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The Baby Bombshell
The Baby Bombshell
The Baby Bombshell
Ebook205 pages3 hours

The Baby Bombshell

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



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About this ebook

Lily Cookson has a few rules for the New Year, the most important being don't fall for Jack Bailey. The gorgeous, rugged man returned with a new look and a determination to win her back, catching her off guard. After a forbidden night in his arms, she vows never to let it happen again. But when morning sickness kicks in a few weeks later, Lily realizes staying away from Jack just got a whole lot harder.

Jack Bailey left Shadow Creek behind five years ago when his world imploded around him, knowing it would be best for everyone if he was gone...including Lily. It took him a long time to get his life back on track and grow into the kind of man she needs him to be. Now he's determined to prove to Lily that he's back for good and ready to commit, but the secrets she's holding onto are nothing compared to the bombshell he drops...

Each book in the Shadow Creek, Montana series is STANDALONE:
* Christmas with the Sheriff
* The Baby Bombshell
* The Doctor's Redemption
* Baby on the Bad Boy’s Doorstep
* The Firefighter's Pretend Fiance
* A Christmas Miracle for the Doctor

Release dateApr 10, 2017
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Victoria James

Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again. In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction. Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after's for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she's quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.

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Rating: 4.473684210526316 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    A sweet second chance romance..a different type of storyline..it does have 3 deaths so there is that. Not steamy.

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The Baby Bombshell - Victoria James

Table of Contents


Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen



Chapter One

About the Author

Find your Bliss with these great releases…

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Her Secret, His Surprise

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Victoria James. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.

Entangled Publishing, LLC

2614 South Timberline Road

Suite 105, PMB 159

Fort Collins, CO 80525


Bliss is an imprint of Entangled Publishing, LLC.

Edited by Alethea Spiridon

Cover design by Erin Dameron-Hill

Cover art from Shutterstock

ISBN 978-1-63375-937-4

Manufactured in the United States of America

First Edition April 2017


Jack Bailey stared at his reflection in the public washroom at the train station in Montana. The large mirror was stained and murky; it was hours before the cleaning crew would arrive. But even the dirty mirror couldn’t disguise the fact that he looked like hell. He had dark circles under his bloodshot eyes. He braced his hands on the hard angles of the counter’s edge and continued to look at himself, wondering if at some point in his life he’d actually like the man staring back at him in the mirror.

He bent down and unzipped his duffle bag to glance at his bus ticket again, making sure everything was right. The word Non-Refundable was printed in red at the bottom. He stared at that word for a moment before tucking the ticket into his coat pocket and zipping up the bag again, ignoring the stab of guilt in his gut. He was back in Big Sky Country.

The restroom was empty except for an old man who looked as though he took up permanent residence every night. Middle of the night in a train station was a strange place. The usual travelers weren’t around. In the middle of the night, the civility of the tourist crowd was replaced by folks a little rougher around the edges, people who lingered, drifters. The smell of cologne, perfume, and freshly brewed coffee was long gone, and mustier, dirtier odors swam through.

He’d been here for hours. He frowned at his reflection again, at the beard he’d grown accustomed to. It had been five years since he’d seen his face behind the beard. He ran his hands across his jaw, feeling the scratchy hair beneath his palm.

For a second, he’d contemplated shaving it all off, but he knew that was impossible. No one, least of all him, wanted to see the face behind the beard. He was the wrong man to have this face. He was undeserving of his identical twin brother Michael’s face.

He knew on some level his family was probably wondering what it would be like to see him again. It was only natural that seeing his face would have an impact on them. Looking at him would be like looking into the face of a dead man.

After his brother’s death, he couldn’t stand to look at himself anymore. Day by day it had gotten worse, his stomach turning to acid every time he’d had to look at himself, until he couldn’t bear the sight of himself anymore and had let it grow. When his beard had grown in fully, he was able to look in the mirror. He tried to forget the brother he loved more than himself, and the nephew that had been like a son to him.

His gut churned uneasily, as it usually did whenever he thought of Michael, and the certainty that it had been the wrong twin who died. But this year he had to stop running. His sister Gwen’s email had pulled at him… Dad has faced cancer this year. He has lost almost everyone. If there was ever a Christmas for you to come home, this is it. Please, Jack… Made him realize what a bastard he was for staying away. It was time he moved on with his life. Time to man-up and face all the people he’d left behind, all the people he’d failed.

But there was another reason, another person he couldn’t face seeing: Lily. God, how he’d missed her. He’d betrayed her by leaving. He had been weak. He knew he didn’t deserve her forgiveness, but he did owe her the respect of an explanation.

He fingered the wad of cash in the front pocket of his jeans. He’d worked his ass off for this money, and that was one thing he didn’t regret. He’d left Shadow Creek with nothing in his savings, no real goals for a solid future. He’d been a damn child. He’d left home with barely a dime and without a plan. Now, going back he had money. He had a future if he wanted one.

So why the hell did he still feel like he had nothing?

He leaned down, his fingers curling around the worn canvas handle of his duffle bag and swung it over his shoulder. He opened the door of the washroom and glanced back at the thin man still seated on the dirty floor. His face was unshaven, his clothes filthy, and his skinny knees poked through the holes in his pants.

Jack shut the door and crossed the lobby of the train station, then into the twenty-four hour store. Within minutes, he made his purchase and then went into the diner next door, ordering a turkey sandwich and coffee to go. He glanced at his watch and jogged back across the lobby and into the washroom. He placed the hat, scarf, and gloves on the man’s lap.

The old man looked up, his eyes cloudy with something that made him uncomfortable. Jack handed him the sandwich and placed the paper coffee cup beside him on the floor. The man just looked at him and Jack felt their differences recede, while their similarities amplified to a pitch he couldn’t ignore. He knew this man’s pain. On some level, he understood the kind of pain that could make a person forget who they are, destroy their future, their dignity, their life.

Jack cleared his throat. You should, uh, get yourself to a shelter.

The man gave him a slight nod and then opened up the bag of food, the sound of paper crinkling following Jack out the door.

Jack shook off the memory of the homeless man and made his way through the enormous revolving doors and into the dark night. Heavy, damp air filled his lungs as he took a deep breath, looking around for Greyhound Bus Number 45.

By the time he arrived it would be early morning. He could practically smell the coffee brewing. His father would be in the kitchen; he was always the first to rise, and then his mother. He wondered if she still had her red velour robe. Next, Gwen would groggily enter the kitchen, not speaking to anyone until she had a sip of coffee. God, despite everything, it would be good to go home.

He walked down the lineup of buses until he found the right one. Third bus from the front, engine running, door open, was his bus. Jack stood there looking at the driver whose head was bent, engrossed in a crossword puzzle. Get on the bus. It was time he faced the people he’d hurt, the woman who had been in his dreams for the last five years. He owed it to his family to show up in time for Christmas Eve.

He clutched the ticket in his hand and stepped onto the bus, the smell of gasoline and damp winter air lingering in his nose. The driver looked up, tucked the folded newspaper into a pocket in the side of his chair and turned to Jack.

He handed him his ticket without saying a word. The driver punched the slip of paper and returned it. Home for the holidays?

Jack gave him a nod. Yeah, home to Shadow Creek.

Chapter One

Seven Days Later

Lily Cookson stumbled out of her ex-almost-in-law’s house on New Year’s Eve, barely making it to her car before crying like a baby.

Worst. New Year’s Eve. Ever.

Her feet were now soaked because she hadn’t planned on the one foot of snow that had fallen during the party, and she had worn strappy three-inch heels. Why would a perfectly sensible woman who’d lived in Montana her entire life pick strappy three-inch heels in January? Oh, right, because she knew her ex-fiancé would be there and she’d wanted to remind him of everything he’d walked out on five years ago, that’s why.

She groaned out loud and leaned her head forward onto the door of her car. She didn’t even feel the cold because she was hot from the alcohol and flushed from her run-in with Jack Bailey, ex-fiancé extraordinaire, a few minutes earlier. It had been five years. Five years since she’d seen him, since tragedy had torn them apart. Five years and she’d thought she’d changed so much, but there had been one part of her that hadn’t changed. She’d discovered tonight the part of her that was still in love with the man who had destroyed her world.

Lily, you look beautiful. His voice was still the same—deep, gruff, filled with emotion, filled with everything that still made her pulse race.

Well, we can’t really say the same about you can we, Jack? That’s what she’d said; the hurt side of her had said that. It was the side of her that was so angry with herself for being so happy to see him. The truth was that Jack looked beautiful, except for the beard. So maybe it wasn’t exactly that the beard was bad. It was that…she missed his face. She wanted to see the face she’d loved above all others. But his eyes were the same, and his hands. She’d watched them as he held his glass of champagne. Strong tanned hands that had always known exactly what to do with her.

She banged her head gently on her icy car door and groaned at her stupidity. She was way too drunk to drive home and didn’t have a plan B. She could not go back inside because, well, after he’d told her she looked beautiful, he’d then said he hoped she’d moved on and found someone while he was gone.

That was when she’d lost it. Because A) no, she hadn’t. She loved him too much. And B) she wanted him to say that he loved her and had made the biggest mistake of his life, leaving after…the accident. But he hadn’t done any of that. He’d just stood there looking polite, sympathetic, and with so little of the emotion she knew he had. So after a few seconds of complete shock and hurt, she’d decided to flood the man’s champagne glass with olives and maraschino cherries, and then she’d taken a bottle of champagne and had poured it into his glass, and kept pouring, while telling him she was never going to speak to him again, until the bottle was empty, and he was standing in a pool of champagne. She had basically made a spectacle of herself, something straight out of the movies.

Lily, wait.

Lily stopped breathing at the sound of Jack’s voice. What was he doing out here? She turned her head to see him jogging out to her. She would have thought that the champagne she’d slowly and purposely spilled on him would have sent the man the message she wanted nothing to do with him. Ever. Again.

You can’t drive home. Give me your keys and I’ll drive you.

She really needed to stop drinking, because it made her emotional. Yes, clearly it was the wine and champagne that was making her eyes tear up. Or the wind. It was cold and windy. It had nothing to do with the fact that she had missed this man so much, and now he was back and he was showing concern for her. He held out his hand, standing in front of her now. He was wearing a checked shirt that hugged what she already knew was an incredible body, and dark jeans that emphasized how fit and lean he still was. She turned away from the appealing picture he made.

I was going to walk home, she said, lying.

He frowned. You can’t walk ten miles at night, with snow, and in heels.

She shrugged. I’ll ask Gwen for a ride.

My sister is tanked.

I’ll ask Chase and Julia.

Those two couldn’t keep their hands off each other. They left ten minutes ago and I can guarantee neither will pick up their phones.

She needed new friends. I’ll call a cab.

On New Year’s. In rural Montana. Good luck. Give me the keys, he said, holding out his hand. Jack had a way of barking out orders in a very calm, rational way. It was an admirable quality, one she’d never been able to master. What was she going to do? She searched his brown eyes reluctantly. She’d avoided making eye contact with him because it was too painful. She wanted to hate Jack so much. She wanted to be mean to him. She wanted to hurt him as much as he’d hurt her. But the only reason she wanted any of those things was because she was still in love with him, and standing so close to him, having him show concern for her, made it all so much worse.

I still think walking is a viable option. Unfortunately for her, a large gust of wind blew the snow that had accumulated on the roof of her car all over her. She yelped and swiped at it, forgetting to look calm and collected.

He tried to help brush some of the snow off her, but she swatted at him and, judging by the twitch at the corner of his mouth, was fighting a smile.

When another gust of snow blew around them, she surrendered her keys with a huff and then scrambled to the other side of the car in a clumsy display. Jack had already settled himself inside and leaned over and opened the door for her. She collapsed into the seat beside him and fumbled a few times with getting the seatbelt to latch. Way too much alcohol tonight.

Ready to go? he asked after turning on the heat and windshield wipers, having the decency to not point out her…lack of coordination.

He had no idea where she lived now. Head down to Main Street. I’m renting an apartment above Jack and Jill’s Toy Store.

He nodded, his eyes on the road, hands firmly gripping the steering wheel. How is your father?

"Fine. In a home. He had a stroke four years ago. So I guess, not fine. Not the way you remember him."

He winced. I know, sweetheart. I’m sorry.

She stared at his profile and tried not to be affected by the genuine regret she heard in his voice. But Jack had always had the ability to empathize. It was one of his best traits. He felt things deeply, despite his big, tough appearance. He knew about her father…Oh, I guess Gwen told you?

He gave a terse nod but didn’t say anything else, but even that hadn’t been enough to bring him home or make him reach out to her. She needed to stop expecting more from him. He was a guy who took off for five years and now he was back, not for her, but his

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