By Samantha Chase
Publication date: 1/29/19
Love is a sanctuary
Christian Montgomery is burnt out—the family business might be his entire world, but his father’s judgment means Christian never stops working. His only respite is gazing at the beach and the carefree surfers riding the waves…especially the curvy redhead who’s caught his attention.
Sophia Bennington has just fled from her small Kansas town to California, where she’s trying her best to embrace her new beginning. Soon Christian and Sophia find one another, and it feels like sanctuary. But when their difficult pasts catch up to them, will they run away from each other?
Author website: https://www.chasing-romance.com/
Montgomery Brothers Series:
· Wait for Me (Book 1)
· Trust in Me (Book 2)
· Stay With Me (Book 3)
· More of Me (Book 4)
· Return to You (Book 5)
· Meant for You (Book 6)
· I’ll Be There (Book 7)
· Until There Was Us (Book 8)
Praise for Samantha Chase:
“Chase’s three-dimensional characters leap off the page…”—Publishers Weekly for Until There Was Us
“A sweet romance: classic, thoughtful, and as lyrical as the stars.”—Kirkus Reviews for A Sky Full of Stars
“Chase just gets better and better.”—Booklist
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“This was Christian’s idea?” she asked incredulously.
“Oh…um, well, yes. He feels incredibly thankful to you for all you did.”
Sophie wasn’t stupid—she’d accept any and all the jobs she might get through this. That was a no-brainer. But knowing that Christian had more than likely orchestrated it bothered her. Was he doing it simply because he was thankful, or was it because he’d acted like a jerk when he’d refused to let her help him?
Unfortunately, she didn’t know him well enough to know for sure.
With no other choice—because she would make herself crazy sitting here thinking about it—she took a shower and got ready, bracing herself to go knock on Christian Montgomery’s door.
Did she take a little extra time in the shower and use her favorite scented soap?
Did she spend a little extra time on her makeup?
And did she curse more than once while she styled her hair because it was way too long and took forever to make look good?
But as she looked at her reflection when she was done, all Sophie could say was, “Damn, girl! You look good!”
With all of the extra attention she’d already given herself, choosing something to wear was a bit more challenging. Obviously, he knew she wasn’t working, so showing up on his doorstep dressed up would look ridiculous. However, showing up in a pair of cutoffs and a T-shirt seemed wrong. It wasn’t as if she had an extensive wardrobe to begin with, but right now it sure as heck felt that way!
Grabbing a pair of faded denim capris and a bold blue halter top, she felt casually sassy. That was a thing, right?
Slipping on a pair of flip-flops, she grabbed her purse and was out the door, feeling much calmer than she had an hour ago. The drive took less than fifteen minutes, and as Sophie parked in his driveway, she took a moment to give herself a small pep talk.
“The good thing is that you have a job,” she said quietly. “It shouldn’t matter why you have the job, the fact is that you have one.” She paused. “And while it would be great if he apologized for coming off as being ungrateful last week, you need to remember that he’d had a traumatic day and maybe it wasn’t about me at all.”
Sighing, she flipped down her visor and checked her reflection in the mirror, fixing her lipstick. When she was done, she flipped it back up and continued her talk.
“If he recommended me for these jobs because he feels sorry for me, then I am completely within my rights to tell him that I’m offended. I don’t need charity. However, if he did it based on my experience, then I’ll be polite and say thank you.” She took a steadying breath and thought about how she was going to feel when she saw him back at the office after he went back to work. “He needs to know that I’m going to be checking up on him and his health more than anyone else in the company—especially in the beginning—since I know his history. Like it or not.”
No doubt he wouldn’t like that one bit, but those were her terms and she wasn’t going to be budged.
At least, she hoped she wasn’t.
With one deep, cleansing breath, Sophie climbed from her car, fidgeted with her hair, and made her way up the front steps. Ringing the bell, she wondered how Christian was going to react to her showing up unannounced.
Although, really, how else could she show up? It wasn’t as if she had his phone number.
When the front door opened, she almost forgot how to breathe.
His hair was a bit of a mess and it looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few days. But it looked good on him. Really good. His blue eyes sparkled with surprise and she swallowed hard, trying not to sigh dreamily.
Then she glanced down.
Dressed in a pair of black athletic shorts and nothing else, Christian Montgomery was like some sleek, athletic god.
She’d recognized that he had a fit physique before, but seeing him standing before her practically naked confirmed it.
And then some.
Right now, she was having a hard time forming words. Never before had she seen such a perfect male specimen and her fingers nearly twitched with the need to reach out and touch his flat stomach, and then maybe scratch their way up to tangle in his hair. She bet he smelled really good too.
Oh. Right. He’d asked her a question.
“Um… I wanted to talk to you,” she said, her voice trembling a little—and not from nerves over what she wanted to say, but from the sight of him.
Maybe she should go…
Stepping aside, Christian motioned for her to come in, and with no other choice, she walked into his house.
Swallowing hard, she walked in front of him and looked around. She’d admired the house when she was here before, but at the time, her main concern had been Christian and his well-being. Now she could see just how beautiful the space was—high ceilings, exposed beams, colors that were cool and soothing in shades of tan and blue, and a wall of windows facing the ocean.
Not a bad way to live, she mused.
“Can I get you something to drink?” he asked, coming to stand beside her.
Part of her was afraid to turn and look at him because…well, she didn’t want to do anything stupid.