Title: DISCOVERING YOU
Author: Brenda Novak
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Can she ever trust another “bad boy”?
India Sommers once had the perfect family—until an ex-boyfriend broke in and shot her husband. Not only did that cost her the man she loved, a respected heart surgeon and the father of her child, she feels responsible. Charlie died because of the people she hung out with before she had the strength to change her life.
Just after moving to Whiskey Creek with her little girl, Cassia, to start over, she’s learned that her ex-boyfriend’s trial ended in a hung jury. He’s getting out of jail; he could try to find her again. And that’s not all that scares her. She’s extremely attracted to her next-door neighbor, but Rod Amos is the handsome “bad boy” type that’s given her so much trouble in the past. If she got involved with him, her in-laws would sue for custody of Cassia.
India has to keep her distance from Rod—but the more she gets to know him, the more difficult that becomes.
There was a bloody man walking down the middle of the road.
India Sommers’s heart leaped into her throat the moment her headlights fell on the tall, lean figure. Had she been more familiar with the area, she might’ve come racing around the bend in her quiet Prius and accidentally mowed him down, but he didn’t seem to give a damn about the danger. He looked too angry to care. And judging by his rumpled clothes, she thought she could guess why. This guy had been in a fight.
He seemed determined to flag her down. But she’d seen enough violence to recognize that he was no helpless victim, which made her far less sympathetic to whatever he needed than she might otherwise have been.
She started to slow; she didn’t want to hit him. But neither was she willing to leave herself vulnerable. She was alone on a winding road in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and she’d only moved to Gold Country this week. She hadn’t had a chance to meet more than a handful of people. For all she knew, this man could be some kind of crazed lunatic who’d just committed murder!
He looked menacing, with his hands curled into fists and his jaw set as if he’d like to take another swing at someone.
Who had he tangled with already?
She edged to the right so she could squeeze past him. Once it seemed safe, she planned to punch the gas pedal and get out of there. Since she’d been using GPS to get home from the art show she’d attended in another town, she had her cell phone in the passenger seat. She’d call the police as soon as she was well away, so she wouldn’t leave him stranded, and be done with this.
But the minute she slowed and he started to approach, she recognized him. It was her neighbor! She’d seen him out with his brothers, throwing a football the day she moved in. The three of them—all equally tall, dark and muscular—had even hauled her potter’s wheel into the screened-in porch at the back of her house, where she’d decided to work through the summer.
Although still a little reluctant to stop, she couldn’t just drive off, not if her neighbor needed help. So she stepped on the brake, and Rod—she remembered his name because he was the type of man a woman wouldn’t easily forget—came to the side of the car.
A chill ran through her as he waited for her to lower the window. Was she a fool for trusting him? Just because he lived next door didn’t make him safe, especially if he was high on something. And even if she could normally outrun him, which wasn’t likely, she was wearing a long dress and heels.
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Brenda Novak is an author of historical romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She has written 50+ books, and has sold more than 4 million copies. Not only has she hit The New York Times and USA Today Bestseller’s lists, her novels have received won many awards, including four RITA nominations, the National Reader’s Choice, the Book Buyer’s Best and the Bookseller’s Best Award.
Novak was born in Utah, the youngest of five children. Her father worked for the government for the Bureau of Reclamation for thirty years. He retired when Brenda was ten and moved the family to Arizona. Her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was eight years old and was often sick during her childhood but remained active in the community serving as a member of the Chandler City Council.
Brenda married Ted Novak in 1984, and they have five children of their own. In 1993, she caught her day-care provider drugging her children to get them to sleep all day while she worked as a loan officer. No longer able to trust others with their care, she quit her job to stay home with them herself—but she still needed to help making a living. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do, felt as if she had no options, until her sister sent her Jude Deveraux’s KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. She loved that book so much it inspired her to try writing herself. She started the next day, and the rest is history. Novak sold her first book, a historical romance published by Harper Collins titled Of Noble Birth, in 1998. She sold a contemporary romance to Harlequin Enterprises shortly thereafter and has written more than fifty novels for Harlequin since. Although she is still writing for Harlequin, she has recently launched a new suspense series with St. Martin’s Press and Headline in the UK.
For a number of years, Novak has been actively engaged in raising money for diabetes research (her son suffers from this disease). Through her annual online auctions and the annual digital boxed sets she puts together, she’s raised $2.5 million, with all proceeds going to JDRF and the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami. She and her husband, now empty-nesters, reside in Sacramento, CA.
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