A Journey's End
Journey’s End, Book 1
Five sexy brothers. One small town. Journey's End.
Can two wounded people find happiness together?
Meet widower and loner James Harper, who avoids romance like the plague.
And vivacious single mom Miranda Lowe, whose nasty divorce blew up her life.
What happens when you repeatedly throw them together? Come to Journey’s End and find out…
If you love sexy small-town romance that features strong families, pick up A Journey’s End today!
Read an Excerpt
James wasn’t even handsome—not in any traditional sense. He was … striking. Arresting. His sleek brown hair, which never received much attention from a brush, invariably curled around his ears, nape and forehead. His straight nose had a ridge in it, and one of his thick brows was always higher than the other, giving him a perpetual look of skepticism. His cheeks were too severe, and his full lips didn’t do much smiling, at least when Miranda was around.
“Did you save any coffee for me?” he asked.
See? There he went again. Looking at her. With those gleaming brown eyes that revealed little and seemed to hide everything.
Yeah. It was the eyes that got to her.
“I think I can scrounge something up,” she said, turning to the machine.
This was where things got awkward. When she poured for other customers, it was easy to lapse into banter about kids, the weather, or the Jets. But James didn’t talk much, especially to her, and she was determined not to be chatty with him—Our timing is bad, he’d told her; oh, please—so that didn’t leave much middle ground for small talk.
She always had a thrill of awareness between her shoulder blades, as though he was staring at her.
Except that when she pivoted back around with his to-go cup, he was checking his smart phone.
“Here you go,” she said. “Coffee. Large. Black. Hot.”
He glanced up, nodding his thanks. And then, to her utter astonishment, he said something … more.
“I’m afraid you’ll slip me something with whipped cream in it one of these days.”
That unlikely image got a snort out of her, but she wrestled it into submission before it became a laugh.
“You? No way.”
Flustered, she passed the cup across the counter to him.
Their fingers brushed.
The brief contact shouldn’t have been that electrifying. It shouldn’t have made sparks of heat shoot up her arm. She shouldn’t have jerked her hand away under the pretense of straightening her ponytail.
“So,” she said, now running her hand over the top of her head. “Anything else?”
“Yeah.” He hesitated. Something flickered in his expression, disappearing before she could analyze it. “How about … one of those.”
He pointed to a brownie, the first he’d ever requested even though he came for his morning coffee every weekday morning.
Her jaw dropped, and she spoke before she could stop herself. “You don’t eat brownies.”
“You didn’t know I eat brownies. There’s a difference.”
On that enigmatic note, he reached for his wallet and handed her the money. She took it, making sure there was no skin-to-skin contact this time. He didn’t immediately turn to go, and she felt the weight of his gaze on the top of her head as she grabbed his brownie, which meant that another awkward moment was in the making.
Luckily, Frank saved her. He trotted over to the edge of the counter, sat back on his haunches facing Miranda, and raised a paw to shake. Frank considered this an ironclad deal: if she shook, she owed him a treat.
She shook. “Hi, Frankie. How’s the good boy? Huh? How’s the good boy?”
Frank leaned his head back and did a husky ooo-ooh sound, reminding her that he wasn’t that far removed from his wolf cousins. Laughing, she took a treat from the dog jar she kept for such occasions (she made a mean biscuit, with oats, honey and peanut butter) and tossed it to him. He caught it with a quick snap of his jaws and gulped it down with barely a crunch.
“He’s such a good boy. Yes, he is.” The smile was still lingering on her face when she raised her gaze and discovered James looking at her. Really looking in a way that no one else ever did. Focused. Intent. Unwavering.
Her thoughts scattered like the snowflakes beginning to drift outside.
“I hate to sound like a broken record, but Frank’s a, uh, great dog.”
“Thanks.” Blinking and pointing his thumb over his shoulder, James reeled in whatever he’d been thinking and locked it safely away. He took a step or two toward the door, Frank trotting after him. “Gotta open the store.”
“Bye,” she said.
He paused long enough to look back over his shoulder. “You should close up early. Snow’s coming.”
That didn’t jibe with what the forecaster had said this morning. She glanced out the window, where a couple of wimpy flakes were trying to fall.
“What, that? It’s nothing.”
He tapped his left thigh. “The leg never lies.”
Curiosity got the best of her. The story behind his limp was a topic of endless speculation around town, especially with her boys and the others in his scout group. The latest outlandish rumor? He’d been bitten by a shark while scuba diving in Australia.
“How did you hurt your leg?”
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that.” Those dimples grooved down his cheeks again, softening his harsh features and framing his perfect mouth.
“Just so you know? I plan to keep asking until I wear you down.”
He cocked one of his heavy brows. “If anyone can wear me down, it’d be you.”
The husky note in his voice sent a shiver rippling down her spine as she watched him leave, the door swinging shut behind him.