Chicago lifestyle blogger, Jess Edwards, built a successful brand based on the pursuit of perfection. From throwing a party to decorating a home, every post is magazine spread worthy. Leo Martinelli, the law school study partner she never mustered the nerve to kiss, shows up in the middle of a photo shoot, and she’s thrilled for the reunion—until he serves her with a lawsuit.
Attorney Leo never thought he’d see Jess again, not after she disappeared halfway through the first semester. For the past ten years, he’s measured every woman who’s crossed his path against her. This meeting is his chance to say good-bye and finally move on from his unrequited crush—before relocating overseas.
To salvage her reputation, Jess has no intention of settling. To obtain the future he’s worked hard for, Leo can’t lose.
Targeted Age Group:: 30-80
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love a second chance romance but was inspired to write about a couple who never really had a first chance at a relationship. Jess and Leo have a mutual spark and respect for each other. But the sudden upheaval in her life cut their early chance off at the crush stage. Now, they've unexpectedly run into each other again but with adult responsibilities, maybe they are never destined to be together.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I was inspired by creating the characters' support systems. Leo comes from a very close knit family, he's the man I hope my sons will become. Jess has a brother and a pair of very close friends, much like myself (although, unlike Jess, I have wonderful parents I'm very close with).
“Jess, I shouldn’t have come. I really can’t give you too much information,” he said, suddenly unsure.
Still gorgeous. Still unattainable. Sitting prim and proper, with her legs and arms crossed, Jessica Edwards was every inch a lady. He remembered being in awe of her the first semester of law school. He’d never have approached her. He’d never been exposed to a person like her. The woman was so sure of herself, so perfect, and yet, so kind. She shouldn’t be real. She should have some terrible hidden secret. But he’d never found any during their time as study partners when she’d asked for his help.
“I’m being sued, right? You’re here to serve me papers?” she asked, shaking the envelope.
He scanned her big blue eyes, searching for any hint of what she might be feeling. Her words, delivered without any emotion, gave him no hint about what turmoil might lie beneath. He’d been good at reading people but oddly never her. “Jess, have your legal team review the case.” He lowered his voice, softening his words. He’d never been sued, and he’d never put himself in the position of the other party, until now. He rubbed the palm of his hand against his heart. Something ached at her reaction. “The papers are in order. The process is fairly cut and dried.”
“Maybe to you, but to me? I don’t need drama, Leo. I don’t need complications right now.”
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