Unexpected Joy - Book cover

Unexpected Joy

Aimee Dierking

Age Rating


Hannah Tellens was not looking for a relationship. She had her two wonderful sons and that was enough. She had been hurt by love before and had no interest in letting it happen again. Jack Montrose was a big shot in the entertainment industry. On the surface, he had it all: money, looks, and power – but he also had a has-been ex-wife who he couldn’t trust to be around their son. Jack had enough on his plate and had no time for a relationship. But when Jack and Hannah meet, they will discover that sometimes you find what you really need… when you least expect it.

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1

“Please, Hannah? I really need you on this. This is a high-profile group, and I need someone who can act mature and take care of the guests,” he pleaded.

“But Todd, this is a long weekend! I have this off so I can relax!” she responded with a sigh.

“I know. Believe me, Julie is already busting my balls for even asking. But this is a potentially big moneymaker for your rainy day fund. Plus, it’s Friday night, you will have the rest of the weekend.”

He knew he had hit her sweet spot mentioning that rainy day fund she had built over the last several years and was going to use a good chunk of for the girls’ weekend that was coming up.

The three best friends had planned a weekend in Vegas for Julie’s 40th birthday in November. Todd heard the woman he loved like a sister sigh again, and he knew he had her.

“Dammit, Todd! I had plans since Max has a college tour this weekend!”

“What plans? Sitting on the couch binge-watching some show you have seen a million times and drinking wine?”

“God, you know me too well…” She sighed for the third time. “Tell me the details.”

He pumped his hand in the air as he sat in his office. “It’s a large, high-profile party, about twenty people. You will be in the Lancaster Room. You will have a busser with you—”

“I want Christopher.”

“Wait, Han, it’s Friday night and I need him in the main dining room! He is the best and—”

“And if I’m coming in on a Friday as a favor to you AND it’s a high-profile group, I want the best with me.

“Plus, I know he needs the extra money since his wife is due in a few months and he’s finishing his Master’s thesis.”

He gritted his teeth. “Fine. You can have Christopher. Anything else?”

“How much of a percentage do I get from the bill?”

“You get the whole tip, splitting the regular percentage with Christopher as usual. Plus, you get 15 percent of the fee for the private room.”

“I want 20 percent.”


“You heard me. I want 20 percent. I will give a chunk to Christopher, but I have to have some benefit for giving up my three-day weekend!”

Todd knew she had him by the short hairs and grunted back at her, relenting, “Fine! 20 percent! You are killing me, Han!”

She laughed. “I know! But this could give me what I need for the trip and a new dress!”

“Glad I could be of assistance,” Todd replied sarcastically.

“Bye, Todd!” Hannah hung up and flung her phone on the couch and mumbled, “Shit! There goes my quiet weekend!”

She got up and went to shower before she crawled in bed with her book. It was a boring Thursday night while she waited for Max to come home from his workout at the gym with his coach.

She was a dozen pages in when she heard the door handle jiggle. She smiled and waited for him to come in and see her.

“Hey, Mom! How was your day?” Max asked with a smile and sat on the side of the bed.

“Hi, baby. My day was fine. How was yours? Calc test go okay?”

“I think I did okay, I’ll find out on Tuesday. Workout tonight was nasty! Coach went hard on arms and backs,” he said, rubbing his left arm.

She chuckled. “Well, just think how much stronger you will be for the season.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Coach said the same thing. Oh, and Coach said we will leave school about 2:00 p.m., right after physics. He said I could leave my suitcase in his office.”

“You will call me when you get there?”

“I promise, Mom. I will text when we land and when we get to the hotel.”

“Just listen to what Coach Morgan says and see what the program can offer you. You sure you want to maybe go as far as Florida, Max?”

“I’m okay with Florida. You will come and visit, and I know it’s not close to Adam, but…”

“That’s true, you know I’ll be there as much as I can. Plus, your Dad will come and visit, too,” Hannah said, patting his leg.

“You know as well as I do that Dad won’t be coming down, and I really don’t care!” Max said with a fierceness she didn’t usually see except on the ball field.

“I’m over him and his bull shi—crap with Veronica. I think the farther away I am, the better off I’ll be!

“He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me or Adam. That was apparent from the time we found out about them and you moved us out.”

“I’m sorry about all that, Max. I know he loves you, you are his son,” Hannah tried to reassure her youngest child.

“He just has an interesting way of showing it. Listen, I’m gonna shower and go to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.” Max got up and brushed off the nasty feeling from the conversation.

“Ok, baby. I love you, sleep well,” she said, grabbing his hand and squeezing it.

“I love you too, Mom…” he said as he started walking away, then stopped at the doorway.

“Mom, promise me that when I go to college, you will find someone that makes you happy and treats you better than Dad ever did.”

Hannah smiled softly at her son. “You are a sweet young man, Max. I’m happy, and if I don’t find someone, then it was just meant to be that way.

“It will happen if and when it’s meant to. Most of the time it happens when you least expect it!”

He nodded, smiled, and then saluted to make her laugh as he went to his bedroom.

She leaned back on the pillows and said a silent prayer for each of her sons and for herself that everything would work out the way it needed to so they all were happy.

That’s all a mother could ever want, for her children to be happy and healthy. But for her? The thought of someone loving her did sound nice, but she just didn’t know if that would ever happen.

She put her book down, turned off her lamp, and pulled her blankets up to her chest. She closed her eyes, hoping that the weekend wouldn’t be a total bust.

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