I never expected Liam Hensley to rock and roll his way back into my life. Now he’s reminding me of things I thought I’d long since given up–my life, my love, my own music. He says he wants a second chance, to make up for mistakes of the past. There’s just one little problem…I’m hiding a secret that could ruin both our futures.
I can’t tell him I had his baby.
Classical violinist and single mom, Beth MacGuire works part-time at a bar while keeping tabs on her alcoholic mother and minding her sweet infant daughter—until a chance encounter with her high school crush, Liam Hensley, spells disaster for her plans to put her past behind her.
When Liam signed with hot band, Wylde Ryder, he rocketed to fame and never looked back. He’s returned to Seattle for a bandmate’s doomed wedding, but seeing Beth rekindles feelings he thought he’d buried for good.
Plagued by turbulent memories, their passionate reconnection sparks brighter than his concert spotlights. Beth is set against risking her precious baby’s happiness for life with a rock star daddy, but when Liam’s father discovers their little secret, the drummer must choose between stepping up or stepping away from being a family man.
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“I’m here now. Doesn’t that count for something?”
“Lucky me. I get one last night with Liam Hensley. Where are you off to tomorrow? London? Paris? Singapore?”
“Seattle,” he suddenly shouts. His face is contorted in agony. “I’ll be here tomorrow. And the next day and the one after that if that’s what it takes to make you hate me less.”
“I don’t hate you, Liam. I…” I stop short. The wind blows through the trees, making a shushing noise. “You’d do that? For me?”
“Yeah.” He holds my eyes. “DeSilva can screw off. The band needs a break. Zane and Finn are about to go at it over something, and the wedding is making everyone crazy, and I’d rather just be with you. It’s the only thing that’s felt right in I don’t know how long.”
My chest is being squeezed like a set of bagpipes. “Since when did I matter?”
His face softens. “Since the first day of fourth grade when I pulled your braids and you kicked me in the nuts. Since tenth grade when I kissed you for the first time. Since the day I said goodbye to you in a stupid text message and my world hasn’t been the same.”
He gives me that look, the one that says he’s going to kiss me. He leans closer, with his perfectly handsome features, a face I’ve loved forever. I feel my lips start to pucker in anticipation of meeting his and butterflies flutter an alarm in my midsection.
This is wrong, this is all going wrong. I’m not supposed to be falling for Liam again, I am just supposed to get some closure. I can never be with him, never tell him about…
“I have a baby,” I hear myself blurting.
“A wha—okay.” Liam rocks back, as if I’ve struck him. “You do?”
“Yes.” We do, I finish in my head. I start swinging again. Twisting in the wind, like a loose strand.
Oh, I’m a horrible, horrible person.
“That’s uhhh…great. Right?” He grabs hold of my chains, forcing me to slow down and face him. “Yeah, great. You found some nice guy or something after we split? That’s great.” His knee is bouncing up and down and he’s babbling, obviously blindsided and angry and confused all at once.
The way I’d been when I saw the double blue lines on the pregnancy test.
The way I’d been when I’d read his texted goodbye.
It was awful and heart-wrenching and wrong. I should’ve told him. I should have let him have a choice in decisions for his future. Tears blur my vision and I grope blindly, finding the solidity of his shoulder.
He’s right next to me, where he should be.
“Liam…” Who did I think I was, deciding everything for everyone?
“So, you’re with someone now? Is he the father? Is that why you didn’t want to go out with me today?” He looks devastated, but I’m not sure why. Is it the baby, or the possibility that I’m seeing another man?
As if I could love anyone but him.
“No.” I screw up my courage. This time, I’m not going to run from the hard thing. The right thing. I’m not a stupid teenager anymore. It’s time to pull up my big girl panties and face the truth. “Liam, there’s more.”
“Is it bad?” He flinches, like he’s expecting a hard hit.
“Yes. No. I don’t know.” I hide my face in my hands. “Why is this so fecking hard?”
He pries my fingers off my face. His gaze is smooth and steady. Looks like he’s grown up some, too. “Okay. Tell me.”
I can’t bear this.
Can’t stand hurting Liam again.
I take a deep breath and answer. “The baby’s yours.”
J.A. Coffey writes both sizzling, heartwarming contemporary romance and lush, gritty historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page.
A complete cupcake addict, when she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found in trying to convert her front lawn to an edible landscape, test baking desserts, or “feathering her nest” with spruced up flea market finds. J.A. is currently working on her latest novel and trying not to get cupcake batter on her keyboard.