by Bonnie Phelps
5 Stars: ‘I found it to be masterfully crafted, with thought, care, insight, and attention to detail—poetic prose that touch the heart and echo on the soul, full of deep emotion, abundant in pain and loss and, best of all, overflowing in joy and love.’
Nate Kincaid, wants to get out of debt and get his family off his back about his relationship status. The second means he needs a serious girlfriend, but after the death of his fiancé, he isn’t ready. No one knows about his nightmares—the ones that chase him into the dark places of grief. Dealing with debt means his fledgling veterinary practice must be
successful—business before anything else. Always. Maybe a pretend relationship would solve his second problem so he can concentrate on the first.
Full-time psychologist and part-time model, Lauren Royall, has the perfect life. As a therapist she helps people. As a model, her free spirit reigns. When Nate suggests she pose as his girlfriend, she accepts on a lark. Lauren senses his pain and wants to help. She hadn’t counted on falling for the guy or the painful memories from her past his situation evokes.
Let’s start off with some basics—name, age, what you do for a living, family, where
My name’s Nate – Nathaniel David Kincaid – when my mom was mad at me. I’m 35, live in San Antonio, and I’m a large animal veterinarian which means a lot of time outdoors. I’m the oldest of three boys, so I had to be the responsible one. Zach is a national champion team roper on the rodeo circuit and my baby brother, Josh, is a computer programmer. My mom and dad own a large cattle ranch in the Texas Hill country – just north of San Antonio – and that’s where I grew up.
What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
I’m a stand-up guy, a regular ‘Mr. Do The Right Thing.’ Traditional, I suppose. In Texas you’re taught to tip your hat and hold a door open for a lady, help elderly people cross the street, and look out for your neighbors.
How about after they’ve known you for a while?
Because I look like a night club bouncer, people are surprised I’m a sensitive guy. Don’t tell anyone, but I write poetry.
Describe your ideal mate.
Kind, compassionate, loves kids, not afraid to get her hands dirty. Someone who wants to build a home. A woman who wants to make a difference in this world.
What was your first thought or impression when you met the person you fell in love
Lauren? Gorgeous. Independent. Kind of new-agey. Adventurous. Not my usual type, but there was something about her that pulled me in.
What would you change about the person you fell in love with?
At first I thought I’d want more of a homebody, someone I could count on to stay put. Once I got to know Lauren though, I wouldn’t change a thing because if I did, she wouldn’t be the woman I fell in love with. She is the things I was looking for—compassionate, loves kids, wants to make a difference—but she’s also things I thought I didn’t want—adventurous, spontaneous, a free spirit. Those qualities have opened me up to new experiences. She makes me a more complete person.
What would you change about yourself?
We both had some demons to slay. Mine was learning to embrace love again. With Lauren’s help, I’ve gotten there.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
Family. They may be a pain in the backside sometimes, but they’re the people you can count on when life goes south.
Your thoughts on love?
Until Lauren, I hadn’t had much luck in that department. My fiancé died about 6 months before we planned to be married. I didn’t think my heart could take anymore hurt so turned tail and ran as fast as I could in the other direction if a woman started to get serious.
Your greatest extravagance?
Starting my own veterinary practice. Everyone said I should have joined an existing outfit, but I wanted to be my own boss. It was a risk and makes life challenging, but I’m glad I did.
Your quirky habits?
You could say I’m a neatnik. I like order in my life.
What quality do you like most in a woman?
Someone who’s grounded.
What trait do you most despise?
That would be high-maintenance women, followed by no sense of roots.
What are you most afraid of?
Losing the one I love. Been there, done that. Can’t do it again.
I’m a meat and potatoes guy, though Lauren’s teaching me to expand my horizons. Still not sure about that green stuff she drinks, but I at least tried.
What would you consider your perfect night out?
Sitting on my back patio gazing up at the stars. The kind of evening where the serenity pours in to a man’s soul. Close second, taking my favorite girl out dancing. Holding her in my arms. Moving together to the music.
Rumor has it that Bonnie began telling stories at a very early age. Photos exist of the author toddling around the corner of the house covered in mud babbling about magic rabbits leading her through the garden. Her parents were amused – until they discovered she had also walked across the newly poured cement patio – which only added fuel to the fire of her passion for writing. From then on, her active imagination continued to churn out plots and character sketches always wondering how different people would behave in similar situations.
Bonnie used her writing skills throughout her professional life as a fundraiser and marketer
for several nonprofits. She enjoyed the chance to tell and share the story of worthy
organizations. In the late 1980s, Bonnie authored a syndicated column in several California
newspapers in which she shared the experiences and misadventures of life as a wife and
mother. The jury is out on whether or not her children appreciated her candor. Because
Bonnie has romance in her soul, she also worked as a Wedding Planner for several years.
Absolutely loved it!! She craves anything sweet, revels in any chance to travel, and is
addicted to Ancestry.com. A native Californian, the author lives in Northern California with