Debut Novel: Home for a Hero – Finding Home by Chloe Alan

Home for a Hero
Finding Home – Debut Novel
By
Chloe Alan

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Welcome to Home, Colorado,
theme-wedding capital of the world,
where secrets, lies, and hidden identities
are included at no extra cost.

Veteran Callan O’Shea wants nothing more than to drop off the grid and manage his PTSD the only way he knows how—away from crowds and family demands. When a friend asks for help, Callan can’t refuse, and the quirky small town provides the perfect cover—even if it means building the mayor’s wish list of themed wedding props.

Journalist Vicky Alexander needs a place to lie low and plan a career comeback. Her mom’s plea to investigate who’s harassing the locals is just the opportunity she needs, but meeting a mysterious, sexy stranger with as many scars as secrets tempts Vicky’s bruised heart.

Working together to expose a powerful developer’s dirty tactics ignites a desire neither wants to ignore. Falling for each other is against the rules. Until it isn’t.

When Home’s enemy targets Vicky, can Callan wage war with his inner demons and be the hero Vicky needs?

Come to Home and meet a sexy hero with a secret, the woman he can’t ignore, and a small town ready to make your wedding fantasies come true.

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Small town Home, Colorado needs a major economic boost. The Mayor Judith Jones and town board has come up with a great idea. Wedding destination, any scenario you want for the wedding of your dreams. The mayor’s wedding would be the first, based on Princess Diana’s Wedding to Prince Charles.

John Lyon has inherited a house and his father’s business in Home, unfortunately he can’t be there as a development company is trying to buy up all the land around Home. He asks his best friend Callan to help him out, now everyone in Home thinks he’s John and that’s been working out fine. That is until Vicky Alexander shows up.

Vicky has come home after her career as a DC journalist is almost destroyed, her boyfriend dumped her and she’s almost broke. She can’t let her mother, the mayor know all this or she’ll be sticking her nose where Vicky doesn’t want it.

John and Vicky had been best friends until John’s parents divorced and his mother took him away from Home. The memories that Callan will be faced with won’t protect the fact he isn’t John. However Vicky surprises him in many ways, including her reactions to his strange behavior caused by his PTSD.

Incidents of vandalism around the wedding props slowly but surely are escalating as Blake corporation ups its bids on all the properties it wants. Both Vicky and Callan are investigating the goings on, but Vicky is looking into the corporation itself while Callan is looking for evidence the corporation is behind it all.

Vicky accepts Callan for who he is and the attraction is undeniable. I think saving the brochures is one of my favorite parts of this book.

Here’s just a peek.

What the hell had he allowed himself to get into?

“Come on, at least try to smile,” Vicky coaxed.

“Come over here to the carriage. That’s right. John why don’t you hold Vicky’s hand while she’s stepping up into the carriage? Yes, that’s good. Smile at each other.” The mayor and Lil gave directions, overlapping each other in their enthusiasm for the project.

“We’re trying to sell romance here, remember?” Vicky teased. He caught the humor in her voice but didn’t feel it himself. He’d rather be dropped back into the middle of a fire fight getting his ass handed to him than pretend to be the ecstatic groom enjoying wedded bliss with his princess bride.

He grasped Vicky around the waist and hoisted her up onto the top step of the carriage. Wide-eyed she looked down at him, a grin tilting the edge of her pink lips.

He held her there a minute, and her breathless surprise pulled to him. He stepped one foot onto the bottom rung of the small three step ladder which moved him a few inches closer.

Cheers and claps interrupted the train of his thoughts, which had been running toward pushing her further into the carriage and taking the reins and driving the horses to anywhere but there.

Vicky laughed and stepped back, out of his hands. “I think you have some fans.” He followed her up into the carriage.

“Good, now, sit closer. Half toward each other,” Lil called. They moved around each other and tried to figure out what the amateur photographer wanted.

“Vicky, lean in, and John, put your arm around the back and move closer.” Ms. Jones demanded from her side of the spectacle. Their impromptu photo shoot was drawing a crowd. The mayor had immediately had the carriage and horses brought over, and by the time he and Vicky were dressed in their wedding attire, a smattering of people stood around discussing what the fuss was all about. An hour later and there was a sizable crowd cheering on every move and making their own suggestions. It was an absolute nightmare, save for the vision sitting next to him.

The horses whinnied and Tom, the horse wrangler turned driver, quieted them in a soothing tone. “They want to go for a walk now that I’ve got them all hooked up,” he explained.

“Not yet, Tom, we need a few more shots. Can you get out of the way?” The mayor turned her attention back to the models. “John, why don’t you get up there on the driver’s bench, and, Vicky, you stay in your seat. Lean back, yes, look up like you’re running away for a romantic honeymoon.”

Callan moved to the front and took the reins from Tom. Tom hopped down and the horses shifted and whinnied. “Whoa,” Vicky said behind him with a short laugh. The team shifted again but held still. “You got this, John?”

A hint of nervousness tinged her question. “It’s fine. Just stay seated.”

He liked the outdoors fine and had spent plenty of time roughing it, learning to like rocks and dirt as his mattress and pillows, but horses were a whole different realm. His father being a senator from Colorado meant the one summer he’d spent with him as a kid he had to take riding lessons, and that was about as much horse-knowhow he had.

Tom spoke slowly and quietly, “Don’t you worry now, John. As long as you talk to them real nice and keep a steady hand on the reins, they’ll listen for sure. These angels have been through it all, they aren’t likely to do much but want to walk you around and get a snack. Pretty much have to drop a firework in their face to spook ’em now.”

“Thanks, Mr. Tom. They’re beautiful.” Vicky smiled at the man who jumped down, leaving them to manage on their own. For the first five minutes, the horses did exactly as he expected.

The suit itched around the collar, and he started pulling at it. “We’re almost done. You’re doing great.” Vicky sounded half like a mom and half like a cheerleader.

“Just hold them steady. That’s great.” Lil snapped some photos from the side and then climbed on to a ladder one of the spectators had brought her.

“Now, let’s move to just under that tree over there. Can you do that John?” He managed to drive the team over toward where Lil had pointed, with Tom running alongside, just keeping up.

“Okay, now do something fun. Tom, can you keep the horses steady and stay out of the shot?”

Tom grumbled under his breath but agreed, smiling at Lil. “Sure thing.” He looked up at Callan and winked. “It’s best to just agree. I see you got that memo early. It will serve you well.”

“Okay, now, John, how about you and Vicky in the driver’s seat, and, Vicky, you on John’s lap? Let the dress drape over and . . . here, hold these and lean back and laugh.” She handed over a bouquet of flowers another person from the crowd had given her.

“Now, remember, you’re the princess marrying her prince.” Her face reddened at the directions.

Vicky held the flowers in one hand and moved the other toward him for help sitting on his lap.

“You don’t have to sit on my lap if you don’t want to,” he said. They didn’t need to put on a show for everyone watching. It was awkward enough just being on display.

“You sure you’re okay with it?” she asked. The tentative question rubbed him the wrong way.

“I’m fine. The sooner we get this over with the better.” He pulled on the collar of his suit and brushed the hair off his forehead. She reached over and adjusted his tie.

“You look very handsome.” She smiled, and her cool fingers were a light caress where they touched his neck. His response stuck in his throat. She might think he looked handsome, but she was downright stunning.

“Maybe you could take the shawl off for just a photo or two while snuggled on John’s lap?” Lil asked.

Vicky rolled her eyes. She unbuttoned the fluffy silky shawl that was draped around her bare shoulders. She shivered and turned her back to him. He moved back and put his hands on her waist, guiding her in the tight space to sit cross ways on his lap.

“Try not to look so—” Lil started.

“Just smile dammit.” Mayor Jones yelled to them both. He couldn’t help but focus on Vicky’s laughter.

“That’s great. Wonderful.” Lil gave a few more directions, and Vicky leaned back in his arms. He could almost forget reality and enjoy the moment. Her carefree reaction to the ridiculous spectacle they’d become was contagious.

“Perfect,” Lil announced.

The crowd began to clap and cheer.

“You did a good thing today. Thanks for being a good sport.”

His arms around her waist, her face toward his, he could have pulled her into a kiss. Instead, she leaned down and gave him a hug, squeezing a moment before leaning back and tossing the bouquet toward the crowd. Another round of cheers went up.
Chloe Alan. Home for a Hero – Advance Reading Copy: A Finding Home Novel (Kindle Locations 2132-2189). Kindle Edition.

There’s so much more going on here, from a kitten to Callan’s real identity, to the weddings themselves this book had me turning the pages to see what would mess up or work out.

We meet many folks and I believe a few need their own happy endings. I hope we don’t have to wait long.

Congratulations on a wonderful, fun, suspenseful, romantic book with just the perfect amount of sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Chloe!

Chloe Alan

Chloe Alan is a romantic at heart who strives to tell stories about the power of true love.

Since a teen, she’s loved romances and believes we can all live our happily-ever-after. Always a people watcher, Chloe has combined her natural curiosity (some might say nosiness) with her love of romance for the sake of bringing the movies in her head to life on the page.

Chloe lives in the upper mid-west with her husband, two teens, and a hyper pup named Cocoa. When not writing, she enjoys gardening, cooking, great wine, and sharing a laugh with friends and family.

You can usually find her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Stop by for a chat.

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