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Completely Smitten

Completely Smitten

by Susan Mallery
Completely Smitten

Completely Smitten

by Susan Mallery

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Overview

Lose yourself in this fan-favorite tale of growing up, finding yourself, and falling in love from New York Times #1 bestselling author Susan Mallery!

Haley Foster has lived her entire life for other people. Her preacher father and the residents of her tiny hometown have an opinion for everything, including what she should do, what she should wear and even the person she ought to marry. Somewhere along the way, she’s lost her sense of self. But not anymore. Now Haley is determined to live on her own terms and do all the things good preachers’ daughters don’t do—starting with helping Kevin Harmon.

The injured US Marshal needs a ride from Kansas to his home in Texas. Haley has a car, and she owes him a favor. And he knows a lot more about being bad than she does. A few days with just the two of them in her tiny convertible and intimate hotel rooms… it’ll be fun, it’ll be passionate, and it will be an unforgettable experience.

At least, that’s her plan. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Originally published in 2003



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488075988
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/16/2020
Series: Hometown Heartbreakers Series , #8
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 124,273
File size: 463 KB

About the Author

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives—family, friendship, romance. She's known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Read an Excerpt

Completely Smitten


By Susan Mallery

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Susan Mallery
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373245203


Chapter One

All Kevin Harmon wanted was a beer, a burger and a bed, in that order. He'd had the kind of day designed to make a man rethink his career choices. He'd been bit, he was stuck in the middle of Kansas on a night that was practically guaranteed to produce twisters, and he'd just been offered a promotion. Not one thing was going right with his life. For once he wasn't looking for trouble, so of course trouble came looking for him.

He'd been around long enough to know that when a pretty, wide-eyed blonde walked into a seedy roadside bar, somewhere, somehow, there was going to be hell to pay. Kevin was determined to stay out of the way. No matter what.

He turned his attention from the petite blonde back to the bartender. "Burger," he said, pushing the plastic menu back at the man. "Extra fries."

The bartender nodded and wrote something on a pad of paper, then set a frosty mug down on a once-white coaster advertising the local grange.

Kevin took a long drink. He'd just spent the better part of the day transporting a convicted felon across state lines. The process had not gone smoothly, which explained the bite on his arm. The skin hadn't been broken, but he really hated when there was trouble on the road. If he hadn't drawn the short straw, he would be down in Florida, helping with a drug raid. But no, he was stuck in Kansas where the air was so thick you could practically stand a spoon up in midair. The pressure was rising - or maybe falling - he could never remember which one caused storms to spin out of control and become tornados.

He'd grown up with twisters, back when he'd lived in Texas, and he'd never liked them. They always seemed to show up right when he was supposed to be whipping the crosstown rival at a baseball game.

Kevin thought about tornados and Texas. He even tried to remember if he needed to buy milk when he flew home the next day. Anything to keep from turning to watch the progress of the blonde. It wasn't that she was so attractive that he couldn't resist her. Far from it. Sure, she was pretty enough, but pretty was a dime a dozen.

Instead, what made him determined to stay out of it was the nervousness he'd seen lurking in her eyes, and the hesitation in her step. She belonged in this bar as much as a dog with mange belonged in church.

The bartender flipped on a small television. Instantly the sound of a ball game blasted into the halffull room. Kevin continued to drink his beer, while he stared determinedly at the screen. He ignored everything else, even the half sly, half defiant male laughter behind him.

Bullies moving in for the kill.

He swore under his breath as he set his mug on the bar and pulled off his cap. The one with U.S. Marshals embroidered on the front. He was hot, he was tired, he was hungry. The last thing he wanted tonight was a fight.

Since when did fate pay any attention to what he wanted?

He turned on the bar stool and surveyed the situation. The blonde stood between two big guys with more tattoos than sense. A third, smaller man, had his hand on her arm.

She was of medium height, maybe five-four or five-five, with short hair and big eyes, more blue than hazel. There wasn't a speck of makeup on her face, but she was still attractive, with full lips and a stubborn-looking chin.

Her clothing choices made him wince. The shapeless short-sleeved dress she wore fell nearly to her ankles. It looked ugly enough to be embarrassed to be a dust cloth - with a white lace collar and some god-awful flower print. What was it about women and clothes with plants on them?

Kevin approached the quartet. The blonde struggled to break free of the little guy's hold. When she looked up and saw him, relief filled her eyes.

"You with them?" he asked, getting more tired by the second.

She shook her head.

Kevin turned his full attention on the man holding her arm. "Then, son, you'd best let the lady go."

One of the big guys took a step toward him. Kevin flexed his hands.

"I've had a bad day, gentlemen. I'm hungry, tired, and not in the mood. So you can walk away right now, or we can move it outside. I feel obliged to warn you that if we take this to the next level, the only one walking away will be me."

Haley couldn't believe it. She felt as if she was in one of those Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry movies her dad liked so much. She half expected to see the darkhaired man pull out a .357 Magnum and ask someone to make his day.

Instead, the skinny man with rabbit teeth who'd been holding her arm let go. He took a step back, holding up his hands and trying to smile.

"We didn't mean nothin'. Just thought the lady would like some company."

His two friends nodded. They were big. Bigger than her rescuer. A couple of their tattoos had interesting swearwords woven into the designs. She'd been trying to read them when Mr. Rabbit Teeth had grabbed her.

The three of them threw some bills on their table and left. Haley breathed a sigh of relief.

"That was something," she said earnestly. "I didn't know what to do. I mean, when he wouldn't let go. I thought about screaming, but it's kind of embarrassing to have to do that. I didn't want to make a fuss."

The man who had come to her assistance didn't say anything. Instead, he headed back toward the bar and slid onto his stool. She followed.

"Thank you for rescuing me," she said.

"Make a fuss," he said, reaching for his beer.

She sat next to him. "What?"

He took a long swallow, then stared at her over the mug. "Next time you get in trouble, make a fuss. Better yet, next time stay out of bars."

Haley reached out to tug on a strand of her hair, only to remember too late that she'd cut it all off the previous afternoon. Instead of a long braid nearly to her waist, she had short bits of fluff flying around her head.

She smoothed what was left of her bangs, then nodded. Stay out of bars. It was probably good advice. "I just can't," she said with a sigh. "Not yet."

The man stared at her. "You have a death wish?"

She laughed. "I'm not going to get killed. I just need to handle things better." She scooted a little closer and lowered her voice. "Do you know that until two days ago I'd never been in a bar before?"

Her rescuer stared at her in disbelief.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Completely Smitten by Susan Mallery Copyright © 2003 by Susan Mallery
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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