Read Ready for Love Online

Authors: Erin O'Reilly

Tags: #Lesbian, #Contemporary, #Romance

Ready for Love

 
 
 
 
 
 

Back of the Book

 
 

Kylie Wilcox’s life dramatically changed with the death of her husband. She found herself in a position where she would have to take steps to find a new and more exciting life for her and her daughter. Taking a position at the archaeology department in her local museum was her first step toward change.

Dr. LJ Evans, a renowned archaeologist, needed and wanted nothing but her work for her happiness. In her opinion, acquaintances and friends are nothing more than an intrusion to her structured life.

Their worlds are about to collide and lives will be altered forever.

The mystery of an ancient hieroglyph forces them to work closely together. Will it provide the pivotal point for them to be ready for love? Find out in this slow-burning romance that will have you cheering the couple along every step of the way.

 
 

Ready for Love

© 2016 by Erin O’Reilly

 

Affinity E-Book Press NZ LTD.

Canterbury, New Zealand

 

1
st
Edition

 

ISBN:
 
978-0-908351-87-9

 

All rights reserved.

 

No part of this eBook may be reproduced in any form without the express permission of the author and publisher. Please note that piracy of copyrighted materials violate the author’s rights and is illegal.

 

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

 

Editor: JoSelle
Vanderhooft

Proof Editor: Alexis Smith

Cover Design: Irish Dragon Designs

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Acknowledgments

 
 

This story was a labor of love. It would never have seen the light of day had it not been for the encouragement and story suggestions when I got stuck if JM hadn’t been there. Her astute insight and helpful suggestions helped bring the story to light. She was also there to do the beta edits for me.

Thanks goes out to Affinity eBooks for taking a chance on me and my story.

Thank you Nancy (Irish Eyes) for creating a fantastic cover. You rock!

A big thank you to the editing team. Jo, you made Ready for Love a better story with you input and line editing expertise. Alexis, your proof editing was, as always, spot on. Lisa, thank you for catching all those pesky typos.

A special thanks goes to Alice who came to my rescue and made sure that every ‘
i
’ was dotted and ‘t’ crossed.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Dedication

 
 

For Dorothy

 
 
 
 
 

Also by Erin O’Reilly

 
 

Return to Me

 

If I Were a Boy

 

Through the Darkness

 

Deception

 

Fearless

 

’55 Ford

 

Fractured

 

Revelations

 

Wolf at the Door

 

Sandcastles

 
 

Writing with JM Dragon

 
 

Take Me As I Am

 

Against All Odds

 

Earthbound

 

When Hell Meets Heaven Series

 

New Beginnings

 

Atonement

 
 
 
 
 
 

Chapter One

 
 

“Bye, sweetheart, see you this afternoon.” Kylie Wilcox waved good-bye to her daughter, Ryan, who peered out of the school bus window before it pulled away.

After a brisk walk to her home a half a block away, she crossed the lush, green grass to the gray-brick sidewalk, then walked up two steps before going inside her two-story Garrison colonial home. She had one thought on her mind—coffee. She grabbed her mug off the kitchen table, headed for the percolator she’d recently purchased, and poured the dark, rich Columbian coffee into it. She closed her eyes, relishing in the warmth that flowed around her mouth before trickling down her throat.

“Today is the day I find a job.” She made her way to the kitchen table with her mug in hand. After pulling out an oak chair and sitting, Kylie opened her tablet and began perusing the available jobs to see if there were any that piqued her interest.

Life certainly had become complicated after the death of her husband, Ted. Immediately after graduation from the University of Texas, she had married her high school sweetheart. He was ambitious, and the speed at which he climbed the corporate ladder had many calling him a fast burner—and he was. Because of his success and position, he insisted she function as the perfect corporate wife. She had argued on many occasions that she needed to have a job and use her education, but once she became pregnant, the question of her working became moot. Therefore, she spent the next seven years playing the role of wife, then mother, fundraiser for charities, bridge player, and doer of all things domestic.

For a few months after Ted’s death, Kylie memorialized him and their marriage as nothing short of perfection. Then, reality set in. She knew the marriage was marginal at best, for Ted cared and thought more about his job than of his daughter or wife. She also realized what she had long suspected: that orgasms were mythical and the stuff that great love stories, songs, and poems were made of—nothing more. She had no experience other than with Ted and reasoned that if she ever did have an orgasm—which she doubted—then all the hoopla was an over exaggeration. In all the time they were married, she never experienced even the slightest twinge of pleasure or excitement while making love.

Her fingers twisted hair the color of wheat and she saw her gray eyes reflected back at her as she scanned the job listings. Kylie’s brow furrowed when one item caught her attention. She’d seen the same listing a month earlier for an assistant in the archaeology department at the museum. “They must be getting desperate. Maybe I have a chance. After all, the curator is a personal friend of mine, and if I stretch things a bit, I could say it is sort of in my line of expertise.” She laughed, for her experience consisted of several summer outings during her time at the university. She gazed at the clock and noted it was already half past nine. Certain that someone would be there, she snatched her cell phone off the table, tapped in the number, and engaged its speaker.

“I haven’t spent all these years volunteering not to be able to call in a few favors,” she said as she listened to the phone ring.

“Dr. Ludlow’s office. This is Ruth Smith. How may I help you?”

“Hi, Ruth, it’s Kylie Wilcox.”

“Oh, Kylie dear, how are you doing? I think of you every day and pray you are getting on well.”

“Thank you, Ruth. I’m making the best of it and am trying to get my life back on track.”

“God bless you. I don’t have the assignments yet for the volunteers, but I will call you as soon as they’re ready.”

“Thank you.” Kylie paused briefly, working up her courage. “Ruth, I noticed a job listing for the museum and was wondering if it had been filled yet.”

“Oh.” Ruth cleared her throat. “I take it you’re inquiring about the one with Dr. Evans in archaeology and not the janitorial one. Right?”

Kylie laughed. “I get enough of the janitorial work at home.”

“I understand that sentiment.” Ruth laughed too. “We are still interviewing for that position. Are you interested?” Her tone sounded disbelieving.

“Yes, I am. I need to do something, Ruth. From what I read online, this sounds like the perfect job for me.”

“Hmm. Okay. Kylie, can you give me a minute, please? I’m going to place you on hold.”

“Certainly.” Kylie’s heart rate increase as she waited. It was crazy to think she should work or that anyone would actually hire her. After all, Ted had left her financially sound to the point that she’d never have to worry about money or how she’d pay for Ryan’s college. She heard the phone click and swallowed hard.

“Kylie, can you be here at eleven? You can interview with Dr. Ludlow, then with Dr. Evans, who you’d be working for.”

“Wow! Eleven. I didn’t expect anything that soon.”

“I’m sorry, dear, it is the only appointment we have when they both are available until late next week. We do want to fill the position as quickly as possible.”

“Okay. No problem. I can be there. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, Ruth.”

“You’re welcome. I will see you then. Oh, don’t forget to bring your résumé.”

“I won’t. Bye, Ruth.”

“Bye.”

Kylie ended the call and dashed up the stairs two steps at a time. She was sure she had plenty of time, but she wanted to budget it in case anything unusual might occur. Her main objective was to make certain everything was perfect before she left. Tearing off her clothes, she headed for the shower.


Kylie arrived at the office of Dr. Robert Ludlow, the curator of the history museum, right on time. She knew the teal linen suit she chose to wear accentuated her eyes, making them appear grayer. She was confident that her hair was perfectly coiffed and her makeup was subtly flawless.

Ruth greeted her with a bright smile. “Hello, dear. It is so good to see you. My, don’t you look lovely in that suit.”

The butterflies and the third cup of coffee where churning in her stomach, so all Kylie could manage was a smile. Ruth was a wonderful woman and a close friend with a heart of gold, but at that moment that didn’t matter. “Thank you.”

“You’re right on time. Dr. Ludlow instructed me to show you in when you arrived. Will you come with me?” Ruth got up from her desk, motioned for Kylie to follow, and knocked on the partially open door. “Go on in. He’s expecting you.”

“Thank you.” Kylie walked into the office and heard the door close behind her.

Rob Ludlow was all smiles and took no time in rising to greet her. “Kylie, it is so nice to see you looking so well. How are you holding up?” Once he was face-to-face with her, he engulfed her in his arms.

Kylie returned the hug. “Rob, thank you. As I told you and Louise last week at dinner, I have good days and bad ones, but at last I think there are more good days.” She felt safe with Rob’s arms wrapped around her.

Rob Ludlow was a tall man, not only in stature but in reputation. He was in his early fifties, trim, handsome by most standards, and kind to everyone. He was a no-nonsense, hands-on curator whom everyone at the museum and in the community respected. Kylie had met him five years earlier when she started volunteer work in the museum’s gift shop. Soon she had become close friends with him and his wife, Louise. “Come, sit down, and tell me why you’re interested in this job.” He led her to a comfortable leather chair, then pulled another chair beside her.

“Well, Rob”—she shook her head and let out a small laugh—“I suppose since I’m here to interview for a job, I should be more formal.” Her face turned serious. “I need to make a life for myself and Ryan. I think that means I need to do more than stay at home or do volunteer work.” She sighed. “They are both worthy endeavors, but I need normalcy, and so does Ryan. I feel so useless, Rob.” Tilting her head, she added, “I think I’m qualified for this job.”

Rob patted her hand and smiled. “Did you bring a résumé, Kylie?”

Kylie frowned. She knew this would be a problem. “I brought my high school and university transcripts. Unfortunately, Ted never wanted me to work, so I don’t have a work history…not even from my teenage years. I was too into sports and Ted to have time to anything else. I know if you give me the chance, I can do the job. As you’ll see, I did take extensive courses that pertain to archaeology, and I’ve done field work.” The churning amped up in Kylie’s stomach. “All my grades show I excelled in those courses.”

Patting her hand once again, Rob took the papers and looked them over. “Nothing to fret about. It seems to me that you might just be the perfect fit for the job. Give me a minute to fax this down to Dr. Evans, and then we can talk further.” He got up, opened the door, softly called Ruth over, and handed her the documents. “Now, tell me, do you think Ryan will be all right with you working?” He shut the door.

“Yes, I think so. As you know, my parents are supportive in helping out when they can, and I know they will be there for her when I can’t.”

“That’s important to know. The doctor you will be working for has erratic hours, and she may require you to work odd hours too.”

“Okay,” she said skeptically. “Erratic? Can you give me a frame of reference? Are you talking about late into the night, early mornings, or something else?” Kylie’s confidence, which wasn’t strong to begin with, began to wan.

“All of the above. Not that I think she’d require it of you too, but I’ve known her to stay late into the night, and the janitors say she can show up as early as three in the morning.” He smiled. “She is very intense when it comes to her job.” He scratched his head. “I’m sure you will be a good fit.”

Kylie saw doubt on his face and knew he wasn’t telling her something. She wouldn’t ask because she didn’t want him to tell her anything that might make her interview with the museum’s chief research archaeologist to be awkward.

The phone rang and Rob answered it. “Hello. Yes, Dr. Evans. Excellent. I’ll send her down.” Rob ended the call and looked at Kylie.

“Dr. Evans is ready for you. I have another appointment in five minutes, so I can’t introduce you to her. Do you think you can find your way?”

“Certainly.”

Rob took out a map of the museum, circled a room on the lower level in red pen, and handed it to her. “Ruth will show you to the elevator and key in the basement. After that, just follow this.”

“Thank you.”

“Kylie,” Rob said as she headed to the door.

“Yes.”

“I shouldn’t tell you this, but as your friend, I think you need to know. You are the eleventh person to interview for this job.”

“Is it the job or the doctor?” At his expression, she knew the answer and that he would say nothing more.

“You will do just fine.” He gave her a quick hug before opening the door. “Good luck.”

She left the office, and with Ruth in tow, she walked to the elevator that would take her to the lower level and her fate.

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