Mix together a beautiful ballerina and ballet teacher, a sexy single dad, and a precocious-yet-sweet daughter, and emotions run high. Add racial and cultural differences, work contracts coming to an end, and hurts and memories from the past and sparks fly. Rowena loves to dance but has ended up teaching ballet instead. When she helps out Cameron’s difficult daughter, a bond develops between the two dancers. Cameron makes Rowena uncomfortable because he stirs up new, unwanted feelings which make no sense when he intends to leave Zambia soon when his contract ends. Cameron can’t resist sanguine live-wire Rowena who makes his daughter smile for the first time in years. But can he risk his heart again when memories of his late wife come back to haunt him? And Rowena has a lot more at stake in giving her all.
She’d expected him to disappear. Instead, she jumped as a shadow appeared in front of her. The man stood a foot from her. Close up, his presence seemed to permeate her. For a brief moment, her gnawing sorrow vanished, and attraction surged in like a current of potent goodness. His features were clear-cut yet contrasting: bronzed skin against almost ginger hair. It could pass for golden brown. Speckles of day-old matching beard. Light brown eyes like the earth near Lake Kariba. Sturdy posture, straight and purposeful. Broad shoulders. Strength she could rely on at this time.
She pushed the crazy thoughts away.
His expression had changed to almost lost. Patience settled upon her, sweet and refreshing after days of pure irritation at everything that moved.
“Maybe you could help Jamey.”
He raked his fingers through his hair. There was anxiety there. Suffering. She took her leg down to give him her full attention.
“What could I do?”
“You could give her extra lessons.”
“I’m full up already, Mr. Hosking. I don’t have time….”
“Jamey loves to dance. Her late mother was a ballet dancer. It’s her only connection with her.”
Late mother! Rowena’s lungs drained of air. Oh, how she could identify with her pain. Although her mother’s death was recent, only six days ago, and she wasn’t a child, she suddenly wanted to hug Jamey and fill her heart with love to take away the lonely hopelessness. How could she have been so impatient with the child? No wonder she was so restless. The recital had become more important than the children. Creating a good image for her studio to increase the size of her classes had taken precedence over putting something into the ones she had.
He peered into her frozen face. “I’ll pay you double the price of a normal lesson. Please.”
She nodded. “I will. Of course.”
He instinctively grabbed her hand. “You won’t regret it. Jamey’s a very bright child, and she’s crazy about you.”
Her insides shuddered, and her toes curled at the simple contact. His hand was warm, and he squeezed a little too hard, but suddenly she wished he would keep it there. But he didn’t.
A pang shot through her. Imagine a man like him loving her with the intensity he directed toward his late wife? What a selfish thought. He was still grieving.