It’s just Jennifer White’s luck that she falls for the man she’s looked for all her life, a wonderfully attentive man who loves her small daughter, Beth, as his own. However, she looks into the perfect future and finds Kane Sterling has not only used her for his sexual fantasies, but also to find out if she’s embezzling thousands of dollars from Maxim Motors where she works as accountant. As a single mother, she’ll do almost anything to keep Beth comfortable, but stealing is not one of them. Jennifer’s love struggles to survive, but can Kane justify hidden reasons for his determined pursuit of her?
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 88,066
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Eliza Black, October 2011
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Her father paced, his forehead wrinkled in anger. “Why?” He turned and faced Jennifer. “Surely they can place you somewhere locally. You’re good at your job and you’ve gotten excellent evaluations.”
She didn’t know how to answer him. It wasn’t anything she hadn’t thought or spoken since the decision came through that Jennifer would transfer to the Dallas home office of Maxim Motors. That, or she wouldn’t have a job. Most of her raging against the decision had been done in private, and she thought she’d successfully hidden her doubts from her parents. She couldn’t hide them from herself.
“Dad, all options were discussed, and coming down to the bottom line, that’s the result. I move or lose my ob.” She stood and went to him. Hiding her unease, she took his face between her hands. “It’s only two hours from Gateway, Dad. Beth and I can come home often.” She brushed his cheeks with her lips. “And we will. I promise.”
“You’ll be all right? Is the apartment in a nice section?”
“Maxim’s has a relocation service, and the apartment is only a couple of miles from the office. It’s not actually in Dallas but north of the freeway towards Plano. As soon as we’re settled, you and Mother can come to see us.”
She had nixed the idea of her parents coming up to help her get settled. They didn’t need the hassle or sleeping on a hard floor until her beds were set up. She had convinced Beth that camping out in sleeping bags would be fun.. Fortunately, Beth was the adventurous type and didn’t mind trying something new. The only thing she didn’t understand was that Gramma and Grandpa weren’t going with them. Jennifer hid her own doubts and tried to see the positive side. She’d still have a job and would get a good raise. To compensate, Kane Sterling had told her, for the higher cost of living area she was moving into. And, luckily, Maxim’s in Dallas did provide day care.
“We’ll be fine,” Jennifer assured her dad.
He hugged her. “I know, Honey. I know.” He held her away from him. “You’ve never lived far from us. Your mother and I will miss you.”
Now, Jennifer walked through the empty apartment for one last check. Beth was excitedly telling Dot she was going to Six Flags the next weekend. Tickets to the theme park were her parents’ going away present. Clamping her jaw against threatening ears, she stood at the back door of the small apartment where she could look across the cluster of nearby homes and see the peaked roof of Maxim’s Auto Mart. She’d thought her job relatively secure.
Well, she’d thought wrong.
Her interview a month ago with Joseph Stark, her new boss at Maxim’s, had gone well. He had offered sympathy in her being uprooted from her home and family and assured her she would like the new job. She liked him. He was easy to talk to, and he didn’t look like he could chew her up and spit her out as Kane Sterling had done.
Stark was in his fifties, going to pudginess around the middle, a harried expression wrinkling his pleasant face. A constant pushing of hands through thinning hair made you think he was nervous, but Jennifer found it was a habit that belied the sharply intelligent person underneath. Stark had taken time to show her the apartment just off Highway 75 between Richardson and Plano.
At first gland, she’d shaken her head, knowing she would be able to afford such a place, as tempting as it was. There was an open floor plan with wide bay windows in the living area, a country6 kitchen with a dining nook that opened 0onto a small deck. Upstairs were two bedrooms and bath with a postage-stamp sized terrace with wrought iron railings. Jennifer had been delighted with it but practical enough to know her limitations as far as rent was concerned. She’d be earning a larger salary than she had in Gateway, but the cost of living in the Dallas metropolitan area was much higher.
“It’s lovely, Mr. Stark, but I really can’t afford it at this time.” Regretfully, she shook her head. “I’ll have to look at other places.”
“It’s modestly priced, Jennifer.” He took off the wire-rimmed glasses and pressed his fingers against his nose, a gesture she’d become accustomed to already. He named an amount that caused Jennifer to stop and look at him. Seeing her questioning expression, he smiled, “And the utilities are included except for water and telephone.”
“That - that’s a lot less than I expected.”
“Well, you see, Maxim’s contracts with real estate bfrokers to fill their vacancies with dependable clients, which allows us a discount for our employees.”
“That’s nice.” Jennifer thought about it and decided since Maxim’s was the cause of her dislocation and uprooting of her amily, they should contribute something to her comfort.
Today, as she pulled into the driveway, Jennifer decided she ande Beth would be happy here. Yes, they would. She’d do a good job, Mr. Stark would see that she was dependable and knowledgeable and willing to work.
They’d get along fine.