Kay is a widow who has moved to Oregon in the 1920's to live with her brother and his wife. She sews shirts while he makes hats. Intrigued by the rough-hewn men who come in and out of their shop, she wonders if love would ever come her way a second time.
Aaron intrigues Kay with his quiet demeanor, especially after she finds him drunk. Leaving her brother to care for him, she often wonders what led the man to that point. While challenging herself to try new things, she takes a risk in getting to know the taciturn man.
Can shy love break through the hurting hearts of these two lonely people?
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Ouch. Drat this needle. Kay clenched her jaw at the sharp pinprick in the flesh of her thumb. She dropped her sewing on her lap. After pressing a hanky against the injured spot, no tell-tale red showed. Good. It wouldn’t do to let any blood seep onto the fabric.
She peeked over at Philip, expecting him to chide her in his big-brother voice, nagging her to use her thimble. But no, his intent focus was bent upon the hat he fashioned, his long agile fingers shaping the brim. She stared down at the shirt sections in her lap. Who was this one for? A resigned sigh escaped her. She’d grown so scatterbrained lately.
Time to take a minute’s break, anyway. She shifted position in her chair and glanced out the front window of their shop to indulge her favorite visual pastime. A pleased smile at the refreshing view relieved some of the stored work-tension in her shoulders.
The Blue Mountains rose up in the distance, lit by the late afternoon sun. Even after a year of staring at them during her breaks, the pleasure they gave her hadn’t dimmed. Someday, she’d travel to them, just for the adventure. Maybe climb them all by herself and wander around for uncounted days, enjoying their unfamiliar, remote vistas. They seemed to call to her, hinting at a serene stillness waiting in their sheltering heights.
Serenity. Silence. But the mountains might not be a peaceful spot, with swarms of lumberjacks in the foothills. Philip didn’t let her wait on them or on the cowboys who came in to shop and place orders. He wrote down their shirt or hat measurements, while Kay kept her eyes on her work, sometimes peeking around the sewing machine to take in their appearance.
She liked listening to them talk with Philip, enjoying their interesting male conversations, so devoid of the usual family details she and her sister-in-law Maddie spoke about with other women. Men’s minds were intriguing—their spoken opinions often so different from hers—and surprising.
Through the window, she spotted Eddie approaching. Big and solid, like most of the lumberjacks, he halted to peer in the window. She swerved her gaze back to her sewing and popped the thimble on her throbbing thumb.
Eddie entered and made his way to the counter. Philip stopped work on the hat, adjusted his shirtsleeves, and voiced a greeting. His tall, slender frame stood poised to wait on his customer.
“Howdy, folks.” Eddie’s voice held a pleasing, raspy quality.
Kay gave him a quick nod and listened to the two men exchange pleasantries while her mind lapsed into thoughts about the latest Edna Ferber story she’d started. As soon as she could take a longer break, she’d discover what would happen next to Selina. Such a big change for her to go from a city like Chicago and find herself—
“Isn’t that right, Katherine?”
Philip’s use of her full name jolted her out of her thoughts. “I’m sorry. What did you ask me?”