“My name is Kyle Morgan. I’m 30, my best friend is a woman, and I’ve pretty much decided to stay single. Yeah, I think that about sums it up. I’m a police officer by trade. Specifically, I’m a detective for a local department. Why did I become a cop?” *shrugs* “I wanted to help people. I currently work in Homicide, and as hard as it can be, I enjoy helping the families left behind find peace. The dead deserve to have someone speak for them. “Strengths and weaknesses?” *Rubs his chin, the corners of his mouth twitching.* “Let’s see…good-looking, charming, witty—”
*A small stuffed animal flies in from another room, hitting the back of his head.*
“Hey!” *Swivels around, his grin widening at the sight of the woman standing in the archway.* “My sister Becca. I’m willing to bet she has something to add to this discussion.”
*Becca strides into the room, plopping down onto the couch beside him.* “He’s not humble, that’s for sure.”
*Kyle laughs again.* “My oldest brother, Evan, would probably tell you I’m a jokester and not serious enough.”
*Becca rolls her eyes.* “Evan’s serious enough for all of us.”
*Kyle nods.* “True that. Okay, seriously…my strengths? I like to think I’m a nice guy.”
*Becca lets out a dramatic sigh.* “All right, I guess I’ll give him that one. He is a nice guy. Sometimes, too much.”
“I’m also not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. Weaknesses? I’m a pushover.” *Nudges Becca with an elbow.* “Just ask Becca.”
*Becca blushes.* “Goes with the nice guy thing he’s got going on.”
What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?
“I’m third of four. Evan and Chase are older. Becca’s the youngest. Which puts me somewhere between the forgotten middle child and the spoiled baby.” *winks.*
*Becca purses her lips and shakes her head.* “Kyle’s the class clown. Evan is the one who makes us toe the line, the rule enforcer. Chase is the quiet one. Kyle has always been the one who made everyone laugh.”
*Kyle grins and glances at Becca.* “That makes you the spoiled brat.”
*Becca folds her arms, but her lips twitch.* “Darn straight.”
*Kyle turns back to me, expression sobering.* “We were raised by our mother. She’s a strong woman. She gave us a strong sense of family, taught us to rely on each other. We get together every chance we can and you’ll find we’re loud and boisterous. And as you can see, we tease each other as easily as we blink, but it’s because we’re all close. How does my upbringing affect me now? That’s easy. Family’s important. I rely on my siblings and their families. There’s what,” *darts a glance at Becca* “12 of us now? There isn’t any one of them I couldn’t call at a moment’s notice if I needed to.”
What is your earliest childhood memory?
*Rubs the back of his neck.* “Now you’re asking the hard questions.” *Sighs and sits forward, resting his elbows on his knees.* “That would probably be the day my father left. I think I was five at the time. I have a memory of the look on his face as he walked out the door. Like I was an annoying bug, a mosquito buzzing in his face. We haven’t heard from him since. That memory stuck with me over the years. I grew up bound and determined not to be anything like him. Which is partly why my family is so important to me, why we stick together.”
How did you two meet? What was your first impression of heroine?
“Ceci and I met eons ago. I was ten, she was seven. She and her grandmother had just moved into the property next to ours. I met her down on the riverbank that runs at the end of our properties. I was throwing stones if I’m not mistaken and wondering how far I’d make it if I tried to swim across.” *laughs.* “She wandered down there and found me. First impression? She was as tall as me, all legs and arms, and she looked scared. Like she wasn’t sure if she could trust me. So, I sat down, took off my shoes and socks and stuck my feet in the water. I tossed in rocks and talked to her. About everything. The river. The bugs. The trees I’d climbed that day and even my annoying little sister. Took me a long time to get her to relax around me. At least a year.”
What do you like about the heroine?
“She’s shy and quiet, humble. She’s stronger than she thinks, she doesn’t ask for much, and like the rest of my family, I can count on her in a pinch. My job isn’t easy. Sometimes the bad guys get away, and she’s like…a little piece of serenity at the end of the day. She centers me. And she’s always there for me when I need her. If I have a rough night, I call her. She’ll always pick up. She’s the first person to be happy for me, and the first person to cheer me on, but she isn’t afraid to stand up to me and tell me I’m wrong, either. That she’s soft and feminine doesn’t hurt either.” *winks*
If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?
“Ah, an easy question. Spend it with Ceci. I don’t even care what we do. Something as simple as making dinner and renting a DVD is a really good night. Though, honestly, I like sitting on the riverbank with her, just watching the water.”
What CD is in your CD player right now?
She’s everything he wants…
For years, Kyle Morgan has hidden his true feelings from the gorgeous girl next door that he grew up loving and protecting. But when she shows up at his apartment in the middle of the night, desperately needing comfort and support, his iron will begins to waver…
…and the only thing he can’t bear to lose.
Kyle was always the big brother Cecelia Anton never had, but suddenly her goofy best friend has become a sexy man she can’t keep her thoughts—or hands—off of. As their deep connection melts into uncontrollable desire, Ceci is willing to put it all on the line for a shot at true love. Only Kyle is keeping a terrible secret about Ceci’s past that could destroy not only their lifelong friendship but their happily-ever-after…
Buy link: Penguin
JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.