Bailey Summers is very good at taking care of herself. So good, in fact, that she shuts others out with very little effort.
But when her brother and his partner want a child, she pushes out of her comfort zone and offers to be their surrogate. It’s just nine months out of her life, right?
Because of course when she’s struggling with morning sickness, she encounters the hottest man she’s ever met. To make matters worse, he’s the new bartender at her popular bar.
Rick Cassidy comes with his own complications. He’s a middle school teacher taking a summer job as a bartender to help out his brother’s family. His brother is in a rehab hospital after colliding with a drunk driver, and Rick is trying to help them make ends meet. He’s just out of a relationship himself, with a woman who couldn’t handle him spending so much time caring for his brother. So what’s he doing eyeballing his boss, the boss of a job he needs?
But late nights, close quarters and second-trimester hormones overrule better judgement, and complications intertwine. This is definitely not what they were expecting.
When they reached the doctor's office, Bailey had to pry her fingers off the "oh shit" handle above her head.
Rick frowned at her. "What's wrong?"
"What's wrong?" Her voice cracked. "You drive like a lunatic!"
"You said you were in a hurry."
"I don't see how that was any better for me than driving my tempermental car, seriously." Also, she'd never ridden in a vehicle that was so exposed. Every time a car had passed by, inches from her leg, with no door in between, she thought she was going to lose her lunch, which miraculously was staying down these days. She shuddered.
"Well, you're here, aren't you?"
She got out of the vehicle on shaky legs and prayed Mitch would be able to take her back to the bar. "Thanks for the ride. You don't need to go in."
He looked surprised at that, and glanced from her to the building. "I'll just wait with you until Mitch and Dean get here."
A small punch of relief rolled through her. She hated going to the doctor, sitting in the waiting room with those endless infomercials on the television with the perpetually chipper hosts talking about terrifying things, waiting because so many patients were booked at the same time. And she was so different from them—not usually something she had trouble with, but these days, she felt particularly sensitive to the idea. She nodded and let him hold the building door for her.
She checked in at the window while he scouted seats, finally asking a roundly pregnant woman if she could scoot over a chair so they could sit together. Bailey watched as the woman blushed, smiled, and did as he asked. Rick rewarded her with that damned sexy smile and Bailey felt the kick of it in her own gut. As she sat beside him, she was aware of the other patients—many with kids already, fidgeting and making her want to fidget as well. The women looked at Rick, the only man here, through their lashes, out of the corners of their eyes, and cast Bailey assessing looks. For just a fraction of a moment, she let herself wonder what it would be like to come in here pregnant with her own child, with her man beside her, to feel the same excitement and anticipation these women were feeling.
But that wasn't the life she had planned out for herself. She was a successful businesswoman, content with her life. Families were complicated, and her life was simple. She liked it that way.