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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 which can be read as a standalone.
This is book #6 in the Green Valley Library series which takes place in the Green Valley World
of the Penny Reid Book Universe.
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Life hasn’t been kind to Beverly Townsen. Years under her husband’s thumb has left Beverly’s spirt in tatters. With the remnants of an accident leaving her body ‘broken’, Beverly prefers the isolation of her home to the prying eyes of the folks in town. With a daughter that rearranged her life to take care of Beverly and the farm, life is stretched to the limits financially. A hardship that the duo knows can only last so long. What Beverly wasn’t prepared for was a proposition that would come barreling through the front door like a cyclone.
With a love of horses and a former life as a rodeo star fueling his passion, Jedd Fleming was a force to be reckoned with. After years spent away from Green Valley, Jedd has made a plan for the future and can’t quite accomplish that without a little help from Beverly. In spite of Bev’s reservations, the income that Jedd is bringing to the farm can’t be ignored. Beverly may be prickly on the outside, but Jedd knows that deep down inside is the girl that caught his eye so long ago. Time isn’t on Jedd’s side. With so many secrets swirling in the past, Beverly and Jedd will find the farm will join their lives in more ways than one.
Love in Deed is definitely a standout in the Smartypants Romance collection. Beverly is prickly and cantankerous, and I knew her story would be anything but ordinary. L.B. Dunbar has created quite the story between Beverly and Jedd. Two damaged souls that find their lives might not be so different from one another. Pain and tragedy have a way of molding the future, and this duo will find that the path to the future might be easier traveled than either could have imagined.
There are a few dealings between the couple that I would have liked to have seen elaborated a bit more. In spite of that – I found Jedd and Beverly’s tale interesting and chaotic. A perfect match for the ups and downs of Green Valley. I will confess I am excited to see what is in store with Scotia’s book. I think she might give Tempest (Donner Bakery Series) a run for the money!!
“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.