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Bestselling author Emma Nichols presents a new adult contemporary romance fans and critics are comparing to works of Jennifer Weiner. Snark and heart make The Souvenir a novel that will leave readers desperate for more.
Wren Jacobs—a twenty-something corporate trainer— would like to announce the birth of her baby, Taylor, named after the artist singing “Bad Blood” during the conception. Mother and child are adjusting nicely and ready to welcome visitors, especially the father, Brady Conner.
Despite a few too many misunderstandings, Wren never stopped loving Brady…and would love the opportunity to thank him for her souvenir from their relationship who weighed in at a whopping 8lbs 5oz, effectively ruining her after an unintentional natural delivery. Taylor’s birth will forever remind Wren of the first day of summer, the last time she was ever able to wear a bikini, and that she’ll probably never go to a bar again.
Follow Wren and Brady as they navigate through the tricky dating scene in this touching romantic comedy, and fall in love with the souvenir of their relationship.
The radio blared a Kid Rock song we used to sing together. All signs pointed to success. A smile even played on the corner of my lips as I stepped out of the truck carrying her breakfast. When I neared the breezeway, I could hear her voice coming from outside. Curious, I peeked around the corner, determined to find her. I hesitated when I realized there was a male voice joined with hers.
“So, you’re going to the doctor, right?” Her voice sounded light, happy.
I flattened myself against the side of the building, out of sight, but not out of earshot. I hoped if I listened long enough, I’d recognize the guy, or at least know if she was a lost cause.
“What the hell do I need a doctor for?” The guy laughed.
I heard the scrape of a chair on concrete and imagined the worst.
“It’s not natural to pee that much. And it could be lethal to flush that early.”
They both laughed at her words. Great. They already had a shared joke.
“No, but seriously, Trey.” Apparently she waited for the new guy to stop laughing.
She giggled, a sound, which normally brought me such joy, but instead brought on new chest pains. I dropped the Panera bag in the grass so I could rub my sternum.
“Is that your serious face? Really?” Wren laughed again. “No more with the flushing or we’re through.”
“Okay!” Trey chuckled. “I wouldn’t want to give up all this. I love scalding hot tea. My taste buds may never recover.” He cleared his throat. “Luckily, I had the toaster strudel to ice it down with.”
Wren snickered. “Stop it. It wasn’t that bad. Oh, and if you want a better breakfast, you should’ve brought it.”
“Touché. In my defense, I couldn’t be sure you were worth the chocolate croissants.”
A chair creaked. “How about now?”
“Wait. You’re still leaving?” His frown deepened.
My brow furrowed. “You had Paige here last night.” I gestured to my side of the bed. “She slept on my pillow, drank from my glass, and left it dirty. Fuck yeah, I’m leaving.” I sighed angrily. “I found an apartment.” My shoulders heaved as I wrapped myself in dreams of a better future. “I signed the lease and paid the deposit, but it won’t be ready until next Saturday.”
Brady sat up and brightened some. “Okay. Did you want to stay here until then?”
I stared at him, frowning slightly. “What? You think if I stay here for a week, you can get me to forgive you?” I rolled my eyes. “Please. I can’t think of anything that would make me forgive you, or inspire me to give you another chance to break my heart.” I tilted my head for a moment and tapped my chin. “Nope. Nothing.”
Leaning over, Brady stared at the carpet with his hands clasped in front of him. “I thought you had some deal you wanted to make, something you wanted to discuss.”
Seeing him weak made me feel strong. Setting the box on the floor, I knelt in front of him, forcing him to look at me. “I’m not for you, Brady. She’s the one you were supposed to be with, remember? I’m getting out of your way…not that I seem to be stopping you.” I jerked my head toward the bed to emphasize my point. “Let me keep my stuff here until I can move into the apartment next weekend. Help me move it in, since you refuse to let anyone else do it. I’ll play nice.”
His piercing blue eyes studied my face. I could actually see him considering my offer. He licked his lips before speaking. “What’s in it for me?”
I shrugged. “I told you. I’ll play nice.”
Brady forced a smile that never reached his eyes. “Not much of an incentive.”
Exhaling deeply, I sat back on the floor and stared up at him. “What do you want, Brady?” I didn’t feel like playing games. At the moment, I didn’t really feel like packing either, but at least doing so would’ve moved me closer to my goal.
“I want you. One more time. You owe me that much.” He transformed before my eyes. Minutes before he’d appeared broken, completely wounded. Now, Brady had become calculating and determined, a dangerous combination.
“You want me one more time. What? Sex?” With a laugh, I shook my head. “I owe you?” I stood and crossed my arms over my chest. “How’s that?”
“You broke our agreement. You promised you’d give our living arrangement six months before you ever considered leaving. It has only been five.”
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