One Red Shoe
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It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day
When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Daria’s life in Small Town, USA is too predictable. She fears turning into a spinster living out her days with four old bachelor brothers. Determined to change, she won’t go into her thirties the same person who let life pass her by. She just wishes she was as strong as the kick-butt heroine in her stories.
Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassin finds him. Only because the assassin’s sidekick is such a klutz does Sam escape. With intel too hot to trust to even encrypted email and those two hot on his trail, Sam arrives at a rendezvous in NYC to find his contact is a no-show. Then, the assassins arrive. He’s hit twice by ricochets from the unaware klutz. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from a tourist.
When Daria races through a restroom, she belatedly realizes someone else is there—a bleeding man. Back home, her farm is a veritable menagerie with the injured cats, dogs, and birds she’s rescued. She can’t turn away from a wounded man, especially when she suspects he’s in law enforcement like her brother. She’ll patch him up and be one her way. He asks for help getting him out of the building. She agrees, but that’s it. He needs medical help. Okay, she’ll get him to a doctor and that’s all. She can’t miss the chance the next morning to present her story to an editor. But when Sam is too weak to go on, she sacrifices the opportunity.
Thus, begins a road trip that takes them from NY to Iowa with the assassins right behind them. Daria proves she is stronger than she thinks. When Sam’s plans keep falling through, she takes charge and keeps him safe. Over five days of close quarters and intimacies shared in the dark, she falls in love with him. They finally get Sam’s intel to the right people, the bad guys are arrested and Sam returns to his old life, leaving Daria with a broken heart.
The old Daria would have given up. The new Daria goes after what she wants. She will rescue Sam from himself. It just takes longer to convince him she’s the best thing that’s ever come into his life.
Note: This is a revised and updated version of a book originally published in 2013.