“I thought I’d go out front and see if Vern needed any help,” Cory said.
“He’s all done,” Cook said and handed Garth a dog biscuit from a jar on the counter. “He had a young man out front helping him when I peeked out the window.”
“A young man? You mean Jasper?”
“No, I’ve never seen this one around here before.” Cook went back to her pot. “Handsome, though,” she added. “They headed for the barn.”
“I better go see who it is,” Cory said, already striding for the back door.
She called out as soon as she reached the barn, and Vern hollered from his small office at the back. Cory threaded her way through all the equipment in the back half of the barn and stopped dead in the doorway of the shop that doubled as Vern’s small office.
Cook’s stranger stood up when she appeared in the doorway and literally took Cory’s breath away.
Shaggy hair and dark brown curls perfectly teamed with a matching beard was her first thought. Her second thought was broad — really broad — shoulders beneath his black flannel shirt, and hips so narrow his black jeans sagged a bit on his frame. His sleeves were rolled up, and those forearms and biceps belonged to a working man.
Good grief! Stop staring Cory!
She jerked her gaze to his face, and blue eyes stared back. Blue eyes that caught her gaze like a predator traps prey. Blue eyes that twinkled with just enough devilment to cause a wicked flutter in her belly. Blue eyes that looked startlingly familiar.
Maybe she just wanted them to look familiar, so she could already know this handsome man.
“Mac here is our new help.”
She heard Vern’s voice and fought to break free of that predatory stare. No time for one last once-over.
“Wh-what?” She forced her eyes to Vern who grinned at her.
What had she missed?
“I said… Mac here is our new help,” Vern repeated slowly enough she felt her cheeks flush at having been caught not paying attention.
“New help?” She blurted.
She couldn’t afford the help she had let alone new help.
“I need him,” Vern said flatly.
“You need–” She cleared her throat. “Vern can I talk to you in private. Please?”
She backed out of the office and headed for the horse stalls. Not hearing Vern behind her, she turned. He’d stopped just outside the office door and didn’t look as though he intended to move any farther, so she stomped back.
“We can’t afford him,” she hissed.
“He’ll work for next to nothing as long as we let him stay,” Vern said in a normal and much-too-loud voice.
So much for discussing the stranger privately.
“Why is that? No one works for nothing,” she argued.
She still kept her voice down. The stranger may figure out what they were saying, but she didn’t have to make it easy for him.
Vern shrugged. “Says he likes it here. Wants to stay a while.”
About the Book
Author: Petie McCarty
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Military
Navy SEAL Sean MacKay’s teammate is murdered after stealing a deadly nerve-gas formula from Syrian terrorists. Naval Intelligence believes MacKay’s teammate was a traitor and shipped the stolen formula to his sister in the states for safekeeping. MacKay is given orders to find the sister before the terrorists do and to retrieve the stolen formula at all costs.
Foreclosure looms for Cory Rigatero as she fights to keep her rustic resort near Mt. St. Helens afloat after her brother deserted her to join the SEAL Teams. Cory’s whole world dives into a tailspin when Sean MacKay shows up at her resort with the news of her brother’s death and the wild suspicion her brother may have sent her traitorous classified documents. No way will Cory trust MacKay — the man who once seduced her and then vanished into the night without a trace.
Petie spent a large part of her career working as a biologist at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job in order to write her stories full-time.
Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.
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Web Site: http://www.petiemccarty.com
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