John Jacob. Teri-Lyn. The parents of J.J., Seth, Tate, Tyler and Channing are no strangers to romance. As the Blakes prepare for a celebration on the Twelve Horseshoes Ranch, John Jacob and Teri-Lyn reminisce about their love affair in Meet the Blakes.
The minute she saw his dusty black truck coming down the road, Teri-Lyn loaded her double barrel shotgun. So the rumors were true that John Blake was back in town and if gossip was correct, he’d been back for almost a week. A week! Maybe he needed that time to get up the nerve to face her or maybe he was just a jerk who did what he pleased. She wanted to make him squirm. She fired a warning shot but the truck kept down the path.
So what if he was handsome as hell and had those deep, probing green eyes that spoke to her soul? He was too good lookin’ for his own good.
“Does this mean you missed me?” John Jacob smiled as he climbed out of the truck and removed his Stetson.
“If you plan on having children, I’d stop right there.” She aimed the weapon at his crotch.
“I was thinking of a house full of boys.” He ran a hand through his wavy black hair.
“Good luck to the woman fool enough to marry you.” She huffed.
“Hey, Murray.” John Jacob bounded up the steps and rubbed the head of the basset hound that sat on the porch. “You’ve been looking after her for me?”
“He’s an excellent guard dog. As a matter of fact—”
Before she knew it John Jacob was taking the shotgun out of her hands and kissing her passionately. Damn him for not adhering to that warning shot. All she knew when they came up for air was that the birds were chirping louder and the sun seemed brighter than before. The jerk had been away for a year without so much as a phone call or letter. He looked like he’d been in a brawl.
“Have you been fighting?” She looked him over.
“I’d call it a welcome back party at the Bright Star.” He shrugged.
“I hope you didn’t bust up poor Cal’s place again. He barely re-opened it after your goodbye party.” She rolled her eyes.
“I’m pitching in with the repairs.” He leaned in to kiss her again.
“John Jacob Blake, what makes you think you can just come back and claim me?” Teri-Lyn pushed him away.
“I didn’t come back to claim you. You were already mine when I left.” He laughed.
“You arrogant bastard! I’ve been busy having a good life while you went off to who knows where. Kent Bingham proposed to me.” She folded her arms over her chest.
“The way I hear it is he asked you to marry him three times but I don’t see no ring on your finger.”
Kent Bingham was more boring than watching paint dry on an outhouse but she’d never admit that to him. She didn’t love Kent no matter how nice and reliable he was. She was hopelessly in love with the cad in front of her who’d disappeared for a year.
“It doesn’t matter. I can’t be involved with a man who just takes off and doesn’t bother to write. I don’t even know where you’ve been and there’s probably a trail of women behind you.”
“I told you I wouldn’t be back until I made something of myself. I’m here now because I created a foundation for a good life. And I want to spend my life with you.” He pushed a lock of her red hair away from her face.
“I may not have accepted Kent’s proposal but he’s a nice, dependable guy. We’ve spent time together and we have the makings of a solid relationship. I won’t hurt his feelings, not even for you.”
“Kent won’t be a problem. We had a chat last night.” He grinned.
“Let me guess, he was part of the welcome back party?”
“I saved Kent a world of hurt. You don’t love him. You love me. Always did. Always will.”
Teri-Lyn looked at him. John Jacob wasn’t a man of many words. As a matter of fact, it was the longest conversation they’d ever had. She knew his leaving after they spent the night watching over a sick foal in her father’s stable was a knee jerk reaction to the closeness they both felt. But what if he left again? Or worse, what if he stayed? His absence helped her get a handle on her emotions. She loved him, more than she ever thought she could love another person.
“How do I know you’re back for good?”
“Woman, I said I’m back and I’m not going anywhere. We have a future to start planning.”
“What makes you think I give a damn?”
“Last time you took aim at me, you got my front tire. The warning shot proves my point. You missed me.”
“There’s no chance in hell I’d give you another chance John Blake.” She shook her head.
“If there’s no chance in hell, there’s still a chance.” He winked at her, got back in his truck and drove off.
I hope you enjoyed the pre-edited excerpt! Excerpt II coming in August! More character profiles to come. Release date September 21st!
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