Lilly Talbot never imagined she would be starting her life over again. Losing her good name for something she didn’t do has driven her to move into an old lake house she inherited in Vermont. Upon arrival, she is shocked. Half the roof is about to slide into Lake Champlain. Even more upsetting, the man who can fix it will only agree if she trades him room and board for his labor. What will the good people of Haley think of her sharing a house with the handsome bachelor?
A man with a past…
Connor “Mac” McQueen, once one of the infamous Whiz Kids of Wall Street, spent three years in prison for insider trading. Only one thing sustained him during his time inside, the thought of owning Point Cottage, a home he’d fallen in love with years ago. He plans to turn the house into a stunning showcase for his eco-friendly home construction business.
Secrets and lies…
Now someone’s trying to drive Lilly from her home. Is it someone from her past? Mac has secrets of his own– that could ruin lives if revealed. But if Lilly and Mac are to have a future together they must first delve into the past for answers and accept some difficult truths about each other. Only then, will they know if true love is in their hearts.
Trying to ignore her stomach, she closed her eyes and allowed the music, crowd sounds and the pungent smells of the day to wash over her. For the first time in a very long time, she felt content and optimistic.
“Sleeping on the job?” Mac’s deep timbre shook her out of her daydream.
Lilly’s eyes snapped open to see Mac holding a plastic food container and a tall drink. “Just resting my eyes.”
“Mercy.” She groaned, taking her lunch out of his hands. “Hmm, hmm,” she sniffed. “Thank you. I’ve been smelling this all morning.” Lilly eyed the thirty something red head hanging onto one of Mac’s muscular arms with a death grip.
Pouting, she said, “Mac, aren’t you going to introduce me?”
“Sure.” He disengaged his arm. “Lilly, this is Elise Simms. She owns The Sophisticated Woman salon downtown.”
“Nice to meet you.” Lilly smiled. “Pardon me while I eat my lunch.” Then she settled into consuming the best barbecue sandwich she’d ever tasted. A pair of elderly female twins approached the booth and fluttered around Mac, peppering him with questions about the house he was building for their neighbor. Lilly kept an eye on Elise as she perused the artwork, sipping a humongous bright red drink. While Mac still conversed with the ladies, Elise rudely bumped into a middle aged couple studying a landscape and managed to spill her red juice drink down the front of the horrified woman’s dress.
“Oh dear. I am so sorry.” Aghast at Elise’s rudeness and lack of an apology, Lilly jumped up to offer assistance and paper towels, but the angry woman merely grabbed them out of her hand and stalked off in a huff.
The tacky redhead didn’t stop there but grabbed onto Lilly’s arm, digging in her blood red talons to pull her farther away from Mac. “Mac and I have been very close for a long time,” she hissed. “I think you should know he’s had his eye on Point Cottage for years. He’s a man who usually gets what he wants,” she warned. “You probably won’t last the winter anyway.” She looked at Lilly as if she was an anemic, scrawny featherweight. “Wouldn’t want you to misinterpret Mac’s interest for anything but what it is.” She tapped the arm of her fake red rhinestone Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses against her billboard size ruby lips. “Trust me, his interest is in that cottage—not you.”
Lilly pried off the woman’s death grip. What was this venomous bitch’s problem? She slapped Elise with a deadly you should have never messed with me sister smile. “Really, Eloise? If you and Mac are such close friends, why is he sleeping under my roof instead of yours?” Take that you smart mouthed Yankee bitch.
Lilly looked over at Mac who was leaning against one of the giant oaks, arms crossed over his broad chest. From the angry look on his face she knew he’d seen his good friend’s inexcusable behavior. Pointedly ignoring Elise, he took a seat in one of Lilly’s lawn chairs.
“Come on, your barbecue is getting cold.” He patted the chair beside him.
“Mac,” Elise whined. “I thought you were going to take me around the grounds, enjoy the day together.”
“Don’t know where you got that idea.” He didn’t bother to look at her. “Told you I was delivering lunch to Lilly. You invited yourself along.” He watched as, red faced, Elise fixed him with a nasty glare then did an about face and stalked off into the crowd.
“You didn’t tell me you had a girlfriend,” Lilly smirked, taking the chair next to him as she watched Elise’s retreat.
“I don’t.” He snorted.
Disgusted, Lilly shook her head at him. “You better tell that to the klutzy redhead who tried to drown one of my customers because she thinks you belong to her. Please tell her I’m no threat. Maybe she’ll dial down the jealousy and possessiveness.” Then, she couldn’t resist adding, “Last thing I want to do is get between a man and his woman.”
Mac helped himself to one of Lilly’s fries and gave her a wicked grin. “Peaches, you are the only woman in my life.”
She took a sip of her tea. “I am your roommate, your married roommate of barely a week. If I’m the only woman in your life then your love life sucks big time.”
About the Author-
Christy McKee began her career in TV news and eventually found her way into advertising and finally fiction. She believes a good story should be about characters who win your heart, sometimes move you to tears and occasionally make you laugh. As a reader, Christy hopes you’ll be swept into her characters’ lives enjoy getting to know them, experience the challenges they endure and be with them when they come out on the other side.