She hesitated before she opened the office door, collecting her thoughts. When Alex had died on duty, she’d struggled to hang in there as a chef in a prestigious, New York restaurant. But restaurants demand lots of hours, and she never saw her kids, so she’d come to Mill Pond to work for Ian. Thank God, the man was married and madly in love with his wife, or he’d be damned tempting. Her boss was a long slurp of eye candy, who could hardly wait until his and Tessa’s baby was born. Paula smiled, remembering. Alex had been excited when she got pregnant, but not like Ian. The man was already mapping out tennis lessons and fishing trips with his first born son.
Fishing trips. Paula sighed. It brought back memories of her Alex. He was a fun father and always took Aiden fishing every summer. The kids missed hanging out with him.
“I can offer you the inn’s east wing as an apartment,” Ian had told her.
At the time, it had seemed the perfect fit, but then the inn had gotten so popular, she put in long hours here, too. She was still trying to find her way as a single mom, to find balance, but it wasn’t easy.
“This isn’t working,” Ian told her a couple weeks ago, and her stomach sank. Was he going to fire her? Hire someone younger and single? “You’re working too many hours. You need help.” And he started looking for an assistant. Betty came in every day from ten to two—ready to do anything and everything—but she wasn’t enough. Neither was Howard, who took Betty’s place from four to eight. Ian realized that. He was good that way. He’d even asked her to sit in on the job interviews for an assistant chef, and they’d decided on Tyne Newsome, just off a long trek through Thailand.
“Here I thought you’d focus on cooking creds,” Ian teased her. “I didn’t think you’d swoon over Tyne’s looks.”
The man was nothing short of gorgeous, but looks alone didn’t trip her trigger. She went for the aloof, bad ass every time, and unfortunately, one happened to be delivering the inn’s groceries every morning. Jason.