A few days ago, social services gifted me a daughter. Six-year-old Ivy has my eyes, is cute as a button, and couldn’t have landed in less capable hands than mine.
I have zero parenting skills, my bedside manner is non-existent, and my job doesn’t take kindly to Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. All in all, I’m heading straight for a Worst Father of the Decade award.
Lucky for me, I manage to find a babysitter in a town renowned for their scarcity.
There’s just a slight problem. I’m supposed to be evicting Quinn Foster, not paying her to look after my daughter.
Then there’s the fact that Quinn is my ex-girlfriend. Our relationship was on fire back in college, before it promptly burned out.
But Quinn is doing such an excellent job of looking after my daughter, that I force myself to forget our past and focus on the present.
So why can’t I stop dreaming about the future…one that includes my adorable daughter and my high school sweetheart?
*The Babysitter Blunder is a spicy standalone second-chance romantic comedy set in the charming vacation town of Hibiscus Bay.*
“You know what?” I tell Ivy as I tap the buttons on my steering wheel. “I have a plan.”
I use my hands-free system to phone my brother.
The real estate market in Hibiscus Bay is highly competitive. There’s hardly any time for sleeping and eating, never mind making friends.
My brother Benjamin will have to do.
“Hey, bro,” Benjamin barks into my ear. “How’s it hanging? Let me guess, you want me to book out the squash court so I can kick your–”
“No time,” I snap. “I need you to look after Ivy.”
I cringe, glancing at the reflection of the little girl in my rearview mirror. Her dark curls bounce as I go over a speed bump a little too fast.
“My daughter,” I mutter into the phone. “Who is with me in the car while I have you on speaker, by the way.”
“Oh, Ivy!” Benjamin laughs. “I forgot about her.”
“Would you quit acting like this is news?”
“Can you blame me for forgetting you suddenly have a kid? Most people get a few month’s notice, at least.”
I stifle a frustrated groan. “Can you help me or not?”
“No can do, bro. I already got three of my own to take care of, and Cindy’s out the whole day with her gal pals.”
“One more isn’t going to—”
“Just get a sitter.”
I’m starting to grind off the enamel on my teeth. “I don’t know any sitters.”
“Oh right.” Ben laughs again. “Hang on. I’m gonna conference in Cindy. She’ll know. We used them a bunch of times. Got a few hot ones, too, if—”
“Ben, I don’t have time for—”
But the line is dead.
Ben never was any good with technology.
If Ivy hadn’t been in the car, the air would have been blue with swear words. But she is in the car, and that’s the whole problem.
Thankfully, my phone rings a minute later as I turn down Poppy Road, the street leading toward the harbor. Despite my Audi’s closed windows and the air conditioning on full blast, a hint of three-day-old fish guts starts permeating the air.
“Ew,” Ivy complains from the backseat.
“Really?” I say, glaring at her reflection in the rearview mirror. “How is this any worse than that fart you let out earlier?”
Ivy looks away, lifting her chin and pushing out her bottom lip like I offended her.
But I mean, come on. My mouth was open and everything.
Thorne writes spicy small-town romantic comedy romances set in the sunny vacay spot of Hibiscus Bay.