ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
Sebastian crossed his arms and leaned against the arched doorframe, amused that Sophie continued reading—oblivious to his intrusion. He watched as she scrunched up her face in consternation, seemingly engrossed in the eBook. “So, who do you like better, me or Mr. Knightley?” He heard her sharp intake of breath and she nearly dropped the e-reader as she turned to discover her intruder.
“Definitely, that would be Mr. Knightley. He doesn’t have the bad habit of sneaking up on me all the time.”
Sebastian spanned the room in several strides and sat in the chair opposite her. “Yes, he’s so charming. I hope to someday be like him.”
“Hey, don’t make fun.” She closed the leopard-print tablet cover with a thud.
“He is the epitome of the perfect gentleman.”
“Actually, I’m serious.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m reading the same book as you. It must be a coincidence.”
Sophie’s expression softened. “You’re only trying to get on my good side.”
He leaned forward in mock surprise. “Whatever do you mean, my dear? I thought I was on your good side.”
“That depends on my mood.”
“I see. You’re all about a woman’s prerogative.”
“Yes, I live by that rule.”
He played along and enjoyed the teasing. “Oh, so you’re one of those.”
“You’d better believe it. It’s my prerogative to change my mind whenever I want.”
He fluidly maneuvered to the ottoman where her feet rested and he sat down. “I hope you don’t change your mind about me.”
“Well, that all depends on you.”
“I’d better be on my best behavior then.”
Sophie got up quickly and before he realized it, she walked across the room to the bookshelf. “So, you actually read Emma, too. That’s still surprising and sweet.”
He followed after her. “You’re avoiding any serious conversation, young lady.”
She moved away, running her delicate fingers along the spines of the old leather-bound books. He kept following like a lion stalking his prey, backing her into a corner. Leaning her hands against the windowsill, she backed up as far as possible and laughed nervously. He smiled inside as she avoided his steady gaze. He had her exactly where he wanted her. She glanced up shyly. “So, tell me again why you interrupted me.”
“I did because I’ve wanted to do this for a long time now.” His hands trembled slightly as he cupped her soft cheeks. With his thumbs, he gently traced the outline of her rosy lips. Staring at her for an eternity, he slowly lowered his mouth to hers. Kissing her gently at first, soon his fervor took over. Even though his brain operated in a fog, he realized she must be enjoying the kiss, since she wrapped her arms around his neck and moved in closer to his chest. Nearly breathless, Sebastian pulled away. “I…I’m sorry.”
She caressed his cheek and for a moment he closed his eyes, relishing her touch. “Don’t be. I’ve wanted you to do that for a long time, too.”
Oh the sweet bliss of making the right-move at the right-time. He brought her hand to his lips for a kiss. “I should get back to work. David’s going to wonder what happened to me.”
Sophie giggled and batted her eyes. “Oh, I’m sure he knows.”
“Now try not to compare me too much to Mr. Knightley because there’s no contest.” As he left the parlour, the warmth of her lips and the softness of her body in his arms still lingered—making it doubly hard for him to switch gears back into work mode. Taking a deep breath, he hurried down the hall in search of his brother and another inevitable lecture that awaited him for his tardiness. He couldn’t wait for his brother to find the right woman to love. Maybe then, David would realize why Sebastian had one foot on earth and the other in heaven like a love sick puppy.
MEET 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.