Surprised By Love (The Blackridges Book 2) by Rita Sawyer
sensual contemporary romantic comedy novel
Release Date: 06/06/2013
Jarrett Blackridge’s assistant Sasha Reylione is one of them most important people in his life. When she’s faced with a threat from her ex-fiancé Jarrett’s first instinct is to protect her. His anger forces him to evaluate his feelings for her and admit how strong they were. He’s going to do whatever he can to shield her. Even if that means marrying her. This wouldn’t be a bad thing, since they got along better than most married people he knew. Hopefully somewhere along the way she’d realize that he loved her.
When Sasha’s ex starts causing trouble her boss decides the best course of action is for them to get married. At first she’s stunned, but Jarrett is a very persuasive man. She’d spent almost two years seeing to most of his needs so she couldn’t see how different being married to him would be. Except for them having sex of course.
Cale pulled up in front of Jarrett’s house and cut the engine off, but made no move to get out of the car. Though Jarrett was relieved and happy to be home he didn’t move either. He sat there and stared at his sprawling split level ranch. The lawn needed to be mowed, but purple and white flowers caught his eye. Jarrett was damn sure they hadn’t been there when he left. He smiled wondering what other changes Sasha had made while he was gone.
As Jarrett reached for the door handle he glanced at Cale. “You’re not coming in?”
“Are you kidding me? We both know what’s going to happen when you go in there.” Jarrett would’ve smiled, except he didn’t want his brother to know he was kind of looking forward to the dressing down and arguing that would no doubt follow his sudden arrival home.
Jarrett opened the door, got out and walked to the trunk and retrieved his bags. “I’ll come by tomorrow and look over that new surround sound for you.”
“Asshole, you were listening.” Jarrett could have told his baby brother that he was always listening, but he just shrugged his shoulders instead.
He walked to the house and lifted his hand in a semi-wave as Cale drove off. Jarrett opened the door and stepped inside. With his elbow he shoved the door closed and let his bags drop to the floor. He stood there looking around his living room. As usual not a thing was out of place. His brown leather couch and matching chair sat across from his huge flat screen TV. All of it was top of the line, yet it all meant nothing to him. The only thing that made him smile was knowing Sasha had programmed the special cable box she’d had installed to record all the shows he enjoyed.
Hell, there were shows on there he had never heard of and wouldn’t even know existed if she hadn’t put them on there. Jarrett didn’t watch much TV, but late at night when his big empty house started to feel like it might swallow him up, he’d flick it on to fill the void. Lately it had been happening more and more often, which was starting to concern him. He wanted to blame it on all the travel. The problem with that theory was he used to enjoy traveling. He’d cut this last trip two days short, because being away from home was starting to wear on him.
Sasha was going to give him hell for not warning her. She hated when he made adjustments to his schedule, which she managed with scary perfection. Her attention to detail had been one of the main reasons he’d hired her, other than the fact that he’d known she’d really needed the job. Finding out that she had the ability to keep him in line and on time was the excuse he used to keep her around.
In truth Jarrett was starting to think he’d never be able to replace her. Not that he thought she was going anywhere. She loved her little house, though he figured Lulu could use more room inside and out.
Still if he pissed her off too much the idea might strike her, and then he’d be sorry. On the other hand he figured Sasha needed a little chaos in her overly organized life, other than Lulu. Lulu may give her moments, like when she dug up and ate the flowers Sasha planted all around her yard when she wasn’t rolling in them. Nothing they’d tried curbed her quirky tendency toward flowers. After a bout of tummy troubles that sent Sasha into a tizzy he had helped her rip out anything that could hurt her and replaced them with varieties the vet had assured were harmless. Jarrett didn’t really think Sasha wanted her to stop, because then she’d have no reason to keep planting.
Still his yard was much bigger and fenced in so he insisted Sasha bring Lulu to work with her every day. Sasha hadn’t even put up a token protest. Of course back then Lulu had been a ten week old bundle of energy, so it would have been similar to leaving her baby at home. He wouldn’t have made her do that. And he enjoyed playing with Lulu so he was benefitting from her bringing her along. Still when Lulu was in trouble she couldn’t argue back and the transformation that came over Sasha from sweet looking girl next door to fierce little vixen was a sight to see. It was one of the reasons he kept having her bring Lulu to the office with her.
The smell of coffee wafted down the hall and penetrated through his thoughts. It lured him toward the kitchen. As he grabbed a mug from the cabinet Jarrett noted this room looked a little more inviting. It might have something to do with the flowers on the table and counter courtesy of Sasha’s garden. He knew she brought fresh ones every few days, even when he was away.
Jarrett took his coffee and headed for his office, which was a huge room he’d had added on to the back of the house. It had its own entrance and driveway for clients. He stepped in and Lulu lifted her massive head and let out a loud woof that resonated through the room. She got to her feet and trotted over to him. With her size, even though at a year old she’d still be considered by most to be a puppy, it only took her a few seconds to reach him. There was just enough time for him to safely put down his cup. Someone had missed him. He crouched down and rubbed the fawn-colored Bull Mastiff’s massive head. Jarrett gave her a good scratch behind her ears the way she liked.
“Have you been a good girl?” She barked again and nudged him hard enough that it would have knocked him on his ass if he hadn’t been ready for it. “Where’s mommy?”
Lulu turned and ran to the door. Jarrett got up and followed. Sure enough Sasha was out there. She stood next to a plain gray sedan talking to a guy he’d never seen before. His first thought was that he hoped she was just giving the guy directions. The odds he was a client were slim, because she never had anyone there without him present, there was no reason for it. Then he wondered ruefully if the man could be a boyfriend?
Jarrett doubted it. He knew plenty of guys who were interested in Sasha, but she’d quickly shot them all down. Maybe something had changed while he was gone this past week. As he got closer to the window, Jarrett ruled out the possibility. Sasha had her back to him, be he knew from the way she moved her hand between her and the guy she was pissed off. Jarrett wished he could hear what she was saying. Lulu moved to the door and glanced back at him letting out a low growl. Hell if she thought Sasha needed back up, he wasn’t going to second guess her instincts.
He stepped outside in time to hear the guy say, “I’m sorry ma’am, all I do is serve the papers. I don’t know anything. I suggest calling the lawyer or calling your own.”
“Well, I don’t have an attorney,” she quipped angrily.
“Ma’am I suggest you get one and quickly.” The guy didn’t sound mean or cross, he sounded practical.
“Why the hell do you need a lawyer?” Jarrett asked as he approached them.
Sasha gasped and the guy took a step toward his car. Okay so he may have been a bit harsh, but Sasha was his… employee and no one was going to mess with her without his knowing everything so he could help her.
“Damn it.” She growled and pointed the piece of paper in her hand at him. “What are you doing here?”
“I got home a little early.” He gave her a negligent shrug. “Now one of you needs to tell me what’s going on here.”
“Sorry,” the guy said as he opened the door. “I was only authorized to speak to Miss Reylione.”
Jarrett and Sasha stood there and watched him drive away. Actually Jarrett watched Sasha jam her hands on her hips and glare at the guy as he tore out of there. Once the process server was out of sight, she turned and stomped her way back to the house. Jarrett followed ready to dig a little deeper and find out what the heck was going on. He wasn’t quick enough, or maybe he was lucky he wasn’t hot on her heels, because she slammed the door in his face. As if that would stop him!
He yanked the door open. “That wasn’t very ladylike.”
She didn’t respond as she took her seat behind her desk. Jarrett watched as she crushed the paper her fist before she shoved it in the drawer. Her little growl made him smile. Lulu let out a little whine as she dropped herself at Jarrett’s feet. With a snap and point Sasha ordered Lulu back to her big pillow bed next to the small couch across the room. The dog gave him a pitiful look, but she obeyed.
“Are you going to tell me what’s going on?” Sasha didn’t even look at him as she started typing on her keyboard.