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Single mom Amanda Gardner begins her first academic appointment at private Buckley College in northwest Washington state, eager to begin a new life, pay off her school loans and become established in her career as an English professor. Two men complicate her life: Carlton Winslow, with whom Amanda must share and office; and, Marcus Dunbar, a journalism professor who befriends her and captivates her nine-year-old daughter, Cecelia.

Although Carlton is unpleasant to Amanda, he seems genuinely fond of Cecelia, who doesn’t quite know how to tell her mother why she considers Carlton “icky.”  The last thing Amanda wants is a romantic entanglement with Marcus, but she can’t deny her attraction to the man and after Cecelia is hit by a car and badly injured, Marcus’ investigation raises suspicions that Carlton may have had something to do with the accident.

Amanda is no longer sure who she can or should trust. Is Marcus even beyond suspicion? Is it possible that he or Carlton, or someone else Cecelia is too frightened to name, preys upon children? Amanda must get to the truth before she can give her heart to a man who claims he loves her and will cherish and protect her child.

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