Rebecca MacKenzie's career as a caregiver for the elderly suited her perfectly. Ease their suffering, hop back in the motor home and move on. Caring without commitment. It was ideal for someone trying to outrun her memories…and mistakes. Someone determined to stay detached.
Flynn Harris, her new patient's grandson, is weakening her resolve in every way. His scrutiny, his suspicion—and worst of all, his kisses—are more than distracting. They're dangerous. Because she's teetering on the edge of caring. And revealing her secrets. And…staying.
Heat level: As with all Harlequin Heartwarming books, this story is sweet (has no overt sensuality, rated PG).
Becca saw the little hurt boy behind his eyes and a part of her she needed solid and strong softened. Her hand twitched with the urge to reach out and comfort him. A light touch to the arm, the shoulder, his cheek.
Not helpful. So not helpful. She shoved her hands into her hoodie pockets and started walking.
He matched her pace, until they nearly bumped hips on the narrow trail, until she had to stop before they toppled on each other.
Becca drew a breath. “Really, I’m grateful—”
“I need help, Becca. You’ll make my grandfather happy.” The sincerity in his tone made hope, that treacherous thing, whisper in Becca’s ear. Becca’s gaze rested on the ground, where, presumably, she’d find her lost common sense. Instead she saw a glint of copper, barely visible in the dirt beneath the toe of Flynn’s sneakers.
It couldn’t be a penny. It had to be a leaf or a rock or something.
She could feel Flynn’s gaze upon her, gauging her character. “Old Virginia didn’t write a will or anything?”
“I have no proof. Only my word.” She tried not to sound bitter, but she was afraid she failed. “It doesn’t seem like you have much faith in people.” And yet, there was the penny, clearly visible when Flynn shifted his feet, an indication that she should accept.
“Since I became wealthy, my faith in my fellow man has been put to the test.” Flynn tipped up the brim of his baseball cap. “However, I am good at offering second chances. Are you good at accepting them?”
Becca searched his face to see if this was some kind of cruel joke.
He wasn’t joking. His blue eyes reflected a combination of sorrow and regret. He wanted to believe the best in her. Wanted, but couldn’t quite. “For my grandfather, if not for me.”
Her determination to refuse him wavered. If she took this job, she’d see Flynn every day. A daily opportunity for attraction to bloom and cause complications. Complications to the lawsuit, to her equilibrium, to her heart.
The Story Behind the Story
While I was writing Dandelion Wishes, Flynn kept trying to take over the story – yes, I had to tone down his presence a lot. He was the kind of hero I love to write – the kind who’d had his heart broken a few too many times, but his optimism in people could shine through despite his fear that people he loves will eventually leave him. And so I had to find a heroine for him who was destined to leave Harmony Valley. Enter Becca – short term and no ties. That’s Becca’s motto. Or at least what she tells herself so saying goodbye is easier.
I love animals and what better way to add conflict than to have a nomadic character own a dog? But I needed a smart dog. And the smartest dog I know belongs to my son. In real life, Bonny, an Australian Shephard, is smarter than most teenagers I come across. She also has more energy than a 2-year old after eating cake. That dog goes all day long and is so good natured, she deserved to be featured in a book. You can find pictures of Bonny and her housemate, Rem (a St. Bernard), on my Facebook page.