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Laugh: Exclusive Excerpt

An exclusive excerpt of a selected scene from Mary Ann Rivers's Laugh (May 6, 2014) is available on Heroes and Heartbreakers to members. Please log in or register to read the full excerpt...

Laugh by Mary Ann RiversDr. Sam Burnside is convinced that volunteering at an urban green-space farm in Lakefield, Ohio, is a waste of time—especially with his new health clinic about to open. He only goes to mollify his partner, suspecting she wants him to lighten up. Then Sam catches sight of Nina Paz, a woman who gives off more heat than a scorcher in July. Her easy smile and flirty, sizzling wit has him forgetting his infamous need for control.

Widowed when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, Nina has learned that life exists to take chances. As the daughter of migrant workers turned organic farmers, she’s built an exciting and successful business by valuing new opportunities and working hard to take care of her own. But when Sam pushes for a relationship that goes beyond their hotter-than-fire escapades, Nina ignores her own hard-won wisdom. She isn’t ready for a man who needs saving—even if her heart compels her to take the greatest risk of all: love.

Sam had thought about taking her to the dinner club in his neighborhood, but when he thought about the heavy leather booths and the cheesy pictures of Frank Sinatra all over the walls, he wasn’t sure. He had taken women there before and they seemed to wrinkle their noses at the old-fashioned surf-and turf menu. His dad had taken his mother there, trading date nights with Betty and her late husband, Marvin, and later, Sam had taken his homecoming and prom dates there, feeling important that he had the cash to cover the tab.

Nina was different though. He wanted to show her he could match up to her. Like Mike said, she was smart and had built an entire business herself. She knew a lot about food, too. What if she didn’t want to eat anything at a throwback dinner club? At her cafĂ©, there were things like sweet potato gnocchi and cornmeal mush with field greens and candied pork belly. None of those were things he’d ever eaten before, but when he did, he’d thought about what it be like to eat things like that and listen to Nina boss around her employees forever, and ordered seconds.

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