Workaholic real estate agent Carol Brock can't seem to find a good man. Her first husband cheated with a law clerk less than half his age. Then she found herself in a string of bad relationships with unscrupulous men, including a con man and art thief, who shredded her professional reputation and strained her relationship with her college-age children. Carol has sworn off men and is determined to reclaim her life and career on her terms. But, when Boston’s most eligible bachelor, restoration specialist Devin Elliott, puts in an offer on a charming Victorian, Carol admits she’s attracted. Devin’s offer unwittingly unleashes a psychopathic rage in an ex-girlfriend that spills into Carol’s life. As she and Devin try to stay one step ahead of violence, Carol must decide whether she's ready to risk her heart again.
“Damn. I don’t have time for this.” Carol Brock stared down at her electric-blue BMW in dismay and growing anger. She’d been completely boxed in by a SUV on one side and a glossy black pickup on the other. Not a chance she could get in either the driver or passenger doors. I’m supposed to show a house in thirty minutes, half way across town. I don’t need this. Then she saw her driver’s side mirror and gasped. It was dangling on a couple of wires.
“What the hell?” Taking out her phone, she pressed on the camera app and started shooting. “Think you can get away with this? Think again.”
She snapped the scene, the vehicles, and their license plates and sent the photos to someone she knew in the Boston Police, with the message: ’Guzzo, you’re my witness. I’m having the pickup towed so I can get in my car.’
As she called for roadside assistance, Carol stamped her feet to try and warm them. It was another cold, wet, gray November day. Gone were the sweet smells and vibrant colors of early fall. While her soft leather boots were beautiful and comfortable to walk in, they were not meant to stand around in. I should call the Fowlers and let them know I’ll be a bit late, she thought and keyed in another number. I can blame it on the traffic.
The tow truck arrived. Within a few minutes, the driver had hitched up the gleaming black pickup and was pulling it onto the truck bed when a loud voice yelled over the grinding whine of the hydraulics.
“Whoa! Wait a minute. What do you think you’re doing? Stop!”
Carol turned to see a very tall, well-dressed man running across the parking lot. She stood her ground and watched his approach, with a smirk on her glossed lips. Great eye candy, but boy, does he look angry. I might enjoy venting on such a magnificent male. If you’re going to have a good mad on, might as well be mad at someone good looking.
As he drew up beside her, Carol looked up into molten hazel eyes that were flashing with anger. She felt a small frisson of fear but brushed it aside. She already had a business card in her hand. Before he could say a word, she held it out to him.
“You ripped off my side mirror. Here’s my card. I’d appreciate yours if you have one. You owe me for the mirror.” She could almost feel the heat of his anger and swallowed a bit nervously. But adrenaline was coursing through her veins. Her emerald green eyes stared straight into his.
“My God, woman.” He looked at her card. “Carol Brock, real estate agent. Well, you’re a real piece of work, Ms. Brock, let me tell you. What gives you the right to move my truck? I could have you charged with theft.”
“Go ahead and try. I’ve already sent photos to the police. I can prove you boxed me in and ripped off my mirror. I’m sure I can have you charged with something too.”
“Well, I’ll be damned. You don’t miss a beat. Photos to the police already.”
Carol watched in amazement as the flashing fire of anger was completely extinguished and replaced with mirth. She was sure the color of his eyes had changed in an instant. Now the brazen man was smiling and laughing at her. Her temper seethed as she fixed him with a look that only a mother could muster.
“I hardly think this is anything to laugh about.” Her voice dripped with disdain as she fixed him with a steely gaze. “I have a full day ahead. You’ve thrown my entire schedule off, and you’ve damaged my car. I’m going to lose valuable time getting it fixed.”
“Okay, Ms. Brock, mea culpa. I did park badly, but I didn’t realize I’d damaged your car. Now I see that I have, and I’m making you late for your next appointment. Can’t argue with you on any of those points. My name is Devin, Devin Elliott.” He held out his hand, which now held a business card.
Carol took the card but refused the offer of a handshake. She couldn’t argue with him. She swallowed her temper reluctantly.
“Devin Elliott, the architect.” Carol knew the name. Anyone in Boston real estate circles knew Elliott and Co., Restoration Specialists. “Well then, at least I know you can afford to pay for the mirror. That honking big truck of yours was a pretty obvious clue, too. The mirror will cost at least eight hundred dollars. It’s articulated, electronic, and heated.” She looked at her phone. “Damn. I really am going to be late. I need to get going.”
“Excuse me?” They both looked over as the tow truck driver leaned his head out of his window. “Where do you want the pickup, sir?”
“Just put it over there, please.” Devin pointed towards the entrance of the lot and then turned back to Carol. “What do you say we get the tow truck to take your car to your dealership? I’ll drive you to your next appointment if they don’t have a loaner for you.”
Carol snorted and put a hand up to smooth her coppery auburn waves. “I do not need a ride, and I am perfectly capable of handling this situation. You’ve been quite enough help already.” She pulled up to her full height. Even with towering heels she couldn’t look him straight in the eye. She thrust her chin up stubbornly.
He smiled down at her. “After seeing you in action just now, I’m quite convinced you can take care of just about anyone or anything. But I don’t think your day will get any better driving around with your side mirror hanging off.” Devin continued his delicate negotiations. “You’ll just get stopped by the police, ticketed, and pulled off the road. Then you’ll be calling for the tow guy again. He’s already here. Why not take advantage of it and save some of that valuable time you just mentioned? Plus, we can get the estimate, and I can pay for it right then and there.”
His small jab of sarcasm was not lost on her, but he did have a good point. “Oh, all right. I accept your offer.”
Review Rating: 3.5 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: Well, this story starts out with a bang! Carol is just wanting to get to work, but....well life steps in and say "NOPE" She meets Devin because he pretty much slams into her life, and things aren't the same after that.
Carol has had quite the dating history, and she's really not ready for anything. However, she finds Devin attractive and can't help but get swept up into his world- crazy exes and all!
New Beginnings is a good story. The characters make you feel their emotions, the plot is pretty solid. Now, the pacing is bogged down at times due to overly detailed paragraphs that don't necessarily bring anything extra to the story, but it wasn't big enough to keep me from being intrigued by the story and wanting to know how it ends.
This is the first I've read from the author and I would be interested in find more of her books. New Beginnings is a great mix of drama, romance, intrigue and good emotion.
And now, for an interview with the author!
Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
In 2001, my husband and I moved to our lakefront property on a full-time basis. Our daughter was off to university in another city and we didn’t need two large properties. With Internet and email, I knew I could work from home and maintain my very active consulting practice. In 2006, our daughter was married. One month later I learned I had aggressive breast cancer. I changed direction in a big hurry. After a four-year contract with a single client and thirty hours a week, I was looking for some variety. I applied for a freelance book editing arrangement with a publisher and they have kept me busy. Last year, I set up my own publishing company and in May of this year, published a Montreal debut novelist.
Writing and editing has always been my passion. I’m one of those people who can never deliver a zinger off the cuff. I need time to mull ideas over and writing gives me that time. As an editor, I love helping authors polish their manuscripts to be the best they can be.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I’ve been writing and published since my late teens via letters to editor, then articles for magazines and some newspapers and then a career in technical writing on a variety of subjects. As a contracted writer, I’ve had dozens of uncredited publications and some credited. They have been highly specialized on topics such as disability, schizophrenia, child well-being, violence against women, etc. I have three published novels, all Women’s Fiction.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
My novels are in the Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Fiction genre but in the second one I had a very strong suspense/thriller element. Of the three, that one has done the best in reader reviews. So, yes, I plan to stretch into other genres.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
A bit of both really. I try to develop a very rich character outline, with core personal values and beliefs. Then, I put the central characters into challenging situations with challenging secondary characters and, based on the values and beliefs, they take it from there.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
A writing day would start around 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. with a big mug of tea or decaf coffee. Then breakfast, emails, admin., walk the dog. Afternoon of editing, polishing, research and mapping out next steps in the story.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
On my! I have to choose? Some of my favourite authors include Barbara Freethy, Joseph Boyden, Diana Gabaldon, John Grisham, Jason Deas, Nora Roberts and Barbara Delinsky. Favorite books: The Kite Runner, Through Black Spruce, Brushed Away, Eat,Pray,Love … endless list!
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I plan to finish my fourth novel about a divorcée and her teenage daughter rebuilding their lives after being burned out and losing everything. And I’d like to submit it and win an award.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be? That’s easy – be able to teleport. I hate airports and commercial flying but I’d love to be able to pop in and visit my grandson on a regular basis!
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
A Unicorn of course! I’ve always loved horses and dream of owning one. A Unicorn would be even better!
Tell us a little about your latest release.
Road to Tomorrow is the third in my Look to the Future series. It explores the impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) on a young military family. This is a major issue for the international military community due to marriage breakdown, spousal abuse and suicide. My goal was to tell an engaging and uplifting story of a young woman with two small children who escapes the abuse and forges a new life with them that will allow her to live up to her true values.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members).
Being able to go for a walk on the dirt roads near our house. We live in a very rural area with several small lakes. It is so lovely.
Could you ever co-author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I enjoy police procedurals and crime mysteries. One author I’ve really enjoyed is my editing client Jason Deas. I’d love to work with him on a collaboration.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I could sit at the feet of Maya Angelou for an entire day and just talk about life, love and living. She is such a treasure and so very wise.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I’m an accidental gardener. If it lives, it’s purely by accident, although I usually have good luck with my small vegetable garden. I am a voracious reader, love to cook and to paint and decorate our home.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to a movie, what would you pick?
Hard to think of one that hasn’t been done already. Khaled Hosseint’s new novel, And the Mountains Echoed would make for a fascinating film.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Flying an airplane. My husband has a (lapsed now) commercial pilot’s licence. We did a fair bit of flying in our early years together.
Favorite color? Turquoise blue – bright and bold!
Weather: Hot or cold? Cool – Fall is my favourite time of the year!
Favorite place to read? In my La-Z-Boy looking out my patio doors to the lake.
Favorite meal. Raclette, with friends and lots of stuff to choose from and a variety of raclette cheeses to grill over the veggies.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink. Water. It’s from our lake and goes through an ionizing filter. It is so refreshing!
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go? Newfoundland, Canada. I’ve been several times and would love to spend a month there at a writer’s retreat.
Mary Metcalfe is the author of three published novels –Winds of Change, New Beginnings, Road to Tomorrow – and currently at work on her fourth. She and her long-time husband live in the foothills of the Laurentians in Quebec,Canada with a small herd of cats and a Canadian Eskimo dog. Their daughter is a published literary non-fiction author.
Find New Beginnings at:
Web site: www.marymetcalfe.ca