Unconventional Desiree Jackson tries to fight her growing attraction to Jack Duncan, an expat Texan living in Perth, and the parent of one of her students.
Jack is still working out how to be a single dad to his three kids – teenager Faith, and his twin boys, Tommy and Danny. But he has moved on from his marriage and is ready to find a new love. When he meets Desiree, sparks fly.
But just as things start to heat up, secrets from both of their pasts will come back to haunt them.
Can two people who are so very, very different ever really have a relationship? Or will it always only be skin deep?
Desiree heard her name shrieked over the general hubbub of the crowd and turned with a smile toward the voice. Fourteen-year-old Faith Duncan ran over, an excited light in her cerulean eyes and with a grin that stretched from ear to ear.
“Guess what? My Dad is here!”
Desiree’s eyes widened in surprise. “Really? When did he get back?” Faith’s dad spent much of his time overseas for work.
“Night before last. You have to meet him!” Faith was almost jumping up and down with excitement.
“Okay, well drag him on over.” Desiree scanned the crowd, trying to spy him out, even though she had zero idea of what he looked like.
“He’s talking to Mrs Bowers, but when they’re done, I’ll bring him.”
“I’ll see you soon then.” But Desiree spoke to the thin air. Faith had already streaked away, her long, light brown hair flowing out behind her. Desiree shook her head and grinned in amusement as she sat at her table, one of the fourteen mismatching desks crammed into the room for the occasion.
Desiree hated parent teacher night for two reasons. First, she always had to go through the battle of parents getting over her looks. Teachers simply didn’t dress like she did. Her choice of dark clothes, multiple ear piercings and her tattoos had most parents making judgments about her before she even opened her mouth. Second, there was never enough time to have any decent conversation, so it ended up being the same thing parroted over and over. “Johnny is a pleasure to teach.” “Yes, Katie is doing really well.” “Little Susie? She’s an excellent student.” The parents she wanted to speak to, the ones who belonged to the struggling or belligerent kids, rarely came to parent teacher interviews. It was only ever the high performers. So it seemed to Desiree that the night became more of an exercise in ego stroking than anything. “He’s a credit to you.” Barf.
But now, knowing she would meet Faith’s dad, this parent teacher night may not turn out to be a total waste of time.
“Miss Jackson?” A smooth baritone with a Texan accent sounded to the side of her and she turned toward the voice, instantly replacing her scowl with a welcoming smile. But even the smile didn’t last long, as her mouth dropped open at the sight of the gorgeous hunk of man in front of her.
At least six foot two, he had neat light brown hair that was going grey at the edges. Lashes of the same color framed piercing blue eyes. His strong jawline led into a curving smile, with something perhaps a little cynical playing around the edges. He dressed casually, in jeans and a button-up shirt, but Desiree could still make out his biceps and the wide expanse of his well-developed chest. This was one hell of a man.
Before Desiree could recover her wits, Faith popped out from behind the man. “This is my Dad, Miss Jackson.”
In a trance she held out her hand, and he shook it firmly. Desiree hazily noted that his eyes were the same blue as his daughter’s. She heard herself say, “Good to meet you,” but the words sounded very far away. She absentmindedly picked up a business card and gave it to him. Finally remembering to smile, she also remembered he was the absentee parent making Faith’s life miserable.