When trouble strikes…Whistle Stop pulls together
For Ella Morgan, moving to Whistle Stop is a chance to start over, put her horrific past behind her. But now she’s living in a mountain cabin—in dire need of renovation—that her grandmother left her, along with a sizable tax bill. Her job teaching school isn’t going to cover it. She needs cash, and soon.
Volunteer firefighter Tony Granger has returned to Whistle Stop to run the family ranch and be guardian to his orphaned nephew, Johnny. But being a single parent isn’t coming easy, and he’s worried sick he won’t succeed with his plan to adopt the boy, especially if Johnny’s grades don’t improve. He needs a break, and fast.
When Ella finds out Tony doesn’t have a partner for the Dancing With the Firefighters’ benefit—which is offering a large cash prize—and he hits upon hiring her as Johnny’s tutor, it looks like their problems might be solved. But taking dance lessons to win the competition sets alight a burning attraction between them. Can they let go and learn to trust again, or will the scars of their pasts still haunt them?
Grab Your Copy:
Tony reached for the backpack, unable to look away from this intriguing woman. “I guess we should introduce ourselves. I’m Tony Granger.”
He extended his hand to her and noticed the slight hesitation before she slipped her slender fingers into his grasp. Her gaze met his, and their stares locked. He found himself entranced by her vivid blue eyes.
“I haven’t seen you around before. Are you new to town?”
“Uh, yes.” She pulled back her hand, and he reluctantly let go. “I took a position at Whistle Stop Elementary School, teaching fourth grade. It’s only a temporary position until the end of the school year, but I’m hoping to get hired permanently.”
He eyed the long-sleeved cotton blouse, which emphasized her narrow waist—exactly the right size to wrap his hands around and pull her close. The way her figure-hugging denim skirt brushed against her calves left him musing over thoughts of her shapely legs.
He halted his meandering thoughts. What was he doing fantasizing about her? A woman was a complication he didn’t need at this juncture in his life. He didn’t even know her. He should turn and walk away. But his boots remained rooted to the spot on the sidewalk.
After all, he owed her an apology. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude when we met. You have to understand, when you see some stranger holding your nephew, you act first and think later.”
His voice deepened when he admitted, “I don’t know what got into Johnny to just take off on his own. He knows better—”
“Like the way you know better than to forget to pick him up?” She eyed him like he’d just been caught cheating on a test.
She saw right through him, knew he was a phony, a fake. His lips pressed firmly together. This past year had been nothing but starts and stumbles. If this stranger saw his sham, he inwardly cringed to think what the trained court investigator must have observed.
He might be able to run a successful ranch, but he didn’t have the first clue how to be a parent—even though he had every intention of doing his best for Johnny. But like his father had taught him, the best of intentions were a waste of time without any follow-through. Tony would follow through one way or another. He wouldn’t give up.