Impossible Dreamsby Patricia Rice
Although home is a dusty curiosity shop filled with rainbows and crystal balls, Maya Alyssum's past has not been filled with good fortune. Her impossible dream is to
New York Times bestselling author Patricia Rice writes what readers of romantic fiction love most--irresistible stories and unforgettable characters bursting with life, humor, and deep emotion. . . .
Although home is a dusty curiosity shop filled with rainbows and crystal balls, Maya Alyssum's past has not been filled with good fortune. Her impossible dream is to open a school where kids can find unconditional love and acceptance, the very things she never had as a child. The town council of Wadeville, North Carolina, is determined to stop her until the day Axell Holm walks into her shop. He's the kind of uptight authority figure she loves to hate . . . and hates to love.
Axell knows trouble when he sees it. But he needs the ethereal schoolteacher and the magic she works on his motherless daughter. He's willing to face the wrath of his hometown to get what he wants, but he's unprepared for his reaction to this strange and wonderful woman who turns his ordered life upside down, making him believe in dreams again. . . .
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 ED
- Product dimensions:
- 4.20(w) x 6.92(h) x 0.95(d)
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I SOUPORT PUBLIK EDEKASION.2
"If you're a bill collector, all the money we have is in the cash box under the counter. If you take it all, you'll be taking food from the mouths of babes," a musically feminine voice called from behind the long glass counter.
Startled, Axell waited for his eyes to adjust to the murky interior of the New Age gift shop. The chiming bells of the door behind him silenced, and in their place the haunting aria from Man of La Mancha: "To dream the impossible dream ... To fight the unbeatable foe ..." swelled to a crescendo.
Intrigued despite himself, he wondered if he'd entered some netherworld far from the ordinariness of the Carolina sunshine outside. "Shall I leave the change?" he inquired dryly, searching the narrow shop for the source of the voice. A display case counter stretched along one long wall. Crammed with items too intricate and numerous to identify, it claimed his interest first. The layer of dust and fingerprints on the glass could be the reason most of the objects were unidentifiable. Fastidiously, he dusted a corner over a bumper sticker reading, very funny, scotty, now beam down my clothes.
"You can have the Canadian pennies and McDonald's tokens," the voice called cheerfully.
"Miss Alyssum?" he inquired, bending to look over the glass for the shop proprietor but captured instead by what appeared to be a crystal ball beneath the spot he'd wiped clean. He ignored the overflowing shelves of commonplace gnomes, dragons, crystals, cards, and dangling beads on the other wall, but the shimmering rainbows of color beneath the glass deserved further examination.
"Still there? Be with you in a minute. Once I'm down here, it's a struggle to get back up."
Intrigued by a telescope on a tripod, Axell used his handkerchief to dust it off, adjusted it to face the dirty shop window, and peeked through the eyeglass. A kaleidoscopic whirl of colors materialized before his eyes, sparkling like jewels through the sunshine, gliding and transforming from the fires of the sun to the tides of the sea in vivid blues and greens.
"Haven't seen one of these in years. They've improved." He'd come in here with a definite purpose, but it slipped his mind as he looked up and fell into eyes the same shade of sea blue and green he'd just admired in the kaleidoscope.
Startled by the unexpected intimacy of her gaze, Axell stepped back. He'd thought that silly nonsense about a man drowning in a woman's eyes a lot of sentimental claptrap. Maybe the air of the shop contained hallucinogenic smoke.
Wryly noting the dusty handkerchief in his hand, she brought him back from his cloud. "Let me guess, Virgo, right? I don't suppose you've come to make order of my universe, by any chance?" She threw her own dusty rag onto the counter. "It's murder cleaning all this junk. Cleo's ideas were always bigger than her ability to carry them out."
Grounded again, Axell blinked and tried to sort out the various impressions conveyed by the extraordinary apparition behind the counter. Once he disentangled himself from the crystal turquoise of long-lashed eyes, he encountered a fiery explosion of dark red wiry curls streaked with--purple? He'd had some interesting clientele in his bar before, but none could equal this eccentricity.
This wouldn't do. He'd come here for a reason. He couldn't allow himself to be distracted--his gaze drifted back to that purple streak. It almost made sense against the blue-green of those eyes.
Taking a deep breath, he gathered his wits again. "Miss Alyssum?"
She nodded, and the curls bobbed vigorously. "Right the first time. And you are ...?"
Meet the Author
Patricia Rice is the million-copy bestselling author of Wayward Angel, Denim and Lace, Paper Moon, Garden of Dreams, the national bestseller Blue Clouds, and Volcano. She has won numerous awards, including the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award. A mother of two children, she lives in North Carolina.
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In Wadeville, North Carolina, Maya Alyssum worries about the future for herself, her incarcerated sister, and her young nephew. Though pregnant and single, she runs her sibling's store and opens up a school, 'Impossible Dream' that the mayor wants to shut. One of her students is troubled eight-year old Constance whose mother is dead. Her father, council member Axell Holm, struggles to reach her. Like Maya, Axell has many pressures to deal with as well. His bar and restaurant is under attack by the mayor and his mother-in-law demands he give Constance to her. Desperate for help and attracted to Maya, he persuades her to join forces through a marriage of convenience to stop those who want to cause them pain. As they struggle with the external forces trying to destroy them, Maya and Axell begin to fall in love, feelings that their charges fully support. IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS is an entertaining contemporary romance. Though the story line requires a bit of a stretch, the enjoyable plot remains fun to read. The lead characters are a warm duo and their two-preadolescent charges provide much heart-wrenching moments. The remaining support cast adds a small town regional flavor to the delightful mix. Patricia Rice provides her audience with a warm, delightful tale. Harriet Klausner