COVER & EXCERPT REVEAL
NOT A LOVE STORY by J.L. Lennon
Release Date: August 12, 2020
Cover Design: TE Black Designs
Photo: The Stock Alchemist
Genre: M/C Romance
Trope: Age-gap, angsty and forbidden
When Tessa lost her mama, her grieving father moved her and her little brother across the country to a grandmother they’d never met. She was lonely and unsure of where she fit into her new life.
And then she met Jasper.
The younger brother of a guy in her dad’s MC, Jasper had no desire to baby-sit or run errands for Jess Morgan. He hung out with the club to watch out for his wayward brother- that was all.
And then he met Tessa.
An unlikely friendship formed between them, and the bonds were made even stronger, because Tessa trusted Jasper. He was the one person she could depend on. And she made him see past his self-imposed limitations, made him believe he was better, made him want to be better.
An innocent crush. A stolen kiss.
She believed in his words like she used to believe in fairy tales….
And then he left.
She blamed herself, because everyone leaves eventually, don’t they?
But Jasper’s back. The day she turns eighteen, he’s standing in her garage wearing a prospect patch and a smile that’s more like a question.
It doesn’t matter that she’s off limits.
It doesn’t matter that he’s fifteen years older than her.
He came back, and she’s not a little girl anymore…
And their story isn’t over.
ADD TO YOUR TBR
GOODREADS LINK: https://bit.ly/2ZLwFj1
Tessa ducks under the half-raised garage door, and the smell of gasoline and grease greets her as she makes her way through the dark shop to the sliding barn door in the back. It’s not closed all the way, and she can hear grunting and the unmistakable smack of a fist on a punching bag. This piques her interest, and instead of announcing her arrival, she peeks around the door frame.
The man she sees, and that’s exactly what he is- a man- makes her feel things that are so much more than a simple schoolgirl crush. Jasper’s laying into the bag like he wants to kill it. And he’s shirtless. Tattoos she’s never seen before dance across his back, rippling as the muscles underneath them flex. He’s obviously been working out because he knows his way around a punching bag.
And he’s shirtless.
It’s only been three years and the Jasper she remembers wasn’t a small guy, he wasn’t even average, but she can see every muscle as he works the bag. His arms, his back, his shoulders, every muscle glistens in the hazy late afternoon sun coming through the windows. His hair is pulled back into a ponytail that slaps his face as he pounds the bag faster and faster until he shudders and falls against it, wraps his arms around it and holds on, panting.
Her fingers press into the wood frame as she watches. For a brief second she wonders if this is what he’s like when he’s having sex. Shaking her head, she groans, but before she can move out of the doorway, he spins around and she freezes. There’s a towel tucked into the waistband of his jeans, and he pulls it out and wipes his face. She gets a good look at his chest. There’s new ink there too, new to her anyway. At a loss for what to say, she blurts out the first thing that comes to mind.
“You have new tattoos.” Cringing at how ridiculous the observation sounds, she groans inwardly. Tossing the towel onto the bench behind him, he looks at her again and smiles. She notices the way his eyes travel from her face all the way down her body and back up. It takes her breath away. And that smile, she couldn’t forget it if she tried.
“Yeah, a few,” he rasps. Dust motes flash in the sun as he grabs his t-shirt and pulls it over his head.
“A few? The sleeve wasn’t there and…” Her eyes follow his hand as it brushes over his bicep then drops to his side where she notices the v shaped muscles that disappear under the waistband of his jeans. Jerking her eyes from his abs, she looks up at his face. “I saw the open door and wanted to… I’ll leave you to do what you were doing.” Breathing is suddenly hard, and she needs to leave before she puts her foot any further down her throat.
“Hey, Tessa?” Tessa. That’s her Jasper. His voice hasn’t changed but her name in his mouth has. It sounds different. Stopping, she forces herself to smile and face him. He’s got a t-shirt on but he messed up his hair in the process, and it’s not making this any less uncomfortable. His body, his hair and all the other parts of him that she remembers, and that kiss all those years ago, it seems innocent compared to what she’s thinking right now.
Three years have come and gone and maybe, just maybe, what she felt that night on her bed wasn’t one-sided.
“Yeah?” It’s a breathy whisper, but she can’t help it. Having him here again… she didn’t dare hope for anything like this. She let him go when he never came back. She let him go because her crush was silly, and he was a man and she was just a stupid girl.
But she never forgot him.
“We still havin’ cake?” It makes her laugh, his innocent question. He’s thinking about cake, and she’s thinking he’s better than cake. Shaking her head and taking a deep breath, she smiles at him.
“Yep. My little brother’s determined,” she says softly.
“Tessa I-” Whatever he was saying gets lost in the rumble of a motorcycle and the crunch of tires on gravel. Her dad’s truck and most likely Bud’s bike.
Taking one last look at him, where he stands by the punching bag in a ray of sunlight that makes him look otherworldly and nothing like the Jasper that used to push her on the swings, she smiles and turns away and hurries out of the garage.
One of Five eARC’s for Not a Love Story
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DIRECT LINK: https://bit.ly/32Jx0EG
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.L. Lennon writes love stories that break all the rules. Contemporary romance with a taste of the forbidden are her specialty. Writing since she was a child, her stories have evolved into angsty, and sometimes heartbreaking love.
CONNECT WITH J.L. LENNON
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/39i3NlA
Facebook Author Page: https://bit.ly/32LY7iF
Goodreads Author Page: https://bit.ly/2ZOPxO5