Shameless_ Bad Baker Boys #6

By: Tonya Brooks
The Bad Baker Boys Book Six





Acknowledgments:

For Greta, with love, Pop.

To the members of Tonya’s Tribe for all of your love and support!

A huge thank you to a fellow author who I am honored to call my friend, Abbie Zanders. Thank you for letting me borrow Jack Callaghan! Can I keep him?

When I was in the second grade, the class bad boy (yes, he was a bad boy even in the second grade!) declared that he was going to marry me when he grew up, and he did. Billy, you are my inspiration and living proof that a bad boy can be a good man. There is a little bit of you in every bad boy I write about, so it’s no wonder they are so lovable. All my love, forever and a day.







The Breezeway Estate

Jed Baker had been devastated by the loss of his wife and remained faithful to her memory for twenty-five long, lonely years. During that time, Claire had been a surrogate mother to his sons and one of his dearest friends. From the moment they met, he’d been drawn to the single mother against his will, and he finally understood why.

She was the other half of his soul.

Abandoned by the father of her children, Claire Abbot had no use for another man. Until she looked into midnight eyes and felt her shattered heart begin to beat again. Jed was everything she could ever want in a man. In spite of the fact that he owned her heart, she didn’t think he was capable of loving anyone again.

He was her forbidden desire.





Chapter One




THIRTY YEARS AGO...

Claire Abbott had been raised in a town so small that folks knew the names of their neighbor’s livestock, and recognized them on sight. Her mother taught at the local elementary school, and her father was the county sheriff. Needless to say, her life was just a series of boring days strung together into years. She could not wait until she could leave home and move to the city.

Nothing exciting ever happened in the little farming community until the day a stranger rolled into town on a big chromed out motorcycle and turned her life upside down. All it took was one look, and she was head over flip flops in love. The windblown blonde hair and razor stubble on his handsome face, that black leather jacket, white T-shirt, faded jeans and scuffed up cowboy boots, proclaimed he was the ultimate bad boy.





THOMAS WRIGHT HAD LEFT the military and was touring the country on his bike when it broke down in the middle of nowhere. There was only one service station in town, and the mechanic seemed capable enough, but he couldn’t get the part for at least a week. That meant he had to kill seven days in a one-horse town where they rolled the sidewalks up at five o’clock. The place didn’t even have a bar for God’s sake.

It didn’t have a motel either, so he wound up staying with one of the local farmers and working in his fields in exchange for room and board. The work was exhausting, the bed was lumpy, but the food was incredible. All in all, it wasn’t a bad situation, and once he saw the girl who lived next door, things got even better. Claire was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and he was determined to make her his. Fortunately, it didn’t take too much effort to win her over.

Her father was a different story.

The sheriff didn’t like him, didn’t want him near his daughter, and didn’t mind letting him know it. Thomas didn’t care what the older man wanted, and neither did his daughter. Claire would sneak out of the house at night to meet him in the farmer’s barn and the hot summer nights became sweltering. The week soon became a month, and even though his bike was fixed, he just couldn’t make himself leave her behind. The night that her father finally caught them together and told Thomas to get out of town, he asked her to go with him.





CLAIRE DIDN’T EVEN think twice. She said yes and went home to pack a few things while her mother cried and her father ranted and raved. He told her if she left that she’d never be welcome to come back again and that was just fine with her. There had never been anything for her in this town, and there never would be.

So at seventeen, she had run away from home with the boyfriend her father hated. Thomas said that he and Claire were like a modern-day Stanley and Stella Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. Like the characters in the play, she was a good girl, and he was a bad boy. And just like the characters, they were deeply in love and had an extremely volatile relationship that was fueled by an explosive sexual chemistry.

Before she knew it, Claire was pregnant. Thomas hadn’t been particularly pleased with being saddled with a baby, but little Stella had quickly stolen his heart, and he spoiled both mother and daughter as much as he could. Fortunately, he’d had a sidecar on his motorcycle so they could haul the baby with them as they traveled cross-country like they’d left home to do.

The young couple had picked up odd jobs in whatever town they landed in and enjoyed their nomadic lifestyle and each other without restraint. After three years on the road, Claire became pregnant with their second child and that was more responsibility than a bad boy like Thomas could handle. He had dropped her and their daughter off at Ted’s Diner and told them to wait there while he went to have the bike serviced at the garage two blocks over.

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