by D.E. Malone
Two Hearts, One Tour Bus. Is There Room Enough for Love?
After losing her job, Darcy Conti takes a tour guide position at Sturgeon Widows Tours, a quirky family-run business in the small town of Hendricks on the shores of Lake Superior. As she settles into her new role narrating local history excursions, she fights an undeniable attraction to the man she was hired to replace—the owner’s son.
Fresh from a relationship gone sour, Sean Stetman plans to avoid dating for the foreseeable future. Taking a leave of absence from his parents’ tour company, he wants nothing more than time to fish, hike, and work on his cabin. But when the tour driver quits, he is suddenly back on board, reluctantly shuttling Darcy and the tour guests along the North Shore.
Together Darcy and Sean survive unruly tourists, meddling mothers, and even an unscrupulous developer looking to give the Stetmans’ tour company some fierce competition. Can they also survive falling in love?
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Darcy quickened her steps to pass the group and get to Sean. His long, easy stride made her have to work twice as hard.
“You have a really engaging style.”
Sean turned his head to look at her, like he was waiting for the punch line.
“I mean, they really respond to you. How long have you been giving tours?” Darcy saw her reflection in his aviator glasses and brushed the hair out of her face.
He stopped and pushed his glasses to the top of his head. “Since I graduated college. No, that’s not right,” he said, closing one eye to think. “Actually, I think I was a sophomore in high school when I did my first one.”
“How long did it take you to develop your schtick?”
“My what?” he asked, the corners of his mouth lifting.
“Your schtick. You know, your routine.”
“You’re awfully interested in how the tour business runs. First you offer to drive the bus, now you want to know all of my secrets.” He crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe. The last person in the group moved past them and into Red’s. “Are you looking to set up shop?”
“Absolutely not.” Darcy felt her face flush. Then it dawned on her. Emily hadn’t told Sean that Darcy was interested in covering for his leave. To Sean, Darcy was just a very curious tourist. Of course he would wonder about her intrusiveness. She needed to set the record straight.
“Maybe we should start over. I’m Darcy Conti.”
“Yes, I remember. You introduced yourself an hour ago.”
“I’m not on the tour as a guest. Your mother offered me the job to cover for you while you…while you’re away.”
He stared at her for an uncomfortably long time.
“Hello?” she finally said, waving her hand in his face.
He blinked. “You’re going to take over the tours? Here?”
“Is that a problem?”
“No…no, not at all. That’s great. I’m just surprised. I wasn’t expecting…you.”
“Such a sweet love story! Created beautiful pictures in my mind of this quaint little town on the banks of Lake Superior. The characters seemed to be folks I could call my friends.” ~ D. Quian
“I am a big fan of romance novels. They are a guilty pleasure and, when done well, leave me with the warm fuzzies. Love Like Water is a cute story with believable and well-rounded characters. There is a slight twist on the broken-hearted-boy and it is refreshing that, of the two, the girl comes out as the stronger character. Even the ‘villain’ of the story is a little bit likable…but just a little.” ~M. Durbin
Author D.E. Malone
D.E. Malone writes contemporary romance and is the author of LOVE LIKE WATER, the first book in the Hearts in Hendricks series. Her second title, LOVE LIKE FIRE, is forthcoming in November 2018. She also writes for middle grade audiences under Dawn Malone, and is the author of BINGO SUMMER and THE UPSIDE OF DOWN. Her work has also appeared in Highlights for Children, Pockets, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She loves traveling to places off the beaten path which inspire the small-town settings in her stories. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, volunteering with shelter dogs, and continuing her never-ending quest for the holy grail of bakeries.
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