Girls You Marry

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What people are saying about Girls You Marry:

Loretta at Manic Readers says, “I love the way this story was written. The characters are very well thought out and seem to flow together. The reader is left wanting the two lovers to succeed, resolve their problems and find true happiness as a family. The chemistry between Dan and Sabrina is intense and the sex gets hotter and hotter. This is a must read and I definitely recommend this book. Tina Gallagher has done a fantastic job creating this story.”

Simply Romance Reviews says, “This book was a story of love, forgiveness, and trust. Sabrina – independent but not willing to open her heart to love. Dan – successful but missing the love of his life. The feel while reading the book was relaxing while floating on a raft on a lazy river. This was a real life story that most people can relate to. How do you forgive someone and learn to love again? Ms. Gallagher’s book gives some great examples.

Available now from Kindle Direct Publishing

Ten years have passed since Dan broke Sabrina’s heart and crushed her faith in men. Now he wants her back, but how will he get her to see beyond his old playboy persona to appreciate the man he’s become?

After a serious injury, professional baseball player, Dan McMullen, requests that Sabrina Kelly, a physical therapist specializing in sports medicine take charge of his therapy. Considering their history, Sabrina is hesitant to take the assignment, but decides to do so to further her career.

Day after day, Dan tries to convince Sabrina he’s not the same jerk he used to be, but Sabrina can’t forget how he’d hurt her in the past. Just when she thinks he might have changed, something happens to confirm her negative image of him. Eventually Sabrina gives in to his charm and they begin a physical relationship, but she guards the heart Dan had broken so many years ago. Before they have a chance at a real relationship, Sabrina must stop living in the past and judge Dan by his actions of today, not those of yesterday.

Excerpt:

I concentrated on my workout. Breathe in. Lift the weight. Breathe out. I repeated the mantra in my head through my thigh and bun reps, then altered it slightly for my stomach crunches. My riotous thoughts distracted me from keeping a count, so I simply kept doing crunches until my muscles ached. After stretching and mopping off my face and arms, I walked across the room and snagged two five-pound weights off the rack. I braced my legs shoulder width apart and started working on my routine.

No matter what he thinks, or how smug he acts, I do not care about Dan anymore…not in that way anyway. Sure, as his therapist, I’m concerned about his wellbeing, and I have to admit that we’ve had some pretty good conversations since I’ve been here. I suppose I’d consider him a friend more than an enemy at this point, but it’s not like I want a relationship with him or anything.

Then why were you so upset at the thought of him with another woman?

I wasn’t.

Yeah right.

I shook my head and laughed out loud. Now I’m fighting with myself. I must be going crazy.

Straddling the bench, I laid down, my feet still on the floor. Stretching my arms out alongside me, I slowly raised them until the weights touched then lowered them to the side again. I’ve been doing these exercises for over a year now, and I haven’t noticed any lift to my boobs, but I figure it must be doing some good somewhere. My mind started wandering shortly after I finished my first set of ten.

I can’t believe I was actually starting to believe Dan changed. Last night just proved he hasn’t. Sure he spends most of his time with Lexi now, but as soon as she’s not around, he reverts back to his old ways.

But he didn’t invite them over. They showed up on their own. He made plans with you, not them.

Yeah, he made plans with me, but he didn’t hesitate to cancel them.

He didn’t cancel, you did. If you said you wanted to go out to dinner, he would have sent them packing.

I don’t need any favors from him.

He wanted to go with you and you know it.

Then why didn’t he say so instead of just sitting there like a moron?

Ask him.

I shook my head again and tried to concentrate on my weights, deciding that I must be schizophrenic because having arguments with yourself inside your head is just not normal.

“Don’t you know that you shouldn’t lift without a spot?” Dan shot my own words back at me.

I paused, my arms raised straight out over me and tilted my head back to look at him. Big mistake. He’d cleaned up all right. His face was clean-shaven to a shiny softness and his hair still looked damp from a recent shower. The old gym shorts have been replaced by newer nylon jogging shorts and his magnificent chest was covered with a white Nike t-shirt that read Just Do It on the front.

Not wanting to be at a disadvantage, I stood and faced him. “It’s okay. I’m a professional.” My smile felt stiff.

Instead of commenting, Dan let his gaze roam over my body. “You look cute.”

In old shorts, a sweat-soaked tank top, my wet hair half-in and half-out of its ponytail, and my face as red as a beet…I don’t think so.

I turned away from him and went to place the hand weights back on the rack. That done, I did a few cool-down stretches. Dan’s eyes tracked my every move.

Removing my ponytail from its holder, I finger-combed my hair and once again pulled it off my face into some semblance of order. “Let me grab a drink and we can get started.” I felt his eyes on me as I walked to the refrigerator and grabbed an orange juice for myself, and an ice cup for Dan’s leg.

When I turned around to make my way back across the room, I nearly fell down when I crashed right into the solid wall of Dan’s chest. I didn’t even hear him come up behind me. How can a man wearing a leg brace and using a crutch move so quietly? His right hand clamped around my elbow in order to steady me.

“Whoa,” he said.

“God Dan, don’t sneak up on me like that.”

“Sneak?” he chuckled. “Bri, I couldn’t sneak these days if I tried to.”

“I didn’t hear you.” I took two quick gulps of juice and squared my shoulders. “And please don’t call me Bri.”

Dan is the only person who’s ever called me that. I used to love it. I thought it was sweet. You know, like Ricky Riccardo calling Lucille Ball “Lucy”…then again, he was a cheating pig also.

“You never minded before.”

“Well, now I do.” I had to resist the childish urge to cross my arms over my chest and stomp my foot to emphasize the point. At the thought of my arms, I realized that Dan’s hand still had possession of mine. I pulled it out of his grasp.

“You’re pissed,” he sighed, rubbing his brow.

“I’m not pissed. I just don’t want you to call me Bri. No one calls me Bri.” I knew what he was talking about, but chose to play dumb, with the hope he’d drop the subject before it got started.

“I’ve always called you Bri,” he pointed out. “And you know that’s not why you’re pissed. You’re mad about last night.”

I finished my orange juice in one long gulp and threw the empty bottle into the recycling bin, but didn’t say a word.

“Why didn’t you say you wanted to go out to dinner? Insist that we go out to dinner? The guys would have understood. After all, they dropped in uninvited and unannounced.”

“Then why didn’t you tell them to go?”

“Because you said you didn’t want to go out. You said you weren’t hungry.”

He cannot be this dense.

“Did you want to go out to dinner?”

“I wouldn’t have asked you if I didn’t.” He looked at me and sighed. “Yes, I wanted to go out with you.”

“Then you should have said that instead of sitting there like a mute.”

“But you said—”

“I know what I said, Dan. Why should I have said anything else? Huh? If you had really wanted to go out with me instead of having a party with your friends, you should have said so. I was the bad guy enough back in college, I refuse to play the role now.”

The aggravation drained from his face and was replaced with something that looked suspiciously like understanding. Since he seemed to be a captive audience and I was on a roll, I continued. “You need to say what you mean and take responsibility for your actions.” I could have gone on, but I figured I made my point and realized that I was starting to sound like my mother.

I took a deep, cleansing breath, which was a big mistake because my lungs filled with the clean fresh-from-the-shower scent of Dan. At that moment I realized how close he was standing. My eyes widened and met his smoldering gaze.

The air between us crackled. I wanted to step back but couldn’t, tried to look away, but I couldn’t seem to do that either.

Dan’s eyes bore into me and of course he could read my every thought, anticipate my every move. I swallowed hard and attempted to move my feet and put some space between us. He shook his head and took a step closer, fully invading my personal space. I was about to protest—at least I like to think I was—but he placed his index finger across my lips and shook his head again.

“I promise I’ll take responsibility for my actions.”

My befuddled brain didn’t have a chance to process that before his mouth was on mine, kissing me like there was no tomorrow. Somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that I’d dropped the now-melting ice cup I had been holding. It landed on the floor with a dull thud.

 

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