Blurb: Sophie Baird is looking for a way to escape the painful reality of her parents' deaths. Unable to live in their home any longer, she takes a job as a live-in tutor to Anastasia Shipley to remove herself from her painful memories and the feeling that God has abandoned her. Anastasia has an illness that has prevented her from ever attending school and makes her father, Sebastian, over protective. When Sophie first meets Sebastian, she cannot deny the intense attraction she feels toward him. When an unexpected romance begins between them, she starts to rebuild her relationship with God, with the help of a certain little girl.
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Sophie tried to steady her rapidly beating heart as she knocked on the dark wooden door. She felt like Queen Esther trying to gain an audience with King Ahasuerus. A moment later, she heard Sebastian respond for her to enter. He glanced up from the mound of paperwork spread across his desk. She thought she detected an expression of surprise on his face. He did say he’d be in his office if I needed anything.
“Is everything all right?” he asked.
“Yes, I was hoping I could speak with you, but if now’s not a good time, I can come back.”
“Please forgive my manners.” Sebastian stood up and offered her a seat on the leather chair in front of the desk. “How did your morning go?”
“It went well. I guess I wanted to know what you’ll be expecting from me while I’m here.” There, she’d said it, but didn’t feel any relief from her nerves. She hoped he’d understood what she meant.
Sebastian’s eyebrows rose. “Well, to teach my daughter. I thought we established that.”
Sophie inched forward on the chair and hurried to assure him. “Of course, I understand that part of my job description. I was curious what your involvement would be in regard to supervision of my teaching.”
He leaned back and stretched his arms over his head. This time, he was not wearing his black suit jacket and she got a better glimpse of his broad shoulders and solid form in his white buttoned shirt. She had to refocus her attention onto his words and not his muscular body. “I see. I suppose you can think of me as an interested observer. I did check out your references, and I trust your experience with children. In no way will I hinder your method of operation unless, of course, you decide to suggest a field trip on an African Safari.” Sophie chuckled and Sebastian rested his arms on the desk. “You find that amusing?”
“A little. You don’t have to worry about the safari right now. That’s part of the curriculum for next semester.” It felt good to banter back. She saw him barely begin to smile, and spoke without thinking, “You’re very serious, Sebastian, aren’t you?”
She immediately experienced regret, but Sebastian’s response alleviated repercussions from her slip of the tongue. “Actually, yes, I am, but I do have some sense of humor. I think you’ll be good for Ana, and I’m glad you’re here.”
Sophie took his words as her exit cue. “Thank you for speaking with me.”
“I hope I’ve cleared up any uncertainties in your mind.”
She nodded and started to leave.
“Mrs. Andrews usually serves dinner around six o’clock. I hope you don’t mind, but I think it would be good for Ana if you eat with us, unless you have any objections.”
“Oh, that would be fine. I’ll see you later.” As she closed the dark cherry wood door behind her, she wondered if eating with the family would be a good idea. So much for doing her job and remaining emotionally isolated. I can still keep things from getting personal…I hope.
About the author
Joanne Troppello is an author of inspirational and romantic suspense novels. She and her husband are Network Marketing Coaches and owners of Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC. They have several active blogs and readers are encouraged to visit their Author's Corner Blog, a place for authors and readers to connect. They host various blog parties throughout the year and many guest authors stop by to meet with readers.