A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Veteran’s charities.
John Palmer hasn’t felt like a real man since he was injured during combat in Iraq. Though not content with his new life, he is mostly adapting, just like the other vets at the Lost ‘N’ Found Investigative Service. When Shannon Murphy is hired on as the new office manager, life suddenly gets a lot more interesting. Before long, John finds himself wondering if he could ever be the kind of man Shannon needs.
Shannon Murphy wasn’t really looking for love when she hired on at LNF, but finds herself hopelessly attracted to the sex-on-wheels former Marine, John Palmer. The man is grumpy and nearly impossible to work with, but his brand of masculinity appeals to her on a basic level. Soon Shannon is wondering just what it would take for John to want her the way she wants him.
When an old enemy tries to settle a vendetta against Shannon, John insists on protecting her. He moves into her house, fanning the spark of attraction into a blaze. But the danger continues to escalate. Will the connection that they’ve found survive when they’re thrust into a fight for their lives?
The first book of the series concentrates on the grumpy John Palmer, and Shannon the administrative assistant at Lost and Found.
We start with Shannon having not one but two flat tires. Now that in itself should be a reason to be wary. However, she just shrugs this off as her kind of luck. That is until she comes home from work and finds a Pepsi can in her trash, a drink she hasn’t had in years.
After John calls to see if she’s okay cause she ‘seemed off’ at work, he immediately drops everything to check things out.
After a dinner made to say thank you, Shannon hands him a kitten.
This is a favorite scene.
Shannon felt her brows lower skeptically. “Oh, please. I’m an okay cook, but certainly not fantastic.”
“After MREs, hospital food and take-out, believe me, this is ambrosia.”
Shannon tipped her head forward. “Well thank you very much for the compliment, John. It’s the least I could do.”
She took a piece of chicken over to the box in the corner and broke it into little pieces. One she gave to the mother, and the others to each of the kittens. John rolled over behind her, and peered down into the box. He scowled as he watched them spit and hiss at each other. “Why are they doing that?” he demanded.
Shannon smiled and separated two of the kittens. “Well, they haven’t been eating solid food very long, and they’re trying to establish a pecking order. They don’t usually hurt each other.”
She handed a small gray bundle of fur to John.
“This is the runt of the litter, and I try to feed her a little more than the others.”
John held the kitten awkwardly in front of him. The young cat’s paws batted the air, looking for something to claw into.
“No, no, hold her against you, like this.”
She settled his hand against his chest and shaped his fingers around the little creature’s bottom. Shannon didn’t even realize how close she had moved to John until she looked up and found him staring at her. Hard. With those heavy black brows furrowed and his dark eyes full of burning emotion.
“Sorry,” she mumbled, and pulled away quickly. She snatched another kitten out of the box and tucked it under her chin.
John’s kitten started to purr.
“What’s it doing now?” he demanded.
Shannon laughed at the ferocious frown on his face. “Relax,” she told him gently, “she’s just purring. It means she’s comfortable and likes what you’re doing.”
John eased back in his chair and eyed the cat.
“Haven’t you ever had a cat?” she asked him curiously.
John’s face lost all expression, and a subtle tension eased into the air. “No, I haven’t. Animals weren’t allowed at the boy’s home where I grew up.”
“Oh.” Shannon felt like a heel as the revelation about his childhood settled into her. It explained so much of who he was.
“I didn’t mean to dig things up,” she told him finally.
John shrugged and stroked the kitten on the top of its head with a huge finger. “No big deal. You didn’t know.”
Madden, J.M.. Embattled Hearts (Military Romantic Suspense) (Lost and Found Book 1) (Kindle Locations 485-506). JM Madden. Kindle Edition.
Full of tension, leads that go nowhere, and a relationship that begins almost reluctantly. I loved that the entire LnF crew gets involved to keep Shannon safe.
I love the cats and John and Shannon together. They are in my opinion the perfect, imperfect couple. There are many twists and turns and one that was very unexpected.
5 Contented Purrs for JM!
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J.M. Madden writes compelling romances between ‘combat modified’ military men and the women who love them. J.M. Madden loves any and all good love stories, most particularly her own. She has two beautiful children and a husband who always keeps her on her toes.
J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she’s at the computer, reading and writing, perfecting her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her animal horde and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is writing full-time and always has several projects in the works.
She also dearly loves to hear from readers! So, drop her a line. She’ll respond.