Dear Ms. Endlich,
She’s savvy, stylish and saucy, trying to bury a past that haunts the present. He wants settled and sedate, no surprises, while he deals with a present dictated by the past. In the world of mathematics, two negatives can become a positive. Could that theory apply to real life?
Marc DeHollander knows what he wants in a woman. Still angry over his fashion-savvy mother’s desertion, the rugged cattle rancher faces his father’s terminal illness determined to avoid the older man’s mistakes. A high maintenance woman? No thanks. Too much work. Marc’s short list of desirable qualities? Sound and sensible, all the way.
Toughened by childhood scars, hospice nurse Kayla Doherty exudes the burnished image of today’s woman, sacrificing time and comfort to achieve her goals. While she lives in a cheap, chilled third story walk-up, Kayla’s not afraid to invest in great clothes. Image conscious, she strives to erase traces of the orphaned, indigent hooker’s child she’d once been. Faithful and fiery, the take-charge nurse stands her ground when necessary. And with Marc DeHollander’s gruff attitude, it proves necessary on a regular basis, despite his good looks and heart-stopping smile. Luckily, Kayla has no plans to stay in the frozen tundra of northern New York any longer than her contract demands.
When Kayla steamrolls into their lives as a hospice coordinator for Marc’s dying father, Marc wages a battle against his growing feelings. The styling nurse has “Destination: Anywhere Else” imbedded on her pixie-pretty face, and her annoying faith pricks Marc like the sting of spring nettles. The last thing Marc needs is a woman who can’t handle the rigors of a North Country farm, and he sure isn’t looking for salvation at some cozy, country church. Been there, done that. Didn’t work.
And when Marc finally glimpses the guilt-ridden girl lurking beneath the well-appointed image, he realizes what Kayla knew all along: they carry too much baggage to be good for one another. Neither dares risk the pain of a broken home, a broken heart.
But life has a funny way of turning things around when you least expect it. Like Dorothy in Oz, Kayla comes to realize that Seeking the Garden in warmer climes doesn’t quite cut it when the man you love is five states north. Just maybe her happiness lies in her own back yard after all.
Complete at 61,000 words, I think Seeking the Garden would be a lovely fit for Love Inspired books and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Ruth Logan Herne