USA Today Bestselling Author
The true measure of a man is not in the mistakes he makes…but in how he handles those mistakes.
For Cas, raised with seven brothers by the indomitable Miss Ethel, he reveled in being able to be himself. A dreamer. An artist. A woodcarver.
And when she moved next door, he had no idea his childhood friend would eventually become a young love, only to be taken away.
Years later, living alone, Cas discovered that sometimes miracles can repeat themselves and second chances are possible.
The final Heroes at Heart, based loosely on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Scenes and language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie.
The beginning of this book is all about the time when Bianca had been their neighbor.
Cas was thirteen when a young girl and her father moved in across the street from Miss Ethel’s. She was a pretty little girl with long black hair, pale skin and beautiful blue eyes. He was a little annoyed when she first introduced herself but found himself tolerating her.
Bianca was intrigued by Cas and the fact he has 7 brothers, referring to them as dwarfs like in Sleeping Beauty and Cas wasn’t going to contradict her, he got a kick out of it.
Once she met the others she said they were much more like giants and instead of comparing Cas to the prince she informs them he’s more like the hunter. She spent many days at Miss Ethel’s while her father worked, even after he remarried.
They lost touch when she moved away, her father had given in to his new wife and found a position in California. Cas graduated high school and following his brother’s footsteps enlisted in the Army. Bianca always managed to sneak into his thoughts and he hoped all was well with her.
Years have passed and Bianca’s father died, she has her mother’s inheritance and actually had to go to court because her stepmother contested the will. Having won that battle she travels back to Virginia to where she was once truly happy.
This is a favorite scene.
Cas had spent the morning in his workshop, applying a second coat of stain to the Hansel and Gretel bed. Once satisfied, he headed inside his house for lunch, then spent time at his computer looking through some of the marketing plans Cael had sent to him. Regina had created a website to show the restoration work Cael did on old homes and recently suggested that Cas have a website for his handmade furniture.
Tired of looking at various sites, he leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms above his head. It dawned on him that he had not seen Princess since he came back into the house. She often disappeared, finding a sunny corner to sleep in, but never missed a meal.
He began searching room by room but was unable to locate her. His concern ratcheted up with every moment she remained unfound. He had raised his bedroom window overnight to allow a breeze to come through. Princess often liked to sit on the windowsill, sniffing the fresh air. Moving to his window, he was stunned to see that the screen was loose from its frame, creating an opening that had bits of white fur caught in it.
Horrified that she might have gotten outside to chase something she spied, he raced through his house and out the back door. He had no idea how to locate her since her deafness kept him from calling out.
Heart pounding, he raced around the perimeter of his house, not seeing her. Looking toward the edge of the clearing where his workshop stood, he noticed the door was pushed open further than he had left it. Oh, thank God! She’s in there!
Feet pounding over the grass, he ran to his workshop, threw the door open wider and darted inside, kicking the door behind him to make sure she did not escape. Instead of seeing Princess, there was a woman standing with her back against the window, her fingers resting on one of the children’s beds he had made.
Stunned, his body jerked as his feet came to a sudden halt. “Who the hell are you?” he bit out, his gaze moving from her to the floor to see if his cat was skulking about.
He heard the woman squeak, but with the dim light in his shop, her face was in shadow and he could not discern her features clearly. Her eyes opened wide and her hand snatched back from the wood as though burned.
Taking a step forward, he repeated, “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m so sorry.” The woman’s voice was rushed, carrying an element of fear. “I know I’m trespassing, but I came over to find out about a cat and I saw the door open—”
His gaze had bounced between her and scanning the floor to see if he could see Princess, but now jerked back to the woman’s face. “Cat? What about my cat?”
“A white cat came to my house and I was trying to find the owner—”
“What house? Where do you live?” he barked.
Huffing, the woman sighed. “Look, I know I’m trespassing, and I’ve apologized. But please, let me explain, and if the cat is yours, then I can get it for you.”
Fists on his hips, he continued to glare but stayed quiet, waiting for her to speak.
“I just moved in next door… the rental. A solid white cat came up to my back patio. I could tell she was somebody’s pet because she was well-fed and beautiful. This was the only other house I knew that was around here. I put her inside my house so that she would be safe and walked over here.” She looked around, and her hands lifted to her sides as she continued, “I confess that when I saw the door open and came in, I was absolutely entranced by the work you do.”
“The cat is mine,” he stated. Turning to the side, he waved his arm toward the door as though inviting her to leave in front of him. “I’d like to go get her now if you don’t mind.” He knew he was being rude but worry over Princess caused his words to continue to carry a bite.
The woman did not move but cocked her head to the side. “How do I know that the cat is yours?”
He tried to keep from growling, but his fear for his cat was now morphing into anger. “White cat. Female. Blue eyes. Deaf.”
The woman’s shoulders relaxed, and she nodded. “That’s right. I can go get her and bring her—”
“Oh… okay.” The woman walked past him, keeping her gaze straight ahead as they left the shadowed interior of the workshop. She continued to walk into the woods, and he followed right behind. She was shorter than him, only coming to his shoulder, and her body was slender. Not too thin like she starved herself every meal nor overly athletic as though she worked out at the gym every day. She had curves, and his eyes dropped to the way her shorts cupped her ass.
“There isn’t a path between our houses, but I found that it wasn’t far,” she called out, not even looking over her shoulder at him.
He was glad she was staring straight ahead so that he was not caught ogling her ass. Forcing his gaze upward, he noticed her shiny, black hair swinging just below her shoulders. They quickly came out of the woods and into a clearing similar to his own. Her cabin was much smaller than his and without a garage. He followed her to her back patio and halted as she started into her house.
As much as he wanted to get to his cat, he was not about to enter a woman’s house uninvited. The screen door slammed shut behind her and she called out, “It’s okay, you can come in.”
With his hand on the screen door, he asked, “Are you sure? You can just bring Princess to me, and I’ll take her off your hands and get her back home.”
The woman had bent behind the kitchen counter and now walked back toward the door, cradling the large white cat in her arms. He was staring at Princess, breathing a sigh of relief, and with a wide smile now on his face, he opened the door. Stepping inside her house, he extended his arms.
“Oh, my God!” the woman said as she stumbled backward.
His gaze shot up to her face as the screen door slammed closed behind him, and Princess jumped to the floor at the movement. The woman’s blue eyes were wide, her black hair framing her pale face. It took several seconds for his mind to catch up to what his eyes were seeing, then he repeated her words, “Oh, my God.” Princess, now forgotten at their feet, walked away, swishing her tail.
He moved forward on instinct as she threw her arms around him. Stunned that someone he thought he would never see now had their arms around him and was tucked underneath his chin, his mind raced with questions. Hers must have also because she leaned back, peered up at him, and said, “I can’t believe it’s you!”
She lowered her arms and stepped back, and he instantly missed her touch. Her gaze moved over him in the same way that his had earlier when he checked her out.
They both started to speak at the same time, then halted and laughed.
Maryann Jordan. Cas – ARC Copy: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 1145-1198).
Their reunion was epic! I loved it so much, Cas’ cat Princess was very smart to find their new neighbor.
Of course nothing is going to be completely smooth, even though they click on every level imaginable, Cas does something really dumb.
Cas comes up with some very unique ways to ask her forgiveness.
Bianca also has some things to figure out and deal with.
I love all the quotes in this book and Miss Ethel is the anchor of this wonderful group of men and their families.
Some suspense, laughter, and tears, with the friends that are more like family.
I hate to see this series come to an end, but I am sure Maryann Jordan has many new and wonderful things in the works.
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!