Wealthy Alan Ashley, blinded in World War I, returns home to face a challenge to his ability to run the family business. As the case goes to court, he is drawn to the cheerful, ever-optimistic Lenore Seldon, his defense attorney's secretary. When he wins his case, he offers her employment, but she declines and disappears from his life.
Ten years later, frail and in desperate need of work, Lenore answers his ad for a personal assistant. He hires her with the agreement that she will live in, chaperoned by his housekeeper, so that she can drive for him, and he can teach her to use the Braille writer. She is the perfect employee, but he senses that she is frightened of something--or someone.
When he finds himself falling in love with her, he must uncover her secrets in order to save their relationship---and to save her from herself.
(pages 270) Sensual
"That's one of my favorites," Alan said, leaning forward in his chair, his feet moving in time to the music. "Do you dance, Miss Seldon?"
"Oh, yes, all my friends danced at school parties."
"I haven't danced in years. I don't suppose you'd indulge me?"
"There's hardly room in here, Mr. Ashley."
"We could turn up the radio and go into the foyer."
"I'm not sure I remember how."
"Neither am I, but I'd like to try, wouldn't you?"
He stood for a moment in the middle of the foyer to orient himself, then held out his arms and was rewarded with the feel of Lenore Seldon stepping into them. Careful not to hold her too closely, he said, "All right, on the next beat." They moved off, not quite in time to the music.
"Is it coming back to you?" he asked.
"I think so."
"The tempo is nice, but I believe we're a bit behind. Shall we pick it up?" He quickened his steps as he spoke. "Are you keeping watch for obstacles?"
"Yes...oh, Mr. Ashley, the stairs." She finished her warning as his heel met the bottom step, and he toppled, pulling her down with him into his lap. For a long shocked moment they sat still, breathing harder than the exercise warranted. She was lighter than he'd supposed, but her hair, when he reached to touch it, was as silky as he'd imagined. Sliding his hands to her cheeks, he brought her face forward until their lips touched.
He thought she responded briefly, but, before he could speak, she jumped from his arms and ran up the stairs.
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