Something borrowed, something (baby) blue…
Zach, a former international agent, orders everything from socks to groceries online. Including—after a spontaneous click of his mouse—his new bride. But when Catherine arrives on his step with a baby in her arms and a scared look in her eyes he’s not sure if it’s the situation or her past causing the fear. All he knows is that he’s the man who can protect this small family.
Catherine needs to hide and she figures she’s found her safe haven with Zach, a rugged, handsome man in charge of his own private security business. But will it become more than just shelter as the two build a home and life together? Or will the past come knocking and spoil everything they’ve strived to create?
Find out in the sixth irresistible book in the Veils and Vows series by New York Times bestselling romance author Jean Oram. Mail Order Soulmate can be read out of series order and as a standalone so dive in today and get swept away by their unexpected love in this sweet with heat romance!
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Sneak Peek from Mail Order Soulmate
Zach Forrester considered his living room. The cheerful floral arrangement was a nice touch of color among the muted tones, as was the new, deep burgundy couch. They both added life to the otherwise dull space, making him less likely to notice the brooding gray November light struggling in through the windows. The special-order headlights for his Land Rover, were nice, too. Although the public-issue vehicle tracker wasn’t nearly as good as the one he’d used while in the undercover intelligence business.
He checked his credit card statement on his phone and scrubbed at his short hair. It appeared as though his card had taken another hit, thanks to his online shopping bender the night before last. This was starting to become a costly habit. One he needed to curb.
Zach tossed his phone onto the couch and massaged his aching temples. A few too many whiskeys and a whole lot of consumerism had happened. He supposed his therapy of choice could be worse. But still, something had to change. And soon.
He was failing to adapt to civilian life, failing to pretend he hadn’t seen the things he’d seen, hadn’t done the things he’d done to keep the country, and sometimes the entire world, safe. Real life was happening around him, but he felt as if he’d been set apart, struggling to act as though he was just like everyone else, that being an agent for almost a decade hadn’t changed him in ways that left him altered, unreachable.
Now that he was retired, his new mission was to forget it all, blend in, marry and live a life with a woman who would be okay not knowing every gory detail about the things he’d done in his former career.
However, even the local matchmaker, Ginger McGinty, who never struck out, couldn’t find someone for him.
But her husband, Zach’s buddy and former partner, Logan Stone, had made the leap from secret life to real life. While he’d seemed surprised when Zach announced he was leaving the service, Logan had quickly followed suit, the two of them opening a security business that served civilians.
Normal life suited Logan. His reentry had been smooth and effortless.
Zach’s reentry, on the other hand, looked more like a shopaholic had gotten hold of Daddy’s credit card. Moving himself from South Carolina to the small mountain town of Blueberry Springs a few months back hadn’t magically cured him, either.
Zach moved some shipping boxes aside, relieved that he hadn’t gone too overboard with this latest spree. He’d needed the couch, and the flowers were cheery. He could manage this. He was still buying stuff he could use. He wasn’t blowing it all on trash that would sit in a closet or end up in a landfill.
The doorbell rang and Zach grumbled to himself. How much more from the online world of easy shopping had he decided to overnight ship to himself? There’d been a lull in both the afternoon deliveries and the complaints from his neighbor, George, who claimed the delivery traffic stressed out his dog, Queenie. Zach had assumed that the flowers were the last of the day’s shipments, with maybe a few more items coming tomorrow, since in reality, overnight shipping to a small town typically meant one-to-four business days.
He briefly considered doing some forensic tracking of his online forays, to unearth the last yet-to-be-filled orders so he could cancel them. Although he had to admit it was cheering to receive surprise packages. It was as though all the birthdays that had gone unacknowledged while he’d been out in the field, deep undercover and without family to pass on their well wishes on his special day, had stockpiled. His birthday hadn’t been something noteworthy in a very long time.
Maybe that was what Logan had to save him from blowing through his retirement fund: he had someone to spend the holidays and birthdays with. He had Annabelle, his adopted special-needs adult daughter, who lived a few blocks away, and his wife, Ginger, who he’d married as part of his cover during a mission, but had ultimately fallen for.
Zach opened the front door, the security system chirping due to the doorway breach as frigid mountain air blasted him. He was facing a woman in a thin, faded jacket and a backpack. Not a delivery then. Relief washed over him as he gazed at her. She was tall, nearly his height, her blond hair revealing a hint of darkness at the roots, the wavy curls demonstrating a similar softness to her generous curves. She looked like a woman worth holding, someone a man his size could really put his arms around and enjoy, knowing she was there, a grounding force.
Zach blinked and shook himself.
He was lonely. That was definitely the problem. And shopping wasn’t filling that hole.
“Zach Forrester?” she asked. She had a British accent and he worked to place it. It wasn’t flat like Yorkshire, and it lacked an upper class polish. It was more similar to the classic accent, as if she’d grown up in one of the older downtown neighborhoods or along the edges of London, sneaking smokes and liquor after school, and kissing boys in out-of-the-way corners. Generally getting into a typical teenaged version of trouble he’d never had the time to participate in while growing up.
“Yes?” he replied.
Beyond her on the sidewalk was an infant tucked under a fluffy blanket in a cheap stroller, a diaper bag on the walkway beside it. No car at the curb in front of his two-story. Was she lost? Looking for donations? In need of a safe place to duck into while she called her family, as a man in an unmarked van was following her and giving her the creeps?
And there he went again. Worst case scenario. Abductions were rare in real life.
This whole living and thinking like a civilian was harder than it looked.
“I’m Catherine Tidsdale,” she said.
He made a hum of acknowledgment, curious as to why she’d said her name as though it was one he should know.
“We met on Email Brides and Grooms. I’m your wife.”
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