THERE WAS LITTLE Jo liked more than a challenge and there was nothing more
challenging than coming to a city or town to fix a problem that others were responsible for. Shocking one of the hometown boys into relative silence definitely ranked up there on her list of favorite things. Though, no, not a boy, she corrected herself.
A very handsome hometown man. She’d hoped to roll into town undetected, be set up and ready to go by the time anyone turned up on-site, as if she’d somehow appeared by magic. It seemed, however, that this town—or at least Ozzy Lakeman—had other ideas.
He also had her feeling a bit off-kilter with that charming, shell-shocked smile of his. Typical. She’d met enough firefighters to know that, like a lot of men in construction, they often came loaded with testosterone and more than their fair share of hero syndrome. She shook her head. Nope. Not even going to let herself contemplate any man’s testosterone level. Clearly, she should have taken her doctor’s warnings about her own amped-up hormones seriously.
Between her expanding business, this job and her baby on the way, the last thing she needed was to add anyone, especially a man, to her life. She’d learned her lesson. From here on out, she was on her own.
That said, firefighter or not, Jo imagined Ozzy Lakeman threw a lot of women off-kilter. How could he not with that thick, curly brown hair and eyes the color of a forest, dark and deep? As she moved around the truck, she couldn’t help but take inventory of Ozzy’s muscular build. It spoke of attention to fitness. That broad chest was perfect to display his firefighter logo and—Good heavens, what was wrong with her?
She wasn’t in Butterfly Harbor to ogle men or, even worse, have a fling with one of them.
Like anyone would want to fling her anywhere, anyway. Still, that didn’t stop her from glancing at the firefighter’s hand to verify he wasn’t attached. At least not legally. It doesn’t matter! He was clearly younger than she was, and at thirty-five, Jo was beyond the time of helping men in their twenties find themselves. Besides, she’d be doing plenty of reassuring and guiding once her baby was born. But she had another four-plus months before she had to start fretting about that.
She ducked her head, hiding her smile as she removed the trailer from her truck, unhooked the cords and cables and got her home connected to the appropriate lines. As if by rote she then stretched out the industrial power cable to the trailer office on the off chance her solar storage decided to get temperamental.
Jo patted the back of the house. One of the main considerations she’d paid attention to when she’d built the structure was its ease of mobility. Taking her home with her from job to job, while it created some issues, had solved far more. One flip of the main power switch had the automated trailer pylons lowering and the porch steps popping out. She reached into the truck bed.
Remembering the amount of effort it had taken her the last time to haul out her toolbox, she hesitated.
“Let me help,” Ozzy quickly offered.
Jo’s first instinct was to say no, but there was no denying the happy, almost jubilant expression on Ozzy’s fine face. “You just couldn’t wait for me to ask, could you?”
“No, ma— No,” he corrected when she narrowed her eyes. His smile seemed genuine enough. Friendly, accepting, warm. He picked up her toolbox and turned to the trailer.
USA Today and national bestselling author Anna J Stewart writes sweet to sexy romances for Harlequin and ARC Manor’s Caezik Romance. Her sweet Heartwarming books include the Butterfly Harbor series as well as the ongoing Blackwell saga. She also writes the Honor Bound series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and contributes to the bestselling Coltons. A former Golden Heart, Daphne, and National Reader’s Choice finalist, Anna loves writing big community stories where family found is always the theme. Since her first published novella with Harlequin in 2014, Anna has released more than forty novels and novellas and hopes to branch out even more thanks to Caezik Romance. Anna lives in Northern California where (at the best times) she loves going to the movies, attending fan conventions, and heading to Disneyland, her favorite place on earth. When she’s not writing, she is usually binge-watching her newest TV addiction, re-watching her all-time favorite show, Supernatural, and wrangling two monstrous cats named Rosie and Sherlock. You can read more about Anna at her website, www.AuthorAnnaStewart.com.