Rockford. Still, given how close he was to the Kramers, he was surprised John hadn't told him about something this serious. "Why didn't you call me about Lucy? I could have come up early to help at the Center. Or to support you two, at least."

John glanced at Maddie. "I was afraid if you knew my circumstances you wouldn't accept the job."

"Why? Because you won't be running the place?"

"Yes, though I'll be here part-time. And will still do your evaluations. But I'm no longer in charge."

"I don't understand. Won't the new administrator…" His words trailed off as awareness dawned. He looked to Maddie, whose stricken face confirmed his suspicions. "You're the new administrator of the Center."

"Yes, I am. I took over for John a month ago and I'm staying on to run it."

"Permanently?"

"Yes."

Nick gripped the chair. It took him several seconds to rein in his resentment at being duped—by both of them. He struggled to control his anger only because John didn't need a tirade now. Choosing his words carefully, he addressed his friend and mentor. "I'd like to speak to Madelyn alone, if you don't mind."

"This isn't her fault, Nick. I made the decision to keep you in the dark. As I said, I was afraid you wouldn't come back if you knew Maddie was in charge."

"It's okay, John." Maddie's voice was calm. Of course, she'd had time to adjust to this very bad idea.

"I'd like to talk to Nick, too. Alone."

Sighing, John stood. "All right. But if anyone's to blame, it's me. Meanwhile I'll go to the staff meet

When John circled around the desk, Nick rose, too, and grasped his arm. Ignoring the hurt caused by the fact that the Kramers had shut him out, he said, "Don't worry about this, John. Just take care of Lucy."

After John left, Nick turned and anchored his hands on the back of the chair. "Surely you must know this can never work."

Her amber eyes flared, making them look like hot brandy. "No, I don't know that. I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think we could do this."

"Why the hell did you take it?"

"For the same reason you just assured John everything would work out. He's lost too much in his life and now he has a personal crisis. We have to help out."

"Madelyn, you can't want to work with me."

"Of course I don't!" She slapped her pad down on the desk. "We might as well get everything out in the open. I never would have hired you back if I'd been in charge when John offered you the job. But that would have been a real loss to the Center, since you work magic with kids. It's right for you to be here, so we'll have to make the best of the fact that we have an unpleasant past together."

His grip tightened on the chair. Her compliment didn't ease his anger. "It is not acceptable that I wasn't told about Lucy's attack or that you'd be running the Center!"

She just stared at him. He could see the strain around her mouth and the tension in her jaw, but she held her ground.

"Damn it," he said, "what am I supposed to do now?"

"Stay. For the Center's sake and John's."

"And if I do?" He practically spat the words out.

"What about us?"

"There is no us, any longer. Right now, we have to think about the victims we can help and what we can do for the Kramers. They were like parents to both of us. We owe them a lot."

The mention of the role the Kramers had played in Nick's life diluted some of his rage. Okay, so he should stay at the Center. Hell, he wanted to. But, man, he hadn't signed on for this. He wasn't sure he could do it. Yet, did he really have a choice? "I guess I can give it a shot."

"Fine." She glanced at her watch and stood. "The staff is probably finished with doughnuts and coffee. We should get down there."

"Wait a second, Maddie." She straightened her shoulders. "Please, don't call me that."

"What?"

"Maddie."

"Why?"

She raised an eyebrow, and he remembered that only he, Beth and John had ever used the nickname. For some reason, her admonition ticked him off.

He folded his arms over his chest. "Would you prefer Dr. Walsh?"

"Madelyn is fine." Without saying more, she turned and headed out the door.

Rattled by the events of the morning, he followed her. Holy hell, could things get any worse?

UNDER THE conference room table, Madelyn gripped her pen and tried to take surreptitious deep breaths. Her voice was even when she said, "Hi, everyone. Sorry we're late."

She nodded to Nick, who'd casually sat down in an unoccupied seat at the other end of table, as if he was merely some new employee. Her pounding heart told her differently. It didn't help that he looked better than ever in his navy sports coat, silk T-shirt and khaki pants; his dark hair fell boyishly over his navy blue eyes. But she'd be damned if she'd reveal her personal reaction to him.

"Some of you, of course, will remember Nick. Those of you who don't, this is Nick Logan. He's a psychotherapist, with an undergrad degree in social work and a masters in psychology, specializing in teenagers. He worked at the RCVC for six years then left for a while. He's back now and is heading up our new teen division. Hiring him was John's last formal act as director." She gave everyone a forced smile.

"Let's start today by introducing ourselves. Those of you who don't know Nick can fill him in on what you do here."

At her left, John waved. "Hey, there. Glad you're back, Nick. It means a lot to me."

from his tone of voice, but a little muscle leaped in his jaw telling Madelyn he was anything but happy.

"I'm in-and-out, periodically, and I'm still writing the grants," John continued. "I guess I couldn't quit altogether."

"You have a lot invested." Madelyn smiled affectionately at John. "I'm thankful for whatever time you can give us."

She nodded to the next person. Francy greeted Nick and welcomed him back, as did Abe Carpenter and Deanna Gomez, the counselors for adults. Madelyn knew that both Abe and Deanna liked and respected Nick.

"Hi, Nick. I'm Reid Taylor. I came a few months after you left. I'm a social worker and in charge of the new hotline. I also head the education division. I'm sure we'll be working together on school programs."

On Reid's left, Connor Worthington absently straightened his tie. Classically handsome with dark blond hair and somewhat cold gray eyes, he introduced himself as the lawyer on board.

Nick studied the other man. "We have full-time legal help now?"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Har he har har

    Sounds good so I'm gonna get it. Mostly because I absolutely love romance anything, but whatever.

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