||August 27, 2012
A small town romance.
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Ten years ago a student's unfounded accusation of sexual misconduct drove Jared Blake out of his hometown, forced him to give up teaching, and destroyed his marriage. Now he's back in town to raise his daughter and return to the classroom. The last thing he expects - or needs - is an attraction to a stunningly pretty student in his algebra class, Maggie McCade.
To ferret out a computer hacker and further her dream of starting a high tech security firm of her own, twenty-nine-year-old Maggie McCade descends into high school hell by posing as a math-challenged senior. The last thing she expects - or needs - is to fall in love with her teacher.
"Maggie, wake up!"
Like an icicle through a snowdrift Alex's excited voice pierced Maggie's head. She blinked. White winter sunshine streamed into Alex's bedroom. Maggie groaned and tried to pull the comforter over her head.
"Get up." Alex dragged the covers away. "We're going sledding. Hurry."
Cool air seeped beneath the sweats Maggie wore. She shivered and curled into a ball.
"Maggie," Alex repeated.
"Go get ready Alex. I'll get Maggie up."
Jared's husky voice roused Maggie quicker than a bucket of ice water. Eyes open, she bolted up to face him.
Arms crossed over his broad chest he leaned against the doorjamb and stared at her. The look in his eyes, part anger, part amusement, part something she couldn't name, left her unsettled.
"I can't go sledding with you."
"Because of everything that's happened. It wouldn't feel right."
He straightened, his arms fell to his sides and his eyes darkened. "Alex has her heart set on your going sledding with us. I won't let you disappoint her."
Guilt made it difficult for her to hold his gaze. "I don't have anything to wear."
"Look in my sister's closet. Since she moved to Florida she keeps her winter stuff here. There should be a snowmobile suit and some boots you can wear. Be downstairs in fifteen minutes or I'm coming up to get you."
Stubborn pride kept her motionless for a few minutes. She never responded well to ultimatums. Then a surge of hope had her scrambling to get ready. The more time she spent with Jared the more opportunity she'd have to earn his forgiveness.
She paused as she tugged on one tight boot. Did she want Jared's forgiveness? And if she got it what would she do then? Jared's life was here in Council Falls, teaching. She had her life planned out in L.A., owning her own security firm. Maybe it was better if he continued to hate her.
The sound of Jared's footsteps on the stairs made her shelve her thoughts. Holding one boot she limped out into the hall as he came to the top of the stairs.
"Good. You're ready. Let's go."
His cool tone made her question her decision to go along. Then she glanced at his eyes and wondered if she had a choice.
As she got into his SUV, she noted the plowed drive and her car, a snow-covered stain of red, now parked in front of the house. "Looks like your morning's been put to good use."
"Aside from a few scrapes and dents, it doesn't seem like there's any damage to your car. But you should have it checked out by your mechanic."
"Thanks. Jared?" She touched his arm. Pain stabbed her when he jerked away.
Love teaches its own lesson
Investigator Maggie McCade is undercover as a Council Falls high school senior trying to figure out who hacked into the local software company. Included in her suspects is the hunky math teacher who has a history that gives him opportunity and could provide her with leverage. Jared Blake moved back home to build a life with his daughter. Unfortunately, the little girl has been distant to him since her mother died and Maggie seems to be the best thing to get through to her.
Maggie insinuates herself into their family for the good of her investigation, but their home life brings out a longing that could jeopardize her case and her plans for starting her own investigative business. Jared must keep his distance from Maggie. Their attraction threatens not only his livelihood and reputation but, more importantly, his plans to raise his daughter.
Maggie needs to stay and Jared needs her to leave. But love teaches according to its own rules.
Counterfeit Love is a sweet love story about the true meaning of home and love. Both Maggie and Jared have a past that has taught them harsh lessons about trust. Ms. Hendricks delivers a page turner where both character's past wars with their desires and I couldn't help but root for their happy ending.
But when all the deceptions are revealed, will Maggie and Jared believe enough in love give each other another chance or will they go their separate ways once the hacker is revealed?
A light and fun read
An investigator masquerading as a high school student falls in love with a hot teacher and his sad, sweet daughter. A successful conclusion to Maggie's investigation is important to her career, but it might destroy the man she loves. And even if it doesn't, how will he feel when he learns about her deception?
Counterfeit Love is an intriguing story that kept me involved and reading faster and faster to see how the situation would work out. And I breathed a satisfied sigh when it was over. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
A sweet, heartwarming read!
To uncover a computer hacker, Maggie McCade returns to high school! Posing as a high school student she zeroes in on suspect number one: math teacher Jared Blake. But the more she investigates him, the more she falls for him. Ten years ago, Jared Blake gave up teaching because of an unfounded sexual misconduct accusation. He's determined not to go down that road again, but suddenly he finds himself attracted to Maggie. Can he stay away?
Elysa Hendricks writes an enchanting contemporary romance filled with fun characters and poignant moments. I loved the small town atmosphere that Ms. Hendricks created in COUNTERFEIT LOVE. Her cast of secondary characters are endearing, especially Jared's daughter Alex. This was a quick, light read that kept me intrigued from beginning to end. With a great themes of home, family and finding where you belong, COUNTERFEIT LOVE is a wonderful, heartfelt story.
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