Seth Hudson has a reputation for being the “bad boy”. Trouble in his teen years led him down the wrong path but now, at almost thirty, he’s gotten his life together and things are going well. Until the fateful phone call that changes everything.
Thirteen years ago, Seth fathered a child and was all but forced out of the boy’s life. With Noah’s mother passing away, it’s up to Seth to step up to the plate and raise the son he barely knows. But what does he know about parenting a teenager?
Ainsley Coren has just moved to Cali Cross and is starting over as the high school guidance counselor. It doesn’t take long for her to encounter the troubled teen and his single father who are holding on by a thread.
Making it her mission to help save this broken family, Ainsley steps in and goes above and beyond with the father and son duo. The more time she spends helping them, the more she slowly finds herself falling for the reformed bad boy/single dad.
Can they make things work or will Ainsley bolt at the first sign of minor trouble?
Minor Trouble is an angsty contemporary romance featuring a redeemed hero and the guidance counselor who steals his heart. Download today and get ready to fall in love with your next favorite book boyfriend.
~~~ Excerpt ~~~
Copyright 2021 Julie Archer
“I know it’s a lot to take in, Seth. You can contact me any time if you’ve got any questions.”
Numb, I swallowed hard and nodded. Then, realizing that Carol from Child Protective Services couldn’t see me, I found my voice. “Sure, of course I will. Thank you.”
“I’ll be in touch again so we can finalize everything.”
I almost nodded again. “Thank you. Talk soon.”
The line went dead.
It had been a Thursday just like any other.
Fixing cars, making plans for the weekend, chatting shit with Maddox.
Until the call that spun everything off its axis, turned the world upside down, and any other cliché you’d care to toss in for good measure.
My vision swam, legs trembling as I walked out of the office and back into the main part of the garage and over to the car I’d been working on. I grabbed the wrench to pick up where I’d left off, but it tumbled out of my grip clattering on the concrete floor with an almighty crash.
“Seth? You okay, buddy?” Maddox Riley called from the other side of the garage.
I tried to dislodge the huge lump in my throat, anything but okay. “Yeah, all good,” I managed.
“Shit, you look as if you’ve seen a ghost. You’ve gone really pale.”
Ha, she was haunting me already. I raked a hand through my hair. If I didn’t tell Maddox what was going on, he’d find out soon enough. I had to hope he was as flexible a landlord as he was a boss.
“You got a minute? There’s something you should know.”
He glanced up from the engine he’d been looking over. “Sure, gimme a sec.”
I headed towards the open door, inhaling a lungful of fresh air.
After a couple of minutes, Maddox joined me. “What’s up? Who was on the phone?”
“Child Protective Services needed to talk to me about Noah.”
Noah was my thirteen-year-old son: the result of an illicit relationship when I was sixteen with a cheerleader two years older than me.
“Is he okay?”
Slowly, I nodded.
He was fine.
He hadn’t been in the truck with his mother, her boyfriend, and her parents. He’d been hanging out with one of his buddies playing video games. For once, I thanked God for Noah’s Fortnite obsession.
“Then why did CPS need to talk to you?” Maddox rubbed at an oil mark on his wrist, eyes focused on trying to remove it.
“There was a car accident.” The lump grew even larger, making it increasingly difficult for me to get the words out. “Hannah, her mom and dad, her boyfriend—” My voice cracked. “Didn’t make it out. They’re gone.” Saying it out loud took some of the burden off of me, and I could at least share it with Maddox.
His eyes grew wide, staring silently at me.
Disbelief, confusion, anger, grief.
Without another word, he pushed me out of the way and pulled on the chains to shut the doors to the garage.
“We’re closing,” he stated. “I can’t let you go through this on your own.”
Once Maddox had made a few calls to let customers know about the unexpected early finish, we headed upstairs to the tiny apartment above the garage. After I’d come out of jail—a six-month stint for petty theft—Maddox had been my lifeline. He’d offered me a job through an offenders’ rehabilitation program, which had come with the apartment. Its one caveat was I could never be late for work.
Taking charge, Maddox got two bottles of beer out of the refrigerator, popped the caps, and handed one to me. We went over to the sofa and sat down at each end.
“Have you spoken to Noah?”
I shook my head, gulping down the beer. “Not yet.”
“What’s going to happen to him?”
I chewed on my lips, fingernails scratching at the label on the beer bottle. “I’m his biological father and the only living relative he has. I have to step up. There isn’t anyone else.”
About the author...
Julie Archer is the author of contemporary romance featuring rock stars, small towns, a healthy dose of angst, some steamy times and always a happy ever after!
When not writing, she can usually be found binge watching teen drama series on Netflix, or supporting Spurs (the English Premier League football team, not the American basketball team!) from my armchair, and running around after her two feline children, Corey and Elsa.
Real angst. Real romance.