Stepping Up to Love
by Katie O’Boyle
When her boss Joel Cushman catches her using the spa shower at The Manse, junior accountant and graduating college senior Manda Doughty comes clean about the alcoholic drinking that has led her into a disastrous relationship with a predatory professor. Joel, who is also a trustee of the college, is faced with more problems than a beautiful, naked woman in his shower. While he’d rather make love all night with funny, brainy Manda, Joel knows his desire for her has no future if Manda cannot stay sober, grow up, and face her problems. While Manda immerses herself in AA, Joel uncovers harassment and embezzlement that threaten the existence of the college his ancestors founded. Can he fix the problems at the college without exposing Manda to public humiliation? Can Manda clean up her mess and trust the love she feels for Joel? The odds may not be in their favor, but miracles happen for those who are willing to change their lives and open their hearts.
“I got the plea from Remy to go easy on you, but I’m not inclined to do that.” He perched on the corner of his desk and glared down at her. “What were you thinking, living with this lothario professor? Aren’t you supposed to be a student? A top-of-your-class business major, the kind we’re proud to employ at an upscale inn and spa? Do you get that’s not consistent with shacking up with some divorced sot that doesn’t know how to keep it in his pants?” He bet that was language she never expected to hear from Joel Cushman.
“I so don’t deserve that!” Manda glared at him.
He glared right back. He wanted to wring her neck, her beautiful bruised neck.
“And quit yelling at me. I’ve had enough explosions.” She choked on the last word. She pressed the back of her hand to her nose to stop it running.
Joel crossed the room, grabbed a box of tissues, and tossed it at her. “Use these.”
“Thank you.” She pulled two out of the box and dried her eyes and nose.
“Nice clothes. You need a scarf. Ask Remy for one. You’ve got three minutes to save your job.”
Book One: Stepping Up To Love (Joel and Manda’s story, available from Amazon)
Book Two: Coming Home to Love (Justin and Gianessa’s story, coming in June 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing)
Links for Katie O’Boyle: