Baby, No Baby

A short story in Stephanie Bond's
Southern Roads Kindle World

The quaint southern town of Sweetness, GA is a perfect fit for Abby Chandler. Everyone knows she makes the best pies in the state, but even the small-town grapevine doesn’t know everything. There’s a past just waiting to ruin her new life—and her new chance at love.

Brock Alexander works for the Armstrong brothers, surveying to build family homes, something a confirmed bachelor, like himself, doesn’t need—or want. He doesn’t know how to be a good husband and definitely not a father. After hearing his mother’s lies and seeing her weakness when choosing to remain with an abusive husband, can he move on? Can he learn to trust enough to find love and have a family of his own?

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Amanda

The Templeton family has lived in the small southern town of Sweetwater, Georgia since before the Civil War. In 1860, Wesley Templeton built the antebellum-style house as a wedding gift for his new bride. Now, over one hundred and fifty years later, Amanda, troy and Jessie Templeton jointly own the historical landmark...Templeton House.

Amanda Templeton, 29, has returned to Georgia for her father's funeral. She is at a crossroad in her career...in fact, in her life. As a Family Law attorney, she has watched too many families destroyed and the lives of too many children ripped apart by divorce. One goal while in town is to avoid the new Chief of Police, her former fiancée. Ten years earlier on the night they were to elope, he left town without a word and without her. With feelings of rejection and revenge behind her, she's ready to move on...or is she?

James Hudson, 31, is a widower with a precocious four-year-old daughter, Savannah. He has traded the “bad-boy” ways of his youth to become a patrolman and loves his job. When his stepfather has a stroke, James applies for the recently opened Chief of Police position so he can move back to Georgia and be available to help his mother. No one is more surprised when he's offered the job. He has changed in the past decade, but small towns...and Amanda...have very long memories.

They clash at every turn. Why can't life and love be simple? Will Amanda believe his explanation for leaving without her? With his daughter as a constant reminder that he has moved on with life, will Amanda ever be able to forgive him and give them a second chance? Only time will tell.

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Jessie

Jessica Templeton-Harris lost her husband and unborn child in a wreck years earlier on a rain-slick highway near Atlanta. Now she gives her love to babies in need, providing emergency care, but for no more than a day or two at a time. The babies each take a tiny piece of her heart when they move on to a permanent home. The latest child in Jessie’s care is Missy Alexander, an orphaned newborn.
Daniel Alexander is single and currently working out of the country. He has no time for any more complications, but he can't turn his back on the baby. When he runs into a brick wall in the adoption process, he asks Jessie for help. How far will she go to help him keep the baby? All the way down a church aisle?

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Katie

Home after annual Army Reserve training, Troy Templeton rescues a baby from a car wreck. Katy Brinkley is thankful, but not ready for love to come knocking...especially not from anyone who wears a military uniform. Troy is drawn to Katy, but the last thing he needs is a ready-made family. Can both learn to compromise and have a second chance at love?

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Wrangler for Hire

Meredith Adams, 24, is self-confident, cocky and stubborn. She can take care of herself, but she’s no match for cattle rustlers.
Texas Ranger, Ben Stevens, 32, is hired undercover as a wrangler to solve the case and to protect Meredith.
When she disappears, he works around the clock because the thieves may have stolen cattle, but she has stolen his heart.

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Pennies on the dollar

Beverly Crystal is on top of the world. She's young and has hit the New York Times Bestseller list with five books in a row. Her agent has just asked her to move in and she is madly in love for the first time in her life. Could life get any better?
Within three years she has no new books breaking out on the list, no live-in lover and no money. Everything is gone. Can things get any worse?
When she is contacted by Blake McGaven to assist him in writing a book about her quick rise to fame and fortune and her life since, she wants to tell him no, but he is offering her the two things she can’t refuse--a chance to rebut the tabloids by telling the truth about her life, and money.
As much as she would rather be left alone, she needs money if she is going to keep her apartment and food on the table.
Over the next six months, she progresses from tolerating Blake to liking him to finally trusting him with the secrets of her life, the secrets that have made her who she is today. Along with her trust, she allows Blake to gently guide and encourage her. He sees beneath the surface stubbornness and anger to the woman fighting desperately to protect her heart from more pain. Will he be able to help her face her past without adding to her scars? He knows he doesn’t have all the answers, but he knows she’s worth every bit of effort it will take to help repair her shattered self-esteem—her Pennies On The Dollar self-image.
Although the future holds the potential for a happily-ever-after ending, it will take Beverly and Blake learning to put past hurts aside and to look at others differently. Their success will depend on them becoming a team, two people willing to put the other first and take a risk on tomorrow.

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Behind Door Two

Detective Lance Brodin, distrusts women in general, and rich women in particular. After he informs Cecilia Drummond of her parent's death, she crumples in his arms.
Later when attempts are made on her life, Lance is assigned to get close to her, romance and protect her, but she's headstrong. She hears what he says but then does what she wants. Concerned she'll be killed on his watch, he tries to control the situation by controlling her.
Cecilia takes over running her father's company, but has she made herself the next target? When Cecilia's twin sister is killed, Lance tries again to convince her of the danger. Will he convince her in time? And will she ever believe he's fallen in love with her or will she think it's another attempt to emotionally control her?

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Watch for the Dawn

A serial killer is targeting college co-eds and today he is watching a student as she makes her way across the campus to class. When a blond woman stops and talks with the girl, he changes his pattern, allows the student to go...for the moment...and follows the woman. After watching which room the woman enters, he adds Professor Kelly Cooper to his list. She should never have interfered in his plan.

Watch For The Dawn introduces Kelly Cooper, 29, single and a professor at Colorado State University in Denver. Kelly's trouble begins when her older sister, Madison Cooper, comes on campus to have lunch with her and stops to speak to a student she recently tended in the hospital emergency room. It's a case of mistaken identity, but since he doesn't know what the girl might have revealed to the woman, there is now another potential “loose end” to be disposed of.

Police detective Steve Mitchell is leading the search for the serial killer, but after losing his temper with a journalist and shoving the man, his chief puts him on two-week administrative leave to cool off. A mountain cabin in the winter is a perfect place to get away from his work and just relax...or is it?

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Facing the Dawn

Madison Cooper, Emergency Room doctor at Midtown General in Denver, and Detective Wes Thomas can’t stand each other. He thinks she’s too loud and too bossy and she thinks he’s not only rude, but cares only about himself. At her sister’s wedding she’s the Maid of Honor and he’s the Best Man, but when he looses patience with her sharp tongue and “accidentally” bumps her into the pool at the reception, she’s outraged and vows revenge.

When he’s involved in an on-the-job wreck, he tells the two cute female paramedics that he was momentarily unconscious just so he can ride with them to the hospital and hopefully get their phone numbers. Only he never expected Madison to be the doctor on duty when he arrived. Now he’s on her turf and paybacks aren’t fun.

They fight their way into each other’s arms while Wes tries to solve the mysterious deaths that are occurring at the hospital. Going after the bad guys puts a target on his back and when he finds himself in the crosshairs, Madison is left Facing The Dawn alone, wondering if Wes will live through the night. She must face losing the only man to ever stand up to her…the only man she has ever truly loved.

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After the Dawn

Shelby Sanders, widow with a 5-year old son, Tommy, is the youngest Cooper sister and manages the Hawthorn House bed and breakfast. Shelby and her son are drawn to Tony Sordillo, a customer who brings so much laughter to the House. When an escaped convict threatens their happiness, can Tony keep her safe until After The Dawn? When she discovers the truth about Tony, will it destroy their chance at happiness?

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Duty Calls

When Duty Calls Alyson Sanders’ sister to deployment overseas, Alyson takes on the responsibility of her one-year-old niece. When the mother is killed in action and her personal effects include a letter naming Lt. Col. Mitchlen as the father, Alyson must decide whether or not to contact the man to let him know he’s a father.
At first, Dale doesn’t believe that Katie Ann is his daughter—until he sees her picture. Not wanting her childhood to be as chaotic as his own, he shows up on Alyson’s doorstep to see his daughter and to let Alyson know that he is seeking custody, pending the results of a DNA test.
Neither wants a court battle, but both have strong reasons for refusing to give up custody and it doesn’t help when the little girl becomes attached to the big man with the deep, rumbling voice.
Tensions run high as they’re drawn together, but a child’s future hangs in the balance and neither wants to make a mistake by following their heart.

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Duty Bound

When Air Force officer, Lt. Col. Mason (Chief) Sterling IV is shot down over the sands of Afghanistan, he soon finds himself at the mercy of Victoria Connelly, the headstrong physical therapist he must work with if he wants to get back to his men.
Since he knows his body better than Victoria, and since he buffed it up once before, he decides to augment her therapy program with additional workouts of his own.
When two headstrong overachievers butt heads, there can only be fireworks, especially when Victoria discovers that Mason has been working behind her back—and effectively lying to her.
Despite his growing feelings for her, she stood in the way of his getting back to his squadron, but he never intended to hurt her and now he knows he has blown any chance of them getting together.
Victoria is in a dilemma. She can no longer claim responsibility for his rapid improvement, so she must now decide whether to report his actions and risk ruining his career or try to find an alternative answer to the issue—an answer that just might get him out of her hair, but is that what she really wants?

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Duty Free

Major Colby Jones is a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, but he’s tired of being overseas and missing holidays with his family. He’s at a crossroad in life, trying to decide if he wants to remain in the military where he can fly jets or if it’s time to move on to another career. Recently divorced from an unfaithful wife, and with the indecision about his future, the last thing he wants or needs is another woman in his life—especially one who is a military widow and has two young children. Even if he were interested in a ready-made family, is it fair to ask her to risk marrying another military man? And if he left the military, how in the world would he afford to support them?

Dianna Thompson’s first impression of Colby is that he’s the typical class clown, showing off and making a loud entrance. Even though she’s been widowed for two years, the last thing she and her children need in their lives is another man—especially one in the military—one who has a dangerous job.

Colby nor Dianna can deny the attraction, but when her two children, especially her son, becomes attached to the handsome and fun-loving man, she knows they will all be hurt when Colby leaves for his next assignment. Can they put the past behind and allow love to find a way?

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Dad Next Door

ERIN CODY has been a single mom of two rambunctious boys since her husband was killed in a car accident—an accident that brought on the miscarriage of her third child...a daughter she has always wanted. Her life if full with work and her two sons, leaving no room for dating...and no desire to subject her sons to the stress of men dating their mother. Now, at twenty-nine, she finally feels confident enough fulfill her late husband’s last promise to their two sons. She has agreed to take them camping... but only in a cabin where she can lock a door against the unknown dangers that lurk in the surrounding forest.

At thirty-one, STAN FORSYTH, is the youngest mayor his small Georgia town has ever elected. He's on vacation at one of his parent’s northern Georgia cabins, trying to relax, but figuring he’ll be bored to tears after two days.

His timetable is right on target when he meets six-year-old Toby and eight-year-old Andy and they ask him to teach them to fish. Since Stan has been a widower for almost three years, his sister and secretary have been encouraging him to date. He enjoys the occasional evening out, but draws the line at dating a single mother since kids get hurt when couples stop dating. Then he meets Toby and Andy's mother, and he's tempted to toss the self-imposed restriction into the lake. With their jam-packed schedules and living two hours apart, they both agree that dating is out of the question.

They resist the emotional pull toward each other, but during the week, the boys and several stressful events repeatedly shove them together. Stan quickly realizes that he cares for Erin and both her boys...even putting himself in danger to keep them safe, while Erin learns that Stan can be trusted with her sons...and with her heart.

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