Be My BabyBy: Meg Benjamin
There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas…
Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3
If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.
Peace…at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.
Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently.
Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.
To all the helpful critiquers in SARA (Beckie, Linda, Masha, y’all know who you are), to my ever-supportive editor Lindsey Faber, and to my guys, Bill, Josh, and Ben.
Lars Toleffson had oatmeal in his hair. He found it by accident while he was sitting drinking a beer with his brothers at the Dew Drop Inn in downtown Konigsburg, Texas. Since that was around five in the afternoon, he’d probably been wearing the oatmeal all day. He only hoped other people hadn’t noticed. Daisy, his two-year-old daughter, was learning to feed herself. She was really enthusiastic about breakfast, and sometimes her enthusiasm slopped over.
So to speak.
The only way Lars could have a beer with his brothers was through the generosity of his sisters-in-law, who’d taken Daisy with them to the park to see the city workers put up some decorations. Lars wasn’t sure what holiday was being decorated for—it was early November, but he had a feeling the decorations were probably for Christmas. Christmas was a big deal in Konigsburg, given the shopping frenzy the tourists usually went into once the season was officially open.
Lars sighed, rubbing his eyes. He adored his daughter. He’d moved to Texas to make a better life for her than she would have had in Iowa where his ex-wife lived within meddling distance, even though it meant giving up the automatic babysitting services provided by his folks. But sometimes he wished he could take a day off from being a full-time single parent.
Of course, every time he wished that, he ended up feeling like a total shit.
“Hey, bro.” His brother Pete dropped into a chair opposite him. “No dozing off at the table. At least not until you’ve listened to us talk for a few minutes. I mean, give us a chance to bore you to sleep first.”
Lars shook his head. “Sorry. Late night last night. Daisy didn’t feel like sleeping until midnight.” He’d felt like sleeping around eight-thirty himself, but that was par for the course these days.
His brother Cal pulled out a chair next to Pete. The three of them took up all the available space and some that wasn’t really available, like the area around the table where they tried to stretch their legs out. Their mother had given birth to four giants, all of them standing over six feet four. No wonder Mom had her grumpy moments.
“Hey, y’all, where’s the beer? Don’t we have a standing order by now?” Cal asked.
Pete shrugged. “Looks like she’s working her way down the tables.”
“She?” Cal raised an eyebrow.
Cal leaned forward, squinting into the darkness. The Dew Drop wasn’t well known for the candle power of its lighting. “What waitress? Ingstrom fired the waitress he had last week. Or she walked out—I’m not sure which.”
“He’s hired another one. He’s trying to upgrade the place.” Pete raised a hand, signaling. “Wonder says Ingstrom may even wash the windows one of these days.”
Cal widened his eyes in amazement. “You mean so we could actually see what this place looks like? Wouldn’t that destroy his business?”
Lars blinked. The woman standing beside the table wore a leather vest zipped over breasts the size of melons. Big melons. Her bare arms were covered in so many tattoos they looked blue. A roll of white flesh bulged between the bottom of her vest and the top of her jeans. The nametag on her left breast read Hi! My Name Is Ruby.
“Ya want anything or not?” Ruby sounded like she was getting pissed. Lars figured that would not be a good thing.