THE RETURN OF THE JERK
by Andrea Simonne
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Wedding cake baker Blair Thomas loves her life. Her business is thriving, her Seattle condo has a great view of the water, and her refurbished ‘65 convertible Mustang “Isadora” is the coolest car ever. She barely even thinks about that jerk she married five years ago.
The one who abandoned her after four months of marriage. The one who left a note on her pillow saying, “See you later, babe.”
Seriously, who does that?
So what if she was once obsessively in love with him. He’s her best friend’s older brother and for years he barely even knew she was alive. He never loved her, and he only married her because of a drunken mistake. At least she’s over him.
Definitely over him.
The only problem is Blair never got around to divorcing him so technically they’re still married. And after five years of traveling the world—Nathan “Road” Church—has finally decided to come home. He arrived on Blair’s doorstep this morning, and now he’s in her bathroom taking a shower. The nerve of him! Oh, and did I mention he’s still hot? Blair doesn’t know what to do.
The jerk has returned.
Warning: Contains one sexy jerk, humorous situations, a heroine with obsessive compulsive disorder, cussing and swearing, steamy love scenes, and references to a part of the male anatomy that doesn’t crow like a rooster – but certainly rises in the early morning.
Blair sighs. “Tall, blond, and straight-up hot?”
They both nod. “Very hot,” Natalie says with a grin.
“Yes, that’s him.”
Ginger gives her a look. “If that was my husband, I’m pretty sure I’d never divorce him. Maybe you guys should try and work it out.”
“Not this situation.” Blair doesn’t bother taking her white chef’s coat off. She wants Road to be reminded that she’s at work and doesn’t have time for any big discussions.
She heads out front and sees him right away, standing near their pastry case. Her insides do their usual flutter at the sight of him.
He nods. “Hey, princess.”
“I’m working, so I don’t have a lot of time.”
“Give me your hand.”
He reaches down and takes her hand. His are warm and dry, and his touch makes her breath catch. She feels him put something into hers.
“What’s this?” She looks down in surprise. He’s given her the Honda keys.
“Not planning to take much of your time. Just stopped by to get the keys to my car and give those back to you.”
Blair shakes her head. “I’m sorry, but I’m not giving you Isadora’s keys.”
“I think you heard me.”
Road goes silent, stares at her with his eyes laser focused. They narrow. “No, don’t think I did hear you correctly. Sounded like you just told me you’re keeping my car.”
“I believe I have a claim to her.”
“No, you don’t. Now hand over the keys.”
“I’ve spent thousands on her so, yes, I do have a claim.”
“Said I’d write you a check, remember?”
Blair doesn’t reply, just turns her head back toward the kitchen to indicate she needs to get back to work.
“Cut the shit, Blair. Give me the keys to my car. Now.”
She hesitates at the demand in his voice, but then remembers how Road abandoned Isadora, just left her sitting in the driveway. He didn’t care. I care, though.
“No,” Blair tells him.
Road is studying her. “So, this is how you want to play it?”
“I’m not giving you Isadora. Like I said, she’s mine.”
Road lets out a frustrated breath.
“Feel free to use the Honda for as long as you need it. I think that’s generous.” She holds the Honda’s keys out for Road, dangling them between two fingers.
He glances at them and steps closer to her, speaking in low growl. “You don’t want to tangle with me, babe. Trust me, you’ll lose.”
The two of them stay that way. Blair sees the way he’s assessing her. She doesn’t back down, though. Instead, she meets his assessment head-on and, in fact, starts doing some assessing of her own. She already knows Road won’t back down if he thinks he’s right.
But I’m the one who’s right this time.
Andrea Simonne grew up as an army brat and discovered she had a talent for creating personas at each new school. The most memorable was a surfer chick named “Ace” who never touched a surf board in her life, but had an impressive collection of puka shell necklaces. Eventually she turned her imagination towards writing. Andrea still enjoys creating personas, though these days they occupy her books. She currently makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons.
Andrea will be awarding a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.