July 1, 2006
Genesis Press
ISBN-13: 9781585711772
ISBN-10: 1585711772

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Love Me Carefully

Love Me Carefully

Leah Graham has long since stopped believing in fairy tales. To her “Happily Ever After” is her job. Leah has no problem planning the perfect wedding for her clients, but when it comes to her own nuptials her feet aren’t just cold—they’re frozen.

Terrell Pierce is on the prowl for his perfect bride but when he finds his girlfriend in bed with another man his search comes to a screeching halt.

Then, as if he needed more drama in his life, his mother announces her intention to re-marry, and her groom-to-be is a wanted criminal. Finding a wife suddenly takes a back seat to proving this low-life is no good for his Mama!

Terrell and Leah are at instant odds—their positions clashing, their attitudes getting in the way. Still, the passion between them simmers as they travel the streets of Baltimore in search of a drug lord, then cruise the seas to Negril with the FBI hot on their trial. Love-at-first-sight simply isn’t enough to get this couple down the aisle. But murder and mayhem might be!

Read an Excerpt

Terrell had taken a few steps toward his Aunt Pearl when a woman with a mop of curls on her head appeared in his path. Before he could move out of her way they collided.

Leah cursed fluently, she knew the guy had seen her coming and figured he would move to the side to allow her to pass. Obviously, she had assumed wrong. Reigning in her temper she righted herself and mumbled, “Excuse me.”

“No, excuse me. I thought we had enough room to move around each other.” Terrell looked down at her.

If you had attempted to move we probably would have had enough space, Leah thought to herself before realizing that this was the guy that Rosie had been speaking to a few moments ago. His deep voice resonated in her ears until she felt like they were the only two people in the room. He seemed taller now that she stood face to face with him. Long, slender fingers still gripped her arm where he had grabbed to keep her from hitting the floor.

Dark brown eyes stared down at her through thin gold-rimmed glasses. A tingling began deep down in her stomach. The aroma of food must be getting to her, she thought. She needed to talk to Rosie then she’d get something to eat, then she’d leave.

“If you’ll excuse me again, I’d like to talk to Ms. Rosie before someone else gets to her.” Leah made a futile attempt to break free of his grasp. For a skinny guy he was quite strong.

Terrell noticed the questioning in the hazel eyes that stared at him. Following their gaze to where his fingers lay on her arm he slowly moved his hand away. He instantly regretted that action. The moment he’d bumped into her he’d felt something. A surge so deep and so potent he couldn’t quite explain. “I’m sorry, I just didn’t want you to fall.” He’d liked touching her, liked it immensely.

“I’m fine now.” Leah stepped to the side to walk around him.

Terrell mimicked her movement, “Ah, did you say you’re looking for my mother, um, I mean Rosie?” His inquisitive gaze pinned her to where she stood. He clasped his hands in front of him to keep from reaching out to touch her again.

“Ms. Rosie’s your mother?” Now she realized why he looked familiar—the graduation photo taped to the mirror of Ms. Rosie’s station at the shop. So this was Terrell Pierce, Ms. Rosie’s only child, the apple of her eye? She’d heard so much about him and his accomplishments she could probably write his bio. She paused a moment to survey him. Mmm hmmm, he looked every bit the computer geek his mother had described. He was tall—she did like tall men—his light skin clear, darkened only by the thin mustache and goatee he wore while his glasses concealed the true depth of his eyes. Right off the bat she wouldn’t call him handsome, that word didn’t seem to suit him at all. Yet there was something…

“Yes. I’m Terrell.” Unclasping his arms, he extended his hand and waited for her compliance.
Leah moved slowly, calmly taking his hand. For a moment the warm palm gave her a start, but she quickly dismissed it. “I’m Leah Graham. I’m the wedding coordinator.” Gripping his hand in a businesslike manner Leah watched his questioning glare.

“Oh? The wedding…yeah, I guess that’s why we’re here right? So wedding’s need to be coordinated now?” He eyed her suspiciously. Her hands were satiny smooth and he wondered if all her skin felt the same.

“Some people like their big day planned specifically and to go off without a hitch. That’s where I come in.”

“And they pay you for that?” he sounded incredulous.

“Yes, and they pay me well,” she stated boldly. Who the hell was he to question her job? Her credibility?

He made her uncomfortable. She couldn’t explain why. Maybe it was the way he seemed to stare right through her. Maybe it was the fact that he’d continued to block her way.

Whichever, she wanted to get away from him as quickly as possible. “Can I have my hand back now?”

Terrell smiled.

Her stomach clenched.

His tone softened, he released her hand. “Sorry about that.” He’d noticed a spark in her eyes, it mirrored the sense of loss he felt at the release. She’d felt it too—that strange tugging between them. “Then by all means you must find your client. My mother went that way.” He nodded towards the other side of the room.

Her hand was free yet she still hadn’t moved. His smile had reached those dark brown eyes, warming them until she felt herself being drawn to him. His slow gaze caressed her and she was breathless.

She was a fruitcake for standing there gaping at him that way! For goodness sake he was only Ms. Rosie’s workaholic son, not some gorgeous movie star. “Excuse me,” she mumbled and quickly moved away before she could further make a fool of herself.