Amanda Larrowe’s lack of trust sabotages her relationships. The English teacher and award-winning author of middle-grade adventure books for boys has shut off communication with friends and family to meet her January 2 book deadline. Now, in the deepest snow accumulation Richmond, Virginia has experienced in years, Camden Lancaster moves in across the street. After ten years, her heart still smarts from the humiliating aftermath of their perfect high school Valentine’s Day date. He may have transformed into a handsome, amiable man, but his likeability doesn’t instill trust in Amanda’s heart. When Cam doesn’t recognize her on their first two encounters, she thinks it’s safe to be his fair-weather neighbor. Boy is she wrong.
Who in her right mind agreed to a January 2 book deadline, knowing she’d spend Christmas alone, holed up in her house hammering laptop keys?
From her desk, Amanda Larrowe stared out her living room picture window at two feet of pristine snow—thanks to a snowfall so rare in Virginia that none of Richmond’s small snowplow squadron had made it to her neighborhood.
A loud rumble came from beyond her window view. Amanda half stood and leaned forward to look down the street.
A snowplow. “Hurray!”
A green moving van traveled in the plow’s wake and parked in front of the empty Craftsman house across the street.
Well, huh. The owners had never staked a For Sale sign in the yard. Maybe they’d decided to rent the place. Strange that people would move in two days before Christmas.
Yeah. As bizarre as a middle school teacher desperately needing a break—that would be her— slaving over her manuscript during the holiday.
The rental truck, a small-sized option, stopped far enough down the street that she couldn’t see into the driver’s window.
“Come on, new neighbor. Get out of the truck and show yourself.”
The door opened, and a guy in jeans, a blue-and-green plaid flannel shirt, and work boots unfolded himself from the truck. Long and lean. Late twenties. Would a Mrs. Long-and-Lean emerge from the other side?
The guy walked to the back of the truck and raised the door. No one joined him there or high-stepped through snow up to the front porch. A single guy? Not bad. Not bad at—
Wait one southern minute. Amanda stood taller and leaned toward the window. It couldn’t be. Not Cam Lancaster. But, boy, even with whiskers shadowing his jaw, he resembled her high school foe.
Amanda scrambled around her chair and across the rug, hit the hardwood floor in her wool socks, and slid to the hall coat closet. She groped behind her stack of scarves for her field glasses, then returned to the desk.
The guy had lowered the loading ramp. Binoculars to her eyes, she adjusted the lenses. Now, if he’d turn toward her again ... There. She had the guy’s face framed.
She lowered the field glasses and sank into her chair. Wha ...? Where ...? Why ...?
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