Trusting Jake (Blueprint To Love Book 1)

By: Lauren Giordano

Love Under Construction . . .



Broken down at the side of the road, Jenna Stone's life is like her car. In need of a jumpstart.

Tired of playing by other people's rules, the widowed single mom guards her new freedom by keeping her deadbeat husband alive . . . in name only. But meeting Jake Traynor makes her question the merits of lying. Will he break down the fortress around her heart?



Falling for a married woman was never in the blueprint. The definition of responsible son, workaholic executive Jackson Traynor is driven to prove his father right in promoting Jake to take over the family's construction company. He's all business. No pleasure. Until assisting a beautiful redhead with her broken down car reminds Jake what he wants.



What if the only person you want is the one you can never have? Battling their deepening attraction, Jake must question everything he's ever believed–because Jen and her kids are the family he's always dreamed of. Jenna must choose between a safe life and the one of her dreams. When Jake's company is threatened, she will risk everything to protect him– even if it means exposing old secrets.





Chapter 1



Baltimore



Jenna Stone stared at the garden she had coaxed into life, tears blurring the vibrant sea of tulips to a soft, muted coral. Was she doing the right thing? Despite the spring shower of cold, November drizzle, her tiny backyard was moments from bursting into bloom. Restless fingers danced on the windowsill, unconsciously imitating the rain pelting the glass. Did she even know what the right thing was anymore?

"Jenny, we're ready."

Startled, she dragged her gaze back inside, her brother's voice echoing in the eerie quiet. The warmth of the sunny, yellow room failed to soothe the knot of apprehension twisting her stomach. "We have everything?"

Her brother's reassuring presence joined her in the window, two auburn heads reflected in the glass. "I'll take a last look." A mirror to her own, Dave's eyes reflected doubt. "Sure you wanna do this?"

No more Jenny Cahill. With a flash of insight, Jen recognized she hadn't liked her much anyway. From now on, Jenna Stone would call the shots. She offered him a weary smile. "Not much left for me here, right? Rick's finally gone for good. Mom and Dad . . ."

He pulled her in for a brotherly hug. "Don't go there, Jen. They might have come around eventually."

"Two years wasn't enough time to change their minds?" Before the clock had stopped for good.

As stubborn as she, her eldest brother stared at her, unable to admit their parents had been wrong. "Everyone makes mistakes, Jen. But– look what you gave them to work with," he challenged. "A deadbeat, cheating bast-"

"We'll never know, right?" Wincing, she cut off the big-brother speech about mistakes and regret. She'd become an expert on the subject, the last decade a veritable monument to them. "I can't believe I'm doing this." Changing the subject, she relinquished her point. Easier to steer their conversation to safety than risk opening old wounds.

"I guess you know what you're doing." Dave shook his head. There goes Jenny . . . making another mistake. "If you stayed local, Sandy and I could help you."

Sure– as a doting uncle to fatherless kids. But her brother didn't know the whole story. Leaving town was the only way to start over professionally.

"Mama? Can I ride in the big truck?"

A small, sturdy hand slipped into hers. "No, Alex. Just Uncle Dave." Her brother hadn't signed on for a three hour ride filled with non-stop chatter. She stroked his blond curls, grateful he was still young enough not to mind the attention.

"Is Daddy comin'?"

"No, honey." Glancing at her brother, she crouched to face her son. Time for a diversion. "Why don't you find Meggie so you can say goodbye to the house?" And all the bad memories.

Pausing in the doorway, her son's expression was troubled when he turned back. "Why does he yell at us?"

With a sinking sense of failure, she wondered how much time would have to pass before those memories faded. "He won't yell anymore, Al."

"Maybe we should take his box? I could leave my race cars."

"Daddy can't go-"

"Cuz he's up in heaven, right?"

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