A brand new romance is coming next week from Kylie Scott, and I have a wonderful sneak peek for you. This is the story of social media manager Susie Bowen who, in the aftermath of a bad breakup, decides to remodel a house she inherited from her beloved aunt. She hires the best contractor in town—who, alas, happens to be her ex’s best friend—but while removing drywall, they discover a divorce certificate in the walls, dated a decade in the future. Keep reading to find out WHOSE divorce certificate…
Lars didn’t mess around. By the time I returned, he’d removed the first two panels of drywall. Hands on hips, he stood staring at the interior of the wall with the problematic window. Mostly it looked like a lot of dust and a couple of cobwebs. But then, I’m not a builder. When I handed over his mug, he gave me a brief smile before taking a sip.
“How is it looking?” I asked.
“Your house has good bones.”
“As long as the damage on that wall is due to the moisture spreading from the window and not a leaky bathroom pipe, this should be pretty straightforward,” he said.
I’d taken over the main bedroom, but this room still held a lot of sentimental value for me. Whenever Mom and Dad were busy or needed a break from us kids, my brother would stay at a friend’s house and I’d be packed off to Aunt Susan’s—to this bedroom in particular. Which was fine with me. Isaac was an outgoing jock while I’d been kind of awkward. In this house, I was accepted for who I was. A nice change. With my parents divorced, growing up between three households and living mostly out of a schoolbag sucked. But Aunt Susan gave me the security that was lacking elsewhere.
“Is the floor okay?”
“Let’s pull up some carpet and see.” He set his coffee on the windowsill. Then, knife back in hand, he got busy with the shag. It was impressive how the tool became a part of him. An extension of his body. “You’ve got good solid hardwood under here.”
“Ooh, let me see.”
He tugged the tattered underlay back farther. “Oak, by the look of it.”
“Wow. Imagine covering that beauty up with butt-ugly brown carpet.”
“No sign of water damage. You were lucky.”
I smiled. “That is excellent news.”
“Now let’s see what’s behind this.”
I took a step back so he could start removing the next section of drywall. He had such big capable hands. Watching him work was pure competence porn. As a mature and well-adjusted thirty-year-old woman, I definitely knew better than to have sexy times thoughts again. The best friend of my ex is not my friend. Confucius probably said that.
“Looks like there’s something back here,” he said, setting a panel of drywall aside.
“Something good or something bad?” I winced as a big hairy spider scurried out of the cavity. “Ew.”
“It’s just a wolf spider. Nothing dangerous.”
“But there might be more.”
Without further comment, he reached down and picked up a piece of paper. It looked old. Which made sense. Lord only knew how long it had been in the wall. It was kind of like opening a time capsule.
“What is it?” I asked, more than a little curious.
His gaze narrowed as he scanned the page, his forehead furrowing. Next his brows rose and his lips thinned. His expression quickly changed from disbelief to fury as he shoved the piece of paper at me. The open hostility in his eyes was a lot coming from a man of his size. “Susie, what the fuck?”
“Is this your idea of a joke?”
“No. I…” The paper was soft with age and the writing was faded but legible. Mostly. Superior Court of Washington, County of King was written at the top. There was also a date stamp. This was followed by a bunch of numbers and the words Final Divorce Order. “Wait. Is this a divorce certificate?”
“Yeah,” he said. “For you and me. Dated a decade from now.”
I scrunched up my nose and ever so slightly shrieked, “What? Hold on. You think I put this in there?”
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Sounds really good!