USA Today Bestselling Author
Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love
Navy SEAL Denton Hamilton has checked himself into Hathaway House, hoping for a fraction of the results his friends have gotten at the rehab center. Now missing a rib, muscles and a portion of his stomach, as well as suffering from PTSD, Denton would be happy to have his physical self healed. He’s not so sure he’ll ever get his mental health back, and finding a woman who’ll have him now—as his friends have been lucky enough to do—is out of the question. Who would be willing to love a man like him?
Administrative Assistant Hannah Forsythe helps Dani run Hathaway House. A loner at heart, she’s drawn to Denton’s struggle and dismayed at his belief that no one could ever love him. But when an ill-advised observation she makes has unexpected consequences for Denton’s recovery, Hannah’s only choice is to separate herself from him to help him progress without her.
As time passes, Hannah wonders if her choice has cost her everything she’s ever wanted or whether Denton can work through his feelings to give them both their happy ending at Hathaway House.
I truly meant to have caught up with this series before this book came out, unfortunately I wasn’t able to. However I never let that stop me from reading the latest of a series.
Hannah is Dani’s assistant and she is almost as overworked as Dani. Her duties are varied and she is the one who welcomes Denton to Hathaway House and gives him all the information he’s going to need. A bit overwhelming but also everything is on the tablet and phone he is issued. There’s also a folder with much of it.
Hannah also helps with the animals in the Vet Clinic downstairs. There’s a new addition that appears to be a walk-in, that causes a bit of commotion.
This is a favorite scene.
Hannah had the title of administrative assistant, but really she was a jack-of-all-trades. She was a cross between Dani’s assistant and the substitute front receptionist, plus she did some bookkeeping. And truth be told, she was good with that. There was certainly nothing boring about this job.
Her phone was ringing as she walked behind the front counter.
“Hey, Hannah. Do you have a moment?”
“Sure Stan, I’ll be right down.”
She hung up the phone and checked to see where Chickie was. He was curled up in his bed, looking darn tired. She decided to leave him where he was. He had done the rounds this morning with her, and he was certainly entitled to a nap. She grabbed a coffee cup, filled it and headed downstairs to see Stan.
The vet clinic was a mess. Several dogs in the reception area were struggling with their owners. In the center of the chaos was a cat, glaring at everybody.
Hannah stared at the cat. “So who’s this guy?”
“We’re not exactly sure.”
Hannah looked at the vet’s receptionist. “What? Didn’t he have an appointment?”
Rebecca stood behind her desk. “No, and I didn’t see who he came in with either. I have no idea. He doesn’t look to be injured in any way.”
Stepping between the dogs and cat, Stan crouched down. The cat took one look and jumped onto Stan’s shoulders. Stan laughed. “Well, he’s a friendly fellow.”
“Very.” Hannah studied the cat for a moment. “He’s not scared of the dogs, and he seems to like the noise.”
Stan glanced over at her with a knowing look. “You’ve been trying to get a therapy cat upstairs since forever.”
She shrugged sheepishly. “It seems hardly fair that we have therapy dogs, but no cats.”
He nodded. “We’ll have to give this wonderful cat a checkup before we can let him around the human patients. But I was thinking of you and upstairs.”
She stroked the feline, who seemed to like all the humans so far. “He’s a beauty. He’s almost bobcat size, isn’t he?”
Stan nodded. “I wouldn’t be surprised if something wild was in his heritage. He is really big.”
She gently scratched behind his ears, and the huge cat’s rumble filled the room.
“Good Lord,” Stan said. “That’s quite the engine.”
She smiled. “You have to check him out real fast, Stan. I could use him upstairs.” She turned to look at all the dogs sniffing the cat. She smiled. “Looks like you have a full day as it is.”
Stan nodded, lifted the cat off his shoulders and handed him to Hannah as his temporary assistant. “Isn’t that the truth?”
Hannah stepped out of Stan’s way as he led one of the dogs with its owner into a treatment room. The cat gracefully jumped from Hannah’s arms and onto the reception desk. Hannah smiled at the big cat, busy inspecting Rebecca’s workspace.
“Is it usual to have them this calm at the clinic?”
Rebecca shook her head. “No. Usually they come in hissing at everything in sight.”
“Well, this guy is certainly not doing that.” Rebecca stood and picked up the cat. “I’ll take him to the back. That’ll help the dogs calm down.”
Hannah nodded and watched as the huge cat stared at her, his eyes glowing until he was out of the room.
She turned to the other people sitting in the waiting room. “Did any of you see the cat arrive?”
Two people shook their heads.
“No, suddenly he was just here. With all the chaos with the dogs, I didn’t notice where the cat came from,” the older woman replied.
Hannah looked down the long hallway. “It’s possible he came in from the barn area.” She headed that way to look, but the stalls were all empty, and the doors were closed. Mystified, she headed upstairs. She popped into Dani’s doorway and explained the scenario.
Dani laughed. “So the center is so good that animals are coming in on their own now, are they?”
The two women laughed, and then Hannah returned to her office. They never knew what the next unusual scenario would be at this crazy job. And she wouldn’t change it for anything.
Her cell phone rang within minutes of her sitting down. She groaned. “Good thing my workload is easier today.”
She glanced down to see the caller was Denton. “Denton Hamilton, what can I do for you?”
His hesitant voice came through. “I hate to be a bother, but I’ve tried calling Brock and Cole, but neither call appears to be going through.”
She frowned. “That’s odd. I’ll bring the numbers down myself, and we can double-check them.” She grabbed her checklist and headed toward Denton’s room.
He sat on his bed, his legs hanging over the edge. He had switched to shorts, perhaps for some of the medical tests or physical therapy or just to feel more comfortable. But to see his calf mangled like that, she fought back a wave of sympathy. His foot was also completely covered in scar tissue, and it appeared to be missing part of a joint. She glanced at his face and realized he had watched her reaction.
He kicked out his bum leg. “What do you think?”
She shrugged and sent him a gentle smile. “I’ve seen worse.”
He looked at her, his gaze searching her face until he realized she was serious, and he relaxed. “I guess I don’t have to hide it, do I?”
She shook her head. “Never. Please do not hide anything. Find a level of comfort, and learn to live with it. You can relax. We’ve all seen much worse injuries. We’ll do the best we can to help you get back to a normal life.”
He smiled. “And part of that is contacting my friends.” He held out his phone.
She checked to see if she’d switched some of the digits. “I’m so sorry. I’m mildly dyslexic, and phone numbers are sometimes a challenge.” She carefully brought up each of the numbers, then checked her list, and together they watched as she put in the right numbers.
“Try that now.” Inside, she winced at her mistake. She hadn’t done that for a while. But when she got tired or busy, her brain automatically switched numbers on her. It was frustrating.
Denton tried Brock first, and when the man answered, she watched happiness bloom across Denton’s face. He waved at her and mouthed the words, Thank you.
She nodded, gave him a smile and turned to leave. Behind her, she could hear him chatting with Brock. There was such love and friendship in his voice, and she was happy for them.
Dale Mayer. Denton (Kindle Locations 203-255). Valley Publishing Ltd.
Hannah also has slight dyslexia and that becomes the beginning of her friendship with Denton when the numbers in his phone for his friends Cole and Brock don’t work.
I love the progression, both for Denton as a patient and for him and Hannah as a new couple. These two are great together!
I really have to catch up with Brock and Cole now. I feel like I’ve missed a lot. Oh and I wonder what happened with the walk-in cat…I hope it finds a permanent place here at Hathaway House.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.