B.J. and Dana, through a stateside headquarters error, find
themselves sharing a villa when they come to start up a St. Croix
power plant. The job is single status, which suits them in every
B.J. is still smarting from the end of her ten year marriage and
Dana carries hurt and guilt for the death of his wife and young
son in a plane crash. When B.J. becomes the scapegoat for
everything that goes wrong on the job, Dana attempts to defend
her, when he is not defending himself from her mistrust. Despite
their denial, the attraction between them grows.
Can the torrid Caribbean nights melt their firm resolve and the
power of love overcome their fear of commitment?
A deeply tanned man of indeterminate origin rushed in and seeing the group,
came to stand in their midst.
"Are you guys here with IPPS?" he inquired, and when they nodded, he went on.
"Good. I'm Albert Zurow, your operations supervisor." He glanced at each of them
in turn, then reached into his shirt pocket for a crumpled piece of paper. "We'll get
started and hope the other plane arrives be-fore long." He nodded toward the first
person to his left. "And you are?"
"Carl Evans." The man was short, had a protruding paunch and a receding
hairline. B.J. guessed him to be over forty.
"Pete Marshall here." This one looked younger and in health club workout
The introductions continued around the circle. "I'm Frank Kelly." Only three words
but said in a tone of self-importance that was irksome.
"Yancy Webb." Adjusting his glasses, he straightened his lanky frame.
"Next, please." Albert Zurow looked impatiently at the man to his immediate right.
"Oh, sorry. Dana Thomas." Tall, dark and handsome, and he was probably well
aware of it, B.J. observed silently.
Zurow consulted his list. "Sutherland's plane must be late. I'll just—"
"I'm here." B.J. took a reluctant step toward the group. Six heads turned at the
sound of B.J.'s voice. Six pairs of eyes stared in silence. Then Zurow recovered
enough to speak.
"You're a woman," he said accusingly.
"Well, so I am." She gave the astonished man a wry smile and waited expectantly.
"There must have been some mix-up at the stateside headquarters. Nobody
mentioned this, and the resumes haven't been received yet so—"
"Is there some restriction against female employees here?" B.J. asked with a
delicate lift of one eyebrow.
Zurow blanched as though he envisioned an army of feminists already marching in
picket lines around the plant site. "No. No, of course not. ChemCorp is an equal
opportunity employer. It's just that we have arranged for the men, uh, employees
to share housing and transportation in pairs. We've already leased every
available villa in the area and now…" He looked at B.J. and shrugged.
"I have no problem with this," she told him calmly.
"I don't have a problem with it either," Carl Evans commented with a worried frown,
“but I think my wife would."
"Anyone else here married?" Zurow asked.
"Guilty." Yancy Webb shook his head regretfully.
Zurow cleared his throat and looked back toward the circle of men surrounding
him. "Each villa has two bedrooms," he said in a placating tone, "so only the bath
would be jointly shared."
"We could draw straws." Frank Kelly smirked as he looked at the other two men.
"Or somebody could volunteer," Pete Marshall said with a meaningful look at Kelly.
"We're assigning pairs to alternate shifts," Zurow continued after an awkward
silence, "so there would be plenty of privacy." He looked from one man to the
other, his patience clearly wearing thin.
"Come on, fellas," B.J. chided, "this is the twenty-first century. I don't have
anything contagious. I won't hang pantyhose in the shower. Actually, I don't even
wear pantyhose. And I promise not to make a pass at whoever is brave enough to
share quarters with me."
Kelly rolled his eyes, and Marshall nudged him. "Want to flip for it?"
Dana looked from the two men to the woman who stood waiting in her neatly
creased tan slacks and white tailored shirt. Her hair was the color of ripe wheat,
and she wore it in a short, boyish cut which made it hard to miss the bright
splotches of color on her high cheek bones. She was obviously embarrassed by
the situation but determinedly holding her ground and keeping it light. At the rate
things were going they'd still be here tonight arguing about who had to make the
supreme sacrifice of bunking with a good-looking woman. If he solved the
problem, they could move on to the business of settling in.
"I'll do it."
Six pairs of eyes turned toward him, four registering surprise and the other two
gratitude. Dana felt himself turn red as he reached down and picked up his
briefcase. "So let's get on with it."
"Linda Swift's newest release, Single Status, is
the perfect love story. Ms. Swift, an
accomplished author, has given us a story with
'real life' characters,deep emotions, and plenty
of tension. Don't miss this wonderful novel."
-Celia Yeary, Rising Star Reviews
"Linda Swift is a very talented writer and has
the ability to connect the reader to the
characters in her books. Single Status is an
engaging story that I really enjoyed." -BLessed
"B.J. Sutherland's problems start when she has
to prove she can do her job as well as any of
the men. Then her attraction for a coworker
adds more trouble and makes for a fun
romantic read." -Kitty "metoo"
"I highly recommend this story and I had
difficulty finding stopping places and didn't
want to quit reading." -Larry Hammersley
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