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DescriptionJackie Delgado didn’t want a new man in her life until a dreaded blind date turns out to be more exciting than she’d ever imagined. When her youngest son leaves for college, Jackie is hit hard by empty nest syndrome and pours herself into her work as a teacher. Bowing to pressure from friends, Jackie agrees to a blind date. But when Mark Brennan calls, she realizes the date won’t be “blind.” He’s the father of one of her students.
Widower Mark Brennan isn’t looking for love. After only a few dates with Jackie, he realizes he’s quickly forming deep feelings for her. Wracked with guilt that he’s “abandoning” his late wife, Mark resists the pull toward dynamic Jackie. When Mark’s daughter begins to date Jackie’s son, things become more complicated.
Can Jackie and Mark find the courage to leave the past behind and embrace a new love? And how will a surprise pregnancy affect all their lives?
Write Touch Readers Choice Award Winner
Aspen Gold Readers Choice Winner
Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence Finalist
HOLT Medallion Award of Merit - Best First Book
Heart of Excellence Readers' Choice Finalist
Reader Rating: (4 Ratings)
Excerpt:The phone rang, and I jumped in surprise. Picking up the handset, I was a bit shocked to see “Brennan, Mark” in the caller-ID window.
I punched the answer button. “Hello?”
“Um, hi. Is this... Jackie?” He sounded incredibly nervous. I think his voice actually cracked like one of my student’s might.
I nodded before I stupidly realized Mr. Yummy couldn’t see me. “Yes, this is Jackie.”
“Hi. This is Mark. Mark Brennan. I’m a friend of Suzanne Roberts. We go to the same church. She thought... She figured that we might... I don’t know. She said we might want to go on a blind date.”
My heart started pounding so hard I could hear the rhythm roaring in my ears. Mr. Yummy was the guy that Suzanne and Abs had been trying to force on me. God, love them! I sure did!
Although my head was spinning, I had enough sense remaining to realize that he didn’t recognize my name. Knowing Suzanne and Abs, they had probably just written down my first name and phone number.
“You still there?” Mark asked.
“Sorry. Yeah, I’m still here. I was just thinking that I should probably tell you that I know who you are, and that you might not want to take me out when you find out who I am.”
“Why? Are you a serial killer or something?” he asked with a chuckle.
Mr. Yummy has a sense of humor.
“My last name’s Delgado. We met at the OfficeMax. Remember?”
“I thought the name sounded familiar. You’re Carly’s biology teacher, aren’t you?”
I nodded again. Boy, could I be lame sometimes. “Yeah. I understand if you don’t want to go out now.”
“I’m your daughter’s teacher.”
“Is there some rule against parents going out with teachers?” He sounded confused.
“Well, no. But...”
“Look, I wasn’t really thrilled about this whole idea—”
“Fine!” I interrupted. My insecurity was already thrumming through me like the beat of a big bass drum at the notion of a man as gorgeous as Mark Brennan wanting to spend time with me. Now that he knew who I was, he was balking. “Don’t bother.”
“Will you let me finish?” he asked with a note of irritation.
Mr. Yummy has a temper.
“Fine. I’m sorry.”
“What I was saying was that I wasn’t thrilled about the idea until you told me who you are. Now, I’d really like to take you out.”
“Why?” I let the word slip out before I could censor myself. I had never been very good at using that protective filter most people have between their brains and their mouths. Mine failed me on a regular basis.
“Never mind,” I mumbled.
“I want to go out with you because you seemed nice. Funny. Real.”
“Yeah. You don’t seem to be the type of woman who plays games. Carly likes you too. How about Friday?”
Mark seemed to be gaining some confidence. It dawned on me that he probably hadn’t asked out many women. This was obviously something he wasn’t horribly comfortable doing.
“Friday,” I repeated.
“Is that a yes?”
“Yes,” I echoed in my delirious trance as I nodded my head. I’m going out with Mr. Yummy! Oh, my God! I’m going out with Mr. Yummy!
Turning Thirty-TwelveBy: Sandy James