Synopsis:HOT FOR TEACHERAs the new head of the English department, Dani doesn't have much time for anything but lesson planning and literature. Romance--or even sex? Forget about it. But then the principal introduces her to last-minute hire Nate Ryan. Finding time to mentor a new teacher won't be easy, especially when his incredible body and equally disarming charisma are enough to make her heart skip a beat . . .
Nate may be fresh out of school, but he's confident in his teaching skills--and in his feelings for Dani. But while she's everything he's ever wanted, he knows his place on her staff--and his age--may be problematic for his sexy boss. How can he convince her to ignore the gossip mill currently in full swing in the teacher's lounge and surrender to what's meant to be?
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An Excerpt from Fringe Benefits
This will be a great story to tell the kids one day.
Why that ridiculous thought kept tumbling through Nate’s head was beyond him. But it did.
Your mom and I got locked in a supply closet together. That’s when we decided to start dating.
There was a stack of papers they’d used to play what seemed like a million games of tic-tac-toe, which had been followed by hangman. Over an hour had passed, and there was no sign of the custodian.
Funny, but he no longer minded losing all that time to get things ready for the first day of school. Instead, he found himself drawn to his pretty, witty boss.
He recognized her perfume. Angel. Once, he’d gone to the trouble of picking a perfume he thought was the perfect scent and bought his fiancée what the salesman called a “recruitment set.” The bundle of Angel products had everything from the perfume in a star-shaped bottle to body lotion.
Kat had hated it.
Obviously Dani liked it as much as he did. Everything about her appealed to him and—Jesus have mercy. She was his boss. So why did he keep forgetting that?
“My legs are getting stiff.” She struggled to stand, groping for one of the shelves. A hiss fell from her lips. “Shit.”
The pain on her face hit Nate hard, and he grabbed her arm to help steady her. “What’s wrong?”
“Cramp. Leg cramp.” She leaned heavily on him as she got to her feet and immediately stuck out her right leg, pointing and flexing her foot. “Damn, that smarts.”
“Where?” He didn’t want to start pawing her leg, but he wanted to help.
“Calf.” Dani’s face tightened into a grimace again.
Nate eased down on one knee and started rubbing her leg.
“Nice knot you’ve got there.”
“I think I’m dehydrated.” As he kept working on the knot, she flexed and extended her foot. “Left my water in my room.”
“Yeah, well, neither of us expected to be here so long.” The muscle relaxed under his kneading fingers. “Getting better?”
So why couldn’t he stop touching her? When it dawned on him that he wanted to trail his fingers up her leg, to her slender thigh and beyond, he slowly stood. Her eyes were locked with his, and tension rose between them as he gently put his hands on her waist, easing her forward.
Her head cocked just enough to show that she would allow him to kiss her. With a smile, he lowered his face to hers. With a loud rattle of the lock, the door suddenly swung open, and the sixty-something custodian stared at them wide-eyed.
“What in the hell are you two doing?”
This was my first read from this author and although this books is a series it can be read as a standalone easily. The Ladies who Lunch are a fabulous group of women all united by their teaching careers. Though one of them is no longer a teacher they still lunch continually. Looks like in the previous books all of the Ladies have settled down to find their Happily Ever Afters. All except for Danielle or Dani as her friends affectionately call her. She’s super focused on her career and although she’s had boyfriends, it’s not easy in their small town to find her true love. She’s about to embark on her first year as the English Department Head and is well on her way to working her way into the Principal position she wishes to hold. She’s self sufficient, independent and maybe a little OCD. So when Nate walks out of the principals office and she’s charged with getting him setup for his first job she’s stunned to say the least. But not because of Nate’s sudden appearance the day before school, no, it’s because suddenly she’s struck speechless…
Nate’s just landed his first teaching job and is thrust into it the day before school starts. He’s nervous about it and rightfully so, but his new English Department head and technically his boss has his mind whirling with possibility and temptation! Nate’s ready to do a good job teaching and wants to prove himself but when the geeky English Major starts to feel for the woman who’s class is next door, he decides he needs to prove to Dani how good they could be together as well.
This one is a little tricky and complicated because of their jobs and outside forces threaten continually to ruin a good thing, but Nate’s determination and Dani’s beliefs get them into a lot of sticky situations… I really enjoyed this one as it unfolded. The writing was good and there was just enough steam to keep me turning the pages. The frustration with Dani and the angst from Nate were enough to make me want to throw my reader at times… Overall this was a solid read, but I really would have liked to have seen more at the end, sometimes books seem to be so abrupt and I kinda wished there was an epilogue to show them in the future. Overall though I did really like this one. I give it 4 starlet stars and I will definitely be looking for more of Sandy’s books!
Previous books in the Series….
THE BOTTOM LINE by Sandy James (May 6, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #1)
When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. Surviving a failed marriage and an illness that almost takes her life, high school teacher Mallory Hamilton needs the Ladies Who Lunch more than ever . . .
After a year of upheaval, Mallory has had her fill of change-with one exception. Her house is a disaster, and she wants it fixed. Hiring a contractor to finish the projects her ex-husband started will help her banish the past so she can return to the life she had before everything went awry. But her contractor is sexy, sweet, and single, which threatens the peaceful, solitary life Mallory has planned for herself.
Ben Carpenter has had a hard time raising his daughter without his ex-wife’s help. His new client’s projects will give him the extra income he needs, not to mention afternoons alone with a gorgeous woman. Though their attraction is undeniable, Ben sees the fear and pain hiding in Mallory’s beautiful eyes. But how can he help her if she won’t let him in? Ben can fix just about anything-but can he fix Mallory’s broken heart?
SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED by Sandy James (July 1, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #2)
When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. High school teacher Juliana Kelley tells the Ladies Who Lunch that her life needs an overhaul . . . and gets a whole lot more than she wished for.
Juliana has spent thirteen years in the same teaching job. She’s ready to dive into a new career with both feet . . . when a run-in with the hottest man she’s ever seen knocks her head over heels. But with her failed marriage to a fellow teacher fresh on her mind, Jules can’t afford to lose herself in a relationship-no matter how perfect it may seem.
Connor Wilson has hit rock bottom when he loses his career as a top-notch Realtor because of a large gambling debt. Now, in a small town he finds a fresh start-and a gorgeous redhead who sparks new life into him. Together they start a successful real estate company, but when pleasure sneaks into the business, they’ll have to decide what they can let go . . . and what they can’t live without.
SEALING THE DEAL by Sandy James (November 4, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; The Ladies Who Lunch Book #3)
After losing her sister, Bethany Rogers needs a shoulder to lean on more than ever-though she never expects that shoulder to belong to her new boss . . .
Bethany has been in love with Robert Ashford since they were teachers at the same high school. After Robert leaves to start his own construction company, Beth puts her feelings aside to focus on her goals. When she finally lands a gig as a part-time designer, she is shocked to find her new boss is none other than Robert . . . and he’s hotter than ever. But Bethany’s happiness is short-lived when she receives word that her sister has been killed in combat.
With the success of building homes for one happy family after another, Robert is finally ready to settle down. When Beth is left to care for her nine-month-old niece, Robert can’t help but step in. And before long, the trio are inseparable. Yet convincing the cautious, bereaved Beth of letting him in proves difficult-but Robert will give everything he’s got for the chance at his own happily ever after.