Stuck With You

Stuck With You
Trish Jensen

January 2012 $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-086-2

Fun, Sexy Romance
Our PriceUS$13.95
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Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt

Two feuding divorce lawyers. One infectious "love bug” virus.

The symptoms are hard to resist . . .

The doctor was blunt. "There’s a slight chance that the two of you came into contact with infectious materials when you were transported in that ambulance. It doesn’t appear to be dangerous to young, healthy adults such as yourselves.”

Ross quirked an eyebrow. "What are the symptoms? And how long do we have to stay quarantined?”

The doctor cleared her throat. "Well, some symptoms are elevated heart rate, a warmth radi­ating under the skin, possible dizzy spells, and . . . height­ened sexual awareness.”

"Oh . . . my . . . God,” Paige said faintly.

Trish Jensen is theUSA Todaybestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. Visit her at


"Mindful of Monkey Business starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, Stuck With You is a zany lighthearted courtroom-hospital romance starring two likable combatants… Fans will relish a wild gender war between a snake and a shrew in viral lust and maybe love." -- Klausner's Bookshelf – Midwest Book Review

"Hot and funny! Very well written!" -- Chanpreet Singh; Good Reads

"I was hooked on this book right from the word go. It doesn't hang around and gets you into the action straight away. I found myself needing to know what was going to happen, how things were going to pan out between them. On a number of pages I even realized I was holding my breath whilst the two of them dealt with the tension, sexual and otherwise, in the room. I found this a thoroughly enjoyable 'ride' from start to finish!" -- Catriona, The Sweet Bookshelf

"Stuck with You offers laughter, witty exchanges, genuine sweetness, and sufficient steam. I recommend this one to readers who enjoy a fun, lighthearted read." -- Janice Rholetter, GoodReads

"Lighthearted and funny, this battle of the sexes…story was a fast, easy read. Paige's family was a character in itself, and the entire confinement of Ross and Paige was hysterical…Overall, this was a very sweet, funny read, with just enough steam to keep things from getting syrupy." -- Jess Richardson, Romanceaholic

"…filled with funny one-liners and steamy moments of passion." -- Michelle Villarmia, Book Chelle

"With witty elements all the way through, Jensen gives a thoroughly pleasing novel…" -- Gemma Wood, Passion for Novels Blog

"The characters were endearing, believable, and easy to relate to… a feel-good read from start to finish." -- Tina Draper, Island Reader Reviews

"This was exactly what I was looking for - a fun, romantic romp with great characters. Ross and Paige are both smart, fun and lovable characters…" -- Heather, Acting Balanced

"These two characters sizzle in their hate, lust and love for each other. Added bonus is the sarcasm full of humor and bite." -- Lyn Ching, Reading Tsinoy

"Stuck With You is a wonderfully engaging romance about letting go of assumptions and trusting your heart." -- Maria Munoz, Fresh Fiction

"…this is just a book that was fabulous and fun. If you are looking for a read for a mental escape, this is the perfect read. It was highly entertaining and I loved it!" -- Christi Snow, Smitten with Reading

"…a humorous contemporary romance…I'm going to be looking for more by this author." -- Christa Pitcock, Good Reads

"...Stuck With Youis the perfect book to drive my blues away." -- Mrs. Giggles Book Reviews


"Stuck With Youis warm and funny and sensual and sweet." -- All About Romance

"Trish Jensen is the undisputed queen of comedic romance." — Kathy Boswell, >The Best Reviews


Two feuding divorce lawyers. One infectious "love bug” virus.

The symptoms are hard to resist...

The doctor was blunt. "There’s a slight chance that the two of you came into contact with infectious materials when you were transported in that ambulance.”

"A virus?” Paige squealed.

"What virus?” Ross demanded.

"The CDC believes it’s a new strain of Tibetan Concupiscence Virus. Or TCV.”

"Concupiscence?” Ross repeated. Paige could almost see his mind chugging along. Understanding had his eyes widening. "Horny Monk Disease?” he said dryly, not nearly as panicked as Paige felt he ought to be.

"Oh, you’ve heard of it?” the doctor said.

"Horny Monk Disease?” Paige whispered.

"They actually call it that?” Ross said, gaping a bit himself. "I was kidding!”

The doctor laughed. "No, I don’t believe they call it that. At least not in official literature. But you’re getting the idea. The symptoms appear to be—somewhat unusual.”

"Is it dangerous?” Paige asked, not sure she wanted to know what the unusual symptoms might be.

Dr. Turner shook her head. "It doesn’t appear to be dangerous to young, healthy adults such as yourselves.”

Ross quirked an eyebrow. "What are these—unusual symptoms? And how long do we have to stay quarantined?”

The woman cleared her throat. "Well, some symptoms are elevated heart rate, a warmth radiating under the skin, possible dizzy spells, heightened sexual awareness and a few other very minor irritations.”

"Oh... my... God,” Paige said faintly.

Ross crossed his arms. "I’ve never actually considered heightened sexual awareness an irritation.”

"That’s it!” Paige said, pointing at Ross accusingly.

"That’s what?” he and the doctor asked at the same time.

"The reason I was—was—never mind,” Paige said, feeling her cheeks heat up. Like she’d ever admit she’d been making silent, non-lawyerly observations about the snake. Hospital gowns weren’t supposed to look that good. Or deliciously skimpy.

Chapter One

Paige Hart awoke to discover her brain was exploding.

Or imploding.

Or something else scientific that accounted for the persistent hammer blows behind her eyelids, at her temples, and at the base of her skull.

She knew right away that visual stimulation would be too much to bear at the moment, so she kept her eyes squeezed shut. But slowly she allowed other details to seep in.

She was in a bed. That was good. Better than a coffin, for sure. Well, maybe not, considering there was major drilling going on in her gray matter.

Paige let her hand slide beneath the body‑warmed cotton sheet. She encountered more cotton covering her torso, which told her that she wasn’t home waking up from a horrible nightmare that had pounded through her head like a wrecking ball. At home she always slept in the nude.

So someone had dressed her in a cotton nightgown and placed her in a foreign bed. Yes, this certainly wasn’t her own bed. It was too hard and the pillow too flat and she never used cotton sheets anyway. Flannel in winter, satin in summer.

"Okay, woman,” she murmured, "get a grip. Who are you, where are you, and why are you wherever you are?”

Her olfactory senses kicked in. Disinfectant and something else—a sickly sweet scent. "Okay, the where is obvious. You’re in a hospital.”

That thought alarmed her enough to send her fingers groping over her body, taking inventory. At the same time she wiggled her toes and lifted her legs. The actions managed to make her head pound all the harder, but at least she was assured that all her limbs seemed to be intact.

She wasn’t hooked to any life-sustaining equipment that she could hear or feel. No beeping, no sense of anything poked under her derma.

She took a deep breath, her eyes still shut against what she knew would be agonizing light. "Your name is Paige Hart. You’re thirty-two years old. Single, thank God. Your parents are William and Lila Hart, currently of Macon. You have six brothers, two sisters, and way too many aunts, uncles and cousins.”

At the thought of her huge extended family, she groaned. Because that reminded her of more things about herself. Like the fact that she was an attorney, and from the moment she’d passed the Georgia Bar Exam eight years ago, one after another of those relatives had paraded through her office with a variety of legal problems they wanted Paige to handle.

It didn’t matter that she was a tax attorney. That didn’t prevent Aunt Lulu from marching Paige’s cousin Duane into her office after he was picked up for vandalizing a bridge by spray painting "Jump here” on the side of it. Nor did it matter to her second cousin Bonnie that Paige wasn’t trained to handle sexual harassment suits. And it didn’t stop the majority of her next-of— and not-so-next-of—kin from naming her the executor of their various wills.

The most bizarre case had been when Jerry, her first cousin once removed, wanted to hire Paige to help him contest the will of his mother, her great aunt Twila. Luckily, Paige had had to decline, as she’d been named executor of Aunt Twila’s will, and was able to claim a conflict of interest. So Aunt Twila’s estate—all of it—ended up in the hands of an organization called People for a Snake-Free America. Aunt Twila had possessed a real aversion to snakes.

Speaking of snakes, the name Ross Bennett popped into her throbbing head. Why, she didn’t have a clue. She was fairly certain she didn’t have a relative by that name, but with her family she couldn’t rule it out. No doubt, though, the name certainly left a bad taste in her mouth.

"Think, Paige,” she murmured. "What was the last thing you remember doing?”

She gasped as memory tumbled back into her head like an avalanche of bowling balls. Of course! She’d been walking down the hallway of the Fulton County Courthouse, arguing the details of her cousin Jasmine’s divorce from Jasmine’s husband, Carl Peyton. Arguing those details with Carl Peyton’s attorney—the snake, Ross Bennett.

She vaguely remembered being thrown against Ross, something exploding at the side of her head, and brilliant stars bursting behind her eyes before the world went black.

Okay, so that’s why she was here. She’d gotten knocked for a loop. But other than a certain tenderness on her right thigh—probably a bruise—she didn’t think she’d suffered more than a slight blow to the head.

Well, maybe not all that slight.

Dizzily she wondered what had happened to Ross. The man was a snake, to be sure, but that didn’t mean she wished him harm. Maybe she wouldn’t mind him having his jaw broken and wired shut, but nothing more serious than that.

And she wouldn’t want his wired jaw disfigured permanently. Because it sure was a nice jaw. It sat squarely below some very sexy lips, a great nose, and a pair of hazel eyes that could probably melt glaciers. Yes indeed, Ross Bennett was one extremely handsome snake.

Of course, good looks couldn’t make up for the fact that he made his living from the deaths of marriages. Divorce attorneys were only one very tiny step above ambulance chasers in Paige’s estimation. Especially divorce attorneys who were hell-bent on not giving Paige’s relative even a fraction of what she deserved. And most especially divorce attorneys like the one she’d had to deal with in college, who’d done everything in her power to ruin Paige’s life.

Divorce attorneys sucked. Ross Bennett was a divorce attorney. Ergo, he was a snake, albeit a handsome one. And, unfortunately, a smart one.

Paige prided herself on her zippy retorts, her ability to cut any opponent to the quick. The truly irritating thing about Bennett was his equal ability to snap right back.

He’d caught her off guard that first meeting by matching her cutting remark for cutting remark. And instead of withering before her eyes, like normal people did, he’d seemed to get more and more amused as the slashing continued. Although she’d held her own, by the time she’d left his office, she’d felt a strange concoction of emotions: anger, grudging admiration, and something that felt oddly like a tingling exhilaration, but which she’d decided to interpret as an allergic reaction.

Paige shook off thoughts of Ross Bennett, and turned her attention to opening her eyes, surveying her surroundings, and getting released from this place as soon as humanly possible. She was not a great lover of hospitals.

She cracked one eye open. Just enough to see that there were no visitors in her room, nor any hospital personnel. That was odd. When any member of the extended Hart clan was admitted to a hospital for whatever reason, the rest rushed to their sides and smothered them until the patient had to either recover or croak.

Maybe they hadn’t been notified of the explosion yet.

A loud groan to her left had her swinging her head, which she immediately regretted. Pain lanced through her temples and for a moment the room wobbled drunkenly.

She pressed fingers to her temples, trying to keep her brains from spilling out. When the room stopped swimming, she noticed a beige curtain bisecting one side of the room and, obviously, hiding a second occupant.

Another moan came from behind the curtain. Paige wasn’t quite sure, but she thought the hospital personnel ought to have been a little more watchful of the two of them. Then again, maybe it was a good sign they didn’t need constant monitoring. But she could certainly use some aspirin.

Turning her head gingerly, she surveyed the room. It looked large enough to hold four beds, but the other side of the room was devoid of anything save two bedside tables. There was a door on the far left and two armoires on the right. The door to the hallway was centered to her left, on the other occupant’s side of the room.

Beside it was a large window with its sickly yellow blinds raised. Oddly enough, the hallway on the other side of the glass was so dimly lit she couldn’t really make out anything beyond. It gave her a funny feeling of total isolation, but the sound of rustling sheets from the other occupant guaranteed she wasn’t totally alone.

Then her eyes lit on a large trash type bin directly to the left of the door to the dark hallway, and the words on it gave her pause: BIOHAZARD. And right below that, Medical Waste with that strange tarantula-like symbol. Other than the occasional visit to sick relatives, she didn’t have much experience with hospitals. But she never remembered a hazmat bin the size of a small truck in any hospital room she’d ever been in.

Directly above it was a steel box anchored to the wall. What its purpose was, she didn’t have a clue.

Glancing to her right, she noticed two more windows, affording her a view of the outdoors. Not much to see from this vantage point though. Just a view of the Atlanta skyline,the Banks of America Plaza standing out like a beacon.

She checked her bedside table, and found a pitcher of water and a plastic cup beside a telephone. Water sounded wonderful; her throat was scratchy and dry. She sat up slowly and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She was barefoot, she realized, and that reminded her she had to have clothes around here somewhere.

Her hand trembled asshe reached for the pitcher and for the first time she realized there was a bandage on it. At some point someone must have stuck a needle of sorts into her. As she went to pick up the pitcher she realized just how weak she was from the blast. She needed both hands to pour.

As she sipped, she thought about calling her brother Nick, the only sibling she had in Atlanta, but decided she ought to hear from a medical professional first so she could reassure him she’d be out of here within an hour.

Of course, the place conspicuously lacked medical professionals at the moment. She glanced at the head of her bed. Sure enough there was a call button there. She jabbed it twice for good measure and was grateful it didn’t ring in the room.

The other patient had gone quiet, so she resisted the urge to call, "Yoo hoo!”

Testing her legs, she slid from the bed and got to her feet. A bit of vertigo overtook her and she grasped the bedside table to steady herself. Nausea roiled in her tummy, so she took deep breaths and prayed she wouldn’t toss her cookies right there.

Her legs felt as rubbery as banquet chicken, so she just stood for a while before attempting to move. Man, she needed aspirin! Where was a nurse? For that matter where was her purse, her briefcase—her clothes for crying out loud?

Considering the cool rush of air on her tush, she didn’t have to reach around to know that this was one of those hospital gowns that left little to the imagination. Which meant she wasn’t about to march down that spooky, dark hallway and demand attention.

She turned back toward the door and armoires on the other side of the room. Maybe one contained her clothes, purse and briefcase. With luck, the door led to a bathroom and she could relieve another pressing problem.

Right now that side of the room looked to be miles away and she wasn’t certain whether her shaky legs would carry her the entire way. But what the heck. Her bladder was insisting that if she couldn’t walk, she should crawl.

Paige took a few shaky steps, relying on the bed for some support. Actually, with each passing second, she felt strength returning, although her headache wasn’t receding in the slightest. Okay. Bathroom, clothes-change, medical personnel...

Medical personnel. She’d buzzed twice and still no one had arrived. What kind of health-care facility was this? Now that she thought about it, which health-care facility was this? The closest one to the courthouse was Saint Catherine’s, so most likely that’s where she was. Either that, or the one just on the other side of the Twilight Zone, she thought, glancing at the almost black void beyond the window to the hallway.

Desperation to relieve her bladder drove her forward. She was shuffling more than striding, but she was making progress. Mentally patting herself on the back while simultaneously berating the hospital staff, she was halfway to the door on the right when a horrible, awful, despicably familiar snake voice stopped her in her tracks.

"Nice ass, Hart.”

Talk about waking upfrom your average nightmare to a better-than-average fantasy.

Ross hadn’t been exaggerating. Paige Hart had one terrific ass. It wasn’t a real surprise considering she filled out a business suit better than any lawyer he knew. The first time he’d set eyes on her—the day she’d marched into his office like an angry, avenging angel—his jaw had nearly dropped to his desk. He’d had to consciously stop himself from whistling appreciatively.

Her honey-blond hair had been pulled back in a tight bun and her green cat eyes had been narrowed and shooting flames his way. But even with the evidence of her determined stride and angry countenance, he’d taken a moment to appreciate her female curves, her female chest.

But the moment she’d opened her mouth he’d temporarily forgotten about her pretty face and killer body. "Mr. Bennett, prepare to be taken to the cleaners.”

And he’d had to try to ignore that face and body ever since, because within ten minutes of meeting with her—if you could call that sparring session a meeting—he’d learned another important thing about her: She had one of the sharpest legal minds he’d ever encountered. Besides his own, of course.

Which made her dangerous.

Ross didn’t like losing. But obviously neither did Paige Hart. And she’d been haggling his client out of more and more assets with each subsequent meeting. If Ross didn’t watch it, Carl Peyton would find himself merely a multimillionaire by the time the divorce was settled.

"You!” Paige breathed, and her tone and horrified expression told him right off that she wasn’t real happy to see him.

Well, he wasn’t exactly thrilled to see her either. If he understood this situation correctly, they were hospital roommates. How that was possible he didn’t have a clue. He remembered a blast—apparently Boom Boom Carbone had been at it again—being forced into an ambulance, and then being conked on the head after a deafening crash of sorts. But nothing else until waking and getting a real good look at Paige Hart’s fine bottom.

His forehead hurt. He lifted a hand to it, to find gauze taped over his left eyebrow. Apparently that conk on the head had drawn blood.

"Fancy meeting you here,” he said with a grin he didn’t mean. The thought of being forced to stay in a room with this fast-talking, faster-thinking shrew gave him a headache of mammoth proportions.

Paige was clutching the back of her hospital gown, even though she was facing him. He wasn’t about to complain. The action tightened the fabric across her slender waist and hips, giving him an eyeful. A very pleasant eyeful.

Man, she had great breasts. Nice legs, too. Too bad she had the ferocity of a shark.

Not that he didn’t appreciate shark tendencies. After all, he was a lawyer, too.

"Looks like we’re roomies,” he said, his mouth suddenly dry as sawdust.

"This must be a mistake. How did we get here?”

"I couldn’t begin to tell you, darlin’. I don’t even know where here is.”

She eyed him balefully, but as her gaze wandered up to the top of his head, her expression slid from contemptuous to somewhat concerned. Nodding at it she said, "I hope I didn’t cause that.”

Ross shrugged noncommittally. He knew she wasn’t responsible for the blow to his head. That had happened in the crash. How ironic. If not for the zealousness of the EMT, he wouldn’t be injured at all. If he were the contentious sort, he’d be writing up a lawsuit the moment he was released from the hospital.

Still, he was nothing if not an opportunist. He could milk this. "Last I remember, you were throwing yourself at me. Really, Paige, all you had to do was ask.”

She scowled. "Do you know what happened?”

"No, but somehow I have the feeling Boom Boom or one of his goons had something to do with it.”

She rubbed her temple with one hand while clutching at the back of her gown with the other. She glanced over her shoulder while shuffling backwards toward a door at the other side of the room.

"Have any nurses or doctors been in here?” she asked, reaching for the knob.

"Your guess is as good as mine, darlin’. I woke up two minutes ago.”

She glared. "I am not your darlin’, Bennett.”

An idiotic desire to ask her if she was anyone’s darlin’ had his mouth forming the question, but he squelched it. That was none of his business and besides he didn’t like the sour feeling he got at the thought of a positive response.

He’d checked on her enough to know she wasn’t married. Routine investigation, naturally. He always learned as much as he could about the adversarial attorneys with which he dealt. That was just common sense.

So he also knew Paige Hart was not a divorce attorney. When he’d learned that he’d practically rubbed his hands together. Piece of cake—or so he’d thought.

And then he’d met her. He practically shuddered as he recalled that first encounter. He’d vowed there and then never to underestimate another attorney again as long as he practiced law.

Realization suddenly struck him. He was hospitalized. For a blow to the head? That seemed a little extreme. Taking stock, he felt battered and bruised all over, but not severely enough to warrant admission to a hospital. He had a slight ringing in his ears, which was annoying, but not painful. He hoped it was from the noise of the blast, and that it was temporary.

"Dammit, what are we doing here?” Paige complained.

Ross raised a brow. If he wasn’t mistaken, that was the first swear word he’d ever heard out of her mouth. Her luscious, pink mouth.

"And why aren’t they answering?” she continued, pointing at her bed. "I rang for a nurse.”


"Try yours,” she demanded in an annoying, imperious tone he’d begun to associate with her. She was one pushy broad. Just on principle—and to annoy her in return—he didn’t comply.

"Has it occurred to you,” he asked, "that the hospital might be overrun with casualties? My guess is you and I weren’t the only ones hurt in the blast. In fact, we might be a couple of the lucky ones.”

She shot him a withering look. "Lucky? To be holed up with you? Somehow it doesn’t feel quite the same as winning the lottery.”

Good thing Ross didn’t wither easily. In fact, now that he thought about it, the woman was kind of cute when she bristled. Not all that interested in dying anytime soon, he decided not to voice that observation.

Her eyes lost a bit of their fire. "You might be right,” she said grudgingly. "About the number of injured, that is.”

Two seconds earlier he’d have bet a million bucks that those words wouldn’t pass her lips in this lifetime. At least not directed at him.

She ruined his small flame of triumph by adding, "Going to take up personal injury now, too? Maybe walk down the hall and pass out business cards?”

Her sexy pink mouth suddenly lost a whole lot of appeal. He hid a growl behind a feral grin. "I couldn’t possibly compete with you in getting people more compensation than they deserve.”

The fire came back to life in her sparkling green eyes, which for some unknown reason made him want to smile. She bared her teeth. "I can’t help it if you’re a hack.”

Before he could retort, she broke eye contact, then continued blindly to grope for the doorknob. She kept her front to him, denying him another view of her very sexy rump. Too bad. His favorite view of her had always been from the rear. Because that meant she was leaving. But he didn’t think he’d ever again watch her back end walking away from him without remembering exactly how it appeared in all its naked glory.

He bit back another smile at her fruitless attempts to get the door open. She was way off, and, considering he needed to use the facility as well, he decided to help her out. "A little higher and about six inches that way,” he said, hiking his thumb to the right.

She followed through and connected, twisting the knob and shoving the door open. Then she reached in, flipped the switch, and glanced over her shoulder. With a sigh of relief that carried to his ears, she shuffled backward into the bathroom, then slammed the door shut.

As soon asshe disappeared Ross lifted his bed-sheet and saw he was wearing a gown similar to Paige’s. Tossing back the sheets, he gingerly swung his legs over the side of the bed, wincing a bit when the movement managed to make him a little dizzy. Okay, maybe the hospital was just being cautious.

Paige, on the other hand, didn’t outwardly appear injured at all, except the way she squinted occasionally and massaged her temple. But if she’d suffered a head injury, shouldn’t she remain in bed? She spoke lucidly enough—snappily enough—that he supposed it could simply be a concussion. But even if all she had was a concussion, he didn’t think she should be up and about. If she suddenly fainted or something, he wouldn’t be much good at carrying her to bed, considering he felt somewhat weak right now.

Curiously, the mental image of hauling her into bed affected him. Sexually. Good God, he knew it had been awhile since he’d had a girlfriend, but he wasn’t that hard up, was he? Getting turned on by a shark lawyer who was trying to bleed his client dry? Impossible. Except the tightness in his groin was calling him a liar.

Ignoring that particular part of his anatomy, Ross pushed to his feet, automatically checking his left wrist for the time. But it seemed their clothing wasn’t all that the staff had confiscated. He glanced around, but there was no clock in the room. He was due back in court at three o’clock—if there was any courthouse left.

He estimated that the blast happened between twelve and twelve-fifteen, since Paige had waylaid him the moment he’d emerged from the courtroom at the lunch recess. Of course, that didn’t mean anything because he didn’t have any idea how long he’d been out of it.

If he couldn’t make his court date, he’d better get his assistant to request a continuance. Then again, he supposed that if he didn’t appear they could easily presume he’d been hurt in the bombing.

Still, he wanted to be certain. With that in mind, he rang the call button. He needed to blow this pop stand fast if for no other reason than to get away from a half-naked Paige Hart and the strange feelings she caused in his lower belly.

She emerged from the bathroom looking slightly less pucker-faced, but still her green eyes held a wealth of disdain. Ross was about to make another butt remark. But then lights outside their room blazed to life.

By the sound of Paige’s squealed gasp, he knew she saw the same huge, stenciled word as he did. It was emblazoned on the window separating their room from the one outside their door.


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