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Accidentally hitched to a dream. Now for the catch…
I didn’t even say “I do.”
A rock hard, overprotective rebel with a cause.
But it won’t be me.
From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow – a high stakes marriage mistake with a twist. One hulking superdad hero goes all-in to save his family and the wife he wasn’t supposed to keep. Full-length romance novel with a Happily Ever After sugar rush.
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“Oh, for Heaven’s sake!” I slap my desk with both hands so hard the round plastic holder full of pens and pencils nearly topples over.
This damn ringing is officially driving me nuts.
With writerly things still clinking together, I shove my chair back, letting out a loud huff. Remind me why I’m here again?
All the hours of unpaid overtime recovering data from a computer that must’ve been on Noah’s Ark is punishment enough. I’ve put up with rudeness, last minute requests that add on hours to my day, every nuisance imaginable since working here, but this…
This constant freaking ringing? I think I’d rather spend all day spraying nests of angry hornets.
I’ve had it.
Standing, I stretch angrily and march across the room to yank open Manny’s office door.
Every room of this oh-so-prestigious – gag me – law office is smaller than most broom closets. But that’s life. It’s also my tragic joke of a job.
I’m an ‘ass-ociate’ of Stork, Storkley, and Associates. A place where the Storkley part is fictitious and so are the associates.
Manny Stork, Esquire, is the only real lawyer here, and it’s a stretch to say that. And, well, as the only other soul here who could be called an ‘associate’ in the vaguest sense, I haven’t done anything but kept my nose shoved in an ancient computer for weeks doing data recovery.
Beggars can’t be choosers, they say.
But I’m wondering if I’d be getting better job experience rattling a cup for loose change on the street. Too bad this was the only legal job available in Finley Grove, Minnesota, one more small town among the pines.
Unless I wanted to sell out waiting tables, playing overnight cashier at the gas station, or working a fast food drive through, the choice was clear.
This is the part where I wish I’d taken a better look at my choices. Because right the heck now?
I think anything would beat Stork, Storkley, and Associates.
Growth pains. I could blame it on them.
Apparently, I’m still ‘growing into my feet.’ A phrase Mother loves using to describe my almost comical mess of a life and six-foot-tall height.
So I’m not the most graceful person.
Waitressing? Been there, done that. It didn’t work. My one and only paycheck went to cover all the dishes I’d broken.
And I think those little drive-thru gas pumps are even more claustrophobic than Manny’s law offices. They can also be dangerous.
I may be tall with a head full of untamable red hair that at times could scare the pants off any would-be robber, but I’m a chicken at heart. So cashiering overnights at a convenience store wasn’t up my alley either.
Then there’s that pesky paralegal certificate on my resume. The thing I’d shelled out good money and years of my life for, telling myself law would be stable. Glamorous. Exciting.
Right. Let’s just blame it on too many Law and Order reruns and cut our losses.
My losses. Anyway…
So here I am, following an obnoxious nonstop ringing in the stuffy office of a lawyer who has more side gigs than real clients on the books. That much I’ve figured out from the data I’m recovering.
Part of me wonders exactly what some of his gigs are all about. Admittedly, I’m intrigued, which is probably the only reason I haven’t handed in my resignation yet.
The noise is coming from Manny’s desk. Just a constant, steady basic bitch ringtone that only goes quiet for a few seconds before it goes off like an air raid siren again.
Sighing, I pull open the desk drawer. My brows knit together as I glare at the obnoxious phone that’s been blaring for the last hour.
The rest of the metal drawer is empty. God.
No wonder this thing sounded like an elephant stampede echoing off the walls.
Odd. It’s one of those disposable pay-as-you-go cell phones. Some off-brand I’ve never seen or heard of before. I frown.
This isn’t like my illustrious boss. Manny has a sleek new Android phone that’s larger than his palm and forever glued to it.
I lift out the phone just as it quits ringing again.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m happy or disappointed.
The stupid plastic device just shattered my last nerve. To think I was looking forward to planting the tip of my heel in the screen, pressing down with a satisfying crunch, and putting an end to this insanity.
My finger taps the button on the front, turning it on.
“Seventeen missed calls?” I whisper out loud, reading the screen. “At least seventeen. More like seventeen hundred.” I scroll down. “Twenty-two text messages? Again, at least.”
All from Unknown. Damn spammers.
I flip the phone over, looking for the off button, when it buzzes in my hand again. My fingers shake so violently I feel like I’m holding on to a restless frog trying to leap away.
It’s another text. Mr. or Mrs. Unknown again.
Confirmation needed on tomorrow’s meeting ASAP. Answer me.