About the Book
Serena Bell makes her Loveswept debut with the captivating story of a woman living on the edge—and the man who’s destined to love her.
Ana Travares has been looking over her shoulder her whole life. Her U.S. visa expired when she was a young girl, and if her secret is discovered, she’ll be forced to return to the Dominican Republic. Ana allowed herself to get close to someone once before—and after he broke her heart, she swore never to make the same mistake again. But when a handsome doctor asks for her assistance, she fantasizes about breaking all her rules.
Even though pediatrician Ethan Hansen is a natural when it comes to little kids, as the single father of a teenage son he just can’t seem to get it right . . . except for the Spanish tutor he’s hired for his son, Theo. Ana has managed to crack Theo’s shell—and he isn’t the only one taken with her. The sexy tutor has fired up Ethan with a potent mix of lust and protectiveness. But as he starts to envision a future with Ana, Ethan is devastated to learn the truth about her citizenship. Somehow he’s got to find a way to help her—and hold on to the woman he’s falling hopelessly in love with.
Advance praise for Yours to Keep
“I adore Yours to Keep. It’s sexy and incredibly smart, with a unique, compelling plot and a hero and heroine I love. I was blown away by the authenticity of the emotion and how real the characters felt, especially when combined with great drama and delicious romance. I was completely wrapped up in this story!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Noelle Adams
“Sexy, emotionally rich, and heartbreakingly lovely.”—Ruthie Knox, USA Today bestselling author of Roman Holiday
“Serena Bell weaves a sultry, satisfying romance into a heartbreakingly authentic story.”—USA Today bestselling author Megan Mulry
“Serena Bell writes romance about real people with real problems. Yours to Keep is timely, sexy, and very, very good. Highly recommended.”—Molly O’Keefe, bestselling author of Wild Child
“Serena Bell delivers a fully adult romance with authentic characters, genuine stakes, and the kind of sweet, hot yearning that turns pages and stops your breath.”—Mary Ann Rivers, author of Live
“Sweet, drama filled . . . a nail biter [with] swoons galore . . . steamy hot . . . a make-you-tear-up-and-smile book.”—The Book Hammock
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He watched her slim back retreat up the hill.
It wasn’t only the thrill of solving his tutoring problem that had made his body hum. It was her. She had thick dark hair and big brown eyes that had flashed with suppressed anger in Ed Branch’s tiny office. Her skin was a pale caramel, and her baggy clothes did only a so-so job of disguising her phenomenal hip-to-waist ratio and the rest of her curves. As he followed her up the hill with his gaze, he could already imagine that the trusty hand would be well employed tonight—and maybe tomorrow morning in the shower, too.
But none of that accounted for the effect she’d had on him, that fizzy, chemical awareness she’d unleashed. It was a cliché, but it was like electricity, the hum of her slim, soft hand in his, the nearly overwhelming urge he’d had to reach out and undo her ponytail to watch her hair tumble over her shoulders.
He was used to beautiful, fit women. Most of them might be mannequins, for all the effect they had on him. Ana had broken through the defenses.
It wasn’t the things that were right about Ana that intrigued him, he decided. It was the things that were wrong. She didn’t smile much—though he’d made her laugh a couple of times, which had given him an improbable amount of pleasure—and there was suspicion in her face that he guessed was always there. She wore battered sneakers, not new leather boots like the mommies, and carried an equally battered backpack—not an expensive handbag. And she hadn’t flirted, which filled him with relief and, perversely, a need to win her interest. To find out what made her nervous and hesitant and so thoroughly un-Beaconish.
He cast a quick glance at his watch. It was almost one o’clock. He’d be late for his first appointment, and he hated starting behind the ball. He jogged to his car.
He was only a minute or two from the office, but it was a slow drive. He navigated the parking-lot speed bumps then found himself in a long line of cars turning left into traffic. He tapped his fingers impatiently on the wheel.
He’d see Ana again on Monday. He could cook dinner, invite her to stay. He let himself imagine the two of them sitting on the couch together, sipping wine, chatting—
The fantasy ground to an abrupt halt. He couldn’t cook her dinner. There’d be no sitting on the couch together. For one thing, if he made a move on her now he’d be the second creep in a week to cross professional lines.
It made him uncomfortable that she didn’t want to report Branch, but he didn’t know the whole story. He had to trust Ana’s judgment. If she didn’t want to report him, she probably had her reasons.
A driver stopped to wave him out of the parking lot and onto the main road, where he promptly got stuck at the light. He shifted impatiently in his seat, waiting for the green.
The truth was, even beyond not wanting to pull an Ed Branch on her, getting involved with Ana was not an option. Because he kept his dating life completely, antiseptically Theo-free. And vice versa.
Temptation was one thing; yielding was another. It was not a sin to be human, but he wouldn’t let a passing itch get in the way of what mattered most.
Passing itch. For sure, that described his reaction to the flirtatious mom in the gym. Or how he felt about the women who passed through his office. But it seemed a pale way to describe his attraction to Ana. Or the sense of protectiveness she’d unleashed. The curiosity he still felt. His eagerness to see her on Monday.
He turned into the pediatric office’s lot, parked, and dashed inside.
“Dr. Hansen!” a nurse called as he rounded the corner at a trot. “Can I—?”
He paused to smile at her. “Can it wait?”
She smiled back, nodded.
“I promise, you’re first in line.”
“Exam three,” another nurse called.
He lifted the patient chart from the wooden rack on the door. Despite being nearly five minutes late, he didn’t open the folder or knock on the door right away. He stood there. One last moment to himself before the afternoon unfolded. The shine of Ana’s dark hair in the sun, her soft lower lip. The gleam of gratitude and admiration when he’d rescued her. He got to play the hero all the time with the mothers of his patients, but this was different. With the mothers, it was an accidental side effect, an unwanted residue of doing his job. With Ana, he’d gloried in it. He’d rescue her again and again if he could. Because he had the odd feeling it was the other way around, which made no sense. That when he opened that door, she’d rescued him.
He took a deep breath, rolled his shoulders, and gathered himself. Then he raised his fist, knocked on the exam-room door, and went in.
About Serena Bell
Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better. She wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-age children.
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