The Daddy Coach by Karen Muir
Hoping to vindicate her brother, botanist Gina Dunn poses as a nanny to the man she believes framed him. Even though she grew up in a dysfunctional home, how hard can it be looking after twin four-year-old boys? If she can nurture rare orchids, surely she can handle this.
Instant fatherhood hits contractor Will Sinclair hard when his twin sons he didn’t know existed come to live with him. The rebellious boys reject Will as their real dad, forcing him to turn to Gina, his new nanny, for her “expert” help.
Interacting with Will and his boys as a “daddy” coach, Gina starts to crave the family she’s always longed to have. But Will’s reaction when he learns of her deception isn’t her biggest fear––one of two men she loves is lying…
Excerpt The Daddy Coach by Karen Muir
On the family room couch, Ian and Harry flopped down on either side of Gina and snuggled close. She put her arms around them and read Where the Wild Things Are. The boys grew quiet. Good sign. They were drowsy.
When she finished a second story, their eyes were closed. Finally. I’ve worn them out.
She’d give them a minute to sink into deep sleep, then resume what might be her last search of the house. Leaning her head back on the couch, she closed her eyes. She would start with Will’s black filing cabinet. In her mind’s eye she saw herself opening the top drawer.
A swarm of butterflies flew out, and Harry and Ian leaped to catch them, squealing and knocking over several block towers. The center drawer of the desk began spewing black smoke. She grabbed a potholder to wrench it open with one hand, while picking up the jangling phone with the other. Will’s velvet voice purred in her ear. “How’s it going?”
The boys became burning bundles in her arms, and she grew uncomfortably warm. She lifted her head and opened her eyes to check Harry. Sleeping soundly, he looked innocent and sweet, not at all the bratty beast who’d confronted her yesterday with his water gun. She ran her fingers through his hair and across his damp brow. She turned to do the same to Ian, then sensing movement, glanced up to see Will approaching slowly.
Caught in the cross-hairs of his gaze, she froze. He stopped in front of her and slowly loosened his tie. A surge of attraction stirred low in her belly. Why did she find this man so compelling? Framing Kyle meant he had the morals of a snake.
“Sorry to wake you.” His midnight soft voice held a hint of laughter.
“No problem.” Damn. He was here, and her chance to search the rest of his house was gone.
The twins stirred at her sides and awoke.
“Hi, guys,” Will said. “How was your day?”
Harry rubbed his eyes. “Ian broke the window.”
“Gina broke the washing machine,” Ian countered.
“We had ants for lunch.”
Stunned, Gina looked from one boy to the other. The debrief continued.
“Gina said a bad word.”
“Two times,” Ian confirmed.
At the shock in Will’s eyes, she groaned. She was toast.
He knelt to examine the stack at her feet. “I see you got some books.
“Yeah, we went to the library,” Ian said.”
Harry was not done ratting her out. “We made cookies and got flour all over the floor.”
Ian frowned. “They were black.”
“We had a water fight.”
“Gina wore your pajamas.” Hands over their mouths, the boys snickered.
Will stood, his brows raised. Her cheeks burning, Gina studied the carpet. “Sounds like you had a busy day,” he said.
“Yeah,” Harry agreed. “It was cool.”
Gina smiled. It had been cool, but she was going to be fired for a dozen reasons. Time for a quick exit. She scooted off the couch and turned to the boys. “Thanks for letting me spend the day with you guys.”
She shook their limp hands. “Goodbye, Harry. Goodbye, Ian.”
Disappointed frowns replaced their smiles, and guilt gnawed her. She had earned the boys’ trust and now she was leaving.
“I’ll see you out,” Will said.
“No need.” But he and the boys trailed her to the door, as she kicked herself for botching her one-day trial. Maybe it was for the best. Ian and Harry were troubled boys who needed a real caregiver with lots of kid skills, not a clueless pseudo-nanny who was out to nail their dad.
She reached the front door and turned to give the boys a parting wave.