I have taken Linnea’s course too. It is great.
The summary clarifies a lot. Thanks for posting.
Some comments: You write that you are introducing the hero and heroine separately. That is a tradition format for romance.
Chapter 1 is the hero; Here is your description of the hero.
Scarred at age ten, when a near-fatal fire triggered his wealthy parents to divorce, Shane Kendrick is determined to learn every practical skill possible and prove he doesn’t need their money or connections to succeed.
(I am thinking that instead of every skill, maybe survival skills so he is never trapped in a fire or deadly situation again? That raises the stakes and ties directly to the core fear.)
He hates how powerful people dictate to “little” people while claiming what they are doing is based on love.
(what is the backstory for this? Who are the little people he cares about – the middle school kids? Will they play a big role in the story or will he transfer this to another weak individual – the love interest? her kids?)
He will meet his love interest in the next town. (Some foreshadowing of that in the opening is needed. Lots of choices for that. I suggested some in the crit.)
Definitely change the encounter with the new owner – make it a man or someone not able to be seen as a possible love interest. You could also skip and start with him packing and ranting about losing the job.)
These are just ideas to toss around. One thing I have learned from Linnea is to not worry about the opening until the rest of the draft is done. Then you rewrite the opening to fit the actual story your wrote.
Starting a new story is so much fun.