Dreams of Her Own
Can even the unlikeliest of dreams come true?
He sees a spinsterish misfit.
If the Guinness Book of World Records had a category for the world’s most boring life, Millie Stephens knows she would hold the record. After the plain, strait-laced personal assistant is saved by a total stranger from becoming New York City’s latest traffic fatality, she has a disheartening epiphany: her life’s highlight reel didn’t exist. Determined to step out of the shadows and take a walk on the wild side, she starts Millie-style – by making a list.
She sees a stereotypical thug.
That total stranger, bad boy Ian Brand, is more than the sum of his parts. Beneath that sexy, tattooed exterior is a man with a painful past who’s desperate to both hide and overcome his disability in the pursuit of his dreams. But his decision to bid on a large construction project could both lead to his downfall and reveal his secret.
Will Millie and Ian look beneath the surface and see there’s more to each other than meets the eye?
“Are you okay?” a gruff male voice asked, his breath warm in her ear.
She nodded, unsure if she could do any more than that.
“I’m going to set you back on your feet. Do you think you can stand?”
Nodding again, she realized the hard object at her back was a man’s chest, and the steel bands were his arms. She slid down his body and felt the sidewalk beneath her feet. A wave of dizziness washed over her.
“Breathe,” her rescuer encouraged. He turned her to face him, his hands on her shoulders, and she gazed up and into eyes the color of a winter-gray sky, earnest with concern. His already tousled brown hair ruffled in the wind whipping around the corner, and his chin bore the stubble so many women were fond of.
She inhaled deeply, drawing in the scent of something spicy and leathery. “Better?”
She nodded, still speechless.
“You should always wait after the signal changes before you cross a street. I’ve got an appointment. You’re sure you’re okay?”
“Be more careful next time,” the stranger in the leather jacket said before he turned to walk away.
Millie managed to put one foot in front of the other for another block before coming to a bus stop and collapsing onto the bench. Her legs shook, her hands quivered, and she struggled to take in a deep breath. All she could think about was how your life was supposed to flash before your eyes when confronted with a near-death experience, and hers . . . didn’t. Instead it was like a film projector that had run out of film – just a blank screen.
What did that mean?
It meant, Millicent Grace Stephens, that your life has been so boring that the highlight reel was nonexistent. Her thirtieth birthday was right around the corner, and what had she accomplished with her life?
Not much, that’s what.
Sure, she had a bachelor’s in literature, summa cum laude, with a focus on the Middle Ages from Sarah Lawrence College. She had a job she loved. And she could support herself. Other than that, she might as well have become a nun for all the excitement her life held.
She recalled the hard strength of her rescuer’s chest against her back. The rough and tumble look of him. She’d bet her first edition autographed copy of Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence, that his life wasn’t boring. That if he had a near-death experience he’d have a highlight reel worthy of an action movie.
Rising on still-wobbly legs, she drew in a long, slow breath, and resumed her errand in an I-almost-died daze.
Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.
Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.
2014 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist (Dreams of Perfection)
2013 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Winner (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Winner (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award of Merit (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Georgia Romance Writers Published Maggie Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Shooting Star Award (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence Finalist (Rescuing Lacey)
2013 Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)
2011 Royal Palm Literary Awards Finalist (The Promise of Change)
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