DON'T MAKE ME MAKE YOU BROWNIES
by Nina Cordoba
Raised by vegetarian hippies on an organic produce farm, Abbie Greenwood wants to save the world. But the L.A. TV station where she works as a consumer reporter won’t let her do the globally important stories she wants to do, and now the “guys upstairs” are suggesting she mix a little of “the nasty” into her helping-people segments to raise the—already high—ratings. Afraid the TV biz is going to suck out her soul, Abbie agrees to take all the time-off she’s saved and housesit for her sister in the suburbs of Houston where conservatism and good barbequing skills are highly rated. But, it will give her time alone to re-evaluate her life, or, at least, give the “guys upstairs” time to see how ratings plummet without her.
Once in Houston, Abbie causes a raucous with a column she guest-writes for her sister’s neighborhood newsletter and butts heads with the president of the homeowner’s association from across the street. Rick’s a real hunk (yum!) of a lawyer (yuck!) who drives a fancy pickup (wasting natural resources), is an ex-rodeo cowboy (too macho, but kinda hot) and has been known to vote conservatively on occasion (dead faint). Unfortunately, he’s also irresistible and available since his wife took off, leaving him with their six-year-old daughter.
After some malicious neighborhood mischief followed by a hot encounter in his kitchen, Abbie decides she’d better stay away or this guy could change her life in a way she never thought she wanted. But when her volunteer job, teaching English as a Second Language, gets her arrested on suspicion of smuggling illegal aliens, who is the only emergency contact her sister left? Mr. Hunky-Annoying-Across-the-Street-Lawyer, of course. And as Abbie feels herself getting “sucked in” by Rick, she realizes life’s decisions aren’t always as black and white as she’d like them to be.
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