Gunnar Dahl is a famous mystery writer with a secret.
He meets Åse Halvorsen at the St. James Court Art Show in Louisville, Kentucky and feels instantly drawn to her.
She may be the woman of his dreams, but will their lives turn into a nightmare?
Åse Halvorsen is as beautiful as she is talented. And she is fiercely independent. But trouble (we’re talking, BIG time trouble here) seems to follow her everywhere.
Gunnar is a protector, a nurturer, and above all a lover. His need to keep Åse safe is his burning desire. It won’t be easy.
Åse is a jewelry designer we heard about in The Designer with David Drummond. She makes her living with her Åse Heartware business.
The story is a Drummond Series spin-off and the first in the Lovers in Louisville Series.
This is a standalone story with a guaranteed HEA. No cliffhanger. Adult themes and hot, sexy scenes are intended for mature readers only.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was an artist for many years and felt driven to write a novel about the experience of what it's like at an art fair. The public's perception is not much like reality, unfortunately. I identify with both main characters- an artist and a writer, so writing this book was almost a compulsion.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main characters are Scandinavians, and for this, I drew on my experience of having lived for a while in Norway. I've always loved the name Åse, so it was a no-brainer to assign that to the FMC. Gunnar is her savior and would-be protector. He just came out of my imagination when I thought of the kind of man she needed to be with. I love these characters!
Around noon, Åse awoke to the sound of two people entering her room.
Dr. Wright was chattering amiably to Gunnar saying, “I knew I’d seen your face somewhere. I wish I had a copy on me so you could autograph it. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the series. Want to give any hints about the next one?”
Gunnar laughed, “Thanks! No. Sorry. No hints. I will say though, he’s going to meet an interesting character in the next one. Åse! How are you feeling, honey? I brought you some clothes, and we can go home as soon as Dr. Wright says so.” Gunnar held a shopping bag from Macy’s in one hand and a tall Starbucks coffee in the other.
So, this crazy, delicious man still thought he would be taking Åse home. She mentally shook her head. Actually, shaking it hurt too much.
Dr. Wright asked Åse what felt like a million questions and told her his office would call her in the morning about making a follow-up appointment. He gave her a quick exam and pronounced her ready to go home. “Absolutely no alcohol and no driving until you hear it’s okay from me. Understand?” He waited for her to say yes and then looked at Gunnar and added with a smile and a wink, “Don’t worry about sex. As soon as Ms. Halvorsen feels up to it, you can resume your normal level of activity.”
“Well, good to know! Thank you, Doctor!” With a huge grin, Gunnar offered her the coffee, and Åse took a big gulp of it, blushing like crazy.
Dr. Wright missed the blushing as he swept from the room with his eyes on his buzzing phone.
“Thank you so much for the real coffee.” Åse gave Gunnar the first happy smile he’d seen since Friday when he’d met her at the art fair. She set the cup aside and peered into the bag where she discovered a comfy looking t-shirt, a cute hoodie, and some yoga pants. Pulling those out, she also found a stretchy, lacy pair of panties and a bra that was almost her size. Close enough.
“Thank you, Gunnar. How did you know what to buy?” There were those beautiful, earnest blue eyes of hers, penetrating him to the core.
“Oh, um. I just thought about what my sister likes to lounge around in and told the salesgirl about how big you were, I mean I told her your approximate size.” He shook his head and rolled his eyes at himself. He doubted any woman liked to think of how ‘big’ she was. “She helped pick things out that would be easy to get in and out of as well as somewhat forgiving, size-wise. We can swing by your house now and get the rest of what you’ll need.”
“So, you really think you need to take care of me? And won’t you need to go to work anyway?” The happy smile disappeared, replaced by doubtfulness.
“I work at home, and I know you need me to take care of you. I promise I’m a good guy, and won’t try anything funny.”
Åse was sort of sorry to hear that, but she held her tongue. She was so tired again, she really had no other ideas of how to manage. Her friends were at the art fair or were scattered all over the country. And her brother… who knew? She couldn’t rely on him anymore anyway. “Okay. Um, can you ask the nurse to help me get dressed?”
“She thinks we’re engaged, honey.”
“Oh. Um. Okay. Can you help me without looking?” A blush crept up her cheeks.
“Yeah, sure.” Gunnar laughed inwardly, but he understood Åse’s dilemma. Who needed some strange guy helping her get dressed?
So, Gunnar held out the panties, and Åse balanced herself by gripping his arm while she stepped in. He caught a glimpse of her toned bare butt as the hospital gown fell open. It was just the right size and shape for his large hands to cup.
He stifled a groan and reached for the bra. This would be a tricky maneuver.
Åse took the bra from him and pulled her arms inside the gown that remained tied at her neck. She put her arms through the straps and shimmied around a little. Finally, she turned away from him and said, “Undo the gown and do up the bra, if you would, please.”
She sounded so formal, Gunnar wanted to laugh. He grasped the two halves of the back of the bra and groaned inwardly at the silky feel of her bare skin under his hands. She was really in great shape. Not an ounce of fat anywhere, and all toned and smooth. Getting a good look at her backside, he wanted to kiss the adorable dimples above her cheeks. “Do you work out?” just popped out of his mouth as he reached for the new pair of pants. He needed to divert his attention. He spent a moment tearing off tags as she answered him.
“I like to run four or five times a week. I don’t really have time for anything else. And when I’m out of town, I can always run. I can’t always find a gym.”
“Great. When you’re feeling better, maybe we can do it. Run, I mean. I also have a gym at home, if you want any exercise before you’re ready to hit the streets.” Gunnar realized he needed to talk about something and not fixate on her cute ass. His pants were feeling way too tight for a guy helping someone in the hospital. Think about sweat. Think about a ten-mile run. Think about her all sweaty and breathing hard. No! Wait. Not that. He was losing the battle inside his head. Did she just wiggle her butt at me?
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