Nancy Fraser: Dream Lover

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About Dream Lover

Haley Parker lost her academic scholarship when she quit school to care for her dying mother. Now, eager to return to her studies, she must find the perfect job that will allow her the freedom to attend evening classes.

Her best friend Chloe teaches at one of Boston’s finest private schools, a job Haley had once hoped would be hers. When Chloe snags Haley a referral for a position as nanny to high-powered attorney, Eric Garrison’s, two young children, Haley looks forward to taking on the task.

Eric finds himself drawn to the intelligent and loving young woman who has bewitched his children. It’s not long before he’s re-thinking his plan to avoid romantic entanglements. On a family vacation to Paris, he finds it impossible to resist the lovely, yet innocent Haley.

Haley willingly gives up her innocence for a chance to make love with Eric, even though she realizes it will change their professional relationship forever.

Dream Lover, as well as the four previous novellas in the Golden Decade of Rock and Roll Series, will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour. 

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They finished the first book and were five pages into a second when the door to the library opened.

“Daddy,” Winnie shouted, jumping off Haley’s lap and running toward the opposite side of the room.

Haley stood and set the book down on the table beside the chair and then turned to meet Eric Garrison, the man who would hopefully become her employer. The moment their gazes met, Haley’s breath caught and her heartbeat picked up its tempo, fluttering inside her chest as wildly as the wings of the smallest hummingbird. The man was absolutely the most handsome she’d ever seen.

Her knees knocking, Haley started forward until she stood a few feet from the man. “Good evening, Mr. Garrison, I’m Haley Parker.”

“Miss Parker,” he acknowledged, nodding in her direction while scooping his daughter up in his arms. “I see my daughter has already coaxed you into reading her a book.”

BookCover_DreamLover copy“Yes, we were just beginning our second.”

“Between your willingness to read storybooks and your obvious skill at making paper hats, I’m sure you’ve already won over both my children. However, it would be remiss of me to not conduct a proper interview.”

“Of course.”

Eric Garrison pressed a quick kiss to his daughter’s forehead and suggested, “Doodlebug, perhaps you could head up to your room and get ready for bed. I’ll come up in a few minutes and finish your storybook.”

“Yes, Daddy.” She turned in Haley’s direction, “It was very nice meeting you, Miss Haley.”

“It was very nice meeting you as well, Winnie.”

“I’m sure my daddy will like you as much as we do.”

Haley could only hope that were true. “She’s a lovely child,” Haley said once Winnie had left the room.

Eric Garrison motioned Haley toward one of the two chairs facing the fireplace then took the other for himself. “She can be handful, as can her brother. I’m looking for someone who, while exploring both academics and play, can administer discipline when necessary.”

“Discipline?” Haley repeated. The thought of spanking a child totally went against everything she believed.

“Time spent in their rooms, contemplation of bad behavior,” he clarified. “I do not condone physical punishment of any sort.”

Haley breathed an audible sigh of relief. “Neither do I Mr. Garrison. I find the best approach to questionable behavior is either quiet time or perhaps an additional school lesson.”             He nodded in agreement. “I understand you are friends with Winnie’s teacher.”

“Yes, Chloe and I grew up together and were roommates at college, at least for the first two years.”

“Mrs. Wilkes tells me you dropped out to care for an ailing mother. I find your sacrifice most admirable, yet a bit foolhardy.”

“Foolhardy? How can caring for loved ones seem rash or unwise?”

“Foregoing the remainder of your education sets you up for failure. Or, do you prefer a position as a nanny to that of a teacher?”

Haley suddenly understood what Stephen Garrison meant when he suggested his brother had scared off yet another nanny. The man was obviously not shy about voicing his opinion of other people’s choices in life.

“I have no intention of giving up on my desire to become a teacher, Mr. Garrison. I fully intend to devote my evenings off to night school and the eventual attainment of my degree.”

“At which point, I’ll be out a nanny.” His serious expression would have been worrisome were it not for the softness of his amber-colored eyes. He pressed a finger to his mouth and tapped his lower lip, as if in deep thought.

Had her honesty about returning to school possibly cost her the job? Haley’s heart skipped a beat while she formulated an appropriate answer. “I don’t foresee graduation any sooner than two years from now. By then, your son will also be in school full time, and your need for a full time nanny will likely diminish.”

He nodded, as if accepting her logic. “Agreed. I do applaud your decision to return to school as long as you can guarantee me it will not interfere with your care of my children.”

“You have my word, Mr. Garrison.”

He sighed deeply, as if contemplating the taking of a wife rather than the hiring of a nanny. “We can give it a try, if you’re agreeable. I’ll prepare an employment contract for your review. Would you be available to begin next Monday?”

“I see no reason why not. While I am working part time at the moment, they do know I am looking for a permanent position and will not mind my leaving on short notice.”

Eric Garrison passed Haley a folded piece of paper. “This is my offer for both salary and incidentals. Please review it tonight and if you require any changes, convey them to Mrs. Wilkes by tomorrow afternoon. As long as the request is not outrageous, I will work it into the finished contract.”

He stood and Haley rose to her feet behind him. Her fingers itched with the urge to unfold the paper and see what he offered. Yet, it seemed somewhat tacky to do so right there in front of him.

“I look forward to working with your children, Mr. Garrison, and with the rest of your staff. I appreciate the opportunity.”

“The majority of the staff refer to me either as sir, or Mr. G. I do allow Mrs. Wilkes and her husband to call me Eric, in deference to their years of service with my family.

“Do you have a preference as to how I should address you?”

Haley could have sworn she saw a muscle twitch in his cheek just before he leveled his gaze on her face. Heat radiated up from the Peter Pan collar of her blouse and warmed her neck. If he didn’t stop staring at her, she was sure she’d turn beet red at any moment.

“You may call me Mr. Garrison, Mr. G, or sir in front of the other staff and my children and Eric if it’s just us.”

Just us? Was he crazy? Once their initial meeting was over, Haley had no intention of ever being alone with Eric Garrison again.

About the Author

Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people. She invites you to visit her website, her blog, and follow her on Twitter. Or, more importantly, just enjoy what she writes.

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