~~Headstrong. Rachel Kinsey fits the description perfectly. The divorced soccer mom may be ditzy and as sympathetic to losers as a charity, but she knows what she wants. A man completely different from her unreliable ex-husband and the outrageous characters she’s usually doomed to attract.
Enter Jim Landers, the ideal candidate. An accidental encounter introduces her to the tall, dark attorney who loves soccer and kids. The only problem? He’s not prepared for a ready-made family and a woman as comfortable as a beloved sweater rather than a beauty queen. A woman whose kindness, enthusiasm for life, and unguarded honesty may disturb a man who values order, perfection, and serenity.
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~~Rachel Kinsey always met men. Frequently unsuitable ones. Buskers whistling on pan pipes or thrumming drums. Winos old and young. Patched-up homeless with shopping carts asking for a handout. But also construction workers, computer techs, teachers. She related to all sorts, always inherently able to identify the human element in each.
Her universal appeal to them was a sympathetic outlook and an open, trusting demeanor, the result of her big hazel eyes fringed with curly lashes and her teddy-bear rounded cheeks. She may not have been the most gorgeous female in town, but she oozed empathy, compassion for their problems, understanding about their clashes with friends and family.
Their universal appeal to her was a human connection with the male of the species. Men of all shapes, sizes, and colors fascinated her. She considered them as nearly a separate class of creatures. Lacking brothers, cousins, uncles and assorted other men in her family, and robbed of the weak connection she’d had with an emotionally distant father when he divorced her mother, she made males the subject of informal but intense scrutiny. She knew this weakness for fellow mortals, even unreliable or penniless fellows, caused many of her personal problems. But the failing, which had culminated in a defunct marriage with an infrequently employed handyman, also had brought her son Scott, now ten, so she loosed her curiosity unfettered.
Late one afternoon in August she announced to her sister, “I met a man today.”
“You’re always meeting men. Usually unsuitable ones,” her sister snapped back.
“I don’t know if he’s unsuitable, but he was tall and had the brownest eyes. I’d know him if I saw him again.” In her musings, she tilted the water pitcher somewhere in the vicinity of the glasses.
Sharon turned from the stove where she was wafting spoons of spaghetti sauce through clouds of steam and tomato splatterings. “Rachel,” she whooped and jumped across the kitchen to rescue the pitcher before the water spilled. “Was he another one of your weirdoes?” Sharon asked as she put the pitcher on the counter.
“Oh, no. None of those. He was just a regular man. Had a decent haircut. Even wore a sports jacket. Although he did look...a bit ragged around the cuffs. And his tie was off-center.”
“So a touch of vulnerability. Where did you meet him?”
“Outside Super Shop “
“What does he do?” asked Sharon.
“I don’t know.”
“Where does he live?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s his name?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. All I know is I want to see him again.”
“Well, you realize the chances of that.” Sharon moved the spaghetti pan to the sink and began draining it.
“Yes, slim and none,” Rachel recited Sharon’s standard philosophy.