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A Slow Return to Skinny Dipping: Author Tom Williams
Ellen Jackson buries herself in her job making sure that her patients receive the best care. When other girls go out on dates, she reads books and articles in her field. Reading up on clinical data for treatments of burns and upper extremity injuries was her way of making sure justice was served to her patients and she was going that extra mile doing her job. With an efficient assistant her workload should have been lightened and her schedule created in order to free her time up for other things. But, Ellen’s assistant was really not concerned about her job but used her position for her own purposes and benefitted from the perks of just knowing her boss. Seven years after passing her OT exam she decided to open her own clinic. Hiring therapists in the field of speech, physical and occupational therapy she provided outstanding help for her patients yet she felt unfulfilled and not satisfied with all that she accomplished or was doing. Ellen was always looking for ways to help and benefit others. But, what about Ellen? She even developed her own clothing line and sewed her own clothes. Earning a lot of money from her line, she opened a spa in the city. Everything she did was to help people relax, heal and live life in a calmer and more serene way. So, why was she never satisfied with all of her accomplishments? Why did she need more?
Ellen was a millionaire many times over. Her home did not reflect that nor did her style. People demanded her time. People wanted her ideas. People wanted her brand. People wanted to make money off of her. But, did anyone really care about Ellen? Did Ellen care about Ellen or just being needed by others?
After meeting with her department heads you would think she would just want to curl up with a drink, or warm milk and hide under the covers. Each one demanding, each one with his/her own agenda not one realizing that she was in charge. The doctor on her staff wanted the poor to benefit from his services as well as the rich. She would make it happen. As each department head shouted his/her demands Ellen reprimanded them as if they were kids in a schoolyard that could not play nicely. Elsa never bothers to check with Ellen and overbooks her even if it means she gets no sleep or rest.
Ellen is someone that values other people but often forgets her own needs but never forgets her roots. Working as a factory worker before creating her multi-million dollar businesses she cannot tolerate anyone who puts down workers, does not understand that her goal is to help the less fortunate and undermines her authority by not fulfilling their obligations. But, every time she becomes angry or tries to justify in her mind that maybe she needs time for herself, she remembers that her primary goal is helping the less fortunate and without working so hard she could not write those big checks.
Company contracts and one clothing producer who is out to blackmail her into giving him more staff and stating he has to raise his costs just might learn who is really running the show when Ellen hopefully takes a harder stand. But will she?
Ellen has so much personal guilt attached to her success and overcompensates by making sure she takes care of her employees, gives them larger bonuses and remembers her goals. When will Ellen remember Ellen? Author Tom Williams gives the reader a close look at what happens when one girl is so consumed with work, success and her need to be needed by others that she loses sight of herself.
Ellen takes a well-deserved trip to Florida and changes places with her best friend, Missy who along with her Doctor runs the company for the ten days she is away. Chance meetings can often turn into something amazing and wonderful, as the reader will learn when Ellen gets caught in a huge storm and meets Scruff who saves her in more ways than one. Listening to Missy on the phone she agrees to allow her and the doctor to make the company and employment changes needed. Meeting Scruff and his father in law she learns how her new clothing line will now be incorporated in his store. Added to the mix are two very special people, Nell who works for Missy and her husband Wesley and really amazing person Minotella. Each of these women hold a special place with both Wesley and Scruff and how close they become to Ellen and their protective natures will endear you to both characters. Ellen still suffers from panic attacks as we hear her during a meeting of a widow’s group that she started as one of her programs. The warmth and heartfelt greeting she gets and understanding helps the reader understand why Ellen is so passionate and dedicated to her work and company.
Author Tom Williams takes the reader on several special journeys throughout this novel. The first Ellen’s journey from seclusion in the sense that she never looked at the outside world as anything more than acquiring a new business, setting up companies and helping others until she met these amazing people on her ten days in Florida. Scruff’s journey to understanding that even though his wife is gone he can now move on if he chooses to with Ellen. But, will distance prevent it? The lessons learned are many as she realizes those that can be trusted and are loyal to her and those that are unworthy of remaining in her company. Friendships are tested and new ones are made as I continue with my review of A slow return to Skinny Dipping by Tom Williams.
Returning she met her new assistant, department heads and decided on just how she would run her day and her company. Snags of course were expected but some unexpected surprises would keep her alert and on her mark. But, working the long hours that she did and not allowing her heads of departments some type of free reign would only cause her to revert back to her former ways and that would defeat everything that Missy and the Doctor did while she was gone. Then the unthinkable happens and Scruff and Minotella are in a serious auto accident and his recovery looks doubtful. Finding love, hoping to become his life partner and working together in business how would Ellie deal with life if something happened to him and he did not survive? As an OT Ellie had the know how and understanding of what needed to be done to help Scruff with his shoulder injury as well as being included on his care with the team of doctors and therapists ready to help him.
Some things take work and others take miracles in order to happen. One man thought he would take Ellie for a ride and destroy her reputation and much more. One man thought that by blackmailing her she would give in. One man thought that when her life was in turmoil she would cave. One man would learn just what a force Ellie Jackson is and whether he was right or wrong. As Scruff’s life hangs in the balance all of her friends and loved ones rally to help see them through.
What happens to Ellie and Scruff you will have to learn for yourself? Will they ever get married or will his injuries delay things or keep them apart? Just how does the title fit read the book and find out for yourself? Skinny Dipping: Ever try it? Make sure the water is heated or just might freeze or better yet: Take a partner to keep you warm.
One book that will renew your faith in friendship, fair play, and loyalty and hope that against all odds just maybe something great can happen. One great book and one talented author that provided just enough twists, turns and suspense to keep the reader guessing until the surprise ending.
Fran Lewis: This book gets FIVE COVERUPS in case you cold after you Skinny Dip!