Happy Friday the 13th!!! I’m determined to make this a LUCKY day for two of today’s visitors. In honor of To Win Her Heart being named a finalist in the 2012 Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest for Best Inspritational Romance, I’ll be giving away two copies of Levi and Eden’s story.
And because my stomach is still all fluttery over the announcement and I’m having trouble concentrating, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the book and hopefully entice you into leaving comments for your chance to win.
In this scene, our heroine, Eden Spencer (spinster librarian and daughter of the town founder) has just met the man applying for the blacksmith position. In her father’s absence, it is her duty to ensure he is qualified for the job, but once she gets a good look at Levi Grant, she has a hard time keeping her mind on her task.
Oh, and as a side note for those not familiar with the story – Levi has a speech impediment that gives Eden a false first impression of his intelligence. For a book-loving librarian, a man who has trouble stringing a sentence together is not much of a catch. So why can’t she stop staring at him?
Excerpt from To Win Her Heart:
Eden fiddled with the bonnet strings that draped over the arm of her chair and into her lap. Even though she and Mr. Grant were not alone in the room, it suddenly felt as though they were. She glanced in his direction, and her gaze collided with his. They both smiled then quickly looked elsewhere. Well, Mr. Grant looked elsewhere. Eden couldn’t seem to find another object in the room on which to rest her gaze. But it wasn’t as if she wanted to look at him. The man was as big as a mountain. Where else was she supposed to look?
He certainly possessed an abundance of brawn. Eden’s attention flittered over his arms as he leaned forward and balanced his forearms on his knees. The fabric of his sleeves seemed too meager to contain the muscles within as it stretched thin over his biceps. The heavy aspects of ironwork would be no hardship for this man. It was unfortunate that his intellect hadn’t developed to the same extent as his physique. Then again, he wasn’t interviewing for a position as schoolmaster, so what did it matter? Except that it did matter—to her—a bit more than it should.
A vague feeling of disappointment had circulated through her when she first heard him speak. Why his halting verbiage should bother her, she had no idea. It wasn’t as if she had any personal attachment to the man.
Eden sat up straighter in her chair, uncrossing her ankles then crossing them again in the opposite direction. She forced her eyes away from the blacksmith, glancing behind him to where Mr. Draper stood hunched over the desk, penning an addendum into the lease contract. Unfortunately, Mr. Grant chose that moment to straighten his own posture, the top of his head moving to block a good portion of the banker’s back and half of the preacher’s arm from her view. Eden bit the inside of her lip.
For heaven’s sake. She was tempted to think he had somehow discerned her intention to ignore him and taken action to prevent it. But, no. The man was just restless. He lifted a hand and scratched a spot behind his ear as he turned his face toward the window. When he finished, a small tuft of hair stuck out, somehow making the gargantuan man seem almost boyish. Eden’s lips curved slightly before she pressed them back down into an indifferent line. His thick, dark brown hair was cropped into short waves. She wouldn’t call them curls; that descriptor sounded much too feminine for a man as rugged as Mr. Grant. However, the strands looked as though they would easily wind around a person’s finger … should a … uh … person’s finger have cause to be in his hair.
The smith glanced back at that moment, and Eden dropped her gaze to her lap. Where her right index finger had apparently wound itself up in her bonnet ribbon while she’d been contemplating the man’s hair. She immediately extricated the iniquitous digit and gave it a firm glare.
Eventually Eden learns there there is much more depth to this quiet man than a mound of muscle and hair that temps her fingers to bury themselves in its waves, and it is this depth of character that truly wins her heart. But a stunning first impression never hurts, right? Ha!
How about you–any memorable first impressions you’d like to share? Or maybe like Eden, you had a false first impression later proved wrong. Leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway.
Oh, and if you would like to read the entire first chapter of Levi and Eden’s story, click here.