He could be just what she needs…
Alyssa Wright has one goal before she leaves for college. She refuses to go carrying her v-card. She just has to find someone to give it to in the next six weeks.
When she runs into Jake Monroe, almost literally, she knows he’s different. She thinks about him constantly, and not in the way she’s thought about any other guy.
She might be what he’s looking for…
Between his new job and helping his best friend’s widow, Jake doesn’t have time for romance. But there’s something about Alyssa he can’t resist. He’s torn between the light Alyssa brings to his world and the promise he made to his best friend.
Is it enough to keep them together… forever?
What they want doesn’t matter. There’s a ticking clock, counting down the days until Alyssa leaves. Maybe for good.
Excerpt from Love The Wine You’re With
“Why do you like my daughter?”
Jake didn’t like questions like that. Whenever someone asked him a question so open ended, one that never had a right answer, he felt cornered.
He knew what he would tell Alyssa if she asked him why he liked her, but telling her mother, and her grandmother who stood silently by, was different. Jake wasn’t built to lie, but he knew they needed a different version of the truth than Alyssa would need.
“I’ve struggled for the last few months to find good again. I lost someone. When he died… I left the Army because I couldn’t remember what I was fighting for. What I was living for.”
“And my daughter is what you’re living for?”
Jake shook his head. He meant it when he said he’d die before he’d let anyone hurt Alyssa, but that was who he was. A soldier. A protector. Someone who would stand between a bullet and anyone he cared for. He didn’t love Alyssa. He barely knew her. But he cared about her safety. Which was even more of a reason for him to tread lightly with her mother. He didn’t want to say something that would drive a wedge between them. Jake was leaving after the harvest. He knew there wasn’t a place for him at Amavita long term. There was no reason for him to cause something irreparable in Alyssa’s relationship with her mom.
“Alyssa is a woman I’d be honored to say I live for, but no. I’m not in love with her. We’ve only just met. Alyssa is light and joy and peace. She’s love and happiness and fun. I missed all those things, but when I was overseas but also growing up. My father didn’t believe in fun. For him, it was all about the job. I always wanted the family you have here. Alyssa is an amazing woman, but to answer your original question… why do I like her? I like her because she’s a unique and interesting woman. She’s true to herself. She’s kind and compassionate and someone who’s going to make one man very happy one day.”
“You don’t think you’re that man?”
Jake wanted to think he could ever be worthy of a woman like Alyssa, but the truth was, he fell far short. He wasn’t an amazing man who deserved her. There was to much darkness buried within him. He’d only bring her light to the dark, not have her light carry him out of the dark.
“I wish I could be, Ms. Richliano. We both know I’m not here forever. I’m a summer worker. An employee of your family. I’ve already been told after harvest I’ll be gone. Alyssa deserves stability. Someone who can help her live her dreams, whatever those dreams are. Not someone who has to live in his car because he has no money.”
Marie looked out the window, silent for a moment. Jake wished he knew what she was thinking. Something she saw outside changed her whole demeanor. Made her smile.
“I think you’re more than you give yourself credit for. Please stay for the party today. It would mean a lot to Alyssa.”
“I will, ma’am. Thank you.”