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Picking up the Pieces by Jessica Prince – Book Blast/Giveaway

 

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Blurb:

After having her heart broken by the only man she’s ever loved everything seemed to go downhill for Emerson Grace. It has taken eight years but Emmy is finally starting to pick up the pieces of her damaged life. But the man who destroyed it has returned bringing with him the pain of the past. Can she let go of the pain Luke caused and accept him back into her life or will the memories be too much for her to overcome?

Running from Emmy was the only way Lucas Allen knew he could protect her from the demons he carried with him. After spending one perfect night together Luke takes off, certain that he can’t possibly give Emmy everything she deserves. Now he’s made the decision to return to Cloverleaf and make things right. But is he prepared to truly face all of the damaged he has caused?

Will Luke and Emmy finally get their chance at love or will the secrets of the past stop them before they even get to begin?

SNAPPED

This takes place shortly after Luke and Emmy move in together.

EMERSON

How is it possible to love someone with all of your heart but want to murder them at the exact same time?

This is the problem I’ve been having with Luke ever since we moved in together… or I should say, ever since he showed up and refused to leave. I’ve actually caught myself watching Snapped on Oxygen as a what-not-to-do guide on killing my live-in boyfriend. I have to say, I’m pretty confident that I could get away with it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many things about Luke that are absolutely wonderful. He’s sweet, funny, he shows me daily how much he loves me, he cuddles when I want (without bitching about it!) and he’s super sexy. From the outside, I’m sure you’re wondering why I want to bludgeon this man over the head and bury him in the backyard.

It’s simple really. And here’s why:

“Hey there, gorgeous.” That was what greeted me when I walked through the door after sixteen hours on my feet at Virgie May’s. I was exhausted, but the deep rumble of Luke’s voice greeting me after such a tiring day caused a flutter deep in my belly. A smile spread across my face and I turned around, fully prepared to jump him where he sat and… Froze in place.

What. The. Fuck?

Now, typically I was used to seeing Luke on the couch, watching TV without a shirt on, but what I saw before my eyes, pissed me the hell off. It was not the fact that Luke was sitting on the couch shirtless, it was the fact that he was sitting on the couch shirtless and without pants on because he’d decided to strip out of his uniform, down to his underwear, in the middle of the living room and leave all his shit RIGHT THERE!

His gun belt was thrown over the back of the couch, his pants and shirt were in a pile on the floor, and he obviously just kicked off his shoes and left them where ever the hell they landed.

Normally, I’d just take a deep breath and politely ask him to pick his shit up and put it where it belongs but I couldn’t bring myself to be that nice because I wasn’t just looking at his clothes. I was also looking at the beer bottles piling up on every available surface, the empty pizza boxes that were tossed haphazardly on the coffee table, and Trevor… with his muddy as hell shoes propped up on my three hundred dollar ottoman!

I know what you’re thinking… Sexy man in his underwear in your living room should be a dream come true, right?

Not so much.

Let me tell you, Luke in his underwear is a sight to behold, but Luke in his underwear and those ugly-ass, calf high, brown socks that go with his uniform is not.

No man looks hot while half naked and wearing turd colored socks pulled halfway up to his knees!

Luke was facing the TV with his back to me watching the baseball game so he wasn’t able to see the look of pure fury on my face. Trevor, however, had turned around to greet me and immediately caught on.

“Dude.” He threw a beer cap at Luke’s head then nodded in my direction.

A slow, lazy smile spread across his face when he turned around and saw me. “Hey baby girl, how was your day?”

I said he was sexy… not smart. But to his credit, he’s a guy so you can’t expect him to catch on immediately so I decided to spell it out for him.

“It was exhausting, Luke. I was on my feet for sixteen hours, waiting on people all damn day and all I could think about was coming home, soaking in a nice, hot bath and going to bed. You can imagine my surprise when I come home and the house if a friggin disaster area.”

He waved his hand in the air dismissively and turned back to the game. “Don’t worry. I’ll clean it.”

Any woman in a relationship knows that when I man says “I’ll clean it,” that means he’ll do it when he damn well wants to. That wasn’t working for me.

“When Luke?”

“When what?”

I put my hands on my cocked hip, ready for a fight. “When will you clean it?” I asked, now frustrated.

“I don’t know,” he replied, never taking his eyes off the TV. “Whenever.”

Now before you start thinking that I’m some raging bitch who likes to complain just to hear myself talk, let me explain something. No man and woman—no matter how much they love each other—can move in together without some pretty significant ups and downs. It’s an adjustment, people. Therefore, I do not feel that I am in the wrong for threatening bodily harm on my man whenever he makes me mad. I feel that is my right as a girlfriend.

Trevor turned back to me with a look of fear. “She’s giving you killer eyes, man. I think her head’s about to explode or something.”

“Trevor…” I said his name in a warning through clenched teeth.

“Well, I’m out.” He removed his dirty shoes from my ottoman (leaving smudges in the process) and slapped Luke on the back before booking it to the door. “It’s been real, man. Call me tomorrow if you’re still alive.” Then he was gone.

Luke looked from the front door back to me with concern on his face.  “You okay, baby? Did you have a bad day or somethin’?”

Is he serious right now?

“Did you not hear what I said earlier?”

He scratched his chin and looked at the ceiling as if he was trying to figure out a difficult math problem. “Well… yeah. But I said I’d clean it so I don’t really know what the problem is.”

Trevor was right. My head was about to explode. “My problem is, when you say you’re going to clean something that only means you’ll get around to it next week once it’s already had the chance to grow toxic mold on it since it’s a scientific fact that boys are gross! I don’t want it cleaned whenever, I want it cleaned now! This is a nice, girly house that you’re messing up with all your nasty guy shit!”

He looked at me, eyes wide as salad plates, like I’d just spoken in tongues or something then proceeded to ask the one question that men should NEVER ask. And when he did, he leaned in and whispered it like it was some sort of secret.

“Are you on your period?”

My back stiffened instantly at his questions. There was absolutely no way in hell I was about to admit to him that I was, in fact, on my period. He’d use that as an excuse for my behavior when I’d be pissed regardless.

“I really want to shoot you with your gun right now,” I whispered, and at my words, he slowly reached over, pulled his gun belt from the back of the couch and moved it far out of my reach.

Then his eyes locked on mine and after several tense seconds of staring at each other, I spun on my heels and stomped to the bathroom. Once there I was finally able to take a deep breath and assess the situation. Okay, so maybe I was being a little irrational. Maybe my period was making me crazy.

I’d just decided that I was going to consider apologizing to Luke for acting like a raging bitch when I turned to start the shower and proceeded to step in a puddle of piss right in front of the toilet.

Can someone please explain to me why it is impossible for a grown ass man to hit the toilet every time? I don’t understand it. Does gravity work differently when it comes to men and their urine? And that leads to a whole other question. Are all men this gross?

I stood under the water for God knows how long, just letting it beat down on my shoulders, hoping to release some stress. By the time I got out of the shower I was somewhat relaxed and capable of having a rational conversation with Luke. I wrapped my hair in a towel and pulled on my most comfy robe and headed into the living room.

I was shocked to find the TV off and everything spotless. In the time it took me to shower Luke had cleaned up his mess, put on a pair of basketball shorts (thank God he took off those awful socks) and was in the process of making dinner.

I felt absolutely wretched for how I’d treated him earlier. He really was a fantastic boyfriend and I should be grateful to have him in my life.

I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist, squeezing tightly. “I’m sorry,” I mumbled into his naked back. “I’m a shitty girlfriend.”

He turned in my arms and placed his own around my neck. “You aren’t a shitty girlfriend,” he said after kissing my forehead. “This whole living together thing is just gonna take some time, that’s all. We gotta work through some growing pains then everything will be smooth sailing.”

God, I love this man.

“You’re right. I promise I’ll try to keep my bitch in check a little more.”

His lips spread in that sexy grin I loved so much. “And I promise to try and always clean up after myself. But we’re still bound to have more fights like this. You know that, right?”

I sighed and laid my cheek against his chest. “Yeah, I know. But I figure as long as we have some killer makeup sex afterwards it all evens out in the end.”

“That’s my girl.” He lifted my face to his and proceeded to give me one of those mind numbing kisses he was so good at. “Just one more thing, baby girl,” he said against my lips.

“What’s that?”

He snickered before informing me, “I deleted all your recorded episodes of Snapped and gave Trevor a note stating that if I meet an untimely death you were most likely to blame.”

I grinned back up at him.

Busted.

 

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