Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: April 7, 2014
Anna Parker’s life disintegrates with one phone call. Her dad’s selling their ritzy New York City condo because her Wall Street banker mom emptied their bank account and ran off with another man. Which means Anna has to drop out of her elite college and move with Dad back to their small Ohio hometown. Anna’s determined to reclaim her life ASAP, so she’ll use the next few months to save money, help Dad get back on his feet, and find and confront her mom.
But Anna doesn’t anticipate things going so wrong. The only job she can get is working as a lunch lady in an elementary school. Their money-pit duplex is falling apart around their feet. And her dad is depressed without her mom, who’s proving hard to find.
One bright spot in the chaos is Gavin Metcalf, a kindergarten teacher she dated when they were young teens. With his easy wit and sexy smiles, he makes her forget her stresses—and the fact that her boyfriend Steven back in New York doesn’t know the truth yet about her dire circumstances. When past and present collide, Anna has to decide where her future lies…
“Holy shit,” Bianca breathed into my ear. “Gavin’s staring at you like he wants to eat you alive.”
That got my blood pumping even more, but I gave her a casual smile without looking at him to confirm. I was kinda disturbed by how much I wanted to though. “Huh. That’s interesting.”
The grin she shot me was filled with knowing. “Yeah. It is. You should go say hi.”
“I don’t need to say hi, and I don’t want to.” I raised my arms in the air with the rest of the crowd on the floor.
“Are you afraid?” she challenged.
I scoffed. “Afraid of what?”
“Afraid that the attraction you feel for Gavin is stronger than what you feel for this rich dude you’re dating.”
Shit. Nailed it in one. My cheeks flamed, and I dropped my arms. The truth I’d been trying to run from was thrust right in my face. I could blame my self-honesty right now on the alcohol buzz, but that wasn’t it. Gavin drew me closer, even as he aggravated me. Today at work I’d studiously avoided him while serving. He was a dangerous distraction, a temptation I couldn’t handle.
I didn’t want to be that girl. One cheater in the family was enough.
Bianca thrust a few bucks in my hand. “Can you get us water? Talk or don’t talk to him—I won’t push. But if he’s impacting you this much, you shouldn’t ignore that to stay with someone who doesn’t put a tingle in your vajingle.” With a knowing look, she shoved me off the floor.
Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago. She has a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) and freelance edits.
When she isn’t writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.
Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family.