Lilly Talbot never imagined she would be starting her life over again. Losing her good name for something she didn’t do has driven her to move into an old lake house she inherited in Vermont. Upon arrival, she is shocked. Half the roof is about to slide into Lake Champlain. Even more upsetting, the man who can fix it will only agree if she trades him room and board for his labor. What will the good people of Haley think of her sharing a house with the handsome bachelor?
A man with a past…
Connor “Mac” McQueen, once one of the infamous Whiz Kids of Wall Street, spent three years in prison for insider trading. Only one thing sustained him during his time inside, the thought of owning Point Cottage, a home he’d fallen in love with years ago. He plans to turn the house into a stunning showcase for his eco-friendly home construction business.
Secrets and lies…
Now someone’s trying to drive Lilly from her home. Is it someone from her past? Mac has secrets of his own– that could ruin lives if revealed. But if Lilly and Mac are to have a future together they must first delve into the past for answers and accept some difficult truths about each other. Only then, will they know if true love is in their hearts.
Mac looked up from his tablet in time to see a vision in pink appear at the front door. Damn. Where did she come from? She walked in on long, suntanned legs and without even trying, had the attention of every male in the place. What she did for those hot pink Bermudas moved the color to the top of his favorites list. That prim, pink checked blouse of hers wasn’t fooling anyone about the respectable breasts underneath. A sexy chestnut ponytail bobbed and swished with each step she took. For a split second he thought she looked familiar.
Haley was overrun with women all summer. Wives and mothers who all seemed to have unattached single female friends who they were dying to fix up. Mac took women out to dinner and sometimes for a boat ride. These women were safe, spending only a week or two in Haley. He wasn’t interested in an attachment to anyone, so the vacationing variety suited him just fine. He could enjoy them and then they would leave him. For once, he wasn’t the jerk who walked away.
Miss Pink settled at the lunch counter instead of taking a booth. Interesting, could she be on vacation alone? After lunch Mac would strike up a conversation. In the meantime, his view of Miss Pink was obstructed by Angie’s white uniform, which irritated him until he saw the pie.
“Knew you’d want a piece of this.” Angie’s eyes sparkled suggestively as she put a large slice of apple streusel pie on the table. “Enjoy.”
Mac flashed the waitress an appreciative smile. Angie was queen of the double entendre. If there was a possible sexual connotation to be made from a menu item, she was sure to come up with it. Temporarily forgetting Miss Pink, Mac dug into his dessert and watched a few more minutes of Squawk on the Street.
When he looked up again from his tablet, he was disappointed to see Miss Pink’s place at the lunch counter had been taken by Saidy’s grandson, Scott. The kid was dressed in solid black like some night creature with a few days of stubble and hair that looked like it had been sucked into a shop vac.
Even though Mac ran a monthly tab at Mildred’s, he always left a generous tip for Angie. He dropped a few bills on the table and walked to the front of the restaurant.
“Mr. MacQueen.” The kid stood up. “I hear you’re going to be working at Point Cottage for awhile.”
The boy’s eyes dodged everywhere but at him, which annoyed the hell out of Mac. One of the first things his dad had taught him was to look someone square in the eyes when you were talking to them. Show some respect.
“You heard right.” Mac waited, the ball was in the kid’s court.
“School doesn’t start for another week. I can work every day. That is, if you need the help.
“Seven am tomorrow, out at the Point.” Mac was surprised when the kid looked him dead straight in the eye.
“Yes, sir. I’ll be there.”
Shoot. When the kid smiled, he looked downright human instead of like one of the undead.
Saidy was standing by the swinging door into the kitchen and had heard the exchange. Mac saw the appreciation in her eyes. He gave her a quick wink before turning to leave. Must be hard on the kid. No dad. His mother had run off when he was a baby. Now he was left with his aging grandmother who barely made enough to keep up her house and clothe herself, let alone a growing teenager.
By the time Mac left the café, the lunch crowd had thinned down to a few stragglers. Mildred was out front watering her petunia filled window boxes. “Saw you had your eye on that pretty woman sitting at my counter.”
“Yeah, well, every man with a pulse had their eyes on her, too.”
“She asked me for a job. I told her the season’s almost over and everybody’s cutting back til next summer.” Mildred shook her head. “She sure doesn’t look like somebody who needs a job. Guess you never know ’bout people.”
Mildred didn’t know how close she came to the truth. His truth. Mac wondered what Mildred and the rest of Haley would think if they knew about his past. All of the good will he’d worked hard to create would go up in a belch of black smoke.
About the Author
Christy McKee began her career in TV news and eventually found her way into advertising and finally fiction. She believes a good story should be about characters who win your heart, sometimes move you to tears and occasionally make you laugh. As a reader, Christy hopes you’ll be swept into her characters’ lives enjoy getting to know them, experience the challenges they endure and be with them when they come out on the other side.
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