NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Jayden Chapman may have always been the quieter twin, but deep inside lay the heart of a protector.
When he came upon a young woman stranded on the side of the road, he recognized her as someone he had seen before…and not been able to help. Determined to not let history repeat itself, he befriended her, as well as took care of her car.
Ruby Mantle had worked hard for years, just to pay the bills and take care of her grandmother. The weight of the world was on her shoulders and she was wary of the large man who came to rescue her. But, soon, she learned that Jayden was determined to help her in any way that he could.
Allowing love to bloom as their friendship grew, life began looking up for them. But, then a problem from her past reared its ugly head, and Jayden stepped in to protect her once more.
Loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood.
Scenes in the book are similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ readers only.
I love these fairy-tale based stories by Maryann. Definitely a different twist. I also love the fact that she delves into the originals as well as the revised versions of these tales.
In this one, Jayden finds frustration as well as love when he takes a different route home from dinner at Aunt Ethel’s.
Ruby is trying to mow the lawn at her grandmother’s in preparation for her return home from rehab, unfortunately the lawn mower isn’t cooperating.
Jayden sees her struggling, her red hooded jacket had caught his eye. When he stops to see if he can assist, he is surprised. This wasn’t a child as he first thought, but a beautiful woman. Unfortunately he has to back away when a man appears in the doorway. He doesn’t want to make things worse for this woman.
However fate does smile on him when he encounters this woman again.
This is a favorite scene.
Bringing his thoughts back to the ride, he left the country road and moved onto a slightly busier road heading back into town. The traffic was not heavy, but he was forced to go a little slower. Up ahead, he could see cars slowing as they moved around a vehicle that had pulled to the side of the road, their lights flashing, indicating a problem.
Not one fucker is stopping to help, he grumbled to himself, flipping on his blinker and moving to the shoulder. The sight of an oversized, red hoodie grabbed his attention. His breath caught in his throat as the driver who had been standing to the side of the immobile car turned and faced him. Ruby! Her wide, blue eyes stared at him, and this time he saw a flash of confusion as she tilted her head to the side, her mouth open slightly.
Swinging his leg over his bike, he pulled his helmet off, his hair curling about his shoulders. Walking over, he could not deny the sense of pleasure he felt at seeing her again.
“What’s the trouble?” he asked, observing her cross her arms in front of her tightly. Recognizing the defensive posture, he stopped several feet away from her.
“I don’t know,” she replied, her voice as soft as he remembered. She glanced back toward her car and said, “It’s been running a little funny for a long time, but I was hoping that it would keep going a bit longer.”
“May I take a look?”
She sucked in her lips, then nodded her reply.
He walked around her, making sure to not pass too closely, opened the hood and peered inside. It only took a few minutes to determine that the repair would not be something quick he could fix on the side of the road. She had edged closer to him and was now standing at his side, looking at the engine, as well. He glanced down, observing her hand resting on the metal of the frame. Her wrists were thin and her fingers delicate. She was just as tiny as he remembered.
“I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know anything about cars,” she said, her eyes moving from the engine up to his. “I just always stick the key in the ignition and pray that it starts and gets me where I need to go.”
He smiled as light pink dusted her cheeks. “Don’t be embarrassed. That’s a lot more common than you think. But you’re in luck because I’m a mechanic.”
Her eyes widened, and the shy smile she offered warmed his heart. “Seriously?”
Pleasure shot through him at her beautiful smile directed at him, and he nodded. “Yeah.” He reached for his wallet and pulled out a business card, handing it to her. “That’s me, Jayden. Jayden Chapman.”
She stared at the card in her hand, studying it before looking back up. “I’m Ruby. Ruby Mantle.”
“I’m pleased to meet you, Ruby. And even though I own a mechanic shop, I don’t actually advise that people ignore their cars. I’d rather see people take care of their automobiles and know what they need to do so that they don’t end up stranded on the side of the road.”
She glanced around at the traffic passing by, her brow lowered as her lips thinned into a grimace. He had not meant to lose her smile but did want her to realize she had put herself in a precarious situation. “Hey, but don’t worry. I’ll call for one of my men to bring out a tow truck, and we’ll you get you back to the shop.”
“Oh… um… okay.” Worry lines appeared on her brow, and her mouth tightened even more.
He felt concern rolling off her and rushed to say, “Don’t worry about the cost. You didn’t call for our service. I came across you and volunteered. So that means we’ll tow you for free.” He hoped his offer would work, but her eyes pinned him to the spot.
“I know that can’t possibly be true,” she said, shaking her head. She bit her lip and glanced back down to the car engine. Finally, heaving a sigh, she nodded. “I don’t want to be towed for free, but I know I’m in a pickle. I’ve got to get back to town to check on my grandmother, and I’ve got to get my car fixed. If I can’t get to work, I can’t get paid.”
Relief flooded him that she was going to allow him to help.
Maryann Jordan. Jayden: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 580-612).
Jayden really has to work at getting Ruby’s trust. She has been let down in many ways by the only boyfriend she’s had. Plus he has to prove to her that his help comes without strings.
Ruby’s grandmother is a wise woman, and it’s her influence that allows Ruby to accept the help she needs.
A heartfelt story with plenty of emotion, love and just enough sizzle to the relationship.
5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!
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As an Award Winning, Amazon International Bestselling and All-Star author, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble Best Selling Author, I have always been an avid reader. In 2013 I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers and finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.
My first novel, Emma’s Home became an Amazon Best Seller in 3 categories within the first month of publishing. Its success was followed by the rest of the Fairfield Series and then led into the Love’s Series. Soon, other spin-off series came along and 8 of my books have made Amazon top 100 Bestselling books.
Gabe, from the Alvarez Security Series won Silver Medal and 5 Star Review by the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Honor Love was an award winning novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Serial Love was an award finalist novel from the 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Coming Home was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Discover Love was awarded the 5 Star Review by the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards.
My books are filled with sweet romance and hot sex; mystery, suspense, real life characters and situations. My heroes are alphas, take charge men who love the strong, independent women they fall in love with.
I worked as a counselor in a high school and have been involved in education for the past 30 years. I have just retired and look forward to more time with family and writing!
I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 36 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters.
When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!
I love to hear from readers, so please email me!