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Authors: Kathryn Shay

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BOOK: Risky Business
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“She put you up to this, didn’t she? Gave you an ultimatum.”

“As a matter of fact, no. She’s been out of town for a while, and I haven’t talked to her once.”

Her eyes lit. “See? It can’t be that serious.”

“We
both needed some time to adjust to your announcement of the pregnancy and you moving in here. But I’ve decided that was a mistake.”

“The pregnancy? How can you call our child a mistake?”

“No, not that. I’ll treasure this child until the day I die. It was a mistake to let you move in here. I’ll help you pack your things and take you home tonight.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“I do.”

She opened her mouth, to threaten him, he guessed, and he held up his hand. “No more threats. If you’re this unstable and won’t seek help, maybe it’s best you don’t have a child in your life.”

“You’re saying you want me to have an abortion?”

“Of course not. In truth, Teresa, I’m calling your bluff.” He stood. “Now, shall we go pack?”

oOo

Dearest Logan,

I’ve been
out of touch, not accepting your calls or reading your emails, so that’s probably why they stopped after a few days. I’m sorry if my silence and isolation has hurt you, but I needed to clear my head to find what was in my heart. I think I’ve done that.

I brought a couple of books of quotes that you gave me last Christmas, and that, along with being in the company of my darling nieces, has
helped me be sure about us and our future. “The soul is healed by children,” Dostoyevsky said, and he was right. Taking care of these beauties has made me see that inasmuch as I’m attached to them, I can’t possibly feel what you feel for your unborn child. It’s helped me to realize that your desire to protect him and give him yourself is natural. I’m glad I know that now.

I also know something
else. Another quote by Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today.” Today is important. The future holds what it will hold. We can’t waste today. We can’t let go of today. I saw pictures in Luke’s albums of Paulina and Nia and the Pettrone brothers. It’s too late for them, but not for us
.

Finally, my philosophical study ended with this one. “The best way to find what matters the most
to you is to lose something precious.” When everything transpired with Teresa, I felt I was losing you. In a way, I still feel it. But I’ve missed you terribly since I’ve been gone. We’ve hardly ever been apart that long. But more so, our tense exchanges over what you should or shouldn’t be doing has cut me off from you.

I guess all of this is my way of saying that I want you in my life, no
matter what. I’ll let you do what you have to with Teresa except for one thing: she will not take you from me through threats, fear or blackmail. We’ll find a way to work this out. I can endure seven months of anything if it means having you in the end. Please agree.

Kocham ciebie,

Magdalena

oOo

Logan steered his car into the skid and managed to right the vehicle on the
icy road. “Damn upstate New York.” It was already dark out, and a steady stream of powdery snow kept filling up the windshield. But Logan was a man with a mission. He’d started out this morning after tying up a few things at work. He’d gotten a flat tire about halfway here. Then he hit an accident on Route 17. By the time he neared Binghamton, traveling had become dangerous. Still he persevered.
He couldn’t wait to get to Magdalena, which was why he was enduring this upstate–New York, hellish winter weather.

The GPS voice on his phone stated, “Turn left at the next light. Go up the hill for about three miles.”

Why the hell did Luke have to live so far out of the city? After a few treacherous miles, a house came into view. It overlooked the valley and was lit from within. And it
held the love of his life. He pulled into the driveway
.

The front door swung open before he even got out of the car. Magdalena came flying out, the wind whipping her hair around her. He’d just exited the driver’s side when she threw herself at him. He captured her in a lusty embrace, and they both fell back against the door. “Oh, my God, Logan.” She kissed his lips, his cheeks, his nose. “Logan!”
She hugged him tighter.

“So I guess this means you’re glad to see me.” He hadn’t been sure. Hadn’t called. Hadn’t gotten any calls or emails from her. He’d just driven up here.

She gripped him so tight he could barely breathe. The wind picked up and howled around them. Snow drifted at their feet, and higher. But man, she was hot!

“Baby, let’s go in the house.”

“Okay.”

She didn’t
slide down him, so he kept her lifted and in his arms, her legs banded around him. She’d left the house door open and still, when they got inside, she clung to him.

“I have to close the door.”

“Then close it.”

“You have to let go.”

He could feel the shake of her head. So he turned, pressed her against the wall and kissed her. He devoured her mouth, bit her lips and squeezed her
butt. “Damn, I missed this.”

“Me, too.”

“Yeah, I can tell. Now, let go and I’ll close the door.”

She slid down to her feet, and after he kicked the thing shut, she melted into him. The tenderness of the gesture, and how he cradled her in return was so at odds with the kiss they’d just shared, it made his mind reel
.

Finally, she drew back and led him into the great room, to the
couch in front of the fireplace. They sat. She took his hands. “I’m so glad you came up. When I didn’t get an answer on my email, I thought I’d blown it with you.”

“What email?”

Magdalena smiled over at him. God, he looked good. Rugged in his heavy sweater, jeans and cowboy boots. Cheeks roughened by the cold. “The one I sent you last night, silly.”

“I didn’t get any email.” He hit
his head with his palm. “Shit, I never checked it after…”

She waited
.

“I moved Teresa out of my place last night.”

Her eyes rounded like saucers. “What about her threats?”

“You were right.” He kissed her knuckles. “She was blackmailing me. Us. I couldn’t see it right away.”

“That was understandable. I should have been more patient. I just kept thinking that this was what I
feared in becoming more than friends. That I couldn’t be a part of your life.”

“And I felt caught between two impossible decisions.”

She searched his face. “What made you change your mind?”

“Her behavior. I’ll explain it to you later. I want you to know that I’m satisfied with my decision. I can’t live like she wanted me to, and she shouldn’t be demanding that, either. She needs help,
but I’m not the one to give it to her. Though I’ll support her financially until the baby comes. Unless she does the unthinkable.”

Magdalena’s chest tightened painfully. “What if she does, Logan?”

“I can’t be responsible for what she does. But if it did happen, I’d need your help coping.”

“Always.”

He moved closer and gently pushed her to her back. Put her feet on the couch then
took off his boots and covered her with his body. His weight felt so good, the way his legs tangled with hers, his groin pressed against her. “Logan, we can’t. There are kids upstairs.”

“I know. I have to feel you against me. Just for a bit.”

A noise came from the foyer. Before either could react, two people were standing over them.

“Geez, I leave my baby sister alone for a few days
and she gets corrupted by some city dude.”

Logan eased off her. Lying side by side, they looked up at Luke and Kelsey. Magdalena said, “Are you corrupting me, Logan?”

“Not yet.” He kissed her nose. “But I’m going to as soon as we’re alone.”

“Did you have fun?” she asked her brother.

“Of course. Seems like you did, too. Everything okay, kiddo?”

“Everything’s just fine. Isn’t
it, Logan?”

He hugged her tighter. “It’s going to be, babe. It’s going to be.”

 

-oOo-

 

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Author’s Note:

 

Friends to lovers has always been one of my favorite romance themes so I wanted to include
it in The Ludzecky Sisters series. All I’d known about Magdalena before I started writing the book was that she was a super smart, very successful woman who’d chosen to work in a private equity. And that she’d become good friends with a coworker, Logan Price.

 

Her personality was a mystery to me until I started to write about her. Then I came to see how generous and giving she was with
her sisters and mother, how she was strong through their tragedy, how absolutely loyal she was and how she had an optimistic outlook. She’s overprotective of her family which could be seen as a flaw, but these people have gone through so much, it’s no wonder they go overboard looking out for each other.

 

Logan developed as Rafe did in the previous book. I knew I wanted Logan to have dated
a lot of women, but not be callow. He respects women, though he hasn’t found one he could commit to. (Well, he has, but they don’t know it right away.) I also respected him for his attitude toward Teresa’s pregnancy. And yet, he had to have a flaw. He’s taken in by her manipulation and can’t quite see beyond it. But wouldn’t you rather have somebody err on that side instead of shirking his responsibility?
And he does come to his senses in the end.

 

What I also liked about Logan was the fact that he was there for Magdalena’s whole family after the tragedy. You gotta love a guy like that!

 

Both these characters behave like adults through the whole story. I tried to lighten them up a bit with some humor, some hot lovemaking and by giving both of them a truly optimistic perspective
on life. Not every hero is tortured and brooding. Not every heroine has hang-ups from her past. It was fun to write about people who were well-adjusted. It’s the outside forces which cause the conflict in the book and is so often true in the real world.

 

Enjoy the rest of the series.

 

Kathy Shay

 

 

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To browse Kathryn’s impressive list of titles go to
http://www.kathrynshay.com/books/
.

 

Be sure to read the rest of
THE LUDZECKY SISTERS
series as these six beautiful blond women try to make their
way in the world after a tragedy strikes the family. Their stories will capture your heart.

 

BEGIN AGAIN
finds Paulina Ludzecky running a contracting business with her twin, Antonia since their husbands died three years ago. She’s ready to dip her toes in romance when she meets Adam Armstrong, the architect on the new music hall her company is building. Suave and sophisticated Adam is intrigued by Paulina, but their strong differences keep them apart.

 

In
PRIMARY COLORS
, Nia Ludzecky is stuck in her grief and can’t find a way out of her sorrow over the untimely death of her beloved husband. When she meets famous modern artist Rafe Castle, she’s attracted to his gentle demeanor and lack of arrogance. But despite her feelings for him, she still finds it hard to leave the past behind and embrace love after loss. Rafe, however, doesn’t give
up on her.

 

BOOK: Risky Business
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