NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
BB Jones has a very nice life, if it’s a little lonely. When her sister calls her to take a job in a pinch, she’s not enthused. She doesn’t need the money and the job itself seems a little dirty- greet a Navy SEAL home, pamper him for three days, then leave. The fact that the man has no one else to welcome him home sways her to take the job.
Lincoln Bezel is greeted on the tarmac with one of the nicest hugs he’s ever gotten by one of the most beautiful women he’s ever seen. The fact that she’s there for him stuns him, and intrigues him. He agrees to the three day pampering, but within a few hours he knows it’s going to be hard, no, impossible, to let her go. When he’s deployed before the contract is complete, he believes his little stretch of paradise is over.
Because why would she come back? There was no way she could have fallen in love with him in two days. Right?
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this new series but I am totally hooked. Clearly a series about a company based on helping our military and veterans outside of what the government can or will do is a winner.
In this first book, the wives of a team returning from deployment, decide that the one single guy deserves a welcome like the rest of them get. They hire Caroline’s company to provide a homecoming for Lincoln, consisting of meeting him at the airport, followed by three days of home-cooking and companionship.
This is a favorite scene.
To that end, he paused long enough to retie one of his boots. As he walked down the ramp, the heat of the California coast hit him, and he drew it in. California had a very different scent from the middle eastern countries. More lush with flowering plant aromas drifting on the breeze.
He glanced up. All of his buddies had made it to their families. Mary was leaning over Justin’s gurney. The guy had roused and was lifting a hand to cup her cheek and wipe away tears. Ryan’s fiancé was leaning over his hands, looking at the white bandages like she could see the injury beneath. Swamp Man’s kids were tangled around his legs, demanding attention, but he was kissing his wife. Toro stood on the tarmac rocking his woman in his arms, whispering into her ear. All of his guys had found their pairs.
Then a woman he didn’t recognize swept forward. She had light, curly brown hair in a knot on top of her head, and stylish purple-framed glasses on the bridge of her nose. Pale green eyes alight with humor focused on him. Her mouth was spread in a brilliant smile as she walked toward him, the skirt of a blue dress swirling round her. Craziest of all she carried a glittering, hand-made sign that said, ‘Welcome, home, Lincoln’.
Link stopped in his tracks. For a split second he wondered when they’d gotten another teammate with the same name, and he looked around, but he knew that wasn’t right. The woman was looking right at him. He continued to stare as she walked forward, closing the distance between them.
God, she was beautiful in a nerdy, cute way, and he couldn’t stop staring. Her smile spread even more, as if she knew he were poleaxed. “Lincoln, my name is BB. Welcome home.”
Then she did the most amazing thing of all. Dropping the sign to the tarmac she stepped forward, wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him into the best hug he’d ever been given.
Emotion suddenly clutched at his throat and he just stood there for a long moment, not sure what to do. This was such a surreal moment. Then the comfort she was offering began to edge in. What the hell. Dropping his gear, he wrapped his arms around her. He had no idea who this woman was, or where he’d met her before. Surely he’d remember such a stunning woman? Wait, she’d introduced herself. They’d never met before.
Her breasts were pushing at his chest and even through the vest and gear he wore, he could feel every inch of her. She wasn’t very big. His arms wrapped around her easily. But she was strong. The arms around his neck were not letting him go until she was ready.
Link basked in the welcome, everything else fading away. For a moment he could imagine coming home to this every time. This was how it should be. This was how he’d seen his teammates welcomed time after time as he walked through the hangar alone, his chest aching.
* * *
BB had read somewhere that a twenty-second hug was enough to release oxytocin, but she thought the hug needed to be between committed partners. As she absorbed the feel of Lincoln Bezel in her arms, she also felt something settling into her heart.
Contentment. As she breathed, she drew in the masculine, dusty scent of him and it did something to her, making her want to nestle in longer. She had thought the hug would be awkward if he brushed her off or pulled away, but it wasn’t. His arms were strong around her back, and he returned the same amount of pressure she used, which was perfect.
Finally, though, she could feel people watching them. She drew back enough to look into his face, and was shocked at how handsome he was. It was hard to believe that this guy didn’t have a significant other.
There was confusion in his expression, but also a strong sense of interest.
“Do I know you?” he asked finally. His voice was deep and raspy.
She shook her head. “No, you don’t. But I’m here to welcome you home. Your friends and family hired me to welcome you back to the states.”
Link looked up. Half a dozen of his men and their wives were looking at him and grinning.
“What did you assholes do?” he asked, laughing.
Toro’s wife Brittany made a motion to the group. “We thought it would be nice to have someone welcome you home the way you deserve to be. No, it’s not long-term, but we wanted to do something nice for your birthday. Mary set it up, but she’s busy, obviously.” Brittany motioned to where Black was being loaded into a transport, his wife at his side. “You have BB for three days, then she heads back home. This contract does not entail sexual services of any kind. We are obligated to make that clear to you.” She grinned and winked, and he had to wonder if she was telling the truth or not.
He glanced at BB, but her smile stayed in place. This woman was not any kind of hooker, he would bet his life on that. She was too… refined, he supposed the word would be. Pale pink polish made her nails look slick, and her clothes seemed to be well made. He wasn’t up on current trends, but she seemed to be very well put together. Expensive. Out of his league.
So why would she be doing this?
“I acknowledge that no sexual services are inferred in any way,” he told Brittany, but his eyes stayed on BB. And he caught the slight burst of color in her cheeks.
Damn. If she did offer those services, he didn’t think he’d be able to turn her down.
A weird noise drew his gaze down and BB shifted until he could see a barrel-shaped dog hiding in her shadow. He thought she was a bulldog until her batwing ears popped up. “Is that a Frenchie?”
BB smiled and nodded. “Lincoln Bezel, this is Fancy French Vanilla. Frankie, for short.”
J.M. Madden. Healing Home (Kindle Locations 193-239). Kindle Edition.
Now this contract is very specific, and doesn’t include anything salacious.
BB is a cartoonist, and her sister Carolina runs Healing Hands, Healing Hearts. She accepted this job because her sister was overwhelmed with requests and needed a hand with this one. She really didn’t expect to be so attracted to Linc.
Linc found himself enjoying BB’s company and when he had to leave he found himself wishing she would be there when he returned.
I laughed, cried, held my breath and I think I even crossed my fingers as this couple begin a relationship. Very emotional, yet perfectly blended with just enough heat.
5 Contented Purrs for J.M.!
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.