It’s Complicated by Joyce M. Holmes

It’s Complicated
Contemporary Romance
by Joyce M. Holmes
Release date: December 4, 2017
He wants a real relationship, she’s afraid to love. It’s complicated, but is it impossible?
She’s a children’s counselor devoted to helping others; he’s a stubborn client reluctant to accept her assistance. He wants a warm and loving relationship; she prefers to keep things physical. Professional boundaries dictate neither of them can have what they want.
Having grown up with no one but herself to count on, Maggie Lapage carefully guards her feelings. Professionally, she goes above and beyond to give others the support she wishes she’d had as a child. When she develops a forbidden attraction to a client’s father, she does what she thinks is necessary, to save his family, and to protect her own heart.
Tom O’Shay finds his life caught in a nightmare when he risks losing custody of his daughter. It goes against his character to seek help, but he doesn’t have a choice. That doesn’t mean he has to like it. Everything changes when he falls hard for his daughter’s counselor, and he suddenly has two fights on his hands. One for his daughter, and another for the woman he loves.
It’s complicated, but is it impossible?

“That’s a big gallery, with lots of people
going through it. Just think of the exposure your work would get.”

Tom did take a moment to consider it. The
Langquest Art Gallery was highly reputable, and the show Tom had done with them
had been a sell-out. But to have Maggie go on his behalf to seek out
representation, that was too much.

makes you think I want or need to sell my pieces in his gallery?”

“Because, excuse me if I’m wrong, but I had
the impression you could use a little financial help at the moment.” The
sympathetic look in her eyes made him squirm. No bloody way did he want her
wasting any sympathy on him.

“The offer of support is nice, but seriously,
my professional life, at least, is doing fine. You don’t have to fix it for
me.” Which was the honest, if optimistic, truth. Business was passably good. It
could always be better, but it wasn’t on life support yet, and he sure didn’t
need Maggie out there drumming up customers for him.

She threw a hand up. “Look, maybe I’m
interfering and you didn’t ask for help, but,” she hurried on, gaining speed as
she went, “I spoke to this man with the best of intentions. You have lawyer
fees and counseling fees, and heaven only knows what else with this court case.
They can start to add up—”

“Okay, just stop. You’re making my head
hurt.” He folded his arms across his chest. He had no intention of discussing
the precariousness of his financial situation with Maggie. “This conversation
is over.”

Her eyes sparkled with the love of combat.
“Not if I keep talking, it isn’t.”

He glared at her, making it clear he didn’t
appreciate her interference. She met his accusing gaze without flinching.

“Know what your problem is?” she asked, after
an uncomfortably long stare-down.

“I only have one?”

She reached out and clutched at his hand,
those long slender, talon-tipped fingers curling themselves around his,
distracting him with their touch. Then she started yapping again, effectively
killing the moment.

“You put on a good show, and sometimes I
think you even believe it yourself, but you’re not invincible. You can use a
helping hand once in a while.”

He shook his hand free and swung away from
her, pacing off his frustration. “Contrary to what you believe, I’m not a
charity case requiring someone to rescue me. I’ve always maintained if you’re
looking for a helping hand, check the end of your own wrist first. I don’t need
your pity.”

She moved in front of him, forcing him to
stop, returning his impatient glare with an impressively irate one of her own.
“It’s not pity, damn it. And it’s not charity. It’s a practical solution to
your financial situation. Excuse me for caring.” Both arms flew into the air.
“Excuse me for trying to help you out. For going out of my way to come up with
some creative ideas to increase your income. This is a winning proposition for
you, one that can pay dividends for years to come. Why are you so stubbornly
against it?”

Her logic was infuriating, and it fueled his
temper that he didn’t have a reasonable comeback. “Please, just shut up

“Come on. We both know I can’t do that.”

He threw his head back and laughed, more out
of exasperation than amusement. “You really can’t, can you?”

“I was only trying to help.” Her tone
contained a pout, but her expression remained fierce.

“I don’t want your help. I didn’t ask for your help. Anyone ever tell you
how maddening you can be, Maggie Lapage?”

The force of his words didn’t make her
retreat. She stood her ground in front of him and poked a finger into his
chest. “And you’re the most pig-headed man I’ve ever met.”

He smiled. “Thank you.”

“That was not a compliment.”

“Sure it was.” Even though he was still
pissed off, it wasn’t hard to let the smile stretch into a smirk. She looked so
damn exasperated, and for some perverse reason he found it amusing.

“You’re infuriating!” she yelled and wheeled
away from him, flailing her arms in the air again. “Why can’t you see my
intentions were good?”

He let his smile twist cynically. “Have you
heard about the road to hell?”

“I…give…up.” She emphasized the words by drawing
them out slowly.

“Wish I could believe that.”
Tom O’Shay is a divorced father, who is trying to regain custody of his daughter. In order to do so, he seeks the help of counselor Maggie Lapage. As they work together to overcome Tom’s issues, sparks begin to fly. The two can’t resist their attraction, yet they know it’s best not to cross the professional boundaries.
This is a one of those romance stories filled with lots of drama. Of course there’s Tom story with his daughter, then there’s Maggie’s past of being afraid to love. These are two characters you root for to not only win the case, but also to fall in love and live happily ever after.


Joyce Holmes lives with her husband and very small dog in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Photography and blogging about her travels are two of her passions, along with visiting her kids and grandkids. When she’s not dreaming up stories in her head or planning her next great adventure, she’s off enjoying the great outdoors.
A $10 Roane Publishing gift card!

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