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Rescue My Heart (Ebook)

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New to Park City, Lacey Porter isn’t looking for love, but when she comes face to face with hot firefighter Jake, she may change her mind.

After escaping a stifling relationship, Lacey Porter moves to Park City, Utah eager to enjoy her newfound freedom and to renew her love of drawing. When an accident at work brings her face to face with Jake Davis, hot firefighter, and the same guy who helped her on the side of the road a few days before, she can’t stop thinking about his good looks and kind heart–but there’s no way she can trust herself after her last relationship fail.

Jake Davis has it all–his dream job firefighting, extra work as a part-time realtor, plenty of women around to date casually…life couldn’t get much better. He never expected to meet a woman who seemed so strong yet vulnerable. Something about Lacey touches him, but when she continually rebuffs his attempts to go out, he wonders if he’ll get a chance to know the real her.

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Chapter 1

“Well, isn’t this just perfect?” Lacey Porter murmured as her car sputtered before the engine shut down. Coasting onto the shoulder of the road, she glanced at the gas gauge where the needle had settled below the E, which was the kind of thing that happened when she got too focused on drawing.

Frowning, she shifted into Park, turned on the hazard lights, then pulled the key out of the ignition.  Now she might be late for work. Not good.

The thought of turning up late when she was such a new employee stressed her out. Trying to calm herself, she leaned her head back and closed her eyes, then drew in a deep breath and slowly exhaled as she thought about what was going right in her life.

She had a job, even if being a waitress wasn’t her lifelong ambition. Her bestie Amber was letting her room with her. And she was loving it in Park City. Even though moving there had been hard, she knew it had been the right decision.

She thought about the life she had left behind and a tentative smile curved her mouth. Most importantly, no one was telling her what to do and how to live her life. Her life belonged to her.

Then an image of Eric—her ex-boyfriend, the man to whom she had given the last two years of her life—crashed into her mind. She could hear him saying that she needed to get her head out of the clouds, to pay attention to things and to stop wasting her time drawing.

Eyes flying open, she sat up straight. Shoving her long brown hair behind her ears, Lacey tried not to grit her teeth as she recalled that last ugly confrontation with Eric. The one where she’d told him she was done with him, done with the way he always ran her down, and done with his controlling ways.

Shaking her head to dislodge the memory, she focused on her surroundings. It was mid-day in early June, and as she sat on the shoulder of the road, cars whizzed by every thirty seconds or so. To her right, thick bunches of dark green pine trees filled her view while clusters of wildflowers in riots of color caught her eye. The scene reminded her that every year nature refreshed itself, which filled her with hope that she could make a fresh start too.

The image made her want to pull out her sketchpad and begin a fresh drawing. She reached toward the passenger seat where she had set her sketchpad, then paused. She didn’t have time to draw just then. Especially with her car out of gas. She had to get that taken care of and get herself to work.

Caty, her boss at Caty’s Cuisine, had been understanding the last time Lacey had been late, but she didn’t want to push her luck. Not with how desperately she needed this job. Not with being such a new employee.

Sighing, she took her cell phone out of her purse, but then she simply stared at it. Amber was at work for a few more hours so she couldn’t come get her, and with being so new to Park City, she didn’t know who else she could call.

A moment later she heard a tap, tap, tap on her window. Startled, she whipped her head to the left and saw the most gorgeous man she had ever seen standing there. Perfectly shaped lips, strong jaw, and clear green eyes that reminded her of new shoots of grass. Not to mention the way his t-shirt emphasized his fit body and muscular biceps.

He motioned for her to roll her window down, and she lowered it a few inches.

“Do you need help?” he asked as he bent toward her window.

Feeling slightly stupid, she said, “I, uh, I ran out of gas.”

He smiled, displaying perfectly straight white teeth, and she was momentarily dazzled by his beauty. “I can give you a lift to a gas station,” he said. “If that would help.”

Yeah. It definitely would. But she didn’t know him.

Staring at him a moment, she debated about what to do as she twisted her favorite ring—her late grandmother’s wedding ring—on her finger. She didn’t know who else to call and she needed to get this taken care of and get to work. She didn’t have a lot of options. Or a lot of money.

Tossing him a quick smile, she said, “Yeah. That would be great.” Then she opened her door and got out of her car.

The man took a step back, giving her room, then he gestured to the area in front of her car where they would be out of traffic. Lacey walked to where he pointed.

The man followed her and stopped a few feet away from her. “I have a gas can. I’ll run you up to the gas station and back.”

Trying not to get distracted by his amazing eyes and general hotness, Lacey said, “Are you sure that’s not too much trouble?” Then she told herself not to discourage him. What would she do if he walked away? Who would she call then?

“No. It’s no trouble. I’m glad to help.” He paused a beat. “I’m Jake, by the way.”

Lacey studied his face. “I’m Lacey.”

Was this really a good idea? Getting a ride from a stranger? Not sure at all, she didn’t know what else to do.

* * *

The caution in Lacey’s eyes was unmistakable, but that didn’t bother Jake. In fact, he fully approved when a woman was skeptical about a man. He had two younger sisters and he hoped they were just as careful about the men in their lives. He also hoped they wouldn’t ever take a ride from a stranger.

The irony wasn’t lost on him and one side of his mouth tugged upward. Then it occurred to him that Lacey had no idea he was a good guy. That maybe she didn’t want to go anywhere with him but felt that she didn’t have any other options. “Or I could get the gas for you,” he said. “And bring it back?”

Relief lit her eyes and Jake knew that was the right suggestion.

“I don’t want to inconvenience you,” she said as she used one hand to push her hair behind her ear—hair that Jake had an inexplicable desire to run his fingers through. 

“I don’t mind,” he said. And he didn’t. He was between shifts at the firehouse, and though he was on his way to buy materials for his home remodeling project, his helpful streak made this opportunity irresistible. Especially when such a beautiful woman was involved. And though he was fine with running the errand for her, he would have preferred that she go with him so he could talk to her.

A smile of obvious relief turned up the corners of her mouth, which emphasized the soft curves of her face and backlit her blue eyes—eyes which had a depth to them that fascinated him.

Yeah, he would definitely like to get to know her.

“I really appreciate it,” she said. “I’ll just…” She gestured toward her car. “I’ll just wait in my car.” Then she walked past him, and after throwing a smile in his direction, she climbed into her car and closed the door.

He figured that was his cue to leave.

Feeling dismissed, but with no reason to stick around, Jake nodded, then as he walked past her slightly open window, he said, “Back in a bit.”

Moments later he was in his truck and pulling onto the road.

All the way to the gas station he thought about Lacey—beautiful, petite, quiet. Maybe he should ask her out. Why not? He wasn’t dating anyone just then. Not now that Robyn was gone. 

Pushing aside thoughts of the last woman he’d dated, he pictured Lacey, and again the depths he had seen in her eyes haunted him.

Just a simple date, a chance to get to know her. He wasn’t looking for a romantic entanglement. Not with his crazy schedule—two days on at the station, then four days off. And not with all of the other things he had going on—remodeling his house and working part-time as a realtor between shifts. Not to mention helping Boston train for his boxing match.

It would just be for fun. Why not?

His smile grew. 

He would do just that. And he was confident she would agree.

* * *

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