Army brat Kaydee Wagner gets twitchy if she stays in one place for too long. But when her grandfather needs someone to stay with him for a bit and his home needs a lot of repairs, she steps up to the plate.
Lucky for her, help arrives from their neighbor’s gorgeous grandson, former Army Ranger Leo Reed.
Leo’s desperate to rise above his dark past and enjoy life again. He’s already made a lot of progress, so when the woman he can’t stop thinking about needs a handyman, he volunteers. But after a very...wet incident involving deadly dance moves and a wayward sink hose, their clothes hit the floor faster than a stack of tile.
He doesn’t want forever—that would mean revealing his past, which he’s not ready to do. She only wants right now, because any other option would require sticking around.
And then Kaydee discovers she’s pregnant.
“Kaydee,” he said again, but this time he reached out to lightly touch her shoulder.
Letting out a startled cry, she turned toward him with the sprayer still in her hand. Water immediately pelted his face and the side of his head with the force of a mini power washer, blasting his flesh with a shock of heat that ran down his neck and chest. Luckily, it was only hot and not scalding.
“Oh my God, Leo!” She dropped the sprayer, then shut off the water with one hand and yanked her earbuds out with the other. “Are you okay?
“Yeah. I needed a good soaking.” He slicked back his wet hair and grinned. “No harm done.”
But apparently, she chose not to listen, because she grabbed a nearby dish towel and started to mop the wetness from his face and chest. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t hear you come in.”
She stilled, and her gaze slowly rose to meet his. “Oh, crap. Exactly how long were you in here?”
Loving the flush of color that swept up into her cheeks, he decided to tease her a little more. “Long enough to know you’d be dangerous on the dance floor.”
“Yeah, to others.” Her blush increased. “Oh God, I can’t believe you saw that.”
Before he could reply, she dropped her forehead on his chest, and her whole body shook as she laughed.
The unexpected move and feel of her soft curves brushing his body removed all traces of teasing from his mind. He always wondered how she’d feel in his arms, and now he knew, even if—technically—he didn’t have his arms around her. Yet. Because he could. It’d be so easy. So damn easy. All he had to do was put his hands on her back.
But that would be playing with fire, and he didn’t want her to get burned.
“I can’t believe I got you soaking wet.” She drew back and started mopping his shirt with the towel again. “I’m so sorry.”
Thankful for the reprieve, he went back to teasing. “No harm done. I won’t melt.”
She snickered and continued to dry him off, but her nearness and press of her fingers weren’t doing his libido any good, so he placed his hand over hers to stop her movements.
Before, at least a wet shirt had separated their skin. Not now. His palm covered her hand, and the feel of her soft, warm skin kicked his pulse into gear.
Once again, their gazes met, but this time mortification and teasing were no longer present, just a raw, untamed attraction. It posed a danger big enough to rival her lethal dance moves.
Her gaze dropped to his mouth, and Leo’s heart rocked in his chest. A sensation he hadn’t felt in years. Leave it to Kaydee to induce the movement. It was strange. He knew he should back away, but he didn’t. Couldn’t. It felt as if his whole body was coming alive, and until that moment, he hadn’t realized how truly out of touch with life he’d been the past few years. Perhaps always.
These rangers won my heart with the first story, and it has been one of those series that I have eagerly anticipated for each title to be published. The tales are a perfect mix of tight brotherhood, swoony romance, deep emotions that have brought me to tears, and humor that has made me laugh out loud with the comical moments.
I knew Leo's story would be an emotional one, he has gone through so much since he returned from service. Leo has been a part of each story, more of a reason for the ranch to exist than maybe anyone else. His battle against the memories, the inner demons, has let to some drastic decisions in the past, but he has finally found his place in a world again, slowly coming to accept and leave behind the nightmares of his former times in the rangers.
Kaydee Wagner is a spirited and kindhearted woman. She has a connection to Leo that is a tangible force in the tale. She turns out to be just so perfect for him, as suitable as Leo is for her, and her wanderlust and restless soul, the byproducts of an army brat moving around all her life. It is hard for her to open up and accept people into her life, knowing that they will never stay, the risk of giving her heart feels too big, because there are no guarantees of continues relationships and root in one place, when everything is temporary.
Leo and Kaydee, they get each other. They understand and accept each other, and the passion and the harmony between them is a beautiful thing to be witnessed. The physical connection between them is scorching hot, the mental connection and the hearts finding their soulmates takes a bit more effort to be accepted.
I was an emotional mess reading this story and not just from the ardent, adorable love story developing between Kaydee and Leo, and Leo finally finding himself again, but also from the tight friendships between the rangers, the way they looked after each other, had each others backs, and were there to encourage, support, and mess with each other whenever the moment arose. There were heartfelt moments that brought me to tears and those moments that made me sigh with content. But there were also tears because the past hurt is so deep, the demons gerning inside so painful, and the doubts vivid and the old wounds aching.
Leo's story was everything I expected, and then some. It is poignant, sensual, loving, and entertaining. It takes the reader from the darkest moments of a human soul to the most exhilarating joy and the jubilee of life and living. The whole series is such an eye-opening look into the lives of vets after they return to the civilian life, the challenges they face, the hurdles they have to overcome. There is heart, humor, passion, and feels in each tale, perfect for binge reading during the summer days. Absolutely a must read series in my eyes.
And Leo and Kaydee, them finding the peace of mind, heart, and soul, and their forever-after happiness, that tale is just filled with fervor and adoration.
~ Five Spoons