Countin’ on Jesse Book Excerpt!

About the Book

Book: Countin’ On Jesse

Author: Mary Pat Johns

Genre: (Inspirational) Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 12, 2023

Peeps’ gym owner Jesse seeks accreditation. Accountant Brenna wants to help Jesse reach his goal. They’re a great team, but can she count on him when trouble strikes?

Accountant BRENNA MCKINLEY only wants what’s best for Peeps, the wildly popular gym in Valiant, Texas. But when money goes missing, and she’s the obvious suspect, will she be able to clear her name or face criminal charges? Keeping her dream job matters, but falling in love with her boss isn’t part of the plan. Neither is the creepy guy stalking her.

Young veteran JESSE JACOBS manages and co-owns Peeps, an exercise facility in Valiant, Texas. He needs help to gain accreditation for the gym, and his new accountant is all in. But is she who she seems? Too bad he’s falling for her like a man with no parachute. When the pressure builds, PTSD renders him moody and volatile, risking everything he loves.

Book Excerpt

Her steps quickened when Leo bellowed, “You can land in my lap anytime.”

Once she pushed through the swinging door to the kitchen, the roar of the dining room shut off like a faucet. She flicked the salad remnants from her blouse into an industrial waste bin.

The assistant manager hurried in, waving her over. His eyes pooled with sympathy. “Breena.” He smoothed a pencil-thin mustache over his grimace. Ramon wasn’t a bad sort—he just never got her name right. “Steve saw the whole thing. What if you straighten out my bookwork for the rest of your shift?”

Her tight jaw slacked. Ramon was offering her a way to stay out of sight and stay on the clock. If Steve didn’t fire her on the spot. “I owe you.”

“Any reasonable person could see the mishap wasn’t your fault.” Ramon sliced a wary glance behind him and pointed to his office. Reasonable wasn’t one of Steve’s virtues. “Hurry.”

She willed her shaky legs to move.

“Brenna!” Her name boomeranged around the busy kitchen, hushing idle chatter. Too late. Maybe Steve would be in a forgiving mood. She turned slowly. His red face assured her nothing of the sort would happen.

“I guess you’re done.” Steve’s tone was deceptively mild.

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About the Author

Mary Pat Johns’ writing career began once she retired from years of teaching speech and writing. She’s written devotions for an online publication and had short stories published by Chicken Soup for the Soul. She currently writes a biweekly faith column for the local newspaper.

Countin’ On Jesse is her debut novel, and she’s hard at work on the rest of the Valiant series. God put it in her heart to tell stories of brave veterans and their reintegration into civilian life after suffering the traumas of war. As she kept writing, her focus generalized to include ordinary people who learn how to move forward after devastating events. Her writing has a strong spiritual thread since she considers a return to faith in God the solution for what ails the civilized world.

She lives in South Texas with her husband and their two dapple dachshunds. Her grown children and five grandchildren are useful sorts who keep her grounded with her reading/writing obsession. You can find her at the gym, at her computer, or reading a good book.

Countin’ On Jesse placed second in inspirational contemporary romance in the TARA contest. It was also a finalist in the Crown and the Maggie contests for unpublished authors.