Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Marie Harte | Exclusive Excerpt: HANDLE WITH CARE

August 27, 2019

The sight that met Evan’s eyes had him staring, unsure of what to do. Though he owned part of his and his cousins’ local moving company, he’d only been doing the grunt work of actually moving people for the past two weeks. With one of his cousins temporarily out due to an injury, Evan had willingly stepped in to take up the slack.

At first, being able to get out from behind a desk, away from a past life of accounting, had seemed a blessing. Sure, he was still sore, taxing his muscles on a daily basis doing manual labor, but he considered the physical exertion to be just the thing to kick-start his new life.

No one had mentioned what to do when the client got into a free-for-all in the middle of the living room.

The client, Rachel Kim, a petite Korean woman with a soft demeanor and a cute dimple, was wrapped around a tall, statuesque black woman. Rachel had her in a headlock, clinging to her like a koala on a tree.

“I’m taking it!” she shrieked and refused to let go. “It’s a memory, and it’s mine!”

“Idiot, it’s not yours,” the other woman managed, gripping at the forearm across her neck. “It’s ours! Ask Kenzie. Rachel, get off!” She swung around, and the two did an odd dance as the poor woman tried to shake her human burr. “Besides, you don’t deserve it! Leaving me for a man? Way to idolize a penis, love slave.”

O-kay. That was more than he wanted to hear. Evan had been hired to move Rachel’s things, not involve himself in her private life.

“Shut up, Lila. You’re just jealous! Backstabbing bitch.” Rachel started going off in what sounded like Korean.

Lila choked, and Evan stepped forward. Then he realized she was laughing. Well, as much as one could laugh while gasping for oxygen. She continued to struggle for freedom, to no avail.

Evan decided he should probably get involved before Lila passed out. But just as he took a step to separate the two women, sunlight beamed through the front windows, illuminating the avenging angel who stormed through the front door, her brown eyes blazing.

His world stopped. As if the woman had been bathed in radiance, she made everything around her pale in comparison. He found it difficult to breathe.

Long, light-brown hair floated around her shoulders, framing an attractive face full of life and emotion. She looked to be about his age, and she moved with grace and energy. “You two are being ridiculous,” she huffed as she tried to pull Rachel and Lila apart. Dressed in ripped khaki shorts, a Drink Local T-shirt, and flip-flops, she shouldn’t have appeared so impressive. But she did.

Evan just stood there, staring, trying to figure out what the hell was happening as his heart raced, his focus narrowed to this one incredibly arresting woman.

“Well?” the angel snapped at him. “You going to help me with these two or what?”

He started. “Oh, right.” But he hadn’t taken a breath before Rachel shifted to the new arrival, latching onto her and including her in the weird three-person tango.

“Nooo,” Rachel moaned. “Everything is changing too fast.”

Evan blinked, and the three women dissolved into tears, crumpled to the floor, and hugged one another. No one made any sense as emotions and a jumble of words, everyone talking over everyone, filled the air.

He cleared his throat. “Ah, you guys need help?”

They continued to wail, ignoring him, so he left them to their emotional crisis while he tried to figure out why he’d…panicked? Frozen? Lost his mind?

He’d once done the Heimlich on a choking man in a crowded restaurant while everyone else watched in shock. He’d prevented a young lance corporal from shooting his instructor at the rifle range during training back in his Marine Corps days. And he’d more than once talked down his oldest cousin from a fight, saving him from jail time and accompanying fines. Evan didn’t panic, and he always knew what to do.

So why the hell had the sight of that woman frazzled him?

He walked out to the moving van, grabbed his water, and guzzled it. August in Seattle typically proved to be hot, but temps had been higher than normal, and the current heatwave had his shirt plastered to his back. The sun continued to blaze overhead, spotlighting the charming home he’d parked in front of. A small Craftsman-style cottage with a surprisingly wide doorway, thank God. Getting furniture through some of the older homes in the city took real work, and Evan always wondered how the people had gotten their furniture in to begin with because not everything came in pieces from IKEA.

He held the cold bottle against the back of his neck and studied the front walkway. The front door remained open, and he could see and hear the three women crying, laughing, and talking together.

Talk about weird.

(C) Marie Harte, Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2019



Veteran Movers #3

Handle with Care

Evan Griffith has had a hell of a day. . .
And that was before he met the stunning, sexy woman having a meltdown.

Evan Griffith has had many careers in his life. But who knew working for his family’s moving company would hold just as much action as his stint in the Marine Corps? On an unforgettable job, Evan finds himself taken by a teenage conman and confronted by a woman wielding a knife–and promptly falls head over heels for her.

Kenzie Sykes is doing her best to raise her little brother and keep him out of jail–all while dealing with her own broken heart that just hasn’t healed. She doesn’t have time for romance. He’s not asking. . .  Until he is, and she finds herself saying yes.

Veteran Movers series:
The Whole Package (Book 1)
Smooth Moves (Book 2)

Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: August 27, 2019, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492670506 / eISBN: 9781492670506]

About Marie Harte

Marie Harte

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. Writing romance, and in particular erotic romance, across the genres, she’s created stories set on other worlds, among paranormal creatures, and between normal men and women seeking true love.

Marie is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit her website and fall in love.

Good To Go | McCauley Brothers | Wicked Warrens | The Works | Ethereal Foes | Best Revenge | Mark of Lycos | Body Shop Bad Boys | Donnigans | Triggerman, Inc. | Movin’ On


No Comments

Comments are closed.