Title: Hard To Let Go
Author: Jaclyn Quinn
Word count: 75,746
Publication Date: February 19, 2018
Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood
Owen Richards lives a quiet life in his small hometown of Haven’s Cove. He has a rewarding life consisting of three very supportive—not to mention feisty—women, and a successful bakery that he owns and absolutely loves. Yet, Owen can’t seem to shake this emptiness inside or the intense feeling that something is missing. A sudden encounter with a man from his past, one he despises, turns his entire world upside down. When Owen finds himself attracted to that sexy man, he questions everything, including his sanity. After all, only an incredibly disturbed person would find that he can’t stop thinking about his high school bully.
Brody Walker never expected to return to Haven’s Cove. He’s made a life for himself in Boston where he can truly be the person he was always meant to be. But an unexpected call has Brody facing all the demons he’d left behind so long ago. Now, he’s faced with not only a difficult goodbye, but one long overdue apology to a man who is no longer that lanky kid from high school. The challenge is to convince the guy he’s changed—and also prove he’s worth taking a chance on.
When passions ignite, truths are exposed, changing beliefs these men have held on to for years. Faced with the knowledge that things aren’t always what they seem, will they choose to hold on to the incredible thing they’ve found…or is it easier to give in to the fear and let go?
The sound of tires screeching snapped Owen back to reality, and he slammed on his brakes on reflex. Owen braced himself for the impact that never came then pried his eyes open. Heart pounding, hands shaking, he looked up to see a red truck stopped in front of him on Main Street. Shit, that was a close fucking call. His bright headlights reflected off of the shiny red finish of the truck, blinding him.
Owen jumped out of his car, realizing instantly he’d been in the wrong. He totally blew the stop sign when he got to Main, so used to being the only one on the road at such an early hour.
“Shit! Are you okay? I’m so sorry.” Rushing around his open door to the front side of his car, he watched the other man get out of his truck, the hood of Owen’s car between them. A little further to the right and the guy’s door would’ve been completely blocked by the hood of Owen’s Civic. Owen ran around the back of his car to the passenger side, needing to make sure the other driver was okay.
He saw the beat up work boots first, followed by blue jeans that showcased thick, muscular thighs underneath. The guy wore a plaid flannel over a T-shirt stretched across his broad, muscular chest. What guy wasn’t hot in plaid? The deep voice of the guy vibrated through Owen, telling him that he was fine.
Owen’s eyes landed on the man’s face. It was scruffier, less groomed—the clean-cut baby face from fifteen years ago a mere hint. Still, recognition knocked the wind out of Owen.
“Fuck,” Owen growled, both in shock and with a boiling anger he hadn’t felt in years. He flexed his fingers, squeezing them into fists.
“Don’t fucking call me that. That’s not my fucking name. Never was.” Blood rushed in Owen’s ears as a fierce rage surged through him. Damn, he wished his brakes had given out and he’d hit the fucker. All the shit that had been weighing on Owen that morning didn’t compare to the rock suddenly sitting on his goddamn chest.
“Save it.” Fuck. If this was the way his day was going to go, he should’ve stayed in bed.
Walking back around his car, Owen got in and slammed his door. He threw the car in reverse, moving far enough back to get around the truck. Kicking it into drive, he avoided looking at the massive roadblock as he swerved around it. Owen took a few deep breaths, trying not to think about shit that went down so long ago—or the fact that he was gripping the steering wheel to settle his shaking hands. Most of them had gone to college and never came back or moved to neighboring towns. It was like he conjured that asshole up. Hell, how many times had that jackass held the fucking magnifying glass while Owen burned?
Doesn’t fucking matter. A lot had changed in the last fifteen years. He wasn’t that gangly, quiet, ashamed-to-be-gay teen anymore, shoved into lockers and harassed on a daily basis. No way in hell his life was going to be affected just because one of the fucking assholes was back. Owen could fucking take care of himself now. Nothing scared him anymore.
And he sure as hell could take on Brody Walker.
I have been an artist from a very young age. From drawing cartoon characters and evolving into portraits, making jewelry, photography, and now writing. I have an amazing support system in my family and friends and couldn’t be more grateful.
I live in central New Jersey, love summers at the Jersey Shore, rock music, wine, sexy men, and laughing a lot with my amazing friends and family. Sunday dinners at my parents’ house are crazy, hysterical and you can count on a movie quote…or ten…being thrown out. Insults between siblings is how we show our love for each other!
When I’m not creating, you can find me reading books from my favorite authors. I’m a hopeless romantic, starving for passionate characters and always craving that happy ending, whether in reading or in writing my own books.
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