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Tess McBride relied on her motorcycle to carry her away from an unhappy past, one that involved her father leaving her mother for another woman and her mother dying a year later.
Resolved to avoid men, judging them to be all alike, she meets Johnnie Parker, a stranded biker whose motorcycle she repairs. Her staunch resolve is undermined by Johnnie's kindness, respect and lack of a sordid agenda toward her, not to mention him being handsome.
Should she stick to her plans to take to the open road again after replenishing her traveling bankroll from her motorcycle mechanic's job in Johnnie's hometown? In the past, that question was easily answered, but what about now? Johnnie has fallen in love with her. The answer is obvious when she knows he's genuine, he treats her special, and she realizes that she has fallen in love with him too.
She hit the front and back wheel brakes at once, squeezing the handlebar lever and stomping the foot pedal. Slowing, checking her mirror, tilting her machine to the left, twisting the throttle, and braking rear wheel traction, she turned on the proverbial dime. Tess accelerated, lifting the front wheel clear of the highway for a few seconds and raced back to the stranded biker. The two miles disappeared in a minute and a half.
As she parked her bike, the stranger hoisted himself from his sitting position, laying aside the chain. Tess removed her helmet, tossed her head, her shoulder length brown hair flying. Placing her helmet on her handle bar mirror, she drew within six feet of him with her "These boots are made for walkin'" stride. The biker stood at his six-three height, his "National Woodworking Convention 2008" T-shirt flapping gently in the wind. Tess gazed at his bulging biceps and glanced at his slender waist for a few seconds before scanning his jeans and old Converse basketball shoes. He appeared to be about her age: twenty-three. His lips parted slightly, his face relaxing. His clothes, sunburned arms, sun-cooked hands, and lack of a leather jacket or gloves preached inexperience at taking long motorcycle trips.
"Thanks for coming back. I'm Johnnie Parker. Oh, my hands are too dirty for a shake." Johnnie withdrew his hand.
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