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At His Fingertips [Secure eReader]
eBook by Dawn Atkins

eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: The same psychic prediction three times is definitely a sign. Even though Esmeralda McElroy is ready to reunite with a man from her past, she doesn't expect Mitch Margolin to be him. Mitch is no longer the sexy musician who once caught her eye. Now he's a conservative, buttoned-down hot guy. So not her type. Still, the steamy way they connect between the sheets is making her see stars. The tricks he does with his fingers are sinful! But out of bed their different views collide. Does that mean he's Mr. Wrong? Is she tempting fate by continuing to sleep with him? Where is that crystal ball when she needs it?

eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Blaze
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2007

3 Reader Ratings:
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"SO IF I WANT THIS GRANT, I should let you read my palm?" The young woman bumped the table with a knee, sloshing the gingko-chamomile tea Esmeralda McElroy had brewed to enhance alertness and calm for her and her clients.

"It's not a requirement, hon. Consider it a bonus gift." Esmeralda zeroed in on Cindy's face. Something was wrong with Cindy's grant application and Esmeralda had to figure out what. Esmeralda's psychic skills weren't a formal part of her job as director of the Dream A Little Dream Foundation, but they were the reason she'd been hired after the first director left. Olivia, the founder, had been a palm client and trusted Esmeralda implicitly.

The proposal for an exercise playland for toddlers was solid, but as Cindy explained the benefits of large-muscle development and parent-child bonding, her eyes were empty, her aura gray with gloom. Cindy had a dream, but it wasn't this one.

"A gift? And this will help?" Cindy bit her lip.

"I could read tea leaves if you prefer." Esmie had recently ordered some silver-needle tea that produced dramatic configurations. "Your aura is as gray as a rain cloud."

"My aura is… gray?" Cindy blinked at her.

"Let's stick with your palm, huh?" Esmeralda smiled kindly.

Cindy extended a hesitant hand and when Esmeralda cupped it, she felt a rough spot on Cindy's left thumb. "Cuticles need a trim." She paused, then spoke in the somber voice of a TV fortune-teller. "Through my crystal ball… I see in your future… a healing manicure." She grinned. "I do nails, too."

"Really?" Cindy laughed, relaxing as Esmie had hoped. It was no accident that her own aura was wild with light-hearted yellow.

"I love this." Cindy touched Esmie's index fingernail, which held the stenciled star with a rhinestone fleck she'd created for the thirty-fifth birthdays of her and her friends.

"Thanks. So… let's see what's going on with you, hmm?" She took Cindy's hand again, closed her eyes, silently prayed for clarity and wisdom, then looked down at Cindy's earth hand with its square palm and short, evenly spaced fingers.

The girl's heart line held passion, but the angle of her thumb showed she was not ambitious… hmm.

Cindy's story came together in Esmie's head, clicking into place like puzzle pieces. "Ah… I get it."

"You do?" Cindy said. "You get it?"

"You want to work with kids, Cindy, but not in a business, as a teacher. Here is your passion…" She pointed to the line. "This shows how you lead by example. This shows your need to interact with people. You're a natural teacher."

Cindy gave a sad smile. "But I only have one semester at Phoenix College."

"That's easy to fix. Request a scholarship from us." Esmeralda tapped the grant application. "Whose dream is this?"

The girl flushed. "My dad's. He read about childhood obesity and how yuppie parents hover over their kids, so he thought this would be a moneymaker."

"He's right, I'm sure, but you need to overcome your tendency to please others, sometimes to your own detriment. Use the courage that's here." She touched the large, curved upper Mars mount.

"That's my courage?" She looked so hopeful.

"Absolutely. Tomorrow night I'm holding a Wish Upon A Star workshop. We help people pin down dreams and make them real. I think you and your dad should come."

"My dad?"

"Sure. So he can own this dream—" she patted the application "—and understand yours."

"Okay. We'll come. Thanks." Cindy beamed, then looked down at her hand. "You see anything else I should know?"

Before Esmeralda finished, Cindy had a plan to declare her independence from her father, an appointment for a full reading—and a manicure—and tears in her eyes.

Esmeralda accepted Cindy's hug and said goodbye, pleased, but drained. Back-to-back appointments, someone's dreams on the line every hour, was exhausting. But this was only week four. Surely she'd build stamina.

She had to make time to read through the grant applications on her desk—two daunting towers of spiral binders, portfolios and folders. She should work weekends, too, except her palm and nail clients needed her.

This week she had to hire a consultant to make sense of the jumbled business plan she'd inherited. Lack of business expertise was her Achilles heel, but she wouldn't let that stop her. Phoenix was a mecca for entrepreneurs and people starting over. She should have no trouble finding a consultant.

Thinking of all she faced made the knot in her chest tighten and her stomach churn, but she would make this work. The Dream A Little Dream Foundation was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference in lots of lives. She loved reading palms, of course, but sometimes it seemed like such an insubstantial thing. The foundation was big and tangible and important.

It would make her mother proud, too. As a dedicated social worker and counselor, her mother had always given so much to her own clients. She was Esmie's hero. This job was a way to follow in her mother's footsteps, to honor her memory.

Needing energy, Esmie bent into a fan pose, legs apart, elbows to the floor, and eased into a refreshing stretch.

"So, it went well?" The voice of her assistant, Belinda Warwick, made Esmeralda jump up so fast she had to grab her desk for balance.

"It did. Yes. Once I read her palm and saw what she needed." That success reassured Esmie that she belonged here. A person without her skills might have funded the well-crafted proposal without noticing the disconnect between the dreamer and the dream. The purpose of the foundation was not just to give out money, it was to fulfill dreams.

Copyright © 2007 by Daphne Atkeson.

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