I’m excited to say that my short, sexy, “secret baby” novella Whole Lot O’ Love is officially available on its own.
Ashlee Branton’s lottery win is giving her and her son a new, settled life back home.
Except that returning to Blaine, Washington means facing her son’s father, Brick Harcourt, in a most unsettling way.
Ashlee deserted Brick and his less-than-accepting family when she’d become pregnant. Refusing to be just a statistic, she worked hard to raise their baby on her own. But as luck would have it, she has a chance to repair what she broke back then. Dare she take one more chance on love?
But Ashlee has two pasts now, one with Brick and one with an ex who wants to crash their reunion. Will she run again or stay and sacrifice money for love?
Here’s a taste of what you can expect from Whole Lot O’ Love:
Life had a lot of peculiar twists in it for the Branton clan. Cousin Tyce married an heiress who turned out to be his first love, but their other cousin Teri Branton was ditched at the altar and married a stranger within weeks.
Yes, Ashlee decided, the Brantons were given different, unusual paths to walk, and now Ashlee had one, too. Considering she was only twenty-three, she’d already been handed some doozies. A teenage pregnancy made her run off alone to take on single motherhood. After a short stint in school, she’d landed a decent job that paid the bills if not much more. Lost that job and started waitressing at a diner and lived broke—very broke.
And now this. The biggest, weirdest twist she could imagine.
She stretched out on the bed, propped her head on her hand and stared at her lottery ticket again. The numbers blurred on the strip of paper as she blinked through tears. Fearful she somehow had the numbers jumbled she checked the screen of her phone again. Not jumbled. There they were; her birthday, Cory’s birthday, and Tommy’s.
She fisted a hand into her mouth to stop a shout of triumph? Fear? Excitement? With Cory asleep on his side of the bed, she had to be quiet. No shrieking, no giggling, no wild crazy joy. Her son would be cranky if he didn’t get a full night’s sleep.
Tracing the numbers on the ticket with a fingertip, she checked the screen on her phone again. She’d used Tommy’s birthdate out of habit, though they’d broken up last week.
The shakes began when she formed the amount in her mind. Half a million dollars. Half a million.
Five hundred thousand. Dollars. Real dollars.
Okay, that part had to be wrong. Luck like this didn’t happen to people like her. People from the La La Land Trailer Park did not win big. Not in the money department.
Except her cousins, Tyce and Teri had won the game of love. And Tyce’s wife, Lisa, had inherited a ton from her husband, so in a way, Tyce and Lisa had won in the money game.
Why couldn’t Ashlee win money? Maybe it was her turn.
Tommy, that’s why. He’d want half, if not more. But Tommy was gone, wasn’t he? He’d walked out of their lives a week ago because she wouldn’t let him move in. But she had Cory to consider and he’d never understood that.
He didn’t get that being with him for six months wasn’t long enough to take a chance. Not with Cory. And she hated the idea of living with a man just for the shared rent. That path led straight downhill to dependence and no way would she get talked into being dependent on a man. She’d been stuck there too often as a kid.
She was better off without Tommy, even if it meant she and Cory had to stay in this crappy motel until one of her job prospects panned out. She was an experienced administrative assistant and soon she’d leave the diner behind.
Soon, meaning first thing in the morning. She didn’t have to wait for a new job.
Because life had just taken another strange turn.
And she and Cory had to get the hell out of town. She’d walked away from her life before and she could do it now.