When They Weren't Looking: Wardham Book #3

BOOK: When They Weren't Looking: Wardham Book #3
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Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Other Works

Back Cover Blurb

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Letter to My Readers

Acknowledgements

About The Author

Copyright

 

 

 

WHEN THEY WEREN’T LOOKING

 

A Wardham Novel

 

by

 

Zoe York

 

www.zoeyork.com

 

DEDICATION

 

because life is too short to not be yourself

 

for all women who have had the courage to start over

 

 

ALSO BY ZOE YORK

 

The Wardham Series

Between Then and Now (prequel novella)

What Once Was Perfect (Book 1)

Where Their Hearts Collide (Book 2)

 

Anthologies and Boxed Sets

Shades of Pink

Love for the Holidays

 

Visit
my website
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WHEN THEY WEREN’T LOOKING

 

She’s not looking for love…

A girl can have just one night of fun, right? After years in a spirit-breaking former marriage, Evie needed to get her groove back. Cutting loose in the big city with no strings attached—no matter how cute her one night stand guy might be. Besides, she’ll never see him again once she goes home to Wardham.

 

…He’s not thinking about forever.

Liam knows showing up on her doorstep might throw Evie for a loop. But Wardham’s his new home now, and he just can’t get the sexy single mother out of his mind. A second date isn’t to much to ask, is it? Or a third, and a fourth!

 

It’s not what they expected. But it might turn out to be just what they need.

Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs, though. Just when things are finally going right for Evie, two little lines on a pregnancy test change everything. Now she’s running scared, and Liam has to pull out all the stops to prove a family with her is everything he’s ever wanted.

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

The only thing that would make Evie Calhoun’s weekend away in the city better would be an orgasm or two. In an ideal world, served up on a platter by a pool boy or a lumberjack.

But even though that wasn’t going to happen, she couldn’t keep a smile off her face. It had been a near-perfect day, and now she was walking back to her hotel after witnessing a world-class dance performance. A gorgeous lake on one side of her and the city on the other. The sun, setting behind her in the west, lit up the glass towers of Toronto’s central business district and what might be an everyday view for others struck her as magical and sophisticated.

No wonder the condos advertised along Lakeshore Drive were so expensive—it was the best of both worlds in one perfect location. Man, what an exciting place to call home.

Evie never would, of course, but she could pretend for a night or two. Her mother had surprised her with a much needed break. Away from Wardham, and her ex-husband, and even her much-loved life with her boys.

Claire Calhoun had given her daughter a train ticket to the city and five hundred dollars, with an order that none of it was to be spent on anything even remotely like a bill or clothes for the kids. Evie was to spoil herself.

And she had: conveyor-belt sushi for dinner the night before, a gorgeous room at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel, a few splurges at Sephora and Victoria’s Secret this afternoon, and a front row ticket to see The Mitchell Raz Collective at the Harbourfront Centre.

In another life, Evie might have moved to the city and auditioned for similar companies. Shared a flat uptown with three other girls and bartended all night so she’d be free to dance during the day. But she’d been scared of the odds against her, and her few visits to the city to see Evan in those halcyon early days after graduation had left her underwhelmed. Loud, expensive, dirty. Wardham, with its sleepy beach and zero competition for anything was the more comfortable choice.

And she wouldn’t do it any differently, given the chance, because whatever other costs her choices had, she had two beautiful sons who made her world right. Her family, for all the bumps and bruises it had sustained over the last two years, was a wonderful unit. Connor was rapidly turning into a young man, careful and studious, but always staying on the cute side of bossy. Max, two years younger, had finally figured out how to stick a punch-line and used it to maximum advantage in his natural calling as an entertainer. His teacher danced around the term class clown, but grade one had been a hard transition for him, and she expected more of the same in the fall.

But Evie… Somewhere in the mix, she’d let herself be compressed to mother, community member, daughter, and sister. All good, but all giving. This was the first time in years she’d allowed herself to truly indulge. Sleeping in, shopping, dance. She’d joked with her girlfriends about adding sex into the mix, but the closest to that she was going to get this weekend was being able to spread out on the hotel bed and read an erotic romance novel without worrying about hiding it from prying eyes.

Sex.

It had been so long, she might actually have forgotten how to do it.

Two years since she and Dale last made love, although there hadn’t been much love in that coupling. Or the infrequent times in the year before that. No love, and even less passion.

Deep down, she yearned for that passion. If she was being honest with herself, what she really wanted was an awesome romp. With someone who didn’t lose their erection if she moved in the wrong direction. Someone who wanted her for who she was right now, stretch marks and old lady hands included. Who didn’t have a pathetic Madonna/whore complex.

A flash of anger at her ex-husband pulsed through her. She glanced down at her bare fingers, glad to be rid of the rings that hadn’t guaranteed the forever they were supposed to.

But she was thirty-five, and a mother, and it had been fifteen years since she’d last had sex for sex’s sake. She wouldn’t even know where to start in the city, and the thought of actually picking up a stranger…that was an awesome fantasy, and a terrifying reality.

A hot bath and a blush-inducing book would have to be enough.

But first, a drink. Maybe two, because she could sleep in tomorrow.

The hotel bar was empty, but the friendly bartender gestured for her to take a seat. “What can I get you?”

“Something fancy.” Wardham’s only bar, Danny’s, was known for cheap beer and straight shots.

“Do you like peaches?” She nodded, and he began assembling a bellini in front of her. She slid some cash toward him when he finished, and after taking a sip, let her thoughts wander down an imaginary path. If she had come to the city to be a dancer, what would she be doing now? Choreography? Married or single? Still on the audition circuit?

She nursed her drink, lost in a tangled web of what-ifs, and was just about to head upstairs when the bartender placed another bellini in front of her. She shook her head. “Oh, no, I’m sorry, I didn’t—”

“It’s from the man in the corner,” he said.

Evie twisted in her seat to see where he was pointing. Her breath caught in her throat as her gaze collided with dark, unvarnished interest. There were six of them, four men and two women, all in suits, but only one was staring at her like he wanted to eat her up. And as heat sparked in various places throughout her body, being devoured by a perfect stranger suddenly sounded like an excellent idea. Hot damn…

No. What kind of hussy would that make her?

A satisfied one, probably, if he could deliver on the promise in his eyes.

She smiled, enjoying the moment of attention, and nodded her head in thanks. A warm blush crawled up her neck and she spun back to the bar, but a minute later she glanced back over her shoulder. There was something unbelievably tempting about the man. Long and lean, with dark hair and refined features. Quietly handsome, but overtly sexy. Urbane and sophisticated, like he wouldn’t blink to discover her Brazilian bikini wax. Like he’d understand the implicit request of it, and dive in for a feast.

It didn’t take him long to make his way over to her.

“Can I join you?” His voice was rich and warm with a shiver-inducing edge, like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream. Up close he was younger than she first thought. Definitely younger than her, and not just by a few months.

“I suppose it’s the least I can do, since you bought me a drink.” She glanced up at him from under her eye lashes. God, she had no clue how to flirt. She didn’t want to lead him on, but every fibre of her being wanted him to keep talking.

Instead of sitting, he leaned sideways against the bar. “That’s not a ringing invitation, but I’ll take it.” He flashed a crooked smile, the left side of his face curling up in a wink, and butterflies took flight from the pit of her stomach.

“I’m out of practice, I promise it’s not personal. I’m Evie.” She held out her hand, and something bright sparked in his eyes. Everything around them faded to nothing as he wrapped his hand around hers and she swallowed hard against something that felt suspiciously like a giggle trying to fly out of her mouth.

“Liam.” Another smile, and her panties started peeling themselves down her hips. “And I don’t have a ton of practice at this either.”

“I find that really hard to believe,” she admitted, kicking herself momentarily for the honesty, but he just chuckled.

“Where are you from?”

“Out of town.” He lifted one eyebrow at the coy response, and a warmth spilled across her chest. This was fun.

“Would you like to join us?” He nodded his head toward his friends. “We’ve just written our final exams—” A dull roar filled her ears, and her face must have fallen, because he leaned in and touched her forearm. “You okay?”

“Exams?” Her voice came out as a squeak. Holy shit, he was a college student. An incredibly mature, sexy, masculine…kid. She narrowed her eyes at him, then glanced over to his friends. None of them looked like teenagers. Maybe they were grad students. But still.

“Business school. Two years of grueling hell completed. We’re heading up to Koreatown next for some karaoke.”

Business school. Not babies, just…younger than her. A fun kind of young. Yeah, she could still do this. “Sounds intriguing.”

He laughed at the obvious doubt in her voice. “It is, I promise.”

Something about the dip in his voice, the private pause, made her come undone, and the giggle snuck out, followed by another. He raised his eyebrows, but he didn’t seem concerned by her bizarre behaviour, just amused. “And just how can I trust your judgment on such matters?”

He leaned in close enough for his cologne to faintly imprint on her senses. He smelled yummy and expensive and not really too young at all. She was clearly drunk, which would explain why she licked her lips and tilted her head just so, a move he definitely didn’t miss. He paused a few inches away from her face, naked appreciation zinging between them, then shifted his approach and brushed his lips against her ear. “Come with us, I’ll sing you a song.”

“Okay, that definitely sounded practiced,” she breathed.

“I promise, I’ve never invited a woman to karaoke before.” He pulled back just enough to ease out of her personal space, but his hand lingered on the back of her upper arm, and she was painfully aware of his fingertips brushing the side of her bra. Which didn’t match her panties. Which shouldn’t matter, but she had a sneaky suspicion if she accepted the invitation, it just might.

BOOK: When They Weren't Looking: Wardham Book #3
8.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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