Blurb: Associate history professor, Kari Montgomery, has carried the feelings of loss and inadequacy ever since she broke off her engagement. As she attempts to make it through a rain storm the day of her cousin Emily’s wedding, her feelings change when she looks into a pair of steel blue eyes. Even though Kari begins to feel compelled toward this inexplicable man, she isn’t sure if she can love again or if she is even worthy of his love.
Youth pastor, Randy Steele, has a sense of humor, a pair of remarkable eyes, and a desire to serve God which attracts most of the women he meets. After meeting Kari, he endeavors to help her see her own worthiness and ability to let God heal her heart. But can he reach Kari and show her how wonderful life can be with God in control of their futures and their hearts?
Walking with her head tilted toward the sidewalk, she wasn’t looking beyond her own two feet through the pouring rain when she smacked hard into something and started to fall backwards. With her arms flailing out hoping to grasp onto something, her belongings flew into the storm. Her heart jolted inside her chest as she moved closer and closer to the ground.
Before hitting the pavement, a hand came out of nowhere, wrapping around her left wrist and pulling her into an upright position. Before she knew what was happening, her savior hoisted her closer to him until she was shielded from the rain under his umbrella. She was so close to him, she could feel his heat. Her eyes clung to his humorous, kindly mouth until he gave her an irresistible grin she found impossible not to return. Her mind clouded over as her heart continued to beat rapidly. It was almost as if she was moving in slow motion and for the moment had forgotten where she was or what she was doing.
This was hardly the time to stop and stare with a torrent of rain storming around them and time ticking away until she was to walk down the aisle as maid of honor.
“In a hurry, aren’t you,” he said with a trace of laughter. The timbre of his voice was friendly and soothing. It reminded her of how she felt on rainy afternoons while curled up in her mother’s afghan, reading a book in front of a fire.
She withdrew her hand quickly as a new and unexpected warmth rushed through her. She watched as he picked up her suitcase and book from a puddle on the ground. After handing the suitcase back to her, he glanced down at the cover of the book, Pride and Prejudice, her favorite novel.
He looked back at her with intelligent yet humorous blue eyes. His dark hair ruffled in the billowing wind with a single lock falling forward on his forehead. And for the first time in a long time, she forgot about her heartache. A sudden shiver skittered down her back. She wasn’t sure if it was caused by her soaked condition or the man who somehow sent her senses spinning.
Kari pushed her wet tawny hair back from her face before accepting her waterlogged book from him. “I’m so sorry,” she finally said after releasing the breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding. “It’s just this rain…and I’m late.” Her voice wavered. “I can’t seem to find the place I’m supposed to be. I’m in a wedding this afternoon.” She tried to hide how awkward and strange she felt standing a few inches away from a stranger.
He smiled teasingly as he looked over her outfit of Capri pants and tennis shoes. She’d never seen such an authentic smile. It was as if it started in his eyes and traveled down to his genial mouth. “And that’s what you’re wearing?” he asked as his eyes returned to her own.
“No, of course not. I…” She shivered again.
“Well, maybe I can help you out with directions.”
She replied with the name of the church, and he provided her with yet another devastating smile. “Sure I know the place. You passed it at the beginning of this block. Just turn down the street and you’ll see it. If you don’t mind, I could come along with you. It’s on my way.”
“No need and I’m really in a hurry. Thanks.” She started to head off when he stopped her, causing her to jump at the gentle touch of his hand on her arm.
“Here take my umbrella,” he offered.
She faced him again, taking the handle of the umbrella. “Are you sure? You’ll get soaked. I don’t want to impose, and I won’t even know where to return it.”
“Consider it a gift then. And who knows, we just might bump into each other again sometime.”
“Yes, but hopefully it will be less jarring in the future,” she said with the hint of a smile on her lips, trying to be just as witty.
He tipped his head close to hers. “I doubt that.” This time he replied in a smooth, deep tone, the playfulness gone from his eyes.
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Cindy K. Green
Bringing Sweet Romance to the Heart