A Thunder Point Novel #7
Now that Iris is married and really unattainable, Troy looks around Thunder Point and the only eligible woman is Grace, Iris's best friend. He never really looked at her. Iris was all he could see. Grace owns the flower shop in town. She is really cute. But she has no fun. No dates. So Troy decides to be her fun coach. They start having fun and end up becoming a couple but when Grace gets a threatening note, she tells Troy the truth about her past. Will he be able to come to terms with what is happening in her life?
I loved this one. Happy to be back in Thunder Point again and glad friends from Virgin River showed up in this story.
From the author:
Grace Dillon was a champion figure skater until she moved to Thunder Point to escape the ruthless world of fame and competition. And though she’s proud of the quiet, self-sufficient life she’s created running a successful flower shop, she knows something is missing. Her life could use a little excitement.
In a community where there are few eligible singles, high school teacher Troy Headly appoints himself Grace’s fun coach. When he suggests a little companionship with no strings attached, Grace is eager to take him up on his offer, and the two enjoy…getting to know each other.
But things get complicated when Grace’s past catches up with her, and she knows that’s not what Troy signed up for. Faced with losing her, Troy realizes Grace is more than just a friend with benefits. He’s determined to help her fight for the life she always wished for but never believed she could have—and maybe they can find real love along the way.
On the morning after Christmas Grace Dillon’s flower shop was very quiet. She had no orders to fill, no deliveries to make and she’d be very surprised if her shop phone even rang at all. Most people were trying to recover from Christmas, many families were away for the holidays or had company to entertain.
Grace drove to North Bend to grab an early skate before the rink got busy. Figure skating classes were suspended over Christmas break and people, mostly kids who wanted to try out their new skates, would dominate the rink later in the day. No one knew Grace stole these secret early morning skates. She had a deal with Jake Galbraith, the rink owner. She could call him and if it was convenient, he’d let her skate for an hour or two while they were getting ready to open. He didn’t want to charge her, but she paid him fifty dollars an hour anyway. It was a point of pride.
He smiled at her when she came in and told her to have a good skate.
She stretched out and then warmed up on the deserted ice, closely following the Zamboni ice resurfacer that had just finished. She did forward and backward crossovers, backward half-swizzle pumps, figure 8’s, scratch spins and axels. She noticed Jake was standing right up front, leaning his forearms on the boards. She threw him a forward spiral and a leaning tower spiral. She executed a perfect sit spin next. She circled the ice a few times, a jump here and there. She had been known for her straddle split jump, touching her toes with her fingers. When she looked for Jake again, he had disappeared.
Then the music started, filling the rink with the strains of Rhapsody in Blue. She glided into an arabesque, arms stretched out, fingers pointed, wrists flexible. She looked to see that Jake had returned, watching her every move. She went for a double axel and fell on her ass. She got up, laughing to herself. She went around the rink a few times, tried it again and nailed it, but it wasn’t pretty. She moved through Rhapsody and the music changed to another Gershwin tune. She’d practiced to these as a little girl; they were familiar and comfortable. Memories of skating during her young years always filled her with nostalgia and comfort. That was before the competition get really fierce.
When she was fifteen, stronger but lighter and more flexible, she could really catch the air. She’d been on the ice for an hour when the music segued into Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire and it lit her up. That was her signature music. She was on fire! She skated like she was competing. She noticed other people watching — a guy leaned on his broom and gazed at her, a couple of teenage girls who worked in the skate rental had stopped working to watch, the Zamboni driver leaned a shoulder against the rink boards, hands in his pockets. Two hours slid by effortlessly when she heard the sounds of people arriving to skate. She slowed and got off the ice.
“Beautiful,” Jake said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you.”
“Holidays are busy at the shop,” she said. She tried to get to the rink on Sunday mornings, but the last month had been frantic — wreaths, centerpieces, two weddings and just day to day traffic in the shop.
“You should spend more time on the ice. I have a long list of names of people looking for a good coach.”
Read more here.