Series: Green Valley Library #6, Green Valley Chronicles #26
Published by Smartypants Romance on May 12, 2020
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Love in Deed, an all-new standalone contemporary romance from L.B. Dunbar, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!
Sometimes it takes an outsider to force us to see who we are. The real struggle is accepting what we learn.
For Beverly Townsen, nothing could be closer to the truth. Virtually a shut-in, Beverly has pulled back from Green Valley’s community, preferring the isolation of her farmhouse and her daily routine of viewing home improvement television shows. When the opportunity arises for her own home improvement and a personal re-assessment, she’s not so excited about the reality of real life versus DIY programs.
Jedd Flemming understands physical pain and personal loss, but it’s never stopped him from bucking forward in life. A former military man and rodeo star, his life as a nomad comes to an end with false accusations and a family matter back in the Valley. It’s been a long journey to find his way home and once there, there’s nothing he wants more than to reclaim what he’s lost…and maybe the elusive female reclusive who holds a sliver of his past.
With an unprecedented proposition, Beverly finds a stranger living in her barn, raising horses on borrowed pastures, and plowing his way into her vacant heart. Old hurts linger, but sometimes love in deed is louder than words.
Love in Deed is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #6 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
This was another second chance romance/mature character story as with the first by this author in the series, Love in Due Time. It was the sister of the main character in that book, Naomi Winters. And like other books in the SmartyPants universe, Green Valley Chronicles we were lucky enough to get time with those other characters as well. I liked that this book’s timeline overlapped a bit with that one, so that we got to see some outside views of Naomi’s romance as well.
Beverly had it even rougher than Naomi did. While she’d been probably more of an outgoing younger woman, and tough in her own way at one time, she’d become bitter over an accident that she had when trying to confront her cheating ex-husband. And now she’s left having to use crutches, or a wheelchair even at times, in order to move around. Her daughter Hannah basically gives up her own life to come home and help her mother out, in a way continuing the vicious cycle that began when Beverly got pregnant and had her whole life thrown down a different road than maybe she’d planned.
We also got some time with Scotia Simmons, who I’m excited to see will be getting her own book soon, (even if my paperback copy said to turn the page for a preview and there wasn’t one!) Scotia being the other sibling in Naomi and Beverly’s family. I’m also hoping for a book for Beverly’s daughter Hannah and maybe a sexy sounding man named Grizzly.
The romance was sweet, slow burn with definitely instant physical attraction. But there was the whole thing that I wish Jedd hadn’t held out on his secret for so long, that he’d told her sooner to save Beverly from feeling used once again. And I felt so much for his brother Boone, and loved how Beverly handled that situation. I was also left wanting so badly to try some of this soap that she was making and selling!
My only disappointment, is the same one I had for the other book this time around in the Green Valley Public Library series, and the others in the Donner Bakery series, this had nothing to do with the library. In fact, only one scene, maybe, in the entire book? I get it. We’re getting family and connected stories, I just miss the library.
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“Momma,” she whispers, and I turn at the soft question in her voice. Her eyes scan my face. Does she fear she’ll look like me one day? Those bright eyes will dim, and lines will form in the corners. Will they be rivers formed from tears, or will she eventually find laughter? Does she wonder if her lips will match mine, permanently curled downward? Can my girl still smile? Will her hair go gray too young as mine did? Will the stress of her life turn her into someone lonely and lost?
I blink back the tears fighting for release. I won’t cry. Nothing left to cry over. It’s all gone.
“Do you fancy him?” my daughter asks, and I choke on the question.
“What…? I…of course not. Don’t be silly. I’m sure he’d be more interested in the likes of you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Hannah asks, brows rising in surprise.
“I’m sure I don’t need to explain the birds and the bees to you. Men like him only want young things and only want one thing from those young things. I don’t think he should stay here,” I sneer, recognizing the pulse at my neck and the thump of my heart. My daughter is a pretty girl, and this older man could be attracted to her for all the wrong reasons. Young girls go for older men to solve their daddy issues.
“He’s sleeping in the barn,” Hannah counters, her voice deepening in displeasure. Ticking off points on her fingers, she continues, “We don’t need to feed him. He’ll rebuild at his expense or hire what he can’t do himself. The back field will be plowed and prepped for spring planting.”
I snort in response, but my eyes return to Jedd’s movement. Into the barn. Out in the yard. My observation traces down his perspiring spine to the waist of his pants where his shirt has untucked. My fingers curl on the armrest of the rocker as my eyes outline the fine globes accentuated by those smooth pants. My mouth goes dry.
What is it about this man? Why am I suddenly lusting after him?
I can’t. That’s the bottom line. I can’t anything him. Under fifteen percent and tight pants and a perfect backside is still a man with empty words.
My eyes fall blindly on the reality television program. The only man a girl can count on is the fictional kind. I force my attention away from the barn, but my eyes seem to have a will of their own.
“We can’t have a stranger living in our barn,” I huff. Jedd stops, turning in his tracks with a pile of lumber on his shoulder as if he heard me, which is impossible on two counts: the panes of glass and his lack of hearing. Still, he stills, and his eyes narrow on the house as if he knows I’m watching him, I’m talking about him, and I don’t agree with this arrangement.
“Too late. He’s moving in.” Hannah definitively nods, dismissing my opinion as Jedd swings back around. She leans down to kiss my cheek and then exits my room, but I remain transfixed.
Suddenly, reality is more fascinating than television.
My eyes continue the cat and mouse game of watching Jedd disappear and then reappear. I don’t know how much time transpires, but eventually, the bed of his truck is empty. Still, I hold my breath as if the barn is a giant octopus, swallowing him whole. I fear he might disappear forever like Howard did, which is the silliest thought I’ve had in a decade. I don’t need Jedd. We don’t need Jedd. There will be no attachment to him.
But then, Jedd appears at the open barn door and gives a single wave toward the house, and I smile in spite of myself.
About the Author:
L.B. Dunbar has an overactive imagination. To her benefit, such creativity has led to over thirty romance novels, including those offering a second chance at love over 40. Her signature works include the #sexysilverfoxes collection of mature males and feisty vixens ready for romance in their prime years. She’s also written stories of small-town romance (Heart Collection), rockstar mayhem (The Legendary Rock Stars Series), and a twist on intrigue and redemption (Redemption Island Duet). She’s had several alter egos including elda lore, a writer of romantic magical realism through mythological retellings (Modern Descendants). In another life, she wanted to be an anthropologist and journalist. Instead, she was a middle school language arts teacher. The greatest story in her life is with the one and only, and their four grown children. Learn more about L.B. Dunbar by joining her reader group on Facebook (Loving L.B.) or subscribing to her newsletter (Love Notes).
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