OR A SETUP?
New York City was the last place nature writer Patience Madrid wanted to be. She preferred the quiet and solitude of her Adirondacks cabin to the noise and bustle of the city. But her sister, Tilly, is being mysterious, and begs Patience to come and stay at her apartment while she and her husband, Terrence, are out of town. Except, when Patience gets to the apartment, she finds it isn't empty .
Jake Farr was only looking for a place to crash and to help out his friend Terrence. Instead he gets bowled over by Tilly's oddball sister. Jake has no idea what to do with Patience Madrid. They are complete oppositesJake is city, Patience is country; Jake is used to fine, expensive living, Patience likes to rough it; Jake isn't fond of dogs, Patience has a huge mutt that she adores. And yet, as they try to get to the bottom of Terrence's and Tilly's odd behavior, Jake and Patience find there might just be something to that old adage "opposites attract ."
BONUS BOOK INCLUDED IN THIS VOLUME!
A Not-So-Perfect Past by Beth Andrews
Bad boy Dillon Ward may have served time in prison, but Nina Carlson needs a renter, and when her bakery is damaged, she also needs a handyman. But can she trust Dillon? Can she trust herself?
About the Author
Beth Andrews is a Romance Writers of America RITA® Award and Golden Heart Winner. She lives in Northwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. When not writing, Beth loves to cook, make bead jewelry and, of course, curl up with a good book. For more information about Beth or her upcoming books, please visit her Website at: www.bethandrews.net
Read an Excerpt
"Patience Madrid, you're becoming a hermit just like Uncle Isaiah."
Taking no offense at Tilly's comment, Patience stretched out on her ratty couch. Contrary to her sister's opinion, she lived comfortably in her two-room log cabin that was situated on a quiet, crystal lake in the southern Adirondack Mountains. Patience pictured her sister on the phone in her elegant condo overlooking Central Park. From her tone, Patience could guess her older sister was already exasperated with her. "The answer is still no."
"Oh, come on, do me a favor. A couple weeks in the city will do you good."
Tilly was nothing if not stubborn. Patience said calmly, "I hate the city."
"You're just saying that to annoy me. You know, Patience, pretty soon you won't know how to talk to anybody but that confounded dog of yours."
"'Confounded'? That must be city talk. Back in the old days, you'd at least have said damned dog."
Tilly sniffed. "That was before Terrence."
Indeed. Scholarships to Smith and Yale and ten years working on Wall Street hadn't changed her sister, but marriage to Terrence Terwilliger and life on Central Park West certainly had. She even called herself Matilda these days. Said Tilly Terwilliger sounded ridiculous. Patience thought it was impossible to avoid sounding ridiculous with Terwilliger as a last name, but that wasn't her problem: she wasn't married to Terrence.
Her sister resumed her argument. "Apollo and Aphrodite are lovely cats."
"I hope they didn't hear you. I've never met a Persian that likes to be called something as ordinary as a cat. Especially your two. Me, I like a good mouser."
Tilly sighed in a ladylike manner. Ladylike sighs were one of the oddities that life among the Terwilligers had taught her. Right now her older sister would be perched on a white chaise longue, dressed delicately in a white satin robe, fingernails and toenails painted. She'd be wearing makeup, expertly applied, and have her hair up, neat and sophisticated. Patiencefour inches taller than Tilly, bigger boned, leanerhad on her black trail pants and white fleece pullover she'd worn on her evening trek around the lake with her dog, Jake.
Tilly had said daffodils were blooming in New York City. They weren't blooming in the mountainsthe ice was barely melted off the lake.
"You haven't been to New York in ages." The Terwilliger influence hadn't managed to break Tilly's spirit when it came to a fight. "Think of all the fun you could have. I could set up an appointment for you with my hairdresser"
"For that mop of yours, that's what." Patience grinned. Matilda Terwilliger was sounding more like the old Tilly Madrid. Even before Terrence, she'd threatened to make an appointment with her hotshot New York hairdresser to tackle her younger sister's long, wild, frizzy red hair. At two hundred dollars a cut, Patience preferred to stick to trimming her own hair with their late Uncle Isaiah's old barber scissors. Tilly said it looked like it.
"Okay, okay, you win." Tilly sounded frustrated, which she probably was. "Forget I even asked. If you don't want to look after Apollo and Aphrodite for me, I won't make you. I can take a hint."
Patience hadn't been hintingshe'd been out-and-out refusing to cat-sit for her sister.
She sat up, suddenly hearing the wind howling on the lake. It was a familiar sound, sometimes comforting, sometimes downright eerie. Right now it made her feel peculiarly alone. Had her sister's words gotten to her?
"What would I do with Jake?" she asked.
As if she didn't know. "My dog, Tilly. Can I bring him?"
"No!" Tilly sounded as if she'd nearly choked. "Patience, no, you can't even think about bringing that animal to New York. Our neighbors " She trailed off, leaving Patience to imagine what the neighbors would think. Obviously nothing good. "Jake wouldn't be happy here. He wouldn't fit in."
Patience looked down at Jake. Apparently unaware of his enormous size, he'd squirmed as far as he could under the old-fashioned kitchen woodstove. She didn't know why he didn't burn up. And he looked foolish, which wasn't difficult with his looks. He was a scrag-gly mutt of no particular charm or beauty. As near as she could figure, he was part black Lab, part German shepherd, with maybe a touch of rottweiler. He'd wandered out to the cabin last springa scrawny, parasiteinfested, lovable, abandoned puppy. His most endearing trait was a love of canoeing equal to Patience's own. He'd even learned, if the hard way, not to leap out in the middle of the lake. After a few near drownings, he'd managed to cure himself of that particular bit of idiocy. The dog wasn't smart.
"Jake's just an ordinary dog."
"He is not an ordinary dog, even by country standards. By city standardsPatience, trust me. It would be a serious mistake to bring him."
"He likes cats."
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