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Susan Mallery

Hold Me

Susan Mallery Hold Me
$7.19 New
 
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Series:

Fool's Gold

Excerpt from book:

No one woke up in the morning and thought to themselves, Today I'm going to get lost in the woods. But even without a plan, it happened.

Maybe it was simply that innate human need to explore. Maybe it was bad luck, or maybe it was just people being idiots. Grandma Nell had always loved to say, "Beauty is skin deep, but stupid goes clear down to the bone." Not that Destiny Mills was going to be judgmental either way. People got lost, and her job was to make sure they got found. It was kind of like being a superhero. Only instead of laser vision or invisibility, she had a brilliant computer software program and a finely honed search and rescue team.

Well, technically the team wasn't hers. It belonged to whatever town or county had hired her company. Her firm had created the software program, and she was one of three facilitators who helped those wanting to use it. She showed up, trained the search and rescue group and then moved on to the next assignment.

If it was Monday, she must be in Fool's Gold, she thought humorously as she stepped into her small, temporary office. Fool's Gold, California. Population 125,482 per the sign she'd seen on her way in. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the town attracted tourists by the thousands. They came in winter to ski, in summer to hike and camp and all year long to attend the dozens of festivals that had put the community on the map.

None of which concerned her. What was of more interest were the literally hundreds of thousands of acres right outside the city borders. Uncharted wilderness with plenty of slopes, gullies, streams and caves. Places where people got lost. And when someone was lost, who you gonna call?

Destiny chuckled as the Ghostbusters theme music played in her head. She didn't know about anyone else, but for her, life was a soundtrack. Music was everywhere. Notes formed melodies, and melodies were little more than memories to be recalled. Hear a song from your high school prom and you were back in your boyfriend's arms.

She settled in her chair and plugged her laptop into the docking station. She only had a week or so to get up and running before the real work began. For the next three months she would be mapping the terrain, feeding the information into the incredibly intelligent software her company used and training the local search and rescue team. She was the point of contact, the human connection. And in three months she would move on to another part of the country and do it all again.

She liked the moving around. She liked always being somewhere new. She made friends easily and then just as easily left them behind when it was time to go. There would be more friends at the next new place. Sure, there was a lack of continuity, but on the upside, she was spared the emotional drama that went with long-term friendships. Whether it was her getting close to them or them getting close to her, relationships could be exhausting.

She'd grown up in a family that made any of the "real housewives" shows look as interesting as reading the phone book. Reality TV had nothing on her parents. As an adult, she got to choose whether or not she wanted that drama, and she'd decided she didn't. Destiny had deliberately picked a job and a lifestyle that allowed her to forever be moving on.

But for the next few months she would enjoy the small-town quirkiness of Fool's Gold. She'd already read up on the place and was looking forward to sampling plenty of local flavor.

Right on time, the door to her small office opened. Destiny recognized the tall, blond, good-looking guy standing in the doorway. Not that they'd met before—she'd been hired by the mayor, not by him—but she'd seen him on plenty "This sweet Christmas treat is a pleasant introduction to Mallery's popular series." -Publishers Weekly on A Fool's Gold Christmas


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