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Midnight With Maverick

Pastry chef Carol Sue Morgan sets her eye on copper heir Matt Granger as a match for her beloved, lonely cousin. Matt, aka ďMaverickĒ, secretly forges his own good deed. He finds the special woman he needs ~Carol Sue~ to help him foil a villainous competitor at midnight. Destiny deals a sudden hot new game and desire erupts.Ö

Yet, for this King and Queen of Hearts, will the past and their warring families ruin todayís true love?

(Trade paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-59088-778-3

(eBook)
ISBN: 978-1-59088-286-3

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REVIEWS:

   4.75 STARS ~ Excellent
"The characters are genuine and believable. Sub-plots could have been expanded into their own stories with greater detail, but Karen resists the temptation and creates just enough to a ccent the main plot and creates some depth to the supporting characters."
Lori Graham, Once Upon A Romance ~ www.onceuponaromance.net

4 1/2 STARS ~ Excellent
"A little intrigue, a little romance, and a Lot of Fun. Matt is strong, compelling and a great mix of compassion and forcefulness. Carol Sue is a free spirit with strong roots. Together they make a good couple into a great story! Highly Recommended!"
Sara Sawyer, Reviewer ~ TheRomanceStudio.com

"Karen Hudgins offers a delightful friendly story of romance in small town life, with the added external tension which [makes] for a tale filled with deliciously intriguing developments. You will like Maverick Matt as he makes a cake of himself over Carol Sue. And I do recommend you take a look at the cover. It is Snappy and Sexy."
Nan Doporto, Reviewer, www.Simegen.com

"MWM is a lovely and enticing romance with a great story. The characters are wonderfully believable, the kind with whom you feel an immediate connection, and characters who you really hope will find happiness. The story is engaging, with a stunningly crafted and intertwined plot that eventually leads to a surprising, delightful ending. You will enjoy reading this book from the first to the last page."
Sue Harms, Romance reader extraordinaire

"I absolutely loved it... If you are looking for one of the cutest, most entertaining romances, written in impeccable style and guaranteed to keep you turning pages, then you need look no further than MIDNIGHT WITH MAVERICK by Karen Hudgins. Ms. Hudgins is a perfect example of mainstream publishing missing out on an extraordinary find! She's an author to put on your watch list."
Ginger Simpson, Author, Prairie Peace.

EXCERPTS

Carol Sue knew her cousin was on the road to recovery. She breathed deeply for the first time in what seemed like hours. Then the door opened. In walked Matt Granger, who stole her breath away all over again.

Matt took in the sight of the two women, not sure which one to address first. The coppery haired angel, whose eyes flashed fire at him, or the patient who opened her eyes wider at his entry.

"Are you family?" Carol Sue asked him sourly.

"Are you?" he returned, eager to get her alone.

Lynn slowly turned her head toward him. "Weíre cousins. Iím glad you came. Iím sorry I had to leave last evening. You seem like a nice guy."

She eased her head back and he placed a hand over hers. Cool, she felt so cool. Same as last evening. He wondered if she were getting enough vitamins. But hell, that was the least of her worries now. "I heard on the radio about you and what had happened. I came to offer any help I can give. Please ask, promise?"

Lynn curled her finger for him to come closer. He leaned over, turning his head to catch her words. "You can apologize to my cousin," she said weakly. "She likes you."

With that Lynn fell back to sleep. Matt slowly lifted his eyes to those watching him intently from across the bed. They glimmered, but didnít want him delving where he didnít belong. He straightened up.

"What did she say?" Carol Sue asked in a quiet, no-nonsense tone.

He figured she deserved the truth. "She asked me to apologize to you."

"Thank you. I agree. Was that all?"

Matt considered himself a generous man. And the classy lady in the bed was her cousin. But Carol Sue didnít need to know everything. "No, the rest is classified."

She turned to the door. "Iím leaving," she said softly so as not to awaken Lynn. "Nice to see you again."

Matt grimaced. Nice to see me again. Right. No way would she make a scene here, nor would he probably ever again with her. But he had to say, "You want to try that last part again, with feeling?"

Carol Sue sighed deeply. He was asking for it, and she decided to call his blessed bluff. Lynn was zonked out and no one would ever know. She walked directly over to him at the bottom of the bed and eased her arms around his neck.

Stretching upward on toes, she pressed her lips against slightly stubbled cheek. Not nearly as quickly, she moved back and said, "Nice to see you again. And goodbye."

Matt raised his hands. "Hold it, please. Right thereíll do."

In equally swift move, he gathered her in his arms. Supporting her head with his palm, he breathed the fire of passion right smack back at her. He didnít care if she wiggled in his arms, then went rather limp. But he did care when she opened her mouth a trifle and let him in. A fury spilled from her. Not for nipping her, but from need. A deep desire that matched his own. No woman, absolutely none, could kiss like this.

"Excuse me?" hit Mattís ears.

He reluctantly opened his eyes and looked square in the face of a cop. Carol Sueís eyes were still closed. He lifted his mouth away from hers.

Damn, what development this was. Just his luck. Her boyfriend, he assumed, since he looked like the officer sheíd hugged in the street late the other night. The cousin, struggling for her life. The beautiful pastry chef, who tasted so sweet. And him. All of them jammed here in the hushed ICU, with monitors that pinged. One big happy family. Why he ever let Carol Sue challenge him right now would remain a mystery.

Carol Sue struggled to reconstitute herself and gazed over her shoulder.

"Hi, Bill," she whispered, normalcy flowing back into her.

He nodded at her and rasped to Matt, "Hey, Pal, your two and a half minutes are up. And why are you kissing my cousin?"

Matt released her. Cousin? "Returning a favor for a favor," he said, relieved. "With a little harmless good-bye peck. Good to meet you, Officer." He supported Carol Sueís elbow with his hand and steered her out of the room.

"Would you walk with me to the elevator?" he asked, heading that way.

Carol Sue didnít have the strength to protest. Her sugar level must have dropped, since she hadnít eaten this morning. That and Matt skillfully delivered one potent, energy-drawing kiss. Yet, another impropriety that she needed to discuss with him. Although, not here in the hallway. So the elevator, if empty, offered a perfect place.

"Certainly," she agreed demurely.

The doors closed behind them. "Youíre really steamed, arenít you?" he began.

Carol Sue leaned against the brushed brass railing and looked up at the recessed lights. Any place was better than gazing into those commanding blue eyes of his. Instead of railing at him, she remained silent. Impetuous, she knew, but he needed to know that she wasnít easy.

"Thatís what I thought," he said, as the door opened at four. Two people got on.

"You made a fool of me last night," she said despite their presence.

He eyed her and pushed his hand into his pocket. She was levying another challenge. He figured she didnít think heíd create a scene by arguing with her in front of other people in the elevator. She thought wrong, only because he remembered the deal heíd made with himself. No more public scenes with Carol Sue Morgan.

So Matt let her stew. That is, until the elevator stopped at the second floor where the people got off. The doors closed and he pushed B3 to take them down to that level of the underground parking area.

"For that I truly apologize," he said. "You pushed some buttons and I reacted inappropriately. But it wonít happen again."

She ran her tongue over her bottom lip. "You kissed me upstairs, and that was no good-bye peck."

"For that, I donít apologize. Furthermore, I hope itís not really good-bye. I still want to talk to you about some business. If youíre up for it, that is." He hoped the last sentence would entice her. "How about over lunch?"