We are so excited to share with you the cover reveal for Abby Jimenez’s upcoming novel The Friend Zone!
About The Friend Zone (June 9, 2019):
Kristen Peterson’s funny and feisty personality covers up her biggest secret: an upcoming medically necessary hysterectomy at age twenty-four. As she faces a future without children, meeting sexy fireman Josh Copeland and hearing his wish for a large family only makes her life more complicated.The two are thrown together again and again during planning for their best friends’ wedding, and as much as Kristen wants to keep Josh at arm’s length, knowing he’d be better off with someone else, she can’t help falling for the guy who’s always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry and never offended by her mile-wide sarcastic streak. But as their attraction grows, Kristen finds it harder and harder to keep Josh in the friend zone.
THE FRIEND ZONE will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and great loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.
I glanced down at the text while the light was red.
Celeste: I’m not giving you a dime, Josh. Go fuck yourself.
“Goddamn it,” I muttered, tossing the phone on the passenger seat. I knew she was gonna do this. Leave me with my finger in the dam. Fuck.
I’d left her the contents of the whole house, and all I asked was for her to pay half of the Lowe’s bill. Half of three thousand dollars’ worth of appliances I’d generously given her instead of selling them, despite the card and payments being in my name. And of course, I was somehow the asshole in all this for leaving the state for a new job three months after we’d broken up.
I had it on the highest authority she was now fucking some guy named Brad.
I hoped Brad enjoyed my Samsung stainless gas range with the double oven.
Asphalt-scented heat drifted in through my open windows as I sat in Burbank’s slow-moving morning gridlock. Even on a Sunday, there was traffic. I needed to get my AC fixed if I was going to survive in California—another expense I couldn’t afford. I should have walked to the grocery store. Probably would have gotten there faster at this rate and I wouldn’t have wasted gas, another thing that cost twice as much as it did in South Dakota.
Maybe this move was a bad idea.
This place would bankrupt me. I had to host my best friend’s bachelor party, there were moving expenses, the higher cost of living…and now this bullshit.
The light turned green and I pulled forward. Then the truck in front of me slammed on the brakes and I hit its bumper with a lurch.
Shit. You’ve gotta be kidding me.
My day had been officially ruined twice in less than thirty seconds. It wasn’t even 8:00 a.m. yet.
The other driver turned into a Vons parking lot, waving out the window for me to follow. A woman—bracelet on her wrist. The wave somehow managed to be sarcastic. Nice truck, though. A Ford F-150. It still had dealer plates. Kind of a shame I’d hit it.
She parked and I pulled up behind her, turned off the engine and rummaged in my glovebox for my insurance information as the woman jumped from her vehicle and ran to look at her bumper.
“Hey,” I said, getting out. “Sorry about that.”
She turned from her inspection and glared up at me. “Yeah, you know you have one job, right? Not to hit the car in front of you?” She cocked her head.
She was a small. Maybe five foot two. Petite. A dark wet spot cascaded down the front of her shirt. Shoulder-length brown hair and brown eyes. Cute. Impressive scowl.
I scratched my cheek. Irritated women were a particular specialty of mine. Six sisters—I was well trained.
“Let’s just have a look,” I said passively, putting on my calm-in-a-crisis voice. “See what we’re dealing with.”
I crouched between the back of her truck and the front of mine and surveyed the damage as she stood over me, her arms crossed. I looked up at her. “I tapped your trailer hitch. Your truck is fine.” Mine had a small dent, but it wasn’t anything major. “I don’t think we need to get our insurance companies involved.”
I couldn’t afford to have an accident on my driving record. It wasn’t good for my job. I pushed up on my knees and turned to her.
She leaned over and tugged on the hitch. It didn’t wiggle. “Fine,” she said, obviously satisfied with my assessment. “So, are we done here?”
“I think we can be done.”
She whirled, darting around to the passenger side of her truck as I started for the grocery store. She dove into the cab, her legs dangling from the seat as she leaned in on her stomach. Her flip flop fell off into the parking lot with a plop.
She had a nice ass.
“Hey,” she said, twisting to look at me as I walked past. “How about instead of staring at my ass, you make yourself useful and get me some napkins.”
I put a thumb over my shoulder. “Uh, I don’t have any napkins in my truck.”
“Think outside of the box,” she said impatiently.
Feeling a little guilty for openly admiring her assets—or rather for getting caught doing it—I decided to be helpful. I went back to my truck, opened my gym bag and grabbed a tee. When I handed her the shirt, she snatched it and dove back into the cab.
I stood there, mostly because she had my favorite shirt, but also because the view wasn’t anything to complain about. “Everything okay?” I tried to peer past her into the front seat, but she blocked my line of sight.
A small dog growled at me from the window of the back seat. One of those little purse dogs. I scoffed. It wore actual clothing.
“I spilled coffee in my friend’s new truck,” she said from inside. She lost her other flip flop to the sweltering parking lot and was now barefoot, her red-painted toes on the running board. “It’s everywhere. So no, it’s not okay.”
“Is your friend a dick or something? It was an accident.”
She pivoted to glare at me like I kicked her dog. “No, he’s not a dick. You’re the dick. You were probably texting.”
She was feisty. A little too cute to scare me, though. I had to work hard to keep my lips from turning up at the corners. One way to piss off a pissed-off woman even more was to show her you weren’t taking her seriously. I cleared my throat. “I wasn’t texting. And, in all fairness, you did slam on the brakes for no reason.”
“The reason was I needed to stop.” She turned back to the mess.
I suspected the reason was she spilled coffee on herself and hit the brake reflexively. But I wasn’t going to poke the bear. Well-trained.
I slipped my hands into my pockets and rocked back on my heels, squinting up at the Vons sign in the parking lot to my left. “Okay. Well, good chatting with you. Leave my shirt on the windshield when you’re done.”
She climbed into the passenger side of the truck and slammed the door shut.
I shook my head and chuckled all the way into the store. When I came back out, she was gone and my shirt was nowhere to be seen.
About the Author:
Abby Jimenez is a Food Network champion, motivational speaker, and contemporary romance novelist living in Minnesota. Abby founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to open multiple locations in two states, won numerous Food Network competitions and amassed an international cult following. Abby has since turned her talents to penning novels. She loves a good book, coffee, doglets, and not leaving the house. For more on Abby and her books, visit www.authorabbyjimenez.com.