Berkley Intermix
June 18, 2014
ISBN 9780698152540


#Novella 2

(Mac’s Book)

Lucy Ryan got everything she thought she wanted, going from high school queen to Manhattan trophy wife. But none of it was worth staying in a loveless marriage. So now she’s back in Silver Creek—with no money and no place to stay, applying for a job cleaning someone else’s house. And her potential employer is the last person she ever expected to see again.

Mac Denton can’t believe the mean girl who once tormented him in high school is now his housekeeper. He looks forward to making her squirm for a few days before she runs back to her rich husband. But Lucy has changed, and he is surprised to find himself attracted to the beautiful, courageous woman she has become.

Lucy is finally ready to go after what she really wants from life. And what she wants more than anything is Mac. But is Mac ready to truly forget the past and embrace the future?

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Lucy stopped breathing when the front door opened. Oh, Lord. It was Mac Denton. As if her humiliation couldn’t be any more acute. As if life had thought all of the sewage it had already rained down on her needed a cherry on top.

Mac Denton was the cherry. And not in a good way.

Well, maybe someday you’ll be cleaning my floors.

Echoes from that long-ago yelling match in the halls at Silver Creek High School sounded in her head.

Well, damn. At this point, she hoped she would be cleaning his floors, because she needed the money and the place to stay, and she did not have the luxury of being picky.

It was her fault for coming back to Silver Creek. She should have stayed back East. She could have. But she’d kept feeling the pull to home. To a chance to start back at square one and figure out what had gone wrong. To take different steps this time.

Of course, she’d also imagined her parents would be happy to see her, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

“Hello,” she said, straightening her shoulders and trying her hardest to give Mac her cocktail-party smile. The one she’d perfected for her husband’s satisfaction during their eight years of marriage. “I’m here about the job. I don’t think you and I spoke on the phone. It was someone else.”

“My sister.” Mac frowned and leaned against the door, his arm over his head, resting on the frame. She couldn’t help but notice that he had matured a little bit since high school. And by “matured,” she meant he’d gotten an impossibly broad, well-muscled chest and well-defined biceps. Not that she cared about things like that.

“Great. Great,” she said. “Nice of her to facilitate this for you.”
“Isn’t it? Why don’t you come in.”
He was looking at her funny. Like he hadn’t recognized her yet, but like he was sure he was supposed to. She was hoping that he wouldn’t get a sudden realization anytime soon, or he’d show her right back out to the front steps and slam the door in her face. And she would deserve it a little bit. But she was hoping in this instance she wouldn’t get what she deserved. She needed something a whole lot better than what she’d earned from Mac Denton, and she hoped he was in the mood to give it.

Lucy stepped inside. It was an incredible house,as far as the structure went. Nothing like the homes she’d gone to with her husband during visits to the Hamptons. Nothing even like the homes of her parents’ friends. This was the home of someone who worked for a living. A man, obviously, since there was nothing superfluous or soft. The only decor had antlers. There were no curtains. No framed art. No rugs.

Just a large, open living area with exposed beams that flowed into a kitchen with slate-gray flooring and gray marble countertops. The view was the only thing that could be called beautiful. Mountains still capped with snow, marbled blue and white in the distance, and acres of green fields partitioned by fences were all she could see.

No buildings. No streetlights. And the quiet—quiet that was impossible to find in Manhattan.

Yes, there were things about Silver Creek she’d missed. Ironically, the very things she’d often hated when she’d been growing up here.

“Mac Denton.” He turned and held out his hand to her, and she held back the I know that was on hovering on her lips.

“Lucy Carter.” It was her married name, and it might just keep him from figuring her out for another few moments. Maybe those few moments would be enough to buy her a little sympathy.

He frowned. “Lucy Carter?”


He gave a slight shrug and then gestured to the couch. “Have a seat.” She complied, straightening her skirt as best she could and folding her hands in her lap. “Tell me about your previous work experience.”

“I . . . I don’t have any.”

“You don’t have any?” He paused and ran his hand over his hair, his eyes narrowed, his jaw tight. And then he leaned back, a strange half smile curving his lips.

So much for sympathy and anonymity. “Lucy Ryan. You’re Lucy Ryan.”


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