Emergency Engagement (Love Emergency)

By: Samanthe Beck

He needs the kind of rescue only she can provide…

Glass artist Savannah Smith expected a marriage proposal for Thanksgiving—just not from her strong, silent, super-hot neighbor. But when misplaced mail and a wayward can of paint lands them in a compromising position right as her family arrives for dinner, they assume he’s “The One” she’s been talking about.

Then his family shows up.

Fate dealt a crippling blow to paramedic Beau Montgomery’s heart, and he isn’t about to put it at risk again. Except, with his mother crying tears of joy over his surprise engagement to the sexy little blonde next door, he can’t bring himself to ruin her “Christmas miracle.”

Somewhere between the paint can to the head and the chaotic family trip to the ER, Beau manages to talk Savannah into being his fake fiancée long enough to survive the holidays.

If, of course, they don’t fall in love first…

Dear Reader,

When I was a kid I broke my collarbone. For whatever reason, instead of loading me into the car, my parents called an ambulance—probably because I was screaming like a big baby and refusing to let anyone touch me. EMTs arrived. One rode in the back of the ambulance with my mom and me, and…oh my God. Blue eyes, black hair, dimple when he smiled. So stunning I can still picture him after all these years. He was also extremely patient and reassuring. Suddenly, instead of bawling my eyes out, I was tongue-tied, except to stutter, “almost eight!” when my mom told him I was seven. As if.

Thus commenced my adoration of EMTs. I am pleased to report that was my one and only ride in an ambulance. Unfortunately, it was not the last time I needed an EMT.

A few years ago I took my son to Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Why, I’m not sure, because hyperactive three-year-olds actually don’t like to shop. They like to climb and jump, and they turn any available terrain into a climb and jump opportunity. He fell off a bench and hit his head. The next minutes were a nightmare. Blood everywhere, my little guy screaming and clinging to me so hard I couldn’t get a look at the wound, and kind souls coming from every direction with napkins and paper towels that soaked through at a frightening rate. Finally, three men in blue uniforms ran up. They were EMTs from the Newport Beach Emergency Medical Services division. Within about five seconds they calmed my son, examined his cut, and assured me he wasn’t bleeding out from his head. A few stitches and he’d be good as new. One trip to the ER and five head staples later, we were on our way. He is good as new, and my EMT crush evolved into something deeper, involving respect and admiration…and, well, still a good dose of adoration.

I hope a measure of that comes through in Beau. And I hope you enjoy him!



To emergency medical technicians everywhere.

Thank you for doing what you do.

Chapter One

Was it possible to be castrated by a playlist?

Beau Montgomery held his tongue while Alanis Morissette growled her way through “You Oughta Know.” He basted turkey and tuned out Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” but he refused to silently endure Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” That, ladies and gentlemen, constituted disco, and he sure as hell would not survive. He was stressed enough about hosting his mom and dad for Thanksgiving dinner without the marathon set of breakup anthems coming from his neighbor’s apartment.

A glance at the clock on the stove made him wince. The ’rents had left Magnolia Grove at noon. Assuming reasonable holiday traffic coming through Atlanta, they’d be on his doorstep anytime. The sexy little blonde across the hall needed to take the volume down several notches, or better yet, conclude her Men Suck Festival altogether.

Since it had been going on all day, he doubted either option would come to pass without a word from him. She probably assumed he wasn’t home. He usually worked the holidays to give the other paramedics on the crew—the ones with wives and kids—a chance to spend time with their families. Even when he was home, he preferred to keep to himself. If his parents weren’t part of today’s equation, he’d just focus on the football games and ignore the music.

Beau cursed. Confronting her with a noise complaint on Thanksgiving felt like an asshole move, given they’d barely said hello to each other since she’d moved into the complex six months ago. She wasn’t around a lot—thankfully—because when she spent time at home, she managed to disturb his peace just by existing.

She liked to sing in the shower, seemingly unconcerned if her low, Southern-bluesy voice carried, inviting him to picture her wet and naked. She liked to bake, and the hobby sent distracting scents of cinnamon and vanilla into his apartment like unwanted guests. She liked sex—thin walls held no secrets—though by his count the guy she had it with only brought her all the way home once in every three times at bat. Sheer laziness in his opinion, and why she settled for less than a grand slam every single time he really couldn’t fathom. Maybe silk ties and snappy suits compensated for a lack of bedroom skills?

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