Zach’s Rebound Girl

Full-length Romantic Comedy, light Mystery/Suspense

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Goodbye quiet geek … hello hot TV personality.

Television property renovator Maddison de la Botella is popular, adored, and on the brink of snagging the opportunity to restore her ancestral home–if a ruthless developer doesn’t tear it down first! Her life has suddenly gone from smooth to bumpy, and it all starts the night she discovers her new neighbour ogling her in her hot tub is none other than Zachary Canady! Her once-upon-a-time best friend and heartbreaker.

He’s still way too gorgeous, still makes her heart flip–and still sees her as just a friend. Back in uni, Zach made sure she understood men wanted exciting women. And there was nothing exciting about Maddie. Now ten years on, here’s her chance to make him notice she’s a living, breathing, desirable woman–even if she almost cracks a tooth to prove it. But is it coincidence that as soon as Zach re-enters her life, she becomes curiously accident-prone?

Commercial property developer, Zach is about to close the business deal of his career until his past catches up with him, and he’s knocked sideways by the stunner next door. Suddenly he can’t decide what he’s protecting Maddie from–his white-hot desire, or the psychotic stalker out to harm her.

 


 

Excerpt

Chapter One

 

Dear Diary, Zach’s back!

Mmm … oh, yeah. Right there. That’s it … just there.”

Zach Canady came alive the instant he heard the purring female voice. You always hear the good stuff when no one knows you’re listening. That was the first lesson he ever learned.

His childhood nanny would beg to differ. She always warned, “Eavesdroppers never hear well of themselves”.

Don’t stop.” Disappointment laced the sensual voice drifting from the house next door. His neighbour and her girlfriends were in her hot tub again—third time this week. If he’d known England was going to be this entertaining, he would’ve moved back years ago.

His buddy, Dane, swallowed a mouthful of lager. “What do you think they do in that big ol’ hot tub?”

Zach lifted his dewy can from the square hardwood patio table. He enjoyed rare nights like this when he got to kick back in his garden with his buddies after a hard day at work.

He opened his mouth to answer then closed it when the giggly female voices filtered over the fence again. What his neighbours had to say was far more entertaining.

Do me while I do you.”

No. I’m too relaxed. Let Cristi do you.”

Come on, you know you want to.”

Keith, his other buddy, leaned close, setting his can on the table. “Dunno, but I’d really like to find out.”

Zach’s smile grew. All he had to do was go upstairs to his third bedroom and peek over the fence separating his property from the one next door. Even so, he wasn’t about to encourage his buddies to spy on his neighbour. As tempting as it was to have a look, he’d managed to refrain from spying on them since his move back to Surrey two weeks ago, and he wasn’t going to start now.

Whatever they were up to was no business of his.

Get off me! I’m not rubbing your foot.” The scandalized female voice preceded a loud splash and raucous laughter.

A champagne cork popped, followed by a squeal and more giggles. “Here’s to Maddie’s new property and what’s shaping up to be the best property show on TV.”

Whooping and cheering followed.

Zach took a sip from his can. He knew a Maddie back in university. The Maddie he knew didn’t do hot tubs or giggle. Maddison de la Botella was a geek. And he had been her only friend.

This Maddie was a party-animal.

Dane waggled his thick blond brows. “I think we should wait ‘til they’re good and liquored up, then go over and introduce ourselves.”

Hey, Mad, have you met your new neighbour yet?” one female voice asked.

I think I caught a glimpse of him the other day,” said another. “He’s a cutie.”

Zach had to put up with elbows in the ribs as Dane and Keith grinned.

“Hel-lo,” Keith stage-whispered. “Looks like this could be fun. How big is that hot tub anyway?”

“Shut up.” Zach put his lager on the patio table and crept closer to the fence. “I’m trying to listen.”

Keith and Dane followed close behind. “If you can’t hear what’s going on next door without pressing your ear up against that fence, mate, you need hearing aids.”

Zach elbowed Dane as they crouched next to the fence. “Hush.” He pressed his ear closer.

I did notice signs of life,” a husky female voice replied. “But I haven’t had time to do the welcome-to-the-neighbourhood thing.”

Shock slammed into Zach. He’d know that voice anywhere. His Maddie was in a hot tub only a few feet away, separated from him by a wooden fence. How was it he could find himself living so close to his once-upon-a-time best friend, and not even know it?

~*~

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