Lilly Holland's passion is flowers -- not people. All she has ever dreamed of is a peaceful life surrounded by the beauty of God's creation. The exact opposite of what life is like at the touristy Holland Lodge in the small town of Paradox. So, why does she feel like God is nudging her to go? He, if anyone, should know better than ask this of her.
Ric Walker, Holland Lodge's grounds keeper, is Lilly's only link to sanity. His steady presence and strong faith encourages her through this trying situation. That sanity is threatened as she realizes her feelings for him are changing into something more, something deeper.
Will Lilly learn that Paradox is more than a town's name, but rather a divine place where God can reveal His power, bring healing, and love? Just when she thinks all hope is gone?
It was only Tuesday evening... a few days on the job, but it already felt like a few years. The last thing she wanted to do was drive Sharon back to her condo in Jericho, but she had promised. Ric rapped twice on the office door before popping his head in. "Hey."
He came in and leaned up against the doorframe. "The truck's loaded up."
Lilly shut down the computer. "Great, thanks for helping Sharon get her stuff out there."
"No problem." Ric looked over his shoulder and then back to Lilly. "I don't have any plans for the evening. Would you like me to help you ladies get Sharon's stuff unloaded?"
Lilly shook her head and looked at him -- really looked at him for the first time since he came into her office. His broad shoulders filled the doorway. The sheer breadth made her wonder if he could easily carry any burden life handed to him, physical or emotional. Tempted though she might be to share some of her concerns, she couldn't afford to grow to depend on him -- or anyone for that matter. Granted, it was nice to spend time with Ric and get to know him more. She valued his friendship and looked forward to the times when she could be with him, but this was only a temporary situation. There was no way she would ever let herself forget it. If she did -- she might lose sight of her own dreams -- dreams that didn't include Paradox when all was said and done. "You don't need to worry about us, Ric. We'll manage."
"Are you sure? It's no problem and it might be nice to have some company on the way back."
Lilly sighed. "You're right. It would be, but honestly I'd rather take care of this myself."
Ric stood up and took a few steps into the room. With him came the smell of clean soap and shaving cream. "It can be a mighty lonely life if you never let anyone get close to you, you know."
Shoot, he saw right through the walls that she was trying to erect to protect herself. "There are people I'm close to."
"Oh yeah, who?"