Where There's a Will

Where There's a Will

by Karen Kelley

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"fast paced with lots of steamy sex scenes and a gorgeous otherworldly man that wants nothing but to make your fantasies come true."—Fresh Fiction

Be careful what you pray for. He just might show up wearing cowboy boots...Ryder is a Nephilim—half angel, half mortal, with powers to do whatever the hell he wants, then he meets Haley Tillman....

Haley Tillman words hard at being a good girl, hiding her rich fantasy life in the pages of her diary. But being good doesnt' seem to get her anywhere with men, and her confidence is on a downward spiral. She's ready to try something altogether different, but hasn't a clue where to start. In a moment of desperation, she prays for a miracle...

He Might Take Her Beyond Them...

Ryder is the perfect combination of powerful angel plus normal hot–blooded man. Crossing into the mortal world could cost him his existence. But mortals are like a potent drug to Ryder, and Hayley is quickly becoming his drug of choice...

Praise for Karen Kelley:
"Readers will be won over."—Publishers Weekly
"Karen Kelley...is the queen of sensual comedy."—Booklist
"An author not to be missed."—Fallen Angel Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402263903
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 09/01/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 718,517
File size: 832 KB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"Please, Lord, you have to send me a miracle. A man, in case you want specifics."

Haley Tillman really needed to get laid before she incinerated. If a man looked cross-eyed at her, the only thing left would be a pile of smoking ashes.

Just one little bitty miracle. Was that too much to ask?

She was thoughtful for a moment, then decided she'd better revise her prayer. Once, she'd asked for a stuffed bunny rabbit. The next day her dad took her to the taxidermist to pick up Fifi, the family dog that had died two weeks before, or as Haley preferred to call the beast when no one was around, The Tasmanian Terror. The mongrel was more her mother's pet. Her father had had the miniscule creature stuffed.

There was also a sale on stuffed rabbits. She hated the glass-eyed zombie rabbit and hid the nasty looking creature in the back of her closet. There was no escape from Fifi, though. Her mother placed the silent menace in the living room where everyone could see the dog.

So maybe a prayer revision might be in order. "Not just any man. I want a really hot, drool-worthy, sexy man." That still wasn't good enough. "No, he has to be more than a normal man. He has to stand above mere mortals. No more dweebs, losers, or rejects." She figured it wouldn't hurt to ask for the best.

And no more crying jags like the one last night just because she'd been stood up. She threw the cover back and grabbed her black-rimmed glasses off the nightstand before heading toward the bathroom.

A miracle would be nice. She snorted. As if a miracle was ever going to happen. She was pretty sure hot and sexy would never make it to her front door. Her almost date hadn't been drool-worthy. She supposed Ben wasn't bad looking, in a GQ, polished sort of way.

Haley sighed. Being stood up was nothing new. Anyone with a little bit of sense would be used to it by now, but not her. Okay, so maybe she sort of expected it because she'd cornered him. She did not wear desperation well.

"Ben could've said no," she mumbled as she walked inside the bathroom and flipped on the light. Her coworker from the bank owed her. Haley had worked all week crunching numbers for him.

She casually glanced toward the mirror and saw an apparition.

Her heart pounded inside her chest. She stumbled back, bumping into the bathtub. Before she toppled inside, she slapped a hand on the toilet seat and regained her balance.

As her pulse slowed to a more normal rate, she cautiously scanned the tiny room. She was the only one there. Her imagination was getting the best of her. That's all it could be. Over-tired, stressed, of course she was seeing things. She came to her feet, nerves stretched taut. Her stomach rumbled.

Please don't be the ghost of Nanny.

She loved Nanny, but her grandmother was gone, and though Haley had lots of fond memories, she wanted her to stay gone.

She was still trembling when her gaze landed on the mirror. She jumped, heart pounding again until she realized it was only her reflection that stared back. Fantastic, she'd scared herself. This had to be an all-time low.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then opened them again. Mornings were not good. She should drape black silk over her mirrors until she at least had her first pot of coffee. Not that she was monstrously hideous, but she was no beauty queen, either.

She had her father's looks. Her father was tall. Haley was five feet seven inches. She also had her father's dull, dishwater blonde hair. Her hair had turned bright orange when she attempted to color it in the eighth grade. She decided dull blonde was better. Her boobs were too big, too, but they matched her hips.

All the magazines she read said you had to like at least one thing about yourself. Her legs were nice and long. When she wasn't tripping over her feet, she was fairly satisfied with them. Except her life was never going to change. And miracles? She stopped believing in miracles a long time ago.

She brushed her teeth, then dragged a comb through her tangled hair so it didn't look quite so much like a rat's nest. There was a half gallon of ice cream in the kitchen freezer. It wouldn't be too difficult to eat herself into sugar oblivion. She could bring new meaning to the phrase death by chocolate. What would her sister say? Rachael never, absolutely never, let sugar cross her lips, and she always said Haley was killing herself. Right now, she didn't really care.

The buzz from her doorbell blasted through the tiny two-bedroom house that she'd inherited from Nanny, effectively drawing her away from her dreary thoughts. Bummer. She'd already started planning her funeral. She sighed. It was way too early for doorbells.

She grabbed her faded pink terry-cloth robe off the hook on the door and pulled it on over her green froggy flannel pajamas and left the bathroom. The doorbell buzzed again.

"Okay, okay," she mumbled.

Once she stood at the front door, she peered through the peephole her father had installed for safety, as if anyone would ever break into her house. What would they steal? Her hand-me-down furniture?

She blinked. No one there. Were they hiding?

Hmm, serial killer lurking outside her door? Would that count as a date? Nope, they didn't have murders in Hattersville. Nothing, absolutely nothing, ever happened in the small town. She shook her head and opened the door a crack, making sure the chain was secure.


A man stepped into her line of vision. Haley's mouth dropped open. Good Lord! This had to be the guy who invented tall, dark, and sexy! Her thighs quivered.

At least six feet one inch of pure testosterone stood on her porch. He had the dark good looks of a male stripper, only with clothes on. The stranger removed his black Stetson, slowly dragging his fingers through thick, coal-black hair. His deep blue eyes held her gaze before sliding down her body as if he could see more than the sliver revealed from the slightly open door.

Warm tingles spread over her like a Texas wildfire in the middle of summer. She could barely draw in a breath as her gaze moved past broad shoulders and a black Western shirt that hugged his scrumptious muscles. Then her eyes slipped right down to the low-slung jeans riding his hips, past muscled thighs, all the way to his scuffed black boots.

Oh, Lord, her every fantasy stood on her front porch!

She forced herself to meet his gaze.

I want him! She felt like a kid in a candy store with lots of money to spend. Mommy, Mommy, can I have the hot sexy cowboy? Pleeeeeeeeease!

If only it was that easy. No way would she ever have the opportunity to have sex with someone who looked like him. What was he doing at her door, anyway? Lost?

"Haley, right?" he asked with a slow drawl that made her body tremble with need.

How did he know her name? She grasped the door a little harder. He smiled as though he knew exactly what she was thinking. Her world began to tilt. She remembered that breathing might not be a bad thing so she drew in a deep breath. "What?" the word warbled out. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Do you need directions or something?"

"You're Haley."

She nodded.

He smiled wider, showing perfectly straight white teeth. "Mind if I come in?"

Her fantasy of this cowboy's naked body pressed against her naked body shattered like rocks hitting a mirror. Oh, this guy was good, real good, but she wasn't born yesterday. He'd obviously seen her name on the mailbox out front. She raised her chin. "I don't need a vacuum. I have all the pots and pans I will ever use-including waterless cookware. There's a complete set of encyclopedias on my e-reader and I have a double-barrel shotgun for protection. Now, do you want to tell me why you're ringing my doorbell at this time of morning?"

"You prayed for a miracle. I'm the answer to your prayer." He rested his hand on her grandmother's white rocking chair. Her rocker had always sat in that same spot on the porch for as long as Haley could remember. The cowboy lightly set the chair in motion. Back and forth, back and forth, his thumb lightly caressing the weathered wood.

Wow, her prayer had really been answered? The man upstairs had given her more than she'd asked for. She reached up to smooth her hair about the same time reality set in. Had she lost her mind?

"Go away!" She slammed the door shut. Her pulse raced so fast Haley thought her heart would jump out of her chest. At this rate she was going to have a heart attack before she turned twenty-seven! Who was he? Definitely the wrong house. Shoot, the wrong town. No one who looked like him lived in Hattersville. Definitely a salesman. As if she needed another vacuum cleaner. Three were quite enough. Another magazine subscription might have been nice. One could never have enough magazines.

But wouldn't it have been nice if he was sent in answer to a prayer? How had he known she'd prayed for a miracle? Not that it mattered since she'd slammed the door in his face.

Oh, hell!

What was she thinking? Haley smoothed her hands down the sides of her robe, took a deep breath, and started to open the door. She remembered at the last minute to remove her glasses and stick them in her pocket. Rachael had said they made her appear to be more professional. Haley thought the glasses made her look like Buddy Holly. She wore them out of habit rather than a need to see. She pasted a smile on her face and opened the door as much as the chain would allow.

The cowboy wasn't there.

Had she only imagined him, too? She closed the door enough so that she could slide off the chain. Her smile was still firmly in place when she opened the door again. Nothing. Only old Mrs. Monroe watering her lawn across the street. She looked up and waved as her crotchety husband came around the corner of the house, getting a face full of water. Mrs. Monroe quickly dropped the hose.

"Damn, thought we'd finally got some rain," he sputtered.

"Oh, I'm sorry." She rushed toward him, raising her flowered apron as she went.

"That's okay, sweetie. You can cool me off anytime."

Haley smiled, then glanced down the street. Her smile dropped. Not a soul, darn it. Her fantasy lover, possibly an answer to her prayer, showed up on her porch and what did she do? Slammed the stupid door in his face.

Maybe she only imagined the guy. Really, who could actually look that good? She took a cautious step past the doorway. Maybe Mrs. Monroe saw the cowboy. But her neighbor had already turned off the water and they were going inside.

Haley stepped off the wide, covered front porch, her eyes narrowing as she looked up and down the street. Still nothing.

Chelsea, the former cheerleader, high school football sweetheart, beauty-queen-turned-slutty-bank-teller stepped out of her house next door, then gave a surprised jump when she caught sight of Haley. Chelsea's gaze swept over her.

"You really should take a little more pride in your appearance." She shrugged. "But then I suppose nothing would help, so why try?"

Haley's lip curled. Why had her coworker bought the house next door? To taunt her? Her ploy was working.

Chelsea closed her front door, but immediately returned her attention to Haley. Oh, no, Chelsea wore her fake pouty look. Haley braced herself.

"I'm sorry about last night. Ben and I happened to be working late at the bank, and afterward we decided to have a drink. He totally forgot about his date with you until it was too late. I hope you weren't too disappointed."

Haley took a step back as Chelsea hurried down the front steps to her sporty little red Mustang. Chelsea had to know about the date. Then it hit her. Of course Chelsea knew. That was exactly why she'd coerced Ben into taking her for a drink. Chelsea loved hurting people. It was a game to her-one she played very well.

Haley tried to think of something smart to say. "You... you..." Darn! Why couldn't she think of a good comeback? She probably would later when she wouldn't need it. "I hope you get a flat tire," she finally sputtered. Oh, that was a real winning line. Sheesh!

Chelsea was right, though. Haley's looks left a lot to be desired. But Ben was her date. Of course Ben would rather be with Chelsea. Chelsea looked hot with flaming red hair and she was cute.

Haley marched back inside and closed her door a little harder than necessary. Out of habit, she jerked the chain through the slot and turned the lock. Not that it mattered. An intruder would take one look at her and run screaming in the other direction. Was that what happened to the sexy cowboy? He'd barely gotten a glimpse. What would he have done if he saw the whole picture?

No, she didn't want to think about his reaction. Her day was already depressing enough. She aimed toward the kitchen and turned the coffee pot on, then grabbed a diet soda out of the fridge. "Caffeine," she sighed and took a drink. She would get dressed, then figure out what she would do for the rest of her boring day.

She trudged into the bedroom and came to a dead stop. She could feel the color drain from her face. The cowboy casually reclined on her bed with his back braced against her headboard, his booted feet crossed at the ankles.

And he was reading her diary. Her very naughty diary. Oh, Lord! All her fantasies were in that diary. She'd even made up a few she thought might be interesting. Pages and pages of-sex! Good girls didn't write about sex. Except Haley did write about sex. All her dreams were kept hidden between her mattress and box springs. No one was supposed to ever know just how naughty she could be!

"That's my diary," she choked out.

He glanced up. "And very explicit. Do you actually fantasize about stripping in a club?" His words were lazy, with just a slight Texas drawl that washed over her like hot fudge dribbled on vanilla ice cream. When his heated gaze trailed down her body, she melted.

Haley's body temperature jumped from hot to cold to burning up. He was reading about her private desires. Every fantasy she'd ever heard about, read about, or even imagined, was on those pages. She wanted to die!

Wait a minute. What was she thinking? A strange man was inside her home and she was worried he was reading her stupid diary? She threw the can of soda at him and whirled around. She only had to make it out of the house.

But when she slid into the living room, he was leaning against the front door, still reading her diary. How'd he get there first?

He glanced up, looking quite unconcerned that she was about to have a heart attack. "This might be interesting. I've never made love in a closet while there's a party going on in the other room."

For a split second, she could see herself locked in his embrace, crammed between a soft fur coat and a leather jacket, naked bodies straining, naughty words whispered as country music blared on the other side.

Oh, God, she had to be mentally unhinged to even imagine having sex with an intruder. She rushed forward and snatched her diary out of his hands, then put distance between them. "Who are you? I don't have any money."

He smiled. "I don't want your money."

Her frown deepened. "Did you confuse houses? Chelsea lives next door."

He shook his head.

"Then who the hell are you and what are you doing in my home?" she demanded, not feeling as brave as she tried to pretend.

He looked at her as though she should know. "I'm an answer to a prayer. Your prayer. You asked for a miracle, so here I am. You can call me Ryder. I'm an angel-sort of."

"Your name is Ryder and you're an angel."

"Sort of."

She eased closer to the end table and the heavy, brown ceramic lamp sitting on it. "Believe me, I've never met a cowboy who was anything close to being an angel."

"Have you met other angels?" He crossed his arms as if he felt quite comfortable breaking into someone's home.


"Then how would you know what we look like?"

It didn't matter. She was close enough to her weapon. She dropped her diary and grabbed the lamp. She wasn't quite so vulnerable holding the heavy lamp! She started to shake it at him, hoping to put the fear of God into him, but was held up by the cord. This was not the fierce image she wanted to portray.

She jerked the cord out of the socket then quickly faced him again. "The soda can might not have done much damage, but I guarantee this lamp will."

"You're the one who prayed for a miracle," he pointed out.

Her eyes narrowed. "Lucky guess, but I'm not buying that you're an angel."

"Sort of," he reminded her.

"What the hell is ‘sort of' supposed to mean?"

"I'm a nephilim." He took a step toward her.

She raised the lamp, which was getting a little heavy. "Don't come any closer."

He stopped, but darn it, he didn't look a bit put out that she had a weapon. He'd changed his angel story, too. "What's a nephilim?" And why the hell was she engaging in conversation with someone who had obviously escaped from the state hospital?

"My father was an angel, and my mother was a mortal. They mated and created me, a nephilim. An immortal."

"Yeah, right." Oh, Lord, he was crazier than she thought. "A cowboy, who's half angel. Nope, I've never seen that, either." There were plenty of cowboys in Hattersville and they only loved three things: their horses, their trucks, and drinking. Sexy, yes. Angelic, no.

"I'm here because you asked for a miracle."

"If you'll just leave my house, I promise not to call the police."

He took a step toward her.

She took a step back.

"I'm not going to hurt you."

"Stay where you are," she warned.

But he didn't stop moving toward her. She hated violence, especially when it involved her. Well, he couldn't say she didn't warn him. With all the strength she could muster, and the surge of adrenaline created by her mounting fear, she threw the heavy lamp at the cowboy.

The lamp went flying right at him. He jerked his hand into the air, palm up. The lamp stopped midair. The cord dangled, swinging back and forth.

"How did you do that?" Haley whispered.

"I told you, I'm a nephilim." He snapped his fingers and the lamp was back on the side table; even the cord was plugged in.

The room began to spin around. Haley reached for something to steady herself, but only connected with air. She never fainted.

Strong arms suddenly were around her. He picked her up and carried her to the sofa, setting her down gently as darkness closed in around her. This was it. The best looking man to ever knock on her door was an angel. She was dead and didn't even know it, and here he was about to take her to-Heaven?

Pfft. And why not, she'd never sinned. Not one blasted time. Well, unless she counted all her sexual fantasies, and apparently they didn't count. Nope, her strict moral upbringing guaranteed her a place in Heaven.

"Are you still with me?" he asked.

Something cool and wet pressed against her face. Her eyes fluttered open. A washcloth. He was still there. This wasn't one of her dreams. She whimpered. He pulled her closer to his chest. She breathed in a heady scent that reminded her of leather and a clean country breeze. Except she didn't feel comforted because she knew exactly what was happening. "I don't want to be dead," she sobbed. What had she died from? Brain tumor? Car accident-well, probably not a car accident since she was inside her home.

He began to lightly stroke her back. "You're not dead."

Not dead? That was a relief. His touch was soothing. She could feel herself begin to relax, until she remembered she still didn't have answers. "Then why are you here?"

"I told you. I heard you praying for a miracle."

She frowned, only remembering she'd prayed for sex. Or maybe she was thinking about sex and prayed for a miracle. It made sense because she thought about sex a lot. She leaned back and looked into his eyes. He had nice eyes. They were a startling shade of blue. So intense. Her gaze moved over his face. Delicious. Was he really an answer to her prayer? There was one way to find out. "Okay, if you're my miracle, then kiss me."

Without hesitation, his lips lowered to hers, the warmth of his breath whispering against her cheek right before his tongue scraped across her lips. She opened her mouth and his tongue slipped inside. A deep, shuddering sigh swept over her as he explored her mouth, caressing her tongue with his. She was starting to grow damp when he pulled back.

"Wow, please don't wake me up," she finally said.

"You're not asleep." He grinned, and once again she was mesmerized by his smile.

This was the best dream she'd ever had! She squeezed his arm. Her heart skipped a beat.

If it was a dream, then why did he feel so real?

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Where There's a Will 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
twocoulters More than 1 year ago
Thanks to the publisher, Sourcebooks, and NetGalley for the chance to read When There's A Will early! This is the second installment in the Good Girl Series. This is my first book by this author but, I have since added several of her books to my TBR list (including Where There's Smoke, Good Girl, #1.) Meet Haley Tillman, a mixture of contradictions, her strict moral upbringing doesn’t allow her to express her true self. With a diary full of unfulfilled sexual fantasies and a prayer her life changes forever. Ryder, a nephilim, hears Haley’s prayer and decides to answer. This book is packed with tons of dialogue and sizzling sex. The plots and subplots are simple and flow easily from one scene to the next. The romance and desire draws you immediately into the story. An absolutely delicious read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why are her books so expensive? They sound good but I cant get myself to pay that much for them. Even the most popular authors dont have every book starting at ten bucks (minus a penny). And some at 10.49? Way too much. Please ignore tje rating as it does not have to do w the book...its just costs too much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sexy, and good story too! I love the supernatural aspect mixed with every day humans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago