Searching for Home

(6 customer reviews)

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Jenny is happily married to her strong, gorgeous sheriff. She has great friends and a good job. But life is never perfect, is it? Within a short time, she and Cal have to move from the home they’re renting to living with his parents, and then they receive life-changing news from her mother’s lawyer.

Jenny’s friend and boss, Allie, has her share of problems, too – money woes, grabby clients, and burglaries near her work.

When Jenny and Allie try to keep their worries from their protective husbands, they find out what it means to have an alpha man to deal with. After the girls are attacked at work, things seem to go from bad to worse. Taking on adult responsibilities is never easy, as they’re finding out the hard way. Good thing they have their older friends, Cassie, Sue, Annie and Lily to fall back on…

Publisher’s Note: This steamy Western romance is the fourth in the Cal’s Law series, but it can be enjoyed independently. It contains elements of power exchange.

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Sample Chapter

Jenny was worried about Allie, her friend and boss. She had been dealing with too much stress lately. Her most recent problem, with a creepy client, wasn’t going to go away on its own. She was surprised that Allie hadn’t texted today, and she wasn’t answering Jenny’s text, either. Giving in to her fears, Jenny called Cassie, Allie’s mother-in-law. She wasn’t planning to tell her Allie’s problems, but she could possibly find out if Allie was safe at the moment.

“Jenny! I’m so happy you called,” Cassie greeted her. “Lily’s cooking ribs tonight, and we’re hoping you and Cal can come to dinner.”

“We’ll definitely be there,” Jenny agreed eagerly. “But listen, do you know if Allie’s home?”

“Why, yes, dear. I saw her pull in just a minute ago.”

“Great!” Jenny said with relief. “I needed to talk to her, but I wanted to wait until she got home.”

“I’m going over whenever Sue gets here, to invite them to dinner, too. You need me to tell her anything?”

“No, I may just wait and talk to her tonight. Thanks, Cassie. I’ll see you later.”

Jenny felt better, knowing Allie was home. But she was still surprised she hadn’t texted. Something was wrong. Jenny could feel it. But she didn’t want to push. They could talk tonight.

* * *

Allie ran into the house and slammed the door. She threw her bag on the table and just stood there breathing heavily. She didn’t know whether to cry or scream in anger. She wanted a shower. Her skin fairly crawled where he had touched her. Everything was going to be all right, Allie kept repeating to herself. But nothing felt all right. She knew what could have happened, and the thought made her shudder.

In the shower, Allie tried to think only of the water pounding her body and the steam rising around her. It wasn’t working. She could still see the smirk on his face and hear his laughter as she ran out. Why hadn’t she told him to go to hell or kneed him? Why had she been the one to run out as if she’d done something wrong?

Allie stepped out and dried off quickly. As she slipped on shorts and a tee shirt, she made her way to the top floor. She headed up the secluded narrow staircase to the widow’s walk on the roof and slipped through the door, collapsing into the canvas chair.

Allie felt herself relaxing just a little. This was her spot, her favorite place in the whole house. Her parents had allowed her to claim it when she was twelve and her little brother Drew and his friends were driving her crazy. It wasn’t really a widow’s walk, just a small upper deck, but Allie had read a book once that included a house with a widow’s walk, and that’s how she’d always thought of it.

When they’d first bought this house from her parents, she’d told her husband Ryan, “You can’t go up there. It’s my private space. You can take any room you want for a man-cave, but leave my little space to me.”

“And why do you need such privacy?” he’d asked.

“Every woman needs a private spot,” she’d told him. “It’s where we go when we need to sort out our feelings, especially when our husbands make us mad.”

“Then I can’t imagine that you’d ever need it,” Ryan had teased. “You have the perfect husband, after all.” But he’d respected her request for privacy, and today, she really needed it.

From her perch, the view of the river was prominent and she loved watching it roll by. She could also see the other houses nearby, in what their friend Steve had begun calling The Landing. Steve had done his research and found that this area had been used as a landing, where boats had come in the 1800s to offload their goods and take on cotton and tobacco. Now all four families in this tight group referred to their collection of homes as The Landing.

In the house to the left of hers as you looked at the river, lived her in-laws. Allie knew that while this would be a horror to many, it was a joy to her. Allie had loved Cassie and Tom since the moment they’d moved in, before she’d even met Ryan. She couldn’t have imagined being so close to a couple in their sixties, when she herself had only been sixteen at the time. But that was the way it had worked out. She loved having them next door. On the other side of Cassie’s house was the home of Annie and Andy Holmes, nearly life-long friends of Cassie and Tom’s.

If she looked to the right, Allie could see out over Sue and Steve’s home and their little guesthouse. These people living on The Landing had a friendship that was deeper and more binding than family.

Sue was Cassie’s oldest friend. She was a pistol, for sure. Though she could be caustic, she was sharp-witted and so much fun to be around. When you put Cassie, Sue and Annie together, you had to stand back—something was always bound to happen!

Lily, the fourth woman in this little group, rounded them out and made them manageable. Lily, a lovely woman of color in her mid-forties, had come to care for Sue when she was ill, but soon Lily was an integral part of the family. She had been hired by all three families as a rotating housekeeper, cook and most importantly, a watchful eye over Cassie and Sue. She and her new husband, Henry, lived in the mother-in-law suite in Annie’s home.

These four women were Allie’s go-to people for advice, and she sure as hell needed some today. But they couldn’t help her this time. Their solution, she was sure, would be to go, en masse, to find the bastard and cut his balls off. Not a bad solution, Allie believed, but not exactly realistic. So, she couldn’t share this with them.

Allie reached back and opened her sturdy cooler. As she searched through the snacks, canned drinks, gum, mints and mouthwash, she found her pack of cigarettes and shook one out. With a flick of her lighter, she lit it and took a deep draw. This was the only space at home where she dared to smoke. Everyone on The Landing would have a fit if they knew. And Ryan, she had no doubt, would put her over his knee and spank her ass good if he found out.

But she was tired of always being the good girl. Wasn’t she allowed to have one vice of her own? Then again, did this count against her if no one else knew?

Allie sat back with her cigarette and reluctantly thought of her afternoon. The solution should be simple. She’d never set foot in that house again. But it wasn’t that simple.

The truth was she and Ryan were having money problems. Ryan’s small lawn maintenance and design business was doing well, but he had so much money tied up in equipment. They had the house payment and a truck payment each month, not to mention the bank loan for all that equipment. There were workers’ comp, and taxes, and payroll. Added to that, his work was seasonal, even if the bills weren’t.

Allie had begun her own business, too. She’d named it Daniel’s Home Cleaning, using her maiden name. They’d put too much into getting both companies off the ground to let anything derail them now. Business plans in college classes had looked so simple. In the college mock-ups, there were no demands for higher salaries, no one ever missed work and no equipment ever broke down and had to be replaced. Her business degree was coming in handy, but she felt she was juggling so much. She had the same staggering paperwork Ryan had, the same business taxes, payroll, licensing and getting bonded. Then there were clients who didn’t pay on time, last minute cancellations or rush jobs that ‘had to be done today!’ There was still so much to handle.

Opening a housecleaning service had seemed so simple in the beginning. She could clean a house. But cleaning houses and running a small business on top of that? That was getting to be too much. As hard as they both worked, they didn’t seem to be getting ahead. She was sure they would, in time, but when?

In addition to all this, Ryan was also putting money away every month to pay off his college loan to Cassie and Tom. Cassie and Tom weren’t Ryan’s biological parents. In fact, they hadn’t legally adopted him until he graduated from college. After his freshman year, Ryan’s biological father had refused to pay for college unless Ryan went for the degree his father wanted. Ryan had told him no, insisting he’d quit school and work until he’d saved enough to return. Cassie and Tom had stepped in to help their young friend, persuading him accept their loan.

Ryan’s biological father had gone to great lengths to try to hurt Cassie and Tom because he felt they were alienating his son from him. Ryan eventually chose to sever all ties with the man. Tom and Cassie had grown to love Ryan like their own, and they’d adopted him, even though he was a legal adult. They wanted him to be their son and heir.

With this adoption, Tom and Cassie considered the debt cancelled, but Ryan didn’t see it that way and was determined to pay it off.

There had been a few heated discussions about it. Tom finally agreed, against Cassie’s wishes, that Ryan could begin repaying the loan, though not until the business had been up and running for five years. But stubborn Ryan, despite the agreement, set aside the amount he would have been paying each month, anyway. So, that, too, ate into their finances.

Allie’s business had been struggling until Elizabeth Sullivan had come along. The Landing was in an old, but high-end, part of town. However, it was nothing compared to the new area that had recently been built along the waterfront where Elizabeth lived. These homes were huge and easy to clean, since they were mostly owned by young rich couples with no children. Allie could also charge top dollar. She’d started working for Elizabeth several months after getting the business started, and through her, she had acquired five more clients. She and Ryan had both been happy and relieved at the boost in their income.

Allie sighed and let her mind go to her biggest overall worry. Several weeks ago, Ryan had said they might have to sell the house and move to a cheap apartment. Allie’s stomach churned at the very thought of it. She’d lived in this house all her life, but it was more than that. The thought of leaving the family at The Landing was more than she could take. She had to keep the money coming in.

Allie couldn’t afford to lose Elizabeth’s business or the rest of the accounts she’d brought to her. In a town as small as this, she couldn’t afford to be blackballed by the elite.

But what was she going to do about Bradley Sullivan?

 

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6 reviews for Searching for Home

  1. Redrabbitt

    What was especially fun with this series of Cal’s Law is that it also has many of the people from the Cassie series. While each book works well as a stand-alone, it flows so well as the series progresses. Life and situations are changing for Cal and Jenny, and it will lead to some tense moments. Throw in when Allie, Cassie, Sue, and Annie become involved.

    The story will have Allie running her own cleaning service and will include Jenny working for her, as the business grows, she will add more people. But a new problem has not only the ladies concerned but their husbands too. Several of the nicer homes have been burglarized during the day when people are away—and one when a family member was visiting and attacked. Now Cal and Ryan are uncomfortable with their ladies working, but will working together in teams make it safer? What about when one home has an owner making sexual advances and keeping that secret too.

    Life for Cal and Jenny will have several challenges, the first when he informs her that the house they are renting is needed by the owner for a family member and they must move. Moving in with his family is less than ideal and leads to stress in their marriage and has Jenny mad enough she must get out of town and away from his family. The second will be phone calls from attorneys insisting upon her presence and learning secrets from the past. It’s bad enough what all Jenny has endured from her mother but to learn she has a trust fund and is coming into money adds new stress between her and Cal.

    “Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. And I gotta get out of here for a while.”

    The story has very tense moments of life and death when Allie and Jenny are attacked and sent to the hospital. While this hodge-podge group of friends rallies together, there are laugh out loud moments, time for shaking your head at the antics of these women, and the comradery when someone in their group is hurt. The addition of Lily adds such a bit of humor as she fusses at the older ladies and tries to mother the younger ones—it’s a full-time job.

    How these crazy women come up with some of their hare-brained ideas and survive is amazing—but not without consequences. When they come up with a way to deal with the harasser, they are skirting the letter of the law, but get their point across.

    “We all recorded this, to be able to share with our friends and family on Facebook, some of the day to day problems regarding running a house cleaning business. Sometimes there is such a dirty and ugly stain in the home; you have to bring in experts to help you get rid of it. We feel many people would be interested in what we’ve seen here today.”

    What will become of the case of the home invasions? Will the police find their culprits before someone is killed? Will Jenny and Allie remember anything to help in the case? What about the home situation of Cal and Allie? With so many questions to be answered. The story has several spanking and discipline scenes between various couples and mildly explicit sex scenes.

  2. Marybeth

    Even though this is book 4 of Cal’s Law series, it really is mostly about Cal & Jenny and Allie & Ryan. Everyone else is part of the book as well. There are burglars in Beaufort County and Cal has very little leads. Because of this, Cal and Ryan want Allie to close down her cleaning business until they get caught, She refuses, but the way she does it gets her spanked. Of course, there are more spankings and all the ladies get into trouble. There is a HEA. I’m hoping this is not the last book about these couples.

  3. Donna

    Donna L
    4.0 out of 5 starsFull Of Drama
    September 18, 2019
    I enjoyed reading not just Jenny and Cal’s journey but of all the their
    friends and family of The Landing.There is action from the first page and
    the pace continues throughout the book.

    We catch up with Jenny and Cal but things are not running smoothly as
    this young couple try and find their feet with all ts challenges.Cal is very
    reluctant to accept help from his family.This leads to them moving in with
    his family.Jenny is unhappy with Cal’s decision and it leaves her feeling
    resentful and neglected.Jenny and Allie find themselves in over their heads,
    when not only is Allie’s business at risk but a string of burglaries put their
    lives at stake and they don’t share their concerns with their husbands.Jenny’s
    past catch up with her in a most unexpected way which will change their
    future forever.

    This story has danger,angst,mystery,romance,believable characters,intrigue,
    drama and just the right amount of spankings.Another winner in this series.

  4. Rhea

    I really, really liked this book. It has a very colorful person gallery with different characters that for the most part share the same lifestyle. One of the things I really liked is that, although they share the DD lifestyle, it is in varying degrees and the discipline scenes are not a repeat of each other. The title is the theme that runs throughout the book and pushes the plot forward. It is very well worked through and very well written. I absolutely recommend it!

  5. BlueDiamond

    ‘Searching for Home’ is a delightful story about Jenny and Cal finding a place to call home. But they don’t need to go it alone. Their friends want to help. The women on ‘The Landing’ are witty, cute, and sassy with a tendency to make poor choices, but they really do have Jenny and Cal’s best interest at heart. Fortunately for them, their husbands are all strong dominant men who know how to guide their wives into making better decisions.

    This is a fun and engaging read with lots of action and suspense to keep the pages turning. I highly recommend this novel. This book is part of a wonderful series, and though, I haven’t read all the stories yet, ‘Searching for Home,’ reads beautifully as a standalone.

  6. Julie

    Jenny is happily married to Cal, but things are now getting very tense.

    Jenny works for Allie, who runs her own cleaning service.

    When the homeowners are away, several of the more prestigious homes have been burglarized. Plus one homeowner continues to make sexual advances at the girls.

    To make matters worse, Cal informs Jenny they have to leave their own rented home to move in the house with his parents. There is no privacy, and the twins keep invading their privacy even more. Jenny finally socks one of them and then leaves for a much needed quiet weekend with her two friends. Leaving their husbands high and dry, not knowing where they have gone.

    Allie and Jenny are attacked by two burglars and are sent to the hospital. Jenny could have easily died, but finally, she was able to leave the hospital. And the cleaning service is on temporary closed until the burglaries are apprehended.

    Then if that is not enough, Allie is blackmailed. If she does not do as told, then it will be spread that the cleaning service steals from its clients.

    Will Cal be able to stop the burglars making the town safe again? Or will their marriage be destroyed first?

    I loved this book intensely. So much action, I had a hard time putting the book down. I will end up rereading this one.

    I received a free copy of this book. This honest review was posted voluntarily.e years since she left and has to return home to help her mother who now needs assistance. She brings along her secret eight-year-old daughter. She knew to return home was going to be painful, but her mother needs her.

    Gregory stops by her mother’s house to check on her and talk to Catherine. He is shocked to find out she is not a journalist but a novelist instead. She is surprised when he tells her he wants to spend time with her.

    When the secret comes out that she has hidden for so long, will it be the final blow that will sever their relationship forever? Or will he be able to give her a second chance in spite of this kept secret?

    I enjoyed this book so much, and I can not wait for the next one.

    I received a free copy of this book. This honest review was posted voluntarily.

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