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Baby, Drive South
Baby, Drive South
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Baby, Drive South

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Baby, Drive South
Stephanie Bond

The hardheaded Armstrong brothers are determined to rebuild their tornado-ravaged hometown in the Georgia mountains.They've got the means, they've got the manpower…what they need are women! So they place an ad in a northern newspaper and wait for the ladies to answer their call….Porter, the youngest Armstrong, is all for importing women. Still, he's so blown away by the sheer numbers, he falls off the water tower. Luckily there's a doctor among the newcomers—sweet and sexy Dr. Nikki Salinger. And Porter has every intention of checking out her bedside manner…

Praise for the novels of


“The perfect summer read.”

—Romance Reviews Today on Sand, Sun…Seduction!

“[My Favorite Mistake] illustrates the author’s gift for weaving original, brilliant romance that readers find impossible to put down.”

— on My Favorite Mistake

“This book is so hot it sizzles.”

—Once Upon a Romance on She Did a Bad, Bad Thing

“An author who has remained on my ‘must-buy’ list for years.”

—Romance Reviews Today

“True-to-life, romantic and witty, as we’ve come to expect from Ms. Bond.”

—The Best Reviews

“Stephanie Bond never fails to entertain me and deserves to be an auto-buy.”

—Romance Reviews Today

Baby, Drive South


Bond (

This book is dedicated to every person

who has ever lived in “the country”…

and to those who long to.


Stephanie Bond was raised on a farm in Eastern Kentucky where books—mostly romance novels—were her number one form of entertainment, which she credits with instilling in her “the rhythm of storytelling.” Years later, she answered the call back to books to create her own stories. She sold her first manuscript in 1995 and soon left her corporate programming job to write fiction full-time. Today, Stephanie has over fifty titles to her name, and lives in midtown Atlanta. Visit for more information about the author and her books.



Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five


Marcus Armstrong gaped at his two younger brothers sitting on the other side of his desk, unable to believe his ears. “Is this a joke? The last thing we need in this town is women!”

Middle brother, Kendall, averted his gaze and wiped his hand over his mouth. But their younger brother, Porter, always the hothead, leaped from his chair.

“This isn’t a joke, Marcus, and you’re being an idiot!”

Marcus planted his hands on his desk, then pushed to his feet. “Watch your mouth, little brother. I can still pin your ears back if I have a mind to.”

Porter’s chin went up. “I’d like to see you try that.”

Kendall stood and positioned himself between them, hands up. “That’s enough, you two. Let’s sit down and discuss this like businessmen—and brothers.”

At Kendall’s calming tone, some of Marcus’s anger defused, replaced by a twinge of guilt. Kendall had been playing referee all of their lives. Marcus conceded it was the only way the three of them had gotten as far as they had rebuilding their hometown of Sweetness, Georgia, which had been leveled by an F-5 tornado ten years ago.

By the grace of God, no lives had been lost. But with the infrastructure of the dying, remote mountain town obliterated, residents had abandoned their property and fled to safer and more prosperous ground. Of the three of them, only Porter had been around when the tornado had struck. After seeing their widowed mother settled in with her sister near Atlanta, he’d returned to the Armed Forces, like his older brothers. Scattered to far ends of the world, they each had fulfilled stints of active duty in different branches, then, fortuitously, their tours had ended within a few months of each other and they’d returned to civilian life.

While working in the Air Force on reconstruction projects after natural disasters, Kendall had learned of the U.S. government’s interest in “green-town” experiments. He proposed they apply to the program to rebuild the town of Sweetness on the burgeoning industries of alternative energy and recycling. The recycling had made sense because there was a ton of debris to clear before they could lay out roads and set the boundaries of the new town. They were given a grant and a two-year window to meet minimum requirements—otherwise the land designated as the city limits of Sweetness would revert to the government. Three months into the enormous undertaking, they were making progress and Marcus was pleased by the fact he and his brothers were seeing eye to eye on the reconstruction efforts…except, apparently, on one critical topic.

“Kendall,” Marcus said, “surely you don’t support Porter’s cockamamie idea of bringing women here.”

Kendall looked pained, then lifted his shoulders in a shrug. “The men are getting restless, Marcus. They’re young and…”

“Horny,” Porter supplied.

“Right.” Kendall sighed. “They want some female companionship, or at least some feminine scenery.”

“There’s Molly at the dining hall,” Marcus said.

“Molly is a fine woman,” Kendall replied, “but she’s old enough to be a grandmother to most of these men.”

“Except she was a colonel,” Porter added drily. “So she’s not exactly the warm and fuzzy grandmotherly type. The other day she clocked me with a wooden spoon because I couldn’t finish that gruel she calls oatmeal.”

“We’re lucky to have her here,” Marcus said. “How else would we feed the men?”

“Marcus, she runs that place like a mess hall. And the food is terrible.”

“It’s…edible,” Marcus said in her defense. “And it’s good that she keeps the men in line.”

“Molly is a blessing,” Kendall conceded. “But surely you understand the men are more interested in having eligible, young women around.”

Marcus scoffed. “These are mostly military guys—they’re used to being without female company.”

“Sure, when they were in Iraq and Afghanistan!” Porter blurted out. “But now that they’re back on American soil, they want to see some American beauties.”

“We’re only a few hours from Atlanta,” Marcus remarked.

“Four hours,” Porter reminded him.

“The men don’t seem to mind the drive when they caravan into the city on the weekends.”

Kendall made a thoughtful noise in his throat. “But invariably, some of them don’t come back Monday morning. They’re either in jail or in love.”

Marcus pulled on his chin. Ten crews of twenty-five men each was the minimum number of bodies they needed to keep things moving forward. Admittedly, it was getting harder to recruit new workers to replace the men who went AWOL every week.

A commotion outside the office trailer caught their attention. Kendall looked out the window, then bolted for the door. “It’s another fight.”

Marcus cursed and followed his brothers outside where a few hundred yards away, two men rolled in the red mud, fists flying, while other men stood around egging them on. Kendall and Porter rushed forward to pull the men apart, but wound up getting dragged down in the mud with them instead. Marcus rolled his eyes, then reached for a water hose coiled nearby and turned a stream full force on the fighting men. “Break it up!”

The men separated enough for Kendall and Porter to drag them to their feet and shove them in opposite directions.

“He started it!” one man yelled.

“That’s bullshit!” the other man yelled.

“Enough!” Marcus roared. “One more word and your pay will be docked!” He turned to address all the workers. “The next man who wants to fight will be fired on the spot, got it? Now get back to work!”

The men grumbled, but everyone made their way back to the mountainous pile of tires that were being sent through an industrial shredder, cleaned and bagged as mulch. It was their first viable commercial product. Porter, a natural salesman, had convinced several state parks and botanical gardens to switch from natural wood mulch to their reclaimed product that would last for decades. Everything was moving forward as planned…except for the constant fighting among the men.

Kendall and Porter walked toward Marcus, slinging mud from their arms. “It’s only going to get worse,” Porter said. “These guys are together all the time, with no way to blow off steam.”

“I have to agree, big brother,” Kendall offered, picking up the hose to wash off the worst of the sticky red mud.

“C’mon, Marcus—having women here will help the town grow faster,” Porter urged. “We’re going to need retail stores and teachers and nurses—”