Mill Pond #6
by Judi Lynn Genre: Contemporary Romance
In Mill Pond, Indiana, neighbors always look out for each other. And even though tourists are drawn to the small town’s charms, it’s the locals who fill it with warmth . . .
Traveling nurse Karli Redding doesn’t have many fond memories of her aging grandfather, Axel—or of Mill Pond. But with Axel’s health in decline and Karli on a month’s hiatus between jobs, she volunteers to set him up with the help he needs. The house and her grandfather could both use some TLC. Good thing Keagan Monroe, the very attractive mailman next door, is always ready to lend a hand…
Not a lot slips by a mailman, and Keagan appreciates Karli’s dogged attempts to spruce up the neglected property. Painting, fixing the sagging porch, delivering a constant stream of casseroles from caring neighbors—he’ll help however he can, all while keeping his feelings under wraps. A short-term fling just doesn’t fit into his schedule. But with each passing day, Karli’s bond with the town grows a little deeper. Has fate sent her exactly where she needs to be? Karli’s willing to find out, and the first step is figuring out the perfect route to Keagan’s heart…
Keagan’s ladder leaned against the roof of the front porch. When he
saw her, he called, “The paint’s already dry up here. If you bring me the
shutters you painted, I’ll put them up at the two windows.”
She gave him a thumbs-up and almost ran to the barn. He’d asked her,
not one of the others, to help him. She hurried to grab a pair of shutters.
When she got back, he’d come down for them and jammed a screwdriver
and screws in his jeans pocket. Then he scurried up to the porch roof and
stood on that to work. Karli squirmed. The porch roof slanted downward
and didn’t look safe to her.
“Be careful,” she said.
He gave her a look. “I’ve been balancing on a ladder to paint the peaks all
day. I think I’ll survive this.”
She went to get the shutters for the second window and climbed a few
rungs to hand them to him. Once he’d finished installing them, he started
down. He’d reached the ground when Karli noticed someone’s paint
brush lying on the roof. She scrambled up the ladder to reach it and then
carefully retraced her steps. Before she reached the bottom, though, two
strong hands lifted her and set her on the ground. Keagan’s touch sent
heat through her fleece hoodie.
She turned and found herself toe to toe with him. His solid chest was
eye level. She looked up at his strong jawline, his lips. She sucked in her
breath and tilted her head, staring up into his cobalt-blue eyes. She could
smell his scent—clean and manly. His gaze burned with intensity. Her
lips parted. One more inch and she’d be pressing against him…
Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.
In my sixth romance, SPECIAL DELIVERY, Karli Redding, a travelling nurse, volunteers to go to Mill Pond to arrange health care for her grandfather. My daughter’s a travelling nurse, so it was fun making Karli one, too. My daughter’s dealt with many an uncooperative patient, and I could hear her bantering with Axel.
Mill Pond’s mailman, Keagan Monroe—who’s easy on the eyes--let Karli’s mother know that Axel shouldn’t live alone anymore. Keagan’s been dropping off cottage cheese, Ensure, and applesauce and keeping an eye on him, but he’s found the stove on three times when he stops by. The problem is that Axel is of sound mind and as spiteful as ever, so refuses to cooperate with any fixes Karli finds for him. He keeps telling her that one or more of his twelve children will come to care for him, hoping he’ll croak soon and leave them all of his money.
Karli has a month off between nursing jobs, so she decides to stay with him until someone shows up. Working in a hospital is not like living with a patient. Axel can be a real pain. I loved both of my grandmothers, but they didn’t grow warm and fuzzy when they got old. They got more demanding. Karli cooks for Axel and tries to get him to move more to build up strength. That’s when she learns that Axel…and the hunky mailman she begins to lust over…can both be had with food. There’s a lot of food in this book. A reviewer warned not to read this when you’re hungry. Probably because I love to cook for friends and family.
I also have a love of old houses, and Axel’s house has great bones, but no one’s taken care of it for decades. Karli can’t stand seeing such a beautiful house in such bad shape. If she has to look at it every day, she might as well clean it. And once she does that, she decides to paint some of the rooms. Keagan loves the house, too, and pitches in. The old house and the old man start to shape up. And Karli realizes, the more she works on the house, the more Keagan’s underfoot. A win/win?