Happily Ever After: A Day in the Life of the HEA (Rook and Ronin #3.5) by J.A. Huss
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 16, 2015
Amazon ♥ B & N
Life in Rook & Ronin’s world has been bliss for fifteen years. Rook, Veronica, and Ashleigh are still BFF’s raising their kids together. Ronin, Spencer, and Ford have managed to go legit and stay out of trouble. And they have a pack of kids running around the eight thousand square foot Vail mansion they all share for the holidays—begging for gifts, and fun, and love.
But every HEA has problems.
Five is fifteen and getting ready to go off to college. He’s put it off as long as he could in order to stay close to Princess Shrike, but his stay of execution is over and in three weeks he’s off to Oxford. But Five can’t leave until he gets the only thing he’s ever wanted. The heart of his Princess.
Ford and Ashleigh never had any more children after Five. And now that Kate is sixteen, Ashleigh is out of her head with desire for just one more chance to have a baby in the house.
Rook and Ronin have two beautiful daughters, but Sparrow is growing up too. And she just got a job offer that has Ronin crazed with paternal worry.
And Spencer is the father of a fifteen-year-old princess who looks way too much like her Bombshell mother for his comfort level.
I ease out of the room quietly and take the baby downstairs. The house is big and the kitchen is far, but I can hear the bustle of kids and dogs before I even make it downstairs. When I walk in, it’s a madhouse.
I love this fucking madhouse. My girls are all laughing and talking a mile a minute. Belle is stuffing her face with pancakes, Jasmine and Ariel are clinking their OJ glasses together like they are having a secret toast, and Rory is...
I squint my eyes at Rory. She’s talking to Five, but that’s not what makes me squint my eyes. She’s wearing a Shrike Trikes t-shirt and sweat pants, but it’s the way… it’s the shape of her...
“Daddy,” Rory squeals, getting up from her stool at the breakfast bar and coming towards me. “Five wants to know—”
She stops short. “What?” Her smile falters.
Cindy smacks her little fist into my eyeball, and I have to take a deep breath. “I’m sorry, what were you going to ask?” I eye Five suspiciously. I know he’s always liked her, but he’s so weird. Like Ford, just weird. Always wearing those suits. Always on that computer. And he’s been in and out of different college programs since he was ten or eleven. He’s gone a lot and that’s the way I like it.
But today he looks… different. Different in the same way that Rory looks different in her innocent nightclothes. He almost looks normal in his flannel pajama pants and Shrike t-shirt. Add in the fact that his normally perfectly coiffed hair is messed up a little like he just rolled out of bed, and I get flushed with anger.
In fact, Rory’s long blonde hair is all messed up too. Flowing over her shoulders like an unruly waterfall. And Five is looking at her the way I look at the Bomb.
“But Daddy,” Rory pleads. “I need to go shopping.”
“Shopping?” I ask, ratcheting down my suspicions and getting a hold of my paranoia as the seconds tick off.
“Yeah, we don’t want to ski today. We want to go shopping in the Village.”
Shopping. I mull it over in my head. Lots of people there. Crowds of people, actually. Not private, in other words. “Maybe,” I say. “But I’m pretty sure Ford is counting on you to help him, Five.”
“Mr. Shrike,” Five starts. “I’ve already cleared it with my father. Kate’s helping him today. Right, Kate?” He looks over at his sister and there’s… there’s some kind of secret look going on between the two of them.
“Yup,” Kate says. She is as normal as Five is strange. And she’s been Ford’s little sidekick since day one. But she’s smarter than people give her credit for. I think she secretly likes it that way. Like being underestimated is the best gift she ever got out of being Ford’s adopted daughter. “Ford and I are skiing a double black once the kids are finished.”
“Well,” I say, eyeing my brood. Rory needs a chaperone. Belle, Jas and Ariel won’t go shopping. They love Ford too much to skip out on a whole day with him on the slopes. And there’s no chance in hell that Rook and Ronin will have time to shop today. Sparrow has ballet rehearsal before The Nutcracker tonight.
“Oliver,” I say, smiling. “Ollie, my boy. You don’t want to ski today, do you? You hate skiing.” He does too, he can’t ski worth a shit. “Will you go with Rory and finds something extra-special pretty for Mommy today? She’s tired and needs a pick-me-up present before Santa comes.”
“Yay!” Oliver says. “Yes, yes, yes! I want to go shopping with Five. He’s the best, Daddy.”
I roll my eyes. “OK, good. You can go, Princess, but…” I look at Five. “But…”
“But what, Daddy?” Rory asks.
But what am I going to say to Five? You touch my girl, I’ll break your fingers? I’ll grab that shotgun I’m hiding under my bed and—“Just be home in time for dinner. Your mom is making something special tonight.”
JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances.
She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems.
JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.