The Baytown Boys
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.
Zac Hamilton, one of the original Baytown Boys, had returned from the Navy to become the Fire Chief for the small town. But, the Eastern Shore was gripped in fear as an arsonist continued to set fires all over the county just after sunset.
Madelyn Stover returned reluctantly to Baytown to bury her estranged father, but finding journals he had written left her wondering what secrets her parent’s marriage had held.
A fire on her property led Zac to the beautiful newcomer and as they grew closer, discovered they had more in common than either realized. When the arsonist strikes too close to home again, can Zac keep his promise to keep her safe?
**The language and sexual scenes in the book are similar to what you would see in an R rated movie, therefore the book is for 18+ readers.**
I’ve really come to love Baytown, it’s small town togetherness and shore atmosphere has me running to read more.
In this one get to know Zac, an original ‘Baytown Boy’. He’s now the fire chief and as such has more than one responsibility to the town. He also supervises and trains both rescue workers and the volunteer firefighters.
Madelyn never thought she would return to Baytown. Her mother had taken away as a young teen and divorced her father. Only one disappointing meeting between father and daughter had occurred over the years. Now her father has died and named here his heir.
A chance meeting with Jillian and the girls leads to Maddie having support and help where she expected none. The American Legion and the auxiliary step up and help provide a beautiful service for the father she hardly knows. It’s then she meets Zac, after he gives a poignant eulogy.
This is a favorite scene, when Zac stops by while the arrogant David Wills is evaluating her father’s antiques.
Another knock at the door sounded and, expecting David’s assistant, she yelled for him to come in as she crawled over several items. Tripping over a low stool, she landed in a heap just as the door opened. Palms stinging, she looked up in embarrassment, seeing Zac standing in the doorway.
“Uh, hi…” she stammered, blushing as he bent forward to assist her to her feet. Even standing, she still had to lean her head way back to look into his face. When she had been near him at the funeral she was wearing heels but now, in her flat shoes, she realized how tall he was.
“Are you all right?” he asked, his hands still on her waist. “I came by to see if you would like to get lunch, but I didn’t expect to have to use my EMT skills.”
“Nothing hurt but my pride,” she quipped, attempting to cover her embarrassment. The warmth of his fingers on her waist traveled through her body making her very aware of the effect he had on her libido. His dark hair looked as though he had just swept his hand though it and her fingers twitched at her side, itching to see if it was as soft as it appeared.
Hearing a noise, his gaze shot behind her, his eyebrows lifting. “Did I stop by at a bad time?”
“No,” she rushed, stepping back. “David… Mr. Wills is here… helping me with—”
“Fuckin’ hell,” Zac said under his breath as he stepped inside and viewed the mess that he assumed was a living room. “What the hell happened in here?”
She opened her mouth to explain, but David popped his head around the corner, surprise on his face. His eyes dropped to Zac’s hands still on her waist. “Oh,” he said, “I didn’t realize you had company. I thought we could go out to lunch and then I could take you to my office so we can start the appraisal process.”
Deciding to keep his hands where they were, Zac noticed she stepped slightly closer to him. Inwardly fist-pumping, he smiled pleasantly at David.
“I don’t think so, David, but thank you so much for what you’ve done today. I’ll see you tomorrow and we can continue the downstairs. If you can, bring your computer tomorrow. That would probably save time, be more efficient.”
David’s eyes narrowed slightly at the dismissal, but his lips curled into a smile. “Of course. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow.” With a curt nod toward Zac, he walked outside.
Zac shut the door behind David and swung his gaze back to hers. “I get the feeling he wasn’t too happy with my arrival.”
Blushing, she leaned forward and whispered, “I think I messed up his plans when I said I didn’t want to rush the process.”
He wondered about her change of heart, but then his gaze drifted over the furniture and the sheer volume of her father’s collection would take some serious time.
Madelyn observed him staring at the mess and felt her blush deepening. “I… uh…” Sighing, she said, “I can’t think of any way to explain this, other than to just say, welcome to my father’s world.”
Uncertain what to say, Zac nodded, his gaze moving away from the conglomeration of furniture to her face. “Hey, don’t be embarrassed. I was just startled at the size of the antique collection your dad had. At least he collected something worthwhile. My old man just collected debts.”
Madelyn opened her mouth, then closed it quickly. His words were so brutally honest and yet, said with a hint of humor.
He grinned, disarming her, and added, “Sorry if that was a bit too much. My dad’s faults were well known in town, so I forget that not everyone knew him.” Observing her gaze avoiding his, Zac said, “So, what’s going on here?”
“My dad collected antiques and it seems that he filled the house.” She sighed, adding, “I’m afraid the whole house looks like this. I had no idea, of course, until I got here the other day.”
His gaze narrowed as he stepped further into the room. Madelyn watched as his eyes not only travelled over the furniture, but swept the ceiling as well. He walked through the room, calling over his shoulder, “The kitchen this way?”
“Uh… yeah… uh…” she said, hastening after him. Rounding the corner, she saw him looking up at the ceiling.
He grabbed a kitchen chair and stood, quickly removing the cover of the fire alarm. Her eyes were drawn to the skin now showing where his t-shirt rode up. Good Lord. His abs were tight and, from what she could see, well delineated. His tan skin was smooth with just a hint of hair leading to the top of his low-slung jeans. It took a few seconds of ogling before she lifted her eyes and saw his blazing at her in anger.
“There’re no batteries in this,” he growled. “Your dad had a house full of wooden furniture, like kindling ready to burn, and no fuckin’ fire alarm?”
Snapped out of her lust, Madelyn opened her mouth a couple of times, shutting it when nothing came out. “I… I guess so.”
“Are you staying here?”
Nodding, she said, “Yeah. I figured I might as well stay here so that I can work on the house easier. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than a week or more staying at a hotel.” She looked around at the mess in the kitchen and her shoulder sagged. “I have no idea how Dad lived like this but, then, I have no idea how he lived at all.”
Zac heard the defeat in her voice and dropped his chin to his chest. Heaving a sigh, he looked up, his heart aching for the sadness in her voice. He knew a lot about regret and wondered if she felt the same.
“Look,” he said, “I’m sorry. Really. It’s just in my nature to look at things through a safety perspective. I’m sure David walked in and viewed a paradise of antiques which must have made you feel good, and then I come in and start barkin’ and make you feel like crap.” He easily hopped down from the chair and set it to the side, next to a pile of other chairs stacked on top of each other. He stepped over, placing his hands on her shoulders, her body feeling so much more fragile than he imagined it would. Now that he had seen the inside of Lenny’s house, he realized what a massive undertaking she was forced to deal with.
“Hey, why don’t I get you out of the house, take you to lunch, and we can pick up some batteries on the way back.”
Madelyn stared for a moment, indecision filling her mind, before she nodded slowly and her lips curved slightly. “Okay… yeah, that’d be good.”
Laughing, he threw his hand over his heart, claiming, “You’re killing my ego, Maddie. I was afraid I was going to get shot down like David.”
Narrowing her eyes, she poked him in the chest. “Somehow, I think, Zac, that your ego doesn’t often get bruised. You strike me as the type who doesn’t exactly have problems getting lunch dates… or any other kind of dates.” As soon as the words passed her lips, she inwardly grimaced. He probably thinks I’ve been thinking of him… and dates. She hated the blush she felt climbing up her face and was grateful he appeared not to notice.
“Nah, I work too much to have many dates,” he admitted. Sticking his elbow out, he said, “Come on, let’s get out of the fire trap and have some good pub food.”
“Finn’s? I haven’t been there,” she smiled. “Well, not since I was a little girl.”
“Then you’re in for a treat,” he promised.
Maryann Jordan. Sunset Flames: Baytown Boys Series – ARC copy not for sale (Kindle Locations 849-906).
I really loved the build of this relationship, from friends to friends with benefits then an official couple. This book is also much more that just the extremely hot relationship. There is plenty of tension and suspense with a hunt for an arsonist and lots of soul searching for both Zac and Maddie.
I laughed and cried enjoying every interaction, every get together with the other Baytown regulars, and I truly did not figure out the arsonist.
I can’t wait for the next book in this series, I think it will be the new addition to Baytown who shows up at the end.
5 Contented Purrs for Maryann!
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I have always been an avid reader. My early memories were of my mother taking me to the library and allowing me to check out as many books as I could carry. My favorite books were checked out numerous times and read over and over. I would use my Barbie dolls to play out the scenes in books (such as Nancy Drew!).
I have written as a hobby for many years (probably since childhood). I have written devotionals, autobiographical writings about having a severely handicapped, medically fragile child, about my mother’s Alzheimer’s, and other subjects that interest me.
I joke that I “cut my romance teeth” on the old historical romance books. In 2013, I started a blog to showcase wonderful writers. In 2014, I finally gave in to the characters in my head pleading for their story to be told. Thus, Emma’s Home was created.
I worked as a counselor in a high school and was involved in education for the past 30 years, until retiring in 2015. I have been married to a wonderfully patient man for 35 years and have 2 adult, very supportive daughters. When writing, my dog or one of my cats will usually be found in my lap!
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