Starting Over Book One: More Than A Job
Paige Hamilton is a survivor, forced into seeking a new life when her job and ten-year career end at the hands of a new company owner. She’d lost her job. Unbelievable. When the handsome stranger is the first to help her through that transition, she falls fast and hard for Joshua Robinson.
Then she discovers that he is the cruel owner, and that the company she’d loved — the company that cared so much about the adults with disabilities she’d worked with — is in a downward spiral that puts the life of one of her friends at risk.
They had reached her car door. She unclipped her keys from her belt, and found the weight of them in her hand odd. Where she had carried a dozen keys — for her office, group homes, med cabinets, and fire alarm systems representing her job responsibilities — now she had only two. Her car key and her apartment key seemed very lonely on the large hook.
“You go ahead and sit, and I’ll bring your box.”
She kept her eyes on his back as he moved away and shivered in the autumn air, aware of the loss of his body heat. She popped open her trunk and waited for him, still standing, reluctant to drive away.
He placed the box into the trunk and turned, taking both her hands in his and examining her palms.
“You need a little first aid. I see you’re prepared.” His words were ironic, really. Would she have carried a first aid kit in her trunk if her job hadn’t required it? He nodded toward the mounted white box. “May I?”
“Thank you, yes.” Usually she would have said no. She didn’t like needing help and tended to push away such offers. She could take care of herself. But she didn’t want him to go just yet. His hands were warm and felt good holding hers.
He guided her to the driver’s seat where she sat sideways, feet on the pavement, while he got the first aid kit, then knelt to clean and dress the scrapes on her hands. He dabbed at her knees with the wipes, too, but appeared baffled by how to work around her torn hosiery.
“Here, let me. They’re ruined anyway.” She tore the fabric open at each knee, giving him full access to her wounds. He rested a palm on the side of one knee to steady his hand as he cleaned away the gravel. The gentleness of his fingers against her legs was very professional. So why did she sense a shiver of eroticism underneath his almost medical touch?
“You’re good at this,” she said, once the gauze pads were firmly in place, the bandages neat and tight. He gave her a little smile. “I’ve bandaged a few scrapes in my time.” He looked up, catching her in the rich chocolate of his eyes. “Never for so beautiful a patient, though. Now, which ankle is bothering you? Let me give it a look.”
Paige extended her left foot. “This one, although it’s better. I twisted it when I went down, but it’s not too sore. I don’t think it’s sprained.”
The man felt her ankle, probing a little. “No pain? I can wrap it for you if you want.”
“No, I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s nothing a little rest won’t fix. I’m okay, really.”
He nodded, snapped the first aid kit closed, and returned it to its rack, pushing down on the trunk lid to latch it, then wiping his hands with another wipe. He collected the trash, and she held out her hands for it. “There you go.”
“Thank you.” Such inadequate words. Without his gentle insistence, she might still be sobbing on the asphalt. She stuffed the trash into the bag by the seat and turned to look at him. “You’ve been so kind to me, and I don’t even know your name.” She extended a bandaged hand in greeting. “I’m Paige.”
Drat it all. Sympathy undid her every time. She sucked in a quick breath, bit her lip, fought back her tears, and nodded. She sniffed, horrified her nose was running, and worse, turning red as tears gathered in her eyes. Time to get out of here. “I’ll be fine. Thanks for helping.”
“My pleasure. I hope we’ll meet again another day.”
Before she could question herself, before she could berate herself as a fool under stress, Paige gave in to an impulse. She leaned toward him where he bent over her, fished the pen from the breast pocket of his Western suit, and turned his hand palm up. She scribbled her cell phone number on the smooth brown surface, right along his long life line.
“If you mean it, call me in a week or two.” She loved the way his eyes widened, then crinkled in a smile. “Maybe I’ll be having a better day.”
“Count on it.”
“Lynette Endicott is a good writer. She draws you right into the setting, part of which is a personal fantasy of mine–a gorgeous old house filled with family antiques… I thoroughly enjoyed this book! … it’s great for those of us mature enough to appreciate a sensual love story rooted in faith.”
“This book will suck you in from the first page and keep you engrossed in the emotions of the writer. You’ll feel the ups and downs and ins and outs of the losses and joys. I recommend this as a download for your next trip out of town or for a quiet weekend. That’s when I read it and loved it!”
Karen Turlock — Reader — Posted at Amazon
Rating = 4 Stars At my publisher’s site: http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/starting-over-book-one-more-than-a-job-epub/
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