About Home to Stay: Matt Brewer returns home from his latest covert assignment determined to fix his personal life and bond with the autistic son he barely knows. But his ex-wife’s wary response to his untimely visit proves this mission might be one he can’t win. A decade of starts and stops has left Jessie Brewer hanging on by a frazzled, single-parent thread, and when Matt arrives during a critical point in their son’s homeschooling and horse therapy progress, she worries their success will be dismantled by Matt’s traditional, stubborn ways. Could their mutual love for a gifted son lead them to a new beginning? Get your copy today!
“You ready?” he said.
She’d been about to step into the muck when her glance shot back to him. “What? Twice? Matt. No! You don’t need to—”
He bent and scooped her into his arms anyway, and she let out a sharp inhale.
“Matt! I said—”
“Shhh,” he said, frowning and trying not to react to how light and frail she felt in his arms. “I’m trying to do something chivalrous here. It would be nice if you’d let me.”
He slipped slightly on slick mud and she curled her arms tighter around his neck. “Chivalrous?” Her breath fell warm and light on his neck. “You shushed me. That’s hardly chivalrous.”
He chuckled, still navigating the muck. “I’m trying to focus on not taking a nose dive with you in my arms—as much as I’d like to see you covered in mud just once.”
“I believe that,” she muttered, a hint of amusement in her voice. “Still, I can’t believe you shushed me. Who does that?”
“I do,” he said softly. “At least with you. Just this once.” She shifted in his arms, relaxing against him as her hand loosened on his coat to brush softly against his neck, causing a flood of sensations down his spine. When he reached the end of the mud, he waited before putting her down, wanting to hold her longer, to make sure this chemistry pulsing between them wasn’t just a natural gravitation to body heat. “You’ve probably noticed, but your stubbornness doesn’t always bring out my best side.”
“I noticed.” Her fingers brushed against his neck once more before she realized they’d reached their destination. Pink rose in her cheeks and she glanced away. “You can put me down now.” He lowered her to the ground and she grabbed his coat briefly to steady herself. “Besides,” she added, still clinging to his forearm as she brushed off her black work slacks, “you don’t have a best side, remember?” She smoothed down her coat again before straightening. “And what do you mean by my stubbornness, anyway? You’re no walk in the park, Matt Brewer.”
A persistent smile tugged at his mouth as he tamped down the urge to kiss her again. “Admit it. You don’t let anyone help you. Ever. Even me when we were married,” he said, still getting used to the past tense when talking about their marriage. “You’re independent to the point of aggravating.”
Her eyes rounded. “I accept help. I just let you carry me hither and yon, didn’t I?”
“More like twenty feet, and only because I forced you.” He finally let go of a smile when she narrowed her eyes at him.
About Callie James: Callie spent the first three decades of her life in Portland, Oregon before picking up everything and moving to the South for much needed sunshine and a change of pace. When she's not reading or penning contemporary romance and young adult novels, she's absorbed in all things supernatural, fantasy, sci-fi, anime, and of course, romance. She's also very devoted to her numerous adopted animals.
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