Man at Work

Man at Work

4.1 9
by Elaine Fox

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Truman Fleming has spent enough days wearing a suit -- and enough nights on the arm of silly socialites -- to last a lifetime. After all, he has better things to do with his hands than push pencils and spend the family fortune, so he straps on a toolbelt and decides to live the simple life. But things definitelyget complicated when he runs smack into lady lawyer


Truman Fleming has spent enough days wearing a suit -- and enough nights on the arm of silly socialites -- to last a lifetime. After all, he has better things to do with his hands than push pencils and spend the family fortune, so he straps on a toolbelt and decides to live the simple life. But things definitelyget complicated when he runs smack into lady lawyer Marcy Paglinowski. Together, they rescue a terrified puppy...and soon the sparks that fly ignite more than just their sympathy.

Marcy's strived hard to become a lawyer, and the last thing she needs is a workin' man -- even one like Truman -- who's got biceps and triceps galore...and who certainly knows how to work with those hands. No, she's determined to find a reliable guy with a steady paycheck and a four-door vehicle, and Truman, no matter how sexy he looks in tight, dusty jeans and a T-shirt, isn't for her...or is he?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Having shunned the high-powered legal world for the uncomplicated existence of a construction worker, the last thing Truman Fleming needs in his life is an ambitious, hard-driving, crusading attorney like Marcy Paglinowski, who not only represents the world he left behind but also attracts trouble like a magnet. But that's exactly what Truman gets when he rescues both Marcy and an abused puppy from his soon-to-be-former boss. Suddenly, his simple life is a lot more complicated. Romance, danger, and a touch of violence add to this upbeat, funny story, which features sizzling sensuality and well-matched protagonists you come to love. Fox's last book, Maybe Baby, was a best seller; she lives in Virginia. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information.

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Man at Work

Chapter One

Thursday, October 8

Folly: n., a foolish deed,
perhaps an imprudent involvement
with a member of the opposite sex

They pinched her toes, slid slightly on her heel, were perilously high and would make her calves feel like bowling pins by the end of the day, but Marcy had to have them.

They were the perfect shoes for her newest red power suit, which she just happened to have on.

Dressing for success is no joke, she could hear her boss saying. He of the three-hundred-dollar tie and Egyptian cotton shirts. He had actually held a seminar on the topic for all the new junior associates the year she'd joined the firm.

You've got to spend money to make money, her friend Trish had said on too many shopping trips to mention. Easy for her to say. Trish had been born with money.

But over the last couple of years, Marcy had realized they were both right. At least as far as being a Washington, D.C., lawyer in the firm of Downey Finley & Salem — Downey Fin, to most — was concerned.

Gotta play to win, Marcy thought gamely, handing over her gold American Express card to the salesman.

"Don't bother putting them back in the box," she said. "I'm going to wear them."

They'd have to be her stakeout shoes, she thought with a private grimace. She'd forgotten her sneakers and she had a very important meeting right after lunch — a meeting to be attended by several senior partners, making the power suit and perfect shoes imperative.

So she'd be wearing the new shoes to her lunch hour "stakeout" atthe Planners Building & Design construction site — or rather, at the restaurant across the street — to surreptitiously investigate the details of a case she was working on. It was her first solo case, a personal-injury lawsuit by a former subcontractor against Planners Building & Design.

Not that she was working on it strictly alone. Her boss, the renowned Win Downey of Downey Fin, was overseeing everything she did and supervising the case. But for the most part, it was hers to conquer.

She held up one foot as she leaned against the counter, listening to her credit card come through approved on the machine, and studied her latest purchase. Never in her wildest childhood dreams would she have imagined spending three hundred and eighty-two dollars on a pair of shoes.

Dressing for success is no joke, she thought again. Damn right it wasn't.

She signed the credit slip and took up the bag containing the box with her old shoes in it.

"You enjoy those now," the salesman said. His thick graying eyebrows were raised over a face that smiled with a million laugh lines. She hoped he was workingon commission.

"I will. Thank you very much." She gave him a bright smile and strode from the store in her brand-new, stiletto-heeled stakeout shoes.

"Hey! Hey you! Cut it out!" Marcy glared across D Street at the unkempt, beer-bellied man leveling another kick at a puppy. The whimpering creature cowered against the chain-fink fence. Mud coated the dog, the man's steel-toed work boots, the gravel parking lot of the construction site, and the street across which she marched with all the rage a five-foot-four-inch woman could project. "I'm talking to you, lowlife."

She crossed the muddy gravel impervious to what it was doing to the hem of her camelhair coat and the brand-new stakeout shoes.

"Hey, buddy." She grabbed the man by one arm to get his attention. "I'm talking to you." She was too angry to feel fear for this bully, this grubby, stupid excuse for a person, though some part of her warned that fear might be the healthiest emotion.

The man — quite large, now that she was close, and smelling strongly of sweat and smoke — turned to glare at her with flat, red-rimmed, milk-chocolate eyes. "What the f—"

"I said, cut it out," Marcy said through gritted teeth. She couldn't stand men like this. Men with the attitude that anything smaller and weaker than they were deserved whatever they felt like dishing out. "Are you aware that what you're doing is called animal cruelty and is punishable, by a twenty-five-hundred-dollar fine and up to two years in prison?"

Marcy had no idea if this was correct — the type of law she practiced was corporate, insurance, personal injry, not criminal cases involving ill-bred miscreants — but he didn't know that.

He laughed once. "You expect me to believe you're a cop?" He spat a wad of something dark to the ground by her feet. She noticed a brown fleck on the toe of her shoe. If they hadn't been so expensive shed have thought about throwing them away when she got home.

"Yeah, or something." She bent down to grasp the little dog's collar, but the band was so tight she could barely get her fingers inside it.

The puppy cowered against the fence, looking at her with brown, fear-filled eyes, but making no move to bite or fight back. Its black ears lay tight against its head and the black, white-tipped tail curled around its scrawny haunches with the tender impotence of a child's security blanket.

"It's okay," she crooned, pulling the puppy gently toward her by the scruff.

But Rambo had other plans for her. She felt his burly grip on her upper arm as she was yanked upright. He turned her to face him, so close she had to hold her breath against the foul smell of his.

"That's my goddamn dog, bitch, and if you don't take your goddamn hands off it I'm gonna break your goddamn neck into a buncha goddamn tiny pieces."

She leveled a cool glare at...

Man at Work. Copyright © by Elaine Fox. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Elaine Fox has spent enough of her life datingto know that the scenarios described in this book arecompletely plausible -- though she disclaims any direct experience with any of them. Fortunately,however, she has been able to parlay this extendedsearch for romance into a career and hopesher readers appreciate the cathartic experience whileliving happily-ever-after lives themselves. Elainecurrently lives in Virginia.

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Man at Work 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wished for more romantic situations with Tru and Marcy. The beginning was fantastic but somehow the momentum started to wane. Tru was a little self righteous. Guido? Punking out as a dinner escort? Not calling after sex? Lying repeatedly? Marcy on the other hand, facing down a bully! Volunteering at a shelter! Helping an old friend!She was spunky, beautiful and loving I wanted Tru to deserve Marcy but I don't think he ever did. All that said I liked the book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Both characters had their hang ups making them very human. There was just the right amount of drama, and laugh out loud fun.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it had a great plot.The connection was great.Although her write was kinda bad.She bad everyone sound like white trash.