Tue
Aug 29 2017 12:11pm

Tracey Livesay Excerpt: Love Will Always Remember

Tracey Livesay

Love Will Always Remember by Tracey Livesay

An accident changed Leighton Clarke's life forever.

After waking from a coma, Leighton Clarke can’t remember anything from the past six years. She’s stunned when her doctors inform her she has amnesia, something she didn’t think occurred outside of soap operas. Anxious and disoriented, the only person who elicits any feelings is Jonathan Moran, a gorgeous chef with compassionate brown eyes . . . who also happens to be her fiancé.

Jonathan isn’t her fiancé. But when his estranged brother—her real husband-to-be—asks him to step in while he’s away in London, Jonathan doesn’t think he has a choice, especially after seeing how the previously aloof Leighton now responds to him. The more time they spend together, the more Jonathan begins to fall for his brother’s fiancé, until he’s wishing the pretense were reality.

When Leighton’s memories come flooding back, can she forgive the man she’s fallen in love with or will his lie ruin the only thing that feels true?

Get a sneak peek at Tracey Livesay's Love Will Always Remember (available October 17, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

It scared [Leighton] that he was the only person who sparked some sort of recognition—some awareness!—within her. It’s like her body knew him and was urging her mind to trust him. He’d become her lifeline to the world. He grounded her. But she didn’t want to be that woman. The woman who couldn’t function without a man. That’s not the dynamic she wanted to bolster between them.

So to prove she wasn’t helpless, that she could take care of herself, she’d decided to get up and make breakfast. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a Joan of Arc moment, but she’d had to start somewhere. She’d planned to greet him pleasantly, engage in polite chitchat and resist the urge to pull his head between her legs and ask for seconds—

No! She shook her head. That was the opposite of what she needed to do. She wouldn’t be the reason he neglected his restaurant any further. She’d keep her uneasiness to herself and use her time alone to figure out her next move. Only she’d forgotten she couldn’t cook. Or, more accurately, a part of her had wished she’d acquired the desire to learn.

Obviously not.

She reached for the stem of the frying pan and yelped when her thumb brushed against the hot rim. Sucking on the injured digit, she pulled the dish towel from the oven handle and used it to awkwardly grab the pan with her left hand, and throw it, plus the gelatinous eggs, in the trash.

A bitter, pungent scent wafted past her nose an instant before the loud blaring of the smoke alarm permeated the room.

Son of a bitch!

“Oh come on! It’s not that smoky in here.”

She started waving the towel frantically beneath the annoying white circle of doom.

Heavy footsteps pounded down the stairs.

Great! Bang up job on the not-appearing-to-be-helpless project.

“What the hell is going on?” Jonathan’s eyes were wide and frantic. “Are you okay?”

“Fine,” she said, shaking the towel overhead, her body swaying like a hula dancer having spasms. “Everything’s fine.”

His gaze skimmed from the smoke billowing out of the front left burner, where eggs were being charred beyond recognition, to the open trashcan lid where the hot skillet sizzled and melted the plastic trash bag, to her uncoordinated and unsexy movements trying to muzzle the alarm. He nodded. “Yeah, I can see that.”

He navigated the sun-drenched kitchen in his bare feet and opened the door that led out to the back yard. Leaving it ajar, he crossed over to the stove and pressed a button on the exhaust fan. A loud whirr clashed with the alarm in an annoying cacophony.

“What were you—” he shouted, stopping when the alarm finally quieted. He continued in a normal-volumed voice “—trying to do?”

“Make scrambled eggs.”

He scratched his whiskered jaw and peered into the stainless steel trashcan. “Is that what this is?”

“It’s not funny.”

“You’re right. The crime you’ve perpetrated on these eggs is not the least bit amusing.” He removed the pan from the trash and set it in the sink. “Nor is what you did to my pan. This is a two hundred dollar piece of cookware.”

For a pot?! She winced. “Sorry. I didn’t know.”

Jonathan turned on the hot water and added liquid dish soap. “If you wanted eggs, I would’ve made them for you.”

The sun shone on his rich dark hair and she stared at his broad back, brilliantly encased in a gray t-shirt. “I wanted to do it myself. I don’t want to be a burden.”

He turned to face her, a frown clouding his features. “You’re not a burden.”

Now that the crisis was over, she wanted to allow herself a moment to study him at her leisure, but her attention was kidnapped by the slogan on his shirt:

Chuck’s BBQ! Once you put my Meat in your mouth, you’ll want to Swallow.

“Seriously?” she choked out.

“What?” He looked down at his chest. “Oh. A going away gift from the staff at Quartet.”

“Charming.”

He shrugged, an adorable crinkle appearing at the corner of his eyes. He was too cute for his own good. That smile was a certified platinum “Get Out of Jail Free” card. “You’re up early.”

“I’m an early riser, always have been. Wait, has that changed?”

“I meant I thought you would sleep in, especially after last night.” He headed to the other side of the kitchen. “Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Although her nerves were already hopping, she said, “Sure. Thanks.”

He nodded at the peninsula. “Have a seat.”

She slid onto the black and white swivel bar stool. “About last night—”

He stilled in the act of adding coffee beans to a grinder. “Yeah?”

“Thank you.”

He leaned a hip against the counter and tousled the hair at the nape of his neck. “This is a new situation for me. You’re…welcome?”

Heat pooled in her cheekbones and she closed her eyes. “Not that! For comforting me.”

“Well…”

Her eyes popped open at his teasing tone. “Will you stop? I’m trying to be serious. I’m sor—”

His head dropped back. “Don’t apologize again!”

“I’m not!” She totally was.

“Good.”

She pressed her hands on the butcher block countertop, smoothed them against the cool surface. “It’s just . . . you’re opening a restaurant. I can’t imagine how much work is involved and I shouldn’t have made you feel bad for doing what you had to do. Especially considering the time you’ve already taken off.”

He poured coffee into a mug and handed it to her. “Not your fault.”

“It won’t happen again. I know how much work you have to do to get ready for your opening, so you don’t have to worry about me.”

The heat from his gaze vaporized her breath. “Perks of the job. I’ll always worry about you.” He clapped his hands together. “But not today. I have something else planned.”

“Really?” She couldn’t help responding to the excitement in his voice.

“Yes. We don’t know how long it’ll take to get your memory back, but we do know dwelling on it won’t make it happen any quicker. We need to take your mind off it.”

“My memory has been compromised. It’s kind of difficult for me to dwell on anything.”

“Smart-ass.”

“Not the first time I’ve heard that about myself.”

He winked. “How about I make you some scrambled eggs? Then our adventure can begin.”

“Are we going somewhere? If so, you’ll need to change that shirt. I refuse to be seen with you in public while you’re wearing it.”

“We’re not leaving the house.”

“Then what are we going to do?”

He opened the refrigerator and pulled out the carton of eggs. “We’re going to take a break from everyone and everything.”

“And how do you suggest we do that?”

“You’ll see.” 

***
Copyright © 2017 by Tracey Livesay.
***
Learn more about or order a copy of Love Will Always Remember by Tracey Livesay, available October 17, 2017:

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A former criminal defense attorney, Tracey Livesay finds crafting believable happily ever afters slightly more challenging than protecting our constitutional rights, but she’s never regretted following her heart instead of her law degree. She has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post and on CBS This Morning. Tracey lives in Virginia with her husband–who she met on the very first day of law school–and their three children. When not answering the call of wife, mother or author, she runs marathons and daydreams about designer purses.

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4 comments
Umayma
3. Safaaa
This looks like a reverse While You Were Sleeping and I'm happily on board the ship.
Jen Wattley
4. JenWattley
@Sultanah--YES! I just started reading this book this AM and I'm really loving it so far.
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