New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen has captivated readers everywhere with her sassy romances. Here, a man who doesn't believe in love and a woman who doesn't trust in it find out just how wrong they can be...
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December 31, 2000
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Excerpt from All Shook Up by Susan Andersen
The gas gauge on J.D. Carver's vintage Ford Mustang read "Empty" when he arrived in Star Lake, Washington, one day ahead of schedule. But then, it never read anything elseýthe needle had been stuck there since he'd bought the car in '93. The car's trunk held a few of his favorite power tools, a tool chest, and a My loaded carpenter's belt. The backseat held two table saws. He also had an antique gold watch in his pocket, an old canvas army duffel containing everything else he owned in the world, and a raft of emotions he'd give a lot to deny sitting heavy in his gut.
His life back in Seattle had gone to hell. It was his own fault, but knowing that didn't help. His friend Butch he didn't even want to think about right now. And Bob Lankovich, the man who'd given him his start in construction-and through whose company's ranks J.D. had risen to become foremanýwas in prison. J.D. didn't want to think about Bob, either. Or his idiot son, Robbie.
He was just tired of the whole freaking messýthe threats, the being a pariah. In Rat City, for chrissake. How could anyone do anything bad enough to be a pariah in a neighborhood known as Rat City? His unexpected inheritance from Edwina Lawrence was nothing if not timely. It was an excellent time to get out of town.
He laughed without humor. Of course, Edwina was just another can of worms. He ought to open a damn bait shopýbetween her, Butch, and the Lankovich mess, he was ass-deep in worms.
J.D. rubbed at the tension knotting the back of his neck. He was pretty much down to his last option. He'd given up his studio apartment, sold the tools he couldn't fit in the car, and cleaned out his bank account. There was nothing left for him in the city where he'd grown up, and nowhere to go if this didn't work out. So he planned to make it work, come hell or high water.
He pulled up in front of the fieldstone-and-timber lodge that he now had a half interest in, and parked the car. Then he simply sat there for a moment, breathing in the rich scent of evergreens and lake. Reaching into the watch pocket of his jeans, he stroked. a finger over Edwina's father's gold timepiece, which she had left him along with her share of the lodge.
The same watch she'd once accused him of stealing.
More than Robbie Lankovich's threats or J.D.'s disillusionment over Butch's collecting on a debt he'd always known would one day be collected, Edwina's ancient betrayal still had the ability to bother him.
He snorted softly. Bother. There was a nice, understated way of putting it.