Beyond Reason Read Online Hope Ford

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Dragons, Insta-Love, Novella Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 22
Estimated words: 21092 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 105(@200wpm)___ 84(@250wpm)___ 70(@300wpm)

This book was previously published as Claiming Jane. The title and cover have been changed but the manuscript is the same.

I’m claiming my best friend’s sister.

I married her because she had no one.
She was my best friend’s sister and when he died I owed it to him to take care of her.

For seven years, I kept my distance.
I went on every deployment I could and
I gave her space.
I thought I was doing the right thing.

Now, it’s time for me to retire
And I’m going home.
She has her own life now.
She’s happy and she deserves more than being tied to her emotionally wounded husband.

But I’m beyond reason… I’m claiming my best friend’s sister.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



I should be focused on the man in the casket because the closest thing to a brother I have is being lowered into the ground, but I can’t keep my eyes off of his sister, Jane. She is sitting in the front row, surrounded by men and women in uniform, and I am standing at attention by the closed casket.

A possession like nothing I’ve ever felt before comes over me. I wonder where her friends are. I wonder why her brother is about to be buried and she has no one sitting next to her, trying to comfort her as the tears roll down her cheeks.

Just watching her, I know I can’t leave without making sure she is going to be okay. And yes, a part of me feels like I owe it to James. He was my best friend, and he would do the same for me. But it’s more than that because just seeing the pain etched on to Jane’s beautiful face fills me with an emotion that I haven’t felt in a long time. I pride myself on staying emotionally detached—being a SEAL demands that. But one look at Jane and all the things I thought I knew about myself are gone.

I fist my hands at my sides, fighting the urge to go to her.

When the funeral is finally over and the crowd breaks off into smaller groups, I walk over to where she’s still sitting, staring at the fresh dirt. With my hands in my pockets, I approach her. “Hey, Jane. I’m not sure if you know me or not, but I’m Grant. I was your brother’s—”

She forces a smile to her face and cuts me off. “I know who you are. Besides seeing you in pictures, James talked about you all the time.”

I nod as my stomach clenches. Life just isn’t fair sometimes, and I’ve lost brothers before, but James, man, losing James just hits hard. I clear my throat. “He talked about you all the time too.”

She sucks in a breath and pulls back her shoulders. She’s physically trying to hold herself together, and it’s obvious that she’s about to lose it. I don’t know why, but I need to be here when she does.

I don’t ask her about her family because I know it was just her and James. Fuck, and now it’s just her. I want to ask her where the hell her friends are, but I’m afraid of upsetting her even more.

I cross my arms over my chest to keep from reaching for her. “I’m on leave for a week. Can I help you with anything while I’m here?” My plan was to go to my home in Whiskey Run after the funeral, but if Jane needs me, I can stay in California.

She shakes her head. “There’s nothing to really do. The house sold a month ago, and what’s left of James’ things are in a rental unit.”

I try to think back and recall if James told me he was selling his house. I don’t remember it if he did. “I didn’t know you all were selling.”

She draws her knees up and pulls her long skirt down over them as she does. As she wraps her arms around her legs, she shrugs. “Yeah, I’m not sure it was planned. He got into some trouble and owed some money so…”

Her voice trails off, and I ask, “What do you mean, he got into some trouble?”

Her gaze turns curious, and as if she’s made a decision, she shakes her head side to side. “You don’t know, do you?”

I can tell by the way she says it that I’m not going to like it. “I don’t know what?”

She shudders, and I swear her shoulders drop even farther as if she’s holding the weight of the world on them. “You don’t know that he gambled our house away. He lost it in some tournament when he was on leave a few months ago.”

I think back to a few months before, and I remember when James went on leave. “You mean when you were sick… he came home to take you to the hospital… right?”

She stands up and wipes her hands across her skirt, straightening the material. “It’s fine. What’s done is done.”

I put a hand up and walk toward her. “Wait, talk to me and tell me what happened. He told me you were sick and he needed to come check on you. He stayed with you in the hospital…”

She throws her hands up in the air. “If that’s what he told you, that’s what happened.”

I put my hands on her shoulders to stop her from walking away. “Jane, talk to me. I’m not a fool. I know that James once battled with addiction, but I thought he was done with that.”

She nods. “Yeah, for awhile, he was doing better. I thought he’d kicked the gambling addiction, but the fact is he only got better at hiding it. He succeeded for awhile. Time and time again, I thought I’d misplaced our parents’ coin collection or my mom’s necklace and rings. But everything was going missing when he would come home.” She lifts her shoulders in a shrug. “He had nothing left to give… so he bet the house.”