“Put a bow around the woman you want for me, so I’ll know.”
A paradise for some, Florida is a lonely place for Associate Pastor Dr. Mark Countryman. Hurt by relationships in the past, Mark wonders if there is someone out there for him. He asks God to make his will clear.
When he stumbles over local girl Shelley Roberts while out to lunch one afternoon, he feels both an attraction to her and the need to guard his heart. Her chipper and sunny demeanor add brightness to each day he spends with her, but his track record with relationships keeps him from fully opening his heart. Their burgeoning relationship is put to the test when a brewing storm off the Florida Peninsula threatens their city. Shelley prays for God’s help as she prepares for all contingencies, while Mark stands firm in his faith in God’s protection.
Excerpt from the book:
“Mark!” Anne said, her voice echoing off the white walls as she lifted the white plastic bag with his lunch. “Ready!”
He paid for it, left her a tip, and was backing up to the door, telling Anne to have a good day, when the door opened and he collided with an incoming customer. “Whoa!” he exclaimed, arms flailing enough that he was relieved that all the food was secure inside well-packed containers.
“Hey!” the customer said in response, her laughter warm as she caught him with one hand on either side of his ribs. “Steady, there,” she advised, holding him until bothhis feet were firm on the faded tile floor. “Y’all right?”
“Yeah,” he said, feeling more than a little embarrassed to have been caught so off-center, and to have been held up by a woman. Meeting her eyes, he had to catch his breath. “Thank you.”
Her dancing brown eyes were bold below marked brown brows as she appeared to study him to assure herself he was, indeed, able to stand on his own. He had the definite feeling, though, that she was checking him out, which was disconcerting . . . and a little flattering. As brief as the contact had been, he felt the emptiness where her hands had braced him. Blowing out a puff of air, he tried to shrug the expectant feeling away.
Hands dropping to her sides, she nodded. “You’re welcome. But hey, if you ever feel the need to step into a gravity well again,” she said with a laugh, “I’ll be more than happy to help!” Her wink was playful and he knew that she could indeed be flirtatious,given the opportunity.
It was not in his nature, though, to provide one. He could only look at her in surprise and regret that he couldn’t seem to respond in kind. He wanted to, but felt out of his depth with her. And gravity well? Was that a new slang term or something?
“Shelley! You’re early,” Anne said from behind the counter. “Busy day today?”
A strange upsurge of hope sent his eyebrows up. Shelley. Her name was Shelley…