Excerpt for GEORGIE ON HIS MIND
Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Shirk
All rights reserved - AVALON BOOKS
"Wait. Don't tell me," he said with a chuckle. "You want me to take Brad out and maybe see that he meets a nice girl."
Her eyes widened. "Wow. How did you know?"
"Call me psychic."
"I suppose it's better than some of the other names I could call you."
A wide grin spread across his face. "Well, well, now who's acting like old times? You know, I could complain about how you talk to me as well. Ever since I came to town, you've been treating me as if I were still fifteen when I ran over your Barbie with my dirt bike."
"You did that?"
Walt's smug expression suddenly turned guilty, and he cleared his throat. "Uh, I can't quite remember. Hey, it might have been Brad now that I think about it. Or some other jerk he was friends with. Tim Clark-I think. You know, it's all a big blur to me now."
She cracked a smile. "Sure it is."
Despite what she knew he'd done all those years ago, his lighthearted mood was so infectious and charming she laughed and lightly punched him in the arm. But as soon as she started to draw back her hand, he caught her off guard by reaching out and taking hold of it in his own.
"Uh, listen, Georgie," he said, thoughtfully studying their joined hands for a moment. "If I was the one who had run over your Barbie, well, I'm sorry. Even if we weren't friends back then, I would like us to be friends now. Not only for Brad's sake, but for the pharmacy's sake, too. I was a difficult kid-kind of mad at the world because of my mom leaving. But it still wasn't a very nice thing to do, especially to my best friend's sister."
She stared at their joined hands too, trying to decide if she liked this new side of Walt or not. The seriousness he used combined with his deep, velvety voice had a strange effect on her heart rate, and she suddenly didn't know how to act. For all her talk about wanting to be treated as a grown woman, all she could think of now was running and hiding under her covers.
She pulled her hand away from his grasp and fervently tried to switch the mood back to one she felt safe with. "It-it's not a big deal. So, how about it? Are you going to start acting like a real friend and stop being such a stick in the mud?"
Walt shrugged. "Okay. Why not? I'll take Brad out Saturday night. I could use a little fun myself."
Yes! Saturday was perfect. That would give her three days to find a date and maybe go out herself. Her own social life was already looking up. "You mean it?" she asked eagerly.
"Sure. But on one condition."
Ugh. And just like that, her good mood became crushed-much like her old Barbie's head.
Here we go. She knew Walt was acting too good to be true. This was it. This was where the true Walt would come out, and he would make her promise him breakfast in bed for a month, maybe even a year. Maybe he'd even want her firstborn and her firstborn's firstborn.
"You've got to come out with us, too," he finished.
She blinked up at him, thinking she overestimated his guilt for mowing down her old Barbie. Why would Walt want her hanging around a boys' night out? That didn't sound like such a hot idea. Having his younger sister around wouldn't be conducive to Brad relaxing and meeting a woman.
"Go out with the two of you?" she asked. "Oh. Uh, I don't know. I…" Think brain! Think!
Walt leaned in, looking vaguely amused at her uneasiness. "What's the matter?" he asked. "We haven't seen each other in years. It'll be a great opportunity for us to catch up and get better acquainted with one another."
Better acquainted with Walt? She didn't think that was such a hot idea either.
She dropped her gaze away, so she could think better, but her mind stalled when she ended up with an eyeful of his chest hair. Not only was she not sure she liked this new personality side of Walt's, but she wasn't sure she liked this new dress code of his. Handsome, kind, and shirtless was not a combination that was going to resolve this sudden infatuation she was feeling towards him anytime soon.
She drew a shaky breath and looked up. "Well, uh… As a matter of-"
"Great." He beamed, and the corners of his eyes crinkled in a way-too-appealing manner. "It's a date then."
"Oh. Yeah, that sounds…great." A date. With Walt.
And her brother.
No, not great. And not exactly the kind of date she was looking for. But maybe this was what she needed to get a guy like Walt out of her system. Ever since she'd seen him, her body responded to him in ways she wasn't used to. It worried her.
Whenever she'd gone on dates or hung around attractive men in the past, she'd always been able to have a great time and keep her emotions in check. But when she looked at Walt, it was an entirely different matter. The last thing she wanted was to be drawn to someone like him. He was just like her brother-overprotective, domineering, someone who saw her as a person unable to make intelligent decisions. Yikes. No, she didn't want that. She had met and even dated a few of those Neanderthal type know-it-alls in college. That was enough for her. She wanted a man who saw she had a good head on her shoulders and saw her for what she really was-not just a little sister who needed protecting.
She was sure that once Walt and Brad were together, they'd go back to their old ways of treating her, and she'd be reminded of all the reasons why she should ignore her physical reaction to Walt. Then, she could go back to concentrating on a more important matter-finding her brother a woman.
Copyright © 2010 Jennifer Shirk
All rights reserved - Avalon Books
"It’s the mature way Walt responds to Georgie’s shenanigans that make this romance a standout. Shirk’s novel is as breezy and charming as Georgie’s seaside surroundings, and her sweet love affair with Walt will linger in the reader’s mind long after the tale is told." From Booklist --Courtney Jones
**"I really enjoyed this one. Both Walt and Georgie have been burnt by love and are understandably reluctant to try again. The contest for a date with Clay adds an entertaining complication to the budding romance. The setting of a small seaside town and the entertaining cast of characters make this story a perfect one to while away a couple of hours. 4 COFFEE CUPS
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
** "A cute, funny tale from beginning to end..."
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