On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Will he pass the daddy test?
With his job in jeopardy, it couldn’t be a worse time for Sheriff Nate Landry’s recent past to come back to haunt him. But it would take an army to stop SWAT team leader Julie Smith. The fellow cop—and sister of his ex-fiancée—wants one thing from the beleaguered lawman: custody of the toddler son that Nate didn’t know he had.
He may not be natural daddy material, but he quickly takes a shine to little Duke. And then there are the feelings Nate’s been hiding for years. Only now Julie’s running for sheriff of Harmony Valley—against him. Time to retreat? Not if he wants a future with the woman he loves.
The little boy had the Smiths’ gray eyes and wide smiling mouth. Like most kids his age, he had thin lanky legs. His sprouted from a pair of khaki shorts. The friendly sparkle to his eyes was all Smith. But the dark, unruly hair was hard to mistake as anything other than a Landry gift. And as for those ears…
Nate tugged one of his own.
The kid would grow into them.
The kid. His kid.
Nate felt as if he’d been shoved from behind, a blow that threatened to topple him. The only thing holding him upright were the curled toes in his boots.
“You’re saying he’s mine,” he whispered.
“I’m saying he’s April’s.” If Julie had been born a man, she’d have been a fighter. Her chin jutted, daring him to take a swing, to pick a fight, to defend himself for leaving April at the altar when she’d obviously been pregnant with his child.
Take a swing? He could barely draw a breath. “How old are you, Duke?”
The boy–his son!–held up two fingers.
Nate breathed in. Breathed out. Fought a torrent of emotion—guilt, joy, anger—that further weakened his knees.
The guilt… Guilt was familiar. It rode in his back pocket every day, like his wallet. He had a past, one not suited to fatherhood. Then Joy… Joy was a rare emotion for him. It tried to dance through his veins with the virility of being a father. But he wasn’t a dancer. And the anger… It was anger that plowed past guilt and joy. Anger that marched behind his eyes with pounding steps, prickled his skin and straightened his backbone. “The chemo sent April into early menopause. The doctor said she’d never have children.” The doctor had said no birth control was necessary.
“A miracle.” So smug. Julie had been waiting for this.
“It’s been three years.” News of miracles usually traveled faster than that.
Every step he’d taken. Every vow he’d made. Nate set his feet in a wider stance, straddling the abyss filled with shattered expectations. It was all he could do not to shout, not to shake the back of the pew, not to reject fatherhood because he’d never aspired to the job. “Where’s April? Why didn’t she say anything?”
“April didn’t want you to know until…” Julie’s jaw clenched and for the first time since he’d turned around, there was a crack in her bravado. “April passed away three months ago.”
Nate’s heart plunged to the floor and into the tilting abyss that had sucked normal from his world. No one had told him that either. And by no one, he meant Julie.
This is Nate and Julie’s first meeting since Nate left her sister at the altar. She was always protective of her little sister, who demanded Julie never confront Nate after he dumped her. But now, all bets are off and Julie will do anything to make Nate’s life as uncomfortable as she can. At least, until she remembers Nate used to be her best friend.
Melinda Curtis is an award-winning USA Today bestseller. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming, sweet romantic comedies and sexy traditional contemporary romances. Her latest release, Support Your Local Sheriff, is an ode to the quiet heroic sheriffs her mother made her watch with her on Sundays when there was nothing else on TV.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Melinda Curtis is the award winning author of contemporary romance that spans the sexy scale – from sweet romance to sweet romantic comedy (written under the Melinda Curtis brand) to fun, sexier romances (written under the Mel Curtis brand).
Melinda loves writing romances about women who don’t realize how strong they are until a hero comes along to show them, while simultaneously capturing the wry humorous power struggle of falling in love (because, really, who lets the man have the last word?).
Hearts & Scribbles
Book Lover in Florida
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Getting Your Read On
Nicole’s Book Msuings
Janices Book Review
It’s All About the Romance
Zerina Blossom’s Books
Thoughts of a Blonde
Reading Is My SuperPower
underneath the covers
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
The Bookworm Chronicles
Becky on Books
October 28th: Grand Finale
– 1 winner will receive autographed copies of Time for Love, A Memory Away, A Man of Influence, and Marrying the Single Dad
– US Only. International will receive ecopies.
– Ends November 1st