Roundabout Road (Saving the Sinners of Preacher's Bend Book 2)











Roundabout Road

By Jevenna Willow




Saving the Sinners of Preacher’s Bend

Book 2







Roundabout Road

Copyright © June 2014 Print

Ebook copyright Sept 2015

J. Yost


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author. No names, dates, or places are real, and only in the imagination of its
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Cover art by Linda Kage










Saving the Sinners of Preacher’s Bend

Book 2



Jevenna Willow









I’d like to thank those
who helped along the way,

those who gave great
advice, and all the wonderful authors

 I’ve had the privilege
to work with, and who are just as dedicated to the craft of storytelling as I

Thank you, for all the
pushes, slaps side the head for me to keep at this, no matter what...

If not for others caring
about the achievement of fellow authors, this would not have happened.




Lidia Humphrey-Giotti. Her friends just called her

She’d wanted folks to remember this name, but not in the
context or duration for which they had. So, when fate screwed with Ms.
Humphrey-Giotti, she screwed right back just to make things a bit more even.

Now, all she had to do was locate the whereabouts of
one really lousy, lowlife, useless piece of trash named Jake Giotti and she
could fix an entire town’s selective memory defect. And Jake, bless his soul, was
still living in Preacher’s Bend exactly where she’d left him ten years prior,
so it should be fairly easy to find him.

On a dire technicality the man was still her husband,

Finding Jake wasn’t going to be pleasant. Liddy was
prepared for any unpleasantness. She could probably alter fate’s screw job, locating
his sorry ass, but Jake doing what was expected of him? Hell no. Any redeeming,
responsible nature he’d ever had somehow turned into the unexpected to most

When last she’d seen him, he’d been fully adorned in a
thick leather jacket and low riding Harley between his legs
. What’s not to
love about a guy on a Harley

On a whim, he’d placed a large boa with devil horns on
an arm at least ten inches thick, all solid muscle. Beefy jocks had nothing on
Mr. Giotti.

The darling man’s short-cropped hair grew long
literally overnight. So long, every girl in Preacher’s Bend talked about him,
dreamed about what it would be like to touch the man, and they’d wanted any
part of him any way that could be had of him. He’d turned into a demi-god in
the span of only a few short years.

Liddy certainly talked about the incredibly handsome
Mr. Giotti. Not about the smokin’ hot bod only a well-disciplined man could
achieve, just the man; the entire package of all that hotness. She liked hearing
herself talk. At least she could say someone was listening to her.

Somehow it felt . . .

Well, it just felt right to speak his name, as if she was
supposed to talk about him. What she’d wanted she’d been determined to get. She
might have mentioned to God only once or twice—oaky, at least a billion
times—she’d get Jake to marry her, they’d have babies, and she would grow old
with her soul mate drenched in the throes of matrimonial bliss. Every girl in
town wanted this pipe dream, or so it seemed.

Liddy never got quite past what would happen to her,
or to him, if the dire wish came true. In fact, she’d gotten far more than she could
have bargained for when he’d placed that gold ring on her finger. Four long
months of hard-earned emotional entrapment to a man who couldn’t love anyone
but himself. It was probably he
, and since she was still
working out the specifics, she wasn’t going to make a definite decision about whether
it was couldn’t or wouldn’t. The truth of the matter was Jake had been unable
to love a woman unconditionally. Oh, he’d lusted after enough of them; he just
didn’t commit his heart to any one in particular.

She did eventually get the snake, the snake’s name,
and his volatile temper whenever pushed too far. What she didn’t get was the fun
she’d expected, or that fun to last her until a ripe old age. She’d quite
foolishly thought to be the only woman in his life. How very wrong.
How very brain-dead

Sure, she should’ve known better; she did have working
mush inside her skull.  Every woman alive should expect a man with an inked boa
constrictor wrapped around his upper arm, and the damn thing sporting devil
horns, wasn’t about to be faithful to a wife. Or, a man as incredible as he would
not be her soul mate.

Many women came and went while they’d been married
those few short months, and a few too many burned the bridges of reconciliation
after that. Eliza Porter was one of those names. Now there’s a woman Liddy could
truly call a
and get away with.

Eliza had been the lowest-classed bitch who ever
lived. It came as perks to the circumstances of her birth, same as Liddys’. She’d
been born on the same side of the tracks as Liddy had. But to Liddy’s best
guess, Eliza perfected
to an art form.

She was the reason Jake and Liddy split up.

Liddy had caught the two of them in bed. This vow-smashing
infidelity done on her twenty-second birthday, because bare-assed and in the
throes of hot, sweaty sex with another woman hadn’t been enough to burn out her
eye sockets.
The efin` bastard couldn’t even wait until the next day?

She would never forget the moment when he called her just
minutes before he was supposed to pick her up from work for their long-awaited
date, to tell her he had to work late himself and if she could find a ride home
she wasn’t to wait up for him. She’d been quite able to hear the telltale
giggling in the background. What the hell had he been thinking? She was a
complete idiot? Only half her brain cells worked properly?

It did not take a rocket scientist to know exactly
what was going on right under her nose. Nor did it take one to figure out what
next to do about it. She grabbed the keys to her best friend’s car, drove
straight over there, and should’ve probably loaded one of Gill Hillard’s
shotguns beforehand. It would’ve saved her so much heartache in the end. But then,
she would have used that gun on his bared ass, and lost so much more than
simply her pride.

Even though Liddy was no rocket scientist, she knew exactly
what to do about betrayal on such a grandiose scale—and, what to do about his
cheating on their marriage vows. She’d been a woman scorned. Who better to have
dealt with the problem head on?

Well, that neither here nor there, a past was called a
past because it was—a past . . . as no longer viable and no longer a matter of
any real importance. Her past?  Liddy’s wasted years were dried up, regrettable
mistakes, and only murky waters sat under this rotting bridge. She’d let it go.

She’d let many things go; evens herself, to a point. Bits
of sweat and tears as punishment for letting it go in the first place, surely
with a little effort she could get it all back. But time ripped apart and
clawed a deep cavern of what once had been true love, a little bit deeper, and
in many respects a little bit wider.

Jake and she parted ways after four months of a very
heart-wrenching marriage. He went his way. She’d gone hers. And she’d never looked
back at the consequences to their decisions, because she never had to.


Until now.

In fact, she hadn’t seen the whites of his eyes since
that fate-filled day. She’d kept by hook or by crook her sanity due to this one
small miracle.

Jake still lives in Preacher’s Bend probably because
he’d just gotten out of jail a few months ago, and she supposed the man with nowhere
else to go. Old lady Theodora Rosebud remains here because she’s too old and
feeble to move ninety-six years of her life out of a great big eight bedroom
farmhouse without the help of her two useless, uncaring brats she’d unwittingly
birthed. Mrs. Rosebud’s words
not Liddy’s. Besides, Theodora wasn’t
exactly right in the head. When someone so old was not right in the head . . .
it was always best to leave that particular individual right where she was
until she up and died.

Theodora did no one any actual harm. She could scare
you a bit. But she never really hurt anyone in particular. She had Jake by her
side, and it was all anyone of her age could ever ask for.

Liddy no longer considered herself a foolish woman. She
was frugal—wasn’t an actual crime, was it? And she’d become a bit wiser with
age. Smart, if she really thought about it.

Yet how frugal and wise could a person truly be when
this same person isn’t able to touch a single penny of their hard-earned money
unless for something
, instead of something

She probably would have spent most of the money by now
. . . She couldn’t help it there was a damn fine pair of shoes and matching
handbag she’d set her sights upon. And, always a stickler to the facts, Jake
could’ve easily gotten his hands on the money had she not tied it up in Mutual
Funds, Stocks and Bonds, as Mack Wells told her to do.

Although no longer foolish, she could certainly attest
to being a genuine procrastinator and a person who tends to listen to what
others tell her, even if what they’re saying may or may not have been for her
own good.

Liddy’s fetish for four-inch heels was going to be her
downfall someday. The shoes were on layaway until she returned home.

So, time in many respects slipped by unnoticed.
Honestly? It just went on without her. It laughed and laughed at poor white
trash Lidia Humphrey-Giotti until its sides ached. Time, pardon her French . .
fucking sucks!

She’d left this life-altering, mind-draining black
hole when she had the first opportunity to do so. She couldn't sit back and
simply take the chance at running into Jake with another woman hanging all over
him, or him hanging all over her; and Liddy not wanting him back in her life .
. . and his latest bed-warming bitch of the hour dead. A person would have to
be certifiable to forget about their sordid past and actually forgive the man.

An expensive therapist said she wasn’t crazy, and she
had the bills to prove it. Although leather, tattoos, and long hair had been an
enormous thing of hers, each buried deep within her past . . . leather, tattoos,
and long hair were not within her immediate future.

Clean shaven, suit, ties, the works were more to her
tastes these days. No more Harley’s, no more snake tattoos, no matter what anyone
said to contradict this.

Her future was to hold a deeply scented bouquet of
white roses while she and her bridesmaids were standing in front of the altar
of St. Mary on the Hills in three short weeks. Her future was to be dressed in
a one-of-a-kind wedding gown costing fifty thousand dollars. Then, Liddy looking
lovingly toward a groom of unquestionable wealth at the far end of the aisle
while that select choice of bridesmaids according to their inheritance and
charm and four delectable groomsmen bound for every hot romance cover ever made
stood on her betrothed’s right.

Not to mention, all of his family bearing well wishes,
and plenty of extremely expensive gifts to shower the happy couple with.

Her future was to have a gold band set with an
eighteen-carat yellow diamond in the shape of a heart, soldered to a single
band of thick yellow gold, put around her ring finger after the I-do.
And do not get her started on what the inscription inside the band
reads. She might get teary eyed again, and that would just about ruin her day.

Lidia Humphrey-Giotti’s
future was in the right direction of having something to finally look
forward to. Perhaps she to obtain that one thing she could actually say she’d
hung onto for longer than a few blessedly hot, sweaty months of endless passion
and sleepless nights; where, later on, even her name got lost in the fog of
sexual satisfaction.

yet . . . damn him.

Jake might have been great in bed, and while she would
be the first to admit he’d certainly done her a super large favor by having gotten
her out of the suffocating trap she’d been locked in, it was not
he’d been so great in most of the time.
Now was it?
There’d been plenty
of others he’d warmed. Plenty of warmed bodies the total jerkofabastard had
been quite willing to dive headfirst into until satisfied.

He hadn’t stuck to the sanctity of their wedding vows
as she had. He hadn’t cared as much about being married to her as she had about
being married to him. Jake hadn’t cared enough about her  . . . period. He
shoved their wedding vows into the dirt face first. Then, when the urge came
about, he turned everything around and shoved every mistake she every made
right in her face.

Liddy finally figured this all out—a rather late
bloomer in the ‘
figuring things out’

Yet with all this wretched happenstance occurring over
the course of her existence, and with all she’d been put through, Liddy could not
a future,
nor could she do any further planning to an upcoming
wedding until she found Jake.

Her fiancée wasn’t speaking to her right now. This could’ve
had a little something to do with her not telling Mack about Jake until late
last week, and then doing so right in the middle of one of his firm’s quickly
put-together congratulatory parties, because it was the only time she’d gotten
alone time with Mack for two weeks, and the only time she’d worked up the courage
to speak Jake’s name aloud.

She and Mack had been so busy with their careers and
cases they’d simply been too busy for each other.

So how could she know Mack was ticked? I
t pretty much hit home the second her darling
betrothed slammed the door in her face while she’d been packing a few articles
of clothing for this rather unexpected, slightly unplanned trip. In addition,
right now, as he refuses to answer any one of her numerous phone calls.

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