No Substitute: Softcover
First loves never last . . . except when they do.
When Amy Welsh returns to Goose Bay as a substitute teacher, she has no intention of seeing Quentin Macmillan, the man who once left her waiting in the rain clutching her suitcase and dreaming of becoming his wife.
Seventeen years later, his teenage daughter shows up in Amy’s class with plans to reunite her widowed father with the woman he has always loved. When the assignment is forgiveness and healing, will this young teacher pass the test?
“True or false, Miss Welsh? Did you ever date my father? Were you once in love with him?”
Amy Welsh squirmed in her chair at the front of the high school classroom, shocked by the unexpected question. Shayna Macmillan stared with unwavering blue eyes, and Amy wondered why on earth she’d ever agreed to be the subject of a mock interview.
The rest of Amy’s students stared on in amusement. It was part of a class exercise, preparing her journalism students to do a real-life interview. Shayna asked to pose her questions to Amy rather than one of her fellow students. As Amy sat face-to-face with Shayna, it seemed as far as Shayna and the rest of the students were concerned, this interview was the real thing. The question appeared carefully chosen, deliberate, as if Shayna knew the answer but needed to hear it confirmed.
“He-llo-o, Miss Welsh.” Shayna waved her hand in front of Amy’s face, and a round of snickers drifted through the classroom.
“I—” Amy took a deep breath and glanced at the eager teenagers leaning forward in their desks with interest.
“Come on, Miss Welsh. Spill.”
She wasn’t sure which student spoke but it sounded suspiciously like Ashley Morgan, Shayna’s best friend. They’d set her up.
“Yeah. Inquiring minds want to know.” This, from one of the boys in the back row, set off a chorus of cheers accompanied by a couple of wolf-whistles.
“All right, people. This interview is over.” Amy ignored their groans and stood, eager to get out of the hot seat.
“But Miss Welsh,” Shayna protested. She jumped to her feet, her honey-blonde curls bouncing to one side. “We haven’t finished yet.” Hands on hips, eyes wide, her lips pressed together with determined insolence.
Amy blinked, surprised at the fierce resolve Shayna displayed. “You may not have finished. But I have. Besides, the bell is about to ring.”
“I’d say this only lends credence to the fact you were once in love with my father.” Shayna walked to her desk and collected her books with a huff.
Just then the bell sounded and the students—with the exception of Shayna—scrambled for the door.
Amy groaned. She should have known Shayna wouldn’t let it go.
Since the day Amy took over this class two weeks ago, Shayna Macmillan proved to be most inquisitive. Without a doubt, she’d make a great investigative reporter someday—a young Diane Sawyer in the making. Smart, determined, and much too grown-up for her fourteen years, Shayna took advanced classes and would likely graduate a year or two ahead of the rest of her class.
Quentin must be extremely proud of his daughter.
An imaginary knife twisted in Amy’s stomach whenever she thought of Quentin, and it never felt more real than now with his daughter standing before her.
Exactly where did Shayna learn about Amy and Quentin? And what compelled her to drag a confession out of Amy in front of the entire class? The girl definitely had a flair for the dramatic.
“I’m taking the fifth on this one, Shayna,” Amy said. “Run along. You, too, Ashley.” Shayna’s willowy, redheaded friend lingered at the door, a suspicious twitch at the corners of her mouth.
“But Miss Welsh,” Shayna said, “I just want to know—”
“Have a nice day, Shayna.”