Read An Excerpt

by Carly Phillips

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Mike paused outside the baby’s room and, with Ethan, looked inside. To his shock, Cara, not Faith, held the tiny bundle in her arms. Before he could process the warmth spreading through him, Cara leaned in and pressed her nose to the baby’s head. “I love the smell of baby,” she whispered.

“It’s the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Makes you want to eat them up,” Faith agreed.

“She’s so precious,” Cara said in awe. “I was afraid I’d break her.”

Faith waved a hand dismissively. “From the way you changed that diaper, you’re a natural. All ready for when you have one of your own.”

Ethan stood beside him, the silence charged. Mike felt as uncomfortable listening to the women’s dialogue as he did having his old friend undoubtedly put his own spin on what he thought Mike was feeling. Hell, he barely knew himself.

“I don’t know if that’ll ever happen,” Cara said, surprising him. “I’d need to believe that relationships can last and that there’s someone out there who I’d trust with my whole heart not to hurt me.”

The way her mother had been hurt. Mike heard the unspoken end to her sentence, her quiet words and painful thoughts a sucker punch to his gut.

She didn’t think she believed, but she so obviously yearned for what Faith had—and Cara deserved that kind of love and devotion. He wasn’t the guy to give it to her, and for the first time in his life, Mike was disappointed that he couldn’t be what a woman needed.

Not a woman.

This one.

No hearts involved, wasn’t that what he’d told her? If that were true, then why did his chest ache so badly now?

Ethan cleared his throat, and the women glanced up. “Hi!” Faith said. “Come on in.”

The quiet spell that enveloped Mike broken, he followed Ethan into the room, but Mike knew this night would stay with him for a long, long while.

After they put the baby to bed, Faith and Ethan checked in with the housekeeper who would be babysitting for the evening. They had at a steak restaurant, where they were seated in a small booth.

With Cara next to him, she invaded his personal space. Her scent, a new warm, musky fragrance, cocooned him in a sexual haze. It was a miracle he’d been able to focus on conversation with the hard-on he had beneath the table. Faith and Ethan seemed happy to be out for grown-up time, so they ordered wine and lingered over drinks, dinner, and dessert.

By the time they headed back to Cara’s, Mike realized he’d had a genuinely good time. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d gone on a regular date with another couple and was even more shocked to discover that not only had he liked it, he wasn’t itching to get back to New York or his solitary life.

All he could focus on was getting Cara into bed and keeping her there.