People say that sometimes the line between love and hate is thin. What they don’t tell you is that sometimes it’s invisible.
Rowan Locklaine gave his heart to one woman a long time ago and has no desire to go through that kind of torture ever again. His painful past has turned him cold and heartless. Women serve only one purpose as far as he’s concerned, and relationships are nothing but a waste of time and energy. When the mouthy little blonde, Navie Collins, is hired as his personal assistant, he finds his world turned upside down. And against his better judgment, he can’t seem to stop thinking about her.
Navie Collins has spent years convinced she’s not good enough, that no one could possibly want her. Growing up the way she did helped to thicken her skin, so when she walks into a job interview and meets the temperamental, foul-mouthed, best-selling author Rowan Locklaine, she’s all too happy to put him in his place.
Rowan and Navie are convinced they hate each other. But as time passes and the attraction between them begins to grow, these two stubborn, strong-willed people have a life changing decision to make. Can they move beyond their pain for a chance at something better, or are they destined to let their pasts dictate their future?
**Love Hate Relationship is a STANDALONE Contemporary Romance that follows characters introduced in Shrinking Violet. It is not necessary to read Shrinking Violet first**
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It was official.
I hated my job.
By the time the subway pulled into the station closest to my house, I was a sweaty, disgusting mess. My hair had fallen out of its artfully styled chignon. My feet had blisters the size of pancakes from traipsing all around the city in the sweltering summer heat. Harlow’s pretty blouse had a coffee stain across the right boob where I’d tripped and spilled Rowan’s coffee down the front of myself—meaning I had to go back and wait in the long ass line at The Bean a second time. And I was pretty sure a panhandler shoved his hand up my skirt on the subway ride home. The whipped, puss-y topping on the shit sundae that was my day were the million and one text messages I received from Rowan needing me to run yet another errand.
None of those messages were of him asking. Oh, no, they were rude and demanding in nature, and I had to stop myself on multiple occasions from hurling my beloved iPhone into oncoming traffic.
By the time I made it back to his apartment with all his requested items, the coffee had long since grown cold, mimicking his icy attitude.
As I limped up the steps to mine and Harlow’s apartment, I kept thinking of all the reasons I wanted to quit, following closely with all the reasons I couldn’t, i.e. my rent and other such necessities.
“Hello, pumpkin. How was your first day?” Harlow asked in an all too chipper voice once I came through the front door.
“I hate my boss!” I yelled like a crazy person before collapsing to the floor and spreading out on the cool, laminate wood, basking in the feel of it against my overly heated skin.
“What the hell? What happened?” Harlow asked as she took a seat on the floor next to me, brushing my sweat-slicked hair back from my face.
“You mean other than working for a twat-waffle who’s the love child of Satan and that ‘Mommy Dearest’ lady?”
“You mean Joan Crawford?”
“That’s the one.”
“Was he really that bad?”
“Remember that asshole William Chandler from sophomore year?”
Her face scrunched up as she tried to recall who I was talking about. “You mean that dickhead football player, who used to bark at all the girls he thought were ugly?”
“Oh, shit. That bad?”
“Multiply that times a million and you’ll have Rowan Locklaine.”
Harlow’s gaze grew sympathetic. “Aww, sweetie, I’m so sorry.”
“And if that wasn’t bad enough, I’m pretty sure I lost my no-no hole virginity to a hobo on the subway.”
I was being completely serious. So when Harlow let out an indelicate snort and collapsed in a heap of hysterical laughter next to me, I couldn’t find it in me to share with her in the humor of the situation.
“I’m glad you find my pain so hilarious,” I deadpanned from my spread-eagle position on the floor of our entryway.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she sputtered, tears trailing down her face. “I know it’s not supposed to be funny, but you should see your face right now!”
I was just about to respond with something brilliantly snarky when my cell phone rang from inside my purse. With a groan of pain, I twisted sideways and retrieved it before going back to my original position.
“Shit,” I muttered as I looked at the screen.
“Who is it? Is it him?”
“No, it’s Lauren. Probably calling to tell me I’ve been fired.”
Harlow whacked me on the shoulder, eliciting a pout from me. “Stop being so negative. Answer the phone and I’ll go pour you a glass of wine.”
“In the big glass?” I asked hopefully, referring to the wineglass-shaped vase we found on clearance a year or so ago. It was what we considered our ’emergency glass’.
“Yes, in the big glass, you big baby. Now, answer the damn phone already.”
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Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.
Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.
In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.
Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.
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