Mel arrives in rural Blue Hill, prepared to be the primary school’s violin teacher. She loses control of her car, crashes, and is rescued by Paul. Mel discovers that the school committee thought they were hiring a male. Paul is a sculptor and teaches at the school. With his cooperation, she disguises herself as a man and begins work. Jim Barth is the gym teacher for the primary school and coaches football in the high school. If Mel had not accepted the position, the funds for hiring her (part of a bequest) would have provided a bus for the football team.
Paul is attracted to Mel. Mel reciprocates, but her own life experiences make her wary of a relationship with any man. In addition, she learns that Paul has recently separated from his lover, Clarissa, who remains his agent. Clarissa is eager to renew their intimacy and is vengeful and furious when Paul refuses to do so. In an attempt to uncover any rivals for his affection, Clarissa accepts a position at Blue Hill School as a scholar in residence.
As the school year progresses, Mel is the butt of several pranks which she suspects are by the members of the football team. Mel is kindhearted, so when the prankster leaves a snake on her porch, she adopts it. She hates snakes. The pranks continue and become more disturbing. Mel involves Paul when Ernestine is threatened. Ernestine is a developmentally delayed adult, who dropped out of elementary school because she was ridiculed. When Mel insisted on the young woman’s right to complete her education, some of the staff and many parents were dismayed and Ernestine became a target.
Paul is uneasy. First, there have been a string of local fires that he suspects are arson. Second, he has never fallen as hard for anyone as he is falling for Mel, and that is scaring him badly.
Oscar, the principal, has fallen in love with Clarissa, but she is too engaged in her search for her rival to notice. When she stumbles on Paul kissing Mel, she reveals the deceit to the school committee in a public meeting. Mel is suspended. Paul and Mel’s relationship becomes serious and physical. Mel feels that she is damaged goods and does not merit a relationship with Paul. When he proposes, she rejects him without telling him why. He is furious and mystified. Clarissa is ostracized by the school children who defend Mel, regrets her actions and finally notices Oscar’s attentions.
Mel attributes her daily morning nausea and exhaustion to heartbreak. At the homecoming weekend bonfire, Mel sees Clarissa and Paul speaking privately and mistakenly concludes that they have renewed their relationship. She flees. By the time Paul realizes Mel is gone and reaches her house the arsonist, a troubled boy from the football team who has been egged on by Barth’s complaints, has struck again. Barth, shocked to learn of the boy’s intent, has already arrived at the scene but collapses of smoke inhalation in his attempt to rescue Mel. The house is a loss. Paul succeeds at rescuing Mel and also Barth, but when they reach the hospital Mel will not speak to Paul.
Clarissa, now happy with Oscar, reassures Mel that Paul is faithful to her. Paul’s parents befriend Mel without identifying their relationship to Paul. They bring Mel to their own home and help her think her way through to accepting Paul’s proposal.
|Publisher:||Simply Romance Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
About the Author
Rose believes everything in life can be used in stories, that everyday activities are the jumping off point for the extraordinary. Because a girl can be outside hanging wet laundry on the line when the love of her life stumbles into the yard with a swarm of bees in hot pursuit. Because a man might walk into a library hoping to find a book about window replacement and walk away with the sinking feeling he has met the love of his life. Because there is nothing like watching a man in the kitchen making dinner for you, his calloused hand tenderly cupping a bowl, a dish towel draped carelessly over his shoulder.
Rose's idea of an emergency is realizing a long weekend is coming and the library is closing in an hour. She loves finding cool seashells, knitting sweaters which start out right but inevitably turn out too large, and petting stray dogs. She lives in Rhode Island with her husband and suffers from the sin of boundless pride when it comes to her four grown children.
Rose may be found online at http://rosegreybooks.com.
Contact Rose at email@example.com.