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Laura Drewry's PRIMA DONNA PRIMA DONNA
Publisher: Loveswept (September 23, 2014)
ASIN: B00IBZ60E6
ISBN: 9780804177740

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In a witty, sizzling, and tender romance for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, a woman who can't slow down discovers that the perfect guy is in hot pursuit.


Even when her hair salon goes under and she's on the brink of breaking, Regan Burke keeps her "I'm just fine" attitude. She's had a tough life, coping with a difficult family and keeping her act together . . . barely. Right now, she just needs a job, any job, so she can pay her mother's medical bills. It's the exact wrong time for Carter Scott to come into her life-and to be so damn sexy, so distracting, and so determined to get close.

Carter isn't looking for anything serious-his heart belongs to the kids who depend on his pediatric practice-but something about Regan makes him reconsider. Maybe it's the scars she hides so well, the secrets she can't share. Carter knows all about that kind of pain, and he wants to help. But offering Regan a job in his office only makes things worse, even if their chemistry is off the charts. Lucky for them both, Carter isn't about to let go of love without a fight.

laura drewry's book excerpt
© copyright 2014

Chapter One

Who’s scruffy lookin’?”
- Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back

NEW YEAR’S EVE

“What the--” Regan reached for her trusty Louisville Slugger tucked in beside the dryer and headed to the front of the salon.

The small town of Newport Ridge wasn’t exactly a hotbed of criminal activity, but she’d watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds not to take precautions. This time of night, with the lights on inside the salon, it normally would have been hard to make out the guy banging on the locked glass door, especially with his head down like that, but the leather jacket was a dead giveaway. So was the Harley parked at the curb.

Regan swung the bat up to her shoulder as she made her way slowly toward the door. Carter Scott leaned against the door frame outside, helmet dangling from his left hand, his head tipped slightly to the right. His eyes, almost as dark as his hair, crinkled around the edges and his mouth lifted in a little half grin that had her grinning back at him for no apparent reason.

It was disarming, that smile, a little cocky, a little boyish, and yeah, okay, those dark eyes were. . .well. . .wow. . .but that hair. . .good God! Did he cut it with a knife and fork?

She twisted the lock, pushed the door open, then backed up enough to let him in. “Please tell me you’re here for a cut.”

He raised his brow and gave the bat a pointed look, the grin never leaving his face. “Are you going to put that down or should I get ready to duck?”

“Is that a yes?” Regan arched her brow, but left the bat resting on her should, doing what she thought was a damn find job of appearing unaffected by him standing so close to her. It wasn’t the first time they’d been in the same room, but it was the first time they’d been alone, and she’d be flat-out lying if she said he didn’t make her girlie side hyperventilate a little.

Okay, maybe more than a little, but this was Carter Scott – he had the same effect on every woman.

“Uh, no.” Carter stuffed his fingers inside the front pocket of his jeans and shifted on his feet a little. “I’m just here to help you pack up whatever’s left.”

“Jayne sent you.”

He shifted again, this time adding a bit of a shrug. “Yeah, but only because she thinks you’re going to blow off her party.”

That Jayne was like a frickin’ pit bull about the holidays. Wasn’t it enough that Regan had spent Christmas Eve at her place, surrounded by all that festive ho-ho crap? And wasn’t it more than enough that she let Jayne sit her beside Linden Mack, the young new orthodontist Nick’s father had just hired? Nice guy, Jayne had said. Cute, too.

Sure, he was nice, if you didn’t mind him staring at your teeth all night as he expounded on the fascinating world of overbites and misaligned midlines. And absolutely he was cute, if you were into the Willy Wonka look. Yes, the Gene Wilder version. And no, for the record, Regan was not into that look. She wasn’t even into the Johnny Depp version.

After that debacle, she’d rather thought she’d earned a pass on holiday get-togethers until next Christmas, but Jayne had been on her since Boxing Day, going on and on about how it would do Regan good to get out, how it was Jayne and Nick’s first New Year’s Eve together, blah blah blah. It was great for Jayne to celebrate every occasion that came along, but Regan would much rather sit on the couch in her flannel jammies and watch the ball drop in every time zone from London to Waikiki. If there was a Star Wars marathon on, all the better.

Until Carter showed up, she’d had every intention of calling Jayne later and lying through her teeth about how she’d lost track of time with all the packing she’d been doing and how she still had so much to do. But now, thanks to Jayne’s sixth sense, the truth sat stacked right in front of Carter. Half a dozen boxes were all that was left, and once those were put in her car, Regan really wouldn’t have any reason to hang around the salon.

Still, given the choice, she’d much rather hang around her empty salon than go anywhere on New Year’s Eve.

Carter’s grin faltered. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she said, waving his question away. “I’m fine.”

She’d gotten so good at the lie it just rolled off her tongue now, and adding that smile was a stroke of genius. Why wouldn’t she be fine? Her business, the place she loved more than anything else, was closing, and instead of going home to mope, she was being guilted into slapping a smile on her face and ringing in the New Year at Jayne’s like everything was just sunshine and umbrella drinks. Yup, things were fine as frog’s hair. Whatever.

“Look, Carter, I appreciate Jayne volun-telling you to come down here, but as you can see, there’s not much left to do, so thanks for your trouble, but I think I can manage.”

Why was he looking at her like that, with his head tipped to the side, and his eyebrow lifted, like he knew she was full of it? After a second, he lifted his shoulder in a half shrug and raked his fingers back through his crooked wild mess of dark hair.

“I’m here anyway, so you might as well put me to work.” He jabbed his thumb toward the boxes. “Want them in your car?”

She should have said no. She should have thanked him for his offer and then sent him on his way, but that hair. Did the man not own a mirror?

“Fine, yeah, okay, thank.” She pulled the top box off the pile and set it aside. “Gonna need that one.”

“The rest can go?”

“Yup, but lift with your legs,” she warned with a snort. “Those towels can get pretty heavy.”

A flash of even white teeth smiled back at her. It obviously paid to have an orthodontist for an uncle. While he was busy with the boxes, Regan slit the tape on the box she’d kept and started pulling items out.

“What about the big stuff?” Carter bobbed a nod toward the dryers and black hydraulic chairs.

“A guy’s coming to get them in the morning, so that’s it. Have a seat there at the sink.”

“What for?”

Regan tried not to snort, really she did. “My salon might be closing, Carter, but I still have a reputation to uphold and if you think I’m going to let you walk out of here with your hair looking like that, you are sadly mistaken.”

“What d’you mean?” He ran his hand along the side of his head, through the varied layers of disaster, and chuckled, deep, throaty, and sexy as hell. “It’s not that bad.”

“Seriously?” She set the electric razor on the shelf and plugged it in next to the hair dryer. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, if your skinny blond friend thinks it’s sexy, then by all means, leave it alone. But I gotta tell ya, in my professional opinion. . .” Regan hesitated, chewed her lip for a second, then snorted again. “It’s God-awful.”

“God-awful?” He must whiten his teeth, too. Either that or he’d never had a cup of coffee or a blueberry muffin in his life. “Okay, first off – ouch! And second, what skinny blond friend?”

“That bottle-blond giggler who followed you around the Stomp last summer like you were Colin Farrell or something.”

She dug around inside the box until she found the comb and scissors she wanted, and when she looked up again, he was staring back at her with a raised brow and a smirk.

“You got something against bottle-blonds?”

“Not at all; they’re the bread and butter of any salon, but that one. . .” Too late, Regan clamped her mouth shut. How did she even remember that girl? The Stomp, an annual dance party held every Loggers Sports weekend, had been almost five months ago. The arena had been packed with people doing their most embarrassing drunken renditions of the “Achy Breaky” line dance, and she’d been there with Todd. Needy, annoying, glad-to-see-the-back-of-him Todd.

“Just let me do this, Carter. It’ll be like my final hurrah.”

“Jayne’s waiting for us.” Even as he spoke, he slipped off his jacket and tossed it over the far sink.

“Yeah, well, She-Who’d-Be-Late-For-Her-Own-Funeral can just hold her water for a few minutes; we’ll be quick.”

His white long-sleeved T-shirt vee’d at the neck, revealing a silver medal hanging from a thin leather strap, and as usual, a jumble of bracelets wrapped around his right wrist, from braids of multicolored cloth strips to plain stretchy craft cord with plastic beads to crocheted string tied up with fraying knots.

“Haven’t seen you since the wedding,” she said. “But I guess that Vancouver hospital must keep you hopping pretty much all the time.”

He hadn’t been at Nick and Jayne’s Christmas party, and if either had mentioned him coming up for New Year’s, Regan hadn’t heard. Of course, she hadn’t paid much attention to anything besides her own problems the last few months. For all she knew, the Dalai Lama may well be coming to Jayne’s New Year’s party.

“Jayne didn’t tell you?”

“Jayne never tells anyone anything.”

Carter slid onto the chair and leaned his head back over the sink, his dark eyes following her every move as though she could possibly do any worse to him than what had already been done.

“A couple friends of mine took over Morty and Peskett’s old clinic space so I’m going to be working up here with them,” he said. “We’re opening next week.”

“Really? I heard there were new docs moving in, but Jayne never said it was you.” Regan turned on the water and held her hand under the stream as it warmed up. “Are your friends podiatrists, too?”

“What do you mean ‘too’? I’m not a podiatrist.”

“But you. . .I’m sure Nick said. . .”

“Pediatrician.”

Regan’s hand jerked under the water, sending the spray splashing over his face and leaving him trying to blink past the drops pooling over his eyes.

“Sorry.” A quick pat down with a towel and he was good as new. “Pediatrician? You?

“Okay.” Carter’s breath came out in a short, wary chuckle. “So we’ve covered my hair and my career. What’s next – you going to take a shot at my mom?”

“No, I didn’t mean. . .” Regan stopped, clamped her mouth shut over a laugh, and tried her damndest not to blush. “You just don’t look. . .I mean. . .I guess I expect a pediatrician to look more. . .”

“More what?” He grinned slowly, those eyes mocking her with every blink. “More Marcus Welby?”

“No.” She eased the nozzle around his head, careful to keep the water out of his face, and grinned down at him. “Well, yeah, okay, sort of.”

“So. . .old.”

“No, not old. Older.

He didn’t say a word, just laughed up at her with another one of those low, throaty chuckles.

“Give me a break,” she laughed. “How many doctors do you see riding Harleys? You’re supposed to drive a Mercedes and walk around in a white lab coat or green scrubs like they do on TV.”

“I’m not on TV.”

He could have been. God help her, she could easily out-hot any of those other TV doctors without even trying.

“Out-hot?” Carter’s shocked snort made her jump. Crap – did she say that out loud? “This from the same mouth that just told me I looked like shit?”

“I never said that! I said your hair was--”

Damn! As if it wasn’t bad enough she’d just stuck both feet in her mouth, the heat racing up her face could only mean one thing – her freckles were going to stand out like Pippi Longstocking’s, and that was always so very, very attractive. Not.

“God-awful.” If he was trying to sound hurt, he was doing a pathetic job of it, especially with that grin plastered across his face. “You said I looked God-awful.”

“No I didn’t, I said your hair was God-awful.”

“Same difference.”

“Sorry,” she laughed. “Ego took a bit of a hit on that one, did it?”

“Li’l bit, yeah.”

Was he ever going to look at something else? Anything? Maybe he’d like to count the ceiling tiles.

Shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse, just like she’d done thousands of times before. It sure as hell wasn’t the first time she’d had a good-looking guy in her chair, or the first time she’d had a guy gawk at her as she leaned across to rinse his hair. But it was the first time she’d ever had Carter in her chair, and that grin of his made her stomach flutter just like the time Jon Bon Jovi smiled at her.

Yes he did.

Sure, there’s been twenty thousand other people at the concert, and sure Regan had been way up in the last row of the nosebleed section with the rest of her thirteen-year-old friends, but right in the middle of “You Give Love a Bad Name,” Jon Bon looked way up, pointed, and smiled. No matter what her friends said, it happened. The Jumbotron didn’t lie.

“So back to my original question. Sit up.” She pressed a towel against his hair slowly, then wiped the back of his neck to catch the drips. “Are the other docs pedatricians, too?”

“No.” Carter took a second to clear his throat. “Rossick’s a cardiologist and Julia’s an ob-gyn.”

“So if you’re all going to work up here, does that mean you’ll all be giving up your jobs in Vancouver?”

“No, not completely. We’ll each pull a shift or two down at St. Mark’s every week, but we’re applying for privileges up here at Newport General, too. No point in having a practice here in town if we can’t work at the hospital.”

“Fair enough.” She draped the towel around his shoulders and pointed to the closest chair near the mirror. “Want something to drink?”

“Definitely.” He wiped his palms down the front of his jeans and exhaled slowly. “What d’you got?”

“Coffee, tea--” Two steps toward the back room, she stopped, slapped her hand against the wall and shook her head. “No, sorry, all of that went home in the last load. I’ve got water, but I don’t think I even have. . .oooh, hang on.”

She hustled out to her car and rifled through the boxes until she found a stack of tiny paper cups and the bottle of ten-year-old Aberlour Mrs. Goodsen gave her for Christmas. God bless that old woman and her weekly appointments.

Carter’s face lit up when she came back through the door, the bottle lifted in success. “Now you’re talkin’.”

Regan poured them each a couple fingers’ worth, then grinned and knocked her cup gently against his. “Here’s to bruised egos and customers who know their single malts.”

“Cheers.”

Did he just wink at her? No, it have just looked like it, what with the way he tossed his drink back so fast. Regan had never mastered the art of tossing back drinks, not even after her friend Ellie had spent so much time trying to teach her with shots of Redheaded Sluts, but it was oddly fascinating to watch Carter’s Adam’s apple bob when he swallowed the first shot. When he lifted his cup a second time, she forced her gaze away and instead watched his jumble of bracelets bounce off each other.

What kind of guy wore kid bracelets, even if he was a pediatrician?

She waved her cup toward his wrist and tipped her head. “That’s some pretty nice bling you’re sportin’ there. Did the bottle-blond giggler make those for you?”

“No.” He set his cup on the shelf, chuckled quietly. “It was a blond, but not her.”

“Color me surprised. Okay, so let’s have a look here.” With the cape secured around Carter’s neck, she pulled the comb slowly through his hair, trying to ignore the way he laughed quietly every time she sighed. “I can’t believe you paid someone to do this to your hair.”

“I didn’t. It was a freebie.”

“Still. And what’s with these cowlicks? Have you ever tried to tame them?”

“It easier to leave them alone.”

Some of his hair was long enough that he wore it brushed back out of his face, or at least she assumed he brushed it, but with the state it was in, it was more probably he just pushed it back with his fingers. Long, short, halfway between – he had it all going on. The longer sections were easy enough to deal with, but those short sections. . .oy. . .and heaven help her, it was going to take a minor miracle to cover that one spot near the top that had been hacked almost to the scalp.

“Can I get you a magazine or something?” She’d already recycled all her magazines, but if it meant he’d stop staring at her, she’d run the ten blocks down to the 7-Eleven and buy more.

“Why, am I making you nervous?”

“Oh, please.” She made sure her hands never slowed as she rolled her eyes at him. “You’re not that cute.”

There was that smile again; the same one she’d seen plenty of times since they first met last summer, the same one that always made her smile back. Why was that?

Focus.

Regan studied him for a few seconds, both his hair and his reflection. No, she wasn’t checking him out, she was simply trying to figure out what to do, and everything about him would help her decide. So what if she took a few more seconds to study the strong line of his jaw, the barely noticeable scar that disappeared into his left eyebrow or the couple days’ worth of stubble she usually hated on a guy? This was all part of the job.

Didn’t explain why she kept staring even after he licked his lips and cleared his throat, though. Ooops.

“Okay.” Regan slid her fingers through the damp length of his hair and stared straight back at him through the mirror. “You’re going to have to trust me here, Carter. We’re going to go short.”

His eyes never left hers as he lifted his shoulder under the cape. “Do what you like; it always grows back.”

She started in, lifting sections slowly, and sending clumps falling to the floor. A few times she dared a peek to see his reaction, but he wasn’t watching his hair fall, he was still watching her.

“Sorry about your place closing,” he said. “You didn’t want to re-sign the lease?”

“Oh, no, I was all set to re-sign; the landlord and I talked it over last summer, agreed on terms and everything, but the day he was supposed to bring me the paperwork to sign, he announced he’d sold the building instead.”

“Just like that?”

“Yup. So if the rumors are true, you’re sitting in what will soon be a fancy little coffeehouse.”

“Another one?” His eyes widened. “But there’s gotta be five or six restaurants on this street already.”

“Eight, actually.” Boy, his hair was thick. Soft, too.

“Can you go work at one of the other hair places?”

“Salons, and no.” Regan shook her head and snickered softly. “There’s only one salon with a chair to rent and the owner and I don’t exactly see eye to eye on certain things.”

“Like what?”

“Like quality of cuts versus quantity of cuts, like how sales reps should be treated, like how it’s no one else’s business if I want to cut Mrs. G’s hair for free.” She grinned, shrugged. “Little things like that.”

“So what are you gonna do?”

“Ideally, I’d like to buy a place of my own.”

“But. . .”

“But for some strange reason” – she chuckled quietly – “the bank wants more than just a smile and my good word before they’ll give me a mortgage. Look down.” She pressed her fingers against the back of his head and pushed slightly.

“Apparently they have a problem with the fact that unless I can score that checkout job at the CozyMart, I’m about to become unemployed. Go figure.”

“CozyMart?” he choked. “You’re shittin’ me, right?”

“Don’t knock it.” She waved the buzzing razor near his ear in warning. “Retail’s the most thankless job out there.”

“And the most underpaid,” he grunted. “So why the hell would you want to do it?”

“I don’t want to do it,” she said. “But there aren’t many options here in town, and if that’s what it takes to make the bank happy, then that’s what I’ll do. I’ll keep styling, too, but I’ll have to take my show on the road for now and go to clients’ homes.”

Carter’s expression summed up exactly how she felt about going mobile.

“Is that it?” he asked. “Those are your only options?”

“It won’t be so bad.” She ran the razor along the back of his neck in short, slow stroked, then pressed her fingers again the back of his ear to protect it from the blade.

Carter jerked slightly, making her pull the razor back.

“Did I nick you?”

“No,” he muttered. “It’s fine.”

Regan knew a fake fine when she heard one but she didn’t call him on it because he hadn’t caller her out when she’d dropped her fine earlier. Instead, she pressed her finger against his ear again, gentler this time, and took her time making sure everything was even. Sure, she let her fingers trail down his neck a little, but that was only to brush away the loose hairs. It had nothing to do with the fact his skin was so warm or that her fingers tingled when she touched him.

Funny how they both sighed quietly when she lifted her hand away.

There was little she could do with the double cowlick at the back of his head or the mini-tornado he had going on at the front, but the rest was coming together rather nicely, if she did say so herself. She cut it close around his ears, but left it a little longer and heavier on top. As thick as his hair was, with it cut this way, and with the help of some strategically placed product, she could almost hide the near-bald spot.

She slid her fingers over the top of his head, lifting the hair and studying his reflection in the mirror to make sure the cut was even all over. “These other doctor friends of yours – are they more the Marcus Welby types?”

“Uh, no.” He laughed softly, a warm rumble that settled against Regan’s skin. “Not even close.”

“And could either of them out-hot any of those TV doctors?” She shot him a quick wink, then set the hair dryer to low and used her fingers to section his hair as she dried it.

“Jules isn’t hard to look at, but Rossick. . .well, guys aren’t my thing, so I can’t really answer that, but he was in one of those fund-raising calendars last year if that does anything for you.”

“Not unless he looks like Mr. October from the firefighters’ new calendar.” She opened her eyes wide and exhaled slowly. “I’d burn my own apartment down if I thought it’d bring him around. Just sayin’.”

A few longish strays needed to be snipped, and the edges evened out along his neck and around his ears. When she was satisfied, she rubbed a tiny bit of product over her finger tips and ran them through his hair, teasing parts of it up, taming bits of it down, and mussing up the rest. Oh, yes.

Standing behind him, she fingered the ends of his hair near the front where the tornado-type cowlick twisted almost straight up.

“That’s better,” she said, more to herself than anything. “Much better.”

“If you say so.” His grin held, but his voice sounded skeptical. “So long as you don’t expect me to use that goop all the time.”

“Goop?” Regan fingered the tips of his hair again. She didn’t have to, she just wanted to. “It’s your hair, Carter, what you choose to do with it once you leave my chair is entirely up to you.”

His dark eyes narrowed, mocking her long before he opened his mouth. “Drives you crazy, doesn’t it?”

“What? No.”

“Liar.” He tipped his head a little, his brow raised suspiciously. “You spend all this time fixing me up and then I walk out the door and let it all go to hell again. That doesn’t tick you off?”

She pulled the cape from his shoulders and gave it a quick shake before folding it up and tucking it back in the box. “Only when your laziness gets mistaken for a bad cut.”

“So how ‘bout I buy you a drink to make up for letting all your hard work go to hell?”

“Close your eyes.” Regan gave him a thorough sweep with the duster, then bobbed her head toward her ridiculous little paper cup. “I’ve already had a drink.”

“But it’s New Year’s Eve.” He pushed out of the chair, rubbed his earlobe in a slow circle and shrugged noncommittally. “One drink.”

He was standing far too close, so she stepped back and reached for the broom, which she immediately jabbed toward his scuffed boots to get him out of the way. He wrapped his hand around the broom handle, but didn’t try to pull it out of her hands; just stopped her from ignoring him.

“One drink.” He inched a little closer, crowding her, but Regan just tightened her fingers around the broom handle above his and swallowed.

The more she thought about turning her beloved salon into a mobile unit or, worse, going to work at a thankless minimum wage job, the more she wanted another good stiff drink. And if that drink was with a no-strings-attached kind of guy like Carter, who smelled so amazing (some crazy good mix of shampoo and leather), then more’s the better as far as she was concerned.

It was tempting, no question, but the reality was the sooner she got up to Jayne’s, the sooner she could leave.

After a long moment, Regan finally blinked and sighed softly. “How ‘bout you ‘buy’ me a drink at Jayne’s? If we don’t get there soon, she’s going to send out the hounds.”

It took a few seconds before he finally nodded. “Yeah, she would, too.”

He released the broom and stepped around her to grab his jacket off the sink. With slow, deliberate motions, he shrugged into it and zipped it up. “What do I owe you?”

“On the house.” She couldn’t help grinning at the job she’d done. As good-looking as he was before, he was freakin’ hot now. Like Mr. October Fireman hot.

“No, come on. . .” He pulled a couple twenties out of his pocket and held them out, but she shook her head.

“Keep it.” She refused to take the money, even when he pushed it at her again. “Take me for a spin on your bike one day and we’ll call it even.”

The half grin was back, cockier than ever. “You got it.”

What the hell was she thinking? She’d never been on a motorcycle before – and up until the very second the words spilled out of her mouth, she’d never even considered getting on one.

“It was good to see you.” He backed up as he spoke and bumped into the door before he managed to unlock it and push it open, grinning all the while. “Meet you up there?”

“Yeah. I’m just going to, um. . .” She thumbed over her shoulder. “Clean up.”

They stared at each other for a long second, his smile kind of goofy as his fingers tapped against the door handle.

“Right. Okay. Thanks for the cut.”

“My pleasure.” She cleared her throat and leaned against the broom handle, staring out into the darkness long after he climbed onto his bike and rode away. When she finally shook the fog out of her brain, she locked the door and set to work cleaning up after Carter’s cut. Everything else was done, but she just couldn’t seem to let herself be finished.

Eleven years she’d been styling hair, almost eight of those in this location, and now she had. . .what? A couple boxes of leftover product, three dozen white towels, and a couple hundred business cards. The guy was coming tomorrow for the sinks and chairs, she’d give her keys back to the landlord, and that would be it.

Nothing left to do but find a new job. So what if unemployment was at a decade-long high and the CozyMart hadn’t even acknowledged her application yet? It could be worse, right? And right on cue, her phone rang.

“Hello? Tina? Is everything okay? Is Mom--?” Regan gripped the back of the chair, her eyes clenched, her heart thundering in her chest. “You’re sure? Okay, good.”

She released the breath she’d been holding and forced herself to swallow the leftover panic. Tina Works, chief administrator at Hillcrest Psychiatric Home, took a personal interest in every patient, so it wasn’t unusual for her to phone Regan to discuss her mother’s progress, not even on New Year’s Eve. Or in this case, especially on New Year’s Eve.

“No, nothing yet, but tomorrow’s a whole new year, right?” She smiled into the phone, but she wasn’t fooling either one of them. With costs always increasing at Hillcrest, her mom’s disability pension wasn’t enough to cover everything, which meant Regan’s saving were slowly withering, but moving her mom somewhere else would only happen as a desperate last resort.

“Funding? What kind of funding? What would it cover?”

After all the forms and applications they’d filled out over the years, it was too much to hope this would be any different, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t try. And while she should know better than to get her hopes up again, she couldn’t help it.

“Absolutely, whatever you need. Can I email copies or do they need originals? Yes, I know, but a long shot is still better than no shot, right?. . .Great. . .yup, I’ll get it all back to you right away. . .Okay, and once they have the application, how long until they make a decision? Yeah, okay, good. Thanks. . . Me? I’m fine. You’re sure Mom’s okay tonight? Is she watching the movie?. . .That’s good, she loves Gregory Peck. . .Any chance she’s up for a visit or a--?. . .No, that’s fine, I understand. . .Is it okay if I call back later, just to check? Okay, thanks. Happy New Year, Tina.”

Regan ended the call, leaned back against the wall, and slid down until she sat on the floor, knees tucked up to her chest. She looked around at what was left of her salon.

Yup. Happy freakin’ New Year.

 

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laura drewry's book reviews

“This book is my new favorite. Laura Drewry had my attention from the very beginning and it never once wavered. I couldn't put this book down...it was that good. . . I didn't want this book to end....at all, but it did end and the conclusion was perfect. The best part of this book, is that the whole time I was reading it, I had a smile on my face....and I'm still smiling. Laura Drewry just made a fan for life! She will be added to the list of authors, that it won't matter what they write, I will purchase from....it's a short list btw. ” –- Jennifer, Goodreads review

“I really loved this! I will be adding this author to my short list of authors to read every new book of! It had me laughing out loud and made my heart hurt for a few minutes, def made me feel all hot and bothered but mostly it left me feeling happy. . .And if I didn't mention it before anything with Star Wars quotes is A+++ for me! especially when I get to picture Carter in Death Star boxers.” -- Keri, Goodreads review

“. . .WOW!! This story was such a heart warming read. I absolutely loved it. . .Being able to take a journey with the characters you read about and feel the emotions is a great endorsement for a good book in my opinion and to me this is a must read.” -- Pam, Goodreads review

“Loved this book, two lost soles trying to find their place in this world, and learn to live past their fears. . .” -- Kristine, Goodreads review