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Coming Up Roses (Southern Roots #1)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
Myla Rose McGraw may be twenty, single, and pregnant, but she’s no damsel in distress. She doesn’t need a man. After all, her Grams taught her a thing or two about making lemonade out of life’s lemons.
Then she meets Cash Carson.
Reeling from a bad breakup, Cash has sworn off love. It led to nothing but pain and misery, and he’s determined to move forward alone.
If love wasn’t for him, why did his heart beat a little faster every time Myla Rose sent that sweet smile his way?
He was no knight, and she didn’t need saving.
But damn if he didn’t want to try anyway.
COMING UP ROSES is a sweet, Southern fairy tale—with a twist.
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Tonight’s the night. I’ve got everything planned to a T. I made sure to take off early from work so that I could get to the house before she did to set everything up. I’ve got her favorite Italian food from Luigi’s riding shotgun. I have candles and her favorite flowers, lilies, to place all around the dining room table—and the bed.
But more important than any of that is the black velvet box—you know, the ring-holding kind—that’s tucked into my front pocket.
I park my truck down the street so that if she happens to come home early, she won’t know I’m here. Gathering everything up, I head toward the house, my arms full and a spring in my step.
It’s so damn gorgeous this time of year—cool October mornings and just a hair past warm at midday. Maybe Kayla will want to plan the wedding for this time next year. I pause at the sound of my phone ringing in my pocket. Shuffling the items I’m hauling, I carefully slide my phone from my pocket. Seeing that it’s my brother, I swipe to answer the call.
“Jake, what’s up?”
“Cash.” He sighs. “Are you sure you want to do this?” He’s never been very pro-Kayla. Come to think of it, none of my family is. Friends either, for that matter.
“I’m sure. She’s been so off lately. Distant. This’ll get us back on the right path.”
“Bro, don’t rush into something just because you think she wants it. You’re smarter than that.”
“Jake, I got this.” I huff, and my annoyance comes through loud and clear. “I’m not rushing shit. We’ve been together six years. She’s probably just pissy because I’ve taken so damn long to ask.” His reply is nothing more than a grumble.
My steps falter when I see Kayla’s car in the driveway. What’s she doing home already? “Hey, Jake? Let me call you back,” I mumble as I slide my key into the lock.
“Kayla?” I call out. No answer. What the hell? I hear noise coming from the back of the house—in the direction of our bedroom—and my heart drops like lead into my stomach. I can feel it, soul-fucking-deep. Something’s not right.
I shoulder the door open, and there she is. In our bed, head thrown back in ecstasy, someone else’s hands gripping her thick hips as she cries out his name. This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. They’re so into each other, they don’t even notice me.
“What the fuck?” I shout. Kayla’s head whips toward me, and Kevin—assuming the name she was chanting is his—sits up so fast that she falls back onto her ass. “WHAT THE FUCK?” I roar again. Because, really, what else is there to say?
Kevin’s eyes slide from Kayla to me and back again. “Kay, what’s your brother doing here?” Kay? Dude has a nickname for MY girlfriend? She just blinks, tears welling.
“Your brother?” I grit out. “Your fucking brother?” Kevin looks genuinely confused. “I’m here, Kevin, because this is my house. That’s what I’m doing here.”
“Babes, I had no clue your brother was in town, or I would have suggested my place.” Kayla looks a little green, her eyes darting rapidly around the room like she’s looking for an exit. Tough luck, babes.
“I’m not her brother,” I hiss at Kevin, who is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Kayla’s given up on her escape plan and has devolved to crying. You know, that raccoon eyes, ugly kind of crying.
“Bro, just chill.” The douche tries to pacify me. “I’ll be on my way, and you guys can talk.”
I shake my head, my face a mask of cool indifference. “Nah, bro, nothing to talk about.” Storming over to the closet, I fling open the door and grab my overnight bag, throwing God knows what into it. Hopefully, enough shit to last me the weekend. “I’m outta here.”
She’s sobbing uncontrollably into the sheets, refusing to look at either of us. But I have this nagging feeling that it’s all for show. “Ca–Cash. K–Kevin, I c–can explain—”
“Nothin’ to explain, Kayla. Dinner’s on the table. Enjoy it.” Or choke on it. I keep that thought to myself, though. “We’ll deal with shit when I’m ready. Don’t call.” I snatch my bag up off the floor and head back the way I came, slamming the front door as I go, leaving my house—our house. The house I’d spent the last three years in, with her. The house we talked about raising kids in. Jesus. How did I miss this? I was ready to get down on one fucking knee. Guess she saved me the trouble by getting on both of hers.
After hours of aimless driving, I finally decide to grab a room at King’s Motor Lodge. A lumpy mattress sounds better than hearing the inevitable ‘I told you so’ I’d get crashing on a friend’s couch. The room is the size of a large closet, with dingy brown carpet and faded, peeling wallpaper. A mothball mixed with air freshener scent surrounds me as I drop down onto the bed and check my phone—two missed calls from my mom and three from Jake, along with a slew of text messages. Not a thing from Kayla. I know I told her not to call, but damn. I swipe away the notifications and dial my brother. It’s time to face the music.