Home Fires (The Long Road Home #9) Read Online Cat Johnson

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors: Series: The Long Road Home Series by Cat Johnson
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Total pages in book: 70
Estimated words: 66209 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 331(@200wpm)___ 265(@250wpm)___ 221(@300wpm)
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A Navy SEAL home on leave. The girl from his past who’s been kidnapped. A hero willing to do anything to get her back…

Calvin Swenson Junior is going home. But he’s going back on his terms and for the only person who could have convinced him to set foot in his father’s domain again—his grandmother.
She was the one shining light in his childhood. The one who’d kept the home fires burning after his mother’s death. And the last person he’d ever expect to be a conniving, manipulative liar who would actually pretend to be dying just to get him home! But that’s exactly what she’d done.
He could leave. Go back to the team or take a much-needed vacation. It would be what the old woman deserved for scaring him. Or maybe he should stick around. Find out why she was so desperate to get him back there.
The chance to rekindle his relationship with Pru, the girl from his past, is incentive enough to stay awhile… and he’s glad he did stay because when Pru and his grandmother are kidnapped he’s the only one in the position to save them.

FULL BOOK START HERE:

PROLOGUE

Prudence Swenson stood at the window on the highest floor of the massive house and watched the long line of cars arriving via the driveway down below.

Each one stopped by the front entrance. The guests inside, decked out in their finest black attire, got out and made their way to the front door while the valets, hired for the day, sped away to park the vehicle before returning to do it all again for the next arrival.

This was a popular event. People had turned out en masse. Meanwhile, she hid in what was now her bedroom, unable, or perhaps just unwilling to go downstairs. At least not quite yet. Maybe not at all.

Why should she go down and join all the strangers? Who would miss her if she didn’t? They were there to be seen, not to see her.

She had the Swenson name, but none of the power or prestige and sadly, none of the vast amounts of family wealth either.

That was the fate of the stepchild of a cousin, now orphaned and taken in by the good graces of the almighty Swenson family.

A wave of guilt hit her at the thought.

She shouldn’t think like that. Myra, as she was allowed to call the woman who was technically her great-step-aunt—or was it step great-aunt—was sweet.

More accurately, Myra was shrewd, cunning and tough as nails, but she did have a kind side for family. And although there were those among the Swensons who had never considered Prudence family, Myra was not one of them.

Neither was Cadence, Myra’s granddaughter. Similar in age, and therefore sharing a lot of interests growing up, they’d been friends since they’d both been eight. They still were, friends, although not as close as they’d been before.

There was a distance between them—literally and figuratively—after Cadence was sent away to the best boarding school in the country at age fifteen, while Pru continued to attend public school locally. As poor relations should, she supposed. Just as she supposed she should feel lucky she’d been stashed away in the attic bedroom and wasn’t living on the streets now…

Her single mother marrying a Swenson—even one of the lesser family members—had been scandalous.

Her mother had been a factory worker. He was one of the big bosses. But they had fallen in love and, to the despair of some members of his family, Guy Swenson had married her mother. At eight, Pru had officially been adopted into the family. Guy had given her his last name and, like it or not, added her and her mom to the illustrious Swenson family tree.

Life was good for a while. For ten years the three of them—Guy, Pru and her mom—lived as a happy family in one of the four houses on the Swenson estate. Not in the “big house”, meaning the brick 1910 mansion, complete with a ballroom on the third floor.

Instead, they’d lived in the Tudor-style guest house, which wasn’t exactly roughing it. Compared to the tiny Albany apartment where she and her mother had shared a bed, the three-bedroom guest house was a castle.

Having her own room for the first time was heaven. Living skipping distance away from her new best friend had been the stuff of dreams. Not to mention Cadence’s gorgeous older brother Cal, the man she planned to marry one day…in her dreams.

That was all before Cadence went away to school and Cal Junior joined the military.

And before the crash. Or the incident as everyone referred to it within earshot of her.

A rainstorm, a slick highway and an out-of-control tractor trailer had wiped out her family and her happiness all at once.

She became an orphan the week she turned eighteen. Happy birthday to her.


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