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Grumpy Jake

Grumpy Jake

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Grumpy Jake

Bewertungen:
4/5 (17 Bewertungen)
Länge:
110 Seiten
1 Stunde
Freigegeben:
Jan 19, 2021
ISBN:
9781094414577
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Bailey Thorne doesn't hate Jake the Rake, just despises him. She blames the rumor mill at her school...and, okay, him. His adorable son has only been in preschool, but Jake has already made an impressive dent in dating the unmarried faculty. She's had to hear of his every exploit from the broken hearts he's left behind. She was fine to loathe him from afar, but now his son has entered kindergarten--and she's the teacher. It's going to be a very long school year.

Jake Polaski was more than fine to avoid Ms. Thorne after it became clear she was not amused by his very existence. But then they get stuck in an elevator for an evening. He finds out that underneath that baleful glare she always gives him, lies a warm, funny and sexy as hell woman. He does his best to not be smitten after every exchange afterward. His son needs him rational, steadfast...and love is the most uncertain thing.

It was the elevator's fault. Had it worked like it should, Bailey would have gone on with her life without seeing why so many of her co-workers had fallen for the grumpy single dad. (It's his dry wit, his playful teasing and the drool-worthy cut of his jawline.) And now she's caught in the way he doles out smiles and the dark depths of his secrets. If nothing else, she knows from rumor there's a clock ticking on their affair before it implodes because things always do with Jake the Rake, but she can't seem to walk away first.

Freigegeben:
Jan 19, 2021
ISBN:
9781094414577
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. She penned that first contemporary romance, upgraded to a computer and hasn’t looked back since. Outside of writing, Blue works as a mail clerk for the federal government, has a paralegal certificate (that she has more use for as a dust pan) and is a mother of two rambunctious children. She lives in California where the wine is good and, despite popular belief, is not always sunny.


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Grumpy Jake - Melissa Blue

terms.

1

Bailey Thorne didn’t detest Jake the Rake solely because he never returned her I-find-you-suspect smile whenever she saw him. That was fair. Anyone with smarts could tell her smile was disingenuous as fuck even if they were halfway across the school’s grounds.

Her apathy toward him wasn’t even about the way all the moms gravitated to him and praised him for breathing while being a father to his son. That wasn’t entirely his doing, and from what she could see, he never preened about the accolades.

Jake the Rake, aka Jake Polaski, had broken the hearts of half the unmarried teaching staff that dated men. He managed to do it in the two years of free preschool Obama Elementary offered, and today was his kid’s first day in kindergarten. Her kindergarten class. Sure, sure, the fact he brought his kid to preschool for years made it clear he cared about something other than leading women on, but for those few years she had to listen to all things Jake, in and outside the classroom.

Her feelings could be best described as the Kardashian effect. She didn’t care about him. Never sought out any gossip about him, and yet, she couldn’t avoid the way the grapevine buzzed whenever he so much as sneezed. Eventually she started to grit her teeth at the very mention of him. It didn’t help that whenever she heard about him, the news was nothing good.

Now she was his student’s teacher. And he was here early in her classroom, beating all of the other parents who would likely want to meet her during their kid’s first official day of school. Sunshine and unicorn fucking farts—It was going to be a very long school year.

He stood quiet and imposing, waiting for her to acknowledge him. She let her attention slide off him, not entirely rude but also not inviting and focused on the kid. It was easy to bend down with her most genuine smile to meet Jayden Polaski. The biracial boy had a riot of honey-blonde curls, and deep brown eyes and brown cheeks that made his eyes almost disappear as he beamed at her.

Hi, Jayden. I’m Ms. Thorne. It’s very nice to meet you.

He offered his hand for a shake. From all the gossip, reports and paperwork she shifted through, this moment only confirmed what she’d learned—he was a little charmer. She shook his hand, and much to her surprise it wasn’t sticky or moist.

Very nice to meet you, Ms. Thorne. His voice was clear, his words precise but he still sounded just shy out of toddlerhood.

Her smile widened. It’s a little before class starts, I can give you a mini-tour if you like?

Jayden glanced up at his dad for permission. She couldn’t help but follow his gaze to the man who had stood by silently during the exchange.

No curls for him, and he was white. His straight golden-brown hair lost some of its slicked-back appearance to the windy summer day. He had an angular nose that only made his intent stare just shy of broody. His blue eyes were somehow soft, yet she doubted he ever missed a single thing. No laugh lines bracketed his full mouth but a full beard did. In jeans and a plain white t-shirt, he looked like he should have been in construction. Bailey knew he was an E.R. nurse at the local community hospital. Surprising given had two full sleeves of tats on both arms and even some along his knuckles. All in all, he was fucking hot. Dammit.

He broke the stare first to look at his son then placed a wide palm on top of Jayden’s head. Give me and Ms. Thorne a second to talk.

Although his tone was flat, the resonance of his voice made goose bumps prickle up her arms. There was also a hint of a New England accent, yet not a Mass-hole. Either way, he didn’t sound like he’d been born and bred in the Central Valley of California like her.

He gestured his head to the side, pulling her out of thought. He said to his son, Taylor’s here.

That’s all Jayden needed to hear. He took off toward the door just as an African American boy entered.

Her brows raised in surprise. How did you know that?

Taylor’s come over for playdates during the summer. I’ve gotten to the know the way his shoes squeak when he’s running and not supposed to.

Anyone else would have added a self-deprecating smile to that. His expression remained as flat as his tone. All the charm had gone to Jayden, apparently.

Given what she’d seen of his personality so far, she had to guess his dick was huge. Why else would people fawn over him and then hold onto grudges? A mystery for another lifetime, or never. She forced herself to smile pleasantly. You needed a moment with me?

He reached around to his back pocket producing a folder, bent in half. You sent this out last week. Jayden’s not the best courier. I wanted to make sure you got this.

Confused, she took the folder then cracked it open then glanced at him in surprise. Inside sat her parent worksheet. Getting one back was always a hit or miss. Prior to the start of school, she’d email and mail it, then send another copy home with the kids on the first day. She had only taught for the last three years in total and all of them at Obama Elementary, but too often she would only get half of her worksheets back. At her disposal, Bailey had IEPs or reports from previous pre-school teachers or daycare providers, but nothing was like seeing a child through a parent’s lens.

Thank you, she said.

You sound shocked for some reason.

His taking Jayden to preschool for two years proved he cared about his son’s education. Maybe. He could have also seen preschool as free daycare. Him bringing her the worksheet meant he did care. I’ve heard you’re pretty hands-on with Jayden.

But?

No ‘but.’

I believe you. Finally, he cracked a smirk that put a light in his blue eyes but didn’t soften a single masculine feature.

And that was the appeal. So, it wasn’t just a big dick that reeled people in. She held her breath and hoped air deprivation would make the buzz of attraction go away.

Anyway, he added, I have to get ready for work. Do you need me to get him lined up outside?

She was forced to breathe. Dammit. Him and Taylor, please. I’m going to flip through this before the day gets crazy.

The short version is he’s a good kid, nowhere near shy and he will get away with what you let him.

A burning question rose to her lips. She bit her tongue to keep the words in.

He narrowed his gaze. What is it?

He was way too perceptive. She had to keep that in mind. I won’t hold you up. If I have any questions, I have your number and likely your email from the worksheet.

He scrubbed a hand through his beard and sighed. It’s going to be a long year if you keep doing that. Ask me anything. I’ll let you know if you have crossed over into something you don’t need to know.

That’s fair, she said, sounding cagey to her own ears.

And?

Even with all the rumors, gossip and broken hearts, one thing Jake never talked about was Jayden’s mom. He never answered the question. Never.

Her apathetic attitude toward him gave her the courage or a rare moment of stupidity. Will there be anything about his mother in this packet?

Whatever little light had shone in his eyes a moment before winked out in a flash. No.

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