New Hope, Old Grudges Read Online Anne Malcom

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 53
Estimated words: 50759 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 254(@200wpm)___ 203(@250wpm)___ 169(@300wpm)

Everyone’s rock bottom is different.For Willow Watson, it’s moving back to New Hope, Colorado.The town she promised herself she’d never set foot in again. The place she’s forced to go back to when she has nothing left.Nothing but the family she abandoned.And now she’s back.Right in time for the holiday season.But hitting rock bottom isn’t just about losing everything and being forced back to the small town rife with mountains, rugged beauty and awful memories.No, rock bottom includes entering town limits and realizing that the man she’s hated for years, Brody Adams, her high school bully, is now the sheriff.And he doesn’t remember her.Willow is making sure she steers clear of Brody Adams. Until the night he rescues her in a snowstorm and she’s trapped with him, her memories and the realization that she doesn’t just hate Brody Adams.She wants him too.

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Chapter One


Blue and red lights flashed in my mirror as I crossed the town limits to New Hope, Colorado—population 5,081, according to the sign. Someone had long replaced the one where a bunch of high school kids had graffitied to write ‘No Hope.’ It wasn’t a surprise, since the last time I’d seen that sign in my rearview mirror was over a decade ago, confident that I’d never see it again and that my future was bright.

Now the only bright thing was the lights of a cop car that were flashing in my mirror, illuminating how shitty my luck and life were.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I muttered, turning off to the shoulder.

I took one last slurp of bitter, cold gas station coffee in an attempt to calm myself down. Not really something that worked, considering the entire situation … or shitshow, otherwise known as my life. Especially since I could barely afford shitty gas station coffee let alone the price of this ticket.

I thought wistfully—and bitterly—back to when I’d spend upwards of ten dollars on some fancy latte or smoothie from a famous grocery store in L.A. and didn’t even think twice about it.

Bitter, cold and cheap was the only thing I’d be tasting in the foreseeable future. Perhaps forever, considering I was coming home to the town I’d vowed to never set foot in again.

Never was a funny thing.

It happened more often than you thought. Right about the same time as rock bottom.

My fingers thrummed on the steering wheel as I wound down my window and heard the crunch of the incoming officer’s boots on the gravel of the shoulder.

The crisp air of November in Colorado hit me square in the face. I cringed at it, losing feeling in my ears almost immediately. The cold settled into my blood that had thinned after a decade of rarely experiencing temperatures below sixty.

A tanned and muscled forearm leaned on the ledge of my open car window, “Good morning, ma’am,” the voice drawled as he leaned down to my eye level. “Your brake light is out. Not something I normally would’ve noticed on this stretch of road considering it’s dead straight, it’s a Saturday, and it’s not hunting season, so there is no one driving into New Hope except you and me.” The officer’s tone was warm, friendly, teasing almost.

It set my whole body to stone.

“Hence my surprise at the brake lights with no real reason as to why you’re slowing down going into town at six in the morning,” he continued, obviously not noting my shock. “If I was going to catch anyone, I would’ve thought they would’ve been in a rush to get to wherever they’re going, even if only to get in front of a warm fire with a cup of joe.”

It was a combination of the bitter cold air, the sleep deprivation and my overall sense of despair that shocked me into a few beats of slack-jawed silence. Well, it was not just those things.

It was those things combined with the man wearing the police uniform.

It solidified that my luck was well and truly in the crapper when I saw the square jaw, the tanned skin and the unfortunately familiar, piercing hazel eyes of the man I’d hated for years. Of course, I tried to tell myself I’d forgotten him and all his buddies. But you don’t forget people who tormented you for most of your formative years.

He wasn’t a boy now, of course. He’d aged. And I’d told myself he’d do it shittily. That he’d impregnate Sally Ingles, the head cheerleader, that they’d get stuck in this town, he’d never get higher than being star quarterback, never graduate college, and drown his sorrows in Bud Light, getting a beer gut and balding before thirty.

His tight-fitting uniform showed that there was no beer gut, nothing but muscles that seemed to ripple underneath the fabric. He still had that head of light brown hair, shiny and worn close against his scalp, which only sharpened his angular features. He had something more than a five o’clock shadow but not quite a beard. It looked unkempt and rugged but also somehow worked in a big way. And an angular scar across his strong brow framing coppery eyes. I found myself curious as to who gave him that scar and if I could get their address so I could send them a fruit basket or something.

Not that I could afford to send anyone anything, even a fruit basket.

“You?” I spluttered, finally finding my voice. “Of course.” I hit my palm on the steering wheel. “Of course, the universe isn’t done fucking with me. You’re the welcome brigade, here with the flashing lights, the faux small-town cop charm and the ability to give me a ticket I most definitely cannot afford.”