Cover & Excerpt
Must Love Ghosts Book One
Haunted? Call 1-800-GHOST-HUNK.
Tia McGarry believes love is nothing more than a biochemical cocktail, and she’ll have the research to prove it—as soon as she and her calm, stable, almost-fiancé land a research grant.
Her biggest mistake, bad boy ex-boyfriend Dec Mancini, is firmly in her past. But when the ghost of her long-dead great-uncle moves into her living room, Dec is the only paranormal investigator with the skills to get rid of him.
Dec is used to scorn and ridicule, but he never quite got over Tia’s refusal to believe. With irrefutable proof that ghosts exist manifesting in her house, he can finally earn respect for his profession—and maybe find common ground for himself and Tia to rebuild on.
Tia can’t deny their crazy, chaotic chemistry is strong as ever, but as the ghost’s pranks threaten to put her grant out of reach, she must decide which is the greater risk: letting a ghost jeopardize her career, or falling in love with the man who could destroy her safe, stable life.
Warning: Contains lovesick ghosts wreaking havoc, an absent-minded professor with a repressed wild side, and a hunky paranormal investigator who’s decided the best place to start rebuilding is in the friend zone.
Genre: Paranormal RomancePurchase link(s): Samhain Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Ghosts, Ghost Hunters, Humor, Hauntings, Second chances
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Excerpt & More
The first ghost Tia McGarry confronted that day was the kind she knew how to deal with—a man from her past.
She stood on her ex-boyfriend’s front porch and jabbed the doorbell for the second time. The shabby Victorian where Declan lived was near the center of town, an area popular with local college students. Paint flaked and peeled from the wood siding. The windows—original by the look of the weathered wood frames—were shielded by vinyl blinds so she couldn’t see in.
A small white sign hung next to the door. Black lettering announced, “Declan Mancini, Paranormal Investigator.”
More like con man.
She jabbed the doorbell again, nerves swimming in her stomach like a cloud of tadpoles on speed. She’d snuck over here on her lunch hour and had exactly forty-five minutes to tell Dec she wasn’t amused by his stupid pranks, get him to stop, and race back to campus to teach her one o’clock psychology class. What if he wasn’t here?
What if he was here and had a woman with him? Another gullible idiot warming his bed.
Tia pounded her fist on the door.
“Dammit, Ryan,” came a shout from inside. “I told you I’m not working today!”
Tia stumbled back a step, the low heel of one black pump catching in a crack between the wood planks. She yanked her foot up, managing not to lose her heel, and hurriedly smoothed her black blazer, her black pants, and what she was sure was her black expression.
The cheap pine door swung open and Declan Mancini stood there, six feet of bleary-eyed, bare-chested, surprised man. The wet dream of every woman with a pulse.
Blessed by superior genes, he never worked to attract women. Tousled dark hair fell over his eyes and curled under his ears because he was too lazy to get a haircut. She didn’t like facial hair on men, and his face hadn’t been near a razor in some time. But when she looked at him, she remembered the gentle abrasion of that dark scruff against her neck and…and everywhere else.
His favorite silver chain nestled in a dusting of chest hair. His faded jeans must be ten years old at least but were still tight in all the right places.
All of it added up to one walking dopamine bomb for the female sex.
She knew this for a fact because she’d once slipped his photo in during a study of how women choose mates. They’d measured the brain wave reaction as coeds stared at photos of different men. Declan Mancini sent women’s brains into overdrive.
Predictably, Tia’s system responded to the chemical rush. Despite years of research and her understanding of the biochemical nature of lust, she wasn’t immune.
“Tia. You’re a much more welcome sight in the morning than Ryan.” His lips quirked up, dark eyes crinkling at the corners, and something twisted inside her. If she believed in love, she’d say his familiar smile lashed the bruise on her heart.
Good thing she knew better.
She rose to her toes, trying to peer around him to see if anyone else was in his apartment, but his big body blocked her view. “It’s not morning. It’s after twelve.” She cringed at the waspish note in her voice, but there was no stopping her inner spinster. “Did I wake you?”
The warmth in his eyes chilled. “I had a late night busting ghosts. Swindling the innocent. You remember how it is.”
“There’s no need to take that passive-aggressive tone.”
“You don’t like my tone, get off my porch.”
“I need to talk to you.”
He propped a shoulder against the doorjamb, folded his arms and waited.
She looked away from the coldness in his eyes, her gaze landing on the peeling siding. One particularly long, rubbery strip dangled near the doorbell. The color might once have been blue or green, but now was a muddy gray. She reached out and ripped it from the wood.
Time to be the calm, rational, professional she was. “Could we talk inside? I’m sure you don’t realize it, but you’re a rather large male and the way you’re standing is a cue for threat. You’re triggering my flight-or-fight instincts and that’s not helpful to this conversation.”
He yawned. “Will this be a long lecture? Or is this the short version where you call me a con artist, threaten to sue, and leave?”
She would not be drawn into that old argument. Gritting her teeth, she pulled his business card from her blazer pocket and held it out to him. She didn’t want to have this conversation where his neighbors and anyone out for a springtime walk could hear, but he gave her no choice. “I came because of this.”
He plucked the card from her fingers, examined it. “You don’t like my new business card?”
“Very funny. I found your card on my dining room table last night. After I called the police to report an intruder. Did you stick around to watch? Laugh while they implied I was hallucinating from stress?”
Dec straightened from his slouch against the door frame, his eyes intent on hers. “Someone broke into your house?”
The fake concern on his face was more than she could stand. She swiped the card from his hand and crumpled it in her fist. “Stop it! I know what you’re doing. My grandmother died, and all of a sudden I’m hearing Big Band music late at night but can’t find the source. Green lights glowing under closed doors in my house. Then a man sitting in my armchair, who disappears when I call the police. God, Dec, I figured out your con months ago. Why pull this?”
He studied her face long enough for a kernel of doubt to blossom in her brain. She squashed it. She should have talked to him on the phone. Declan Mancini in the flesh was dangerous.
“Guess one of us is a slow learner.” Before she could figure out what he meant by that, he leaned back and pushed the door farther open with his arm. “Come on in, Tia.”
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