Still Me by Amy Patrick
Publication date: October 10th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:Fall in love like a 20 Something….
23 year old Kenley Moran is going through a mid-life crisis… WAY early. Pushed since childhood by a nightmare stage-mom to use her looks to “land a rich man”, she’s reeling from a broken engagement and regretting the day she gave up her career in TV news for a guy.
Now Kenley’s determined to change her life, shunning makeup and fashion and fighting her way back into the highly competitive career she loves, off-camera this time. When she lands a producing job at Worldwide News Network in Atlanta, she plans to keep her head down, work hard, and prove she’s not just another pretty face. And vows NO ONE is EVER going to make her compromise herself again.
WNN anchor Larson Overstreet has it all—old money, good looks, a prestigious job, and more women than he can count throwing themselves at him. Problem is… none of it is real. He’s known his whole life that people are only interested in him for his fortune and his famous family name, in that order. Except for Kenley. The shy news producer isn’t interested in him at all.
Working closely with the anchor of her new show, Kenley’s dismayed to feel an instant spark. Larson’s everything she doesn’t want. He’s too good looking, too charming, and worst of all, too rich. She’s not looking for another big money honey. In fact, she’d prefer a nice little guy from the mailroom, maybe a guy who lives at home like she’s been forced to do.
But when they must travel together for a special report, Kenley realizes Larson’s not the spoiled pretty rich boy she pegged him as, and she’s not as immune to him as she’s pretended to be.
Now, even at the network level, what happens behind the scenes is the real story.
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US/ebook/channel-20-something- a-new-adult-romance-1AUTHOR BIO
Amy is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014) who writes Young Adult fiction as Amy DeLuca and New Adult romance as Amy Patrick. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two sons and actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She's been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.
Author links:EXCERPT1“Mmm. Smells good. What is it?”I turned to see Larson emerge from the bathroom, bare except for a white towel wrapped around his waist. He was rubbing his wet head with another towel.“It’s uh… it’s…” I literally could not remember what I’d put into the pot. My mind was wiped clean by the sight of the flat stomach, wide chest, and long legs in front of me. “…something. Something I found in the cabinet.”Larson walked toward me. “Whatever it is, I can’t wait for supper. I’m starved.” Reading my shocked stare, he stopped and looked down at himself, giving me an apologetic look. “Sorry about the lack of… I don’t have any other clothes. Those were all covered in—”“Dust. I know.” I forced my eyes away from his body and trained them on the simmering pot in front of me. Shrugging, I swallowed hard. “It’s fine. It doesn’t bother me…” I lifted my head, spinning back around. “Pants,” I nearly yelled as the thought hit me in a rush of relief and gratitude.“What?”“There are pants in the cedar chest up in the loft. The hunting kind. Maybe they’ll fit you.”“Oh, good. I’ll check them out.”I turned back to the stove, making sure not to watch Larson climb the ladder in a towel. Within minutes, a pair of large feet came into view, stopping beside me.Larson held his hands over the stove’s heat, shuddering. Goose bumps lined his forearms. “Nice save on the pants. Although they’re a little short… and big around the waist.”They were. They hung on his shirtless form, the waistband resting low around his hips, leaving his abs on full display. Even those mysterious V-lines cutting in from the sides of his waist and dipping down below—“I’m sorry to say there’s no hot water.” Larson shivered again, causing those maddening abs to contract forcefully. “That was by far the least fun I’ve ever had in the shower. I’m frozen solid.”And now I’m thinking about Larson and “fun in the shower” in the same thought. Alex, I’ll take “things that are solid” for three hundred.
After killing as much time as possible in the bathtub, I got out and dried off and stood looking at my two clothing options. In this corner—Larson’s clean, fire-warmed t-shirt. In this corner, my repulsive two-day-old clothing. I slipped on the t-shirt and opened the door. Larson’s back was to me. He sat in a chair, facing the wood stove, listening to sports talk at a low volume.I scrambled up the ladder and called out from the concealment of the dark loft. “Okay—done in there. It’s all yours. I’m really tired—just going to go to sleep—try not to wake me when you come to bed, okay?” There. I’d acknowledged the shared-bed necessity and laid the don’t-talk-to-me ground rule.“Goodnight,” Larson said without looking up. Rising from the chair, he lifted the third pot of boiling water from the stove and carried it across the room toward the bathroom beneath the loft.I lay in the bed, pulled the quilt over me, and stared up at the ceiling. The stove cast a dim, orangey light on the wooden planks above me. The grain of the wood seemed to dance and change as the firelight flickered from below.I wasn’t the least bit sleepy, my mind was fully alert. Certain parts of my body were coming online as well as I listened to the sloshing water-sounds coming from the bathroom below.I’d had no idea last night that Larson had been able to hear every time I moved in the tub. It was impossible not to put a mental image to the noises drifting up to the loft—splash—Larson’s long legs shifting in the tub, searching for some space to stretch out. Swish—his bare chest and torso, wet and soapy, the light fur of blond hair on his chest and forearms glistening in the candlelight.I squirmed in the bed, unable to find a comfortable position. The large t-shirt twisted around me as I moved. But it was so soft—probably one of those designer things that looked like a plain white tee and cost a hundred-fifty dollars, knowing him. Though he’d washed it in shampoo, it still retained some of his cologne scent, subtle and mixed with the fragrances of lavender and wood smoke.None of it was conducive to a restful mood. In fact, as the minutes ticked on toward the time he’d be crawling onto the mattress beside me, I grew more and more restless, charged with a sort of energy I hadn’t felt in a long time.I’d almost made up my mind to get up and go downstairs when I heard the bathroom door open. My eyelids slammed shut. My heart hammered in my chest. He’s coming. But Larson didn’t climb the ladder. His footsteps tracked across the main room.I opened my eyes to a slit and rolled silently to my side, watching him walk over to the woodstove in only his boxers. He lifted his arms and rubbed the towel vigorously through his hair, causing the muscles in his back to bunch and flex in the most fascinating way.When he turned to face the loft, I closed my eyes completely but gradually eased them open again, taking in the sight of his long and lean body, his tight abs moving under his skin as he leaned to the side over the stove, running his hands through his hair and letting the hot air dry it.I’d seen Mark without his clothes on. He was fine—average-guy-build, maybe a tad extra around the middle like so many frat boys who took in a few too many liquid calories.But Larson… something warm and sweet curled inside my abdomen as I watched him so unselfconsciously displayed there. It actually gave me pleasure to look at him. I felt a little bit guilty. How would I like it if I was the one down there almost naked and he was secretly watching me? And the warm, sweet thing intensified, becoming a tingle that filled me with equal parts dread and anticipation for the moment when that beautiful male body would be stretched out here beside me.
After what seemed like hours of torture, we finally came to an exit ramp featuring signs advertising food, gas, and lodging.“Oh, thank God. I don’t think I could have walked any further really,” I admitted.“You and me both. I can’t feel my face anymore. Is it still there?”As I confirmed Larson’s face was indeed intact, the snow turned into sleet and freezing rain. “Great,” I muttered, beginning to speed walk to the top of the ramp. I would’ve run if I hadn’t been certain it would lead to leakage. Several gas stations, fast food restaurants, and even a hotel all stood at the top—in complete darkness.“Shit. There’s no power—there must be some trees down on the lines near here,” he said.The first frissons of panic struck me. I was already wetter than I wanted to be. “What are we going to do?”Larson looked over at me, reading my face. “Don’t worry. We’ll find a bathroom… if you still need to… do you?”“Of course! What? You thought I peed my pants?”He laughed at my expression of horror. “I wouldn’t think less of you if you had—”I slapped his arm, the panic downshifting to simple worry. “No. I’m still hanging onto my dignity and my bladder control… by a thread. But I really, really need to find a place.”“Okay, let’s try some doors. Maybe one of these places is open even without power.”The first gas station we approached was locked up tight. The second one, too, though it wore an apologetic sign: “Sorry. No power. No gas. No public restrooms.”“Great.” Now that I’d allowed myself to think about it again, it was getting harder and harder to hold it. My bladder felt like it was soccer-ball-sized at this point and the internal burn it produced should’ve been enough to power each and every one of these buildings.I’d begun to stare longingly at the dark alley behind the next building, determining just how much of my clothing I’d have to remove to keep from wetting it when Larson spoke up in an excited tone.“Hey, I think I see some signs of life up there in that Burger Barn.”I squinted through the wintry mix. “Really? Oh, you’re right. There are people in there, with cell phones or flashlights or something.”We reached the door, which thankfully opened, and I went straight for the ladies room with barely a word to anyone. Behind me I heard Larson greeting the crowd of fellow highway refugees. I returned to him a few minutes later, almost euphoric with the comfort of an empty bladder and the heat retained in the restaurant.“Burger?” Larson held out a paper-wrapped package. “They lost electricity, but the grill is gas—the manager said they’re cooking up everything in the freezer and giving it away.”I grabbed the warm sandwich, holding it up to one numb cheek and then the other, sighing with pleasure. “I have never wanted a patty of mystery meat so much in my life.”Larson gave me a sly grin and raised one brow. “And I never thought I’d be jealous of a Deluxe Barn-y Burger. Are you going to eat it or make out with it?”I wrinkled my nose and pushed at his chest. “Shut up and eat your sandwich.”
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