by J.M. Maurer
Most of Addison’s days start the same. She walks to work, brushes off the townsfolks’ disapproval, and fixes any-and-all local catastrophes. But there’s not a single resident in Willow Run who doesn’t know that’s all about to change.
For MLB pitching phenom Ben Peterson, returning to Willow Run is like stepping into another world. Back in town, he’s poised to do more than merely get his head on straight. For the last six months, his thoughts have been centered around one thing—the beautiful small-town girl who taught him there’s more to life than hurling a baseball.
Returning to Willow Run is like stepping into another world.
I turn the key and slip into the foyer of the vacation home owned by my general manager, Mike Messmer. The heavy wooden door closes behind me, the noise a reminder that I’m here to shut the door on my old life and enter a new one. Mike thinks I’m back to once again pull myself together, to find my head. But that’s far from why I’ve returned. There’s one simple explanation.
A woman. An innocent. Not at all the kind of woman who’d have anything to do with a professional baseball player like me.
But like a foul ball hitting an unsuspecting fan in the stands, she bounced off my chest, mouthed a mesmerizing “I’m sorry,” and shot me with a blue-eyed gaze that made my heart skip a beat and my brain forget why I’d been sent to Willow Run in the first place. The smell of beer-battered fish and the long line I was standing in reentered my mind but only after she finished lifting her full pink lips and tossed me a genuine smile that kick-started my senses.
“Fish out of water.” Her perky tone lifted toward me through a grin. “Didn’t mean to flop into you. Every spring fish fest is packed like this, yet every year I manage to lose my best friend. I should put her on a leash.”
I immediately wanted to be that best friend of hers, not just for the day, but also for the entire week I’d be staying in Willow Run. Heck, she could put me on a leash. I’d happily kneel at her feet, look up at all that radiant beauty, and flash my puppy-dog eyes at her.
She lifted a hand in greeting. “I’m Addison. I see you’ve found the right line for the best fish fry in Southern Indiana.”
I held her warm hand in mine. Couldn’t let go.
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J.M. started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, she loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life. Her books explore themes of revenge, redemption, and hope along with the intrigue of true love, sex, and marriage.
An incurable romantic with a penchant for dark chocolate and red wine, no matter what trials or tortures her characters face, love will always prevail . . . because, after all, what’s better than a happily-ever-after?
When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.
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