Excerpt of Surrender to Love:
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Tara washed and dried the soup bowls, then put them away in the kitchen cabinet. She glanced out the window above the sink. The sun was setting, and the sky was ablaze with color. She pressed the button on the call box mounted on the wall next to her. “Grandmother, are you awake?”
“Yes, dear. What is it?” But her voice sounded groggy, as if Tara had woken her.
“I’m going to go out back for about fifteen minutes to get some fresh air.”
“That’s fine. I’ll be here.” She let out a little laugh, but then was besieged with a series of coughs. When they stopped she said, “Enjoy the sunset. It’s gorgeous at this time of day.”
“I will. I’ll check on you again in a little while.” She lifted her finger off the button.
Before going outside, Tara took the back stairs off the kitchen up to her room so as not to bother her grandmother. She grabbed a cardigan sweater out of her duffle bag and slipped it on over her thin, sleeveless cotton dress. The breeze off the water might make it a little chilly.
She hurried down the stairs and out the back door. She had to weave around a tangle of overgrown bushes to reach the beach. Once there, she took off her sandals and carried them until she came to the pier. After hopping up onto it, she slipped her shoes back on, not wanting to risk getting splinters from the wooden boards. As she wandered down the pier, she noticed someone standing at its end, staring out at the water. This was as good a time as any to introduce herself to one of her neighbors. As she got nearer, the person turned around. It was the maintenance guy. She kept walking, but it was a little unnerving the way he was staring at her. When she reached the end of the pier and stood in front of him, he still didn’t shift his gaze, making her feel like his magnetic hazel eyes could see right through her. He was even better looking up close. Hard to believe that was even possible.
“You must be the new home health aide. I think this makes number five.” His voice was deep and rich. Another quality that most women must find irresistible.
Tara had no idea her grandmother had gone through so many. They probably hadn’t liked working in such a dark, creepy house. She held out her hand. “No, I’m the granddaughter.” He raised a brow at her, but accepted her handshake. She had to pull away suddenly, though, when a gust of wind blew her dress up to the top of her thighs. She yanked it down, but not before he’d gotten a good look at her legs. Red-faced, she quickly added, “I’m Tara. I saw you when I first arrived doing some work out front for Mr. Douglas.”
“You mean washing the car.”
“Yes. I was wondering if you’d be interested in doing some work for my grandmother. Yard work, though. That is, if Mr. Douglas doesn’t mind.” She spun around to look at the back of the house, making sure to hold the hem of her dress down. “As you can see, the yard is completely overgrown.”
“Are you going to watch me do it?” His voice was like velvet now.
She spun back around. “Excuse me?”
“If I agree to clean up the place, are you going to watch me do it, like you watched me wash the car?” He grinned.
Her cheeks burned hotter, and she was at a loss for words.
“I take it your silence is a no.” He shoved his hands in the pockets of his faded jeans. “I’ll let Tony know your grandmother needs yard work done. He’s the gardener. I’m the son—Easton Douglas. Pleasure to meet you.” He pushed past her, then looked back over his shoulder. “And that Mercedes is mine.”
She heard him chuckle as he walked away. She’d pegged him right from the start. He was trouble, no doubt about it.