USA Today Bestselling Author
Welcome to Hathaway House.
Rehab Center. Safe Haven.
Second chance at life and love
Former Navy SEAL Elliot Carver came to Hathaway House to get help with the lingering repercussions of a mission gone bad. His body is dealing with the physical trauma of a spinal cord injury, while his mind is caught in a loop of painful memories that he can’t sideline, and both won’t let him heal the way he’d like.
Former ER Nurse Sicily Lawrence has just made her way out of a difficult relationship, and the quietness of the night shift at Hathaway House gives her peace of mind. The last thing she needs is to get involved in another volatile union. But she has seen injuries like Elliot’s before, and she knows that a certain type of therapy can help. One Elliot isn’t interested in trying.
Now, for Elliot’s sake, Sicily must push him toward the progress he needs, even it means losing him. And, with time and luck, maybe they can cross the hurdle and find each other at Hathaway House.
Every time I start a book in this series, I am taken by the beauty and serenity portrayed in the property. The perfect setting for rehab and new beginnings for folks who manage to get a bed here. I really love that the Veterinarian Clinic and Shelter is there, animals are great helpers in the healing process and they also get the love and attention they need.
Elliot is one of the fortunate ones admitted to Hathaway House. A former SEAL his injuries go beyond the physical, he has some extreme PTSD nightmares that have him waking every night. This causes such exhaustion he can’t function, let alone do the physical therapy.
The staff is very creative though and Sicily his night nurse keeps trying to come up with ways to help him sleep. One thing that seems to work is a massage to relieve the cramping muscles of his back. She has an idea that the hot tub could help as well and approaches Dani about that as well as the possibility of Equine Therapy. Unfortunately Dani has been unsuccessful in finding the right resource for it. Sicily takes on the project of finding someone close and qualified.
In helping Elliot find the rest he needs, Sicily finds herself developing a close friendship with him. While Elliot hopes that their friendship might turn into more, he also recognizes the things he needs to accomplish and those he needs to conquer.
This is a favorite scene when Elliot invites Sicily to breakfast.
Many relationships existed on the surface only and never touched the deeper layers. There was no need to unless somebody was involved in some sort of major trauma. Most people never found out who they were on the inside at that level. Once a trauma happened to one half of a pair, then the other partner was pulled in, whether they wanted to be or not. They couldn’t avoid seeing what the injured person was going through.
The best relationships grew out of times of stress, when you saw how the other person acted at the worst point in their life. If you still respected that person and still loved and appreciated who they were at that point, then the relationship had every reason to flourish. But so many other people would take one look and crack. They couldn’t handle seeing the other person in pain, realizing they didn’t have it in them to be supportive or to be there for that person during the hard times.
“Shall we sit over there?” Sicily pointed to the sunny side of the deck, interrupting his musings.
“Sure.” He let her lead, then followed.
He always figured when he was in a relationship he was there not for a good time but for a long time. But he’d been the first to admit that hadn’t worked out so well. Now maybe that would change. He was no longer leaving the country on a regular basis, and his work was no longer dangerous. Hell, he didn’t even have a job. That was a real issue. Sure, he had a pension, but it wasn’t the same thing. He still intended to be a fully functioning member of society, paying taxes and putting money away for retirement. That had not changed. He just didn’t know what he wanted to do. Although he was leaning toward business. He just had no idea what facet. He was who he was on the inside, and he was the same person he’d always been. Now the person on the inside was a little stronger. He was a little wearier, and he’d seen a whole lot more of the world and of himself than he’d have liked, but it was all good. He could do this. Most of the time.
“Thanks for the invite,” Sicily said.
Given a choice, he’d do this every day. “You’re welcome.” If Sicily was his, he could do this all the time.
Until all those memories came out of the shadows and attacked him, like some enemy who he knew existed but had never seen. One of the most frustrating things for him was that he didn’t necessarily know when or how the attacks would happen or from what corner. He knew that they were coming, and they would give him hell.
He’d been through a battery of psychological tests. He knew who he was on the inside, so when he’d hit the bottom, there hadn’t been any ugly surprises. The biggest surprise was how deep and bottomless that well of falling seemed to be. But as soon as he landed, he took stock and got back on his feet and then crawled up again. It was not easy, not fast and certainly didn’t happen without help, but he had made it.
As he looked around at the people beside him, he realized this was exactly where he needed to be. Everyone here was in the same place mentally. Sure, there were ups and downs and some differences, but they were all on the path to recovery. They had all turned the mental corner and were doing what they needed to do for their own sakes. Not that they didn’t care about their friends, family, children or spouses, but the rehab patients had to do what they had to do right now. So they were here, doing what they did best, and that was dealing with life. A new life. He settled in to enjoy his meal.
Mayer, Dale. Elliot: A Hathaway House Heartwarming Romance. Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (255-284). Kindle Edition.
A complicated relationship develops, one where Elliot is challenged at every turn to do more and better, until the final straw. The Equine Therapy is a definite no for him even though he agrees to watch others do it and after all the work Sicily put into to find someone, she is hurt that he won’t try, but also recognizes the benefits for some of the other patients.
I mean seriously, Dani wouldn’t bring something in that would only benefit one person.
I enjoyed every single page of this book. While every man in this series has different issues, Elliot is by far the most unique of the bunch. I cheered and sniffled with every hurdle he conquers. Even as Sicily discovers a hurdle or two she needs to address as well.
Love these two together, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
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.