Are you ready to take a chance with Jake and Char-leigh?
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Jake walked into the tattoo shop Life in Ink, he had no idea his life was about to change. This time for the better. After his girlfriend left him and decided to raise their daughter with another man, Jake walked away to put the pieces of his life back together.
Charleigh knows she has what it takes to be the best artist in her uncle’s tattoo shop. If he’d only give her a chance. When Jake walked into the shop, she’s not sure why he gets under her skin. But he does, and she doesn’t like it.
Jake has to overcome his fear of living in his parents’ shadow and finally stand up to them, with Charleigh by his side. But Jake isn’t sure he’ll be able to push aside his jealousy and raise his daughter. Will his pride get in the way? Or will he finally become the man he wants to be?
Read an Excerpt
The streets of Asheville are bustling. People are walking down the street staring into shop windows as if they don’t have a care in the world. I wish I could say the same. I wish guilt didn’t eat away at me, especially now, as I watch Tonya and Reaf walking down the sidewalk holding hands.
That should be me. I should be the one with my arms wrapped around Tonya and focusing our baby girl. But…she chose him. I can understand why, but it doesn’t stop the jealousy from bubbling up in my gut. It doesn’t keep the anger from rising to the surface. I knew what I would see if I came home from school, but I still decided to come back and torture myself by watching them together. Asheville is a small town, and there’s no way I would be able to avoid them completely.
Tonya and Reaf stroll down Main Street, glancing through shop win-dows, pushing a stroller in front of them. A stroller that holds my child. My beautiful baby girl, Layla. I really don’t have any right to call her mine. I mean, she is biologically, but I haven’t been here for her or Tonya. At least, not in any way that put me in a good light. I gave up that right when I asked Tonya to give me time to adjust to the knowledge that I have a child.
They stop in front of a baby boutique, hands pressed to their fore-heads, trying to see through the glare in the window. Reaf bends down, and when he stands up again, he has Layla cuddled up against his chest. I don’t know what they are shopping for, but I’m not a fan of how cozy they look together.
I clench my hands together until they are curled into fists. I can feel my face heating, and my breathing is becoming labored. I’m struggling to get my anger under control, but it’s hard. I shouldn’t be this enraged, but that’s my kid he’s holding. My kid he’s playing father to.
I quickly turn the corner putting them out of my line of sight. I need to calm down, but I know seeing them together, as a family, isn’t going to accomplish anything. I shouldn’t have come back. I could be in my dorm right now playing Madden with the guys. But, no…I’m storming off like a fucking child because I can’t handle the repercussions of my decision to not be in Layla’s life yet.
I wasn’t ready for that responsibility. Hell, I’m still not ready but I want to be. Not only for Layla but for myself. I want to have the strength to do this whole co-parenting thing that Tonya kept on about.
I shove my way through people milling about enjoying their Spring day, while I’m in turmoil. I’m pretty sure I hear someone holler my name, but I don’t turn around. If Tonya is chasing after me, I won’t be able to handle it.
Finally seeing the outline of my car, I pick up the pace. Hitting the key fob at the same time as I grab the handle, I yank the door open and slide into the car. I check both ways before pulling out of the parking spot and into traffic.
In my rearview mirror I see Tonya standing at the edge of the side-walk disbelief written all over her face. I feel a stab of guilt that I’ve hurt her once again, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m going to run home, grab my stuff and head back to the dorms. I’m not ready to face this.
Read all the books in the Taking Chances Series
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Katrina Marie lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two children, and fur baby. She is a lover of all things geeky and Gryffindor for life. When she’s not writing you can find her at her children’s sporting events, or curled up reading a book.
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