by Liz Crowe

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One wounded hero + one shattered heroine = an untraditional romance for the ages.

Jane Terrance believes her life is in perfect order. She’s got a great job selling commercial real estate in Detroit, a condo in Midtown with her best friend, plenty of her own money, plus full control over the men she seduces and discards with regularity.

Trey Lattimer seems a little young to be retired from firefighting and, at first, he’s just another guy for Jane to conquer. But the harder she tries, the more mysterious he becomes, until his presence in her life does nothing but wreak havoc on her psyche.

When her carefully constructed world comes crashing down around her one violent night, Jane reaches out for a hero, a role Trey is eager to play—as long as Jane accepts she must be her own heroine if they’re to stand any chance at a real relationship.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786864321
Publisher: Totally Entwined Group
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 156
Sales rank: 1,104,272
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

"Liz Crowe writes intense true-to-life stories that make you feel. Whether it's anxiety, love, fear, hate, bliss, or loss woven into her plot lines, you will feel it deep down to your very soul." ~ Audrey Carlan, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"Liz Crowe is one of those rare authors who knows how to take the emotions of her characters and make them real for her readers, binding you to the story.” ~ International Best Selling Author Desiree Holt

Read an Excerpt

Copyright © Liz Crowe 2018. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.

“Are you sure this is the right space, Mister…ah…”

“Yeah.” The very tall man in the reflective sunglasses grunted out his reply, ignoring my lapse with his name. Which was forgivable, considering he’d mumbled it to me on the phone before demanding to see my stale commercial listing, then hung up without giving me a half-second’s chance to protest. Dropping everything and showing the old building that had once been home to a downtown Detroit fire station, which had languished for so long on the market it was collecting graffiti and wildlife, was not my idea of a great way to spend a warm Friday afternoon.

I had a hot date and this jerk was pissing me off the longer we stood shoulder-to-shoulder, staring at the once gleaming fireman’s pole. I glanced at my phone, noting I now had exactly thirty-five minutes to do about an hour’s worth of personal tidying up in order to make the seven p.m. deadline, for what I was determined would be a very satisfactory evening.

I shifted from foot to foot and waited the guy out, figuring him for yet one more porch-pisser—an out-of-towner, even—eager to snap some Instagram pictures and bemoan the death of a Great American City, historical building by historical building. These people loved their ruination porn. And I was one hundred percent not in the mood for it.

“Listen, Mister…”

“Trey,” he said under his breath. He took yet another hike around the perimeter of the empty space. I watched him, admiring the rear view despite my anxiety about being late for the date with my shiny, new Internet-garnered friend whom I had every intention of benefiting from tonight. This guy claimed he’d just gotten off a plane and had driven straight down to the heart of what was once the old Irish neighborhood of Detroit—Corktown—just to see this stupid, echoing, useless and likely about to be condemned building. He looked the part of New York money—deep-blue suit, dazzling white shirt and blood-red tie. The sort of person who would buy a pile of shit like this and either raze it for condos or lovingly and expensively restore it—into condos.

He’d made it all the way across what I assumed was a former parking area for fire trucks when he whirled around, whipped off his glasses and pinned me with such a strange look I took a few steps back.

“I want it,” he said clear as day, his voice low, raspy and firm. “But I’m not paying this.” He shook the feature sheet he’d yanked out of my hands the second I’d met him at the door. His eyes were of the deepest, darkest brown. They matched his chestnut-colored hair, which was thick and wavy in a way that might make a girl jealous if she weren’t inclined to plunge her fingers into it—like I was right then.

I opened my mouth to reply but my throat had closed up. Shaking my head to clear it, berating myself for thinking anything about the guy at all, much less entertaining the alarming porn loop running through my head starring us both, I tried again.

“All right, Mr. Trey, I’ll have to—”

“No mister. Just Trey.” He remained as far across the room from me as possible. “George Lattimer the Third. Trey, you know, for the third?”

“Ah, well,” I said, resisting the urge to wipe the sweat off my upper lip, but only just barely. “Right. So…anyway,” I blathered, pissed off at my own nervousness. “I have to take any offers, in writing, to the attorney for the estate holding the title. I assume you’re—”

“Fifty-seven,” he interrupted me. Again.

“You’re joking,” I blurted out, shifting into negotiation mode, no longer giving a shit he was the hottest thing on two male legs I’d encountered in, well, my entire life. He took a few corresponding steps away, looking like he was afraid I’d spray girl cooties on him if I got any closer. Up close, sans mister cool shades, those eyes were of the sort I might call mesmerizing—if I were the kind of person to think such a thing about some dude’s eyes. “The list price is ninety-nine. I get the place is a little, um…”

“Shitty?” He leaned against the far wall, arms crossed, smirking at me. “Falling apart as we speak? No better than a rat hole?”

“It has some deferred maintenance issues, yes,” I said, walking closer to him. He didn’t move this time. “But I assure you that the seller—”

“Give him my offer,” Trey said before turning away and wandering into the area that had once housed the kitchen and living spaces, leaving me standing, leaning forward and ready to engage—how exactly, I wasn’t quite sure. I trotted after him, clickety-clacking in my stilettos across the concrete, doing all I could to avoid random clumps of God-knows-what detritus that multiplied every month the building sat here empty.

I found him in the farthest reaches of gloomy interior, near what I assumed used to be the storage for extra firemen suits and equipment. He stood at the open door, peering into the gloom. I took a minute to gather my thoughts and words, ignoring the perfect V-shape of his torso in its dark suit coat. I love a man in a suit. It’s a known fact. But this guy was being a rude asshole, be-suited perfection be damned.

I tapped his shoulder, trying to make my touch firm, in command and take-no-prisoners. He turned so fast I flinched and stumbled backward, catching my heel on a ball of rags probably home to an entire family of rats. The expression on Trey’s face was one of abject panic, as if I’d poked him in the side with a semi-automatic weapon, or maybe a tampon. I scrabbled around, hoping not to land on my ass in the filth, and he reached out and caught my flailing arm, his movements calm and practiced. In that instant, I acknowledged if he pulled me closer, I wouldn’t protest.

I blew out a breath, settling myself back on top of my too-high heels. When he let go and stepped away, I felt rejected.

Ridiculous, I know. But I did.

“Wow, sorry,” I said, tucking stray strands of hair behind my ears, looking anywhere but at him. “I’m usually not such a klutz, but you—”

“Give him my offer. He’ll take it.” The man’s voice had natural certainty, but he was smoking meth if he thought the seller would take half his asking price. “Give him this,” Trey said, holding out a business card.

I took it, wishing I could use it as an excuse to touch his fingers or something equally desperate. But he held it by one corner and unless I grabbed the man’s hand, it would not be happening. I took it and glanced down without really reading it before I looked back up at him. “What do you want the place for anyway? You an investor or a builder?”

“Neither,” he said, stuffing his hands into his trouser pockets. The silence spun out between us, visible, like the puffs of outside air sending tendrils of dust and other nastiness swirling around. I blew out another breath in frustration.

“Giving the whole ‘strong and silent type’ thing a real go, aren’t ya?” Without allowing the man the satisfaction of my continued attention, I pulled out my phone and hit my seller’s preprogrammed number. I just hoped I would have time to contact my date—oh dear sweet Jesus, what’s his name?—and give him a heads up I’d be late, or we’d have to cancel.

Once I left the requisite message with the lawyer’s service, I turned back around. Trey had resumed his perusal of whatever was in the storage area, so I resumed mine of his pleasant rear view. Long legs, no-doubt firm ass, skin bronzed. He must have been ex-military or maybe a cop—something that kept him outdoors for a lot of years—none of which squared with the suit.

“When will you get a response?” he asked, still facing away from me.

“Tomorrow. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to—”

“Come to dinner with me,” he said, shocking me to my toes. He turned to face me, his chocolate-colored gaze intense.

“No, thanks,” I said, drawing myself up and getting huffy at his assumption. “You’re a rude asshole, if you’ll pardon me. Besides, I already have a date.”

He tilted his head, giving me the oddest top-to-toe eyeballing. The corner of his full upper lip lifted in what might pass for a smile. “Cancel it,” he said.

“Um, no, I don’t think so,” I said, my voice quaking in an annoying, uncharacteristic manner. I didn’t back down when he stood way up in my personal space bubble, looking down at me as if I were the mouse between his furry cat paws. “You don’t intimidate me, George,” I said.

He chuckled. “Come on. I’m starving. Tell your boyfriend you have to take a big important client out to dinner.” He raised a dark eyebrow, giving me a moment to ponder his possibilities.

“You don’t know what you’re getting into with me,” I said, smiling, willing to play along, my body already reacting and knowing full well where this was going even if I was more than a little surprised by his rapid-fire change of mood.

“I think I just might, Harriet,” he said, his smile widening.

“Jane, please,” I said with an edge in my voice, using the middle designation I’d insisted on from the moment I realized my parents had saddled me with my great-grandmother’s old-fashioned first name. How the man knew it was anyone’s guess, but I decided not to ask him. “I have to go to my office first.” He nodded but didn’t say anything more.

For reasons completely unknown to me at the time, I sent my date-for-the-night a cancellation text, tucked my phone into my purse and accepted Trey’s outstretched elbow.

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