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A New Series Beginning with Two Books in One: Hope City Duet – Hope City Book 1 by Kris Michaels & Maryann Jordan


A Hope City Duet
One City… Countless Stories.
By
USA Today Bestselling Authors
Kris Michaels
&
Maryann Jordan

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Brock – Book 1
Kris Michaels

It had taken five years for Detective Kallie Redman to become emotionally and psychologically available after her cop-husband devastated their marriage and her career. The Hope City Police Department offered her a new beginning and over a thousand miles between her old life and her new. Being partnered with Brock King didn’t hurt either. He was smart, generous—and too sexy for words.

Placed under a microscope and intense pressure to solve a high-profile murder, homicide detective Brock King didn’t need or want a new partner. He managed his stress-filled life via sleep deprivation, a metabolism fueled by sugar and caffeine, and an all-consuming passion for his job. He had little time for anything else—and he was soul-tired of that wash-rinse-dry-repeat cycle. He’d written off finding a woman who’d put up with the odd hours, physical danger, and emotional stress of his job—until Kallie Redman. The woman was wicked sharp, ran on caffeine, and rocked one smoking hot body.

Unfortunately, the profession they chose had a way of grinding people into the ground, and the high-profile nature of this murder case guaranteed scrutiny from the press, the victim’s extremely wealthy family and politicians at the highest levels. He’d begun to question if he’d have a job at the end––or a shot at a life with Kallie.

Sean – Book 2
Maryann Jordan

The last thing arson detective Sean McBride expected while entrenched in the ongoing investigation of a serial arsonist was to meet a feisty insurance company fire investigator. But when she landed at his feet, breaking her wrist, he had more on his mind than just finding the elusive fire-starter. Picking her out of the ashes was easy. Needing to work with her…not so much.
Harper Walsh was stunned when the handsome detective insisted on taking her to the ER…even more stunned when he suggested they work together. But the stoic detective gave mixed messages…did he want her arson experience or something more?

Finding a woman who understood the demands of his job quickly had their partnership grow into love. He even introduced her to his large, crazy, but loveable family. But the arsonist was not as hidden as they suspected, and Harper gets too close to danger before Sean has a chance to smoke him out.

Will Sean be able to save Harper before the arsonist goes up in flames, taking her with him?

Note:
Scenes and language similar to an R-Rated movie. 18+ readers only.

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Brock by Kris Michaels

As this series opens we will meet many people with roles in future books. Brock King is a homicide detective and is called to the scene of a fire that is suspected to be arson. The body discovered didn’t die from the fire, he was already dead, his wallet nearby and though devoid of cash and credit cards contained his driver’s license.

The victim, identified as one Samuel Treyson. His family owns half the city, ensuring a media circus that would involve both the homicide and the arson. While Sean McBride the arson investigator calls his Captain, Brock calls his Lieutenant, then his father, Chauncey King, the police commissioner. While the brass head off the media, both Brock and Sean finish collecting evidence to go to the lab. Neither one of them happy with the pressure that was sure to be put on this case.

Brock’s partner, Jordan Wyatt had been working vice when the call came in, now he’s with Brock to follow some leads until the feds decide to pull him into a different mess of a case. They had just begun tracking Samuel’s day by receipts found in his wallet when that call came. Now Brock would be getting a new partner for the duration. He’d been assured his new partner would be a good fit but that remained to be seen.

I like the way we’re introduced to this partner. Not at the station but at the diner across the street. It’s a peek at the thoughts flowing through Kallie Redmond’s mind prior to reporting for duty. It also gave a glimpse her past prior to moving to Hope City.

Brock says goodbye to Jordan and assures him he will take care of his cat Fester, and check on his apartment and car while he’s working with the Feds. Then heads inside to meet his new partner.

This is a favorite scene.

They stood sheltered behind the precinct in a small walkway that led to the parking lot, neither one inclined to turn and go their separate ways. “You’ll probably get shoved onto another team. They won’t keep putting you with a slew of temps. Don’t let them assign you someone permanently.” Jordan shoved his hands in his pockets and looked up at the heavy clouds that hung over them. “It would fucking suck to have to break in a new partner when I get back.”

He tipped his eyes up, too. It was going to snow, just a matter of when. He spoke to the clouds, “Never. I don’t think anyone else could put up with me.”

“Damn straight.” He chuckled when his partner immediately agreed.

“Seriously, you take care of yourself. Check in when you can.” Because they both knew it would be impossible for him to reach Jordan.

“I guess I’d better go.” Jordan glanced toward the parking lot and his car. “You sure you’re okay taking care of Fester?”

He shrugged. “Sure. That cat is chill. I’ll move him over to mine tonight.”

“You have to actually feed him, so you have to leave the damn precinct at least once a day.”

“Got it. Feed the cat. He survived me watching him when you went to see your folks.”

“That was a week, Brock. This could be… a lot longer.”

“Fester and I will be fine.” He’d enlist his little sisters to help cat sit if he needed to, but he’d make sure the thing made it through.

“Check on my apartment and car?” Jordan said.

“You know it.”

“Okay, so…”

“Yeah.” He extended his hand one last time. Jordan took it, and God help him if he didn’t feel like they were saying goodbye, not ‘so long’. He watched Jordan until he turned the corner before he entered the building. He nodded to people as he passed through the lobby and made his way to the sixth floor. The case and Jordan’s departure weighed equally on his mind. He wasn’t happy with either situation, but for now his focus had to be on the case. He glanced at his watch. If his new partner wasn’t a complete idiot, he could get him up to speed, interview Chloe and maybe Garrett, and make it to Miriam Treyson’s home by 3:30. He’d instructed patrol to bring both individuals to the precinct. He’d rather talk to them in their homes, but there was no time to waste. If it turned out his new partner was an idiot, well, he’d just tell the guy to shut his mouth and take notes. He didn’t have time to waste on an idiot partner. He had to solve this murder. The stakes were too damn high. His father’s career was on the line. Fuck, there wasn’t any time to waste.

He did a drive-by and snagged a tankard of coffee before he headed for Lieutenant Davidson’s office. The door was closed, so he knuckled the frosted glass and waited. “Enter.”

He pushed the door open. “Jordan punched out.”

“Ah, King. Come in. This is your new partner, Kallie Redman.”

A woman in the corner stood. Wow. She was tall and a fucking knock-out punch type of striking, not beautiful in the classic sense, but fuck him, he’d notice her in a crowd. Dark brown hair held away from intelligent brown eyes. He’d describe her vibe as… athletic. No makeup but vibrant and… striking. Oh, yeah, there was a feisty spirit in this lady. He could see the challenge in the way she sized him up. Not an idiot, either. Those eyes were sharp and inquisitive. She extended her hand.

“Brock King.” He introduced himself, grasping her hand. The woman had a firm handshake, and she met his eyes. Damn, she struck him as… razor sharp. “Have you been brought up to speed on the case we are working?”

She nodded. “The basics that the Lieutenant had.” She nodded at the case file on Davidson’s desk.

“Perfect.” He turned away from her and addressed Davidson. “We tracked down several key people in Treyson’s life. He was in a polyamorous relationship that his wife knew about.”

“Jealousy as a motive?” His new partner interjected.

“At this time, we don’t believe so. The interview we just had with a Miss Ava Dall suggested the wife has lovers, too. Patrol have brought in two of Treyson’s three lovers, and we have an appointment to speak to his wife at 3:30.”

His partner blinked twice. “Excuse me? Appointment?”

Oh, fuck, yeah. She was sharp but obviously not from Hope City. An accent was immediately distinguishable. Southern, but not in that twangy backwoods way.

He nodded and then chuckled, “The Treysons own half the city. I tried to talk to the wife this morning after processing the crime scene. Besides the horde of press at the residence, I was met with a wall of lawyers.”

“What time was that?” She glanced at her watch.

“About 6:00 a.m.”

She glanced at him and narrowed her eyes. “So…” She glanced at the lieutenant and then back at him. She shrugged and finished, “You’ve got a leak, and someone told wifey that the husband was dead—or she’s involved and knew you’d be coming.”

Brock smiled. A real, show-your-teeth smile. Fuck, yeah, he’d drawn a winner. “Exactly.”

“The file listed the evidence gathered, and I saw the crime scene photos. What about your examination of the scene? Did the fire destroy evidence? Was there any indication as to why this guy was at the warehouse or how he got there?”

“None. Of course, the first responders annihilated any tire tracks around the building. There was little physical evidence on scene. No tracks. The floor was concrete, and it was dry ground. Fingerprints were nonexistent. The arson investigator on scene told me the accelerant used was probably gasoline. The person who torched the warehouse wasn’t a professional. More than likely the fire was an attempt to try to hide the crime. The ME has orders to push the tox and histology to the front of the queue, but we have a couple weeks minimum to wait for those. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get a ping off of one of his lovers or the wife. We’ve got the techs downloading his phone information, and we are tracing his moves based on the apps and the receipts in his wallet to build his last twenty-four to forty-eight.”

“What does this guy do? Is he a socialite or a businessman? If he is a businessman, does he have enemies?”

“On the list of avenues to travel down and explore. Come on, I’ll show you where we work, and then we’ll head out and talk to his lovers.”

“Perfect, but I’m going to need coffee. How much is the coffee fund, and where did you get that thermos impersonating a mug? I gotta get me one.” She nodded at his cup. He glanced at Davidson. “Boss, I like this one.”

“Well, she’s not yours to keep.” Davidson moved a stack of paperwork toward him. “Jordan will be back, and we are finally getting Couch back from deployment. Get out of my office, and find me the bastard who killed this guy. Shut my door on your way out.”
Michaels, Kris. A Hope City Duet (pp. 55-59). KMRW LLC. Kindle Edition.

There are many ups and downs in this investigation, Kallie is sharp and as they work together they also find an attraction. It’s a good thing they wouldn’t be permanent partners and that their isn’t a policy in place to prevent them from seeing each other outside of work.

We meet the King family in this one, since it’s all about the police investigation and their family is mostly police. I anticipate seeing all these folks in future books of the series.

This is an edge of your seat tale and just when things are wrapping up, the past looms up to bite Kallie. Lots of action, suspense, a simmer to sizzle romance and a whole lot more!

I’m just going to keep reading now with ‘Sean’. I like that the first two books are together in one.

5 Contented Purrs for Kris!

Sean by Maryann Jordan

In this book we go back to the fire scene we saw in ‘Brock’. Detective Sean McBride is with the Arson Division. Hope City is one of few places fortunate to have that special unit of detectives. Especially now with a serial arsonist on the loose. This warehouse fire was different though. We get a bit of a replay as Brock, Sean’s best friend arrives at the scene before we settle into the Arson investigation.

After the initial evidence collection the lab requests some additional samples in different containers. When Sean gets to the site he’s stunned and angry to see a woman there.

Harper is the fire investigator for the insurance company, just like Sean she needs to collect evidence. She brings it to an independent lab for analysis and adds those results to her findings for or against policy payout.

Sean yelled at her causing her to startle and fall injuring herself. He immediately offers assistance and insists on accompanying her to the hospital to be checked out.

This is a favorite scene.

Harper Walsh focused on the task, never hearing anyone approach. She let out an undignified squeal when a man’s angry voice sounded out just behind her. Whirling around, she landed awkwardly amongst some of the concrete that she had stepped over. A sharp pain shot through her hand and wrist, reverberating up her arm as she stared up in shock.

She blinked for a second, noting that his dark hair and blue eyes, square, stubbled jaw, and tall, obviously fit body combined to create a gorgeous man. But as he towered over her, his eyes snapping and his hands planted on his hips, it was equally obvious that he was furious. Her gaze dropped to where his hands pulled his jacket open, and she saw a badge hanging on his belt.

Damn, I was told the police were finished with the scene. Trained to not get in the way of the police when collecting evidence, she was careful to always follow protocol. She placed her hands on the ground next to her in an attempt to stand. The stabbing pain in her wrist caused her to cry out, plopping back down on her ass, now cradling her injured wrist with her other hand. Shit, shit, shit!

The man dropped to kneel by her side, his large presence seeming to surround her. “Let me see.” No longer scowling, his voice still held an irritated edge.

Fighting the embarrassment of her clumsiness, she started to lose the battle of keeping her tears at bay from the pain. “Why did you have to sneak up on me and then bellow?”

“Sneak? I wasn’t sneaking.”

“Well, you certainly bellowed.” Still cradling her wrist, she looked up, stunned to see him so close. She could now see that his eyes were not just blue but a shade that reminded her of the water in the harbor on a bright, cloudless, sunny day. He did not just have stubble but had a neatly trimmed beard. His hair was dark, almost black, just as neatly trimmed. The breeze blew a few strands, but she wondered if his hair would not dare to mess with the commanding man.

“I don’t bellow,” he refuted, not as confidently as he had sounded a moment earlier. He reached out and took her injured arm in his hands, his touch gentle but causing her to wince. His voice softened. “It might be broken.”

She feared he was right. “Damn it, I don’t have time for this.” Tears sprang to her eyes. The back of the hand he now held was covered in burn scars from long ago, extending from her fingers to several inches above her wrist. Uncertain if he was staring at her new injury or old scars, she pulled her hand from his, wincing again at the pain.

“You need to have that looked at. I’m serious when I said it might be broken.”

Glancing toward her evidence kit on the ground next to her, she gritted her teeth. “My samples. I have to get my samples to the lab.”

Still kneeling, he looked down at the labeled bottles and bags. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

Breathing through the pain, she gritted her teeth. “I’m a fire investigator.”

His brow lifted as he cocked his head to the side. “And who do you work for?”

“Eastern Mutual Insurance Company.” She met his glare with one of her own.

“Okay, then answer the first question I asked you. Who are you?”

Frustration at her situation stabbed through her, almost as painful as her wrist. “My name is Harper. Harper Walsh. I’m a certified Evidence Collection Technician as well as working on my final certification to become a Fire Investigator. Eastern Mutual sent me here, and I had been given clearance to come to this site. I was told the police were finished with their evidence collection and that’s why I was here. I had no problem with the policeman letting me in.”

With a curt nod, he stood. “Here, let me help you.” He placed his hands underneath her armpits and with little effort lifted her to her feet.

“Oh, now you want to help?” Looking at her wrist, she observed the swelling as well as bruising and felt lightheaded. No, no! Always fainting at the sight of blood, she could not believe she was going to pass out, considering her injury was not bleeding. Her stomach roiled. God, don’t let me throw up on him. She tried to maintain her dignity, breathing deeply, but weaved, and her knees buckled.

Strong arms grabbed her shoulders to keep her from staggering, and she face-planted against his broad chest, her head foggy.

“I’ll take you to the hospital.”

The last thing she wanted was to be indebted to the grumpy detective. She sucked in a deep breath in an attempt to clear her head and pushed away from his support. “I’ll just gather my samples and leave. I can drive myself to have my arm checked out.”

“Nope.” He deftly bent, picked up her evidence bag in one hand, and with his other hand at her elbow guided her carefully toward the front of the warehouse, pointing out the rubble she needed to step over.

Ignoring his care, she focused on his one word response. “What do you mean by ‘nope’?” He looked down at her, and she tried not to stare at his lips, which were now very close to hers.

He held her gaze then sighed loudly. “Nope. No. Nix. Negative. Not going to happen. Not going to let you. Any other questions?” She blinked, her mouth opening but no words came forth, and he continued. “I feel responsible for your injury and would like to make sure you arrive at the ER safely to get your arm checked out.”

“I don’t even know who you are.”

He had the grace to look chagrined. “You’re right. I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Detective Sean McBride. Arson Division. HCPD.”

“And are you always so bossy?”

“When I think someone needs help, then yes.”

She glanced over, seeing the policeman by the yellow tape staring narrow-eyed at them. Great, it looks like I’m being arrested. Bypassing her car, he continued toward a large SUV. He opened the door and placed her evidence collection bag onto his backseat, then reached into the front seat to grab a large paper sack, placing it into the back as well.

The scent of greasy sausage met her nostrils, and with the pain in her arm, another wave of nausea moved over her. Blowing out a deep breath, she battled the desire to throw up again.

He assisted her into the seat, his movements gentle. “Do you need help with the buckle?”

She reached over to take the seat belt, but pain shot through her left hand as she attempted to pull it down. He leaned over to buckle her, and she sucked in her stomach in an instinctive response to make herself appear smaller. Her gaze dropped from his eyes to his mouth. God, what would his lips feel like against mine? She tried to block out the idea and blurted, “Your vehicle smells like a diner.”

His lips curved into a grin, and his rugged good looks morphed into just pure handsome. Speaking softly, his breath whispering across her cheeks, he said, “That’s because I’ve got a dozen sausage biscuits in that bag.”

He leaned back, threw the door closed, and jogged around the front of his SUV. Calling out to the policeman still standing by the tape, he said, “I’ll take care of getting her vehicle later.”

They drove in silence for a moment, and Harper’s mind raced. How could everything have gone so wrong within a matter of moments? Following all proper procedures, she was almost finished with the evidence collection that she would need for both her certification and for her employer when she had suddenly landed on her ass with a possible broken wrist. And, of course, the cause of both had to be an infuriating—albeit gorgeous—detective.

Sighing, she knew that she needed to make amends. She had been sure that the police were finished with the scene or she would have waited. “While I had every right to be where I was, I’m sorry if I got in your way. I’m also sorry that you’re now having to take your time to drive me to the hospital. I’m sure I could’ve made the trip myself.”

“Apology accepted.”

His deep voice glided over her, sounding sincere. Twisting her head around to look at him, she asked, “That’s it?”

He shrugged. “You apologized. I accepted.”

She was quiet for a moment, wondering about the ease of his acceptance, and he continued, “I was taught that a heartfelt apology should always be accepted. If not, then it reflects on me, not the other person. And while we’re at it, I’m sorry to be the cause of your fall.”

She leaned her head back against the headrest and closed her eyes. His words were spoken in a soft voice, but the sincerity rang out clearly, something she had not expected considering his earlier arrogance. Her mother’s similar words ran through her mind. “Funny, I was taught the same thing… apology accepted.”
Michaels, Kris. A Hope City Duet (pp. 280-284). KMRW LLC. Kindle Edition.

Not exactly the best way to meet someone, but one that quickly spread to colleagues and friends providing a never ending source of amusement.

With the results in on the warehouse proving it wasn’t their serial arsonist, Sean and Jonas get back to work sifting through possible suspects.

Harper and Sean have an attraction that only grows as they continue to cross paths in there investigating. As much as he may try to avoid it, Sean can’t help but admire Harper’s tenacity and investigative instincts.

In spite of or perhaps because of the intensity of the investigation, Sean falls in deeper and deeper with Harper. Their attraction sparks into flame as things heat up with the arsonist. Yes, pun intended.

I enjoyed this book immensely and since I’ve already read and reviewed ‘Carter’, I have to wait for the release of ‘Brody’ later this month.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Coming Soon!


Kris Michaels

USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author, Kris Michaels is the alter ego of a happily married wife and mother. She writes romance, usually with characters from military and law enforcement backgrounds.

Kris was born and raised in South Dakota. She graduated many years ago from a high school class consisting of 13 students (yes that is thirteen, eleven girls and two boys…lucky boys). She joined the military, met her husband, and traveled the world. Today she lives on the Gulf Coast and writes full time.

Kris is an avid people watcher and dreamer. The stories she writes are crafted around the hopes and dreams of a true romantic. She believes love is essential, people are beautiful, and everyone deserves a happy ending.

When she isn’t writing Kris enjoys a full life revolving around family, friends, laughing, whiskey, and cold red wine. (Yes cold…don’t judge.)

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Maryann Jordan

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!


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Carter – Hope City Book 2 by Maryann Jordan


Two Authors… A New Series…
One City… Countless Stories.

Carter
Hope City Book 2
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

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Detective Carter Fiske has a homeless man’s death to investigate. Opioids are in the man’s system, but it is the bag of prescription drugs in his pocket that has Carter’s interest. Especially considering this is the third death of a homeless person this month with a bag of drugs in their possession.

Tara McBride Wilson, single mom and head social worker at Ever Hope Homeless Shelter, has little time to deal with the handsome detective who keeps popping up…at work and on her mind.

When Carter asks Tara out to gain more information on the shelter and the connected clinic, he does not expect to start falling for the beautiful, caring woman. Finding out she is the sister of Sean and Kyle McBride, two of his detective friends, does not make matters easier.

When she discovers his subterfuge, she does not want anything more to do with him, having trust issues after her ex-husband left her high and dry. Carter has his work cut out for him to prove that he is the man for her and her daughter.
But danger lurks close by and as they work together to find out where the drugs are coming from, can Carter keep Tara safe?

Hope City…a series created by two USA Today Bestselling Authors Maryann Jordan and Kris Michaels

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I have to confess, I’ve read  the ‘Hope City Duet’ but haven’t reviewed it yet. Now it’s at the top of my list because many of the people in this book are introduced in that duet.

Carter is investigating homeless deaths that have a connection to the drugs found on the bodies. It’s not easy to find clues or evidence. Two of his friends on the force, Sean and Kyle, start to tell him to contact their sister who might be able to help, but they are always interrupted.

Tara runs the Ever Hope Homeless Shelter, they have programs to help the residents get back on their feet. They are not a single night type of shelter. She meets Carter as he’s looking for clues as to the identity of the latest homeless man. When she recognizes the man in the photo Carter asks if she could identify the body. Although shaken she agrees. This wasn’t going to be the last she sees of Carter in the course of this investigation.

Carter visits again the next day, requesting more information.

This is a favorite scene.

Carter was not sure what he’d expected when he walked into Ever Hope Homeless Shelter yesterday but had hoped that Sean and Kyle’s sister worked there and would be able to help him. The idea of a detective’s sibling being more efficient with the police had settled in his mind. But since there was no McBride at the center, he had to admit the intrepid Tara Wilson handled herself with professional efficiency. Her composure at the morgue impressed him. And now, if it wasn’t for the slight shaking of her hands, he would never know that she was stressed.

Earlier, as he walked behind her down the long, tiled hall, his gaze was drawn to her ass even though there was nothing overtly sexual about her clothes. Plain, pale-yellow blouse paired with black slacks. Her feet tapped along the tiles, encased in low heeled pumps. Even her office was professionally efficient, both neat and cluttered at the same time. Files and papers were stacked on her desk, but as she sat in her chair and directed her gaze toward him, he had the feeling she could lay her hand on any report needed.

After she viewed the photograph of Carl, he pulled out a second picture and slid it toward her. “This is another young man found dead. Jonathan Rothberg. As far as we can tell, he also had no address, leading us to believe he may be homeless. Unlike Carl, he wasn’t a veteran. I’m hoping to see if there’s anything you can tell me about him.”

She took the old photograph from his hand and gave it the same careful scrutiny she had with Carl’s picture. Shaking her head, she said, “No. I don’t recognize his face.” Without another word, she opened her laptop and quickly began to type. She continued to shake her head as she looked up from her computer to hold his gaze. “Carl’s not in our system.”

“System?”

“There are multiple homeless shelters in Hope City. Those that are sanctioned and funded by the city, such as ours, and those run by private groups and churches. We do have a shared database for listing anyone who comes to stay with us, although it is not inclusive.”

“So, if he was homeless, he would be in your database?” he asked.

“The city shelters are very good about keeping track of the information. Some of the others are less… um… accurate.”

“Why would a shelter not be accurate?”

“Some are emergency shelters or cold-weather shelters run by churches. While we appreciate all efforts to aid the homeless, some do not keep records the way we’re required to. They may also hand out sleeping bags and food while not offering a bed.”

“Are you able to service most of the homeless through the city’s shelters?”

She tilted her head to the side, her expressive blue eyes peering straight into his. It was hard not to notice her beauty, but at the moment, her pink-tinted lips were stretched into a thin line.

“Detective Fiske, on any given day there are almost three-thousand persons considered to be homeless in Hope City. Seventy-two percent of those are men, and at least ten percent are veterans. Over twenty-five percent are considered to be chronically homeless, which means it’s not temporary. In our city, there are only about twelve hundred emergency beds. You can do the math. That means many, many homeless persons are either turned away because there’s not enough room or they never make it through our doors.”

“And Jonathan?”

Tara’s attention refocused on her computer. When she looked up and held his gaze, he was struck with the clearness of her blue eyes and beautiful face in contrast to the hard set of her jaw. She tilted her head and he realized he was staring. “Did you find anything?” His voice was rough, covering his perusal.

“Yes. Last year, he spent two nights at the emergency shelter over on 43rd Street. From what I can see, those were the only two nights that he spent at a shelter.”

“What about clinics for treating or offering prescription drugs for the homeless?” He watched her blink at the change in direction of his inquiry.

“Our center is next to a free clinic if that’s what you’re asking. It’s not the only clinic in the area that provides services to the poor and uninsured.”

“So, Carl Burnley or Jonathan Rothberg could have been seen at the clinic without ever having come to stay at this homeless shelter?”

She leaned back in her seat as she nodded. “What are you not telling me, Detective Fiske?”

He held her steady gaze, his admiration increasing. Smart, intuitive. And beautiful. He considered how much to reveal, then decided she might be more accommodating if she knew what he was up against. “All three men had opioids in their systems and pills in their possession.”

It took just a few seconds for her eyes to widen and she gasped. “Rocky? Rocky also?”

“Yes, Ms. Wilson. This is why we’re investigating. All three were carrying prescription pills in baggies— way more than they would be taking.”

She looked down at her hands clasped together on her desk as she pursed her lips together again. “I see. I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but over forty percent of those who seek shelters have a substance use disorder.” Lifting her head, she speared him with her glacial stare and added, “The streets are full of ways for them to get their next fix. I’m not sure looking at the clinics that offer needed services is the right place for you to focus your energies.”

“What can you tell me about Rocky? Was he being seen for a substance use disorder? Or given opioids for pain? Other drugs?”

A long silence ensued, and he wondered if she was going to answer his question. While she stared at her hands on her desk again, it gave him full access to study her discreetly. She didn’t wear a wedding ring, and he wondered if she, like him, was married to the job. A demanding job that probably at times seemed as thankless as mine. He noted the dark circles underneath her eyes, possibly indicating little sleep the previous night. A stab of guilt moved through him that he needed her at the morgue. I’ve no doubt that was sure as fuck not what she expected to have to do when she came to work yesterday. She lifted a hand and rubbed her forehead as though in pain. “Ms. Wilson, are you okay?” He blinked in surprise when her gaze hit him.

“I’m sorry, Detective Fiske. My mind wandered. All I could think about was Rocky finding a place out of the elements to stay warm but having the bad luck of being near a fire.” She opened her mouth as though to say more, then gave her head a little shake. Clearing her throat, she said, “You asked about drugs. I can’t tell you what he had taken. The times he came in to talk to me he was clear-eyed and coherent. I know he suffered from PTSD, and I referred him to the clinic. I spoke to Dr. Tiller about Rocky, and the last conversation we had about him I was told he was prescribing an antidepressant.”

“For those who can’t afford medication, how does the clinic handle that?”

“I know the basics of how the clinic functions, Detective, but you would need to speak to them about the particulars. The free clinic is a completely separate entity from the homeless shelter. Their facility is adjacent to us, but we are not connected to them financially or procedurally. We make recommendations that some of our homeless visit the clinic, but we have no control over whether they do or what happens once they are there. Their medical records are private unless they sign for us to have access, which we only need if they are receiving counseling from us.”
Maryann Jordan. Carter – ARC copy – not for sale or distribution: Hope City (Kindle Locations 630-688).

Visits to the clinic next door to the shelter don’t yield much more than other leads to follow.

I really loved the way Carter gets a sort of lunch date with Tara using the investigation as an excuse. That begins an interesting relationship that will have a few ups and downs.

This book grabbed hold of me on the first page and kept me enthralled to the very end. There is plenty of suspense, intrigue and twists with a simmer to sizzle romance that rounds everything out.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this dual author series.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

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!


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Amazon Author Page

Count On Me – Baytown Boys Book 12 By Maryann Jordan


Count On Me
Baytown Boys Book 12
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

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.

Scott Redding served his time in the Army and paid the price. Coming back to the Eastern Shore, he was determined to live his life and not be defined as an amputee. Meeting Beau Weston was supposed to be about helping the older man settle his affairs…not change his life.

Lizzie Weston raised goats and alpacas, rising early and going to bed late, determined to not let her grandfather’s farm be sold. Accepting help from Scott was not what she wanted. The handsome accountant had impressed her grandfather, but she was sure he lived a life of ease and would not understand the demands of farming.

As Scott and Lizzie worked to save Weston farm, animosity grew into understanding…and then to love. But someone is out to force Lizzie to sell and it is up to Scott to save the farm…and her.

NOTE:
Scenes and language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ readers only.

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After Scott Redding finished his Master’s Degree he returned to Baytown and began working for Lia at the Accounting Firm that had once been his grandfather’s. Lia has since offered him a partnership which he took without hesitation. A new to him client visits about taxes and plans for the farm. Beau Weston is all about making sure his granddaughter can make all the changes she needs to keep the place running and profitable.

Scott was still looking for the perfect house, he was renting but hadn’t found a house that said ‘home’ to him. On a detour he sees the sign for Weston Farms and Beau working the fence line.

This is a favorite scene.

The hot sun was beaming down, causing heat waves to rise from the asphalt road as Scott drove home from work. He had moved from the rental condo in The Dunes into a small rental house north of town. He had finally told his real estate agent that he was going to rent until he could find the perfect house. His rental house was much better than the condo but still did not feel like home.

As he came to an intersection, his way was blocked as the electric company was cutting overhanging limbs from a tree. Tossing a wave toward the workers, he turned down another lane to travel a different way home. With the air conditioner blasting, keeping the interior of his SUV cool, he felt sorry for the men and women who were working outside. He had planned on taking an afternoon run but decided he could wait until tomorrow morning.

Turning a corner, he saw a wooden sign proclaiming Weston Farms. He and Beau had stayed in contact as he found numerous tax benefits that would help the overall financial status of the farm. Beau did not make each monthly meeting of the American Legion, but Scott had seen him several times, the older man always greeting him warmly.

As he continued the drive, he saw Beau standing near the fence by the edge of the road. He pulled to the gravel shoulder, waving as Beau squinted in the sunlight to see who had arrived. Recognizing him, Beau waved as well, pulling off his hat to wipe his brow with a handkerchief.

Climbing from the driver’s seat, Scott walked over to the edge of the fence, shaking Beau’s hand, observing him sweating profusely. “Beau, I know you’re used to working outside, but it’s ungodly hot right now. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“You sound like my Lizzie,” Beau chuckled. He took a big breath and said, “You’re right, though. It’s mighty hot for this time of year. I surely can’t work the way I did when I was a younger man.”

His gaze drifted behind Beau to where a large animal was ambling toward them. Eyes wide, he asked, “Is that a llama?”

“Alpaca,” Beau answered. “We’ve got three of them now.”

Uncertain what to say, he was also uncertain how Beau felt about the odd-looking animal. The alpaca wandered over and nudged Beau’s hat off his head. Beau huffed, re-settled his hat, and said, “Stop that, Caesar!”

Blinking, Scott was unable to hold back his laughter. “Caesar? His name is Caesar?”

Shaking his head, Beau chuckled as well. “This here is Caesar.” Pointing toward the distance where two other alpacas were standing under the shade of a tree, he added, “The one on the right is Cleopatra, and the other one is Mark Antony.” He lost the battle of holding in his own laughter, and said, “My Lizzie… she’s got an imagination.”

Looking to the left, Scott saw a separate grazing area where goats roamed freely, younger goats frolicking around the pasture. Off to the right, nestled in between several large trees, sat a white, two-story farmhouse, complete with a wide front porch and two brick chimneys on either side. Several trimmed box hedges were in front of the porch, flowers blooming between each one. The house gave off a vibe of comfort and days gone by. His breath caught in his throat as he stared at the simple structure, resplendent in its simplicity.

“Would you like to come in for some lemonade?” Beau asked. “Lizzie has gone into town to the grocery, but I’m sure she’s got either lemonade or sweet tea in the refrigerator.”

It was on the tip of his tongue to take Beau up on his offer but realized that by doing so he would pull Beau away from the work on the fence that he had been involved in before Scott drove along. To a farmer, time was money, and he certainly did not want to interfere with Beau’s business.

“That’s a nice offer, Beau, but I really need to get home. I’ll let you finish your work.”

Shaking his hand goodbye, Beau added, “I wanted to thank you for all your help with our taxes this past year. With the changes coming along that Lizzie and I would like to make, we’re still solvent, and I can keep from having to sell Luca more of my land.”

“Don’t mention it. I’ll see you soon.” Observing Beau wiping the sweat from his red face again, he added, “Don’t work too hard and take care of yourself.” With a wave goodbye and a final longing look at the farm, Scott climbed back into his car, blasted the air conditioner once more, and drove home. Pulling into the gravel drive of his small rental, he thought back to the Weston farmhouse, wondering if his real estate agent could find a house like that for him.
Maryann Jordan. Count On Me – ARC Copy: Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 221-256).

Scott becomes acquainted with Beau’s granddaughter, Lizzy, after he dies. It was Beau’s wish that Scott help Lizzy accomplish her dreams for the farm, not only through the tax help, but also with a business plan.

Lizzy isn’t all that enthused about accepting his help, but their story is one of developing trust, friendship and a simmer to sizzle love. With unexpected twists, and plenty of interaction with the original Baytown Boys, the veterans that have made Baytown their home, and the strong successful women who love them.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

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!


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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Cas – Heroes at Heart Book 8 By Maryann Jordan


Cas
Heroes at Heart Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

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.

NOTES:
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.

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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—”

“I’ll come.”

“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.

“Cas?”

“Bianca?”

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!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Maryann Jordan

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!


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Blake – Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 5 By Maryann Jordan


Lighthouse Security Investigations

The Lighthouse SI Keepers were men and women from the SEALs,
Rangers, Special Forces, Deltas, and AF Special Ops.
All having been trained in CIA Special Ops,
the Keepers were the best of the best
and ready to take on any mission.

Blake
Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Blake…

Former Delta and adventure lover was stuck on a boring, bodyguard mission for an academic at a conference in French Guiana. The only thing holding his attention was the beautiful interpreter he noticed in the balcony and at the hotel.

Sara…

An American interpreter assigned to the economic conference, found the handsome bodyguard to be much more interesting than the topic she was interpreting.

They shared a night of passion and were prepared to say goodbye…until Blake watched her kidnapped from a shop the next morning.

With the aid of the French Guiana Police and the other Keepers from Lighthouse Security, Blake’s routine mission became anything but boring and the Amazon rainforest was no hiding place for the men who dared to take Sara.

As they made their escape up the Lawa River, Blake found that Sara was much more than just a rescue mission. But would their love survive the return to their lives back in America? When she is threatened again, Blake vows to keep her safe at all costs.

Note:
Scenes and language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ readers

Barnes and Noble logo_150 KoboLogo

Blake had just returned from a mission, a rather boring one and he really wanted something with a bit more action. Unfortunately he was assigned as security to a man attending an economics summit in Guiana. A man with no threats against him, just a fear of being in a foreign country.

He settles in somewhat with Stanley, but really didn’t see the point in traveling if you weren’t going to do some site-seeing and sample some local cuisine.

Blake notices one of the translators, her hair is what caught his eye, but she was magnificent in all ways. Unfortunately he thinks he’s missed his chance with her only to have her return to the bar where he was enjoying a drink alone on the last day.

Sara and Blake share an explosive evening, one that has him waking alone. He does however get the opportunity to see her at breakfast after Stanley heads to a lobby shop to get gifts for family.

He intends to catch up with Stanley and does when Sara expresses a desire to purchase a scarf she saw earlier, a sort of tradition started by her mother.

Then the fun begins.

This is a favorite scene.

He had only taken two steps toward Sara when a squeak of fear sounded from the other side of the shop. His gaze jerked over, landing on three masked men who had entered, each holding a gun.

Instantly assessing, he watched as two of them headed straight to the jewelry counter and the third positioned himself where he could keep his eyes on the whole shop. The older man held his arm out, trying to shield his wife. The pregnant woman was standing closest to Sara, and with his peripheral vision, he could see that Sara moved slightly in front of her, offering whatever protection she could. Stanley, still at the jewelry counter, began babbling.

“Oh, my God, you’ve got guns! I don’t know anything! I don’t have anything!”

One of the men shoved Stanley out of the way and began speaking in rapid-fire words, but Blake was not sure what language it was. He thought it was French, and the store clerk appeared to understand the language, or at least understand what the gun pointed toward him meant. The clerk took the cloth bag in his shaking hands and began filling it with the diamond jewelry.

Blake had a holstered gun underneath his jacket but knew he could not get to it safely without risking the other customers. Fuck, if it was just me, I could take all three out. The thieves were of slight build and less than six feet tall. The one holding the bag for the salesclerk was sweating profusely, and Blake would have bet this was his first robbery. The one next to him appeared twitchy, his nerves showing. Blake slid his eyes back to the one watching the customers. He’s the fuckin’ leader. Even with a black bandanna tight across the lower half of his face, it was easy to see the man was not sweating, and his eyes were clear and sharp.

Blake glanced down at Stanley, who was cowering on the floor. My job is to keep my mission safe. A slight movement caught his eye, and he glanced back to Sara, who had managed to slide completely in front of the pregnant woman, her arms out slightly from her sides offering more protection. Admiration along with fear for her moved through his mind.

The salesclerk made quick work of filling the bag with jewelry, and the two thieves stepped back to the one eyeing the group.

Blake breathed steadily. Okay, you got what you came for. Now just leave. Nice and easy.

The leader stepped closer to Sara, lifted the butt of his gun, and ran it along her cheek. “Belle,” he said.

Lips pinched, she whimpered slightly, and Blake’s fingers twitched at his side, desperate to take the man down. The leader reached his hand out, clamped it around Sara’s upper arm and jerked her forward.

Blake held his body in check, memorizing everything he could. The man had a small scar over his left eyebrow. He was only about five feet-eight inches tall, and as he swung Sara around in front of him, Blake could see a tattoo on the back of the man’s wrist.

The leader stepped toward the outside door, Sara’s arm still firmly in his grasp as he dragged her along.

“No!” she cried, attempting to dig her heels in. The leader had his gun pointed straight to her face, but that did not seem to stop her. When he swung the weapon toward the pregnant woman, Sara gasped, eyes wide.

Blake watched the instant realization hit her, and she stopped struggling. Her gaze swung around to him just as the men pushed through the door leading to the street. Wide-eyed. Terrified. Gaze boring straight into his.

Whirling, he shouted to the clerk, “Call the police!” To Stanley, still on the floor, he shouted, “Stay where you are!”

He rushed to the door, observing the thieves running down the sidewalk toward the beach, Sara still clutched by the arm, stumbling along. Unable to get a clear shot as they weaved amongst early hotel guests heading to the pool, he raced after them.

At first, he assumed they would make their getaway from the hotel’s parking lot, but instead, they continued down the path, past the swimming pool, toward the beach. Fear clutched his heart as he thought of a water escape, and he sped after them, the adrenaline pumping through his body giving him even greater speed.

In the distance, through the palm trees, he spied a small motorboat just offshore. The first two thieves raced into the water, their leader lagging behind as he continued to drag Sara along.

Lining up his shot, Blake halted as the leader whirled around, clutching Sara in front of his body with his own weapon pressed against her temple.

The man called out, “You shoot. She dead.”

Blake knew that he could easily take out the two men in the motorboat, but he did not have a clear shot at the leader holding Sara. Hotel guests began screaming and racing around at the sight of men with guns, some running through his line of fire. Moving steadily forward as the leader backed away, he was determined to take down the man that dared to point a gun at Sara.

Ignoring the footsteps he heard coming from behind him, he was soon surrounded by French Guiana police, some with their guns pointed toward the thieves and others with their weapons trained on him.

“Pose ton arme!” came the shout.

“American,” he called out, his gun still aimed at the leader, who was now dragging Sara into the water.

“Put down weapon!” one of the policemen shouted.

“There are the thieves! They’ve got a hostage!” he retorted, his weapon still held on the boat, cursing that he could not get the right shot.

Several of the policemen fired their weapons toward the boat, and Blake shouted, “Stop! They’ve got a hostage!”

“Arrêtez-vous!” the policeman speaking broken English shouted. “La femme est un otage!”

Blake could only assume the policemen grasped the situation, but by this time, the leader had dragged Sara through the water, lifted her into the boat from the back side where he was protected from their weapons, and climbed aboard. The engine started, and the boat turned, heading toward the west.

Over the waves, he watched as she scrambled to sit up, her eyes pinned on him, and he heard her scream his name… a sound that he knew would haunt him forever.
Maryann Jordan. Blake – ARC copy – not for sale or distribution: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 424-472).

Let me say here that I was surprised at the reluctance of the police to help. It was only with Mace’s insistence that Blake was given an officer to assist and escort him where he needed to be. More back up would be coming in the form of Drew and Tate to get them safely home.

Blake and Sara are pursued down the Lawa River. Only to find they really are compatible and when all this is done they want to see where their relationship can go.

Fast-paced and emotional with plenty of action,  twists, plus romance and sizzle.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

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!


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Releasing Tomorrow! Our Time – Baytown Boys Book 11 by Maryann Jordan


Our Time
Baytown Boys Book 11
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

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.

Colt Hudson, Sheriff of North Heron County, has little time for anything other than his job…and keeping an eye on the pretty waitress at The Diner.

Single mom, Carrie Beaumont has little time for anything other than her job, her son, taking care of her elderly neighbor…and harboring secret fantasies about the handsome Sheriff.

When a fire in her neighbor’s home forces them out, Colt comes to the rescue. After all, his big empty house is in dire need of a ready-made family.

As they give in to the attraction and their friendship turns to love, a string of thefts leads to a investigation that her son stumbles into.

Keeping his newly found family together, and safe, is just what Colt lives for. Protecting her son and the man of her dreams is what Carrie fights for.

Note:
Scenes and Language similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. 18+ only.

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We’ve seen Colt in the previous books, now we get to know him. He’s the North Heron Sheriff a position he’s had since he returned five years ago. It’s a time consuming position and that’s just one of his excuses for not asking Carrie out.

Carrie is a single mother working at Joe’s Place a popular diner in Easton. She moved here with her mother about ten years ago. She knew of Colt before he walked in the door and pretty much knocked the breath out of her with his stunning good looks. It’s a friendship of sorts, but she looks forward to seeing him every morning for breakfast just as much as he looks forward to her smile.

There’s also Jack, Carrie’s son, he’s an intelligent fun loving child who has grown up with plenty of love around him. I love the interactions with him and Colt. It’s pretty obvious from the start that not only is Colt more than a little interested in Carrie, he also cares a great deal for Jack.

This is a favorite scene.

“I got some time to sit down.”

She blinked for a second, forgetting what she had asked. “Well, good, because we kept your place open. Have a seat, and I’ll be right there.” Her gaze stayed on the back of him as he walked away, heading toward the far stool at the counter. He was the only man that she thought the back view of him was almost as good as the front, and she sucked in a quick breath before letting it out slowly.

“You’d better stop drooling,” BettyJo said as she walked by, a sparkle in her eyes.

Wondering what on earth was wrong with her, she gave a mental shake, fetched a few more plates to deliver to tables, and headed behind the counter. Giving Joe the order for Colt, she caught sight of the big yellow school bus pulling into the parking lot.

Colt must have seen her staring because he swiveled on his stool and looked out the window as well. “Already?”

Nodding, she replied, “The kids have some half days here at the end of the school year.”

They both watched as the door to the school bus opened, and a dark-haired boy hopped down. He shifted his backpack around, then waved to the bus driver and his friends. He then turned and hustled to the front door of the diner, and she could not help but grin as the bell rang and the boy walked in.

He looked around, met her gaze, and grinned widely as well. He walked straight over to the counter and called out, “Hi, Mom!” The boy hopped up on the stool next to Colt and said, “Hey, Sheriff Hudson.”

“Hey, Jack. You’re out of school awfully early.”

“It’s almost the end of the school year! Yesterday we had a field day. Today we had a party. And tomorrow, we help our teacher get the room ready for the summer cleaning.”

“When are you going to get any learning done?” Colt asked, lifting an eyebrow, pretending to scowl.

Carrie watched as Jack threw his head back and laughed. “We’ve already had our state assessments, and I passed them with flying colors. I think I’ve had enough learning for one year, don’t you think?”

She rolled her eyes. “If you’re so smart, how come you haven’t given me a hug since coming in?”

Jack got up on his knees, balancing on the stool, and leaned over the counter, and she bent forward. She felt his arms wrap around her neck, and she closed her eyes, knowing that was the best feeling in the world. She also knew that the day when he would want to hug his mom in public was soon coming to an end.

With his arms still around her, she opened her eyes and was surprised to see Colt’s face so close, his gaze penetrating as he stared at the two of them. Not being able to read that look, she pulled back after giving Jack a quick kiss on his forehead. That must have pushed the limit because he wiped his forehead and complained, “Mom!”

Soon, she delivered Colt’s lunch to him, also setting a plate in front of Jack. Mavis and Joe had called out to him from the back, and he waved with excitement.

“Just so you know, Jack, Grandma is taking her neighbor to the library this afternoon, and she’ll come by and pick you up when she’s finished. Until then, you’re stuck with me.”

Jack cut his eyes toward Colt and said, “There are worse places I could be stuck. At least here, I get to have some of Mavis’ apple pie when I want to.”

Colt chuckled. “Sounds like you’ve got quite a deal going on here.”

“It’s great! I get as much food as I want, and they love me here.”

Placing her fists on her hips, Carrie said, “Boy, you might get Mavis’ apple pie, but you’re going to work for it. As soon as the lunch crowd thins, you’re going to help wipe down tables and see what else you can do.”

Jack shook his head and looked at his mom before cutting his eyes back over to Colt. “Sheriff, isn’t there something about making kids work for their food?”

Colt adopted a serious expression and said, “I think we can trust your mother to make sure you’re not overworked.” Leaning in closer, he whispered loudly, “But, Jack, if you ever think I need to investigate your mom, you let me know.”

Rolling her eyes again, she tried to ignore the thrill that shot through her at the idea of Colt investigating her. Deciding to walk away before she did something foolish like ask him to frisk her and pull out his handcuffs, she headed around the room, checking on her customers, determined to get her mind back on her job. The only problem was that she kept looking back over to the corner of the counter, seeing the best man she had ever met, laughing and talking with her son, who was her favorite person in the whole world. And she smiled.
Maryann Jordan. Our Time (Arc copy): Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 297-299).

As Carrie signs up Jack for summer activities, Colt and the deputies start investigating a rash of burglaries. When one of the victims is Carrie’s neighbor, it seems things start heating up in more ways than one.

Another great story surrounding Baytown and all the characters within. I laughed, cried, held my breath and sighed more than a couple of times.

I really can’t wait for the next book, I am truly addicted to this town and its inhabitants.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

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!


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Zeke – Heroes at Heart Book 7 By Maryann Jordan


Zeke
Heroes at Heart Book 7
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

The true measure of a man
is not in the mistakes he makes…

but in how he handles those mistakes.

Zeke left the Army and joined his brother’s bar, Grimm’s, as a bouncer before convincing Zander to open a restaurant next door. Now, as co-owner of Grimm’s Bar and Grill, he shared his success by working as a cook at the local homeless shelter.

One night, he sees a woman seeking shelter and is captivated by the smile she offers when she is in such need.

Cynthia works at Prince Hotel as a cleaner but lost her housing when she had excessive medical bills. With Zeke’s help, she manages to get back on her feet and discover love with the handsome man.

At work, things are looking up when the owner takes an interest in her and offers her a job as his assistant. But all things that glitter are not gold, and Cynthia discovers that her life with Zeke is the true fairy tale.

Note:
A Heroes at Heart novel based loosely on the fairy tale, Cinderella.
Themes, language, and adult situations are similar to an R-rated movie. For 18+ years.

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I loved the way this book started with a look into the past when Zeke first arrives at Miss Ethel’s. It progresses into his school years and his love for the Cinderella story, all of them not just the ‘Disney’ version.

In the present we see Zeke and Zander as they prepare to venture into opening a second Grimm’s. They’ve found the perfect location for it and things will start moving quickly.

After announcing their news at dinner at Miss Ethel’s Zeke hangs back from leaving sensing she wants to speak with him. I love Miss Ethel’s wisdom and this is one of my favorite scenes.

If you are reading this series you will recall Asher is very active with the homeless, particularly one shelter. Zeke has made it a habit to prepare breakfast at this shelter before heading into Grimm’s for meal prep there. After visiting with Miss Ethel, Zeke heads to the shelter to see if he needs to bring in anything for the next day’s breakfast.

He held back as Miss Ethel took him by the hand, and they walked over to two of the rockers on the front porch. Making sure she was settled first, he moved to the rocker next to her, finding the movement to be soothing.

“I could tell you wanted to talk to me,” he said, his lips curving into a smile.

She took a moment as though gathering her thoughts, her gaze drifting out over her yard before moving back to his face. “I’m very proud of you Zeke,” she said.

Her words soothed through him as they always had, and he knew that pleasing her would always bring that kind of satisfaction.

“I’m proud of all my boys,” she continued. “The men you are. The success you have.”

He held her gaze and said, “You do know that we owe it all to you, Miss Ethel?”

She waved her hand dismissively in front of her and said, “Oh, posh. I don’t deny that I’ve had a hand in helping each of you, but the brotherhood you formed has given each of you individual as well as collective strength.”

Agreeing, he said, “Yes, and you’re the one that gave us that brotherhood. You created a family out of a bunch of boys who didn’t know anything about family.”

They were quiet for a moment, and he added, “I wasn’t sure it would work for me.”

Her face scrunched slightly, the wrinkles settling deeper. “I don’t understand what you mean.”

“You got the others when they were much younger. Me? I was already thirteen years old. An angry thirteen-year-old. I could have already been beyond help.”

She continued rocking and did not immediately refute his statement. Finally, she said, “There was already something in you, learned from your parents. You know, we sometimes learn how to act from our parents, but we also learn how we don’t want to act. By the time you came to me, yes, you were angry. Angry at life, and angry at your mom for leaving, and your dad for not controlling his temper. But unlike your dad, you didn’t turn that anger outward on others. You had already learned to control it, and I just simply gave you a good family to focus on.”

They continued rocking for a moment, and then she finally spoke again. “I worry that you’re taking on too much work.”

This time he grinned, those words being what he expected to hear from her. “We all work hard,” he said. “You always worked hard.”

“Yes, but your brothers have found that there’s more to life than work. They found love as well.”

Ruefully shaking his head back and forth, he said, “I’m not opposed to that, Miss Ethel. I figure I’ll know it when it hits me.”

With that, her laughter burst forth, and she said, “It’s true. Sometimes we don’t always know when love comes our way. I just hope you’ll be open to it when the opportunity presents itself.”

“I’m no prince,” he said. “I’m just a hard-working man, and it’ll take a special woman to see that.”

“Your brothers found it. You’ll find it, too.” She smiled then said, “Remember Robert Browning? ‘I was made and meant to look for you and wait for you—”

“And become yours forever,” they finished together, his smile matching hers.

She spoke with such conviction, and considering she always seemed to know things, he could not dismiss her words. They continued to rock in companionable silence for a few more minutes before he finally said, “I’m going to head on out, Miss Ethel. I want to go by the homeless shelter this evening to see if there’s anything special I needed to get for the breakfast service tomorrow.”

He assisted her to stand, then wrapped his arms around her and felt hers wrap around his waist in return. She was not quite as tall as she used to be, her frame slightly thinner. But her hug contained the same fierceness of love and protection as it had many years ago.
Maryann Jordan. Zeke: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 393-423).

If you are reading this series you will recall Asher is very active with the homeless, particularly one shelter. Zeke has made it a habit to prepare breakfast at this shelter before heading into Grimm’s for meal prep there. After dinner and a chat with Miss Ethel, Zeke heads to the shelter to see if he needs to bring in anything for the next day’s breakfast.

Cynthia arrived at the shelter late, and drenched from the rain and nervous. She had never been to a shelter, but it was much safer than the alternatives. When Zeke moves to help her with her bags, he realizes he’s a stranger would be scaring her, but there’s an attraction he can’t refute.

I love the way this story progresses, it’s a slow building romance where trust needs to be built, and leads to some sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Maryann Jordan

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!


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Drew – Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 4 by Maryann Jordan


Lighthouse Security Investigations

The Lighthouse SI Keepers were men and women from the SEALs,
Rangers, Special Forces, Deltas, and AF Special Ops.
All having been trained in CIA Special Ops,
the Keepers were the best of the best
and ready to take on any mission.

Drew
Lighthouse Security Investigations Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Drew…southern boy, former Air Force and CIA Special Ops. Now, he works for Lighthouse Security Investigations as a Keeper. And has his eye on Babs.

Babs Mabrey, also a former CIA Special Ops and the woman who manages the Lighthouse office.

When Babs is injured in the line of duty, the LSI boss sends her on a vacation. Fun in the sun on a Caribbean cruise. But when the cruise from hell is more than she can take, she decides to enjoy the islands on her own. A run in with modern-day pirates puts Babs in danger and on the run.

Drew jumps at the chance to fly to the Caribbean to aid Babs, only to get stranded when a storm hits the island. Finally giving into their mutual attraction, secrets are revealed and love blooms.

But pirates and corrupt police have them running for their lives. Staying one step ahead, they fight back until the other Keepers can come to the rescue.

Note: Language and scenes similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie. For adults only.

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Babs is a slave driver when it comes to reports, but recently she’s helped out on missions, something she said she didn’t want to do. As a result she ended up almost poisoned.

Drew spent a lot of time at the hospital with Babs, the two of them have been flirting from the beginning, but now Drew is stepping up his game. Starting with a visit to her at home after she was discharged.

This is a favorite scene.

“Yo, Flyboy, how’s it hanging?”

Drew, standing at the door to her apartment, dropped his chin to his chest and stared at his boots, a smile spreading across his lips. Her voice was scratchy from the effects of expelling the poison from her system, and just hearing it pissed him off all over again, wishing he had spent a little bit more time making Joseph wish he had never come to the United States. Pushing that down, he looked up at replied, “You ever want to find out, Babs girl, you just let me know.”

She barked out a laugh, and he once again tried to ignore the harsh sound. He stepped into her apartment as she moved back and swung her hand out in silent invitation. She had a water bottle in her hand and took a deep drink, and he assumed she had to keep her throat moist.

“I wanted to come by and check on you earlier, but I figured you’ve been mother-henned by Sylvie, Julie, Marge, and Helena… hell, probably Mace, even though I have a hard time imagining our boss as being a mother hen to anybody.”

“You know it would take more than a little ol’ poison to do me in,” she quipped.

He heard the bravado in her voice but was not sure if he imagined a tremor of nerves running through it as well. Her long hair was pulled back into a braid that fell across her chest. Her complexion was pale, and she had dark circles underneath her eyes. He wanted to reach out and offer her a hug, but hesitated, uncertainty filling him.

As he stepped inside her apartment, he looked around. It was the first time he had been to her house. At first stunned, he quickly realized it was pure Babs. A deep green sofa sat in the living room with its back to the entry foyer, giving her a chance to not only see the TV in the corner but enjoy a fire in the fireplace in the winter and look out the large window that overlooked a small side yard. Two burgundy chairs and mismatched end tables and a coffee table completed the furniture. A built-in bookcase on one side of the fireplace was stuffed with books and knick-knacks.

A small dining room was to the right, a green and yellow tablecloth covering the small table. The only thing matching were the cushions in the dining room chairs. The wooden floors were old and scarred with use, but she had a few rugs on the floor, none matching and the colors vibrant. Wild, crazy, vibrant… just like Babs.

“Thanks for not letting Sylvie call my mom.”

Her words interrupted his perusal of her home, and his gaze snapped back to her. She stood nearby, her gaze on him, but he detected a note of nervousness.

“I told her it was up to you to decide what you do and don’t want to tell them,” he said. One night over drinks, Babs had opened up a little bit about her family. They were not close, and she had no plans to change her life to fit into what they wanted. She did not give him a lot of details, but he was honored she told him that much. Before he had a chance to say more, she surprised him by what she knew.

“Heard you did fifteen rounds with the fucker.”

Startled, he asked, “Who the hell told you that?”

“I make it my business to know everything that goes on with the Keepers,” she said, grinning. After a moment, her smile slid away, and uncertainty moved in as she asked, “What I want to know is why.”

He felt the emotion in the room, heavy like a weight pressing down on them. Shrugging his large shoulders, he replied, “Just felt like a message needed to be conveyed.”

She snorted, and the sound reached inside of him, and he grinned.

“Well, it sounds like a good message to send. I appreciate it,” she said, chuckling deeply.

He loved hearing her laugh but found himself hating the pain he could hear in her voice. He knew she needed to rest, so he moved to the door. “Well, I just wanted to check on you, Babs. But I can tell you need to rest your voice, so I’ll say goodnight.”

Sticking his hand into his pocket, his fingers touched something that he had forgotten about. Pulling out a silver bracelet, he held it out to her and said, “I found something for you. It’s really nothing, but when I saw it, I thought of you.”

Cocking her head to the side, she took the bracelet from his palm, and her eyes grew wide. Hanging on the chain was a single silver charm of an airplane. Her gaze jumped up to his, and her smile lit her face. “Oh, my God, it’s beautiful!”

“I saw it a while back and couldn’t figure out when would be a good time to give it to you. I’m always telling you that flying is the only way to travel, so I thought this would remind you of me.” The heat of blush filled his face, and he turned to place his hand on her doorknob. He hesitated, not sure what else to say. “Um… take it easy, and I’ll see you soon.”

“Hey, Drew,” she said quickly, moving closer. She leaned her head way back to look up into his face.

“Yeah?” he asked, finding his name on her lips to be unfamiliar, so used to the nickname she tossed out.

“Thanks,” she said, her voice softer now, more like a low whisper. “Thanks for coming. For checking on me. For what you did to the asshole.” Holding up the bracelet, she said, “And thanks for this. I’ll treasure it because it will always remind me of you… my Flyboy.”
Maryann Jordan. Drew – ARC copy: Lighthouse Security & Investigations (Kindle Locations 222-262).

I love the banter between these two, the teasing and flirting are so much fun.

After all Babs had been through, Mace and Sylvie decide she needs a great vacation on the company. A cruise was booked and off Babs went, but that turned into the cruise from hell when Babs discovers she gets seasick.

Then there’s Drew who gets antsy with her being gone alone, it was amusing to watch his mind work.

Things get interesting when Babs leaves the cruise and books a resort on the island stop. Drew gets involved and flies down to get her only to find her in a precarious position that has him seething a bit.

So much fun, with action and interesting twists and turns. I couldn’t put this book down as Drew and Babs finally decide to see where these feeling take them.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Maryann Jordan

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!


newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Sweet Rose – Baytown Boys Book 10 by Maryann Jordan


Sweet Rose
Baytown Boys Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Jason Boswell had moved to Baytown at the invitation of his Navy buddy to open a garage and tattoo parlor. He never meant to start off on the wrong foot with the beautiful Rose.

Rose Parker wanted to open an ice-cream parlor in Baytown, but life kept handing her one setback after another. And for Jason? It appeared that he managed to get everything he wanted. She hated to be envious, but frustration had her lashing out.

But their attraction could not be denied.

When Rose finally managed to get the space for her Sweet Rose Ice Cream Shop and upstairs apartment…right across the street from Jason’s shops, she made several discoveries…letters from the a former resident and a skeleton in the cellar.

Thrown into a mystery from years ago, it appears someone in town wants to keep secrets buried.

As Jason and Rose’s love blooms, can he keep her safe while she works to discover the truth?

Note: Language and scenes similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie.

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Rose wanted the building Jason won the bid on, it was perfect for her ice cream shop and had the bonus of an apartment above it. It was also the only one in the area she could afford without struggling to be a success.

Jason, bought the entire building for his Garage and Tattoo Studio. Having the two businesses next door to each other and the apartment above was perfect for him. He had no idea Rose wanted the shop and while he felt bad, he had won the bid. On a practical note fumes from the garage would definitely be a downside to ice cream preparation and enjoyment.

Rose is angry and frustrated when she confronts Jason in the space and that quickly leads to a totally different kind of heat. A night neither of them will forget, that ends with Rose leaving before Jason wakes, with only a note in her wake.

Now three years later, Rose is returning to Baytown with the same goal of opening an ice cream shop. This time she is a bit more prepared thanks to the events that occurred during the previous years. She is a bit nervous about seeing Jason again, after all she did disappear. The perfect property is directly across from Jason’s garage, she’d have to see him sooner or later.

It was Jason who initiated that first meeting after totally misunderstanding a situation.

This is a favorite scene.

Rounding the corner at the intersection where his garage was across the street, he headed directly to Rose’s shop. With the paper covering the windows, he could not see in but could tell there was a light on inside. He knocked on the door then pressed his ear to the glass. He could hear music in the distance and wondered if she was working toward the back of the shop. Knocking loudly, he still received no response.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, he hesitated before walking away, the strong urge to see her overshadowing everything else. He walked to the end of the short block, down a side street, to the back alley. It only took him a moment to come to her door, surprised to find it standing open.

Knocking again, he called out, but with the music louder now, he knew she would not be able to hear him. He stepped through the door, passing an office and small bathroom. The music was coming from the main room, but a slight noise had him turn and peek inside a large storage closet, just as he called out, “Rose!”

Rose had one flip-flop covered foot standing on the top of a small stepladder and the other foot on one of the shelves in the room as she leaned precariously far to the side, a wet rag in her hand. At the sound of his voice, she startled, her foot kicking the ladder over before scrambling to find purchase on the shelving.

Rushing forward, he snagged her body as she started to fall, catching her in mid-squeak as a dirty, wet rag slapped up against the side of his head.

She started to flail about, but he held her easily, saying, “Rose, Rose. It’s me.”

She stilled, and he shifted her body so that she was now facing him, his arms banded about her middle, and her feet dangled off the floor. Her eyes widened, and she gasped. “Jason? Oh, my God, you scared me to death. What are you doing here?”

He knew he should set her feet on the ground, but the feel of her in his arms was so nice, he held on to her for another moment. Of course, the wet rag near his face cut into the pleasure of the moment. Glancing to the side, he said, “Uh, do you mind getting rid of that?”

The rag landed on the floor with a splat, and she gushed, “I’m so sorry.” As if just realizing that her feet were dangling off the floor, she wiggled and added, “You can put me down now. I’ll get a paper towel for you.”

He set her down slowly, and as soon as his arms left her body, she rushed from the closet and into the small bathroom. She returned with a roll of paper towels, ripping off several, and immediately began wiping off the side of his face, hair, and beard.

She stepped back, the wad of paper towels in her hand, and her face scrunched before her eyes landed back on his. “Oh, Jason. I’m not sure I made it any better. I am so sorry.”

He stared at her carefully, noting she was no longer wearing the pink bandanna on her hair, but her blonde locks were still pulled up in a messy bun. She was still wearing the large overalls, a light blue T-shirt underneath. Flip-flops were on her feet, her pink-painted toenails visible. Her hands were dirty. Her feet were dirty. And her face was completely smudged with dirt as well. His assessment from earlier still stood. Completely ridiculous and utterly adorable.

He realized he had not said anything when she was staring up at him with a scrunched nose and questioning gaze. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. Shrugging, he chuckled. “Most days I’m either buried in grease or ink, so a little dirt isn’t going to hurt me.”

His heart lightened as her smile widened, thrilled to discover that she did not appear to be upset at seeing him again.

“So… um… what are you doing here?” she asked.

“I’ve wanted to come by, but… well, I wasn’t sure when would be a good time,” he lied.

“I kept thinking I would see you around town sometime during the last couple of weeks, but except for glances at a distance, I didn’t.”

Jamming his fingers into his front pockets, he shrugged and said, “I’ve been pretty busy, I guess.”

Her hands fiddled with the clutched paper towels as she stared up at him. “I should have come by, but after the last time we were together, I wasn’t sure how you felt about me just popping around to say hello.” He remembered how guileless she was, and his hands slid from his pockets as he reached toward her shoulders, the desire to touch her as well as comfort her overwhelming. “Oh, Rose, you never have to worry about that.” He shook his head and winced slightly, saying, “I admit it was a little hit to my ego when you were gone the next day, but we both agreed it was just for the—”

Her hand flew up, landing over his mouth, halting his words. “No!” she all but shouted, her eyes wide as she shook her head back and forth.

Not daring to speak considering the hand over his mouth still held a damp paper towel, he lifted his brows in surprise.

“Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry!” Her hand jerked back down, and he watched as pink blush infused her cheeks. Sighing heavily, she shook her head and admitted, “Sometimes I think I’m such a disaster.” Her gaze shifted to somewhere behind him, out into the open area, and she stepped back. Sucking in a deep breath, she lifted her gaze back to his and said, “Would you like to see my store?”

Chagrined that he had brought up the night they spent together, he understood her desire to change the subject. For a few seconds, he wondered if her offer to show him around was sincere, but as he gazed down at her, he saw a spark of excitement in her eyes again and wanted to keep that expression on her face. “Absolutely,” he confirmed. “I’d love to see what you’re going to do here.”
Maryann Jordan. Sweet Rose – ARC copy: Baytown Boys (Kindle Locations 783-826).

While the chemistry is definitely there, they don’t jump in quite as fast. Well they do but there is a lot more conversation first.

A startling discovery almost messes up Rose’s plans, but since it only involves the cellar and an event from years ago, she’s allowed to continue with the renovations and opening plans.

I love the way these two begin the romance that will be more than a one-night thing. The interactions with her mother bring sniffles and all the Baytown Boys and their wives and girlfriends lend helping hands.

Plenty of suspense, many surprises, a lot of love and some sizzling heat. I laughed, sniffled, held my breath and sighed as this book unfolds.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

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Maryann Jordan

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!


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Asher – Heroes at Heart Book 6 by Maryann Jordan



Asher
Heroes at Heart Book 6
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Maryann Jordan

1cf2a-addtogoodreads

Two outcasts shared a friendship in childhood, but for Asher Swain, his memories were tortured by an accident that claimed his only friend.

Years later, he met a woman reading as she sat by a pond in a park. The two strangers began a friendship over a love of literature that developed into love for each other.

But, when Asher realized they shared a past as well as their present, he kept his secret, afraid for Penelope to find out who he really was.

When the truth is revealed, will they be ripped apart or will their love make them stronger?

Loosely based on the fairy tale, The Ugly Duckling.

Language and sexual situations similar to what you would find in an R-rated movie.

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This book truly tugged at my heartstrings and I love how this series interprets a fairy tale in each book. This one begins as two children find acceptance and friendship in each other, and are separated by circumstances that were out of their control.

Asher has built himself a small real estate empire. He buys older homes renovates and updates then rents them out. He also has one small apartment building not too much for one man to handle. One of the biggest things he’s done is bought a building, renovated it and gifted it to be a homeless shelter, he remembers staying in one before his mother moved in with Tim, the man who caused he so much pain.

Penelope is a bookkeeper for a small real estate firm, she’s looking forward to the retirement of the current office manager, sure she will get the promotion and the raise. One of Penny’s favorite things to do is read in the park by the pond before heading home from work. She has a different sort of story, all related to a childhood accident and the attitudes of others.

It’s while Asher is on a run in that park, he first meets up with Penelope. An avid reader, he is attracted not only to the woman, but the fact she is reading a hard copy book, one of the classics.

This is a favorite scene.

As he rounded the edge of the pond, his step faltered as a small pebble in his shoe caused him to wince. Wondering if he could keep going, his gaze snagged on a bench with a lone woman sitting on one side. Taking advantage of the space, he ran past her and sat at the far end.

Untying his left shoe, he pulled it off and shook out the pebble. He rubbed the bottom of his foot, grunting slightly as his thumb dug into the bruise.

“That must have been painful,” came a soft voice from the other end of the bench.

Leaning against the back of the bench, he twisted his head and observed her looking at him, a shy smile on her face before her gaze dropped back to the book in her lap. Her dark hair hung in a sleek sheet to just below her shoulders, and as she leaned forward, it created an effective curtain to hide her face. Before she had looked back down at her book, he had spied dark eyes. It was a warm day, but she was dressed in jeans with a light sweater. Her build was slight, her delicate hand resting on the open pages of the book. She kept her head down, and he found a strange longing to have her speak to him again.

“It was,” he agreed, wondering what he was doing. Striking up a conversation with a complete stranger was something he usually avoided. “I can keep running through a muscle spasm or a cramp, but a rock in my shoe is impossible to ignore.”

She twisted her head back around to look at him, giving him a better view. Her face had a healthy glow, kissed by the sun as though perhaps she often came to the park. It did not appear that she wore makeup, other than a pink lip gloss. Her eyes were dark brown, and he found it unusual that he would even notice. Her hair was not wavy but appeared like strands of silk hanging about her shoulders. She reached up and tucked the strands behind her ear, saying, “I’m sure it is.”

It took him a few seconds to think about her reply, forgetting what he had said to her. Feeling foolish, he gave a quick nod and looked back down to his shoe. Sliding his foot in, he bent over, tying the laces.

“You must run often,” she said.

“It’s more comfortable to run in shoes that are broken in,” he replied, staring down at his worn, scruffy, favorite pair of running shoes. The thought crossed his mind that she might have been making fun of them, but when he twisted his head to look at her again, her face still held a gentle smile.

“I’m afraid I wouldn’t know anything about running shoes,” she said. “I just meant that you look like… well,” she laughed softly before continuing, “you look like a runner.”

“Oh,” he said, sitting up and looking back at her. A blush crept over his cheeks, and he felt his ears burning. Old habits die hard, but he was embarrassed that he had assumed she was making fun of his shoes. Hoping the shade of the tree nearby hid what he was sure were pink-tinged ears, he struggled to think of something to say. He mumbled, “Yeah. I like to run.” At that moment he wished he had Rafe’s or Jaxon’s easy conversational skills.

Grasping for something to say, his gaze dropped to the book in her lap. “I guess you like to read,” he said then blushed deeper. You like to read? That’s the best I can come up with?

He placed his hands on the bench beside his thighs, ready to jump up and continue his run, when she said, “Yes. I love to read. I especially like to read paperback or hardback books, even though I have an e-reader.”

“Me, too,” he admitted, relaxing his hands so that he could lean back against the bench again. “I’ll sometimes read on my phone if I’m waiting somewhere, but when I’m at home, I prefer the feel of the book in my hands.” Her smile widened, and he relaxed slightly. Dipping his chin toward her book, he asked, “What are you reading?”

Now it was her turn to blush, and he found the becoming pink on her cheeks matched the pink lip gloss she was wearing. Ducking her head, she closed the book and turned the cover so that he would be able to see what was in her hands. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. “I’ve read it so many times,” she confessed, “but each time I find a new passage that seems to speak to me.”

Without thinking, he blurted, “’ When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.’”

She laughed out loud, her eyes seeming to sparkle with the reflection of the sun off the pond. “I can’t believe you know that! I think my only response can be, ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!’”

A chuckle rumbled from deep inside, and he smiled in return. “I suppose I should be embarrassed that I can quote from Pride and Prejudice.”

She shook her head emphatically and said, “Absolutely not. There is nothing embarrassing about reading a book, especially not a classic. I think there’s so much that we can learn from the words of others.” Cocking her head to the side, she added, “But while it’s not embarrassing, it is uncommon to find a man who can quote any book.”
Maryann Jordan. Asher – ARC copy – Not for sale or distribution: Heroes at Heart (Kindle Locations 592-630).

This little conversation about Pride and Prejudice has all the elements for a great friendship, only thing is he forgets to introduce himself and get her name.

There’s a lot of healing for both Penny and Asher in this book, but it doesn’t come easy especially when he realizes she is his Penny from all those years ago.

I love seeing all the guys and Miss Ethel is a gem. The family they’ve formed definitely has room to add in the women these men have found.

I laughed and cried, and I may have growled a time or two as well. Once again this series has provided me with an uplifting story to read with just the right amount of heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Maryann Jordan

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!


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