Flint Fortune's family was trying to play matchmaker--but the footloose cowboy was determined to remain a free agent. Sure, Jessie Hunt-Myers was beautiful--but she was also a widow, with four kids...definitely not the right setup for a bachelor. Yet he couldn't help but notice that Jessie's drop-dead-gorgeous exterior was matched by the warmth of her heart.
Fortunately, Jessie agreed that they could never be a perfect pair...and willingly conspired in Flint's idea of trickery: fake dates that would quiet their meddling families. But the chemistry between them was anything but forced, and Jessie's children soon had Flint wishing he could be their daddy! Perhaps this feigned romance would become the real deal--a love that would last forever!
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May 31, 2011
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Excerpt from Fortune Found by Victoria Pade
"Iss him! Iss him! Iss Fwint, Mama!"
The announcement came from Jessica Hunt-Myers's excited three-year-old son, Adam, when he dashed to the open bathroom door, poked his head in, then dashed out again.
"Let me guess," Jessie said to her sister, her tone holding no shortage of suspicion. "That phone call a little while ago was from Flint Fortune, saying he was on his way. That's why you stopped me from sanding the baseboards, rushed me into your bathroom and gave me this sudden makeover."
Jessie stood with her hips resting on the counter-top that surrounded the sink, facing her sister, Kelsey. Kelsey was wielding a fluffy blush brush and applying the powder to Jessie's face much the way they'd played dress up with their mother's makeup when they were little girls.
Kelsey gave her a wide-eyed smile. "This really is new stuff that I just wanted you to try because I thought you'd like it. And that clip does look better in your hair than it did in mine," she said innocently.
Jessie rolled her eyes, not buying the innocent act for a second. "Kelsey..." she groaned. "First you try to match me with a guy you like yourself--the guy you ended up with--and now you're trying to push his brother?"
Kelsey shrugged. "I kept the first one for myself. It seems only fair that I find you someone else to make it up to you," she joked.
The first one had been Cooper Fortune and after unsuccessfully attempting to put Jessie together with Coop, Kelsey had succumbed to her own attraction to the man. They were now engaged, raising Cooper's six-month-old son, Anthony, and had moved into the house next door to Jessie's.
The house was in need of extensive remodeling, which was the reason Jessie and Adam--the youngest of Jessie's four children--were at Kelsey's house late that Sunday afternoon. Jessie was helping with some of the work.
The renovation was also why Cooper's brother, Flint, was scheduled for an extended stay in Kelsey and Coop's guest room.
An extended stay that was apparently about to begin.
"I don't need--or want --to be fixed up with anyone," Jessie said emphatically.
"It's been two years since Peter died, Jess," Kelsey cajoled gently.
"Two years, eleven days, three hours."
Kelsey shook her head sadly. "And you need more in your life to distract you from still counting the days. The hours."
"More in my life?" Jessie said with a laugh. "I have four kids, Kelsey. Mom and Dad retired to move in with me and lend me a hand because I have so much in my life--"
"Your kids will grow up, Mom and Dad will decide to travel or get a place in a retirement community the way they talked about before. And then where will you be, Jess? Alone--that's where."
"With a bathroom all to myself and a house that actually stays clean for five minutes and the possibility that I might never again run out of cookies..." Jessie said in a dreamy tone of voice, making light of the bleak picture her sister was painting.
"Alone," Kelsey repeated direly.
"Ella is seven. Braden and Bethany are four. Adam is only three. It'll be a long, long time before I have to worry about that."
"But don't you want someone for yourself again now?" Kelsey persisted. "Pete would have wanted--"
"Oh, don't pull that one! I hate it when people say what Pete would have wanted."
"Okay, then he wouldn't have wanted you to end up old and alone," Kelsey insisted, reversing it.
"I'm not ready," Jessie said definitively ...