TITLE: Trowel and Error
GENRE: Adult Contemporary romance
Random gusts of wind buffeted the rental car and raindrops spattered the windshield as Eleanor Blake gripped the steering wheel. When menacing clouds first gathered on the horizon, she considered her options. She hated the thought of driving through a storm, but delaying her carefully planned journey was worse. Now that those clouds were dumping torrential rain, she regretted her decision. Her driving experience was limited and she was keenly aware that every mile she traveled must be retraced before she was home again.
Red lights glared on the car ahead of her and she tapped the brakes. The traffic slowed, then stopped. But something was moving up ahead, along the shoulder of the road. The windows were fogged and pebbled with raindrops, making it hard to see. A lone figure, hunched under a backpack. Jeans. A pair of hiking boots. Eleanor was sympathetic, but every warning she ever heard about hitchhikers clamored in her mind. Offering this stranger a ride might be kind, but that didn't make it smart. Or right. Not for her. Still, she couldn’t look away from the unfortunate traveler. Water dripped from the end of a ponytail and ran down the back of a denim jacket. A woman! Her sympathy was rekindled, the sense of danger faded. She pressed the button to lower the window.
“Can I give you a ride?”
The walker turned and Eleanor's eyes widened as a jolt of adrenaline flooded her stomach. The person looking back at her was a man.