What It’s About:
Lorenzo De Luca’s troubled past has left him a shell of a man. The blood that runs through his veins feels toxic. Determined to not let history repeat itself, Lorenzo vows to protect others from the violence that lives inside him.
But when Jolie Moore literally stumbles into his arms and his life, Lorenzo finds himself captivated by her larger-than-life personality. Jolie’s pull is strong, making it difficult for him to keep his promise. It’s hard to resist the urge to connect with the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve, but Lorenzo knows he needs to lock his heart away to keep her safe.
Because his legacy has the power to destroy.
Jolie’s never been one to back down from a challenge, and her resolve to help him heal is strong. Lorenzo is wary, already content having found peace in solitude. But it isn’t long before Jolie shows him that he’s shielded others from a man who only has the capacity to love.
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“Boss, we need to have a chat.”He raised his brows and gave me a curious look. “A chat about what?”
I needed to cut right to the chase. “You and your spending.”
The curious look was gone and replaced by an incredulous one. “You, Jolie Moore, avid shopper and buyer of everything unnecessary, want to discuss me and my spending?
“You bought pumpkins for Hank and Gracie. They don’t even know what pumpkins are and they’re too young to even appreciate them.”
Now I was getting ticked.
“See, now I’ve got a few problems with that.”
At the mere sight of me working myself up to lose it on him, Lorenzo wasn’t the least bit fazed. In fact, I saw him working overtime to fight from breaking out into a full-blown grin.
“First, maybe Hank and Gracie don’t know what pumpkins are yet and maybe they’re too small to appreciate them now, but they will grow up and see the pictures I took of them and with them on their first Halloween and they’ll say, ‘Our aunt is the shit.’ But secondly, and most important to note, big guy, is that Ididn’t buy those pumpkins. If you’ll recall correctly, it was you who handed the money over.”
“I was not the one on a mission to break the bank with frivolous purchases,” he shot back. “I could have easily been fine with one pumpkin.”
“Oh, what fun would that have been?”
“You’ve just proven my point that spending money on unnecessary things is like a second job for you. I’ve seen your closet, baby. You’ve got more clothes than any woman could ever wear in her lifetime. And don’t get me started on the shoes.”
If my head could have exploded from shock, it would have. “You did not just tell me that I have too many shoes,” I warned him.
“Baby, you do.”
“I do not!”
“Eighty-three,” he stated.
“You have eighty-three pairs of shoes. Or, at least, that’s how many boxes I counted lined up in your closet. Considering I counted another twenty pairs of shoes not in boxes, I’m guessing your collection tops a hundred.”
I had eighty-three pairs of shoes? He counted my shoes?
“Why did you even count my shoes anyway?” I challenged since I had no other response.
“If this works out long term, I need to prepare myself for the fact that you’re a big spender and you buy unnecessary things.”
I jerked my head back. “I make my own money. I can spend it on what I want.”
“I know that, which is why I haven’t said anything to you about it. You work hard, you make your money, you pay your bills. If you aren’t drowning in debt and can put food on your table all while being excessive with your spending on things you want, then who am I to tell you what you can spend your money on?”
“Precisely my point,” I shot back. Ha! Score one for Jojo.
He took a step closer to me, put his forefinger under my chin, and tilted my head back. “No, Jolie, precisely my point.”
When my brows pulled together, he explained, “You started this conversation telling me you wanted to talk to me about me and my spending. I’m not sure you’re in a position to be telling someone how to spend their money when you aren’t exactly being very thrifty yourself.”
Score negative one for Jojo, plus one million for Lorenzo.
About the Author: A.K. Evans is a married mother of two boys residing in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lafayette College in 2004 with two degrees (one in English and one in Economics & Business), she pursued a career in the insurance and financial services industry. Not long after, Evans realized the career was not for her. Several years and many discussions later, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
Between her day job, writing, and homeschooling her two boys, Evans is left with very little free time. When she finds scraps of spare time, Evans enjoys reading, doing yoga, watching NY Rangers hockey, dancing, and vacationing with her family.