Monday, May 02, 2022

Leveling Up by Jill Burrell

 Leveling Up

by Jill Burrell

Contemporary Romance


He’s not comfortable in her world, but she wants to be a part of his. 

Debbie “Widow” Wheeler has everything money can buy except the one thing she wants most: a family of her own. Tired of waiting for the right man to come along, she decides to forgo marriage and become a foster mother. Her plans are right on track when she runs into Austin. Too bad he wants nothing to do with her.  
Single dad Austin Reed works hard to provide for his children, so it irritates him when Debbie offers his talented daughter opportunities he can’t. She easily wins the trust of his children, but Austin isn’t so easily swayed. She’s everything he’s learned to hate—wealthy, impulsive, and gorgeous.  

Their tenuous friendship is put to the test when Austin’s ex-wife shows up, threatening to take the kids. Desperate to protect his children, Austin asks Debbie to be his fake fiancé. It’s all too easy to play their roles convincingly, and before long, their engagement feels very real. But when the boundaries of their relationship are tested, they’ll have to make the choice between pride or love.  


Leveling Up 

She rounded the corner and for the second time tonight ran into another shopping cart. The previous collision had been a mere tap compared to the bone-jarring impact of this cart crash. Boxes of diapers, bottles, baby wash, and tampons scattered across the floor. Several items from the other equally loaded cart toppled to the floor as well. 

“I’m so sorry,” Debbie said.  

“Forgive me. Are you okay?” The rugged, clad in denim and flannel man stepped around his cart and studied her. 

“I’m fine. I’m such a klutz tonight.” 

“I think this one was as much my fault as it was yours. I was hurrying to grab a few more things before the store closes.” 

The deep timbre of his voice sent a shiver skittering across her skin. It had been a long time since she’d felt this level of attraction for a man.  

“Obviously, I wasn’t watching where I was going. Again.” 

“I’m not sure how you could over all of that.” He chuckled as he eyed her cart.  

“Yeah, I think I got a little carried away. I got some good news tonight, and I kind of went crazy.” 

“Congratulations.” His eyebrows rose as his gaze shifted from the diapers to her flat stomach. 

“Oh, um… I’m not pregnant.” 

A flush colored his cheeks. “Sorry, I just assumed…” His brow creased as he motioned to the boxes of diapers in her cart.  

“Understandable.” Debbie didn’t offer an explanation, because it felt like too much information to share with a stranger. 

He bent to pick up the scattered items, and she did the same. His masculine scent hit her again, and she had to keep herself from leaning closer and taking a deep breath. 

Heat filled her face as she grabbed the box of tampons near his booted feet.  

“Uh… I think those are mine.” He held out his hand for the box she held. 

She examined the pink box, spotting a yellow R for regular. Nope. These were not the tampons she had put in her cart. She handed them over. 

“I mean, they’re not mine. I’m buying them, but they aren’t for me. They’re for my daughter.” Color flooded his face again, and Debbie couldn’t help herself, she busted out laughing. He grabbed another similar pink box but with a green S. “I believe these are yours.” 

Her laughter died instantly. Great. Not only did this handsome stranger think she had some sort of diaper fetish, he knew she used super-sized tampons. That was way more information than anyone needed to know about her. 

Author Bio 

Jill has always been an avid reader, and romance has always been her favorite genre. If she’s not writing or folding laundry her head is usually in a book. 

When her father told her, “I’ve got a story I want you to write,” she didn’t think she’d ever actually do it. But after twenty years of being a stay-at-home mom with seven children, the idea of writing and publishing a book sounded less terrifying than entering the workforce again. Boy, was she wrong! 

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