Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson
After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.
Fun, compelling, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.
“You owe me,” Kevin teased, watching her closely for a reaction.
Guilt appeared first, followed by resignation. She placed her cool hand on his arm. “Would you settle for a thank you? That seems to be all I ever say to you, but I don’t have much else to offer.” She looked so tired, defeated even, as though the rigid strength he’d glimpsed earlier was all used up. What had happened? More than ever, he wanted to pull her into his arms and try to coax some of it back. What was it about her that drew him to her? That made her look beautiful, even next to Nicole, and cause Kevin to miss her when she wasn’t around? Why was his heart suddenly racing like a teenager?
“‘Thank you’ works,” he said, his voice husky.
The corners of her mouth lifted slightly before wilting. She dropped her hand and clasped her fingers together. “Before I lose my nerve, I, uh—need to ask you something.”
When she said nothing more, Kevin prodded, “Yes?”
“I was, uh, just wondering if—” Her lips clamped shut as though she couldn’t force herself to say the words. Her fingers fidgeted, and she couldn’t stand still. It was almost comical watching her fight whatever inner battle was going on in her mind.
“Out with it, Emma,” Kevin said as he fought back a smile.
Her eyes met his for a brief moment before looking down at the floor. “Is that job offer still on the table?” she said in a rush, still looking at her feet.
Anxiety flared in Kevin’s gut for a moment, then quieted almost as quickly. Not only was Emma intelligent and confident, but she was strong and good. She’d do fine.
“Yes,” he said firmly. “The offer is definitely still on the table.”
Hopeful eyes turned up to his—eyes brimming with moisture. She threw her arms around Kevin and hugged him tight. For a few shocked moments, he stood there, wondering what to do. Then he wrapped his arms around her the way he’d wanted to do earlier. As she sniffled into his shirt, he rested his chin on her head. Her hair smelled lightly of cherry blossoms, and her body felt soft and strong at the same time. He didn’t want her to pull away.
But she did eventually. Her eyes were bright with a mixture of defeat and relief. Kevin knew it had cost her a lot to ask him that, yet she’d done it. And he knew exactly who she’d done it for.
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