Allison will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The Sweetheart Deal
by Allison Morse
Some people in her small rural community think Ellen Hamilton, the business savvy daughter of the town’s largest employer, is too big for her britches. After all it’s the 1950s and women have no place in running corporations. But when the company is threatened with takeover by John Adair, the man who broke her heart and “betrayed” her family business years ago, she’s determined to stop at nothing to win. Yet, when the cool Ellen turns molten in John’s arms, will she discover the truth about the past in time to seal The Sweetheart Deal.
Was her brother right? Was that all she was? A nuisance? Flitting around other people’s lives like a fly banging against a glass door, trying to get in, wanting to belong? She could hardly breathe. She fought back tears. Darkness pressed in on her.
Ellen stumbled out of Hamilton Manufacturing feeling like cracked glass. But she held on, refusing to shatter. At least not on the outside. When she was on Main Street, someone stopped to say hello. She wasn’t sure who. She managed a nod when the man tipped his hat. Then she met Mrs. Swensen and had to bear her endless inquiries about the Salinas Ladies’ Club meeting. Ellen tried to smile, to pretend she was all right. She guessed she succeeded, because no one seemed to notice her struggle to respond.
And that was the worst thing of all. In this town where everyone knew her, and yet no one did. Through her watery eyes the streets appeared as if through a prism—misshapen and angling down, threatening to make her fall.
Two large hands grabbed hold of her.
It was John. He searched her face. “What’s wrong? Are you all right?”
She let herself collapse into his arms.
“My God, Ellie, what’s wrong? Why are you so upset?”
She saw the deep concern in his face, saw it in his eyes.
Or maybe that was only what she wanted to see.
“I’m fine.” She tried to pull away.
He held on to her. “No, you’re not.”
Ellen gazed into his blue-gray eyes, the color of a deep ocean, and longed for nothing more than to be lost in his embrace.
And then she was. He held her forcefully until her head spun with the aroma of musk from his aftershave and the feel of his warm breath against her cheek.
A hand still protectively on her shoulder, he led her toward a bench. “Come on, Ellie. Let’s sit down and get you some water. Tell me what happened, please.”
Regaining her bearings and her reason, she shook him off. “Stop! I thought you weren’t going to try to play me anymore.”
“That’s not what I’m doing. Something’s wrong. Let me help.”
“No.” She pushed past him and trudged down the indifferent street alone.
Allison Morse grew up in a family of actors in Los Angeles; before the age of five, she started acting classes, which she adored. She continued in the family business until her early twenties when her curious spirit led her to consider other interests.
After receiving a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, she went on to earn a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a J.D. from U.C. Hastings College of the Law.
Although she loved learning from each of her varied careers she always knew that storytelling was as essential to her as breathing. So as she pursued her professional life, she kept to a strict writing schedule, and joined the Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
She lives with her wonderful husband in a house in the hills that’s filled with books.
Allison can be contacted at http://www.allisonmorseauthor.com