Authors: Kathryn Shay
Tags: #troubled teens, #teacher series, #high school sports, #teachers and students, #professional conflict, #backlistebooks, #Contemporary Romance
Praise for SOMEONE LIKE YOU
“There are hot issues of the day to address in this book...The story is heartbreaking, one I'm sure is not unique at all... Another solid read from Shay. Really looking forward to the next book.” Lori Sherden, Goodreads
Praise for Kathryn Shay’s Books
Romance Readers at Heart
“Always a dramatic and engaging storyteller, Shay never disappoints!”
“Shay uses her own extensive background as a high-school teacher to create believable teenagers.”
The Romance Reader
Someone Like You
Published by Kathryn Shay
Copyright 2011 Kathryn Shay
Cover Art by Patricia Ryan
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Discover other titles by Kathryn Shay
After The Fire
On The Line
Nothing More To Lose
Someone To Believe In
Close to You
Taking The Heat
Trust in Me
Promises To Keep
Ties That Bind
Still The One
Someone Like You
Maybe This Time
The Father Factor
Just One Night
A Price Worth Paying
Finally a Family
Practice Makes Perfect
A Place to Belong
Against the Odds
The Serenity House Trilogy boxed set
Home for Christmas
Cop of the Year
Because It’s Christmas
Count on Me
Bayview Heights Trilogy boxed set
America’s Bravest boxed set
Nick Corelli stood at the doorway to classroom 401 in Crystal Corners High School watching the teacher inside. Brie Gorman got under his skin big-time, but despite that, every time he met up with her, he was hit by a bolt of plain old-fashioned lust. He’d felt this way even when she was married to his buddy Jared, though Nick never even
of acting on that sorry instinct. What confused him was that he didn’t know how you could not even
somebody and still want to get her in the sack. It made him crazy. But he was here to plead his case, so he had to play nice which, ordinarily, he didn’t do with her.
Rapping his knuckles on the door made her glance up from her desk, where she was working with a student. Those violet eyes flashed with irritation. “Yes, Mr. Corelli, can I help you?”
Cool and calm. The lady had that down pat.
“I need a word with you, if you can spare a sec.”
“Try the next couple of questions on your own, Tommy. I’ll be right back.”
Standing, she eased around the kid and came toward him.
. She had on high heels and a skinny pink skirt with a plain white blouse that was anything but plain on her. When she got closer, the vee of her shirt revealed pearls that he knew Jared had given her on their last anniversary together. Nick had teased him about the stodgy gift.
“What is it?” she asked when she reached him.
“I need to talk to you about Matt Keller.”
She fiddled with her necklace. “What about him?”
“He’s failing your course, according to the report you sent home.”
“Already. And he has to bring his grades up by the end of October or he won’t be able to finish your football season.” A rule the new principal strongly enforced.
Still, Nick hated the snippy tone which rolled off her tongue every time he got into a conversation with her. But he had to ignore how she annoyed him. “I reckon it’s soon into the marking period for him to be so behind. He’s got a lot on his plate right now, so I was hopin’ some arrangement could be made. ”
A frown marred her pretty brow. “Arrangement?”
“For him to make up the work he didn’t hand in.”
“Not possible. Students only get ten days to complete missed assignments, provided we haven’t gone over them yet. He’s past that time limit for most of the work.”
“Hell,” Nick said running his fingers through his hair, “why didn’t you tell me this before?”
Sparks lit her eyes. “Excuse me? Are you his father? No wait, his father’s the mayor in town. So, why would I alert you?”
“’Cuz I told you at the beginning of the year I wanted to keep an eye on Matt’s grades from the get-go. I told all his teachers.”
“Then you should have done a better job of keeping in touch.”
“Jesus, Gabrielle, gimme a break.”
“Don’t call me that!”
He knew she hated when somebody used her full name. He did it to jab her, sure, but also because Nick thought Gabrielle was one of the most beautiful names he’d ever heard. And it suited her classiness. “Look, can’t we come to some sort of truce over this kid? He needs help.”
discipline. In just four weeks, I can tell the boy’s lazy and uninterested in academics. He’s probably fine in your Phys. Ed class.”
On the surface maybe, but there was a whole other story buried deep inside the kid. Nick couldn’t tell Mrs. Grouch here what he knew, though, what Matt had told him in confidence.
“Let’s stick with the school work. What
he make up, and is there any extra credit he can do?”
“I don’t give extra credit to students who fail to hand in every assignment.”
Nick held her gaze. He knew that women were taken with his navy eyes and dark hair that made him resemble some guy named Patrick Dempsey, but he also knew for a fact that this woman was immune. Maybe he could bully her into helping the kid by staring her down.
“Oh, fine, I’ll get together a list of what he’s able to make up in the next ten days and even throw in the assignments for the rest of the marking period. Will that do?”
“I’d be mighty grateful.” His southern accent and speech patterns tended to come through more when he was mad. Or aroused.
“I’ll put it in your mailbox before I leave today.”
“Thanks.” Nick turned and started down the hall.
He pivoted, his sneakers squeaking on the tile floor. She was pretty as a picture standing there, her hands linked behind her back, leaning against the doorjamb. “Yeah?”
“Are you concerned about this boy because he’s the quarterback on your football team?”
Huh, if she only knew. “Yeah, sure, why?”
She shrugged delicate shoulders, which were kissed by the ends of her soft-looking dark hair. “I don’t know. Your vigilance seems excessive.”
“I care about kids is all.” Again, he pivoted away and headed to the gym wishing he could tell her more so she’d go easier on Matt. It probably wouldn’t make a difference anyway. Gabrielle Gorman’s heart seemed to have died five years ago along with her husband and from what Nick had heard no man had been able to revive it since, and not for lack of trying.
Brie watched Nick Corelli saunter down the corridor in the way all jocks seemed to walk. For the life of her, she couldn’t figure out why so many women found him
to die for.
Oh, sure, he was attractive with that hair and eyes, those shoulders that gave credence to the linebacker he’d once been, wearing shorts that showed off his muscular legs. But his personality and his love‘em-and-leave‘em attitude toward women were a big turn off. Then she felt a twinge of guilt for her unkind thoughts because she could still recall the bleak expression in those eyes and how those shoulders had slumped in pain for weeks after Jared died. He’d loved her husband like a brother, and vice versa as they were both only children.
“Mrs. G, are you coming to help me?” Tommy asked. “I got play practice in twenty minutes.”
“Oh, yes, of course.”
After she finished with the student, Brie sat back in her chair, sipped a coke she’d brought from lunch and scanned the room. It needed tidying—the kids had written on the board today, so it was filled with student scrawl. Posters on the wall sported captions like, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” and “You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” The edge of one of her favorites, “You are the author of your own life,” had curled up and needed taping. The chairs, which she rarely kept in rows, were scattered throughout.
Time to fix all that after she finished the task Corelli had given her. She took out her plan book and ripped a sheet off a notepad she always kept within reach. She’d just finished copying down Matt’s grades when Annie Jacobs flew into the room. Since her friend had gotten together with Dylan Kane, who’d been her high school teacher, Annie glowed, her face reflecting a deep contentment. “Hey, there, girlfriend, ready to go?” Annie asked.
“I got a last minute assignment,” she said dryly. “But I’m almost finished. Then we can leave.”
They’d made plans to spend the evening at Brie’s house. They were picking up Annie’s boys and Brie’s daughter Cella at school, then heading to the lake front property where Brie lived to visit and cook steaks. Dylan would drive out to get Annie and the twins after his board meeting.
“No, hurry. I’ll hang here.” Annie crossed to the wall of windows in the room. “Fall is so beautiful in upstate New York, isn’t it?”
“Yep.” Looking up, Brie caught a glimpse of the trees, now in various shades of gold, red and green. “That’s how I lured Jared to move here.”
Fifteen years ago, she and her soon-to-be husband graduated from college in Chicago together and when Brie wanted to come back to teach in Crystal Corners where she’d grown up, he found a job at IBM in Rochester, about a half hour away from their little town. Fall was his favorite season.
“You must miss him most this time of year. David loved winter and I always get blue then.”
One of the many things she and Annie had in common was that they were both widows.
“I do miss him.”
That was an understatement. When Jared died it was like someone carved out a piece of her heart. The two of them were always in sync and rarely had cross words. They’d finally been able to afford a lovely home on the lake, had a wonderful daughter and were planning to have another child when, on the drive back from work to Crystal Corners, Jared had been sideswiped by a construction truck and his car rammed into an abutment. Even now, five years later, her stomach roiled at the memory of the wreckage and her husband’s broken body in the hospital.
“You must be lonely, Brie.” Annie knew her parents had moved to Florida and her sister was in the Peace Corps. Without Jared, she and Cella had no family nearby. “What you need is to find a man.”
“Just because you got Mr. Perfect all in one package doesn’t mean there are any more of those around.”
Annie practically swooned. “He is perfect. I can’t wait until November.”
“Ah, the joys of being a bride-to-be.” Brie would be Annie’s honor attendant.
Returning to the desk, Annie peeked over Brie’s shoulder. “What are you doing, anyway?”
“Getting information on Matt Keller for Nick Corelli.”
For a moment, Annie was thoughtful. “Something’s up with that boy.”
“What do you mean?”
“I had him in English class last year and his writings were odd…as if he was saying everything without saying anything. I tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t discuss his feelings. I did ask Nick if Matt was all right and he said he appreciated my concern and he was working with the boy.” Her eyebrows raised. “Now there’s a Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.”
“For the life of me, I can’t figure out why you don’t like him.”
“He oozes too much charm. I always thought he was a bad influence on Jared.” She shook her head. “And he makes me, I don’t know, jittery.” Actually, she hated how she felt around that man.
“Dylan makes me jittery.”
Brie glanced over sharply. “What are you implying?”
“Well, there’s good jittery and bad jittery.”
“Oh, you don’t mean that I…that we…”
“Come on, Brie. Maybe you could be interested in someone like him.”
Brie laughed. “Hardly. We couldn’t be more different.”