A Lesson in Love
Series: Coyote Creek #1
Published by: Snarky Heart Press
Release Date: April 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novel
Buy the Book: Amazon
Fired from her job and accused of a crime she has not committed, Tricia Paxton retreats to Coyote Creek to recover from trauma and rebuild her career. Though she shields herself from the past, her secrets challenge her relationships, and her new position as an elementary school teacher further complicates personal boundaries when an eye-catching stranger requires lessons of his own.
Carefree bachelor, Riley Flint, has problems, too. While focusing on building a veterinary practice, his plans grind to a halt when a daughter he has never known enters his life. Accepting the troublesome news that the mother has passed away and her maternal grandparents cannot offer their care, he assumes the responsibility of raising his daughter. But he has little experience with children and the girl needs more instruction than a man can give, so Riley approaches the new teacher for help.
Who knew a daughter to Riley and a student to Tricia would spark joy and conflict in a couple’s life? Daisy might complicate their romance, but Riley’s family urges him to embrace his new life as a father and welcome both Daisy and Tricia into his heart. Can love find common ground and unite a family or will Tricia’s past tear them apart?
Okay, this was it. Tricia Paxton marshalled her courage as the song came to an end. A deep breath and she stepped onto the dance floor, heading straight toward Riley Flint. He must have noticed her coming, he turned, a wide smile on his face.
“I’m not much of a dancer, but I think I’d like to dance with you.” She smiled nervously.
He sketched a slight bow and offered his hand.
Eagerly, but with a touch of shyness, she placed her icy hand in his warm, strong one. A brief brush of fingers and he whirled her across the floor, his other hand light on her upper arm. He guided her through half a dozen steps and into a spin. Expecting her usual klutziness, she discovered, under his guidance, she barely stumbled at all. In his arms, she felt like she was floating on air.
“Riley Robert Flint. I demand an explanation!”
His eyes went wide, he stumbled to a halt and grimaced. He dropped Tricia’s hand and turned with a false smile. “Mom?”
Sue Flint, Riley’s stepmother was a force to be reckoned with and not one of her eight children dared disobey her. Nor did any of her four grandchildren. She glared at her son, her blue eyes flashing in anger, her hands on her hips.
“Good evening, Mrs. Flint. Constable Baxter.” Tricia greeted the newcomers. Amy Baxter, RCMP constable, her long blonde hair in a neat braid hanging down her back, stood beside Mrs. Flint looking deadly serious. They greeted her and turned their attention to Riley.
“What?” He looked back and forth between the two women and then stared at the shiny toes of his boots, like a boy caught doing something wrong.
“I never thought I’d see the day when the police showed up on my doorstep looking for one of my grown sons. I taught you better. Amy tells me there’s a baby at the police station with your name on it.” She shook her head disapprovingly and made a tsking sound.
His gaze flew up, eyes wide. His mouth flapped soundlessly. He swallowed hard, Adam’s apple bobbing harshly.
“What?” He croaked out. “I never…”
“Not a baby, exactly. A small child. I don’t want to discuss this here. Come with us,” Constable Baxter suggested. Her uniform was immaculate. She rested her hand on her holster as if she were expecting trouble. Whatever this was about, it must be serious business.
“If there’s a kid. It’s not mine. I never, ever, mess around without protection.”
Sue pinched his ear. “Don’t you sass. You’re coming with us and we’re going to straighten this out. Now.” She frog-marched him toward the door, Constable Baxter followed, grinning, in their wake.
The bar fell silent, even the band stopped playing. Nobody moved or said a word until they were out the door. Pandemonium erupted.
Jeepers, and she’d been worried about dancing. She paid her tab and headed for home. Good thing she’d worn comfortable shoes for walking. First Jo ditched her and now, her other ride option was gone as well.
Riley Flint, bachelor extraordinaire, had a child? He didn’t seem to think so. Curiosity gnawed at her. He didn’t seem careless. She shook off the thought. He did date a lot; but he was friends with all his exes, though, according to Jo, he never dated anyone more than a few times. There’d never been even a hint of a rumor involving Riley fathering a child. Whatever in the world was going on?