Her family drove her nuts. As the only sane one in a group of crazy relatives and friends, Rachel Madison was calm, comforting...and desperatley needed someone to care for her. Her interior-design work was her refuge, and her latest client, Dr. Mark Thomas, a sexy solitary man, tempted her to go beyond a purely business relationship. Then a knock on Mark's door introduced him to a brother--and a family--he'd known nothing about. Suddenly his predictable world was askew--and only Rachel could ease his confusion. But dare she risk involvement with a man who didn't know his past...and who wondered about his future?
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
March 31, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Finding Family by Gina Wilkins
Rachel Madison's cell phone rang just as she parked her small SUV in the driveway of Mark Thomas's house in an upscale neighborhood outside Atlanta, Georgia. She glanced at the caller ID screen without enthusiasm. She wouldn't mind so much if the call were about business, but she doubted that she would be that lucky.
Recognizing the incoming number, she knew that luck was not on her side this time. "Hi, Mother," she said, holding the little phone to her ear.
"Rachel, you absolutely have to talk to your sister. She won't listen to a word from me."
"I'll talk to her," Rachel promised without even bothering to ask what she was supposed to say. "But I'm just about to meet with a client, so this is going to have to wait until later, okay?"
"First let me tell you what she said."
"I'll call you after my meeting and you can tell me all about it. But I really have to focus on my client now."
Her mother sighed heavily. "All right. I suppose you should concentrate on your work. That's more important right now."
Even though her mother couldn't see her, Rachel resisted an impulse to roll her eyes. "You know I don't consider work more important than family. It's just that I have an appointment."
"I'll let you go, then. Call me when you're finished, okay?"
Closing the phone with relief, Rachel groaned when it buzzed again before she could even open her car door. This call, too, was from a number she recognized. "Hi, sis. Look, I've got a meeting--"
Typically, Dani didn't give her a chance to finish the sentence. "You have got to talk to Mother, Rach. She's gone too far this time. You have to tell her--"
"I'll talk to her," Rachel broke in rashly. "But I have to meet with a client, okay? He's expecting me right now."
"I've got to go. I'll call you as soon as I'm free."
She hung up while her sister was still sputtering. Setting her cell phone to vibrate rather than ring, so that it wouldn't interrupt her meeting if it buzzed again--which it undoubtedly would--she reached into the backseat for the samples and drawings she had brought with her.
She always looked forward to presenting her ideas to her clients, but she had to admit that this meeting was especially exciting. Dr. Mark Thomas wasn't just any client. He was special. Attractive. Amusing. Intelligent. And the first client who had ever convinced her to mix business with pleasure and go out with him for an evening that had nothing to do with decorating.
It had been the most successful date she'd had in--well, in longer than she wanted to admit. No awkwardness, no stilted conversation, no discreet checking of watches, just a few hours of pleasant companionship. With a healthy dose of mutual attraction mixed in.
He'd been a perfect gentleman, leaving her at her door with a light kiss and an assurance that he would like to repeat the experience soon. She had gone to sleep that night replaying that brief, tantalizing kiss and fantasizing about a possible time when an evening together wouldn't end on her doorstep.
The outside of his house was quite nice, if a bit cookie-cutter, she mused, juggling her load on the walkway to his front door. A redbrick Georgian, its two-story center section was balanced by one-and-a-half story wings on either side. Each wing sported two white-fronted dormer windows. Three brick chimneys jutted up from the shingled roof, one on either side of the central section, the other at the end of the left wing.
Multipaned windows were arranged with perfect symmetry on either side of the house. In typical Georgian fashion, the paneled front door was centered in the middle section, the front porch covered by a triangular portico supported by four white pilasters. Four brick steps led up the porch. A row of shining, leaded-glass panes served as a transom above the white door, spilling more light into the foyer.
It wasn't a particularly large house by modern standards, topping out at just over four thousand square feet, but like the other similar size and style houses in the neighborhood, it proclaimed its owner as a successful young professional. Because she knew he had recently been made a partner in a thriving family-practice clinic, she doubted that Mark would have any trouble paying her fee.
Pausing at the door to shift the items she was holding and press the doorbell, she took a moment to reflect on how refreshingly well-adjusted Mark seemed to be. Educated, gainfully employed, apparently happy with his life, despite his lack of family. Perhaps happy because of that fact, she added wryly, though she didn't really believe that.
Such a welcome change from the string of users and losers that had made up her dating pool for the past three years, ever since her divorce from a needy, neurotic man who still hadn't completely accepted that she was no longer available to solve all his problems for him.