RITA finalist and New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox kicks off a steamy new series set in the city that never sleeps—alone, at least.
May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
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(from Chapter One)
May was loitering.
She had no money.
She had nowhere else to go.
It was true that she could retrace her path, rewalk the blocks she’d journeyed in a daze, and ask the front desk to buzz her back into Dan’s apartment. Sorry, she’d tell them. I lost my keys. But you know me, right? You’ve seen me with my boyfriend. Can you let me in?
A totally manageable series of white lies. In fact, she hadn’t lost her keys, but it was true that she didn’t have them. They’d been stolen, along with her purse and the rest of its contents.
And really Dan wasn’t her boyfriend anymore, but even Dan didn’t seem to accept that yet—although he might change his mind when he came home from his emergency strategy session and found her gone.
It wasn’t too late to take back the note she’d left. She could walk into his empty apartment and pull the paper off the fridge, stuff it in the garbage can under the sink. She could pretend when Dan returned that none of this had happened, and she could talk to him tonight—really talk to him—about what she’d done at the luncheon yesterday.
She could find something to say to him other than I don’t think this is working and I don’t want to be with you anymore and I want to go home.
Not home to Dan’s apartment nearby or his Mansion of Ostentatiousness in New Jersey, where she’d been living with him for the past six weeks. Home to Wisconsin. Home.
Dan had made it clear that he didn’t want her to leave. He believed they could still fix their relationship. The YouTube video documenting the entire public embarrassment had already drawn more than a million views, but even though his agent and his coaches and a good chunk of the sports fans in the greater New York metropolitan area hated her, Dan was willing to put it all behind them.
All May had to do was tell him what he’d done wrong and how he could fix it.
But she didn’t want to have to tell him. He should know. And the fact that he didn’t meant there was no way he could fix it.
When he’d proposed to her yesterday, everything about it had been wrong. Everything. The bright lights that made him sweat onstage in his tuxedo, the crowd of witnesses at the breast cancer luncheon where he was supposed to be giving a fund-raising speech, the fact that he’d been nervous and had braced his courage with beer—way too much beer—and worst of all the things he’d said.
Then I met May, and she changed my life.
She was different, you know? No makeup, no fancy clothes, no fancy anything. Just as plain as you see her now.
She was this nice, pure, innocent girl from Manitowoc . . . one hundred percent patient with me.
I asked her out, and she said yes, and I thought, you know, Don’t mess this up, Einarsson. When Coach met her later, he said the same thing. “She’ll keep your head screwed on straight.”
One date had turned into two, then three. He’d courted her for three months before he kissed her—because, he said, he had so much respect for her.
How amazing that had been. Ordinary May, being pursued by the Packers’ bad-boy second-string quarterback. Being respected by him. And from the very beginning, she’d kept his head screwed on straight.
Oh, she was an idiot.
New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-based romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award.
Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life. Ruthie also writes New Adult romance as Robin York. She moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website and drop her a line.
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