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A Silver Lining

A Silver Lining

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A Silver Lining

137 Seiten
2 Stunden
Mar 12, 2014


After a brief marriage, Linda Lafferty has taken care of her small family by herself. She figures everyone is entitled to one mistake and she doesn't plan to allow another undependable man in her life. Her first task is to trim the budget of the small college she works for. She targets aging playboy professor Mitch Collins. After all, what does a course in leisure studies truly offer? Mitch's father was a workaholic who didn't spend time with his family. Pursuing leisure studies ensured Mitch would never fall into the same trap. He's kept his promise and enjoys his single life and his reputation of only dating younger women not looking for a commitment. A night spent searching for Linda's son who went missing after taking one of his classes finds him changing his mind. Maybe there is more to life than just play. Can he convince Linda that they can balance work, leisure and find everlasting love in the process?
Mar 12, 2014

Über den Autor


A Silver Lining - T. R. McClure


A Silver Lining


T. R. McClure

The Flower Basket Series

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.

A Silver Lining

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by T. R. McClure

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

Contact Information:

Cover Art by Tina Lynn Stout

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

PO Box 708

Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708

Visit us at

Publishing History

First Sweetheart Rose Edition, 2014

Digital ISBN 978-1-62830-172-4

The Flower Basket Series

Published in the United States of America

Praise for T. R. McClure and…


Good characters, engaging story, and the setting is delicious. Kat is complex and Alex is warm and endearing.



This is an engaging story about figuring out the balance between what you want to do with your life and your role in your family. A delightful clean romantic story.

~Silver Fox



What an entertaining read. Leaves a lot to the imagination while encouraging those who are older that romance can happen at any time.

~Jean F.


This story is the epitome of sweet. It’s even sweet enough to allow an older teenager to read. And it’s brutally honest. Most people don’t tell you when you get married that you should like your in-laws, and this story covers that as well as what to do with those pre-marital woes and jitters.

~Long And Short Reviewer


To my dad,

who always saw the silver lining

Chapter One

I tell you they’re droppin’ like flies. Professor Mitch Collins, twirling an unlit cigar in his fingers, leaned back in his chair and propped his boots on the corner of his desk. He stuck the cigar in one side of his mouth and spoke out of the other. Why you guys think you hafta marry ‘em is beyond me. As he stared at the ceiling tiles, he chewed on the stogie and wondered if anyone would notice if he lit up. Marriage cuts in on a man’s leisure time.

Fellow colleague Matt Berk threw back his head and laughed. Thrusting his hands in the back pockets of new jeans, he stared out the third-floor office window. Who’s dropping like flies?

Following his friend’s gaze to the blue sky, Mitch took a moment to appreciate the beautiful California spring day, as well as his job at Almond Valley College. The word content fit Mitch to a T, at least until his poker buddies got bit by the love bug. Unable to believe his friend wasn’t aware of the epidemic, Mitch pointed at his friend with both trigger fingers. You, for one. You missed the last two poker games. And then Walls… he pulled the cigar from his mouth, …goes to Germany to attend an IT conference and comes home married and ends up with twins—

Colleen and I were in Alaska salmon fishing. Sitting in a boat with a beautiful woman who enjoys fishing beats sitting in a smoke-filled room with a bunch of ugly guys. Matt’s face creased with a grin, his thoughts obviously returning to his recent vacation. And Frank and Helga are over the moon happy with those twin—

—and your sister-in-law’s brother-in-law—

Huh? Matt’s brow furrowed as he slanted a look over his shoulder.

Alex, Alex Marino, Wendy’s brother-in-law. He’s the latest. Mitch rubbed his jaw, suddenly realizing he had forgotten to shave…again. Got hooked up with the blond professor from Germany. What’s up with that?

You haven’t met the right woman yet, Mitch. Matt turned, crossed his arms, and leaned against the windowsill. Although I have to admit, when you and Donna were together, I thought I heard wedding bells.

Mitch pulled a dart from a chipped coffee cup on his desk. Even now, years later, the memory of his brush with marriage brought on a severe case of heartburn. He rubbed his chest, snagging his jacket with the dart in the process. Donna was a close call. He squinted at the corkboard on the wall, threw the dart, and hit the bull’s eye with a thud. She’s the reason I don’t date anyone over thirty. Younger women don’t have expectations yet. No biological clock. No baggage. I have absolutely no interest in confining myself to one woman, especially an older woman.

By older woman, you mean a woman your own age. Matt wagged a finger in the air. I used to say I wasn’t interested in marriage, too…until Colleen landed her plane smack-dab in the middle of the Berk Family Almond Grove. I took one look at her backing out of the Tri-pacer and I was a goner. Matt grinned and his dark eyes lit up. I just didn’t realize until later.

Mitch harrumphed as he eyed the young business agriculture professor. So, my friend, you’re saying her backside attracted you first?

Dark eyes even darker, Matt leaned forward and pointed a finger inches from Mitch’s nose. Don’t you dare ever tell Colleen. He relaxed against the window sill. Of course not…her backside was the first part of her anatomy I saw, that’s all. My attraction was the whole package…the airplane, the emergency landing, the auburn pony tail, the green eyes—

Matt’s spicy cologne warred with the heavy aroma of the cigar. Another change since Matt had married…he smelled better. Mitch wrinkled his nose. Spare me. Despite Matt’s assertion, Mitch was confident no woman would ever make him smell better. If she didn’t like the odor of a fine cigar, well then, too bad. The episode with Donna had taught him a valuable lesson. He rubbed his belly, remembering breakfast had been a burrito left over from dinner the night before. I feel a bout of nausea coming on. He plucked a gray hair from his jacket and was taken aback at the length. Man…he needed a haircut.

Matt shoved off the windowsill and waved a hand. Let’s go to lunch. We’ll talk about your latest purchase to get you over your nausea. He grinned, a distinct twinkle in his eye.

With a shake of his head, Mitch dropped his boots to the scuffed hardwood floor with a thump. Matt was still in the honeymoon phase of his marriage, most definitely. Colleen was a fine woman, no doubt about it. Retired from the Air Force, a private pilot, and a looker to boot…but marriage? He threw an arm over Matt’s shoulders as they entered the hall. Talking about his sixties convertible was preferable to the subject of marriage, for sure. This baby has the original paint job, she’s in mint condition—

Matt made a time-out sign. Bottom line…how much did she set you—

Doctor Collins and Doctor Berk, I’m glad I caught you before you went to lunch. I want you to meet a new employee.

Both men jerked to a stop as they came face to face with the Human Resource Director and an unfamiliar woman. Mitch dropped his unlit cigar in the pocket of his favorite sport coat, although to call it a sport coat was probably an injustice to sport coats everywhere.

Mitch had spied the jacket as he strolled by a yard sale on campus, falling in love immediately with the worn suede patches on the elbows and the faded patina of the green-and-blue plaid. The old coat went perfectly with his usual uniform of faded blue denim shirt and faded blue jeans. When he was teaching, he barely met the dress code of jacket and tie, but meet standards he did. Today, his tie was a print of tiny white Billy goats on a blue background he received at last year’s faculty Christmas party. Mitch slowly removed his arm from Matt’s shoulders and fought the urge to straighten his tie. Long time no see, Mr. Black. He caught Matt’s eye and winked.

Recently promoted to Human Resource Director, Eric Black had just turned thirty…and eager, so eager. Mitch wanted to throw up every time Eric called to talk about staffing in his department. Most of the time, Mitch managed to avoid the young man but was almost out of excuses and hiding places. Today, Eric had bypassed the phone and correctly figured the best time to catch the professors was between the end of their second period classes and lunch. Maybe the kid was wising up. Even so, he had a long way to go.

Eric blushed.

He always did when Mitch called him Mister, which is why Mitch continued to do so.

Uh, professor, you can call me Eric. He cast a sideways glance at the woman, whose gaze swiveled back and forth from Matt to Mitch, and then finally came to rest on Mitch’s pocket, where his fingers still twirled the hidden cigar.

She slowly raised her gaze to his face, taking in the worn elbow patches and pausing on his tie. Laughter drifted through the open window at the end of the hall, along with the smell of fresh-cut grass.

Mitch detected the faint note of disapproval in her pursed lips. Not surprising. Women her age always disapproved of Mitch. He was used to their disregard. He bit back a groan at the thought of another new employee…and an unfriendly one at that. He could only hope her office was on the other side of campus, as close to the border as possible, and her occupation wouldn’t affect Mitch in any way…like maintenance, or technical support, or even food service—as long as she stayed in the kitchen.

He dropped his gaze to her feet, clad in low-heeled navy pumps, and then continued up the legs—nice—and the curvaceous hips—not bad—taking in the navy blue pinstriped suit and white blouse with one…count ‘em, one…button undone, and simple pearl earrings. Her dark brown hair curved under her chin in a smooth wave. Two or three strands of silver glistened in the casual bangs swept to one side of her forehead. Forty, bet she’s over forty.

Hello, Professor. She thrust her hand toward Matt. My name is Linda Lafferty.

Ma’am. Smiling, Matt shook her hand. "Just call me Matt. I’m a

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