At twenty-seven, Tibby Mack's the youngest resident of Yaqui Springs, a retirement community near California's Salton Sea. The folks there have become her family, her friends...and her matchmakers. But since the youngest man in town is sixty-five, their chances of success are slim to none.
So when Cole O'Donnell comes to Yaqui Springs, he meets all the matchmakers' qualifications. Age: thirty. Looks: gorgeous. And he's inherited his grandfather's property. He's the answer to their prayers.
Except that Tibby's livelihood--her late aunt's legacy--is located smack in the middle of Cole's inheritance...and Tibby won't let Cole install putting greens and water hazards on her small patch of the world for anything!
But the matchmakers know these two are in love and that, every once in a while, love needs a nudge....
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May 31, 2011
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Excerpt from Linked by Love by Roz Denny Fox
Tibby Mack smiled to herself as she loaded the last of the homemade baskets, each of them filled with bright spring blooms, into the back of her aged station wagon. She could almost feel her grandmother's presence. Hanging May baskets on the front doorknobs of all the Yaqui Springs residents was a yearly event Lara Mack had lovingly observed. Though Gram had been gone nearly a year, Tibby knew that May Day always made the the kindly old lady smile.
Running late as usual, Tibby slammed the tailgate and hurried into the store to shed her gardening gloves. If no one caught her distributing baskets and stopped to chat, she might get back to open the store and coffee bar on time. Although she'd promised to feed Ariel Pulaski's Afghan hounds for a few days, and they had to be worked in before she drove Mabel Sparks to the airport...
"Uh-oh. Looks like I didn't move fast enough." Clutching the Closed sign, Tibby tossed her thick braid over one shoulder as she watched a car leave the main highway and speed toward the general store. A racy sports car. She frowned. No one she knew drove anything remotely that upscale. Had it been a local, she would've given him a key, and trusted him to leave a list of what he took. As it was a stranger, she had no choice but to leave fast or chance letting the fragile blossoms wilt.
Flipping the sign to read Closed, she sprinted toward her vehicle.
The approaching stranger squealed his midnight blue Jaguar to a halt in front of Tibby and hopped out almost before the full-throated growl of the engine quit.
She froze, her breath trapped in her throat. The world tilted crazily. Not a stranger. Cole O'Donnell. Someone she'd steeled herself to see at Yale's funeral--and then he hadn't shown up. After she'd spent days foolishly worrying that she wouldn't recognize him. Tibby would have known his thick acorn brown hair and beachboy tan at ten times the distance. But why was he here now? She automatically smoothed her wrinkled skirt and grappled for composure.
"Well, hello," he drawled, flashing a smile that warmed his gray eyes. "It's a thirsty drive from the coast. I'm dying for a cup of coffee." He glanced expectantly from the still-swinging Closed sign to the woman's lush goldenrod hair. "Things have changed in Yaqui Springs. I'd heard Mrs. Mack passed away. She ran the store as far back as I can remember. Are you the new owner?" Cole didn't think the attractive blonde was the new owner's wife. He noticed that her left hand was bare of rings.
Hurt that he didn't recognize her, Tibby slipped on a pair of sunglasses. Yet it shouldn't surprise her that he didn't. Their last meeting--the spring she'd finally found the courage to invite him to the Date Festival in Indio--he'd been an older man of almost twenty to her sixteen. Oh, he'd looked at her, but he hadn't really seen her when he carelessly turned her down. It embarrassed her now to think how often she'd haunted his grandfather's place, waiting for snippets of news about Cole. If Yale ever guessed what prompted her many visits, he'd never let on. That grand old gentleman had taught her bookkeeping skills, which allowed her to run the store during her grandmother's long illness and after. He'd also taken her golfing to keep her spirits up.
Now Yale, too, was gone. A fact that didn't seem to bother the man standing before her, flaunting his sexy, easy smile.
"You're a little late for your grandfather's funeral," Tibby said coolly. "We buried him six weeks ago."
The accusation cut through Cole like a hot knife. His mother, Anna, hadn't seen fit to let him know. Until he'd returned from Italy to a backlog of...