Home > Rebel at Heart

Rebel at Heart
Author: Zoe York





Josh Kincaid hadn’t particularly enjoyed his brief period of pseudo-fame as a minor social media celebrity. So when it all came crashing down around him, he wasn’t bothered by the loss.

What did bother him was a single, confusing comment he saw, right before he deleted his account. He’s married to the Fischer Racing heiress, you know. That bothered him a lot.

Because he wasn’t married. He had been, for two short weeks, three years ago. Before her father demanded an annulment and she agreed that their brief, fiery love affair wasn’t as real as Josh had thought.

It ended as quickly as it began.

And then he set about constructing a new life for himself. One that was all about cars, and hard work, and definitely no women. He moved back to his hometown of Pine Harbour. He bought a garage and spent time with his family. Watched his brothers fall in love and get married.

He filled all the empty bits of his day by creating content. He shoved the busy work of recording video into any free moments around his work in the garage and his hard early morning runs and his far-too-aggressive training schedule for his beer-league soccer teams.

Making content about car restoration was how he avoided having to think about just how one-note and lonely his life post-Monica had become. He was busy, he told himself.

You had a wife for two weeks and you ran away from her.

Well, he hadn’t run. He’d accepted her regret as palpable and real, and then put as much distance between them as he needed to take his next breath.

So of course, it was another woman who had been the linchpin of his most recent humiliation. No, not the woman. His visible interest in Wynona Wheels, aka Sexy Car Grrl. That had been the linchpin.

Joke was on her jealous boyfriend, because Josh hadn’t been that interested. It just appeared that way to people on the internet, who latched onto the supposed chemistry and “shipped” them. It didn’t take long before a ReboundJosh hashtag was trending. Utter disaster.

And it was absurd. He wasn’t going to be anyone’s rebound anything. He hadn’t even rebounded himself, and it had been three years. He was hardly qualified to be a bouncy landing pad for a stranger’s broken heart. Also, she lived on the other side of the continent, and if there was one place Josh Kincaid would never go again in his life, it was sunny California.

It had started innocently enough. They made similar content, had common fans. People tagged them in each other’s videos. So when she broke up with her boyfriend, he played along with the joke that he could be her rebound guy—at first. Which was a mistake.

Now that it had all blown up, he could see the missteps. The truth was probably that he’d gotten distracted. She had the type of gig he wanted. The big garage, the team of people working on restorations. The real business to go along with the social media fame, which paid almost nothing.

Josh wanted all of that so badly he could taste it.

And he wasn’t even close, no matter how good he made things look online. His garage? It mostly did oil changes and brake pad replacements for locals. The restorations he did? Half of them were for his brothers. And his slick-looking merchandise store online barely paid for new running shoes every month.

Or it did until the internet decided he wasn’t just a fun rebound option, but actually the reason Wynona had left her boyfriend. And then the tide of online opinion turned against him.

He had never met the woman.

He wouldn’t be blamed for the downfall of yet another California racing world princess, especially when the piranhas in the comments figured out his connection to Monica Fischer.

He’s married to the Fischer Racing heiress, you know.

Except, according to some papers he signed, that marriage had been erased from the record. And he wasn’t about to argue with the trolls.

So he deleted his TikTok account.

Then he checked the backlog of messages left by local customers, because oil changes and brake pad changes might not be sexy, but they paid the bills.

And he replied to the group chat with his brothers, confirming that yes, he knew about the party on Saturday at the marina across the street.

Yes, he would be there. He’d close the garage for a few hours and celebrate the remarkable happiness of yet another Kincaid brother getting hitched.

All of them but him.

His own nuptials had been short-lived and disastrous. Not to be repeated. But he was genuinely happy for Seth and January, who had found their way back to each other after twenty years apart.

Maybe seventeen years from now, Monica will reappear…

He barked a cold, hard laugh at his empty garage.

That would still be too fucking soon.

But that comment about his marriage bothered him. It lingered on his mind in the hours after he deleted the app. His brain kept chewing on it, and he woke up early the next morning, which deeply irritated him because he preferred to sleep in until the last possible second now, until he had something to do or somewhere to be.

How had that person known about the marriage, if it was scrubbed from the record?



It was too early in the morning for Monica Fischer’s phone to vibrate once, let alone basically non-stop for five minutes. And because she was asleep when it started going off, she accidentally shoved it between her mattress and her headboard. Now it was wedged out of reach, resting against the base of the headboard on the floor. Right in the middle.

She was going to have to move the whole bed. Or find a tool. Where did her housekeeper put the broom?

“Stop. Calling. Me,” she snapped at the phone.

Then her iPad starting ringing from across the room.

Great. Whoever it was—probably her mother—had decided to switch to FaceTime, and that went to every device she owned. Well, rescuing the phone could wait now. She rolled out of bed, snatched the iPad, and carried it with her into her dressing room.

“Mom, it’s too early for whatever your latest—”

“Not your mother, darling,” an elegant, lightly accented voice interrupted her. “Oh, you look terrible.”

“I look asleep, Amira.” Monica set the tablet on a shelf and propped her hands on her hips, giving her best friend from boarding school an exasperated look. The woman was the closest thing she had to a sister. “And fuck you.”

“Damn it, did I get the time difference wrong again?” Amira Saleh managed a smile that was both bright and sympathetic at the same time. “Have you checked your Google alerts yet?”

“I was asleep. It is five thirty in the morning.”

“Yikes.” Amira grimaced. “Okay, well...This could have waited a few hours.”

“What could have…?” Monica abandoned her plan to get dressed. She swiped over to her inbox, where she got a routine digest email of Google alerts on her name every morning. It was a rare day she clicked in to read the summary of mentions of her name around the internet, because she wasn’t super high profile. Not like Sylvie or Cathryn, their other friends from school.

Even Amira had more of an online presence than Monica did.

She preferred to nurture other people to their best brand potential. That was fun.

Her name being in the press? Never fun.

And because Fischer Racing had the best lawyers and PR people in the world, her name was never in the press.

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