Checking You Out, an all-new second-chance small-town romance from Ann Whynot, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!
Read my 4 ⭐️ review HERE.
Lois Washington is at the end of her rope. Struggling as a single mother in an apartment the size of a closet is not the New York City adventure she dreamed of in her starry-eyed youth. When her job goes on the chopping block, she is ready for a major life change. Joining her best friend in Tennessee to become the newest employee at the Green Valley Public Library isn’t exactly where she thought life would take her, but she feels up for the challenge. Only this relocation comes with more than she bargained for.
Norman Grant has had a string of online dating disasters back in Florida. Dealing with chronic pain, he’s concluded that finding a woman who is understanding about his war wounds just isn’t in the cards. That is, until he becomes quite taken with the single mother who’s also a new arrival in Green Valley. The catch? Things are not quite what they seem.
When the past and present collide, Norman and Lois must face painful reminders from their youth. Now, at twenty-seven, Norman’s about to find out just how deeply the wounds he left behind cut.
‘Checking You Out’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #10 in the Green Valley Library series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe.
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Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3uXA9yI
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The truck door opened and the first thing I saw come out was a leg, then a cane.
“Norman! Get your ass over here for your hug,” Maxine practically yelled, and with a wide grin, the tall blond man exited the vehicle and limped over, looking as though he was leaning heavily on the cane in his left hand. Was he in pain?
Within moments, he was wrapped up in her arms. I kept my face as neutral as possible, open and friendly even, one might say. They might say it, but they’d be wrong. I felt fierce. What had happened to Norman? He hadn’t needed a cane back when we were seventeen. Of course, that was before the military. The military! He’d been wounded. I damn well knew it, he went to God knows where and was wounded. Was it a gunshot? An IED? Was he held captive?
I had to stop the train my thoughts were on right the hell now or I would be going places I couldn’t handle, especially at this moment. I had this tendency to do what, according to Dr. Google—the only doctor I could afford for myself, most of the time—was called indulging in apocalyptic thinking. Once I got started, I could be thinking about a glass half empty and end up picturing the glass exploding, sending shards flying everywhere and blinding a pack of nuns.
No more disastrous thinking about Norman and whatever happened to his leg. He was free of Max’s octopus-like hug and was managing to get around well on her arm, as though he were accustomed to the cane and it didn’t slow him down. He was, at present, examining the back of the truck, making sure, I guess, that the tarps held and everything was okay. That was when he looked up and made eye contact with me, flashing me a wide grin.
Max nodded in our direction and the pair walked over, saying, “I want you to meet my best friend in the world, Lois Washington, and her daughter, Elsa. Lois and Elsa, this is Norman Grant—Jonathan’s best friend and business partner. Now that y’all are acquainted, I’m going to spend some quality time with my man while you get to know each other better. Sound good? Great!” She clapped Norman on the back and took off. Great? No, not great! Rewind, Max!
“Lois, hello,” he said, smiling politely. “I’ve heard a lot about you and your daughter. Max talked about you when she visited us in Florida. She thought you’d make a solid addition to our League of Magecraft arena team.”
“Well, I don’t game anymore,” I said back, sounding, even to my surprise, quite a bit salty. He didn’t recognize me. I didn’t realize until that exact moment how much I wanted him to, and how much it hurt that he didn’t.
He nodded slowly, and stretched out his hand, saying, “It’s nice to meet you, anyway.” I waited for any glimmer of recognition in his eyes; seeing none, I decided to take his hand in mine. It was warm and his skin a bit rough, him obviously working with his hands. I was touching Norman Grant. How many times had I dreamt of this moment? I suddenly felt dizzy, dropping out of the handshake then shaking my head to clear it. Focus, Lois.
About Ann Whynot
Ann Whynot has been writing stories since she was five, and always dreamed of one day being a published author. She is a voracious reader and book collector, and used book stores are her kryptonite. She also is passionate about video games, crafting, baking, laughing, and travel.
She lives with her family, dog, and two cats on the Canadian east coast, and is inspired by both the forest and sea.
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