COMING January 11, 2023
~WHAT THE STORY’S ABOUT~
Welcome to Willow Bay, the perfect place to stick a chair in the sand, your toes in the water, and get lost in the ebb and flow of life and love.
Red Rover, Red Rover, send Ethan right over.
When rule-following firefighter Ethan Walker doesn’t even crack a smile at Joey Sanderson’s flirtations, she decides it’s time to teach the hunky firefighter that it’s okay to have a little fun once in a while.
Spontaneous hotel manager Joey doesn’t like rules. They give others control over her which she won’t ever let happen to her again. Free of that smothering rigidity, Joey needs her job to maintain that independence, and her boss is a stickler for doing things according to the rules whether they make sense or not. Just like Ethan.
Ethan knows what happens when rules are broken. People die. His lifelong focus on safety is all that’s important to him. Until Joey turns his life upside down. How can he keep everyone safe when she seems intent on throwing caution into the fire?
This sensual, small town romance is the sixth and last in the Willow Bay series, which can be read in any order. Grab your copy now and get to know the down-home folks who live and work here.
“How are you doing today?” Joey asked as Gladys patted the seat beside her and Joey sat down.
“Much better now that I’ve seen your smile. You light up a room, young lady.”
Joey grinned. “Why thank you. You always know how to brighten my day with the right words.”
“I guess that makes us both happy people, then.”
Joey laughed, a lilting sound that settled like a warm blanket around Gladys’s heart.
“Your husband is lucky to have you,” Gladys said. No ring didn’t necessarily mean unmarried and Gladys decided that was important to clarify.
“No husband. Not yet anyhow.”
“Not even a boyfriend?” Gladys’s eyes gleamed.
A brief shadow touched Joey’s face. So brief, Gladys almost missed it. Gladys knew about regrets and hoped this young woman didn’t have the ones she herself carried.
“No. I’m pretty married to this lodge at the moment.”
“But you still find time to get out and enjoy life.” Joey wouldn’t have her air of perennial joy if there wasn’t balance in her life.
“Oh, yes. I think it’s important to include both work and fun in my life.”
Gladys patted her arm. “Good attitude. That’ll keep you young.”
“Like it has you,” Joey said as she covered Gladys’s hand with hers and looked her over. “You doing okay? Do you need anything? A place to rest? Some lunch?”
“What? You’re not kicking me out like that stuffy boss of yours said to?”
“Never. You are welcome here anytime. You are part of what makes Willow Bay so special and I look forward to our visits.”
She meant it, too. Gladys had been watching Joey for a while. The girl generally took people at face value and tried to be uplifting. She also wore her emotions on her face, and there was a wariness at the edges of the girl, like something haunted her. She needed someone to help her break through that final doorway and come fully into herself.
“I don’t need anything to eat, but thank you for offering.” Gladys stood. “I’ve had my rest and now I can get on with my day.”
“You can stay longer, you know.”
“I know, and I appreciate it. This was the perfect amount of time to regenerate my energy.” Gladys patted Joey’s cheek. “You keep on being you, being happy. The rest will sort itself out in time.”
A confused look furrowed Joey’s brow for a moment. She said her goodbyes and walked back behind the front desk to talk to the red-headed woman working there. All that sunshine and fun-loving was wasted here, Gladys thought. The girl needed a project that fed her soul.
Gladys knew exactly what, or who, fit that bill. With a secret smile whose meaning only she knew, she stopped at the red “Pull Down” sign on the fire alarm box. Her grin widened as she yanked the lever down and slipped out of the building, walking off to the blaring of fire alarm signals.
And feeling very, very pleased with herself.
~BUY LINKS ~