The Rosewood Whistle
by Pat McDermott
Surrounded by Ireland’s music and myths, a widowed American writer meets a tour guide leery of love…
On her own at the end of a long and difficult marriage, Gemma Keenan still hears the critical voice of her husband taunting her from his grave. To foster her independence, she schedules a summer vacation in County Mayo intending to write her first book, and she’s counting on Ireland for inspiration. An idea presents itself when she tours Achill Island with a silver-tongued tour guide whose good looks prompt her to write more than her high-minded novel: she transcribes her years of longing in a steamy fantasy no one is meant to see.
Years have passed since an accident claimed the self-absorbed wife who scorned Ben Connigan and his music. Since then, the former tin whistle ace has avoided marriage, though he never lacked for female companionship before he traded his high-tech career for the slow-paced life of a hometown tour guide. Ben has accepted the end of his run of discreet affairs, until he takes Gemma touring. Her passion for Ireland impresses him. Her love of Irish music soon compels him to dust off his whistles. Knowing she’ll leave at the end of the summer, he sees no harm in keeping her company—until he dares to dream of spending the rest of his life with her.
But he knows it can’t be, not while the ghosts of their partners still haunt them. Not unless the music and myths of Ireland can help them find their way…
“What a fabulous day,” she said aloud, turning down a crooked lane to a fenced-off row of blooming backyards.
A dog yipped, no doubt to warn of her presence.
“Get out of that, ye mangy mutt!” roared a husky male voice that sounded more cheerful than angry. “Do you think I spent the morning weeding praties to give you room to play?”
In the yard to Gemma’s right, a miniature black and white border collie chased a ball thrown by a man in a filthy T-shirt and faded jeans muddied at the knees. He turned and bent, and she gawked at the denim hugging his sturdy butt. Biceps rippling, he yanked a garden hose from a point beyond her line of vision. The dog abandoned the ball and ran back and forth, chasing the hose, barking with joy.
Gemma slowed her step to admire another Irish male in tiptop shape—and this one was no boy. From the silver speckling his thick dark hair, she guessed he was close to her own late forties, perhaps older, but that didn’t mean he no longer played sports. If he didn’t, he did something to keep his six-foot body fit. Gardening, perhaps?
Bending again, McHunk collected a scattering of garden tools, which he tossed clunking and clanging into a wheelbarrow. Then he stooped to retrieve the hose. His grace and agility, not to mention the rear denim view he unwittingly presented, mesmerized Gemma.
She glanced up and down the lane. No one was around. Holding her breath to keep from inhaling a pungent blend of soil and manure, she inched toward a bank of fuchsia, stopping well away from the humming bees. McHunk would never catch her peeking at him through the dense green leaves.
The Rosewood Whistle is available in Print and eBook from:
Barnes & Noble
Boston, Massachusetts native Pat McDermott writes romantic action/adventure stories set in an Ireland that might have been. Glancing Through the Glimmer and its sequel, Autumn Glimmer, are young adult paranormal adventures featuring Ireland’s mischievous fairies. Both books are “prequels” to her popular Band of Roses Trilogy: A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses. The Rosewood Whistle is her first contemporary romance.
Pat is a member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. Her favorite non-writing activities include cooking, hiking, reading, and traveling, especially to Ireland. She lives and writes in New Hampshire, USA.
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