Letters from home lift John Caldwell’s spirits during his tour of duty in Iraq. Phoebe Honeycutt, otherwise known as Aunt Bee to all the kids in the neighborhood, fills an empty place in his life through her letters and cookie care packages after the death of his grandmother. But what John doesn’t realize is that Phoebe isn’t the doddering old lady he believes her to be. And when they come face to face at last, her delicious cookies aren’t the only things he wants to sample.
"Welcome home," the woman said.
John lifted his gaze and fell perfectly still. The sultry tone not only didn't match the voice he'd envisioned Aunt Bee to have, the woman standing before him didn't look anything like a sweet little old lady. She had to be a friend or neighbor. Whoever she was, she was an eyeful.
Tommy jumped up and down while a dog, Dodger, John assumed, danced around his feet. "Aunt Bee, he's here! He's really here!"
"Yes, I see that," she said.
John swallowed--hard. It couldn't be. She couldn't be. This incredible looking woman is Aunt Bee?
"Ain't he big? You have to be big to be a soldier, don't you? Think I'll be as big as him?" Tommy asked.
She glanced at the boy then looked back at him with a pair of the deepest green eyes John had ever seen.
"I don't know, sweetie," she said.
Tommy tugged on John's pant leg, pulling his gaze away from her.
His head tilted back, wearing a wide smile, the boy said, "I saved the bestest cookies for you every time. Cause they had to be perfect, didn't they Aunt Bee?"
"Best, not bestest," she corrected softly, then cleared her throat. "I think it's time you went home, Tommy. Your grandma will be looking for you, it's past time for her to be home from work."
"Ah, can't I stay a little longer? Soldier John just got here."
She gave him a firm look.
"Yes, ma'am," he grumbled, then paused at John's side. "Do you get to stay some? I wanna show you the tree house, but me and Larry ain't got too far yet. He had to go home cause he gots to go out to eat with his dad. They're divorced. I ain't got no dad. So can you?"
"I, uh..." John looked at the beautiful woman, who most definitely should not be a beautiful woman, then down at Tommy. There were so many things he wanted to say to the kid, but he couldn't think of a thing, he was so dumbstruck. "I don't know. Maybe."