I seem to fall in love with each new book and their characters more than the last, if that is possible.
I love James, he is a lot like me in some ways. He is the strong, silent type who has no problem spending time in his own company. He loves living in his renovated settlers cottage in the back end of nowhere without the complications of other people to mess up his stuff. So it takes a big adjustment for him when he is injured in a work accident and needs a live in carer.
Isabella loves being needed, but hates being a doormat. She is a nurse who works full time while taking care of her sick father and making sure her two older sisters get to work on time. When an unfounded incident at work puts her job in jeopardy she is forced to take the first decent opportunity that comes along, even when that means moving two and a half thousand kilometers away.
Sparks fly when James and Isabella find themselves living in close quarters in an isolated community. He needs to learn how to live life with a whole new set of limitations, something he has no desire to do and she needs to learn that being needed doesn’t equate to being loved.
Here is a sneak peak at the first chapter…
The obnoxious noise of a ringing phone woke James from his rem sleep. He reached over to grab it and knew, without looking at the time, that he had been asleep for less than an hour. He wasn’t on call, but a phone call this late (or early, as the case may be) could never be good.
“Yeah,” he rasped.
“There’s trouble in Shaft Four,” a voice said. Andy, his night shift supervisor.
“Where’s Mick? He’s on call,” James asked as he dragged his tired body out of bed.
“Where do you think?” Andy snorted.
James pulled on his jeans and his hi-vis work shirt followed by his steel cap boots.
“On my way,” he said as he disconnected.
This had been Mick’s final chance and he’d already blown it. James would have to fire him and that never went down well, especially on a testosterone fuelled job site like this. Mines bred tough men who were loyal to a fault. By firing Mick, James would probably also lose a few other good men, but disappearing when he was supposed to be on call was the last straw.
James ran his hand through his hair and headed out to his truck. Luckily he had decided to crash onsite, if he’d driven to his home in Gunpowder, an hour and a half from the mine, it would have taken him too long to get back.
He guided his truck down the rutted dirt road and towards Shaft Four. He knew he was too tired to be doing this, but with Mick MIA, he had no choice. Hopefully they could just shut it down until the morning crew could look at it. It may cost the company, but safety was more important.
His headlights swept over his Shift Supervisor as he pulled up near the shaft entrance. Andy was good people and James knew he wouldn’t have called if he didn’t need to.
He slid out if his truck, his fatigued body complaining, and walked over to Andy.
He could hear the problem before Andy even opened his mouth.
“Hydraulics?” he asked.
“Sounds like it,” Andy replied.
“Alright,” he said, “Let’s shut it down.”
Since Mick was incommunicado, only James had the authority to call the shut down. Pulling out his keys, he walked with Andy towards the entrance of the shaft. He inserted the key into the control box and turned it.
Whether it was fatigue or just plain bad luck, no one would ever know. Looking back, James thought he should have noticed the change in the noise the machinery was making, but he didn’t. Maybe if he had, he could have saved Andy’s life.
It happened in slow motion, like in a dream when you can see the monster but can’t get your legs to move. He didn’t know if the change of the noise finally registered with him or whether it was a sixth sense, he just knew they were in trouble and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.
The flash of the explosion blinded him, and he felt the heat of it roll over him, but the pain didn’t come until much later. The smell of burning hair and flesh overwhelmed him as he fell to his knees, his throat burned as he breathed in the superheated air. There was utter silence, like someone had pressed the mute button, and then a tremendous boom that shattered the stillness, echoing through the barren valley, and bursting his eardrums. And then the pain came, like his very blood was boiling within him, and he heard tortured screaming before he mercifully surrendered to the cool, dark quietness of unconsciousness.