Local pub owner Jemima Jane Ericson is living a lie. She’s been in love with her best friend Ethan since forever. But he fell in love with another woman, married her, and despite their tempestuous relationship and decade old divorce, JJ knows Ethan’s heart is still down for the count. And friendship is better than nothing, right?
Single dad and Jumbuck Springs chief of police, Ethan Weston, hits the pub the night his ex-wife remarries and announces she wants custody of their daughter. When he wakes the next morning to find himself in JJ’s bed he’s mortified that they’d crossed a line they should never have crossed. Until JJ’s abusive ex, Shane, shows up at her door and Ethan claims he and JJ are engaged to protect her.
Both are stunned by the unravelling of their normally sane lives but suddenly it makes sense – JJ gets a deterrent and Ethan gets the respectability of a wife for any custody claims. But when JJ’s life is threatened, Ethan is forced to confront feelings that may just run much deeper than convenience…
Fashion student Lacey Weston is desperate to leave the city and go home to Jumbuck Springs. Her three older brothers are adamant she’s not. They made a death bed promise to their mother that Lacey would stay the distance at design school and Ethan, the oldest, takes this responsibility very seriously. But Lacey is deeply homesick and determined not to be dissuaded again. She’s also impulsive enough to try anything - even faking a pregnancy.
Ex-cop turned mechanic, Cooper Grainger - one of Ethan’s oldest friends - agrees to watch out for Lacey in the city even though he has a history with her he’d rather forget. How hard could it be, right? But a couple of years later, Coop is over pulling Lacey out of scrapes and cleaning up her messes as she tries to outrun her grief and sense of dislocation. He takes her back to Jumbuck Springs so she can persuade her brothers to let her come home. But things don’t go according to plan. Before Coop knows it Lacey’s pregnant and he’s putting his hand up as the fake baby daddy, filling in for the town mechanic and moving in with her at the local pub.
Lacey is thrilled to have won a reprieve but nothing about the situation sits well with Coop. Least of all having sweet little Lacey Weston as his new roomie…
As I mentioned before, this was a pretty good inoffensive erotic romance (not quite an erotica), until it crashed and burned a fiery death.
Spoilers for the ending coming. Consider yourself warned.
Jarrod and Selena reconnect through sex. They spend a few more weeks apart after the initial fifteen years of pining and then decide to confess their love for each other literally five minutes before Selena finally gets her dream job. (Not that I understand why presenting news is more desirable than actual reporting, but I'm generally not a fan of journalists mangling facts, so what do I know.)
And can you guess what's Jarrod's immediate reaction? Oh, yes, it's to make it all about HIM. Selena accepting her dream job she's worked for fifteen years is all about him after they've spent a handful of days fucking again. Not that he didn't have a point on taking your significant other into account when making life-altering decisions, but they'd only decided to start working on an adult relationship LITERALLY minutes before the phone call. He isn't her significant other at that point; he's being interviewed for the position even if she's biased in his favour.
What's even more infuriating is that this new job should actually make their relationship easier and both are too stupid to acknowledge it. She wouldn't have to travel as much anymore and he could easily (more easily than she anyway) find a new job in the city.
At least Selena does the smart thing and walks away. And then two weeks later she quits her dream job because she has no plan at all and is too horny to try to talk some sense into the walking flesh dildo. She is the one who does the great love gesture and it's only then that Jarrod decides that little distance from his family isn't that bad after all. Not as long as he gets to bang Selena. All about him it is.
It's a wonder I have any hair left on my head.