Gillie Dupree is a wanna-be Junior leaguer and almost-fiancée of a wealthy businessman. Despite her days of volunteer work and elocution lessons, “Hurricane Gillie” just can’t erase her southern Mississippi twang or her notorious temper. Now she’s starting over – literally – with nothing but the clothes in her trunk and a big fat question mark on her future.
Meets “Mister Always-Right”…
Jack Preston finally has everything he ever wanted – a big house, expensive cars and a client list that reads like Who’s Who of Orlando’s elite. Jack isn’t the same man he was eight years ago when his ex-wife abandoned him with their infant daughter, Hope. When she re-surfaces for one more chance to be a mother, he turns her away without a thought --- until she snatches Hope and disappears.
Now Jack is forced to enlist the help of sassy, sexy Gillie, whose accidental run in with Hope is the closest he’s gotten to finding his daughter in weeks. Stuck together by sheer stubbornness and the need to do the best thing for Hope, Jack’s growing attraction and respect for the undeniable force that is Gillie Dupree sets his sensible, well-ordered world on its axis.
"We need to talk," he said and pushed past her into the sitting room.
"I didn't invite you in," Gillie replied, slamming the door. "Why did you even bother knocking?"
He turned with his hands propped on his hips by his thumb and forefinger. The name Jack definitely suited him better than Preston with his tall, darkly handsome good looks, five o'clock shadow and weary gaze. Jack was a man's name. Preston reminded her of the preppy blond boys in high school who wore v-neck sweaters and played on the tennis team.
"I have nothing to say to you. I told Detective Wilson all I could remember and now I'm going home." Preston looked around the room, his eyes scrutinizing every corner.
"I didn't take anything. It's all here." Annoyed, she went around him into the bedroom, back to attacking her suitcase. Now that the object of all her fury was in the room, she was less enthusiastic about taking it out on her cousin's cherry red luggage.
"I never thought you would steal from me," he said quietly. Preston followed her into the bedroom, stopping at the foot of the bed where he watched her.
Gillie braced her knee on the bed and leaned heavily on the suitcase lid. The zipper moved an inch then got stuck again, the stupid leather pants must have swelled in all this humidity. Growling, Gillie shoved her hair away from her face.
"What do you want, Jack? Spit it out so I can finish packing."
"I thought I told you to call me Preston."
"Preston is not your name," she said irritably. "Trust me. You're definitely a Jack."
He moved closer and took hold of the zipper. "Here, sit down on it."
Gillie avoided looking at him as she leaned her butt against the top of the suitcase. He moved in, one hand braced on her left side while the other worked the zipper around. When he got to her legs, he looked at her. Up close, Preston's eyes were actually a deep, midnight blue. So dark they almost looked black. Gillie held her breath as he reached between her legs and pulled the zipper along, his fingers brushing the back of her bare knees.
Back home, Mommas raised their boys to apologize for touching a girl without permission. Preston never said a word. Those black eyes just roamed over her face as if he were trying to memorize every inch. When the suitcase was finally closed, Preston put his hands down on both sides of her butt and looked directly into her eyes.
"I can't let you go."