Bachelor in the Boondocks
small Missouri town of Green River. His uncle wants to merge their
businesses, but before the older man will talk business, he’s made
it a pre-condition of the agreement that his nephew move to Green River.
country living. He feels as if he’s traded in his life in the fast
line for a sojourn straight out of a rerun of the “Andy Griffith” show.
Except, Jared doesn’t remember an episode that had Sheriff Andy standing in
the buff with only a flimsy pair of frilly curtains preserving what’s
left of his dignity while being surrounded by the broken glass of his
Cue Amelia Greene.
She can understand him not wanting anyone else to see him in this bizarre
situation, but his tone is unacceptable.
Being the good neighbor that she is, and because it was her younger brother
whose baseball smashed through Jared’s window, Amelia helps Jared
free himself from the shards of glass essentially holding him hostage.
Jared Sherman is a man who’s counting the hours until he can escape the
confines of country living. Another countdown is underway, however.
He’s counting down the next time he can steal another sweet kiss from a
woman who’s so devious he can’t figure out how she manages to be
so darned seductive. Maybe by wearing her flaming hair in a bun,
going about in long-sleeve blouses, and forgoing expensive perfumes,
she’s discovered a sure-fired way to entice even the most
Who would have ever thought the natural look could inflame a man’s
Good grief, she was literally the girl next door. But, he was a man who had
no intention of living in the boondocks, minus the docks.
She retreated immediately from the half-thoughts she refused to explore, from the challenging look in his eyes, from the man.
Her gaze drifted from his disturbing stare, down his shirtfront, ultimately settling upon his hands. Dark hair grazed the tanned skin between the first and second knuckles of his lean fingers. His palms lay across the file she had prepared for Angus’s consideration.
Seeing his hands resting upon the proposal over which she had so painstakingly labored caused a frisson of electricity to play along the fine hairs of her nape. The symbolism of seeing the fate of the new library resting literally in Jared Sherman’s strong hands struck her forcibly.
“Let me begin by saying that, when Angus mentioned contributing to the construction of a town library, my first thought was that the good citizens of Green River were taking advantage of him—again.”
Startled, Amelia’s chin jerked up. “That’s not true.”
“After discussing the situation with my uncle, however, I realized I was off base.”
She relaxed against the back of the chair. “Good.”
“It’s apparent that the town couldn’t care less about a library. You’re the one who’s trying to push it through.”
Shell-shocked was the best way to describe her feelings at the moment. And furious! “Look, Mr. Sherman, I don’t know where you got your information, but you’re wrong. A lot of people in Green River want the library rebuilt.”
In an abrupt gesture, he opened the folder and flipped through several pages. “Being caught in that fire must have been a nightmare.”
Amelia blinked. Given his obvious antagonism, it took a moment to register the concern in his voice.
“It was…” She swallowed. She hadn’t yet mastered the art of speaking casually about the stark terror of those last smoke-filled minutes when she’d climbed over broken glass and smoldering wood to get away from the flames.
Knowing she should say something, she met Jared’s steady gaze. It struck her then; she’d spent a good hour this morning standing in broken glass, touching it, hearing it crunch beneath her shoes, and she hadn’t thought once of the fire.
That realization suggested to her that she was recovering from the terrifying event. She also realized it had been several months since she’d had one of her terrifying nightmares.
“It was the worst experience of my life,” she said finally. “But it taught me not to give up, to keep fighting with my last ounce of strength—to... to prevail.”
He smiled at her—a smile that truly touched his eyes. “That’s exactly the attitude you’re going to need to get your library built.”
“Not my library,” she corrected firmly. “It’s going to belong to the citizens of Green River, for the next hundred years, or longer. And my children and my children’s children will discover the magic and importance of reading good books.”
“That’s a worthy dream, Amelia. But, in order for it to come true, you need to deal in reality.”
River Ames spent the first eighteen years of her life in Southern
California. Here is a partial list of some of the cities in which she
lived: Pasadena, South Pasadena, Duarte, El Monte, Arcadia La Puente,
Lomita, West Covina, Pacifica, Santa Monica, Palmdale, and Hacienda
Heights. In some of those cities, she lived at six different
addresses. In the city of La Puente, River's family lived in four
different houses on the same street. The non-glamorous reason for all
the moves was habitual eviction necessitated for non-payment of rent.
It was an interesting way to grow up.
junior high schools and four different high schools. In one
elementary school, she was a student for only three days.
the pattern of River being an observer instead of a participant in the
interactions going on around her seemed a logical fit for her personality.
skipped three days of school in order to finish the book in one
sitting. Disappointed in Rhett for "not giving a damn,"
River wrote her own sequel--in long hand, on three-hole punch,
notebook paper. The opening line? "Tomorrow dawned bright and
fair." In less than fifty pages, Scarlett had been transformed
into Jane Eyre and Rhett had fallen in love with her all over again.
in the semi-rural town of Idaho Falls, Idaho. She is a graduate of
Idaho State University, majoring in Health Education Sciences and
Addiction Counseling. She's worked the past ten years at a Behavioral
Health Center where she assisted children, teenagers, and adults
committed in a 24/7 secured facility because of mental health
challenges they are experiencing.
River's books celebrate the good-natured humor that lays at the heart of most
her characters and their quirky (yet somehow universally relatable)
thoughts, words, and choices that reflect a light-hearted peek into a
world we wish was real. The amazing thing is that these worlds are
real to readers for the time they visit there.
loud, and the next I have a lump in my throat."
This three-part novel is Book I in a three volume western series set
in the Colorado Territory.
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