Gila Valley of southern Arizona. From the time Laura was young, she spent hours
drawing characters on paper and fantasizing about their adventures. Life became
more serious, however, when Laura met her own hero and they eventually became
the parents of six children. In between spurts of grocery shopping, sewing
costumes or quilts, transporting kids to practices, and making dinner, Laura
still enjoys putting her imagination to good use. She is the author of four
“All Penny Merrill wants to do is run her own bakery shop, but her money-thirsty mother and conniving stepfather are making it nearly impossible to keep her dream alive. When Penny finds a clipping advertising a Valentine’s Day contest for Arizona’s cutest couple, with the winnings being enough for her to hold on to her floundering business, she comes up with an idea that might just work–if she can find the right man for the job.
Commercial contractor Preston Ames is starting to develop feelings for Penny, and even though he’s been through enough heartache to know that he should avoid her at all costs, he can’t keep himself from visiting her sweet shop everyday. When Penny asks him to participate in a crazy scheme so that she can overturn her stepfather’s underhanded business ploy, Preston is tempted to run the other way. But one look into her soulful blue eyes and he’s a goner. Little does he know that his calm, orderly world is about to unravel–and that just one picture will turn Penny into his sweet valentine! “
yawn on the second ring. “Everything all right? How are those new security
cameras working out for you?”
been waiting for, and all he could ask her about was the security cameras?
“Great, although they haven’t caught any suspicious activity since we put them
up. But we caught another white mouse. Who knows how many more are scurrying
around the place? And Ms. Forrester is supposed to come back any day.”
thorough cleanup, and make sure that nothing else suspicious is going on,” he
go so that I—”
at the moment, since you just woke me up—”
you going to wear today?” Great. Now she couldn’t get the image of Preston,
sitting up in bed with no shirt on, his face scruffy with new whiskers, and his
hair standing out in all directions, out of her head. Oh, my!
T-shirt and pair of jeans like I always do when I go to work.”
“Preston,” she said, trying to keep the growing panic out of her voice, “don’t
you realize what day this is?”
she added for emphasis.
prevailed for at least thirty seconds. Then, “Something supposed to happen on
Monday the twelfth?”
rang in her ears. Ooh! Was he going to get it—but not until after their
appearance on TV. “You scared me out of my mind,” she confessed with an
aggravated chuckle. “Please tell me you didn’t really forget.”
I just wanted to make sure you got your cardiac workout this morning since it’s
close to Valentine’s Day and all.”
thinking about the best way to get him back, he surprised her again by asking,
“What are you wearing?”
body. “Uh . . . “
bombarded with personal questions first thing in the morning.”
in the future,” she grumbled. “Now, can we get serious?”
you’re wearing so that I can match my T-shirt to yours.”
she’d fallen prey to his teasing again.
a threatening tone.
that to work, honey, you’ve got to know my middle name. It’s Preston Lee Ames.”
that’s why we’re practicing our flirting, so we’ll be all warmed up for the
that’s what he was doing? What a sweet guy. Her legs turned to butter, and she
practically sank onto the floor. “Thank you,” she whispered.
sweetheart. I’ll pick you up at four-fifteen.” They’d been told they would need
to arrive at a quarter till five so that they would have time to prepare.
They’d also been told to not wear any makeup; their crew would take care of
hung up that she realized she’d never found out what he’d be wearing that day.