LONG ROAD HOME by J.W. Ashley
Release Date: May 28th
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Ten years ago Lincoln Calloway broke me.
A single, terrifying phone call is all it takes to change the trajectory of my life. But what I thought would be a short trip home, quickly turns more serious as the secrets my family has tried to keep hidden finally come to light. Starting with their new handyman. Lincoln Calloway…my best friend, my biggest heartbreak.
After ten years, he’s changed from the boy who ran away to a dangerously sexy man with the body of a marble statue. His insanely blue eyes and chiseled features may have everyone fooled, but I’ve been down this road with Lincoln before. He made it clear how he felt back then, so why is he so determined to fix the broken pieces of my heart when he’s the one who shattered it in the first place?
Enjoy this steamy standalone where the lines between love and hate are blurred. Once best friends, Macey and Lincoln will have to trudge through their pasts in order to find their way to a happily ever after.
“I have your suitcase.”
Lincoln stands behind me, both of his muscled arms folded in front of his chest, my suitcase on the ground beside him. My stomach twists, the pounding of my heart an indication of the effect he still has on me. It’s bullshit, I’m over this. I have to be over this. I can’t go through that pain again—I don’t know that I’ll survive another fall.
“Thanks for delivering it,” I say and walk down the sidewalk. “You can go now.”
“Actually,” he says, leaning down to lift my suitcase before I can grab it. “I’m staying here too.”
He might as well have just told me he was Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I gape at him, eyes wide, mouth actually hanging open, as I process what he just said.
“There’s no way.”
“There is a way. I’m renovating the apartment above the café, and Gram said I could stay here in the spare room while I do.”
“The spare room—there is no spare room.”
He grins, showing white teeth in a smile that was more carnal than amused. “I know. Welcome home, roomie. Maybe later we can give each other manicures. I’ve been working on my French braid.”
Walking past me, Lincoln pulls out a set of keys and slips one into the lock before pushing the bright door open and waiting for me to walk inside.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I can’t stop myself. “You just thought you could immerse yourself in my life? Do you not have one of your own? What happened to Patricia?” I ask, immediately regretting it.
All traces of amusement disappear from his face as he glares at me. I know it was a low blow. I’ve heard all about how his high school sweetheart left him in California to run off with some wannabe musician.
His divorce was the frontline of gossip for our small town when he returned. I also happen to know just how broken up he was about it, how depressed he was when he came back. My friend Charlie had told me all of it.
Lincoln loved Patricia. I never understood it, but I could see it every time I saw them. Which, unfortunately for me, had been all the damned time. It was impossible to escape anyone when it only takes five minutes to get from one side of Main to the other.
Hurt flashes in his beautiful eyes then dissipates like smoke in the wind, no residue left behind. He lifts the corner of his mouth in a lopsided grin that turns my insides to mush. “Still jealous after all these years, sweetheart?”
“Jealous? Are you fucking kidding me?” I seethe and take a step closer, jamming a finger into his hard chest. “You’re accusing me of being jealous?”
He shrugs, fueling the fire inside of me. “If the shoe fits.” Turning on his heel, he throws up a hand in a quick wave before heading back to his truck.
“You have no right!” I yell back at him, ready to give him an ear full. But by the time I process what I want to say, he fires up the engine of his truck, and the sound blocks out my voice.
He pulls away from the curb and disappears down the street, leaving me pissed the hell off and feeling incredibly guilty.
About the Author:
J.W. Ashley is the author of over fifteen fantasy and contemporary romance novels. The former of which she writes as Jessica Wayne. During the day, she slays laundry and dishes as a homeschooling, stay at home mom of three, and at night her worlds come to life on paper.
She runs on coffee and wine (as well as the occasional whiskey!) and if you ever catch her wearing matching socks, it’s probably because she grabbed them in the dark.
She has always believed in the power of true love and soul mates, even if sometimes we have to work a little harder to find ours.
Jessica lives in Texas with her husband, kids, their two German Shepherd’s who think they’re cats, and a fluffy orange cat who thinks he’s a dog.
You can usually find her in her Facebook group, The Wayne-O’s, or keep in touch by subscribing to her newsletter where she shares updates as well as shenanigans she finds herself in.
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