Book 3 in the Winston Brothers
Tangled Images is featured in the anthology Wildly Winston and is not available on its own.
Reviews of Tangled Images
is Book 3 in the Winston Brothers
The full series reading order is as follows:
- Book 1: Tangled Sheets
- Book 2: Tangled Dreams
- Book 3: Tangled Images
- Book 4: Wild
- Deuces Wild
- Hart and Soul
Read An Excerpt
Mack parked in the small lot to the side of Wells Photography, as directed by a hanging wooden sign. He’d checked his mail before leaving his apartment, but still no word from the board of education. he’d been a good teacher, damn it. The best. The kids had loved him, the parents respected him. His class had scored much higher than past averages, much higher than expected.
But the principal still hadn’t recommended him.
His hands fisted in his coat pockets as he walked across the broken-concrete lot. He stared at his feet, ignoring the blustering wind, the beginning of wet, icy snow as it pelted the back of his neck. The sky was a dark gray, matching his mood. He’d never felt so helpless in his life, and he hated it. The principal’s judgement of him, as well as her decision not to recommend, were beyond unfair, but there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it.
Finally, after Mack had crossed the nearly empty lot to the front of the building, he focused his thoughts enough to realize that the studio wasn’t a studio at all but rather an older home. The red brick two-story house was stately in a sort of worn-out way. It was hemmed in by the empty lot to the right and another older home advertising apartments for rent on the left.
Squinting again the freezing January wind, Mack bounded up the salted concrete steps to the front door and knocked briskly.
A thin, freckle-faced girl of about thirteen answered. She grinned, flashing a shiny set of braces. mack grinned back. “Hello.”
“Ah…I’m looking for the photographer?”
She nodded. “Are you here for the two o’clock shoot?”
“Yep. I’m Mack Winston.”
The girl opened the door and let him in. “You can follow me. My mom is just finishing up another session, so you won’t need to wait long. We had two cancellations because of the storm. Our receptionist is sick, so I’m sorta filling in.”
She closed the door behind Mack, then started down a short hardwood-floored hall. To the right was an open set of curtained glass doors, revealing an office of sorts inside, though the outside wall was mostly used up by an enormous fireplace. To the left of the hall was a flight of stairs leading to a closed door that separated the upper story. Mack continued to look around. “You say your mother is the photographer?’
The girl tucked long brown hair behind her ear and nodded, while stealing quick peeks at Mack. “Yeah. She’s real good.”
They entered a room that had a utilitarian beige couch and a single chair in it, a table full of magazines, and a coffee machine. To Mack, it looked to be converted from a kitchen, judging by the placement of the window and a few exposed pipes.
The walls were decorated with dozens of incredible photographs, ranging from babies to brides to entire families. There were outdoor scenes with animals in them, indoor scenes around a Christmas tree. Babies in booties, men in suits, children in their Sunday best.
All of the photographs were beautiful, proof of very real talent.
Another set of glass double doors, these closed with opaque curtains, apparently separated the studio. Mack shrugged off his coat, hung it on the coat tree, and then chose the chair in the far corner.
The girl smiled shyly at him. “You want some coffee or something?”
“No, thanks.” He returned her smile. “What did you do? Skip school today?”
“We had a half day for teacher in-service.”
“Ah. Lucky for your mom, huh? I bet she really appreciate your help with the receptionist missing.” He grinned his most engaging grin. The girl blushed and again tucked her hair behind her ear.
Before she could say anything, the phone rang, and she dashed off to answer it. Mack chuckled. He just adored kids, which was one reason why he was determined to get a teaching position.
Of course, at the moment, his teaching possibilities looked grim. That thought had him scowling again, ready to sink into despair. God, he hated brooding – it didn’t suit him at all.
Fortunately the photographer chose that moment to open the door. Mack heard two sets of feminine voices and his senses prickled. Something about one of those voices was familiar, sending a wave of heat up his spine. there’d been only one woman who had ever affected him that way, but it couldn’t possibly be her. Still, he leaned forward to peer around the coffee machine.
A Young woman holding a squirming baby faced him, while the photographer had her back to Mack, displaying a very long, very thick braid hanging all the way down to her bottom. Oh, damn, he knew that braid! He leaned a little more, feeling ridiculously anxious, holding his breath. Then she turned slightly, giving him her profile, and Mack felt like a mule had kicked him in the ribs.
His heart slowed, then picked up speed. It was a reaction very familiar to him. Just like the last time he’d seen her, he felt his muscles tremble, his stomach knot, his body go simultaneously hard and hot.
End of Excerpt
is available in the following editions:
Out of Print Editions
December 28, 2001
February 1, 2000
July 7, 2009