Military duty called them away to war zones, but after tours overseas, the group of friends found their way back home as men, seeking the peaceful little seaside town. Now, the band of brothers, together once more, work to provide a place for less fortunate veterans to call home.
USA Today Bestselling Author
Not everyone has a hero’s welcome home.
Joseph landed in Baytown when he left the military and had nowhere else to go. Used to being a loner, he discovered the small coastal town offered friendship… but love? That wasn’t even on his radar.
Until meeting her. The infuriatingly independent veterinarian. Known to all as Sam, to him she would always be Samantha.
When danger lurks for her, Joseph privately vows to protect her. But who will protect his heart when all he wants is to love someone?
Since he left the military, Joseph has wandered the US. Working different jobs in different areas trying to find a place that feels like home. Although he’s not sure what the definition of home might be. After a stint at the Norfolk VA hospital, he’s having a meal at a restaurant with a gorgeous view of the sunset over the bay. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel grabs his attention and he recalls the emails he’s gotten from Zac and Jason. Perhaps it’s time for a visit.
Samantha aka Sam, gets a shock at the beginning of this book as the owner of the Veterinary Clinic leaves giving her the business no strings attached. However that makes her the only small animal vet in the area. She’s just grateful for the staff she has and the imminent arrival of an intern.
When Sam’s truck breaks down while examining and collecting her friend Lizzie’s dead goats, it’s Joseph who’s driving the tow truck for Jason. It’s also the first time of many Joseph will put his foot in his mouth.
This is a favorite scene.
Scott tossed up his hand in greeting. “I see Jason has got you working in the garage today as well as the tattoo shop.”
“We had a problem here this morning. I don’t know if Jason filled you in, but Dr. Collins, the veterinarian, needs to deal with two of Lizzie’s goats that were poisoned and killed.”
Her gaze was still pinned on the man’s face, noting his jaw tightened at Scott’s words. The large man simply nodded.
“I wasn’t sure if one of Jason’s mechanics could see if he could get Sam’s truck started now or if it was going to have to be towed. Since you’re here, I’m assuming all the mechanics are busy.”
The man simply nodded again, still holding Samantha’s attention as though he was a magnet and she was pure metal. She licked her dry lips and waited for him to look her way.
“Well, since it’s going to have to be towed into the shop, I’ll follow so that I can take Sam back to the vet’s practice to get another vehicle. We’ll still have to dispose of the goats.”
“Don’t worry about following,” the man said, his gaze shooting toward the pasture. “I can get the vet to the office and can also deal with the goats.” He walked straight past Samantha without looking down at her, instead turning around to Scott, and reached out his hand. “Keys?”
Surprised that he was asking Scott for her keys, Samantha stepped forward and pulled them out of her pocket, giving them a jingle as she held them out.
He jerked slightly as he looked down at her, seeming to notice her for the first time. His gaze raked up and down her before he asked, “Where’s the vet?”
Being short, she was used to people sometimes overlooking her. Being female, she was used to occasionally being dismissed. But the blast of his dismissal hit her exhausted emotions and all of his sexiness fled. If she could have incinerated him with her glare, she would have. He may have been a foot taller than her, but she pulled herself to her full height, arched an eyebrow, and held his gaze. “I am.”
The man didn’t even try to cover up his incredulity. “You’re Sam? The veterinarian?”
Planting her hands on her hips, Samantha cocked her head to the side. “Which stuns you more? That my name is Sam? Or that a female can be a veterinarian?”
The man held her gaze for a moment, then scowled and turned without answering, walking back to the tow truck.
He deftly maneuvered it so he would be able to hook up her truck.
Glancing toward Scott, Samantha snorted. “The man doesn’t say much, does he? And what little he does say, he manages to put his foot into his mouth.”
Scott’s lips twitched. “You can trust him, that’s all you need to know. I need to go check on Lizzie.”
She watched Scott return to the farmhouse and felt guilty. He had enough on his plate dealing with Lizzie and everything happening to Weston Farms and didn’t need to take on Samantha’s irritation.
She turned to let the truck driver know that he needed to back her truck up closer so they could get to the animals, but the sight in front of her caused her feet to stutter to a halt as her mouth dropped open.
The man had walked into the field and kneeled to pick up one of the heavy goats into his arms, cradling its lifeless body carefully, giving evidence that he understood the precious burden. He walked back and laid it gently into the back of Sam’s pickup truck before going back into the field, and with just as much care, bringing the second goat’s body.
Her breath was shallow, her focus entirely on watching his actions, strength mixed with gentleness.
Within a few minutes, he had hooked up her truck and walked past her, still not saying anything. He opened the passenger door of the tow truck, turned around, and looked at her. She blinked out of her reverie. Assuming his action was his way of saying it was time to go, she grabbed her satchel, walked to the door, and looked up. The truck was huge, and she was glad there was a running board. He stuck out his hand, and she placed her much smaller one in his, allowing him to give her a boost. With her ass planted onto the seat, she glanced at him. “Just so you know, my name is Samantha. But everyone calls me Sam.”
“Joseph.” Then he slammed the door shut before walking around to the driver’s side.
Her cheeks puffed out. Great. I get Mr. Fucking Personality to spend part of my morning with. Tired and wishing she’d had another cup of coffee, she turned and faced forward. The memory of watching him carry the goats so carefully stuck with her, and she sighed. At least he’s nice to animals. “So, was it my nickname or that I’m a woman that made you think I wasn’t the veterinarian?”
“You look like you’re barely eighteen.”
Swinging her head around, she glared. “You’re about eleven years off,” she muttered, trying to ignore the way his presence filled the cab of the truck. Giving up, she looked out the windshield and counted the miles until they could be out of each other’s company. Unfortunately, that took a while.
Joseph pulled into the driveway of another farm, and without telling Samantha what he was doing, climbed out and walked over to the fence and leaned a muscular arm on top of the post. He talked to the older man working in the field, obviously having more words in him than had been evident with her. The farmer nodded his head, handed Joseph a shovel, and the two men shook hands.
Walking back over to the truck, he climbed inside and stuck the shovel behind the seat. “We can bury the animals on the back of his property.”
Having no response to that and not being in control of her own vehicle at the moment, she remained quiet. They soon pulled to the side of the fence, and Joseph climbed out, grabbing the shovel. He walked to a far corner and began digging a hole in the soft dirt.
Feeling ridiculous sitting in the cab of the truck, she opened the door and climbed down. Walking over, she watched for a moment, trying not to be distracted by the flexing muscles and light sheen of sweat that covered his arms. Feeling heat inside that had nothing to do with the sun shining, she asked, “Do you have another shovel?”
“Well, then let’s take turns digging.”
“What is wrong with you? I’m just trying to help!”
He stopped and stood, his arm resting on the handle of the shovel, and even though his eyes were hidden behind his sunglasses, she felt the burn of his gaze move over her.
“Nothing’s wrong with me. You’re the doctor. I’m just doing some of the grunt work.”
She opened her mouth then snapped it shut, unable to think of her retort. It was obvious he was going to keep doing what he was going to do, so she turned and made her way back to her pickup truck. Unlatching the tailgate, she let it down. He had wrapped the two goats in an old tarp, and she gave a tug but knew it was futile. They were much too heavy.
A few minutes later, he followed but hesitated as they stared down at the deceased animals. “You should wait in the truck.”
A multitude of emotions as well as responses slammed into her all at once. I’m a veterinarian, not a delicate flower. This is not the first death of an animal I’ve ever seen. Don’t treat me as though I’m weak. I’ve been in the Army, I’ve seen death. But before she had a chance to open her mouth and let the floodgate of comments flow, he pushed his sunglasses up onto his head, and she saw his eyes. Green with flecks of amber. Eyes that held emotion. Eyes that held concern.
Deflated, she sighed and shook her head. “Thank you, no. With only one shovel there’s little I can do other than watch. But I can report to Lizzie that I saw this to the very end.”
Jordan, Maryann. To Love Someone (Baytown Boys Book 14). Kindle Locations(540-605). Kindle Edition.
There is definitely attraction on both sides but Joseph just can’t seem to help messing it up. Of course fate and her old truck keeps throwing them together as well.
There’s also the curiosity of missing vaccines from the clinic, and possible wolf or wolf dog sightings.
Lots of suspense and intrigue as Joseph realizes he just might have found ‘home’. He just needs to convince Sam he’s worth the chance.
5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!
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I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).
I have written as a hobby for many years (probably since childhood). I have written devotionals, autobiographical writings about having a severely handicapped, medically fragile child, about my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and other subjects that interest me.
I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.
I worked as a counselor in a high school and was involved in education for the past 30 years, until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 35 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!