Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.
The way I felt about Jenna used to piss me off. I’ve never been one to need or even want a girl messing up my life. Just the opposite, in fact. The Lone Wolf role suited me well and I was perfectly content with my world of solitude. But Jenna came along and twisted everything up. She turned me inside out and made me feel complete in a way that made no sense. I fought the sentiment, of course. There’s no room for anyone in my messed up life—especially not a wild, stubborn, reckless girl like Jenna.
But fighting proved futile, and somewhat self-destructive, so I did what all good leaders do when they realize losing a battle could mean winning the war: I surrendered. Not to Jenna, exactly, but to the way she made me feel. It’s not a pretty or romantic thing. It’s a truth with scars and holes—and it commands me completely.
Does that make me weak? I used to think so. But then I see Jenna, still in the throes of a battle I’ve long since succumbed to, and I wonder which of us is stronger. Which of us sleeps well at night and which of us tosses in the moonlight.
Strength isn’t about what you can and cannot achieve. It’s about what you will and will not do in order to achieve. And on that, I know exactly where I stand.
Watching Jenna across the inn’s lobby, I take a deep breath and prepare for round two of what is sure to be a memorable—if not fatal—road trip back home.
“I’m ready when you are, diva!” I call out.
Complete agitation covers her face as she whips around with narrowed eyes and yells, “Don’t. Call. Me. DIVA!”
I grin. “It never gets old.”
“God!” she exclaims, thrusting her arms up again.
The look on her face is priceless. I could do this all day. I might, actually.
Wagging my eyebrows in an inappropriate manner, I slip back outside and let the door fall shut.
A moment later, the inn door flies open and Jenna stomps down the porch steps to meet me by the car. I quickly shove my phone in my pocket, wanting to put as much distance as possible between my present circumstances and the mess waiting for me back home, and climb into the car at the same time she does.
She’s huffing and puffing and cursing under her breath like a spoiled teenager, but when her eyes finally flick to mine there’s no hostility there, just impatience.
“You’re paying for all the gas,” she says, sliding a pair of dark sunglasses over her golden eyes. “And I mean every single drop.”
I lean back in the passenger seat, repressing the joyous satisfaction I feel at the haughtiness on her face. “Yes, ma’am.”
If buying Jenna’s gas keeps her safe by my side then I’ll purchase every last drop in the country. And then some.