My dear friend and fellow romance writer, Lucinda Race, has a new addition to the LAST CHANCE BEACH series that’s just in time for St. Patrick’s day. Read below for all the deets on SHAMROCKS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND
Battered, broken, and looking for solitude smoke jumper Tric heads to Last Chance Beach and without warning walks into Kelly’s cottage. She knows from experience this is the best place for him to recover and she’ll share her safe haven with him. Will a bit of Irish luck and a matchmaking uncle give them a chance to find love?
Tric Ryan has spent the majority of his adult life jumping out of airplanes and into infernos. That is until a fateful jump nearly ends his career as a smokejumper. Badly in need of a change, he drives to Last Chance Beach to recover. A short respite at Shamrock Cottage promises him the solitude he needs to recoup or to figure out how he’ll face a future without the dangerous job he loves.
Kelly O’Malley moved to Last Chance Beach after a broken heart. She’s living in her uncle’s rental, Shamrock Cottage, after a fire destroys her home. Brandishing a skillet she’s ready to defend her safe haven from the battered and bruised man in her living room. A quick call to her uncle confirms the mix-up, and that he’s accidentally rented the cottage to both Tric and her for an open-ended stay. When they both agree they can share the spacious vacation home, sparks are sure to fly.
Kelly helps Tric recover with easy walks on the beach and friendship. Will the magic of Last Chance Beach, with a dash of luck from the Irish, heal the heartaches Kelly and Tric carry and help them find the love and a future they both deserve? After all, Shamrocks are a girl’s best friend.
Kelly O’Malley crept down the hallway of Shamrock Cottage, her heart pounding in her chest. The early morning sun streamed through the skylights and the hardwood floor was cool against her bare feet on this late-January morning. The weight of her cell phone was comforting in her sweatpants pocket.
Who the heck was in her house?
She slid along the wall like she had seen in those movies on television where the girl sleuth was stalking the unknown. Dramatic much? When she reached the end of the hall, she peeked around the corner, her gaze sweeping the open space of the living and dining rooms and kitchen. Standing in front of the sliding glass doors, looking out over the ocean, was a very tall man, even by her standards, as Kelly was tapping six feet herself. With a backpack over one shoulder and an enormous canvas duffel bag at his feet, he leaned heavily on a cane.
She tiptoed to the counter and grabbed the cast iron skillet, being careful not to make a sound. If he’d heard her, he hadn’t moved.
She raised the skillet to shoulder height, clutching it with two hands for good swinging leverage. “What are you doing in my house?”
The man slowly turned, grimaced, clutched his leg, and held up his other hand with the cane dangling from it. “What are you doing in my rental?” Confusion and pain clouded his eyes. “I promise I can’t hurt you.” He gestured to his leg. “Recovering from surgery and exhausted from a long drive.”
She didn’t lower her makeshift weapon but instead looked him over from head to toe. He was ruggedly handsome but did look road weary. “Rental?”
“Yes, well, actually this place belongs to a friend of my uncle, who’s a fire chief in Chicago. I signed the agreement on Rental Direct.” He shifted his backpack on his shoulder. “I can show you the agreement on my laptop.”
Well, that was the company her aunt and uncle used to rent their cottage, but that was before her house had burned to the ground in November and left her homeless.
“Who’s your uncle?”
He’d better come up with the right names or she’d call the police to escort him out and then change the code for the door lock. That thought caused her to frown; she’d changed it at the beginning of December.
“John Bannon, and he’s friends with Kevin O’Malley and his wife. I can’t remember her name.”
Well, that was her uncle. She kept holding the skillet with one hand and with the other withdrew her cell. “Joan. Her name is Joan. I’m going to give him a call and I’ll put it on speakerphone.”
“Good idea.” He took a slow, halting step toward her and a flash of agony washed over his face.
She softened but still brandished the skillet even though her arm was beginning to tremble. She lowered it. “No funny business.”
He held up his hands in surrender. “Promise.” He gestured to a chair. “Mind if I sit?”
She pointed to a stool on the other side of the breakfast bar. Kelly didn’t want to look like she was a pushover, but his face was stark white and the last thing she wanted was for him to collapse.
Placing the cell on the counter, she stared at the man across from her. After the fourth ring, a deep male voice said, “Kelly, this is a surprise.”
“Hi, Uncle Kevin. I’ve got a situation down here.”
“There’s a list of qualified repair people on the island. You don’t need to call us before you take care of business.”
“It’s not that kind of issue. I have a man in my cottage and he says you rented this place to him.” Then it dawned on her that he hadn’t said his name. “Who are you?”
“Patrick Ryan, but my friends call me Tric.” He gave her a strained smile.
“Did you hear that? Patrick Ryan is in my home.”
“Oh, shoot, Kel. I’m sorry. Up until this moment, I’d forgotten we’d given Tric the family and friends code before your fire, which let him book even though I had put a hold on new rentals. He needed a place to recover once he was well enough to travel, and you know the magic of Last Chance Beach has a way of healing all wounds.”
“You forgot to tell me you rented the house to a stranger. What are we supposed to do?” Inwardly, she sighed. There was no way her uncle would ever rent the house to anyone sketchy.
“Any chance you two can stay under the same roof for a few days? I’ll make a few calls and see if I can find a new rental for Patrick.”
She rolled her shoulders. Not that her uncle could see it but it made her feel better. “I guess, but do me a favor and make sure the rental listing is hidden on RD. I don’t want anyone else showing up as a surprise houseguest.”
He gave a hearty chuckle. “I promise that won’t happen and I’m sure in no time, you two will adjust to living under one roof, at least for a few days.”
Under her breath, she muttered, “Don’t count on it.” Louder, she said, “Give Aunt Joan a hug for me.”
“Will do, and we’ll talk soon.”
She hit the end button and studied Patrick Ryan. He was easy on the eyes, with his dark-brown hair in an old-fashioned style, deep-blue eyes with crinkles at the corners, and a crooked nose that had obviously been broken at one time. Why did he have to sport deep dimples in both cheeks? It was her weakness in any guy—the deeper the dimple, the harder she’d fall.
“So, Patrick, it seems that we’re stuck together for a while until my uncle can make some calls to other cottage owners.”
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Award-winning and best-selling author Lucinda Race is a lifelong fan of romantic fiction. As a young girl, she spent hours reading romance novels and getting lost in the hope they represent. While her friends dreamed of becoming doctors and engineers, her dreams were to become a writer—a romance novelist.
As life twisted and turned, she found herself writing nonfiction but longed to turn to her true passion. After developing the storyline for The Loudon Series, it was time to start living her dream. Her fingers practically fly over computer keys she weaves stories about strong women and the men who love them.
Lucinda lives with her husband and their two little dogs, a miniature long hair dachshund and a shitzu mix rescue, in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. When she’s not at her day job, she’s immersed in her fictional worlds. And if she’s not writing romance novels, she’s reading everything she can get her hands on. It’s too bad her husband doesn’t cook, but a very good thing he loves takeout.
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