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Fresh Pick of the Day

A Fresh Fiction favorite is a finalist for the 2010 RWA RITA category Contemporary Single Title. 

When a girl with no family meets a guy with too much?

June 2009
On Sale: May 26, 2009
Featuring: Nick Santangelo; Tori Morgan
336 pages
ISBN: 050552693X
EAN: 9780505526939
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For Tori Morgan, family’s a blessing the universe hasn’t sent her way. Her parents are long gone, her chance of having a baby is slipping away, and the only thing she can call her own is a neglected old house. What she wants more than anything is a place where she belongs…and a big, noisy clan to share her life.

For Nick Santangelo, family’s more like a curse. His nonna is a closet kleptomaniac, his mom’s a menopausal time bomb and his motherless daughter is headed for serious boy trouble. The last thing Nick needs is another female making demands on his time.

But summer on the Jersey shore can be an enchanted season, when life’s hurts are soothed by the ebb and flow of the tides and love can bring together the most unlikely prospects. A hard-headed contractor and a lonely reader of Tarot cards and crystal prisms? All it takes is…A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC.


Tori found Nick frowning at the lock on her back door.

"Something wrong?"

"This place needs more work than what's on your list. For one thing, this lock is broken."

"It is?" She took a closer look. "I didn't know."

He muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like, "It figures."

"Leaving your doors unlocked during the day is one thing. You can't leave your back door open all night. I'll run over to the hardware store before it closes and pick something up."

"There's no rush. I've been here a month already, and nothing's happened."

"Yet. The season's just getting started, and there's more crime in the summer. This is asking for trouble."

He looked so serious she couldn't resist prodding him a bit. "That door's not completely unprotected, you know." She kept her expression carefully neutral. "There's a warding on it."

He fiddled some more with the lock. "A warding? What's that?"

"A spell of protection. It repels evil intentions. I guess you could call it a kind of magical dead bolt."

Nick's head jerked up. He stared, looking for all the world as if she'd whacked him upside the head with one of his two-by- fours.

She swallowed a laugh. Practical guys were so easy to tease.

"First the candle, now this. You can't seriously believe in magic," he said finally.

"Of course I do," she said loftily. She really had set a perimeter warding around the house, though it was meant to repel psychic attacks, not a physical one. "Not that it's any of your business."

"It becomes my business if I leave you with a broken lock and some deadbeat breaks in and attacks you. Christ, once you open the shop, you're going to have cash in here. What you really should get is an alarm system."

"Yes, but I-"

"-don't need one," he finished, looking disgusted. "You're nuts, you know that? Freaking nuts."

He started to laugh.

She'd been about to say she couldn't afford an alarm system, not that she didn't need one, but now that he looked so amused at her expense, she gave a huff and poked his chest.

"I'm not paying you to make fun of me, you know."

He chuckled. "Consider it a freebie."

Turning his back, he opened the door and strode into the postage-stamp backyard.

"What are you doing?"

"Proving your spell doesn't work." He came back in, making a big show of opening the door and stepping back into the hall. "There, see? Your magic is worthless."

"No, it's not!"

"Yes, it is. I got back in, didn't I?"

"That doesn't prove anything. You don't have evil intentions!"

He captured her gaze, his dark eyes dropping to her lips. His smile slowly faded. The intense expression that replaced it made her breath catch.

"You wouldn't say that if you knew what I was thinking," he muttered.

She blinked up at him. "I wouldn't?"

"No. Definitely not."

And then he kissed her.

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