My latest release: Frontier Inferno
For Heather, Castle, Alaska offers many surprises. A new job—as a nanny of all things—a handsome firefighter whose charisma proves a distraction from her plans, and the danger of discovery. Heather may have to hightail it out of Castle and into the wilderness, or risk being dragged back into the very situation she’d fled.
Romance takes a backseat for single dad Chris Elder, while he focuses on his young son and his job as a firefighter/smokejumper in the small community of Castle. But the arrival of the feisty woman from the lower forty-eight may prove more than his resolutions, or his libido, can handle.
Can the magic of Alaska save these two from a lonely future, or will circumstances force them to step back from their Frontier Inferno?
“So you’re the lady who got off the train.” Pure Aussie flooded the syllables. “Do you have people here?”
His accent melted her. Heather closed the door behind her and approached him, drawn as if by a magnet to his side. “No, no people.”
“Then you must be staying at the Castle Lodge.” He frowned. “Sam, can you give the resort a call? I don’t know why the shuttle didn’t meet the train. It’s not like them to miss picking up a guest.”
Even off-season, any place labeled resort was sure to be expensive. “Oh, no…I am not here on vacation. But I do need somewhere to stay. I thought I could find work and maybe a rooming house or something.” They had those in this kind of town, didn’t they? The hardware man froze, his hand on the phone, and gaped at her.
“Well…we don’t expect tourists until late May, so nothing’s open yet, and that includes the Black Bear Motel and the hostel. The only available rooms in April are at the Lodge. Even up there, they’re on a skeleton staff at this season, but the rest of the employees will already be lined up for summer.”
She patted her pocket where her alarmingly thin wallet sat. “Nothing at all?” If she couldn’t find work, she’d have to use the last bit of money to take the train back down to Anchorage and…and everything would fall apart from there, her careful plans come to naught.
“I think there is one job open.” Sam lifted a stack of thick woolen blankets from one shelf and moved it to another, then grabbed a feather duster and whisked it over the empty space. “But it probably isn’t anything you want.”
Her heart lurched. “What? I’ll do anything.”
Billy’s dad chuckled. “If it’s the job I think it is, I believe, Miss…Ms…. I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name. I’m Chris Elder and this is Sam Harvey who runs the hardware store we couldn’t get by without. And you’ve met my son, Billy.”
“Please call me Heather. And Billy welcomed me to town, yes.”
She couldn’t imagine what position they might think she wouldn’t want. Of course, they didn’t know the measure of her desperation. And how bad could a hotel job be? Housekeeping? Bussing tables? Heck, she’d scrub pots and pans in the kitchen if necessary. “About the Lodge; should I see anyone special up there? Oh,” a thought occurred to her, “how do I get there?” There wouldn’t be a bus, and she hadn’t seen anything like a cab parked at the tiny station. The hotel might not send their guest shuttle for someone begging for work.
“That’s not a problem. I have to head right past it on the way to my place. If you like, we’ll be done here in a few minutes, and we can give you a lift. Right, Billy?”
“Right, Dad.” The adorable blond bobbed his head. “And we can show you everything on the way.”
Asking the potential employer to send a shuttle to pick her up wouldn’t make the best impression. With no other option—and a real interest in ogling Chris a little longer—what did she have to lose? A sexy, clean-cut guy with his small child, a man well-known in town, wasn’t the type she imagined would kidnap her.
A small hand stole into hers. “Did I tell you my dad is a fireman?”
Ohhh…talk about dreamboat guys with dreamboat jobs.
“And he jumps out of airplanes, and his picture is on a calendar.”
Heather refocused on his father, taking in his impressive physique one more time. “I can imagine that.”
Chris’s cheeks reddened under her scrutiny. “It’s for charity.”