Sunday, November 15, 2015
Wolf Bait by Nina West
About WOLF BAIT: WOLF BAIT is the first book in the Wolf Cove Series. When life turns to hell, most people talk about running away. Abbi Mitchell actually does it. Determined to escape her humiliating heartbreak and her overbearing mother, Abbi takes a summer job at a resort in Alaska. It's supposed to be four months of snow-capped mountains, peaceful wilderness, and figuring out if she should wait for her lifelong sweetheart to come back, as he has promised he'll do. Instead, it's Henry Wolf. Owner of the luxury hotel chain, Henry Wolf is cool and composed, successful with everything he touches, and undeniably beautiful. And for some reason Abbi can't fathom, he wants her—the farm girl from small town, USA with no corporate experience—as his personal assistant. Abbi scrambles to meet his professional demands while she battles her growing attraction to him. Physical feelings she shouldn't have because he's her boss, because she's way out of her league with him, and because they'll never be reciprocated. Until they are. Will Abbi be able to let go of herself—her values, her dreams, and her inhibitions—to give him all that he's demanding of her?
When things take an ugly turn, people are always saying they’re going to pick up and move far away. Australia, France, anywhere that puts an ocean between them and their problems. Most don’t ever act on that. I certainly had no intention of doing so.
And then I went to that job fair in the city library, more than a little panicked about what I was going to do this summer. Recruiters were peddling administrative and counselor positions, trade internships, day care. Nothing I was interested in. Plus, they were all local Chicago-based positions. The last thing I wanted to do was stay in Chicago for the summer. I needed to separate myself from it and its bitter memories, if for only a few months until school started again in the fall.
But the idea of going back to Pennsylvania, where everyone including the cows had heard the nitty-gritty details about my breakup with Jed, was even more unappealing.
That’s what happens when you grow up in a small town and then go away to college with your high school sweetheart, who’s also the reverend’s son, who you were supposed to marry the summer after you both graduate college.
Who you’ve been saving yourself for.
Who you caught with his pants down and thrusting into some raven-haired jezebel.
And, while in the depths of despair, though you know better, you tell your upstanding, churchgoing mama, who is known around town as much for her raspberry pie as for her big mouth.
That scandal sure gave the folks of Greenbank something to talk about during Pennsylvania’s long, cold winter. It’s been months since D-Day, or what I like to call Dick Day, when I caught him. February 2, to be exact.
I’m sure tongues were wagging across pews during church service. When I visited over Easter weekend though, I got nothing but sympathetic nods and pats. Jed, sitting in the pew directly across from us, earned more than a few glowers. Not everyone shared those feelings, though. His father, Reverend Enderbey, decided that giving a sermon on man’s weakness for carnal flesh and the need for forgiveness and understanding would be more appropriate than discussing the resurrection of Christ that day.
Much like Jed promised me, Reverend Enderbey has promised my parents that this is just a momentary blip in Jed’s faith; that he’s feeling confused and needs to sort out his priorities. He’ll come back to me, after he’s done sowing his wild oats.
Why do they all think I’ll want to take him back?
He broke my heart that day, and has continued breaking it daily, every time I see him walking hand in hand around campus with her.
He’s not just sowing wild oats. They’re dating now.
So when I passed by the Wolf Hotels booth at the job fair a month ago and spotted the pamphlet with a beautiful vista of snow-capped mountains and forest, I immediately stopped and started asking questions, and within ten minutes I knew that Wolf Cove was my ticket away from sadness, temporarily at least. I just needed to get myself to Homer, Alaska. They’d provide transportation to the hotel, subsidized accommodations and meals onsite, and weekly transport to Homer, if needed, and in turn I’d work like a dog and keep my mind occupied.
The best part? It was almost 3,800 miles from everything I know.
About Nina West: Nina West lives in the city but spends her summers in the wilderness with her husband. She loves having a steaming cup of cocoa in one hand and a steamy story full of angst in the other. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter!