An excerpt from The Day It Rained Books, a modern Cinderella story with a generous-hearted librarian and sexy millionaire playboy… and one big secret.
She moved toward the bookcases. The only book she really wanted to see wouldn’t be here now: an original 1813 three-volume edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It must be in safe storage somewhere. Still, she pressed her nose and palms to the sheer wall that separated her from the meager remnants of Lord Melbury’s collection.
A tearing sound.
A loud, cracking creak.
The plastic gave way under her hands.
Everything fell. Plastic. Volumes. Pouring down like rain. Cali jumped aside and slammed into the ladder. Something hit her shoulder. Books clattered on her head, knocking her over.
Hands clamped around her shoulders and dragged her from the deluge, slamming her face against a hard chest.
The bookcase thundered to the floor behind her.
Everything went silent. All she knew for an instant were her thudding heartbeats, the soft cotton of a T-shirt under her cheek, and the scent of delicious cologne.
The hands released her. She stepped back and looked into Piers Prescott’s handsome face.
His chest. His cologne.
Air compressed in her lungs. “Oh my God! The books!”
She twisted around.
Books everywhere. Smashed beneath the fallen bookcase. Spilling out to either side. Opened. Pages torn and folded. Bindings bent.
Her hands covered her mouth. “Oh.” No breaths. “Oh no. No no no.” Horror. All horror. All the time. Like one of those hole-in-the-wall theaters that only played The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween I–V.
“Are you all right?” she heard behind her.
She swung around to the bearer of the cologne that was too perfect and dreamy for this horrible moment.
“How are you?”
She rubbed her head where a big book had connected. “Fine. Mostly. Thank you for grabbing me.” She twisted back to the books. “But… Oh my God.”
“They said thunderstorms today, but it looks like it’s raining books inside.”
A little ripple of pleasure went right up her spine. He had the sexiest voice. Low and confident. And he’d read her mind.
She wrenched her attention away from the disaster to look over her shoulder. “I think I broke the bookcase.” Oh, God.
“You didn’t. Look. It wasn’t attached to the wall. A light breeze could have toppled it.”
“Are you sure?” Her voice sounded airy. His hand running along the edge of the wall was long-fingered, strong, just as handsome as the rest of him.
“Maybe they disconnected them for the renovation.”
“I suspect.” He returned to her and stood looking down at her. “Still fine?”
“Yes.” Except that she couldn’t really breathe. Now it was from both the disaster and him. She knew he was a corporate shark, that he ate struggling companies for breakfast, and that behind that carelessly tousled hair was a brain that had been summa cum laude at both Stanford and Wharton. But he was just so handsome. She’d never hung out with guys this handsome.
But he wasn’t any guy, and it wasn’t just his features. It was the warmth in his very blue eyes and the set of his mouth, like he might be about to smile, but could get really serious really quickly too. It made his classical good looks vibrate with grab-him-and-kiss-him sex appeal.
She wanted to. Now.
And kiss him…
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