Loves Me, Loves Me Knot

Loves Me, Loves Me Knot

by Heidi Betts

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Overview

Loves Me, Loves Me Knot by Heidi Betts

Jenna Langan knows what she wants, and as she tells her best friends after their weekly knitting group, she doesn't need a man to give it to her…only a few of his best swimmers. And just because her marriage to undercover vice cop Gage Marshall ended badly doesn't mean he can't still give her the baby she's always wanted. In fact, she's willing to bet a couple of her favorite hand-knit boas that she can tie him up in knots he'll definitely enjoy…

An unexpected seduction is one thing, but stud service? No, thank you. Gage had his reasons for pulling the plug on his happily ever after with Jenna, and nothing that's happened since their divorce has changed his mind. That is, until Jenna got it into her head to tie him up and drag him down. Now he has no choice but to stick around until he knows for sure if his ex-wife is pregnant. But the more time he spends with Jenna, the more his resolve begins to unravel…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429917735
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/04/2009
Series: Chicks with Sticks
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 455,961
File size: 317 KB

About the Author

Soon after joining Romance Writers of America, Heidi Betts's writing began to garner attention in several contests, including the esteemed Golden Heart competition, which she placed in the finals three years in a row. The recipient of numerous awards and stellar reviews, Heidi loves to read, write, watch movies (and just a little too much television), and surround herself with furry, four-legged friends in her home in the beautiful hills of Central Pennsylvania.


Soon after joining Romance Writers of America, national bestselling author Heidi Betts’s writing began to garner attention, including placing in the esteemed Golden Heart competition three years in a row. The recipient of numerous awards and stellar reviews, Heidi’s books combine believable characters with compelling plotlines, and are consistently described as “delightful,” “sizzling,” and “wonderfully witty.” Her books include Loves Me, Loves Me Knot, Tangled Up in Love, and Knock Me for a Loop.

Read an Excerpt

Loves Me, Loves Me Knot


By Heidi Betts

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2009 Heidi Betts
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-1773-5


CHAPTER 1

Cast On


With a final shove, Charlotte Langan managed to heave the heavy, centuries-old spinning wheel up the last two attic steps and onto the dusty floor.

When she'd hauled the thing down to her bedroom six months before, she certainly hadn't anticipated the need to carry it back up so soon — at least not by herself. But with her niece due to arrive any minute, she didn't have much choice. Jenna would be staying at the house for the next two weeks while Charlotte was on the road for one of the country's largest traveling craft shows.

She'd been preparing for this trip for years. Raising and shearing her own alpacas — who had become practically like children to her, given the amount of time she spent with them. Dying their fiber and spinning it into yarn. Knitting scarves and hats and mittens and sweaters — everything she could think of that might sell, until she had boxes upon boxes of items ready to go.

Some of her creations she sold at her booth in a local indoor craft and flea market, but since she spent most of her time either knitting or spinning, she had plenty left over for the traveling show. Or rather, she had enough left over from her stockpiling for the traveling show to also keep the small local booth.

Breath wheezing from her lungs, Charlotte tugged the hem of her floral polyester top down over her wide hips and continued to slide the spinning wheel across the floor toward a far, shadowed corner. She planned to lock the attic door, and couldn't think of any reason her niece might have for poking around up here, but she didn't want to take chances.

If Jenna found the ancient spinning wheel in a corner of the attic, covered by a thick white sheet, she might wonder why Charlotte wasn't using it. Why she'd gone to the expense of purchasing a brand-new one when she had a perfectly good and probably much more valuable one in her possession.

Oh, Charlotte could lie to her. She had no compunction about that sort of thing, not when it was for the greater good. She could tell her niece she hadn't wanted to risk anything happening to the family heirloom ... or that it had a squeaky wheel ... or that it didn't spin quite as well as the other one.

And Jenna would probably believe her. The dear, sweet child would never even consider that her eccentric old aunt might be up to something. Something secret, something devious, something ... well, something Jenna would likely not appreciate if she knew.

Because the spinning wheel she was even now covering with the sheet, hiding like a fat kid squirreling away a last slice of birthday cake, wasn't just old. It wasn't just a family heirloom or a possibly priceless antique.

It was magic.

Charlotte hadn't believed it in the beginning. When she'd first remembered the old spinning wheel in the attic, she'd also begun to recall the tales her mother and grandmother used to tell her during her youth about its enchanted properties. How it was a true-love spinning wheel, and that the yarn it spun could bring two people together for their very own happily ever after.

At the time, she'd thought they were simply stories created to lull her to sleep or fill her head with Rose Red dreams. But when Ronnie Chasen, one of the young women in her Wednesday-night knitting group, had found herself at sixes and sevens with a fellow journalist, Charlotte had decided to put the spinning wheel to the test.

As hopeful as she'd been that the soft black yarn she'd spun with Ronnie and Dylan in mind would work to draw the two together, she wasn't sure she'd actually believed it would. Not until the sparks had begun to fly and the animosity between the two newspaper columnists had turned into something equally combustible, but far more ... naughty. The details Ronnie had shared with the group since then were enough to turn Charlotte's hair carrot orange ... if it weren't already, thanks to a copious supply of L'Oreal's limited-edition I Love Lucy do-it-yourself hair-coloring kits.

The good news, though, wasn't that Ronnie and Dylan were apparently extremely sexually compatible, but that the spinning wheel had worked! The yarn it spun really did seem to be magic and able to generate love where it hadn't been before.

Of course, one positive result couldn't really be considered conclusive evidence, could it? No. As impressed as Charlotte was with the results of the first skein of yarn she'd spun on the antique wheel, she thought that another test or two might be in order.

And if anyone needed a little love in her life, it was her dear niece, Jenna. The poor girl just hadn't been the same since her divorce from Gage Marshall a year and a half before. The two had been meant for each other — or so Charlotte had thought. She'd been completely shocked when they'd split up, and she still wasn't sure she understood the reason for it. Not all of it, anyway.

But just because Jenna's marriage to Gage hadn't worked out didn't mean the girl had to spend the rest of her life moping. And no matter how many dates she'd been on recently, that's exactly what Jenna was doing.

She needed a boost. A lift. A little fairy dust to raise her spirits and get her back in the game.

Confident the spinning wheel was adequately covered and hidden behind several large boxes of odds and ends, Charlotte dusted her hands together, patted her brow with the edge of one sleeve, and moved back down the stairs to the doorway that opened directly into her bedroom. She closed and locked the door behind her, tucked the key at the back of her underwear drawer, then took a second to glance in the mirror.

Her mop of bright orange hair was still perfectly coiffed, thanks to the industrial amount of hairspray she'd used on it only a few hours before. Her white blouse with its tiny blue flowers was still pristine, not even a smudge of dust from her excursion to the attic on it or her navy blue slacks.

Satisfied with her appearance, she headed downstairs and into the sitting room to collect her handbag and a thick skein of bright purple yarn. Her niece's penchant for knitting sexy, slinky boas to go with just about everything she wore meant that Charlotte had had to spin a light, feathery yarn that Jenna would be likely to start using right away.

It hadn't been easy. Certainly not as quick or straightforward as the thicker, sturdier yarn she'd spun for Ronnie, and which the young woman had ended up using to help teach Dylan — albeit reluctantly — to knit. A competitive challenge that had developed into something much more personal and significant.

Thanks to Charlotte's covert matchmaking efforts, of course. Oh, she hadn't picked Dylan for Ronnie or anything as ordinary as that. No, she'd simply handed Ronnie the special yarn and let the enchanted spinning wheel's powers do their thing.

Which was exactly what she planned to do with this ball of yarn. The rest would be up to Fate and magic ... and hopefully Jenna's willingness to experience love again.

At the sound of a vehicle pulling into the drive, Charlotte grabbed her things and hurried to the front door in time to see her niece climbing out of her sunflower-yellow VW Beetle. Falling in line with Jenna's somewhat quirky personality, large magnets in the shape of white and yellow daisies decorated the doors and hood of the adorable vehicle.

Flowers weren't Jenna's only mode of decorating her beloved bug, though. At Easter, she used a nose, tail, and ears to make the car look like a bunny rabbit; at Halloween, a broom and the back end of a witch's robe would appear as though sticking out of the rear hatch; at Christmas, it was antlers and a bright red Rudolph nose.

Charlotte loved to see Jenna's happy yellow Beetle coming up the drive, never knowing what amusing guise the little VW would be wearing.

Today, Jenna herself was dressed in dark blue jeans that flared at the calf and sparkled at the thighs and pockets with a mixture of rhinestones and silver studs. Her blouse was sage green and cut in a tank-top style, made of some soft, flowing, almost diaphanous material that was so popular these days. Never mind that one could almost see a girl's bits and pieces and skimpy brassieres underneath.

And as usual, Jenna also had a boa wrapped loosely around her neck in blending hues of green, yellow, and brown that perfectly matched her blouse.

"Hello, dear!" Charlotte called as she pushed through the front screen door and bustled down from the porch.

Jenna smiled and raised a hand to wave before reaching into the back seat for her overnight bag.

"You ready to go?" Jenna asked as Charlotte crossed the yard to greet her.

Charlotte's head bobbed up and down. "The station wagon and U-Haul are both stuffed to the gills. As soon as you're settled, I'll be on my way."

"If you're in a hurry to get going, don't let me hold you up," Jenna said. She cocked a hip into the car door to slam it closed behind her and turned to face her aunt, rainbow- striped valise in one hand. "I know my way around, and some of the girls are coming over tomorrow night to keep me company."

"Oh, good! And you know where everything is, right? Even in the barn?"

Jenna's lips curved indulgently. "Don't worry, Aunt Charlotte, your babies are safe with me. I'll take good care of them, I promise."

A small weight lifted from Charlotte's chest. "Of course you will. I'm sorry, it's just that I don't leave them very often, and I'm too used to taking care of them all by myself, I guess."

"Except when I come over to help you out, which is how I know all of their names, their little quirks, and where everything is that they could possibly need."

Jenna leaned in and Charlotte hugged her back, then let her niece herd her toward her late-model station wagon. It was sort of a buzzard barf brown, according to Jenna, with the prerequisite faux wood side panels. A "woody," as they used to say ... though the last time she'd called it that, her niece's cheeks had turned bubblegum pink and she'd been quietly informed that "woody" was a term currently reserved for a rather private, highly aroused portion of the male anatomy. Charlotte hadn't referred to her station wagon in that manner since.

Jenna often told her she should trade the outdated rattletrap in — if a dealer was even willing to take it — and find something a little more modern and reliable to get around in. But Charlotte liked her wagon. It had plenty of space and got her where she needed to go, which was all she required of her mode of transportation these days.

Vinyl seat squeaking as she climbed behind the wheel, Charlotte deposited her purse on the passenger-side floor before fitting the key into the ignition.

"Oh, I nearly forgot." She hadn't, of course, but the more spontaneous her gift seemed, the better.

Taking the skein of purple yarn from her lap, she held it out to Jenna. "I made this for you. Thought it might give you something to do while I'm away and you're in that big old house all by yourself."

Jenna took the yarn, running a few of the fringe-like strands between her fingers. "It's beautiful, thank you. Purple is one of my favorite colors."

She leaned in to press a kiss to her aunt's cheek, then straightened and pushed the door closed.

"Drive carefully," she said through the open window. "And good luck with the show. I hope you sell out of everything."

"Me, too, dear. Of course, if that happens, I'll just have to start all over again."

One corner of her niece's mouth quirked up in a grin. "Yes, but you love every minute of it."

"You know I do," Charlotte returned with a grin of her own. She cranked the engine and waited for the low throb to vibrate along the car's long metal frame all the way to her posterior. "All right, then, I'm off. You take care, and if you need anything ... Well, I don't have a cell phone, so if you need anything, you're going to have to run to someone else. But I will call as often as I can to check in."

"I'll be fine. And so will the alpacas. You just go and have fun."

With a nod, Charlotte put the car in gear and rolled slowly out of her drive. She eased the wagon and U-Haul onto the dirt road, kicking up dust and waving into her rearview mirror at Jenna, who stood where she'd left her, enchanted yarn clasped tightly in one hand.

Charlotte hoped for a lot of things for this trip. Safe traveling, high-volume sales of her hand-spun yarns and knit goods ... but most of all, she hoped for a very special man to appear in her niece's life. One who would take the shadows from her eyes and make her smile — really smile — the way she hadn't since her separation from Gage.

It was a lot to ask of one tiny skein of yarn.

But the spinning wheel had worked its magic before, and Charlotte was confident it would do so again.

CHAPTER 2

Knit 1


The Rob Thomas/Santana collaboration "Smooth" rocked from the small radio/CD player Jenna had set up on her aunt's kitchen counter, cranked up high enough to be heard and thoroughly enjoyed over the loud whir of the blender. The girls would be here any minute, and she wanted to have the margaritas mixed and ready to go.

Hips twitching in time with the heavy Latin beat, she punched the blender's off button and popped the lid, dipping her finger in for a tiny taste.

Mmm, perfect. Mango was definitely a good choice to start. She also had lime, lemon, pineapple, and watermelon-flavored mixes on hand, and all the tequila they could possibly need to make Mexican Night mucho, mucho ay caramba!

Even over the bass of the song and her own humming, Jenna heard the insistent pounding on the front door. She slid the volume dial to a slightly less molar-rattling level and ran to answer it.

The minute she turned the knob, Grace and Ronnie spilled into the house, arms loaded with paper sacks, fabric totes, and bottles dangling from their fingers.

A dozen delicious aromas wafted around them, making Jenna's stomach growl. She'd barely eaten a thing all day, knowing they'd be stuffing themselves this evening with enough calories to make the local circus come looking to recruit them to take over the Fat Lady's tent.

"We're here," Grace announced somewhat breathlessly. "Let the fiesta begin!"

Laughing, Jenna took a few items from each of them to lighten their loads and led the way to the kitchen.

"I've got a pitcher of mango margaritas mixed already, but that's about it."

"Well, that's why we're here," Ronnie said, dumping her bags on the island countertop. "To do whatever it takes to get this party started."

Out of long practice and many Girls' Night get-togethers, they moved around the kitchen as a unit, opening drawers and cupboards, organizing things just the way they wanted them.

Blond and stunningly beautiful, Grace Fisher was everything Jenna wished she could be — tall and lithe, confident, successful, happy ... She was the host of her own local cable talk show, recently renamed "Amazing Grace" in honor of the nickname viewers had bestowed upon her practically from the very beginning. On camera, at least, Grace seemed capable of just about anything, from baking and decorating a three-tiered wedding cake to changing the oil and spark plugs in her car.

She also happened to be engaged to another national celebrity, Zachary "Hot Legs" Hoolihan, star goalie of the Cleveland Rockets hockey team. The two made a sickeningly attractive couple — the Ken and Barbie of the media world.

If Jenna didn't love them both so much, she'd have been thoroughly green with envy. Especially considering how short and plain and boring she was in comparison.

A humble grade-school teacher, Jenna had short black hair, plain features, and was lucky to reach most people's armpits unless she decided to suffer the pains of four-inch heels, which she did only on extremely rare occasions.

Ronnie was just as beautiful as Grace, but in a more down-to-earth, approachable manner, Jenna thought. Equally tall and shapely, Ronnie's hair was a gorgeous chestnut brown that reached halfway down her back. She wrote a weekly column for the Cleveland Sentinel, and until recently had been caught up in a down-and-dirty, anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better competition with Dylan Stone, her arch-nemesis at a rival paper.

Antagonism had quickly turned to passion, however, and the two were now cheerfully involved, living together and maybe, possibly, perhaps one day willing to take the next step toward a ring- and vow-related commitment.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Loves Me, Loves Me Knot by Heidi Betts. Copyright © 2009 Heidi Betts. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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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Loves Me, Loves Me Knot 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
FancyPantsKH More than 1 year ago
The author's writing style is good but the content, itself, is awful. The story begins with a scene that is nothing more than glorified date-rape and just goes downhill from there. The main female character and her two friends are weak, vindictive,and selfish. The actions they take against the men they CLAIM to love are ridiculous, devious, and down-right criminal. I found it impossible to relate with any of these characters. And I have no respect for the theme of this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writer frustrated me by using grammatically incorrect Spanish little phrases and the plot was silly and not to my liking, This book was a waste of my money an time !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am sorry....I meant the next result....
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Cute.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was pretty awkward and it jumped around a lot.
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