Ryan used to be a major league baseball player, but he lost everything. He's suspended, he's being falsely accused of drug possession and his wife betrayed him in the worst possible way. He fled to Minnesota where he lives in a remote country home. He's a broken man, but maybe spending time with his new neighbor Frankie can heal him. Frankie has inherited the dilapidated house next door to Ryan and discovers the house comes with three children. They apparently stayed there before Frankie's aunt passed away and left it to her and now Frankie has to decide what to do with the three boys. Will they be able to stay with her and what role will Ryan be able to play in their lives? Will his past make it more difficult for Frankie to be allowed to adopt them? Should he choose to stay away, even though this means he would be giving up the happiness he finally found?
Caught Looking is a beautiful story about a very special woman. Frankie is kind and generous. When she finds three orphan boys in her home she does everything she can to care for them and to make them feel at home. She even wants to adopt them, but being allowed to do so proves to be difficult. Especially since she's in a relationship with a man who's being charged for drug possession. Ryan might be falsely accused, but there are people who believe what they read in the papers. He's heartbroken because of everything that happened to him, but being with Frankie and spending time with the boys heals the worst part of his emotional wounds. It's clear from the start that Ryan and Frankie are soul mates, but being together isn't easy, especially since there are so many things that can go wrong because of it. Ryan's had such a difficult time and I had tears in my eyes when I read about everything he went through. He deserves all the love and attention he can get and I read the book in one sitting because I couldn't wait to find out if he and Frankie would find their happily ever after.
Caught Looking is an amazing story with an impressive and surprising ending. Jody Holford writes about difficult subjects in a wonderful sympathetic way. I immediately loved her main characters. They have such good hearts and warm personalities. While her story is romantic, it also has quite a bit of depth. Frankie's fighting for the boys with everything she has and her determination is admirable. While Ryan is trying to get over everything that happened when his career ended in an unfair way he's also there for Frankie. I loved that aspect of the story and I liked the vivid and honest way Jody Holford writes about all the obstacles in their way. Caught Looking is a book that put a smile on my face and brought tears to my eyes at the same time, it's a great, captivating bittersweet story and I highly recommend it.
If you love reading romantic stories about people with good hearts you will definitely like Caught Looking.
About Jody Holford
Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.
As he edged near the property line, he caught sight of toned, shapely legs swinging from the branch of a tree. His neighbor was doing pull-ups. On a tree.
“What the hell are you doing?” Ryan said the words to himself, his finger sliding off of the trigger. Frankie hadn’t heard him. Her earbuds’ cord was connected to the iPod strapped to her arm. He repeated his question, louder, and she startled, dropping from the limb she’d been holding. Pulling her earphones out, she smiled and gave a surprised laugh. Lust curled tight in his stomach at the sound. Which pissed him off since he didn’t need more complications in his life.
“Hey. Didn’t see you there, neighbor.”
She wiped the sweat off her brow with the back of her hand. Strands of hair were escaping the ponytail sitting high on her head. She put her hands on her hips, gulping in air, still smiling. His eyes roamed over the tone and definition of her arms. Arms weren’t supposed to be a turn on. They were just something to have wrapped around you. Along with legs. But legs were a turn on. Still, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her arms. They led up to sleek shoulders and a graceful collarbone. When his eyes met hers, she was grinning and he knew he’d been caught looking.
“You’re doing pull-ups on a goddamn tree?”
“Um, it’s my tree,” she said, looking back and forth between him and the tree. Small as she was, the tree didn’t look like it could hold its own branches, never mind a person’s weight.
“Actually, it’s smack in the middle of our property line. So stay the hell off it and get a pull-up bar.”
She rested a hand on the bark and smiled at him with something like fire flashing in those blue eyes. Her breath was a bit uneven, but firm. “I’ve never shared a tree with anyone. It feels like a big step.”
He bit back a smile. “Funny. This tree needs to be cut down. It’s rotted.” He kicked at the trunk to show her what he meant.
“Don’t kick our tree,” she said, not even trying to hide her smirk.
“It’s not safe.” Jesus. She was hard to be irritated with. Which, oddly, only irritated him more.
“And as much as I appreciate your neighborly concern, Ryan, I can take care of myself. And our tree. See, my home gym isn’t quite set up yet so I’m using what’s available. If you want, we can work out a schedule for tree use.”
There was as much sarcasm in her stance as in her tone. This time, the grin spread before he could stop it.
“You’re a jerk.”
“Yeah. But it’s still not safe. I have an extra pull-up bar in my garage. You put it in the frame of a doorway. I’ll grab it and bring it over,” he said, hoping the gesture served as an apology.
Which he was man enough to admit she deserved from him.
Frankie’s eyes widened and she took a step back, wariness overshadowing her amusement.
“No thanks. I’m not ready for visitors.”
He arched an eyebrow. “I wasn’t planning on coming for tea.”
She gave a rough laugh. “I don’t need anything from you, Ryan. I’ll pick another tree. Or do push-ups.”
She backed away, the unease in her eyes fascinating the hell out of him. She didn’t want him over. And not because he was a jerk. She waved one perfectly shaped arm over her head as she went back to her house.
He turned the weed trimmer back on, purposely turning his body in the other direction. He wasn’t going to stand around and watch her go, even across her yard. He’d never watch a woman leave again. Once was enough.
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