Signed, Sealed and Delivered
(The Ladies Who Lunch #2)
by Sandy James
Juliana has spent thirteen years in the same teaching job. She's ready to dive into a new career with both feet . . . when a run-in with the hottest man she's ever seen knocks her head over heels. But with her failed marriage to a fellow teacher fresh on her mind, Jules can't afford to lose herself in a relationship-no matter how perfect it may seem. Connor Wilson has hit rock bottom when he loses his career as a top-notch Realtor because of a large gambling debt. Now, in a small town he finds a fresh start-and a gorgeous redhead who sparks new life into him. Together they start a successful real estate company, but when pleasure sneaks into the business, they'll have to decide what they can let go . . . and what they can't live without.
Connor Wilson leaned back in his chair and waited for the presentation to start. Not that the seminar was going to change his mind about facing this new real estate market solo. He was there strictly for research, learning everything he could about the competition.
He’d made this move to such a small market for all the right reasons, and there was profit to be had here. He could smell it as easily as a pig sniffing for truffles.
Max Schumm. Cloverleaf’s number one Realtor. He held court near the front of the conference room, close to the table his assistants had piled with swag—calendars, pens, refrigerator magnets. Not a surprise that his office staff, his minions, were all women while his Realtors were mostly men. He counted only two ladies in the bright blue Schumm blazers, and every advertisement he’d checked contained listings by males.
The town and the surrounding counties were ripe for the picking.
Time for the king to get knocked off his throne.
Glancing around the three big, round tables set with six places each, Connor sized up the people who thought they might have the chops to sell homes. A pitiful lot it was. He’d dismissed each and every one, noticing Max doing the same thing as he appraised the newbies. The only person Max kept staring at was Connor, probably because he knew a true salesman when he spotted one.
Perhaps he even recognized him from his past. Indianapolis wasn’t a huge market, but it was somewhat close and Connor had been well known there. Two years away wasn’t all that long to distance himself from making sales or getting new listings. Their paths might have crossed on a long-distance move, although he was sure he’d have remembered a man like Max. Damn if the guy didn’t look like an eighties game show host, from his oversprayed hair to his fake tan to his far-too-white teeth.
What Max didn’t know was that Connor had no intention of becoming part of Schumm Homes. While Max would undoubtedly make him an offer of employment, there was only one firm Connor intended to work for—the newest agency in town.
The time for the program to begin came and went, causing him to make a mental note, matching the information he’d already gathered. Tardiness was one of Max’s sins. He had others, but the most mentioned was his disregard for other people’s time.
Just as Max stepped closer to the podium, talking in low tones with the Ramada’s technical advisor, a kid who had to be right out of college, a couple appeared at the double-door entrance.
Connor caught and held his breath when he saw the woman.
Hair the color of a setting sun—the most gorgeous shade of natural red he’d ever seen. It was long and down, bouncing around her shoulders in wavy cascades. She wore a perfect black dress. Not a slutty “little black dress” but one that would work fine for business and pleasure, with a square neck that showed a hint of generous cleavage. She was curvy without being too curvy. Her legs seemed to go on forever, and the black stilettos were enough to finish him off.
He was no longer thinking about Max Schumm or real estate or the Cloverleaf market. Connor wasn’t going to be paying an ounce of attention to anything anyone had to say tonight. Not with the redheaded vision heading right for his table. Too bad she was with another guy, because there was nothing he wanted more than to take her home.
It had been a long time since he’d felt such a swift and severe attraction. The closer she drew, the harder his heart pounded. Since the last empty seats were at his table, it was a given she and her escort were going to sit next to him.
“Mind if we sit here?” she asked, her husky voice hitting him right in the groin.
“Um, no. Go ahead.” Then the blood started flowing back to Connor’s brain long enough for him to remember his manners. He stood up and pulled out the chair for her, drawing a lopsided smile from her escort, who hadn’t made a move to help.
She dropped a rather large black purse on the floor, sat down, and smiled sweetly over her shoulder as Connor pushed her up to the table. “Thanks.”
Her perfume drifted his way. Something light yet sensual. Hell, everything about her was sensual. She moved like a feline, all sleek lines and confidence. He wanted to sweep the gorgeous creature into his arms, carry her up to his third-floor room, and make love to her until they both collapsed in sated exhaustion. He let a light chuckle slip as he wondered what she’d say if he up and told her exactly what he was thinking.
She tossed him a charming smile, but he couldn’t enjoy it because he was too busy looking to see if she or the guy who’d escorted her to the table wore a wedding ring.
Neither did, and Connor did a mental jig. He wasn’t leaving without this beautiful creature’s phone number.
Maybe his fresh start in this new place was truly going to be his salvation. Maybe he could really leave his past behind and forge a new life here after all. Maybe a leopard could finally change his spots.
For the first time in as long as he could remember, he felt the confidence and purpose that had been missing for far too long. He would make a life for himself here, earn a decent profit, and maybe get back to the world of the living.
Only time would tell.
Shut the door and lock it! Connor Wilson is in the house and I do not want to be disturbed!
Yes, he is my new book boyfriend. I don't care that Juliana wants him... this man is hot and knows a thing or two in bed!
From the moment he is introduced, with his cocky assertiveness and all over "hunkiness", Connor steals the heart. He is rebuilding his life and it determined to succeed. Oh, my... that one night stand with Juliana will forever be on my mind. Why can't I find a real man just like him?
This well written story is full of passion and human frailty. This is a novel about second chances and trust that you will not want to miss. We all are human and we all make mistakes. What we learn from our mistakes and how we steer our lives after the mistakes are made is what is important. Everyday we get to try one more time and succeed.
Thank you Sandy James for an illuminating, emotional, and amusing story!
About Sandy James:
Sandy James lives in a quiet suburb of Indianapolis with her husband. She's a high school social studies teacher who especially loves psychology and United States history. Since she and her husband own a small stable of harness racehorses, they often spend time together at the two Indiana racetracks.