XO by Melissa Jane

Release Date: October 2, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance Standalone

Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Second Chance, Bully


Cover Design: Opium House Creatives

Photographer: David Wagner

Model: Matyas Nagy


I swear to God, Jacob Lynch, if I ever see your arrogant, smug face again, I’ll ruin your manhood with a swift knee.

You were the glorified football captain, the heartthrob, the most popular boy in school and yet suddenly you vanish leaving all your horrid friends pointing the finger at me, circling like hungry vultures to see if I would break.

They just didn’t know that I already had. Daily. For months I cried for you. You. Broke. Me.

You taunted and tormented me for years until you finally convinced me to fall in love with you. You said, “Nothing can ever tear us apart.”

And I believed you.

But you lied.

And then you left.

Without a word, without a touch, without a sound.

You. Just. Left. Right when my world fell to pieces, you lit the match and watched from afar, as what remained went up in flames.

So, if I ever do see your stupidly handsome face again, you’ll be nothing more than the boy I used to know. The boy who broke my heart and crushed my soul all in a single day.

Because Jacob Lynch… I have no more XO’s to give.

No longer yours,


P.S. I hate how much I still love you.



“Wait!” A wide-eyed Vicki clutches Jacob’s arm. “You two know each other?”

Staring into the eyes of my arch-nemesis, I’m first to reply. “Unfortunately, so.”

“This shit is just too weird. I mean, here we were just talking about how the bride and groom parties are secretly… hashtag not-so-secretly, planning a pre-wedding orgy, and how you and Jacob are the only ones unattached, and yet you actually know each other.” She claps her hands together in excitement. “So, now, you can both join the orgy.” She laughs hysterically at the out-of-hand orgy joke, completely missing the social cues.

“What part of unfortunately did you not understand, Vicki?” But it’s too late, she’s already trotting over to Jase to tell him of her excellent news. I sigh. “What the hell are you doing here, Jacob?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” he says in a less accusatory tone.

“I’m the maid of honor.”

“I’m the best man.”

“Well, this is shit!”

“Is it?”

“Isn’t it?” I grunt in frustration. “I… this… this can’t… Vicki!” I yell across the room, finally earning her attention. Her smile fades, and as she glances between us, she finally realizes there’s history between Jacob and me, and it may not necessarily be a good one. “Vicky, I’m sorry, I have to leave.”

She reaches for my hand. “No, don’t go.”

“I have to.”

“Why? Because of Jacob?”

“Yes. No. Yes! I just… I just can’t be in the same room as him.”

“Rosie, please don’t go,” she pleads, seeing my distress. She wants to make right whatever she thinks is happening, but she has no clue to the extent of pain that’s been dredged up just by seeing his face.

“I have to go.” Grabbing my jacket, I wrap it around my shoulders and head to the door.

“Rosie, wait,” Jacob calls, and I know the whole room has stopped what they’re doing to watch the soap opera unfold.

Ignoring him, I push through the restaurant door and hit the street, my legs working overtime to get me as far away as possible.

“Rosie,” he calls again.

“What?” I yell, spinning on my heel to face him. He’s closer than I expect him to be, already practically in my lap. “What the hell can you possibly have to say to me after all this time, Jacob? What, huh?”

He goes to answer but unlike me, he appears lost for words, almost as if he’s staring at a ghost. “It’s good to see you,” he finally says, the five words completely catching me off guard.

I laugh incredulously while taking a step back ready to put as much distance as possible between Jacob Lynch and me. “Yeah? Well… it’s not good to see you.”




Despite already emptying my first bottle of wine, I’m still trembling, my stomach twisting into over-zealous boy scout knots. Glaring at the rapidly depleting second bottle, I wish I’d thought ahead and grabbed a third. Swiping the glass off the counter, I resume my pacing, mumbling under my breath at how life can go fuck itself. And Jacob fucking Lynch can go fuck himself while he’s at it.

Son of a bitch!

Except his mother isn’t a bitch. She’s a fucking angel.

Stupid… motherfucker!

Nope, that’s even worse.

The anger I feel at seeing him again has now morphed into green Hulk mode with the fact that I can’t think of a suitable cuss name to call him while I pace out my rage.

“How can you allow this to happen?” I ask the world. “Is this some sort of joke to you? Is this a ‘Hey, we haven’t fucked with Rosie Reign in a while. Sic the Hellhounds, a.k.a. Jacob Lynch, onto her!’ type of bullshit? ‘Cause I’m not interested. Do you hear me?” I yell, looking up at the ceiling like somehow the world is going to deliver me an answer. My high-heel tip snags the corner of the rug, causing me to stumble and lose balance, wine spilling over my hand. “Don’t you start on me,” I warn, slumping onto the couch to remove my suddenly painful stilettos.

My cell chimes, so I swipe it off the coffee table and narrow my eyes to view the name, blinking twice to clear the drunken blur.


Vicki: Babe, are you okay?
Me: Fine.
Vicki: I’m sorry. I just can’t believe you two know each other. Seriously fucking bizarre. Want me to come over?
Me: No. Just want this night to be over.
Me: Vicki?
Vicki: Yeah, babe?
Me: I can’t be your maid of honor. I’m sorry.
Vicki: Whatever it is, we can sort this out. How badly could this guy have hurt you? All I’m saying is no rash decisions.


How badly?

I scowl at the message like it can see me. I take a few more gulps of wine before doing something I haven’t done in almost ten years. I don’t care if it’s not his number anymore. I don’t care if he stopped answering back from this number the day he left town. Scrolling through my contact list, I find his name, my heart pounding at the sight of it.

I type the message hoping it will make me feel even the slightest bit better. But when I hit send, the message falls in line with fifteen unanswered others I’d sent ten years ago.

I don’t feel any better.

I just feel like I’m further infecting a wound.

Staring at the message, I sloppily finish the rest of my wine. Instantly, I’m riddled with regret and not just because brunch is scheduled tomorrow and I’m going to have a wicked hangover, but because I wish I could take back what I’ve written. It’s not like he’ll ever see it but putting it out there in the world makes it somewhat real.

But those eight words will sit in limbo, a purgatory, just like my heart.


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About the Author

Melissa Jane is a writer of strong Alpha’s and feisty heroines. Her love for action and romance means she puts her characters through some epic adventures and compromising situations, all with a healthy dose of uncontrollable passion.
Residing on the beautiful beachy Gold Coast in Australia, Melissa enjoys the year-round sunshine with her gorgeous husband and even more gorgeous furbaby, Pocket-the-Yorkie.
When she’s not working, you’ll often find her with a glass (ahem…bottle) of Sauvignon in hand, seeking out adventure with her just-as-crazy friends.

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