The Street Where She Lives

The Street Where She Lives

by Jill Shalvis

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Overview

The Street Where She Lives by Jill Shalvis

The secure world that Rachel Wellers has carefully constructed is crumbling around her. Her sweet twelve-year-old daughter is turning into a sullen teenager before her eyes. The injuries she's just sustained in a hit-and-run accident are jeopardizing her career as a cartoonist. And worst of all, Ben Asher–the man she sent away thirteen years ago–is back, tipped off by her daughter that they need him.

When Ben hears that Rachel has been injured, he panics. In an instant, he drops his obsession–photojournalism–and returns to the city that he swore he'd never visit again. He doesn't want to question his motives for doing so…he only knows he has to protect Rachel. Suddenly he's convinced the hit-and-run wasn't an accident. Rachel might have been hurt because of him.

But he doesn't count on the feelings that get stirred up being with her…or how hard it will be to leave her again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459291553
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 12/14/2015
Series: South Village Singles
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 203,571
File size: 544 KB

About the Author

Jill Shalvis writes from her home near Lake Tahoe. She is assisted by her husband (who can't go three minutes without wanting to tell her something), three young children (who can't go one minute without wanting to tell her something), a chicken masquerading as a dog, three hamsters, a million squirrels and the occasional wolf spider.

If she's not writing, she's shoveling snow, skiing, or coloring with her kids.

You can write to her at P.O. Box 3945, Truckee, CA, 96161. Or you can visit her website at jillshalvis.com.

Read an Excerpt

The Street Where She Lives


By Jill Shalvis

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-83578-7


Chapter One

He'd once been called a selfish bastard, and Ben Asher figured that to be a fairly accurate assessment. He lived his life on his own terms and kept his emotional entanglements pared down to, well, him. Thanks to his freelancing job as a photojournalist for National Geographic and Outside, among others, he could pack up and leave at the drop of a hat, without looking back. Even now, after only a few months of being in the Amazon, he'd be moving on to his next assignment soon.

Good old Africa, here he came.

He moved through the strangling, thick, wet, green growth so unique to the Brazilian jungle, finally breaking free into a small clearing containing a couple of temporary structures. He crossed the clearing and stepped over the threshold of the reserve's office, which, due to the proverbial lack of funds, was the size of a postage stamp. They'd been without electricity and phones for nearly a month, only just today getting the phones turned on. Warily, he met Maria's glare. Apparently the calls were coming in too fast and furious for her liking.

Maria, his temp, had been forced to walk approximately twenty-five big, whopping yards from the office to the radio hut to radio him about this call. Noting it was hotter than hell outside, he figured he understood. "Gracias."

She didn't respond, but then again, she rarely did.

She'd come to him from his previous assignment near Rio, where Ben had uncovered a so-called American ministry. The "minister," Manuel Asada, had run an international charity scam, which through the years had earned him untold wealth. Targeting churchgoing, generous souls in the name of humanity, Asada had solicited funds and promised to build villages and feed the poor.

Instead, he'd pocketed everything, killing anyone who defied him or got in his way. He also had a nasty habit of abusing the local women. Maria had been one of them. Together with her testimony and Ben's photographs evidencing some of the crimes, Asada was now languishing in a Brazilian prison, but would soon be extradited to the States. There he'd face some of his swindled victims in court, not to mention murder charges on no less than three counts.

Secretly, Ben hoped Asada remained in Brazil, where he had a better chance of actually staying in a jail cell. He'd sworn vengeance on everyone who'd taken him and his profitable business down, including family members and loved ones. Luckily, in Ben's case, that meant fewer people than the fingers on one hand.

He picked up the phone. "Asher."

"D-daddy?"

At the sound of his daughter's quavering, frightened voice, his heart stopped. "Emmie? What's the matter?"

Loud, crackling static filled the line, reminding him that thousands of miles separated him and his twelve-going-on-thirty-year-old daughter. "Emily?"

Nothing, just more static, and Ben damned the poor phone lines, the pathetic equipment, the shack he'd called home for two months. "Emily!" Panic had a bitter taste, he discovered. Sweat trickled down his back as he sank to a rickety chair. The humid air made his shirt cling to him like a second skin. "Come on, come on," he muttered, and banged the phone on the scratched, beat-up desk, swearing uselessly before whipping the phone back up to his ear.

"Daddy?"

Sagging in relief, Ben relaxed his folded-up, taut legs, and promptly smashed his knees into the wood. He took in a breath of the closed-in air around him. "I'm here! Are you all right?"

"Yes."

Thank God. "Where are you?"

Not a good father question, he noted with disgust. Any father, any good father, would know where his daughter was at all times. Not that his father had ever taught him such things, but he knew how parenthood was supposed to work.

"I'm home," she said.

She meant her home, of course, which she made with her mother in South Village, California.

"You've got to come." Across the too many miles and years, her voice broke, killing him. "Please, don't say you can't."

Ben spoke to his precious, only child far too seldom. And she was precious. She was also brilliant, which never failed to both amaze and terrify him. In any case, it would be easy to blame his heavy travel schedule as a photojournalist or even the fact that his cell phone rarely worked for the lack of time they'd spent together. But the truth was, it was his own need to roam at will, to never set down roots that caused the problem. The story of his life. He was nearly thirty-one years old, and had yet to figure out the cure for insatiable wanderlust.

He didn't need a shrink to know that came from his upbringing. Work harder, Benny boy, or we'll send you back.

That bit of wisdom had come directly from Rosemary, his foster mother. Don't say the wrong thing, Benny, we'll send you back. Don't rock the boat, Benny, we'll send you back.

He'd gotten the message loud and clear. Don't say a word, because no one wanted to hear it.

Well, he'd cut out his own tongue before giving his own daughter a similar message. "Em? Talk to me." The static was bad, but he thought he heard a sad, little sniff, and his stomach hit his toes.

"It's about Mom."

As it had for thirteen long years, just the thought of Rachel caused conflicting emotions to race through Ben - pain and regret. Regret and pain.

Mostly pain.

Whoever had said time heals all wounds was full of shit.

"It's really bad this time," she said with another little sniff.

Okay, he got it now. Ben relaxed marginally, because for spending so little time together, he and Emily were well versed in this play. The last time it'd been "really bad" Emily had wanted to day trade on the Internet with Rachel's investment account. The time before that she'd been campaigning to be homeschooled so she could travel with him, which besides being a really bad idea - what did he know about kids? - had nearly caused Rachel to blow a gasket.

Ben leaned back, scraping his too wide shoulders on the narrow, splintery chair back. "What is it this time, she won't let you take an extra math class?" His daughter was famous for overloading on school in order to avoid socializing - which Ben blamed on Rachel since he'd never asked for more schoolwork in his life. The irony of the whole thing amazed him. It'd taken one hundred percent of his energies just to survive his childhood, and yet Emily, free to enjoy her youth in a way he couldn't have even dreamed of, chose to work herself into the ground. "You don't take enough time to be a kid -"

"No, you don't understand!" A sound crossed the airwaves, one that sounded suspiciously like a sob.

"She's had an accident.... We tried to call you, but we couldn't get through, and then Aunt Melanie said I should try again...."

Black spots filled his vision. Probably the steamy, muggy weather. But that was a lie, a damn lie. After all these years and all the heartache, he still didn't want Rachel hurt.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Street Where She Lives by Jill Shalvis Copyright ©2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
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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Street Where She Lives 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
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Good characters, amusing dialogue
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Hallsey More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. But then i have not found a Jill Shalvis book i didn't love.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Amazon, globetrotting photojournalist Ben Asher helps bring down murdering con artist Asada although the prisoner vows vengeance. However, he returns to reality when his twelve years old daughter Emmie calls pleading with him to come to South Village, California as her mother Rachel Wallers was severely injured in a car accident. He would have said no, but he learns that Asada escaped. He flies to California to keep the two females he loves safe.

Rachel wants out of the hospital after a month there because she needs the security that her first real home provides her. As a child she wandered the country as her father saved corporations from certain death. When Ben enters her hospital room, Rachel asks him to leave, but he refuses. This is the first time they have seen each other in thirteen years since she threw him out of her life. Ben takes Rachel home. As Asada¿s thugs close in on the trio, Ben and Rachel know they love one another and Emmie, but she needs roots and he needs the world.

Fans of complex relationship dramas with some minor related action will enjoy the return to South Village. The story line is at its most interesting when the lead protagonists skirmish over the safety of shelter that supports Dr. Maslow¿s hierarchy of needs as Rachel needs permanent shelter among her most significant first level requirements while self-actualization with minor shelter pulls Ben. Though the Asada subplot is more of a device to get the prime pair together, fans will of deep character studies will appreciate this tale.

Harriet Klausner