Claire Miller fell in love with Jake in the third grade. One hot night of reckless passion changed things between them forever. Jake rocked her world, but Claire had plans for her life. Knowing she could never be what he needed, she let him go and has missed him every day since.
Jake Walker knew the first time he saw Claire, when he was nine years old, that he wanted to marry her. At seventeen, he let her go. But seven years later, the sight of her hit him like a punch to the gut. Every cell in his body demanded that she was ‘The One’. But can he convince Claire?
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Need to hide a dead body? He’d call Derek. Hell, they all would. Derek took care of their messes no matter how dirty the shit got. Jake had kept his nose pretty clean, but Mitchell and Chance had their share of wild days stealing cars, smoking dope, and generally acting like assholes when they were younger. If not for Derek, Jake figured the lot of them probably would have ended up in jail.
Derek turned around to watch their brother, Chance, laugh and slap the groom none of them knew on the back. “He’s so fucking happy I can’t stand to talk to him.”
“Yeah, well, our new sister Erin is hot as fuck.” Mitchell spoke the truth about Chance’s fiancée and Jake silently agreed. He didn’t give a shit what she looked like. She could have warts and purple hair. Erin loved his brother with everything in her. For that, all three of Chance’s brothers had her back. She was family now, pure and simple. Officially adopted, which was the best fucking thing that had ever happened to any of the Walker boys. Being adopted was the highest honor they could give her.
Jake swallowed his fourth shot of whiskey and washed away the burn with a sip of his second beer. Normally, he would have stopped after three or four beers. He’d done the shit-faced drunk, passed out and puking thing in college. And he was over it. But tonight, he felt like drowning his sorrows.
Trouble was, the more he drank, the more Claire Miller seemed to expand in his head, until he literally could not think about anything else.
“Give me another one.” Jake slid his now empty shot glass back up the bar toward the bartender, who nodded that he’d heard. That was good enough. Jake turned back around to take in the spectacle in front of him. Two women dressed as nurses were dragging Chance, who was the best man, and the groom to the middle of the room. One of Chance’s friends from college was getting married next week, and Chance had to put on a penguin suit, try not to lose the ring, and pretend he didn’t fucking hate weddings tomorrow night. Tonight’s events were all Chance’s idea, the bachelor party for his friend. And Chance’s three brothers? Hell, they didn’t even know the poor sap getting married, they were just along for the ride.
Amanda Adams fell in love with books at a very early age. Her earliest memories are of sitting on her mother’s lap reading Cinderella and Snow White and Rose Red over, and over, and over again until she had them memorized –- she was too young to know the alphabet. Amanda started writing stories in big, sloppy handwriting in a wide-rule notebook when she was bored, during class (of course) in the fifth grade. Her favorite stories always include excitement, adventure and a handsome hero guaranteed to sweep her off her feet. Amanda lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband (her high-school sweetheart who proved the reality of “love at first sight”) and three teenagers whom she reminds, repeatedly… “If it’s not in my phone, it’s not happening,” because her mind is oh-so-often far away living a fairy tale. (That’s code for – if an alarm doesn’t go off, she forgets to pick up her kids from school…)