One Valentine’s Day.
And hearts will be broken.
A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s beyond cliché.
But it’s what Ali Hart’s niece Shannon wants. So Ali will wear the pink tulle bridesmaid’s dress, carry the rose and eucalyptus bouquet down the aisle, and keep her opinion to herself.
Ali is back in New York to get ready for the wedding, but her older sister and brother seize on her visit as the perfect time for Ali to make arrangements for their elderly father, who can no longer independently care for himself.
A navigational error puts Ali on a collision course with destiny. Now what?
A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s perfect.
Unless you’re not positive that she’s the one for you.
In the dark recesses of his heart, Logan Pryce knows that Catherine von Hollen isn’t the love of his life. The daughter of his father’s business partner, they’ve known each other for years. She’s blonde, gorgeous, and everyone loves her. On paper, it’s perfect. On paper.
A chance encounter with a nameless redhead on a crowded subway platform causes Logan to question everything he thought his life was going to be. Will he stay with the safe bet, or will he take a chance on something more?
If you love your romance with a little heat and plenty of heart, you’re going to love Broken Harts!
In this snippet from BROKEN HARTS, writer Ali Hart reflects on the unusual day she’s had on her visit back to New York City.
The elevator deposited Ali on the 4th floor of the 12-story 1920s brick apartment building. She made her way down the hallway to the door of 4D, the place she had always considered her home.
Using her old brass key, she let herself inside and headed through the foyer toward the living room. “Dad? I’m home,” she called softly, hoping not to disturb her father in case he happened to be napping.
His live-in housekeeper met her in the living room. “Good afternoon, Miss Alison. Your father is in his study. He’s been a bit…unfocused today,” Mrs. Smith related in her crisp British accent.
Mrs. Smith had been a fixture in the Hart home since Ali could recall. When Jackson and Connie had divorced during Ali’s junior year in high school, Mrs. Smith had been a steadying presence.
Ali frowned, trying to decipher the woman’s polite description. The sound of papers shuffling and a deep unintelligible muttering drew Ali’s attention toward Jackson’s office down the hallway.
She smiled reassuringly at Mrs. Smith. “Thanks! I’ll go see what’s going on.” She was positive she saw relief in the older woman’s eyes.
“Dad?” she called as she walked down the hall. She popped her head in the doorway of her father’s small office.
Backlit by the window behind him, he stood in the center of the room clutching a sheaf of papers in each hand. His shaggy gun-metal grey hair stuck out wildly in all directions, giving him the air of a deranged madman. He was also naked from the waist down.
“Aw, geez, Dad, you have to wear pants. Seriously, now, Mrs. Smith is going to quit if you keep doing this.”
“I can’t find it,” he said urgently. “I can’t find it anywhere. Someone broke in and stole my manuscript.”
“Let’s go get you dressed and I’ll help you find what you’re looking for,” Ali said patiently.
“I’m really sorry about Dad,” Ali apologized. “I had no idea things had gotten so bad.”
Following a dinner of Mrs. Smith’s famous pot roast and roasted green beans, Jackson had wandered into the den to watch the news on cable. Ali insisted on helping the housekeeper clean up in the kitchen.
“You know I consider you and your father family,” Mrs. Smith smiled kindly. “It’s just that I’m not as young as I used to be. I worry that I won’t be able to keep Mr. Hart safe.”
Ali shook her head. “It wasn’t your fault that he got lost that time.” She raised a knowing eyebrow. “I know Brendan and Megan probably told you that it was.”
The elderly housekeeper gave something of a Mona Lisa smile and said nothing.
“It’s not your job to keep him from leaving the apartment.” Ali sighed deeply. “I looked at that care home today. It was really awful.”
She frowned sharply. “Well, it wasn’t awful, exactly, it just…wasn’t for Dad. He’s so independent. I’m thinking of seeing if we can’t hire a full-time nurse-slash-companion for him, someone who’ll stick with him and keep an eye on him. That way he can keep his independence and still be safe.”
Mrs. Smith’s eyes twinkled with kindness. “You’re a good daughter,” she said simply. “I know you’ll make the right decision.”
When they’d finished with the kitchen, Ali bid the housekeeper goodnight and joined her father in the den. Together they watched a documentary until the old man began to nod off in his chair.
“Come on, Dad, let’s get you to bed,” Ali said softly.
She helped him change into a pair of plaid flannel pajamas and waited while he performed his bathroom tasks. Then she tucked him into bed.
“Goodnight, Dad,” she murmured, kissing his scruffy cheek.
“Goodnight, Ali-gally,” he returned, invoking his favorite nickname for her. “I’m glad you’re home.”
“Me, too,” she smiled, giving him another kiss. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
After a quick shower, Ali found herself comfortably ensconced in her own bed, staring up at the ceiling of her childhood bedroom as light and shadows from the city street outside formed familiar shapes. The day had been so hectic that she hadn’t had time to consider the man she’d met when she’d gotten off at the wrong subway stop.
Well, met? That might be a strong word, she decided. They hadn’t exactly exchanged names. They had barely exchanged words. And yet…
She linked her fingers together and cradled her head as she sighed deeply.
And yet, the man’s image was burned into her brain. In her imagination, she watched him materialize. First were those sea-blue eyes, alight with life and soul and passion. Or did she just imbue him with those qualities in the absence of actual knowledge?
Next came those utterly kissable lips, quirked in a lopsided sort of way as though he were privy to a joke no one else had yet heard.
In her mind’s eye, his square jaw formed, defined by dark stubble that made her want to cup his cheek. The stubble matched his dark wavy hair that seemed slightly mussed on purpose, as though he might be due a haircut any day now.
In her bed on Park Avenue, Ali closed her eyes and heard his voice in her imagination.
Ali’s eyes popped open.
Can we what? She pursed her lips in thought.
Can we share a cab downtown? Run off together to Rome? Drop right here and do it doggy style?
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” she muttered, feeling herself blush. Again, she cursed herself for being in such an all-fired hurry to leave.
It had been on impulse that she’d flattened her palm on the inside of the subway window. And he’d followed suit on the outside. He’d been as intrigued as she’d been.
She mulled the idea for a moment, then shook her head. Because ultimately, what difference did that make? She didn’t know his name, where he lived, whether he was single or married…
There was one thing she did know. She wanted to know more about him.
Sighing again, she shifted onto her side and willed herself to meet him in her dreams.BROKEN HARTS by Pandora Spocks