Right Here, Right Now

By: Georgia Beers


With each book I write, I’m amazed by how many people help me along the way, whether I ask or not, whether they know it or not. This book is no different.

Thank you to Bold Strokes Books and the staff there for making this process much easier than it could have been, especially Len Barot and Sandy Lowe, who walked me through, step by step. I so appreciate your patience.

To my niece, Katie Benko, for answering all my questions about Philadelphia and pointing out some fun places and details. I owe you dinner, Kate.

My books are so much better than the first drafts I hand in, and that’s thanks to my editor extraordinaire, Lynda Sandoval. I have learned so much from her over the years. Whether it’s an easy edit or a global restructuring (words no writer wants to hear, trust me), her instincts are impeccable and she’s always right. Well, maybe 95 percent of the time…Thank you, Lynda, for making me a better writer.

To Dr. Holly Garber, who’s been my friend since we were five years old, for answering all my annoying medical questions.

I’ve got a pretty good routine going by now with this job, but I still talk to a handful of people every day, and they still help me to relax. Thank you, Rachel Spangler, Melissa Brayden, and Nikki Little, for being around when I need you. Whether I want to celebrate with you, cry on your shoulders, or need you to smack me back into action, your friendship means a lot. I’m keeping you guys.

I know he can’t read and has no idea what I do for a living, but I feel oddly compelled to thank Finley, my sweet and loving dog, for keeping me sane over the past year. I don’t know what I’d have done without him. He teaches me unconditional love every single day. He is my heart.

Last, but never least, thank you to you, my readers. Your support means more than you know.

Chapter One

I, Lacey Chamberlain, am not a morning person.

There. I said it.

I never have been a morning person, even when I’ve tried (cough/college/cough). When my alarm goes off in the morning, what I really want to do is hurl it across the room so that it shatters (silently, of course) into a million pieces, allowing me to stay in the warm coziness of bed until I’m good and ready to get up. Around ten or so. Maybe ten thirty.

Luckily for my financial well-being, I’m structured and I’m a rule follower, which means, in actuality, when my alarm goes off, I have no choice but to obey it and get my ass out of bed. I’m never happy about it, but I do it. Because I have a job.

Leo, on the other hand, is all about the morning. The terrier mix I rescued two years ago scrambles up from the foot of the bed every morning, as soon as the second alarm begins its obnoxious ringing. He knows I always hit the snooze button. Once. That’s all I allow myself. So, when the alarm goes off the second time, he sees that as his cue for morning doggie lovin’, which I live for, I have to admit.

“Okay, okay,” I mumbled to him. I was still half-asleep as I simultaneously tried to love him and keep him from poking his tongue in my mouth. “Dude. Ease up. I love you, too. I swear.”

This game went on for a good ten minutes, me covering my head with my down comforter as Leo scratched at it madly with his tiny paws. I peeked out just enough for him to see me and dive for my face before I pulled the covers back up. It’s our daily routine, and after a few minutes, I’m usually laughing and almost awake. Almost.

Two hours and two cups of coffee later, I packed Leo into the car along with my messenger bag filled with client folders, and a travel mug filled with yet more coffee, and we headed off to work. The drive is about twenty minutes, and I always use it to mentally go over my schedule for the day. Whether I have people to meet or just paperwork to do, I lay it all out in my head while I drive. Leo was seat-belted into the passenger seat, his sweet brown eyes scanning the scenery as it flew by. I learned the hard way to belt him in…one day, as we sat at a red light, I thought I’d be nice and slide the window down a bit for him so he could stick his little nose out. I neglected to put the child lock on, however, and all it took was him standing on the button before the window was down far enough for him to jump out. And he did. I watched it happen in slow motion, I swear to God. I leaned to grab him, but I missed. I can’t believe he didn’t break a leg—it was a long way down for his ten-pound body—and it’s a miracle he didn’t get flattened by a car as he darted across two lanes of traffic. The beeping horns, screeching tires, and shouts from his terrified mommy were apparently enough to scare the bejesus out of him, though, because he doesn’t seem to mind the belt at all.

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