Wrapped In You
The Monroes #1
By: Jules Bennett
Releasing March 29, 2016
The Monroe brothers found a home in Haven, Georgia, thanks to the big-hearted couple who adopted them all. Now, grieving their late sister, these three very different men will come together to honor her memory. And with the help of some unforgettable women, each will find the chance to build a whole new future…
Zach Monroe has made mistakes—big ones. The worst left the girl he loved injured, and his own brother barely speaking to him. It was a night Zach won’t let himself forget, even when the girl in question—perfect, polished Sophie Allen—walks back into his life. A realtor, Sophie’s brought an offer for their sister’s dilapidated Civil War era property. But Zach’s determined to renovate the rambling old place himself—though he longs to rebuild Sophie’s trust in him…
A business deal isn’t how Sophie wanted to approach Zach after all this time, but he won’t let anyone get personal. She can’t deny that the accident changed her life in irreparable ways. But watching gruff, quiet Zach beat himself up year after year hurts too. The wounded boy she once adored needed love, and the man is no different. Now Sophie will need every bit of her resolve to convince Zach to let love heal them both…
“We’re in here,” Sophie called as she crossed her office to greet the new guest.
Folding his arms over his chest, Zach kept his eyes on the floor. Focusing on his scuffed work boots against the pristine white carpeting was far better than seeing Sophie’s limp as she left the room.
“Wow. This must be something major for you to show up.”
Zach glanced toward the door at his younger brother, Braxton. “I have no idea what we were called in for.”
Braxton sank into the chair across from Sophie’s desk. “You gonna have a seat?”
On his feet, he was one step closer to the exit, right where he preferred.
Looking closer at Sophie’s office area gave him an insight into her life, her personality, whether he wanted to learn more or not. She obviously loved the color yellow. She also had an eye for art, if the pencil sketches randomly displayed were any indicator. The sketches of landscapes and old homes and buildings were so detailed.
Before he could study the artwork much more, the bell chimed for a third time. Perfect. The final piece to this missing,
awkward puzzle had arrived. Let the party of anger and shouting begin.
Sophie led Liam in. Liam froze as his eyes landed on Zach. “What’s going on?”
Zach forced himself not to look away from the scar running down the side of Liam’s face. So much pain in this room, pain that none of them would discuss.
“I need to talk to you guys about the property Chelsea left you.” Sophie skirted around her desk and took a seat.
Lacing her fingers over the rich wood top, she eyed all three men. “I apologize for not telling you all on the phone what was going on. I figured if I told Liam that Zach was coming, or vice versa, you all would find an excuse not to be here, and I needed all three of you in the same room.”
“What’s so important with the property?” Liam asked, taking the seat by Braxton.
They’d still not decided what to do with that monstrosity of a home on the edge of town. Their sister had bought it at a good price because it needed so much work, but Zach never did know what her true intentions were for the Civil War–era mansion.
Just a month ago he, Braxton, and Liam had been informed they were not only the new owners, per Chelsea’s will, they also owed the back taxes Chelsea had failed to pay. Perhaps it was a good thing Sophie called this little meeting, considering the brothers needed to figure out the tax issue and decide what to do with the property.
“The city council is interested in buying the estate,” Sophie went on. “They want to turn the main house and the two smaller cottages on the property into a museum and tourist
attraction. With being so close to Savannah, and all the historical value of the home, they’re positive it will pull in more tourists.”
Zach snorted. Whatever his sister had wanted to do with the home was a mystery, but he sure as hell knew she wouldn’t want a museum. An old, stuffy museum was the total opposite of his free-spirited, fun sister.
Beyond that, there was no way in hell Zach would sell to anyone associated with the mayor.
He glanced at Braxton, trying to gauge his brother’s reaction to this news. Anytime the mayor’s name was brought up, Zach cringed for Braxton. Betrayal ran deep in this family.
“We haven’t discussed what we’re doing with it yet,” Braxton said through gritted teeth.
Sophie offered one of her signature sweet smiles. “I understand this is a difficult position. I really am just trying to help you guys get out from under such a burden.”
Zach waited for Braxton to say something more, or even for Liam to jump to his defense. When both remained quiet, Zach chimed in. “We need to pay the taxes first.”
“Actually, if you sell the home, the taxes would come out of the amount of the sale.” Sophie opened a folder and slid a paper out. “This is what the city is willing to pay for the place. It’s a good price. The taxes and mortgage would be paid off.”
Zach didn’t move from his spot against the wall. Hell, he was still grieving. How could he think about facts and figures right now? Facts and figures proposed by a man who had stabbed Braxton in the back only a few short years ago.
“Looks good to me,” Liam said after looking at the paper. He settled back into his chair and crossed an ankle over his knee. “I’m fine with selling, but Braxton needs to okay this.”
Silent, Braxton still studied the numbers. Whatever emotional turmoil Braxton struggled with, the man was always business first. More than likely Braxton was pushing back that slice of pain and crunching numbers in his head. Zach, on the other hand, didn’t need to see the paper.
“I’m not okay with this.” The words were out of Zach’s mouth before he thought to keep them in. Someone needed to stand up for Braxton and for what Chelsea would’ve wanted. “We can’t decide this second to sell. There’s too much to think about and we need to sit down and discuss this privately.”
Without turning, Liam snorted. “When the hell have you ever thought about a decision? You rush into everything.”
The barb hit home, but Zach wasn’t about to dredge up their past here. Or ever, if he could help it.
“Martin has convinced the mayor to offer a very generous amount.” Sophie stared at him across the room. Apparently thinking he was crazy. “You don’t want to sit on this.”
Zach didn’t give a shit what her boyfriend Martin had done or how generous the mayor’s offer was. Both were assholes as far as Zach was concerned.
Even though Zach was currently working on a project for the city, the project he was near completing was all business. This deal that Sophie was proposing on their behalf was crossing into the personal territory.
Beyond Braxton’s hatred for Mayor Stevens, Chelsea loved that property and it had been her dream to own it someday. How could they just sell?
National bestselling author Jules Bennett is a former salon owner turned full time author. Considering she met her husband at the age of fourteen and they’ve been together since, Jules knows a thing or two about romance and happily ever after. She and her husband live in the Midwest with their two young children. When Jules isn’t creating emotional, witty stories, she’s spending time with her family, working out or procrastinating on social media. She loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her through Facebook, Twitter, or her Website.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads