Authors: Roni Adams
Tags: #military, #Contemporary
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
A Hero For Tonight
COPYRIGHT © 2013 by Roni Adams
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Contact Information: [email protected]
Cover Art by
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
PO Box 708
Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708
Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com
First Champagne Rose Edition, 2013
Digital ISBN 978-1-61217-844-8
Published in the United States of America
Praise for The Double B series by Roni Adams
THE COWBOY DUET
“I love the chemistry between Susan and Teddy. Never a dull moment either. You keep everything moving and keep your readers captivated and wanting more. I love the soft side of Teddy that you brought out in the book. Not at all what I had expected from him. I wish I was a Sampson girl living on the Ranch along with the Westons.”
~a happy fan
TO TAME A COWGIRL
“If you have never read Roni Adams, be prepared to be knee deep in steam. Buck and Sara are dynamite together. The second son of the family, Buck is an extremely strong personality in this book. He goes about things with an easy confidence and albeit the fact that he quakes in his boots when it comes to his feelings for Sara, he is absolutely the kind of guy any woman would want to roll over and meet in the morning.”
~CK2sKwipsandKritiques.com (5 Shamrocks)
UNDER A RODEO MOON
“The dialogue in this book is excellent and the chemistry between the leads is off the charts. This is the first book that I read of Roni Adams and I have to admit that I greatly enjoyed her writing style. UNDER A RODEO MOON had some heartwarming moments, and a whole lot of sexy moments mixed in that makes you forget what a jerk Dusty could be at times.”
~Four Stars from www.romancereviews.com
To my son, Brennan:
As a Marine you are the Country’s hero.
To your girlfriend you are the knight on the white horse.
To your brothers and your buddies you are the one who will always have their back.
But to me you are and always will be my little boy with the big blue eyes and the devilish grin; the one I could count on to be into some mischief as soon as my back was turned.
I’m so incredibly proud of all you’ve accomplished already.
Your courage, determination, and guts will continue to get you all you ever wanted.
I promise your dreams will come true if you never give up.
As I wrote this book the world lost two great men; heroes maybe to no one but their family and friends, but heroes none the less. God bless you Mark and Rick. You are missed dearly.
To military families everywhere:
No one knows the sacrifice you make every single day, but especially during a deployment, unless they’ve walked in your shoes.
God bless each and every one of you.
Thank you for your family’s service to our Country. I know how hard it is.
Shane Donovan grimaced as he slammed the door to his patrol car a bit harder than he meant to. Closing the space between the driveway and the front porch, he took the steps two at a time without breaking stride. A firm yank pulled open the old screen door with its familiar squeak. The warm, spicy aroma of apples assailed his senses as he stepped into the front hall.
With a swipe of his head, he removed his deputy sheriff’s hat and headed for the back of his parents’ house. “Ma?”
“In the kitchen,” his mother’s voice called out as he reached the doorway. She turned her head to smile at him, but didn’t stop stirring the enormous kettle on the burner. “What a nice surprise. What are you doing here in the middle of the day? Did you have lunch? Are you hungry?”
With her brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, feet bare and slender frame encased in jeans and a T-shirt, she looked years younger than forty-five.
Shane stepped into the room. “I already ate.”
His gaze flicked past her to the woman seated at the kitchen table. Krista Saunders had one leg bent with her bare foot flat on the chair next to her hip. Although her eyebrow lifted in a sardonic expression, she said nothing.
He flicked his gaze over her as she chomped down hard on an apple before turning his attention back to the woman at the stove.
“What are you making?” His shoulders ached with tension, but he forced himself to control his anger with his mother before blasting her with the lecture he came to deliver.
She tipped her head. “Really, Shane? It’s the end of September; you know what I’m making.”
His gaze bounced off the half-empty bushel of apples on the floor to the pile on the table, and then to Krista just as she took another huge bite. The meat was pure white, telling him right away it was a Macintosh, most likely only hours from the tree.
Though the tart apples were his favorite, he didn’t reach for one.
“This is the third batch of applesauce. We did apple pie filling all morning.” His mother turned the burner on the stove down and set her wooden spoon on an apple-shaped dish on the counter. Wiping her hands on a similar print towel, she turned toward him. “Sit down. I’ll get you some coffee and apple cake. It just came out of the oven, and I want you to try it.” She reached for a mug and filled it before he could respond.
Shane set his jaw in determination as she fussed. “Ma, I saw you yesterday.”
His mother’s only reaction was a slight pause as she set the mug down to reach into the cupboard for a plate. When she moved back to the table, her steady smile was back in place.
She glanced to him as she shoved some apples aside to set his plate on the table; a slight glimmer of concern lit her eyes. “Saw me? What do you mean? Of course you saw me; it’s a small town, honey.”
He stood where he was without moving toward the tempting coffee. “You
what I mean. I saw you. Having lunch. I can’t believe you would do that.”
“I’m not allowed to have lunch out?” She furrowed her brow and turned back to the counter.
“It wasn’t the lunch that was the problem. It was who you were with, and you know it. How long has that been going on?”
“Going on?” She laughed. “You make it sound like I’m up to something illicit.”
At the table, Krista smirked and Shane shot her a glare. The last person he wanted in on this conversation was her, but trying to get his mother alone was usually impossible. Krista always seemed to be at his parents’ place.
He turned back to his mother, watching her plate a piece of cake. “Weren’t you? Why go to the far end of town? Why not eat at the diner like always?”
“I went to the barbecue place because I’d heard they had this amazing apple pie, and I wanted to try it. You are making this into something so much more than it is.”
“Don’t try to twist this around as if it was no big deal. Damn it, Ma! I’ve asked you before to stay away from—”
The back door opened and his father walked in. He glanced from his wife to Krista and back to him. “Uh-oh. What’s going on here?”
Shane started to speak, but Krista piped in first.
“Shane’s upset over Mary’s lunch yesterday.”
His father moved to the sink. “I told you he’d be mad.”
knows?” Shane’s jaw dropped open. “And you’re okay with this? You don’t see why this would be a problem?”
After washing and drying his hands, his father reached for the coffee. “Your mother does whatever she wants and you know it. I don’t have any control over her actions. I warned her it wasn’t going to sit well with you.”
The woman in question smiled at her husband and lifted her chin as if she’d scored a victory, which she had; his father would never go against his mother.
Shane rubbed his hand across his forehead. “Damn straight I have an issue with it!”
Her ponytail bobbed as his mother shook her head. “It really has nothing to do with you. Now, have your coffee and calm down.”
The lure of the warm cake and coffee reluctantly drew him to the table, and he pulled out a chair. Krista gave him a mocking look, but he didn’t react as he sipped the strong brew. No one knew how to make a good cup of coffee like his mother.
Krista continued to stare.
He set his cup down. “Don’t you have anything to do? Like maybe get a job or something?”
have something to do? Like protect the town?” she retorted, and tossed her apple core to the open garbage can without missing. “My taxpayer dollars pay your salary, and here you are having cake and coffee at two in the afternoon.”
His father laughed. “She’s got you there, Shane.”
“Maybe if she actually
and paid tax dollars, but she—”
His mother tsked and set a plate of cake in front of her husband. “You two both leave Shane alone. He’s very busy and works long hours. I’m glad he found some time to come visit, even if it was simply to yell at me.”
He quirked his lips and a sigh escaped. “I’m not yelling at you, Ma. But I’m telling you I don’t like it. It’s embarrassing.”
His father laughed. “You’re embarrassed because you don’t like to think of all of them sitting around talking about you.”
Krista laughed and high-fived with his father like two conspirators.
Shane narrowed his eyes. “Damn straight. It’s weird, that’s what it is.” Shock couldn’t begin to describe what he’d felt when he spied his mother having lunch with not one, but
of his ex-girlfriends, all giggling like a bunch of teenage girls.
A heavy sigh sounded from his mother. “Honey, I told you before, just because you end a relationship with a girl doesn’t mean mine ends with her.”
Unable to resist the tempting aroma in front of him, he tucked into the cake. “You having lunch with them isn’t right,” he muttered.
As the warm cinnamon cake filled his mouth, his temper began to fade away. Sure, every woman he ever dated had bonded with his mother in some way or another. She’d loved them and they had loved her. Still, he had no idea they’d formed this little lunch club.
“It’s not like we go to lunch every day. It’s only once in a while.”
Once in a while? How often was that?
Krista stood, and Shane watched her cross to stand at the stove. She wore an old black T-shirt that clung to her frame and rose to reveal an expanse of her smooth back as she dropped more apples into the hot mixture. Her legs were long and golden brown from a quickly fading summer, and he noted a small jagged scar on the back of her knee. A long ago bad accident involving his bike and hers. Unfortunately, just as his gaze rose, settling on her shapely rear end in the cut-off denim shorts, she turned back around, and he was caught staring at her butt.
He met her gaze without flinching, even as embarrassed heat crept up the back of his neck. If his parents hadn’t been in the room, he knew she would have blasted him with language that could make most men wince. Instead, she discreetly shot him the middle finger salute.
He puckered his lips and blew her a kiss.
Below a dark, narrowed gaze, one hand slid to her rear end. “Right here, Donovan,” she quipped.