Lara Van Hulzen
Kate MacIntire is determined to live life on her own terms. No muss, no fuss. But when motorcycle riding, free spirit Jack Harden enters the picture, she has no choice but to reconsider.
Moving from Boston to the charming town of Silver Bay, California was supposed to be Kate's fresh start from a painful past relationship, and she's happy with the life she’s building for herself. Order and structure, just the way her somewhat-control-freak self likes it. Until Jack.
Never one to turn down an adventure or a challenge, Jack wants nothing more than to see Kate let loose and embrace the carefree woman she used to be.
But when her past catches up with them, can loving Kate be enough for Jack to break through the walls she’s built to protect herself?
Kate turned her bike and pedaled toward her shop. Lost in thought, she didn’t hear the roar of the motorcycle until it was right up next to her. The sound, along with movement in her peripheral vision, caused her to lose her balance, her handlebars wiggling back and forth as she struggled to gain control. Her front tire ran straight into a parking meter and she toppled to the ground.
“Oh, for the love!”
Flat on her back on the sidewalk with her bike now on top of her, her skirt a tangled mess, and her knee oozing blood, she was sure this landed in her top five of most embarrassing moments.
“Holy crap! Are you okay?”
A man walked over to her and squatted down near her shoulder. Deep brown eyes searched hers. “Kate. Are you okay?”
Kate squeezed her eyes shut. Make that the most embarrassing moment she’d ever had.
Jack. Why did it have to be Jack that saw her?
“I’m fine,” she squeaked as she opened her eyes again.
“Here. Let me help you.” He stood and grabbed her bike by the frame. Careful of her legs, he lifted the bike off of her and leaned it against the evil parking meter that had jumped in her path. His black t-shirt that showcased tattooed muscles was not lost on her. Neither was the way he hoisted the bike as if it weighed nothing. Great. Now she was practically swooning. She must’ve hit her head on the sidewalk as well.
She leaned up onto her elbows, thanking God her skirt hadn’t flipped up over her head. She was a mess, but at least she wasn’t a half-naked mess.
“I’m fine. Really.” She sat up, putting a hand to her elbow. That had suffered some road rash as well, complete with a tear through her favorite cardigan. Ugh.
“Don’t get up just yet.” He moved back next to her again, squatting down and tucking behind her ear a hair that had strayed from her ponytail. A shiver ran through her. The good kind. Uh-oh. Swooning and shivering. Now she was really in trouble.
No. No men.
She scrambled to her feet. “I told you. I’m fine.”
Jack stood and took a step back as she pushed down her skirt and tried to smooth out her hair. Based on his grin, her attempt at composing herself wasn’t working.
“At least let me help you get cleaned up.”
Oh no. No. No. That wasn’t happening. Kate grabbed her bike by the handlebars and started walking it down the sidewalk towards her store. He followed. His big black boots clomped on the sidewalk next to her, his silence more annoying than his insistence on helping her.
Kate leaned her bike against the window of Atmosphere and dug through the front bike basket for her keys. She turned the key in the lock and opened the door. “You really don’t need to help me. I’m a grown woman.”
His eyes twinkled. “That, I am well aware of.”
“Wow, Lara Van Hulzen’s writing just keeps getting better and better!”
—AUTHOR DORA HIERS
“This was a sweet, fun and entertaining story with very likeable and authentic characters that you want to cheer on, hoping for that happy ending. The characters were well written with complex characteristics. The story line was riveting and kept my attention to the very end. The story line was riveting and kept my attention to the very end. I really enjoyed reading this book and had trouble putting this book down. I highly recommend this book to other readers.”
“This sweet romance shows that opposites do attract and can bring out the best in each other.”
“I absolutely loved this novel! The writing was completely brilliant with passages too beautiful for words. Descriptions of people and thoughts were well crafted into marvelous sentences.”
“A wonderful sweet, inspirational romance...”
“Loving Kate is a touching, emotional story of one woman’s determination to rebuild her life after escaping an abusive marriage ... It’s not always easy to convey the nuances of an abusive relationship to someone on the outside. Lara Van Hulzen has approached this sensitive subject with respect, humor, and believably. You will get caught up in this couple’s journey, you’ll feel anger, sadness, rage, hope … and in the end, the love that heals and lasts a lifetime.”
“Lara Van Hulzen did a wonderful job creating a story that warmed my heart. I hope to spend more time in Silver Bay.”
“A beautifully written story and great addition to the series that will leave a small mark on your heart.”