The possibility of ever feeling like a woman again was a distant dream.
Since her husband’s death, Tricia Adams had been fighting to keep a roof over their heads. With the help of the Grandmothers Four, she’d finally gotten everything under control. She was happier and more comfortable than she’d been in years.
When Carol’s son, Eric Elliott, agreed to help renovate the guest house, she soon learned she was missing something in her life.
However, the dashing and handsome man held a bowl full of secrets and complications, and falling in love was not on her to-do list.
Targeted Age Group:: All audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
We met Eric in Book One, Living the Wright Life. The piano man/tin knocker had his own story that had to be told. Living a secret life and solving past mysteries. Our time travelling PI leads us on quite an adventure.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
A group of friends from a prior book, a unique fun combinations of unusual personalities and I just had to bring them forward.
Trishia looked at the thunderheads coming from the west and the clouds pushing in from the sea breeze in the east. They should’ve started on the house before the afternoon storms. It’d stop them from doing any kind of work.
“You’re late.” She grabbed his hand and flipped it off her shoulder.
It irritated her that he offered no explanation. Trishia stiffened. He reached up to put his hand back on her shoulder. She moved aside so he couldn’t reach her.
“Are you still in school?”
“So, you aren’t going back to school?”
“Are you working, Kimberly?”
She pursed her lips, and wondered if she was taking this charade too far. “No.”
“Ah, I see. Your mom’s working part-time at the library, right?”
He shook his head. “You can’t afford to live on your own, unmarried, and without a job. But then why not take advantage of elderly women, and live off of their generosity?”
Trishia clicked her tongue, anger was sprouting from deep down. She clenched her jaw so tight it hurt. Perhaps, if she counted to ten.
She shook her head.
No, she’d never make it to ten if he didn’t stop talking.
“Well, at least you aren’t denying you’re using them.” He stopped, penetrating her with his determined eyes. “I won’t let you continue to use those women. Obviously, you have no issues about taking advantage of the elderly.”
She stared back, uncompromising. It’d be an absolute pleasure to see the look on his face when he realized who she was.
She knew Eric could see her quickening breath, her angry stare told him she’d be fighting him, combative all the way. He looked surprised by her silence. He was waiting, taunting her, figuring she’d have come out verbally swinging.
Trishia wasn’t going to take the bait.
“Jason lives here, too. Right?”
Anger burned a deep red in her cheeks. “Yes, he does.”
“Jason needs to get a job, even if you refuse to accept responsibility for yourself. He needs to step up and be a man.”
Her voice was rough. “Does he?”
He put his palm out, and squinted his piercing eyes. “I went to the telegram office to collect a missive. I also had a job interview at the Iron Horse Tavern, and got a job an hour after I arrived in town. I’m sure he can find something.”
Turning slowly she matched his angry expression. “You have no right to judge me, Mr. Elliot.” She waved her hand in the air. “I certainly wasn’t expecting Carol’s son to be such an arrogant arse.”
“I am not an arrogant−! I’m simply saying what those sweet ladies won’t say.”
“We all appreciate you taking time off of your busy schedule. However, we’ve just met. I’d appreciate it if you would keep your arrogant, judgmental mouth closed, and your insulting opinions to yourself.”
Well, so much for counting to ten…
Raising her hand in the air with her index finger pointed at him, she added. “I don’t know where you’ve gotten your information from, or how you’ve come to your conclusions. I know darn well those ladies inside haven’t ever said anything negative about any of us.”
She glared at him, and wanted to slap him silly. “With that attitude, we don’t want your help.” She flipped her hand northward. “So go back to wherever you came from.”
Eric eyes glittered. “Oh, no, no, no. I’ve heard about you for over a year. My mother has written about your amusing antics for a while now. I’ve heard all about your outgoing childish ways, accident prone falls, and constantly being raced to the doctor for all kinds of stitches and bumps.”
He touched her nose, stilted amusement in his voice “Your mother’s concerned, and all the other women living in this house love you. You seem to get yourself into all sorts of predicaments.”
She backed away, fury in her eyes.
His voice hardened. “I recall one letter I received from my mother where she wrote about how you were out with a friend and hadn’t told anyone where you were, or where you were going.
“Everyone was worried. Considering your age, you should understand other people’s feelings. It’s clear you think you’re old enough to make these decisions about your life. But let me tell you right now. Obviously, you aren’t. You need to give these women the respect they deserve.”
She looked down. This man had her emotions going wacky. She wasn’t sure whether she wanted to brain him or hug him.
Her shoulders started to shake as she almost busted out laughing. She really shouldn’t be angry at someone who honestly wanted to protect his mother and her friends. If he hadn’t been so determined, looming over her like a demanding parent, she’d have confessed the truth. His audacity fueled her anger, and tickled her with irony. She remained silent. She knew he could see she was holding back the swell of laughter and she didn’t care. Let it infuriate him.
Opening the door, he stepped aside for her to enter first.
The Grandmothers Four looked at the two with curiosity, one angry as a hot fire and the other holding back laughter.
Eric approached Carol and gave her a big hug, kissing her on the cheek.
“I see the two of you have met.” Cautious, inquisitive eyes regarded them closely.
Carol introduced him to the other women. “Since you’ve met Trishia, I don’t have to make a formal introduction.”
“What?” Eric slowly turned in the direction his mother pointed.
Trishia grinned, enjoying the look on his reddened, appalled face.
“Well, Carol, we haven’t actually been introduced.” Trishia smiled at the older woman.
Extending her hand, she said, “Trishia Adams.”
Faced flushed with dismay, he murmured, “You’re not Kimberly?”
“No. Kimberly is five. Her brother, Jason, is four years old.
“My apologies, Mrs. Adams.”
Carol piped in, “I’m confused.”
“Mom, you seem to have omitted the ages of the children and Mrs. Adams.”
Carol grumbled an apology, turning away with a slight smile on her face.
“He seemed to feel he had the need to reprimand me for my childish behavior.”
Frowning, Eric responded defensively. “I thought you were Kimberly.”
“It doesn’t matter, she’s my daughter. My daughter whom you thought was an adult. Someone you have no right to correct regardless of how old she is. Do you often feel the need to admonish adults for their behavior?”
“No, I don’t.”
She raised her eyebrow. “Hmm.”
“I did to you, yes. I thought you were…” Combing his hand through his hair, “I’m sorry.”
Snorting, Trishia turned and walked away.
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