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Picking up a hitchhiker was something that Jody had been warned about. The moment she stopped and the dark good looking man slid into the car, she knew he was going to be trouble. Trouble for her and all her plans for the future. He was cynical and world weary; she was just starting out on her career path. They had absolutely nothing in common, but the attraction between them was too explosive to ignore.
He was standing on the edge of town, with one thumb hooked into the strap of his knapsack, the other extended in the universal sign of a hitchhiker.
At first glance, he looked like a typical freeloader. With her second glance, the woman behind the wheel of the low-slung sports car revised her opinion. Against all she had been taught about picking up strangers, Jody pulled to a halt a short distance ahead of the man.
Tilting the inside mirror slightly, she was able to see all of him and as the man strolled slowly towards the car, it gave Jody a chance to study him more closely.
A large battered Stetson, pulled low on his brow, covered most of his face, and mirrored sunglasses hid the rest.
Panic began to set in. He could be dangerous, a rapist or even a hardened criminal. Silently she cursed her impulsiveness. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel. Should she leave and let him continue walking? Before she had time to make up her mind, she caught another glimpse of the man.
Tight, faded, well worn jeans moulded his long muscular thighs and legs; the blue denim emphasizing every masculine curve. Jody’s heart began to beat unevenly, and she quickly looked away from the tantalizing sight, only to look back a few seconds later needing to see more of this stranger before he reached her car.
Her gaze slid upward away from the very maleness of him, and in that upward slide, she noticed other things about him—things that for her peace of mind she would rather not have discovered.
From his narrow hips, up to his chest and the wide expanse of mahogany-coloured hair-sprinkled skin revealed beneath the well-used but obviously expensive sheepskin jacket and faded checked shirt. The thickness of the jacket did not detract from the ripple of muscles beneath it.
Strong sinewy wrists peeped out from beneath the jacket sleeves and long slim fingers curled around the strap slung over his shoulder. Fingers that belied the rest of his appearance. Fingers that seemed almost fragile compared to the rest of him.
Abruptly the picture faded from her view. Puzzled, she flicked the mirror this way and that in an attempt to find her quarry again, but to no avail. He simply wasn’t there.
Jody glanced around the car, trying to locate the stranger. Then suddenly she realized why he had disappeared. He was now standing by the passenger side, with his hand on the door handle struggling to lever it open. For a full minute Jody watched him struggle, a puzzled frown marring her face. A light tap on the windowpane made her realise his dilemma.
Colouring with embarrassment, Jody leaned over and flicked up the lock.
As he swung open the door, the stranger’s bulk filled the small space but only briefly. Slipping off his knapsack and jacket, he flung them into the rear of the car, following them with the battered hat, before easing his long body into the confines of the low-slung seat. Clicking the seat belt into place, he half turned to face Jody and with a smile that did strange things to her pulse, murmured, “Thanks.”
Stunned by that casual smile and the effect it had on her, Jody moved a little closer to her door. Her fingers tightened around the steering wheel as she fought to still her quivering nerves.
The man’s presence seemed to fill the car, and again Jody wondered at her stupidity in stopping for this large, good-looking stranger. But it was done, and she wasn’t going to back out.
Now that he had removed his hat, she was afforded a full view of his features. Covertly she stole a look at him and was somewhat reassured by what she saw in his face. He didn’t look dangerous, in fact, just the opposite. A sigh of relief shuddered through Jody, and, slowly, her tense body began to relax, just as her companion appeared to have done.
"Picking up a hitch-hiker might not be the wisest thing Jody has ever done, but it turns out to be the pivotal moment of her life. The enigmatic, sexy James is not a simple vagrant, but her favorite singer, Cat Grant, and he seems to feel something for her. However, the romance of it all is no dream come true. Cat proves to be a moody lover who pushes her away as hard as he can, but the two keep coming back together. What began as living out an act of kindness, then a fantasy, becomes an emotional roller coaster for Jody where the happily ever after is hard won.
Fans of Diana Palmer will want this book to be sure. Though problematic, it is an engaging read. Time passages seemed rather uneven and James' treatment of Jody was certainly not endearing, but in the end, it is a pleasant enough way to pass an afternoon." – Independent Reviewer Amanda Killgore
“The Wandering Minstrel is an engaging book with endearing and lovable characters. The emotions of Jody and Cat are so real that you can’t help but route for them to find their way together. I found myself wanting more from the very beginning.
Ms. Patrick has written a wonderful tale of both joy and sorrow as is common in new and sometimes tentative love. I really related well to many of the characters and felt as if I was right there witnessing these events first hand.
I am looking forward to reading further offerings from Ms. Patrick and I highly recommend this to lovers of romance.” - Overall rating: 4 Hearts, Sensuality Rating: Mildly sensual Reviewer: Ariana Blaine, The Romance Studio
“... all you romance lovers will (most likely) love this romantic love story.
He’s an older world-weary singer, who’s been burned by love before. He’s a devoted father and even his own mother believes he’s too proud for his own good. Jody is a young smart woman who fell in love. She sings with a group at University and just wants to be part of Cat’s life…without the temper and confusion. “The Wandering Minstrel” will make a pleasing summer read for romance lovers. Enjoy.” Christine I Speakman, The Muse Book Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 344
Paper Weight (lb): 14.4
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