Paige Hamilton is forced to seek a new life when her consuming, 24/7 job ends at the hands of a new company owner. But Paige is a survivor, and begins to build a new life, one that may even have room for romance.
A handsome stranger helps her through the transition, and soon she falls fast and hard for Joshua Robinson. Then she discovers he is the cruel owner, and that the company she loved -- the company that cared so much about the adults with disabilities who lived in their homes -- is in a downward spiral that puts the life of one of her friends at risk.
Romance, job loss, life coaching, hidden family treasures, and a secret about an uncle she'd never met -- Paige learns that life is More Than A Job.
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."
"Joshua." He grasped her hand gently in a handshake, then covered their joined hands with his other hand. "You gonna be all right, 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."
Posted by Laurel on 4th Jul 2013
The instant attraction between Paige and Josh drew me right in. I HAD to see how it all worked out. I wasn't disappointed.
I loved the support systems both Paige and Josh enjoyed. I was fascinated with how Paige goes about handling her world blowing up in her face. I even took notes for future reference. :-) Josh's honor endeared him to me forever. :-)
Posted by Patty on 4th Feb 2013
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. The plot is a good one, revolving around the heroine’s job loss, her attempt to put her life back together and a story rooted in her family’s past about an uncle no one will speak of, a shadow of a boy in the background of old family pictures.
Now, to the romance. This is the part I wanted to talk about. This is a Christian romance, but Ms. Endicott ups the heat in this one! Now, the books I write are a sweet rating which means that there is no hanky-panky and I focus on the romance and tenderness and don’t mention the physical desire. This book, while there is no love making until after marriage (or that is at least implied in the book), the author does look at relationships a lot more realistically when it comes to physical yearning for each other. Paige and Joshua are drawn to each other and it’s a very physical attraction. They can’t keep their hands off each other, but that passion is part of their growing love, and you can’t help but feel that without a passion like that, why get married? There are some sensual scenes that had me catching my breath and thinking, “Oh my my… where is that husband of mine?”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I have to warn you NOT to give it to young ladies you are trying to shelter, but it’s great for those of us mature enough to appreciate a sensual love story rooted in faith.