On a snowy night in Angel Ridge, two strangers share an
Years later, Frannie Thompson is back in Angel Ridge to
start a new life and a non–profit. When she meets with
Patrick Houston, the town's mayor, to request a spot on the
agenda of the next meeting of the Town Council, she comes
face to face with the man she'd kissed on a snowy night
years before. A very married man.
Frannie had been a woman reeling from the loss of her
sister, Angel Ridge's newspaper editor, Jenny Thompson (I'll
Be There). Patrick had been drowning his sorrows to numb the
pain of his wife's cancer and more. Kissing Frannie when he
wasn't free had been unforgiveable. But now, with his life
on track, he's trying to make amends and raise his children
as a sober, single parent. But coming face to face with
Frannie again, the intense feelings she stirs have him
wondering if he could have a second shot at forever.
Getting a non–profit off the ground and overcoming
town opposition requires Frannie's full attention. She
doesn't need the distraction of a man who wants to earn her
forgiveness and trust. Frannie knows she's wrong for him,
but despite her effort to remain focused on her business,
her body remembers the promise of passion and Patrick.
"Ms. Thompson? The mayor will see you now. If you'll
Frannie stood, and the forgotten folder on her lap slid
to the floor. Papers scattered across the carpet. Frannie
bit back a curse, then tried to quickly gather and put the
papers back in order.
The receptionist came over to lend a hand. "Thank you,"
Frannie murmured, embarrassed. Not the impression of the
slick, professional she'd intended to project today.
"Karen!" a deep voice bellowed. "What's going on? Did she
"Coming," Karen said.
The mayor's grumbling followed him back into his office.
"I'm sorry," Karen said.
"Is he always this cheerful?" Frannie joked.
The woman just smiled as she handed Frannie the last of
the papers. Frannie shoved it all back into the folder and
followed Karen to the mayor's office. She didn't need the
man cheerful. She just needed a spot on the agenda of the
upcoming meeting of the Town Council. On previous visits to
Angel Ridge, she'd tried to meet with the mayor and bring
him along on her plan, but he was never in. She hadn't
worried too much about it because she'd been assured by her
architect and contractor, Cole Craig and Blake Ferguson,
that the mayor would welcome her project to help revitalize
Karen knocked on an open door, then entered. "Mayor, this
is Ms. Thompson."
Frannie took a few steps into the office. The man had his
back to them, typing something on a computer keyboard at the
credenza behind his desk. She'd expected an older man with
gray hair, but he had the dark hair of someone much younger.
"Yes, yes. Come in and have a seat," he mumbled.
Karen smiled apologetically and retreated.
Frannie stepped into the room, but didn't sit. She waited
for the man to face her. When he didn't, she said, "Should
His sigh was audible. He swiveled his high–backed
leather chair to face her.
Frannie took a step back. "You . . ." She found herself
face–to–face with the man she'd shared an
anonymous make–out session with in the middle of a
blizzard that awful winter she'd lost her sister. In the
years since that night, she'd done her best to forget. It
had been just a kiss, after all, but her body had betrayed
her, and the memory of it wouldn't fade. What they'd shared
that night had gone beyond a simple kiss. God, how she'd
prayed she would never see him again.
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