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
A dark and stormy night…
As a hurricane bore down on the Eastern Shore, Sheriff Liam Sullivan patrolled the roads, glad to see everyone was staying inside.
Everyone except the owner of the car towing a trailer, now sitting on the side of the road, lights flashing. And then he met her. A woman in need. A woman to rescue. A woman to protect. A woman to love.
Now to convince her of that.
Sheriff Liam Sullivan is making his way home checking out the roads on the way. With the hurricane almost on them he was happy with the decisions he’d made for emergency response. He’s almost home, the wind and rain battering his car when he sees the flashing lights of a trailer on the side of the road. Of course the prologue ends there with an interesting twist and the book starts two days earlier as the hurricane prep began.
Amy Carruthers is traveling to the Sea Glass Inn, her daughter Rosie decides not to be co-operative as the weather starts taking a turn for the worst. I’m not sure who was more startled, Liam or Amy when he opened her car door to see her on the passenger seat very pregnant with a screaming toddler in the back seat.
After some discussion and ascertaining both of them are okay, Liam makes some rapid decisions. First though, Amy needs to speak to Tori.
This is a favorite scene.
Once again, she simply nodded, her bravado slipping as the severity of the situation finally hit. “I don’t know you. I need to talk to Tori.”
“We need to get going but you’re right. Let me give Mitch a call. I’ll put it on speaker.” She remained silent as he dialed, glad when the call was answered quickly. “Hey, Mitch, it’s Liam. I’ve got—” He turned and looked toward her, his head cocked to the side.
“Amy Carruthers. Yeah, she and her daughter were on their way to Baytown but the storm halted their progress. No, it’s okay, they’re fine. I’ve got them and we’re not far from my house. Yeah… my house. It’s the closest safe place I can get them to. No, it’s all good. Is Tori there? Amy wants to talk to her.”
Mitch called for Tori, who must have been listening to the conversation.
“Oh, my God, Amy! Are you okay?” Tori asked, her voice raised.
“Yes, yes, we’re fine. I wasn’t stranded… well, at least not exactly. Rosie had spilled her juice box, was screaming, and I just needed to pull to the side to deal with the mess and a very upset preschooler.”
“How lucky you are that Liam found you!”
“Well, that’s partially why I’m calling. He wanted me to find out the scoop on him since we’re going to his house.”
“Oh, you’re in the best hands. Liam is the Sheriff. Mitch grew up with him, and I’ve known him for several years. He’s the best person who could have come across you in a storm, and you can absolutely trust him.”
Liam grinned at Tori’s resounding reference. He glanced to the side, seeing Amy’s chest heave as she let out a sigh of relief. “Thanks, Tori.”
“Listen, you stay with Liam and stay safe. We’ll get together when the storm passes. I can’t wait to see you again and meet Rosie.”
With goodbyes said, he looked at her, waiting. She nodded. “Okay, it seems as though you’re the man to trust right now.”
With no more objections, he opened the door and squinted against the sting as the force of the rain hit him in the face. Making it to his vehicle, he climbed inside and started the engine, pulling to the side of her SUV. Calling dispatch, he reported. “Sheriff Sullivan. The 10-46 stranded vehicle was not mechanical. Pregnant woman and small child. Out of state, traveling to Baytown. I’ve got them and taking them… to safety.”
Disconnecting, he shook his head. I must be crazy! Even as he climbed from his vehicle again, already drenched to the skin, he did not come up with an alternative plan that would ensure the safety of the woman and child. At least for the night they would be warm, dry, and fed. As soon as the winds slowed, he’d drive them to Baytown, getting a deputy to follow in her vehicle so he could be sure they arrived safe and sound.
The woman had unlocked the back of her vehicle from inside, and he lifted the hatch. Grabbing the two largest suitcases, he transferred them to the back of his SUV. Ducking his head, trying to keep the rain from hitting him straight in his face, he transferred the other smaller bags, one obviously filled with toys. Slamming the back of both SUVs, he walked around to her side.
“Do you think it’s best if I just hold her in my arms?”
Shaking his head, he replied, “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. It’s against the law in Virginia to transport a child that’s not in a car seat.” He looked into the back, seeing the little girl staring back at him, a curious look in her big blue eyes, so similar to her mother. “How old is she?”
“She’s almost four but little for her age. She’s very quiet and won’t talk much until she gets used to someone.”
“I’ll have you take her out of the seat, and I should be able to transfer it to my backseat quickly with both our doors open. I’ve even got an extra jacket that I can throw over it so it won’t get wet. It’ll take a couple of minutes to make the transfer and get it secured properly in my vehicle.”
He glanced back to her and she smiled. It struck him that that was the first time he’d seen her smile since they’d met. It also didn’t miss his attention that her smile made an already beautiful woman appear even more exquisite. He wanted to ask why she was on the road by herself. Why wasn’t her husband with her? Why was she making such a move late in her pregnancy? And why was she heading to a bed-and-breakfast with a trailer full of possessions? There was no time for questions now, but as soon as he got her settled, he wanted answers.
He waited while she unbuckled the child— Rosie— and brought her to the front seat where the little girl nestled on her mom’s lap, laying over the baby bump, her face pressed against her mom’s chest, watching him carefully. Opening the back door, and with an extra coat over the top of the car seat, he managed to get it unbuckled and transferred into his vehicle with only a modicum of difficulty. Once it was secure, he closed her back door and then turned to the front passenger seat.
“Okay, Ma’am, it’s time. I don’t want to upset Rosie but the ground is slick, and I can’t be sure that you won’t fall trying to carry her yourself. So I’m gonna take her from you, get her buckled in, and then I’m going to come back for you. I know she’ll cry, but she’ll be safe.”
She held his gaze for just a few seconds, then turned and smiled widely at her daughter. “Sweetie, you’re going to have to be a really brave girl for mommy. This nice man is going to carry you and put you in his big car, and then he can help mommy get in, too. We’re going to go for a fun ride.”
Rosie’s arms tightened about her mom. “Mommy, I don’t wanna go.”
“Baby, you’ve got to be a big girl and let the nice man take us to his house to play. He’s taking your toys, too.” Amy gently unwound her daughter’s arms and leaned back, allowing Liam to pull her against his chest, but she screamed.
“What?” He jerked, looking around in confusion.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Amy leaned over the seat again and grabbed a very worn stuffed rabbit. “Here’s her Bubbie. She won’t go anywhere without him.”
Liam reached out and took the stuffed animal from her and handed it to Rosie. She clutched it tightly, growing still and quiet. Breathing a sigh of relief, he wrapped the extra jacket over Rosie’s head before he carried her, careful to keep the pelting rain from slashing against the little child. She whimpered by the time he got to his vehicle but he managed to get her buckled into her car seat. Just as the tears begin to fall in earnest and a wail left her lips, he hustled back into the raging storm to get Amy.
She had slung her purse strap crossways over her body and swung her legs out of the car. With his hands holding her firmly, he assisted her to a stand, wrapping her body in his large jacket, pressing her close to his chest. The wind knocked her even closer to him, and they walked slowly to his vehicle. He wanted to hurry but didn’t want her feet to slip out from under her. Making it to his passenger door, he opened it. She stepped away from his chest, and he moved his hands downward, but her expanded waistline didn’t allow him to have a firm grip. Sliding his hands upward, he grasped her under her armpits and lifted her into his SUV. He grabbed the seat belt and settled it across her body, snapping it into place. As he looked up, their faces just inches apart, both blinked the water from their eyes. Jerking back, he stepped away and closed her door securely.
He hurried back to her vehicle to make sure it was locked and secure. His lungs heaved, the gale-force winds having knocked the breath out of him. Now, completely drenched, he bent forward to stagger back to the driver’s side of his SUV and climbed inside. His door slammed shut easily, and he wiped his hand over his face, careful to not sling water toward his passenger. Glancing to the side, he noted she was only slightly less drenched than he and probably wouldn’t have felt any more water coming her way.
Her gaze had been on the back seat, keeping an eye on her daughter when she turned and focused on him. “Thank you for rescuing us and offering us shelter for the next few hours.”
He nodded then jerked slightly, realizing an important step he’d completely forgotten. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a leather case and flipped it open. “I’m sorry. I know I was in uniform and driving a Sheriff’s vehicle, but I never showed you my full badge and identification. That was incredibly remiss of me.”
She leaned forward, seeing his photograph as well as his title. Sheriff, Acawmacke County. “I think the hurricane has everyone a bit discombobulated. After all, you thought I was in labor.” Sticking her hand forward, a smile curving her lips. “Well, Sheriff of Acawmacke County, if you’re going to take us to your house, we really should be formally introduced as friends. I’m Amy Carruthers, and this is my daughter, Rosie. We’re pleased to meet you.”
She cocked her head to the side, her hand still held out toward him, and he grinned. Sliding his palm against hers, he wrapped his fingers around her small hand. “Amy, it’s nice to meet you and Rosie. Just call me Liam. Now, let’s get you home.”
Maryann Jordan. Sea Glass Hearts – ARC copy: Not for sale or distribution (Kindle Locations 404-475).
Liam starts questioning himself almost immediately but always comes back to the fact they are safer with him.
Rosie is an absolute sweetheart and every interaction just wins over your heart. Amy has a lot to deal with and with Liam on her side she feels more confident.
From the minute the storm is over, Liam is faced with Amy and Rosie leaving. However fate seems to smile on him, at least for a while.
There’s love, laughter, friendship, romance and the perfect amount of sizzle. As always with a Maryann Jordan book I couldn’t put it down.
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!