Ryan Lucas would rather be anywhere but Ransom Creek, Connecticut. After losing his high-adrenaline career as a Hollywood stunt driver, he’s had to tuck his tail between his legs and take up employment as a chauffeur for the Montgomerys, a wealthy hotelier family.
Amy Sanders has returned home to Ransom Creek to take over her mother’s former position as nanny to the Montgomerys—bringing her close to dashing Jake Montgomery once again. She grew up with a major crush on Jake, and it’s not easy to leave those feelings behind, even though her friendship with the hard-edged family chauffeur, Ryan, has a sizzling undercurrent of undeniable attraction.
Amy’s determined to prove to Ryan that life at Montgomery Manor isn’t all bad, but each time they draw closer Jake swoops in. Amy is torn between two men—and two worlds. And Ryan is rapidly coming to learn that if he wants to make Amy his, he’ll have to prove to her that life downstairs can be everything they both want.
Amy scooted out from underneath Ryan and got to shaky legs. Giving in to the indulgence of a backward glance to find him staring openmouthed at her, she lifted her shirt off and tossed it to the hallway floor.
“What are you doing?” he asked, his voice gruff.
She kept moving, an extra sway in her hips as she unbuttoned her shorts and shimmied them off her hips. “Leaving you a trail of bread crumbs in case you get lost along the way.”
She reached behind her and flicked open her serviceable white cotton bra. The only way to dress up that kind of bland plant material was to dangle it enticingly from one fingertip, which she did as she reached her door. It wasn’t locked—unless someone wanted to steal her ancient ten-pound laptop or her collection of Old World maps, there wasn’t much to take—so she pushed it open and slipped in.
One. Two. Three. Four. She flicked on the lights, assuming Ryan was right behind her. Five. Six. Seven. Was he seriously not going to follow her in here? Eight. Nine. Nine and a half.
She slipped out of her panties—more of the same boring white cotton, though at least they had bits of scalloped lace at the edges—and tossed them out the open door.
Nine and two-thirds. Nine and three-quarters. What the heck came after that?
“Goddammit.” Ryan stormed through the door and tossed all her clothes onto the floor. “Are you trying to kill me?”
He stopped, suspended in a swirl of desire that hit him from all sides, holding him momentarily aloft. In his haste to somehow find the ability to both walk and gather up Amy’s clothes, he’d forgotten that he held all her underclothes. Nothing stood between him and her completely naked body except distance and air—both of which mattered for absolutely zero.
Tamara Morgan is a contemporary romance author of humorous, heartfelt stories with flawed heroes and heroines designed to get your hackles up and make your heart melt. Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them.
Whether building Victorian dollhouses, consuming mass quantities of coffee and wine, or crying over cheesy 1950s musicals, Tamara commits to her flaws like every good heroine should. She lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband, daughter, and variety of household pets and only occasionally complains about the weather.
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IF I STAY is my first book from Tamara Morgan and will definitely not be my last. I really enjoyed the wit, charm, and at times, laugh out loud style of her writing. The heroine, the beautiful dancer Amy Sanders is vibrant, kind, loyal, feisty, caring, bubbly, a ray of sunshine to all she meets, and hilarious. Amy is my favorite character by far. That girl just says what’s on her mind and doesn’t appear to see the need for a filter. Unless of course it’s for hiding the secrets she’s trying to keep from her mother, the Montgomery’s and their staff. She’s back at the Manor for a second chance. She just isn’t ready to come clean with her intentions unless she has to, because despite her mother’s ambitious for her future, Amy is happy settling back into the safe place she considers home.
Ryan Lucas, is also at the Montgomery Manor for a second chance. He has lived his life as a thrill-seeker in every possible way. A Hollywood stunt driver who’s no longer employable after a driving a car worth a half a million dollars into a concrete wall because he was driving drunk while on the job. Sober now for over two years, he is just biding his time for the chance to go back to the only life he wants. He has made sure not to form any attachments in a life he considers temporary. I really liked Ryan too. Despite the bad decisions he made before coming to the Manor, it’s obvious he is a man a strong moral character. He treats people well if they have earned it or not, tries to always do the right thing, has a strong work ethic, and is very protective of anyone he does care about. Oh and, let’s not forget, sexy and brooding in a very tantalizingly male way.
Right from the beginning you can see there is a strong attraction between Amy and Ryan, but their goals are at odds. She is determined to draw him out and he is determined to keep everyone away. She is thrilled to settle back into the Manor life and he can’t wait to get away from it. I don’t want to give away how Ms. Morgan resolves this obvious conflict so I will only say it was a pleasure to read and satisfying to the end. This entire story in fact was a pleasure from beginning to end. Well-written, engaging, at times mysterious & intriguing, but most times quite fun. The secondary characters, especially Jake Montgomery, really added to the story and I am looking forward to reading the upcoming stories in this series. 4.5 stars.
~Complimentary copy provided in exchange for a honest review.
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