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Mr. Accident

Mr. Accident

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A single dad romance with a ton of heart and humor that keeps those pages turning! 

Winter never thought stumbling into the wrong classroom for a continuing education class would fluster her so much. But the moment the professor’s gaze connected with hers, she about tripped over her own two feet to hightail it out of there. It didn’t help that she and her friends just recently agreed to dig up their old marriage pact from high school about meeting Mr. Right by thirty. Easy, right?

As Winter shakes off the idea of ever finding Mr. Right, the professor knocks on her door, only this time, it’s not for the reason she hopes. And she can’t stop seeing him everywhere she turns. It’s like fate is playing a cruel trick on her because he’s everything she swore she’d never date. And the attraction is undeniable.

Main Tropes

  • Single Dad Romance
  • Neighbor Next Door
  • Marriage Pact


Emilia Hudson has never been one to consider arranged marriages, especially if it meant her fifty-five year old parents would have a say, but with her dismal love life, she’s almost reconsidering.

After her latest dating disaster, Emilia writes a simple blog post that goes viral. Worse yet, people start considering her a relationship expert, and all she feels like is a fraud.

As the emails and speaking engagements start rolling in, she realizes her only option is to take the bull by the horns and run with the unexpected fame.

What she doesn’t want to do is talk about the real reason why she won’t ever fall in love again.

However, when she gets an offer she can’t refuse from a major publisher, that’s all they want her to write about, but It isn’t until she meets the man behind the proposal that she realizes why…

Intro to Chapter One

“This is going to be so fun,” Samantha gushed.
My best friend’s chestnut hair was swooped into a bouncy ponytail, and her energy matched the sparkle in her brown eyes.
I was exhausted merely standing next to her. We’d already had a day of shopping at the Farmer’s Market along with wandering down the Seattle waterfront and now my worst fear was coming to fruition.
Samantha stared at the gigantic Ferris wheel in front of us and patted me on the shoulder.
“Almost as fun as dating our Mr. Wrongs.” Samantha wiggled her brows as she shifted from one foot to the other in line.
I groaned and shook my head, quickly reclipping the brown tendrils that fell from my messy bun.
“This has been a great day,” she continued with no sign of slowing down. A happy sigh left her lips, and I stared at the colorful wheel of death in front of us.
Whenever I looked at the wheel from the highway, all I could imagine was the brightly lit contraption coming unhinged and rolling away with me still on it.
I should probably mention how much I hate being off the ground higher than twelve inches.
My other friend’s voice brought me back to earth. “I have to say after seeing Tessa find her Mr. Right only weeks after our Mr. Wrong challenge…” Arie chewed on her lip for a second as we watched more people pile into the bucket in front of us. “It gives me hope. I think this experiment you two came up with is worth a shot. Winter Jensen, you have made me a convert.” Arie stared at me as if I were to be trusted.
Oh, I hated these types of moments, and they seemed to happen in my life more than I’d like to admit.
You know those moments in life when you realize you were so very wrong, but you had to carry on as if you were right? Like you knew what you were doing all along?
I excelled at bright ideas that were nothing more than dimly lit shots in the dark. Sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn’t.
In this moment, I wished I’d never dug up our old high school pact with my best friends Samantha, Tessa, and myself. What was worse was that poor Arie hadn’t even participated in our pledges when we were sixteen to “never date our Mr. Wrong,” and here she was ready to go find him.
Yup. I said it.
Go track down and date our Mr. Wrongs.
Things had gone so very sideways since we’d come up with the idea that I didn’t yet know what to do to get us back on track and thinking straight again.
First, Samantha had declared that as a teen she’d slept with one of our brothers, without telling us who, and that he was the Mr. Wrong she needed to date, followed by Tessa announcing she was getting married less than a month of meeting her Mr. Wrong, who she suddenly felt was her Mr. Right.
Our lives were spiraling out of control all because I'd brought up a silly pact from our high school days.
And now all eyes were on me to find my Mr. Wrong before my thirtieth birthday, make this imaginary him my Mr. Right, and live happily ever after.
Simple enough since I had such great success in the dating department.
“We don’t actually know if Tessa will make it down the aisle with the guy.” I waved my hands as if I could dismiss the entire situation with a flick of my wrist. “She’s only known him for a couple of weeks.”
“And already accepted a marriage proposal,” Samantha chimed in. “They’re in love. It just rolls off them and is contagious. Thanks to you and me.”
I cringed and shook my head.
Two weeks ago, we all vowed to go find our Mr. Wrongs and date them by our thirtieth birthdays.
Because apparently, dating our Mr. Rights hadn’t worked for us.
Unfortunately enough for Tessa, her birthday was only a week away from the start of the challenge, and her Mr. Wrong was a bad boy type, more precisely someone from our high school. She’d become an easy mark for Samantha and me, so we’d tracked down her high school crush, and the rest was suddenly history in the making.
It was like a slow-motion train wreck that we couldn’t do a thing about because we’d pushed her to agree to this experiment in the first place.
“Ladies, you’re up.” A man signaled for us to step forward to the Ferris wheel and load.
I stuck my trembling hands into the pockets of my orange capris and slid my sunglasses over my eyes as if they’d protect me from falling to the earth with a big splat. Or maybe I’d make more of a thud sound?
Arie looped her arm through mine and hugged me as she pulled me to the brightly lit monstrosity.
“You can do this. If you can go find your Mr. Wrong to spend the rest of your life with, you can surely be brave enough to sit on this thing and go round and round a few times.” Arie plunked onto the seat, tugging me with her, and Samantha sat next to us.
“I’m not sure trying to find my Mr. Wrong is a good idea either.” I put my hands in each of my friends’ laps, and they squeezed them as the Ferris wheel started to move. “I think I made a terrible mistake by suggesting we revisit something from our teenage years. In fact, I think the only way for this experiment to work is if a guy just shows up on my doorstep.” I laughed. “Mr. Wrong is literally going to have to be hand delivered to my driveway before I think about participating any longer.”
“We know you love the unemployed bad boys of the world, Win.” Arie laughed and rolled her eyes. “But I personally think it’s a good time to branch out a bit. Find a guy who owns a pair of boat shoes or maybe even a boat. Or if not a boat, maybe a house or an apartment. Shoot! A tent would be steps ahead of…you know. Who you’ve dated over the years.”
Samantha chuckled. “Well, honestly even finding a guy with his own bedroom he rents would be a step in the right direction. And add on a part-time job, and my hat would be off to ya. How we are going to get this mysterious, yet elusive, man to your doorstep is an entirely different problem.”
“Very funny.” But I knew they were right.
Oh, so pathetically right.
“I seriously wouldn’t even know where to look for a man who was cute, employed, fun, successful…” I sighed. “It’s not like you can just spot ‘em easily. Men are tricky. They put on one persona to reel you in, and once they hook ya, they show their true colors.”
Samantha giggled. “True enough.”
When I was a teen, I'd vowed to never marry a man like my father, and from my simple-minded teenage view that included any successful man who was career-minded. Basically, whatever my father liked, owned, had, did as a hobby, etcetera… went on my “do not marry” list.
Silly, I know, but it stemmed from something well-meaning.
“Tessa would flip if she knew you were backing out of your own challenge.” Arie’s eyes widened as the bucket jiggled too aggressively.
“I’d like to think of it more as an experiment than anything.” I clenched my eyes shut, sure we were about to roll away. Now was not the time to worry about this silly pact. My life was in danger.
“It’s a challenging experiment,” Samantha agreed. “But we’re up to it. We have no other choice.”
“I’m not backing out.” I shook my head with my eyes still tightly closed. “I’m just starting slow. So slow, you might not even notice me make a move.”
Samantha laughed, and I slowly peeled my eyes open.
Samantha squeezed my hand. “I know your dad was and is a creep.”
I let out a sigh and nodded.
“But don’t let his actions shape your entire life,” Samantha pleaded.
Her words hit me like a sword to the heart.
It was true. The moment my mom and I walked into our beach home and saw my dad railing another woman, our worlds shattered. I saw the devastation he caused my mom. I was the one mopping up her tears and picking up the pieces of our once perfect lives.
Sometimes, I caught myself longing for the family we’d once had. The family that I grew up loving as a little girl before it was torn apart by infidelity and divorce attorneys.
“Think about it.” Samantha drew in a slow breath. “Your brothers are both successful and amazing individuals. Any woman would be lucky to have either of them.”
My gaze flew to Samantha’s.
Why would she bring up my brothers?
Of all the successful men?
My brothers?
Was that why she was so eager to accept this challenge? So she could go hunt down one of our brothers who she’d slept with and rekindle a little something, something without guilt?
I scowled at her, and she laughed.
“What?” Samantha blushed and shook her head.
“Well, you haven’t given us much to go on with your pact…” My voice trailed off, and I glanced at Arie, who nodded. “And as you very well know, we all have brothers, and you’ve apparently slept with one of them.”
Samantha shrieked with laughter and threw her head back, making the bucket rock a little too much for my liking. “Don’t be so paranoid.”
“We’re not paranoid,” Arie chimed in. “It’s plain as day. Your Mr. Wrong is someone you want to reconnect with, and this is your excuse to do so,” Arie said and traded a glance with me. “You really should tell us who it is. What if we need to mentally prepare?”
Samantha unlinked her hand from mine, and a coy smile surfaced on her usually sweet lips. “I will when the time is right.”
“Do you know how suspicious you look right now?” I asked, thinking back to my brothers Colton and Sheppard. Sheppard was a year older than me, and Colton was three years younger. I knew there was no possible way that it was Colton, which left Sheppard.
The problem was that Sheppard was no saint. Never had been and never would be. He was nothing like my father, but that was because he never pretended to be who he wasn’t. Sheppard never wanted to settle down. He never wanted to marry, but he didn’t see anything wrong with hooking up. Not now and not then.
A shiver ran through me. It logically could be Sheppard that Samantha’s secretly pining for, and that would lead to nowhere good for my friend.
I shook my head in frustration. “Ugh.”
I sucked in a breath and brought my hands to my own lap as I craned my neck to see all the people down below us who looked like colorful ants scattering in many directions. The ride suddenly stopped, and our bucket rocked back and forth with an unsettling squeak.
“What’s going on?” I squealed. “Why are we stopped?”
Arie glanced over the side as if she did this type of thing every day. “Looks like a family with a sick child is getting off.”
“How can you see all that?” I asked.
“Not only can I see it, but I can also hear it.” Arie closed her eyes and shuddered. “Yuk.”
“It’s funny for being a vet how squeamish you are around certain things,” I teased.
She huffed. “It’s just different with animals. They’re more…” Arie shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s just different.”
I smiled, and relief spread as the wheel began to turn again.
“Well, as long as I don’t get trapped on this thing, I’ll consider today a great success. I just need to get to my class by 7:30.” The bucket lurched again, and I found the metal rail to squeeze rather than my friends’ frail fingers.
“Oh, you’re teaching tonight?” Arie asked, leaning over the side to stare down at the ground.
I shook my head. “No. I’m actually taking a summer class two nights a week at the University.”
“U-dub?” Arie looked surprised, and I nodded. “What are you taking?”
“I’m taking a survey-type course. It covers a little bit of everything to do with medieval architecture. I thought I might be able to add something to my designs.”
“Wow.” Arie nodded. “I’m impressed.”
“Me too.” Samantha smiled. “That sounds fascinating. Your pottery is already so beautiful.”
They were both quiet for a few seconds, but I knew it wouldn’t last. One of them would crack.
Arie’s eyes widened. “Maybe you’ll meet your Mr. Wrong in class?”
“Yeah.” Samantha nodded. “A complete hottie who—”
“Is about ten years too young for me?” I laughed. “That doesn’t sound like my Mr. Wrong. It sounds like my ghosts of dating past and present.”
“True.” Samantha giggled. “But still. Stranger things could happen. You could fall for the Professor.”
Arie nodded frantically. “Totally. Now that would be the exact opposite of men you’ve been dating. It would be your total Mr. Wrong. A successful, intellectual, fully-employed professor…”
“With glasses,” Samantha interrupted. “And a sweater vest.”
I scratched my head, wondering how long to let them go on. I had a vital piece of information that would burst their bubbles, but they looked so happy rambling away.
“What were your vows, exactly?”
“I hereby swear I will never marry a man with tattoos, who drives a motorcycle, who loves to ski, who cooks, has brown hair, lives on a beach, has lots of money, or has kids.” I sucked in a breath. “I vow to never marry a man like my father.”
“Boy, that’s pretty specific.” Arie scrunched her face. “But maybe the professor will have a beach home, tattoos, a motorcycle, kids…”
“And lots of money because he wrote a couple of bestsellers.” Samantha looked pleased. “I think you can pull it off.”
I laughed and shook my head. “Except that Professor Meyers, Professor Ellie Meyers is a female.”
“Well, crap.” Samantha let out a deep sigh.
“There goes our dreams.” I chuckled and couldn’t be happier when our bucket swung to the bottom, and the man opened it up to direct us to greener pastures.
“You survived.” Arie patted my back. “Just like you’ll survive finding your Mr. Wrong.”
“And it still could be tonight,” Samantha added, and I chuckled, rolling my eyes.
“You two are hopeless romantics,” I joked. “But I'd better head over to the campus and figure out parking.”
“Okay. I think we’ll grab a bite to eat. That sound okay to you?” Arie asked Samantha, who nodded.
They each hugged me before I took off toward my car, which was parked several blocks away.
Today had been fun. I felt so lucky to have such great friends, but I knew in my heart that this idea we’d come up with to date our Mr. Wrongs was a bad idea, and I had to figure out a way to slow Tessa down, or she’d be walking down the aisle with the first Mr. Wrong she met.
I never in a million years thought Tessa would actually jump on the idea and run with it so wholeheartedly.
Spotting my car, I rushed to get inside and let out a deep sigh.
It was one thing to experiment with our Mr. Wrongs, but I felt so guilty for pushing Tessa into some fantasy world. At first, I was excited for her, but when I realized she wasn’t planning on going slow to find out about Mr. McKenzie and was ready to plunge feet first into matrimony, I knew our challenge had officially gone sideways.
By the time I found a place to park, I was all worked up and didn’t even feel like trudging into the first night of class. How in the world would I get through an entire summer quarter if I was now bemoaning having to go to class?
I let out a groan and forced myself to snap out of it. I was only exhausted because I was thinking of dating and men.
That was always a source of doom and gloom for me. On the outside, I looked like I was having a blast with hot men who turned heads and knew what to do in bed. On the inside, I still wished for more.
I quickly dabbed some clear lip gloss on, stuffed my books into a bag, and found my way to the right building.
When I’d finally collapsed with a thud into a seat in the front row, I was ready to call it quits. I wasn’t cut out for college life any longer. First of all, the books were heavy, and everywhere I looked, the place was crawling with children.
Okay, maybe they weren’t children, but they certainly didn’t look old enough to be in college. I slinked deeper into my seat and pulled out my binder as empty chatter filled the room as if the students hadn’t seen each other for years.
The dull beige walls had a few posters hung on the wall with pictures of men I didn’t recognize. Between the frock coats, scarves, and vests, I’d assume these men were from the 1800s and obviously prominent figures I should recognize. I slid a little further in my seat.
Maybe I really was in over my head with this class. I thought the idea of medieval architecture would be fascinating, and I’d love to apply it to my craft if I didn’t make a complete fool of myself first.
I glanced at the posters again just as the door shut, and everyone quickly found their seats. Tapping my pen on the blank page, I looked up to see the sexiest man I’d ever seen.
Like drop-dead gorgeous.
And instead of making his way into the student section, he slid his laptop bag under the desk and walked to the podium.
His light-blue eyes scanned the students in the classroom, and I heard a couple of comments behind me from ogling girls. I craned my neck and hid a smile, realizing the room was mostly filled with females.
I brought my attention back to the front of the classroom and stared at the man in front of us. Maybe he was the teaching assistant. He certainly wasn’t a woman named Ellie Meyers.
I cocked my head slightly and observed him. He looked confident, like he knew he should be here. He glanced at the clock, undoubtedly waiting for it to strike the start of class, and turned his attention to us, his students.
His gaze was bouncing from student to student, but when his blue eyes landed on me, my entire body heated up like I’d suddenly been thrown into a raging sauna. He moved on, but not before giving me a second look, and I realized I’d forgotten to breathe.
When his gaze found its way back to me, it felt like the entire classroom evaporated. His smile made my head spin, my hands sweat, and my stomach turn in knots. It was like only the two of us had eyes for each other.
Everything about this man made me weak in the knees. His dark hair, light-blue eyes, golden tan, and muscular build were just the jumping-off point. He’d obviously spent a lot of time outside, which gave him the perfect amount of—
“Thank you, everyone, for choosing to spend your summer evenings with me.” He glanced toward the window and brought his attention back to the class. “I know summer classes aren’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but I plan to make our evenings together memorable.”
The thought of him making my evening, any evening, memorable sent a thrill through me. I didn’t know what had happened to Professor Ellie Meyers, but I’d happily learn to live without her.
Judging by all the sappy looks on the females around me, I was pretty confident I wasn’t alone in that thinking.
“The end of the eighteenth century brought the Romanticism Movement.” He scanned the classroom, and as his gaze briefly landed on mine, my heart skipped a beat. “It carried forward into the first half of the nineteenth century, lending us individualism and an emphasis on emotion in poetry.”
Wait? What? Poetry?
I quickly opened my binder and scanned the room number A107. I shut my binder and stared at the professor. I was in the right classroom. Maybe this professor was in the wrong room. Not me.
“Do any of you recognize the men behind you?”
The class spun in their seats as the professor walked by.
Or maybe not.
Arms shot up and hands frantically waved in the air.
“Yes.” The professor pointed at one of the students, who couldn’t be more than twenty and was gorgeous, as she beamed.
“Lord Byron,” she exclaimed, and the professor smiled.
It was hard not to notice the subtle lines edging from his eyes and mouth from years of smiling.
He nodded. “Yup. Lord Byron’s up there. And do you have a favorite poem by him?”
The female student began saying something about her mind may lose its force, her blood, and her fire before I realized she was apparently reciting a poem by the famed Lord Byron, who I’d never heard of before tonight
And I certainly wasn’t used to people hopping into recitations while speaking.
This was definitely not medieval architecture. I didn’t want to be rude and walk out of the classroom, but I was dying to know how I wound up here. I was positive I’d found the correct room.
“Did you know Lord Byron had a thing for his cousin, as well as his half-sister?” the professor began.
“And he had bisexual tendencies,” another student piped up.
Boy, things were certainly getting interesting quickly.
“Very true.” The professor nodded. “Sexuality, nature, life observation were often threaded through romanticism. It was a time when self-reflection became paramount in art. In fact, Lord Byron had fallen so deeply in love with his cousin, he moved to be closer to her, and she was mentioned to be his muse for much of his early poetry career.”
Okay, this was far juicier than any old building I could study. I’d stay for tonight’s course and figure out what I’d done wrong later.
The professor moved to the front of the classroom, and when I turned back around, my elbow clipped my binder. It tumbled to the floor with a thud, along with several architecture books.
All eyes fell to me as the professor hurried over to try to help me.
“Wow. You’re taking an architecture class too?” the professor asked, holding up one of the books.
“Well, I’m…” He was far more good-looking up close, and he smelled so crisp and outdoorsy. I wanted to inhale him, but I firmly got a grip on myself and tugged the book back from him. “I think I’m in the wrong classroom.”
He stood and nodded. “Oh. That’s a shame.”
“It is. Things were getting interesting.” I smiled, feeling a blush creep up my neck.
He laughed, and my entire body responded to the sound. “It’s bound to get far more interesting. Poetry is deeply layered in context and content.”
I nodded as if I had the slightest clue.
“But the College of Built Environments doesn’t have any classes in this building. This is mainly linguistics, English, humanities, that sort of thing.”
I felt all eyes on me and quickly shoved my books and binder in my bag before hopping up.
“I’m sorry for the interruption.” I looked at the students around me. “I’m sure you’ll all love your poetry class.”
“You could always add this class and drop the other.” The professor smiled, and the class giggled.
“Probably not a good idea,” I mumbled.
Before I had a chance to second-guess myself, I ran out of the classroom and wished I’d at least gotten his name.

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