Someone Like You by Jennifer Gracen
Series: The Harrison’s #2
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Zebra Shout
A ZEBRA SHOUT FRESH NEW ROMANCE
Pierce Harrison—yes, that Pierce Harrison, black sheep of the wealthy Harrison clan—has come home to his family’s luxurious Long Island compound. The big question is why the dangerously sexy soccer star agreed to coach a kids’ soccer team. His co-coach Abby McCord should be grateful. Instead she’s fending off some seriously smoldering advances from the scandal-ridden athlete. Good thing bad boys are so not her type . . .
Abby is definitely not lacking in passion, but the sweet-faced beauty needs to learn a thing or two about taking a team to the championship—and a whole lot about how to let a man into her once-broken heart. Pierce definitely knows how to make the moves, but will Abby trust that the bachelor the world has condemned as a scoundrel can settle down with the one woman who has taken hold of his heart?
Abby grabbed two spoons from the drawer, a few napkins off the counter, and went to join her sister in the living room. Flopping down on the couch beside her, Abby simply said, “Gimme.”
Fiona handed her a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream, then took a spoon from her and dug into her own pint of mint chocolate chip. “We’re such rock stars, aren’t we?”
“Ohhh yeah,” Abby snorted. “Ten o’clock on a Saturday night, and here we are. Party animals, that’s us.”
Their parents had gone upstairs to watch TV in their room until they fell asleep, and Dylan had passed out in his bed at nine. “What movie do you want to watch?” Fiona asked. “Did we decide?”
“Need a comedy tonight,” Abby said after another spoonful. “Maybe The Heat? Definitely not a romance.”
Fiona frowned at her younger sister. “Something happen?”
“Allison and Jeff got engaged. Another one down.” She told Fiona the few details she’d learned from Facebook earlier that day.
“You need to start dating again,” Fiona announced. “It’s time.”
Abby shook her head. “Nah.”
“Yes. Your one-year dating sabbatical is just about up, isn’t it?” Fiona pointed with her spoon for emphasis. “It’s time for you to get back out there.”
“No interest,” Abby said.
“That’s just because you haven’t met anyone. And how can you? You’re always hiding behind my kid.” Abby froze as indignation washed over her.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Fiona said, digging her spoon back into her ice cream. “I’m beyond grateful for everything you do to help me with Dylan. But . . .” She shoveled a spoonful of mint chocolate chip into her mouth.
“Say it,” Abby ground out, glaring. “But what?”
“But . . .” Fiona reached for a lock of her long blond hair and twirled it around her finger. “I worry that you’re hiding here. Using watching Dylan as an excuse not to go out anymore.”
“You’ve got some nerve.” Abby slammed her pint of ice cream down on the coffee table. “I moved back here, for you and for him. I’ve been trying to help you, Mom and Dad—”
“I know!” Fiona said quickly. “I know, Abs! Didn’t you hear me? I’m so grateful, so appreciative. But Abby . . .” The lock of hair she twirled would be knotted soon. “I know Ewan hurt you, but not all men are lying sacks of shit. Honey, you’re twenty-eight. You should be out, meeting new guys.”
“Oh, like you are?” Abby countered.
“Don’t turn this around on me,” Fiona said. “I was married to a lying sack, and he’s loooong gone. I’d love to meet someone new, someone decent. I haven’t even been laid in how long?” She grinned wryly, making Abby roll her eyes. “But I work all the time. And I do that so that I can move out of here one day and not make Mom and Dad feel like they have to take care of Dyllie and me forever. I’m not single and free like you are. It’s very different: I have a kid. I’m a package deal now. You . . . you have freedom to do whatever you want.”
“No I don’t,” Abby groused, ignoring the twist of sympathy in her heart for her sister. “You all need my help. That’s why I moved back home.”
“That, and because Ewan broke your heart and sent you reeling. You’ve been hiding while you heal. That’s normal.” Fiona shrugged and took another spoonful. “You were right to not want to date for a year, to get your head back together. I agreed with you a hundred percent. But that year’s just about over, and it’s time for you to—”
“I’m putting my ice cream away, then starting the movie,” Abby huffed, her face heating as she stood. She stomped away into the kitchen, tossing her spoon into the sink with a loud clang before closing the pint and shoving it into the freezer. Her heart pounded and she took a few deep breaths. Crossing her arms, she stared out the kitchen window. The darkness was soothing as she searched for a star.
Was she over Ewan? Yes. She’d fallen out of love with him soon after she’d realized what a conniving, manipulative liar he was. But was she over the anger, the betrayal? Not completely. Maybe she never would totally get over that, just past it. And the thought of opening herself up to someone new, a chance for getting hurt again, didn’t appeal to her whatsoever.
Sighing, she leaned against the counter. She’d buy cats. She’d become a cat lady. If she was a crazy cat lady, people wouldn’t urge her to get back out there and start dating, they’d leave her alone. Her shoulders slumped. It had been almost a year since she’d found out the truth about Ewan. Her insides were finally numb instead of throbbing with heartache all the time, and she was glad for that. But she just wanted to be left alone. After a few months, when the initial heartache had started to subside, she’d discovered how to like being alone without being lonely. That’s how she’d known she’d truly started to heal.
Besides, her track record with guys was pitiful.
She looked out to the two stars she could find in the night sky and sighed again. Okay, she didn’t want to be alone forever, she could admit that. But for now, she was fine with it. She felt solid again. That was normal, right? What was with Fiona and her sudden insistence that she date again?
Fiona. Ah boy. She’d snarled at her older sister. That wasn’t fair. It wasn’t Fi’s fault that she was turning into an uptight, iron-cast shell of who she once was. Abby was just mad that Fi had called her on it.
She took a few more deep breaths, and then went back into the living room. Fiona hadn’t moved. Abby sat down stiffly and reached for the remote.
“I’m sorry I pissed you off,” Fiona said. “But I’m not sorry for what I said. Because I love you. I don’t want you to be alone forever, like I might be. One of us should find a good man and have a happy ending.”
Abby turned to her with wide eyes. “First of all, we don’t need men to have a happy ending. We’re smart, strong, capable women.”
“I know.” Fiona snorted and rolled her eyes. “You’re getting so jaded, Abs.”
“I am? Did you hear yourself just now? You’re not going to be alone forever!”
“I might be,” Fiona said flatly. “Look. I’m thirty-two, a single mom to a young boy with ADHD. I work all the time. We live with my parents because my dirtbag ex-husband took off and left us with nothing. . . .” She shrugged. “Yes, I’m smart, strong, and capable. But I’m not exactly a catch.”
“That’s bullshit!” Abby cried. “You’re all those things I said, not to mention hardworking, a great mom to a great kid, and drop-dead gorgeous. You’re a total catch.”
Fiona smiled softly. “Thanks for that. But it’s hard to date once you have a kid. It’s just the truth. Guys my age . . . they can still find younger women, who can give them their own kids. Or at least, women who don’t have the baggage I have.”
“I hate what I’m hearing,” Abby grumbled, fiddling with the remote control. “I really do, Fi.”
“Know what I hate? That you’re free to do what you want, meet someone without strings, and you refuse to try.” Fiona pinned her sister with a sharp stare. “It’s a Saturday night, and you should be out with your friends.”
“Shut up. I like hanging out here with you.” Abby’s anger had evaporated, leaving its usual tenderness for her big sister in its place. Even though they were four years apart, they’d always been close. They were more than sisters, they were best friends. They could finish each other’s sentences, had the same sense of humor, similar tastes in music and movies—they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. “Actually, I’m closer with you now than Allison, or Becca, or any of my girlfriends.”
“That’s sweet. And I love you, too. But I’ll tell you what.” Fiona put what was left of her ice cream on the table and turned to face her sister. “Next Saturday, instead of ice cream and a movie here on the couch, we’re going out after I get home from work. To a bar, or a club. Like the fabulous young single women we are. We’re going to have drinks, maybe go dancing, and be out. We need it. We need to have fun.” Her eyes narrowed. “We’re doing that. Got me?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Abby grumbled.
Fiona snorted out a laugh. “Don’t get overly excited or anything.”
“Starting the movie now.”
“I’m holding you to this,” Fiona warned. “We’re going out next weekend.”
“Starting the movie now,” Abby sing-songed, aiming the remote at the TV to bring up Netflix. The last thing in the world she wanted to do was go out clubbing. That wasn’t her thing. And as for finding someone new? No thanks.
Sometimes she didn’t know if she’d ever be ready for that. The thought of it exhausted her, frankly. She was in a good place now. At peace with being on her own. It’d certainly have to be a hell of an amazing man to change her mind about dating again—someone honest and trustworthy and solid, who could also make her burn with passion and shine with happiness. And she just wasn’t sure men like that really existed.
About the Author
Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two young sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and has fully embraced her lifelong passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction for readers who yearn for better days, authentic characters, and satisfying endings. When she isn’t taking care of her kids, doing freelance copy editing/proofreading, reading, or talking to friends on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. She’s shocked her family hasn’t yet staged an intervention for her addiction to social media. But the concerts she gives in her car and the dance parties she has in her kitchen are rumored to be fabulous.
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