Posts Tagged With: Jasmine Haynes

Brand New Cover! — Jasmine Haynes

My reincarnation tale, Twisted by Love, has a brand new cover! It’s sexy and gives a bit of that other worldly feel. You’ll also note it’s by my alter ego Jennifer Skully. To celebrate the new cover, Twisted by Love will be free on August 29th and 30th. So don’t miss out.  Here’s a blurb for this sexy reincarnation tale:

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A love that spans lifetimes, an evil that has followed them through the ages…

Bern Daniels doesn’t believe in ghosts, UFOs, or reincarnation, but when he sees Livie Scott, it’s as if he’s known her forever. Now he can’t get her out of his mind. He wants her in his bed and in his life. For keeps. He’s even starting to believe they’ve lived past lives together.

Will jealousy out of the past come back to destroy their future?

Livie is unaccountably drawn to the tall, dark stranger. He literally sweeps her off her feet. And she’s oh so willing to let him. But her sister Toni is planted firmly in her path to happiness. Livie has been forced to choose between a man and Toni before; is she destined to play the same twisted game with her sister over and over?

Livie and Bern soon discover there are shadows lurking from their past, past lives that is, which threaten everything they believe in, everything they want. And even their lives.

You can find Twisted by Love free for your Kindle on 8/29 and 8/30.

And if you belong to Kindle Unlimited, you can read it anytime for free through the end of August.

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How about a little naughty business by Jasmine Haynes

Berkley, my traditional publisher is having a fabulous sale on a couple of my e-books! They’ve never put these books on sale before. I’m totally amazed and very happy about it.

First up, we’ve got The Principal’s Office. This is the third book in my DeKnight Trilogy, but you don’t need to have read Past Midnight or What Happens After Dark to enjoy The Principal’s Office. The story stands alone, but you’ll see reference to characters from the first two books. Here’s a blurb for this sexy story:

The Principals Office photo 97804252471672-1.jpg

Desire is in session…

Rachel Delaney, divorced mother with two boys, isn’t complaining. Her life is fine. Really. There is one thing that could make it better, though: a strong, warm, male body to help her make it through the occasional lonely night. No strings, and no relationship, thanks. Just a little fun with a perfect stranger. And there’s no more perfect a stranger than Rand.

He’s tall, blond, unattached, smokin’ hot, and looking for the same thing Rachel is: wild, abandoned sex with no limits, no last names, and no complications—until Rachel’s eldest son gets in trouble in class.

Only then does Rachel discover that her down-and–dirty, dangerously sexy mystery lover is also the new school principal. They’re not exactly the ideal role models for a troubled student acting out his own frustrations. With Rachel’s life turned upside down, Rand’s the only one who can make it right—by maybe taking their hot-bodied hook-ups into a warm-hearted new direction…

The Principal’s Office is on sale for $3.99. Regular price for the e-book is $7.99. Here’s where you can find it for Kindle Nook, iBooks, and Kobo.

Up next, is The Naughty Corner. This is the first book in the Let’s Misbehave series (which is followed by Teach Me a Lesson). And here’s a little description of The Naughty Corner:

The Naughty Corner photo NaughtyCornercover_zps4897abd1.jpg

Somebody’s been a bad girl…

Writer Lola Cook is on a deadline. Meeting it gets twice as difficult when she finds herself in the unwelcome role of babysitter for her nephews. Six weeks with the twin teenage terrors is too much for Lola—until she has a brilliant idea: send the boys to football camp. That’ll at least get them out of her hair for five hours every day. Perfect.

Divorced father Gray Barnett has coached summer football camp long enough to know he’ll get saddled with misfits, but William and Harry exceed all expectations. They’re impossible, they’re disruptive, and when he meets their hot aunt Lola, they’re worth the trouble. That is, if Lola accepts Gray’s conditions. Every time the twins misbehave, it’s Lola who must take their punishment. With every naughty infraction, Lola gets more and more accepting—of the penalties. She has no idea just how bad a girl she can be—or how much fun it will be to get what she deserves.

The Naughty Corner is also on sale for $3.99. Here’s where you can find it for your Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo.

And for freebies, I’ve also got Dead to the Max, Max Starr Series, Book 1 free right now. Kindle Kindle UK Kindle CA iBooks iBooks AU iBooks UK iBooks CA Kobo All Romance Coffee Time Romance Smashwords.

And just a reminder that my new contemporary romance series with Bella Andre will be debuting on June 10th.

Preorder Breathless in Love, Maverick Billionaires, Book 1, at the following retailers. Nook iBooks iBooks UK iBooks CA iBooks AU Kobo. It will be available for your kindle on the release date.

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Breathless in Love

I’ve got the most amazing announcement to make! Writing as Jennifer Skully, I’ve teamed up with my good friend Bella Andre to bring you an exciting and emotional new contemporary romance series. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed working on this series with Bella. Bella and I grew up together (as writers, that is) in our local San Francisco RWA chapter. I’ve loved every single one of her books. And now it’s the greatest pleasure to be writing with her. We spent hours and hours brainstorming the characters and stories, and I have to say we both fell in love with these gorgeous men. And for each of them, we found the perfect woman they never saw coming. Keep in mind, these stories are contemporary romance, sexy but not erotic. Just great stories!

And enjoy these fabulous covers! The first three books with be Will, Sebastian, then Matt.
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Meet the Maverick Billionaires. Will, Sebastian, Matt, Evan, and Daniel. Sexy, gorgeous, self-made men from the wrong side of town. They survived hell together, and now they’re taking on the world.

Breathless in Love, Book 1

Coming June 10, 2015

Will Franconi has a dark past that he’s kept a closely guarded secret―very few people have ever heard his real story and he plans to keep it that way. After surviving a hellish childhood, he’s now living the dream life where everything he touches turns to gold. But something’s missing. He doesn’t quite know what until a simple letter from a teenage boy brings Harper Newman into his life. A woman who just might fill up the empty places inside him…if only he could ever be worthy of her love.

When a man has more money than he could possibly spend in five lifetimes, Harper has to ask herself what Will Franconi could possibly want from a woman like her? She’s learned the hard way that rich men always get what they want no matter the cost. If it was just herself she had to worry about, Harper would manage, but she’s guardian to her younger brother who depends on her for everything. After nearly losing his life in a car crash, she’s vowed never to let anyone hurt him ever again.

Still, sometimes Harper can’t help but long to change her story from one of an always-cautious woman to an adventurous tale of a heroine who’s wild and free…especially when Will’s kisses and caresses make her utterly breathless. And as he begins to reveal his story to her, she discovers that he’s so much more than just another wealthy, privileged man. He’s kind and giving, and he fills up all the spaces inside of her heart that have been empty for so long. Together, can they rewrite their stories into a happily-ever-after that neither of them had previously thought was possible?

And we’ve got so much more to come! Look for Sebastian to be enchanted by the beautiful but independent Charlie in Reckless in Love, coming Oct 14, 2015. Then Matt will be captivated by his motherless son’s pretty, young nanny Arianna in Fearless in Love, coming March 16, 2016.

In the coming weeks, look for excerpts of Breathless in Love.

Preorder Breathless in Love, Maverick Billionaires, Book 1, at the following retailers. You can order the book for your Kindle on June 10, 2015. Nook iBooks iBooks UK iBooks CA iBooks AU Kobo

Preorder Reckless in Love, Book 2 on iBooks. iBooks iBooks UK iBooks CA iBooks AU Kobo

Preorder Fearless in Love, Book 3 on iBooks. iBooks iBooks UK iBooks CA iBooks AU

And don’t miss my free book, Dead to the Max, Max Starr Series, Book 1.

Kindle Kindle UK Kindle CA iBooks iBooks AU iBooks UK iBooks CA Kobo All Romance Coffee Time Romance Smashwords

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The most romantic day of the year is coming!

Valentine’s Day is coming! And to celebrate, I’m putting out a Valentine’s short. Now I have to warn you, this is a sweet story. Yes, I actually wrote a novella without sex in it! This has got to be a first! And I’ve got a lovely cover to go with it.

BeMyOtherValentine2_850 (2)

Five years ago, Grace was given a sacred duty by a woman dying of cancer: Every Valentine’s Day, Grace must deliver a special cake to a girl named Valentine, addressed from the girl’s mother in heaven. But this year, Grace’s van gives up the ghost before she delivers her cargo.

His daughter Valentine is all Brian has left of his wife, but he’s forgotten the cake Valentine receives every year, and they’ve moved to a new house with no way to contact the baker who follows his wife’s wishes.

In their quest to fulfill a dying woman’s last request, can Grace and Brian find their own Valentine?

Here’s where you can find Be My Other Valentine: Nook Kindle Kindle CA  Kindle UK

The story can also be found in the anthology Love, Valentine Style.

Happy New Year!!!

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Wives and Neighbors Go Audio!

So, I’m totally into audiobooks. I get a ton of them out of the library, but they just don’t have everything. Sometimes they’re missing one book in a series. Ugh. So I also had to join Audible. What I love about audiobooks is, of course, that I can be doing two things at once. Like yesterday. I had to change the bed, wash the sheets, do some laundry. So I listened to Under the Dome by Stephen King while I worked. I’ve been watching the TV show, but I just couldn’t resist the book. Hint here, the book is quite different. Anyway, I listen while I exercise, do chores, drive, cook, and on and on. I love my Kindle, too, but I actually have to take time out to read. Which I love doing in the bathtub. But it takes me a long, long time to finish an ebook or a print book. So audiobooks are a godsend! I just finished listening to Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt, the latest in her Maiden Lane series. I adore those books!

So naturally, when ACX started up, I had to jump into audiobooks, too. I’ve had all my Jennifer Skully books that I own the rights to made into audiobooks. I love my narrator June Wayne. She’s crisp, clear, and she doesn’t make the voices sound hokey. After listening to hundreds of audiobooks, I know that a bad reader can destroy a good story. I remember listening to one of the Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin where Daenerys sounded like an old crone. She’s only 15, for goodness sake! Anyway, a good reader is the most important thing. And June is great. So the Cottonmouth series is in audiobook. And Baby, I’ll Find You, a Jennifer Skully standalone. We’ve done the complete Jackson Brothers series and the Open Invitation series. Now with Open Invitation, we’ve actually done them as separate books, then as the whole anthology as well. We’ll see how that works for sales. And a couple of weeks ago, we put out Wives and Neighbors, both books.

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Here’s where you can listen to these two books: Wives & Neighbors Audible Amazon Amazon UK iTunes and Wives & Neighbors Two Audible Amazon Amazon UK iTunes

Now, let’s talk about Whispersync. With Whispersync, you can read the Kindle book and then switch over to the audiobook when you’re driving (or walking or cleaning or anything else). You can also buy the audiobook at a much lower price if you already own the ebook. I have to say I don’t actually sync the ebook and audiobook. I have a small MP3 player that I listen to, and to use Whispersync, you have to have a device that’s capable of doing both things, ebook and audio, like a Kindle fire or an iPad.

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Right now, I’ve got She’s Gotta Be Mine for free. So you can get the ebook for free, then flip over and can get the audiobook for $1.99. And then you can Whispersync it. A great deal!

Here’s where you can find She’s Gotta Be Mine for free! Kindle Kindle UK Kindle CA Nook iBooks iBooks AU iBooks UK Kobo Smashwords All Romance Coffee Time Romance

And Revenge, West Coast Book 1 is still free, too! iBooks iBooks UK iBooks AU Kindle Kindle UK Nook Nook UK Kobo All Romance Smashwords Coffee Time Romance. You can learn all about the West Coast series on my website: www.jasminehaynes.com.

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Just a little time away

I’m going to do something a little different and NOT talk about a book! Instead, I’m going to share a few photos from my recent trip to Norway. The scenery was gorgeous, the weather was perfect. I’m told they had a very warm summer, and that definitely followed us into our fall trip. We only had a few days of rain, and luckily they weren’t the days we were traveling on ferry boats along the fjords or riding bikes down the mountain after taking the Flamsbana train up.

Here’s a shot of the Geiranger Fjord taken from the Eagles Corner which had a marvelous view, as I’m sure you’ll agree. photo GeirangerFjord_zps5ff1b56d.jpgWe drove up the mountain of Geiranger in order to hike to the Storsæterfossen waterfall. We were able to climb down behind it, and I filled our water bottles with all that fresh mountain water. Delicious. photo Storsaeligterfossen_zpsf4913212.jpgAnd here are the mountaineers hiking up to the waterfall! photo Mountaineers_zps74d515e4.jpgOkay, so you see those mountains behind us? We drove through them, up, up, up. And we ended up in glacier territory. Cold as heck! See how blue the glacier is? They were amazing. And the glacier lakes are that same shade of turquoise. photo Glacier_zpsf6d2f5be.jpgOf course, what would a trip to Norway be without a ferry boat ride on the fjord? photo FjordfromFerry3_zpsba14ae6f.jpgThis is a view from the Oslo Opera House. Our cousin Line was a surveyor on this project. The roof of the Opera House is Italian marble and tourists can walk all over it. photo OsloOperaHouse_zps3357c841.jpgThis photo shows the reflection of the iceberg sculpture in the Oslo Fjord in the main front window you can see on the roof of the Opera House.

So that’s it for my travelogue!

Just a reminder, Revenge, West Coast Book 1 is still free for a few days more! iBooks iBooks UK iBooks AU Kindle Kindle UK Nook Nook UK Kobo All Romance Smashwords Coffee Time Romance. And my Jennifer Skully release, She’s Gotta Be Mine, Cottonmouth Book 1 is free for the month of October. iBooks and BN are free right now, but I’m still waiting for Amazon to price-match. Hopefully in the next day or so! iBooks: http://bit.ly/19DdMi5 BN: http://bit.ly/1bWT2hv iBooks UK: http://bit.ly/1no4KJB Kindle: http://amzn.to/1lE5evh Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00688GE7Q

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How easy is it to please your dom?

I love to use acronyms when referring to my books. And for Pleasing Mr. Sutton, that acronym is PMS. That always amuses me. And one does have to amuse oneself regularly.

 photo PleasingMrSuttonRed_300_zps0d321325.jpgThanks to Rae Monet for this fabulous cover. I love, love, love it! And for your reading pleasure, Pleasing Mr. Sutton is live! Book 5 in the West Coast series features Rance Sutton and Monica Dawson. You met them both in The Other Man, West Coast, Book 4. Ward and Spence bandy about the idea that the statuesque Miss Dawson is actually Mr. Sutton’s sex slave. Well, here’s the real story!

He has only one rule. She will do everything he says exactly when he tells her to do it.

Chairman of the board Rance Sutton is looking for a new playmate, an untried submissive he can train to do things his wicked way.

Miss Dawson, the chairman’s personal secretary, wants to get a lot more personal. What better way than becoming his new submissive? After all, she already does everything his way. So really, what’s a little spanking, flogging, handcuffing, and blindfolding if the payoff is Mr. Sutton in her bed? And that’s something she’s dreamed about for the entire five years she’s worked for him.

The problem? This will be no love affair. He will be her master. And she will be his slave. Miss Dawson’s desires aren’t part of the bargain; everything will be about pleasing Mr. Sutton…

Here’s an excerpt.

Pleasing Mr. Sutton

Copyright 2014 Jasmine Haynes

Chapter Two

“I have the perfect candidate for the new position.” Monica placed the resume on his big desk and slid it across to him. She’d given herself an hour to prepare before presenting it. That hour had also given Mr. Sutton a chance to enjoy his first cup of coffee, a special blend she brewed him. He’d be mellower now.

“That was fast work.” He remained seated while she stood before him. It seemed submissive, like the teenage girl who’s forced to stand before the headmaster.

“The choice ended up being quite easy.” She laced her fingers behind her back. Again there was a submissive feel to the gesture. She’d dressed for him. Her blouse was teal, sheer with a lacy camisole beneath, which she’d paired with a cream skirt that hugged her behind, but dropped tastefully to below the knees. She felt sexy but tailored, classy but inviting.

“Commendable work,” he said, picking up the resume.

Her tension began to rise as he read. She’d addressed every bullet point on his list. She was intrigued by the lifestyle, she’d never dabbled, she wanted him to teach her, she was willing to accept pain to receive pleasure, she needed his punishment, and so on. His eyes flicked back and forth across the page, but not another muscle twitched. Until finally he laid the single sheet of paper back on the expensively tooled leather top of his desk.

“You already have a job, Miss Dawson.”

She willed her cheeks not to flame. “Yes. But as I assume this new position”—she flexed the word, adding a sexual spin—“will be extracurricular, I believe I can carry out both functions to your complete satisfaction.”

He watched her unblinkingly, and the temperature in the office began to rise. A flush started inside, rushing out to her skin. He had to notice the scarlet blaze.

“I have no doubt about your abilities, but it’s never good to mix business and pleasure. We have a professional relationship. Making you my submissive would violate that.”

A kernel of ice expanded in her chest. He was turning her down.

“This is not the kind of thing you can turn on and off, Miss Dawson. I think it’s best—”

She couldn’t let him reject her. “A lot of people might consider that asking me to buy sex toys for you is violating our business relationship.”

“You are my personal secretary. I never asked you to demonstrate the devices for me.”

“In a corporate environment, the CEO doesn’t ask his secretary to search for submissive playmates.” She’d been about to cite Holt Montgomery, CEO of West Coast Manufacturing, as an example, but he was marrying his secretary next month, so that comparison might fall short.

“I mentioned when I hired you that some of the tasks I gave you would be of a more personal nature.” His face was implacable. Unreadable. Mr. Sutton could be a hard man when he chose. Last night’s bravado was starting to fade.

But if she backed down now, there would never be another chance. Just the fact that she’d asked had changed their working relationship. How would she get over the embarrassment, let alone the rejection? She’d made the choice, now she had to convince him.

“There are advantages you might not have thought of,” she told him. “Except when you have meetings or when we’re traveling”—she accompanied him and took care of the details—“we’re alone in this suite all day.” She flourished a hand to encompass his office, her smaller accommodations outside, and the conference room. “You must have thought about having a submissive you can command during the day.” She lowered her voice. “Make her do anything. Right here.” She lovingly stroked the desk’s leather top. “Or over there.” She pointed to the sofa.

She imagined herself splayed out on that genteel couch. Or facedown on his desk while he did all those mysterious dominant things to her. “Anything,” she said softly. “Anywhere.”

His nostrils flared slightly, the first indication of an emotion. “Miss Dawson.”

She wouldn’t let him stop her. “Every time you send me out to buy one of those devices”—she drew out the word for effect—“I’m dying to know exactly what you do with them.” She moistened her lips. “How it would feel.”

He swallowed, his Adam’s apple gliding slowly along his throat. “Miss Dawson.” It was all he seemed capable of saying.

How far could she go? She’d waited a long time for this opportunity. She’d go to great lengths to make it happen.

So she told him the truth, in a soft sexual purr meant for the bedroom. “And every time it makes me wet.”

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt of Pleasing Mr. Sutton. You can read another excerpt on my website. You can find Pleasing Mr. Sutton at Kindle Kindle UK Kindle AU Kindle CA Nook iBooks iBooks UK iBooks AU iBooks CA. By tomorrow, I hope to have the book up at Smashwords, Kobo, All Romance, and Coffee Time as well.

Pleasing Mr. Sutton is a stand-alone story, but if you haven’t tried the series yet, look for Revenge, West Coast Book 1: iBooks iBooks UK iBooks AU Kindle Kindle UK Nook Nook UK Kobo All Romance Smashwords Coffee Time Romance. You can learn all about the West Coast series on my website: www.jasminehaynes.com. I’m going to have Revenge up for free by Sept 1. I can’t guarantee on the timing for Amazon, but I’ll do my best.

 

Categories: 69 Shade Of Smut, Books, Excerpt, New Release | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A little BDSM anyone?

 photo PleasingMrSuttonRed_300_zps0d321325.jpgI’m working on a new West Coast story which I’ll be releasing in August. Pleasing Mr. Sutton, Book 5 in the series, is BDSM lite, meaning you’ll get a bit of spanking. And a bit of flogging. No heavy pain scenes, just loads of sexy fun. Here’s the blurb and cover to whet your appetite!

Chairman of the board Rance Sutton is looking for a new playmate, an untried submissive he can train to do things his wicked way.

Miss Dawson, the chairman’s personal secretary, wants to get a lot more personal. What better way than becoming his new submissive? After all, she already does everything his way. So really, what’s a little spanking, flogging, handcuffing, and blindfolding if the payoff is Mr. Sutton in her bed? And that’s something she’s dreamed about for the entire five  years she’s worked for him.

The problem? This will be no love affair. He will be her master. And she will be his slave. Miss Dawson’s desires aren’t part of the bargain; everything will be about pleasing Mr. Sutton…

I love Rance. He’s my kind of sexy executive dom. Here’s a little quote that’s typical Rance:

“I have only one rule, Miss Dawson. You will do anything I tell you to do precisely when I tell you to do it.”

I’d love to hear what you think of the cover!

You can find Revenge, Book 1 in the West Coast series here: iBooks iBooks UK iBooks AU Kindle Kindle UK Nook Kobo All Romance Smashwords Coffee Time Romance

And don’t miss my previous release with a hot new cover! Not in the Game: http://bit.ly/notinthegame
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Game for Love series!

Have you heard  photo NotintheGameKW300_zps750d583a.jpgof Kindle Worlds? You can read more about it here, plus see all the worlds that are available for you to write in and to read about! Okay, so Kindle Worlds is this very cool concept where we get to write stories set in the worlds of fabulous authors like Bella Andre, Lucy Kevin, Barbara Freethy, and more. Think of it as fan fiction! For instance, Bella Andre has opened up the world of her bad boys of football. If you haven’t read any of her football books, try Game for Love, upon which the Kindle World is set. This is the world I’ve written in. Bella’s “world” launched a little over a week ago, and my story, Not in the Game, is now available! Thanks so much to Bella Andre for asking me to be part of her launch!! And thanks to Rae Monet for the fabulous cover! You can also try Game On by Cat Johnson and Jami Davenport’s Game for You. As part of Lucy Kevin’s Four Weddings and a Fiasco world, you can try The Wedding Date by Katy Regnery. And don’t miss Barbara Freethy’s The Callaways with It’s Only Love by Carol Grace! These worlds have all different levels of sensuality from sweet to erotic. If anyone has questions about Kindle Worlds, reading the books, or writing for them, please fire away!

Here’s a blurb for Not in the Game to whet your appetite!

Are there second chances in the game for love?

Mark Benedict had a major thing going for Carolina Hutchins years ago. But that was high school, she’d been four years older than him, and she hadn’t even known he was alive. At least that’s what he thought.

Now he’s found her again. And this time he’s a game-winning running back with a Super Bowl ring and a hell of lot more to offer. Only problem, she’s on the rebound from a bad divorce and thinks all men are like her ex-husband.

Can he convince this gorgeous woman to take a second chance with him? Or, despite the attraction that flares between them, is letting another man into her life for more than a night simply not in the game?

Oh, and before I give you an excerpt, here’s a heads up that Take Your Pleasure, my sexy little spanking and sort-of-menage story, is free right now! Kindle Kindle UK Nook iBooks iBooks AU iBooks UK ARe Kobo Smashwords

And now the excerpt!

Game for Love: Not in the Game (Kindle Worlds Novella)

Jasmine Haynes Copyright 2014

Chapter One

 

“You want to jump out of the cake at the bachelor party? You’re joking, right?”

“I’m not.” Carolina Hutchins had never been more serious in her life. One week from tonight, she wanted to take Deidre’s place and jump out of that cake.

“But…” Deidre looked her up and down. “You’re thirty-eight years old.”

The rest of the sentiment was implied rather than stated. And Carolina’s pretty roommate was right. Men didn’t pay to see a thirty-eight-year-old woman dance her way out of a cake. They wanted nubile young things like Deidre Morrow, petite, blond, buxom, with a tiny waist the span of a big man’s hands, and the tender age of twenty-five. Carolina was her opposite, tall, brunette, slender. And thirteen years older.

“Not that you’re not hot and all for an—” Deidre cut herself off.

“For an old lady,” Carolina finished

Deidre tssked. “You’re not old.”

“Just pre-menopausal,” Carolina supplied instead.

As two single women at nine o’clock on a foggy Friday night in April, they should have been on dates. Instead, they were seated on their flower-print couch in the San Francisco apartment they’d shared for almost a year, and consuming a bottle of wine. It wasn’t expensive chardonnay, but not out of a box either. Their dateless state was by choice.

Deidre worked by day as an accounts payable clerk at a San Francisco corporation, took college courses at night, and burst out of cakes on weekends. Or played cop, nurse, dominatrix, whatever the boss of her adult party entertainment company wanted her to play. She was too busy to date. Carolina worked as an accounts receivable clerk at the same company—where they’d met and decided to become roommates—and hadn’t dated since her divorce two years ago.

“Don’t talk down about yourself,” Deidre chided.

Carolina had to laugh; she was supposed to be wiser. But Deidre was an old soul. She was working on a degree in business and had decided she’d be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company by the time she was forty. Carolina was sure she’d accomplish that goal.

“I’m not talking down,” she said. “I’m stating a fact.”

Deidre made a face, which, on her, was just another pretty aspect. “I don’t get why you’d want to pop out of a cake for an entire football team. They could be a rough audience.”

“I want to meet Mark Benedict.” He was the best man for his teammate Rich Moon, who played center, and had arranged for Deidre to appear at the party.

“Ooh. Mark Benedict. One of the NFL’s most eligible bachelors. I love blond-haired, blue-eyed hunks.” Deidre studied her a moment. “There are probably easier ways to meet him.”

“I’d never get a chance to even be in the same room with him.” A running back for the San Francisco Outlaws, he was way out of her current league. As one of the higher-paid players, with numerous advertising contracts and a Super Bowl ring, he had any number of gorgeous young women willing to fawn all over him.

“So what’s the big deal about him? After what your husband did to you, I’d think you’d run a mile from any filthy-rich, good-time playboy type.”

Her ex-husband. Carolina had to admit she was still bitter. After thirteen years of marriage, Pete had found a prettier and younger trophy wife. And because of the prenuptial Carolina had signed—to prove she was marrying for love, not money—she got nothing. He’d cheated on her, and she was rewarded with exactly zilch. Not even the car she drove or the clothes and jewelry he’d bought her. Turned out everything was in his name. If they’d had kids—Pete had two boys by his first wife and said he was too old to want babies again—he’d have stolen them, too, she was sure. She’d been such a starstruck idiot. She’d thrown away her college education and given up her brand new accounting career. By the time she went back to get a job, she wasn’t even in the game anymore. In fact, it seemed a metaphor for her whole life. Not in the game. She was a clerk when she should have been controller by now, or even VP of Finance. Instead, she was taking refresher courses at the community college and starting at the bottom again.

“I’m not interesting in dating Mark Benedict.” She was done with dating, let alone relationships, for a very long time. “But anyway, he’s different.”

Deidre tipped her head and raised an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me you know him.”

“I did, a long time ago.”

“Hmm.” Deidre chewed the inside of her lip, pondering. “Well, you couldn’t have gone to high school with him because he’s only thirty-four.”

“He went to school with my brother.”

“Your brother?” Deidre emphasized.

Carolina poured another half glass of wine for each of them. Her brother was a software engineer in Silicon Valley. “Yeah. Lowell got in with a bad crowd when he started high school, and it was Mark who helped him turn his life around.” She shuddered. “I’d hate to think what he would have become. Mark introduced him to football. The game gave Lowell purpose. He didn’t turn out to be one of the greats like Mark is, but he’s got a good life, and I’m proud of him.” She’d always been grateful that Mark had stepped in to provide the guidance Lowell needed. As his big sister, that should have been her job, but she’d been away at university when it was all going on. At least that was her excuse.

“So you just want to thank good old Mark for what he did for your brother by entertaining him at his buddy’s bachelor party?”

Carolina shrugged. “It would be interesting to see him again.”

“Doesn’t your brother talk to him? After all, they were friends.”

“They didn’t keep in touch.”

Deidre leaned forward to tap Carolina’s temple. “Something’s going on up there. I don’t know what. But you’ve got an awful lot of excuses for why you have to do it this way.”

“It was just a spur of the moment thought when you said you were performing at the bachelor party he’s holding for his friend.”

Deidre snorted. “You’ve never done anything like this in your life. And I don’t even think you approve of what I do.”

“That’s not true at all.” Deidre’s performances didn’t go beyond stripping down to a bikini bathing suit. And she didn’t do lap dances. She danced sexy, yes, but that was all. “I think it’s great that you’re working so hard to put yourself through school.”

Deidre gave her a press-lipped, knowing smile. “You better tell me what’s really going on or I’m not letting you do it.”

“Fine. I’ll tell you. I was attracted to him back then, okay. But he was in high school and I was in college. And it’s not like I could even think about telling anyone how I felt, let alone date him. And I just want to know now. If there’s still any hint of that attraction.” She raised her hands. “He probably won’t even remember me.” What she’d felt might have been mutual, but she’d never been sure. “And it is a spur of the moment thing. I wouldn’t even have thought of him if you hadn’t told me about the party.” Except that she had watched all the Outlaws’ games, and she knew Mark’s stats.

Maybe a bit of it was also curiosity as to whether fame and fortune had turned Mark into the kind of man her ex-husband had been. Pete had used people for what he could gain from them, then discarded them like empty husks.

Deidre waggled her eyebrows. “So the ice queen is interested in a man.”

Carolina didn’t flinch at the title. Deidre was actually poking fun at Pete, who’d called her an ice queen, stating that his cheating was her fault because she was frigid. He’d been the consummate liar. He probably had to use Viagra to entice the new trophy wife. And he’d throw her away when she reached a mature age as well. Carolina actually felt sorry for her.

“Okay, yes, I’m interested,” Carolina agreed. “So help me out.”

Deidre pursed her lips, then finally smiled until laughter spread across her face. “All right. But we’re going to wow you up, lots of makeup, really big hair.” She fluffed Carolina’s straight brunette locks that flowed over her shoulders. “I’m thinking hair like Peggy from Married with Children. Stand up.” She waved her hands.

Married with Children? Good God. Carolina rose. In sweat pants and a T-shirt, she didn’t look like anyone’s version of Wow.

Deidre stroked her chin, considering, then clapped her hands. “I’ve got it. Black corset, leather pants, and five-inch platform boots. You’re going to be a dominatrix. Snap your flogger around a little, maybe give the groom a good spanking.”

Spank the groom? Carolina hadn’t thought of the act she’d be required to put on. She’d only imagined the look on Mark Benedict’s face when—if—he recognized. And if he didn’t, she’d at least be able to observe the kind of man he’d turned into. That would certainly be no hardship on the eyes.

“A dominatrix? Is that what he asked for?”

Deidre shrugged. “He wasn’t specific. Just wanted some girl to dance around and entertain.”

“I don’t think a dominatrix would jump out of a cake. That’s not their style.”

“This is fantasy,” Deidre scoffed. “We can have our dominatrix do anything we want.”

This could actually be terrifying. Her? In a corset and leather pants? “I don’t own anything a dominatrix would wear.”

Deidre batted her eyelashes. “That’s why we’re going shopping.”

Oh God, she was in for it now. Yet despite the momentary terror, there was a certain appeal to the idea. What would Pete have done if, instead of being his doormat, she’d brought out a whip years ago? What if she’d taken charge and shown him what a real woman was capable of? The thought had possibilities.

“The dominatrix is growing on me.” She could take out her aggressions. Not that she’d actually cause pain. But lording it over a bunch of men, oh yeah, definitely appealing.

“I can’t wait to see you all decked out.” Deidre rubbed her hands together with glee as she made her plans. “Those guys are going to eat you up.”

Not if Carolina ate them up first.

 

You can read another excerpt on my blog! Here’s where you can find Not in the Game: http://bit.ly/notinthegame

Categories: 69 Shade Of Smut, Books, Free Book, New Release | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What if the only way to get someone out of your house is murder?

Welcome back to Cottonmouth! Woohoo, a new release! Can’t Forget You, Cottonmouth Book 3!Can't Forget You photo cantforgetyou2_3003_zpsc927c0cb.jpg

I hope readers are as happy to return to Cottonmouth as I am! You’ll meet Nick and Bobbie from She’s Gotta Be Mine Book 1, and catch up with Brax and Simone from Fool’s Gold Book 2! I loved coming back to Cottonmouth after so long! But just to keep things interesting, I’ve created a whole new set of characters to introduce readers to as well. Here’s a blurb to whet your appetite!

There’s something very special about the house Maggie grew up in. It’s sort of…alive. With a mind of its own.

And it has plans for the people living there now.

All Maggie Halliday has left after the divorce is the family dog and the home her grandmother left to her when she passed away two months ago. Maggie’s got no other choice but to run back to her hometown of Cottonmouth, California, only to discover her high school sweetheart, Cooper Trubek, is living in the house, along with four other boarders for whom Maggie is now responsible. And according to Nana’s will, Maggie can’t kick any of them out.

Unless one of them commits murder.

Still grieving for her grandmother and trying fix up the house that seems to be falling down around her, Maggie’s got more trouble than she can handle. Then things go from bad to worse when Samson the dog starts digging in the basement…

Samson so amused me. I loved writing in his point of view. I think my Star must have been a little bit like Samson, even though they look entirely different. I also fell in love with Principal Owen Sterling, and I think readers might find his story coming sometime in the future, too!

Here’s what The Book Sage had to say about Can’t Forget You!

“I’m used to Jennifer’s erotica (writing as Jasmine Haynes), which I thoroughly enjoy. This one is a humorous romantic mystery, with a few interesting elements thrown in. Do you want to know what a dog is thinking? How about a house that fixes itself and dispenses pages of a journal on an “as needed” basis? Or a romance that is strictly NOT erotic? Can’t Forget You has all of these things. Here’s something you need to know about Jennifer Skully/Jasmine Haynes. She can really write – no matter which genre she chooses.”

You’ll find great reading recommendations over at The Book Sage. I’ve loved every one of the books he’s recommended to me so be sure to check out his blog.

So I have to tell you about a special deal! She’s Gotta Be Mine will be part of a new romance anthology called Love is a Mystery: Six Novels of Love, Laughter, and Lawbreaking. A little mystery, a lot of laughs, and whole lot of romance! The bundle will only be available for 90 days, and we’re offering it for only .99. That’s 1400 pages of Kindle reading! So if you haven’t read She’s Gotta Be Mine yet, here’s the way to do it, plus you’ll get 5 other novels! Here’s a line-up of the fabulous authors. photo LoveIsAMysteryBundle_1400px2_zpse79b2c86.jpg

In FROSTED SHADOW by Nancy Warren, there’s nothing pretty about murder. When a cosmetics sales rep is murdered at the annual convention, only Toni Diamond, a sleuth who understands how to make appearances deceiving, can see into the mind of this killer.

In SHE’S GOTTA BE MINE by Jennifer Skully, what better way to show her ex what he’s missing in the made-over Bobbie Jones than taking up with the local bad boy—who’s also reputed to be a serial killer. That is, until a real murder rocks the little town of Cottonmouth.

In THE HONEYMOON COTTAGE by Barbara Cool Lee, Camilla Stewart finds too late that escaping her past won’t be easy. Because local sheriff’s captain Ryan Knight realizes that Camilla and her son Oliver may be the only people alive who can identify a serial killer… and they are next on his hit list.

In STEAMED by Holly Jacobs, cleaning is murder on the manicure. Quincy Mac is a maid in LA—a maid who’s accidentally cleaned a murder scene. Now she’s a suspect with only one option—find the real murderer before she ends up in jail.

THE ZEN MAN by Colleen Collins is a 21st-century Nick and Nora tale. It’s just another ho-hum Christmas party until a murder lands private eye Rick Levine in the slammer on first-degree murder charges. Released on bond, Rick and his girlfriend Laura have 30 days to find the real killer.

In CAUGHT YOU LOOKING by Shelley Adina, when it comes to love and crime, who’s catching whom? Hot on the trail of a technology thief, PI Duncan Moore thinks he’s found him, but he needs proof. So he asks Mallory Baines if he can do surveillance from her upstairs bedroom—which would be great except her family thinks he’s moved in and wedding bells are imminent!

You can find Love is a Mystery at all these retailers. And remember, it’s only out there for 90 days! Kindle Kindle UK Nook Nook UK iBookstore iBookstore AU iBookstore UK Kobo

Okay, one more thing! Then I’ll give you the first chapter of Can’t Forget You!

Now you can Somebody’s Lover, Somebody’s Ex, and Somebody’s Wife together in one bundle! The Jackson Brothers 3-book Bundle is available everywhere: Kindle Kindle UK iBookstoreNookKobo All Romance CoffeeTime
 photo jacksonbrothers_3003_zps3146b0f2.jpg

 

And now, here’s Chapter One!

Can’t Forget You

Cottonmouth Series, Book 3

Copyright 2014 Jennifer Skully

Chapter One

Her ex-husband got the new wife, the new baby, the house, the SUV, and their daughter Evie’s undying devotion.

Maggie Halliday got the dog.

“You’re such a good dog. What would I have done without you?” she crooned as she stroked Samson’s snout. Along with his snub pit bull face, stout bulldog body, and Australian shepherd markings, Samson had the sweetest of natures.

Maggie rolled down the windows to let the October breeze waft through the old minivan’s interior. At noon, the air was warm, but it carried the promise of a cooler season. She’d parked beneath a massive oak along a tree-lined lane on the outskirts of Cottonmouth, the hometown she hadn’t visited in twenty years. Less than three hours north of San Francisco, Cottonmouth was a lifetime away.

Across Garden Street sat the weathered Victorian house of her childhood. White shutters had aged to gray, and the roof was minus some shingles, like a faded old lady caught without her dentures. Crab grass, weeds, and gophers had long since choked the lush lawn out of existence. To the left of the front steps, the porch sagged, the support column sinking beneath the overhang’s weight. Its chains broken, the porch swing lay forlorn beneath the dining room window. The paint was peeling, and the dormer windows in the third-floor attic looked as if they’d been sealed shut with time and rot.

A man appeared around the corner of the house, a tool belt at his waist, a stack of two-by-fours balanced on his shoulder. She hadn’t ogled anyone in more years than she could count, but there was something about him. The T-shirt molded to his chest and the jeans hugging his thighs started a flutter low in her belly.

Dumping the wood on the scrubby earth, he went down on one knee to shove what looked like a car jack under the edge of the porch. As he cranked the handle, the sagging support column rose, lifting the overhang. When it was level, he nestled a wooden square between the base of the column and the concrete it rested on. The repair was a stop-gap measure in a slow decline that brought an ache to Maggie’s heart. The house was all she had left of her grandmother.

A black Lexus purred to a stop on the gravel shoulder behind her. Maggie waited for the lawyer to get out of his car. Stacked in the back of the minivan, the detritus of her life obscured most of the view out the back window. Boxes and suitcases filled with clothing, photos, kitchen gadgets, an ancient computer, and other odds and ends were all she’d claimed from her marriage.

The door of the Lexus banged shut. Samson chuffed like a steam engine. He didn’t like loud noises, hated to be yelled at, and was afraid of strangers—at least for the first fifteen minutes. After sniffing feet, pant legs, and various body parts, be they private or otherwise, he was friends for life.

Except for Ray, Maggie’s ex-husband. Samson had cowered before Ray from the moment she and Evie brought the pound dog home. Ray hadn’t even yelled at him yet. Ray Halliday wasn’t an animal person. He said they were too hard to control. Then again, Ray wasn’t a people person either. They were also too hard to control.

Maggie scratched the dog’s ear. “Be a good boy,” she crooned, then climbed out of the van.

Elton Cook was tall, gaunt, and pasty-faced. He’d have made a perfect undertaker. Or a cadaver. Instead, he’d been her grandmother’s lawyer, looking as ancient when Maggie was a child as he did now.

An oak branch scratched the top of his gray hair as he stared at the crabbed lawn, the missing shingles, the sagging porch, and the handyman shoring it up.

“This isn’t possible.” He turned to Maggie, eyes deep and dark in his skeletal face. “Right?”

She guessed what he was driving at. “You didn’t hire the handyman?”

Maggie certainly hadn’t. Her grandmother had died two month ago, leaving Maggie the house and the boarders living inside it. She blinked away the pain at the renewed sense of loss. Officially divorced for six months, a week ago Maggie lacked even a home—the dingy apartment she’d been living in didn’t count. Ray had bought her out of the house, but with the second and third mortgages they’d taken out for remodeling and Evie’s college fund, there hadn’t been much equity to distribute. The trust fund her grandmother had left for maintenance wasn’t going to cover all this. And though she’d gotten money out of the divorce settlement, it wouldn’t last long if she had to spend it on house repairs.

“It didn’t need a handyman a month ago.” Elton Cook whispered, as if the house itself might overhear and fall down as a consequence.

In Maggie’s estimation, it had needed a handyman for a long time. Turning it into a boardinghouse obviously hadn’t earned enough for all the necessary repairs.

“I’m sure my grandmother did the best she could.” A hole opened wide in Maggie’s chest as she thought of all the lost years she’d let build between her grandmother and herself.

“No.” Elton flapped bony fingers. “You don’t understand. She had it painted last year. Then there was the new septic installed nine months ago, and she sodded the entire lawn afterward. There wasn’t a weed in sight when I was out here in the middle of August.” A month and a half ago, two weeks after her grandmother passed on August first.

The handyman hammered at the base of the column, the afternoon sun shining down on his hair in an odd halo effect. In the van, Samson whined. He needed a potty break.

Elton Cook stuck his hand out, straight-armed, a key ring jangling in his fingers even as he eased closer to his Lexus. “I have to go.”

Maggie made a side shuffle to close the distance between them. “You could come in.”

“There isn’t any need.” Mr. Cook took a giant spread-eagled step in the opposite direction.

“Shouldn’t you at least introduce me to the tenants?”

“I’m sure you’ll do fine on your own.” He jingled the keys when she didn’t take them.

“I don’t even remember their names.”

“Hopefully they do.”

Maggie grabbed her grandmother’s keys before he dropped them. Mr. Cook skipped sideways the rest of the way to his car as if he were afraid to turn his back on the house. It might be time to let his son take over the law firm.

“Don’t forget,” he called. “You can’t put them out unless they don’t pay rent or they get arrested and accused of murder.”

“Can’t forget that,” she muttered to the cloud dust he left behind as he peeled out. She’d inherited her grandmother’s house as well as the boarders living there. They could miss six monthly rental payments before she could kick anyone out. Unless they tried to kill her first. She’d have to read the will again; had it said get arrested and accused of murder or was that an either/or?

She tipped her head and gazed across the street. The house and its tenants might actually be worth it if she got the handyman, too.

She was forty, divorced, and it was high time she had some fun, right? Opening the van’s door, she snapped her fingers. Samson hit the ground running. He squatted on the edge of her new yard and christened the dirt for what seemed like a full minute as Maggie crossed the road. Despite being male, Samson was a squatter, not a leg-lifter. Ray said that made him a wuss. Maggie thought it demonstrated he was an individualist.

“Guess your dog didn’t see the sign on the lawn?” The handyman’s voice was deep, the kind of voice you felt vibrating on the inside.

Maggie stared at the crab grass, the weeds, the gopher holes, and the dirt. “We didn’t notice a lawn,” she answered, perfectly serious, not a funny-bone in her body.

He pointed to the marker, a picture of a dog squatting, the universal red not circle over its behind.

“Ah, that’s it. He doesn’t read sign language.”

His lips moved, but he didn’t crack a smile, and Maggie resisted pointing out that it was her nonexistent lawn. After all, he’d fixed the column so the porch no longer sagged. For that, he deserved a thank you. She shaded her eyes from the sun pouring over the roof, opened her mouth to offer it…

And looked up into the face of the man she should have married instead of Ray.

* * * * *

It took Maggie forever to find her voice over the crack in it. “What are you doing here?”

He crossed his arms, staring down at her with something that resembled a smile, but with the sun in her eyes, it could also have been a grimace. “A whole lot of nothing, Maggie.”

God. He recognized her.

Cooper Trubek had been her high school sweetheart. Had been, was, is. It depended on your definition of the word is. He still existed, she still existed, and she’d loved him with all her heart. So Cooper Trubek is her high school sweetheart might be the right way to say it. Despite the intervening twenty-two years, the girl she’d once been had never fallen out of love with the boy. That girl still remembered every precious moment with Cooper from sophomore to senior year.

She could have said all that but, thankfully, what came out was “Samson did number one.”

Cooper glanced at Samson, who sat on his haunches, giving him the mother of all stares.

Up close, Cooper’s dark brown hair was shot through with silver strands, and fine lines etched his eyes. The years had made him better, seasoned, overwhelmingly male, instead of a mere boy of eighteen. Tall, over six feet, he’d perfected a stone-faced demeanor she found daunting. In high school, he’d laughed a lot. Back then, she hadn’t hurt him yet.

His gaze tracked her face, her hair, her eyes, her lips, then down to the tight, low-waisted jeans and snug T-shirt. She wasn’t an eighteen-year-old girl either, and his gaze made her self-conscious, as if he thought she was trying to deny her age. It was just that she’d done all her shopping with Evie who’d always said that Maggie shouldn’t dress like an old lady.

“I live here,” he finally said, without inflection.

Deciding the man wasn’t a threat, Samson rose to his four paws, trotted to Cooper’s side, and sniffed his work boots, then his pant legs. He was heading north when Cooper stuck his hand in the way.

It took that long for Maggie to realize Cooper had answered her original question. “You’re one of Nana’s boarders?”

He nodded. This time, the smile made it to his eyes. “I’m one of your boarders.” Samson circled, and Cooper shoved him away before he sniffed the backside. “I’ve got the attic.”

When Maggie lived in the house, the attic was dusty and dark, one long room with a sloped ceiling, boiling in summer and freezing in winter. How could a person live in the attic? Elton Cook told her Nana had remodeled to make more space for boarders, turning the first-floor rumpus room into a bedroom and adding a shower to the half-bath by the stairs. There were now three full bathrooms. But Mr. Cook hadn’t mentioned the attic.

Maggie snapped her fingers, and Samson slumped in the dirt, laying his snout on his paws. “I didn’t know.”

“I didn’t expect you to”—his voice roughened, the first sign of emotion slipping—“since Cecelia never called you in the entire five years I’ve been here.”

And not for twelve years before that. Did Cooper think Maggie had deserted Nana the way she’d deserted him?

“I should have called her,” she admitted, the guilt like a lump of raw cookie dough in her stomach, the kind of thing you thought you could handle until it expanded. How much had her grandmother told Cooper about Ray and Evie? Short for Evangeline. Long ago she’d chosen the name for the little girl she and Cooper would one day have. She’d dreamed so many things that had never come to pass.

If she wasn’t careful, she’d become maudlin, something she’d tried hard not to do since the divorce. “What happened to the lawn?” And the swing, the porch, the paint? “Mr. Cook said the grass was just replaced.”

Cooper stared at the house, the brown of his eyes deepening. “It got sad.”

“The house got sad?”

“When Cecelia died.” He swept an arm across the expanse of dirt, and Maggie realized the elusive sentiment in his gaze was grief. He’d had a soft spot for Nana, bringing her a treat when he arrived, meringues or flowers or a cookbook. And he’d left her with a goodnight kiss on the cheek. “First week,” he said, “the grass died, second week the weeds and gophers took over.”

Her grandmother’s house had always been…special. The scents of baking cookies and fried chicken lingered long after the kitchen should have aired out. If Maggie wanted a breeze on a summer’s night, she’d find a window open she was sure she’d closed. When she climbed out her second-floor window to meet the most beautiful boy in the world, the trellis suddenly reached right up to her sill. As if the house shared her feelings for Cooper. When she’d let him move to L.A. on his own following high school, the trellis vines grew thorns.

Over the years she’d been absent, Maggie decided she’d imagined all the strange things about the house.

“Maybe the septic’s failing again.” It could have contaminated the dirt and killed the grass.

Cooper went on. “Then the swing fell down, the porch sagged, the paint flaked, and the shingles fell off.” He kicked up one side of his mouth. “I don’t think that’s the septic.”

Her grandmother had loved the swing on a warm night, swaying, sipping homemade lemonade as they discussed the day. The torment when Timmy Tipton sent Maggie a love note only to have their fourth grade teacher intercept it and read it aloud. The tragic loss of Jimmy Howell when he was killed in the sixth grade as he crossed the big highway east of town. Susan Foster getting pregnant at fifteen. What Maggie should wear to the junior prom with Cooper.

All the memories, the years, the times she thought of calling Nana but never did. All the regrets and guilt. “I thought you were some big screenwriter in Hollywood,” she said, a catch in her voice.

His head bent to Samson, Cooper merely raised his eyes to meet his gaze. “You know I never sold a screenplay.”

She hadn’t known. For years, she’d searched movie credits for his name. When Cooper left to make his Hollywood dreams come true, she was supposed to go with him. Fear got the better of her, and she’d allowed him to board that train alone, deserting him with nothing but a note she’d sent via a friend. At eighteen, it had seemed the best way to let him down. Today, she saw it for the coward’s way out that it was.

After that there was college, Ray, then Evie. And now this, back at the house she’d started in as if she were George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. What would her life have been like if she hadn’t thrown away Cooper’s love?

“I’m sorry you didn’t make a movie.” What else could she say? She’d chosen security over a frighteningly uncertain future with Cooper. Two years later, when she’d gotten pregnant, Ray had represented her safety net. She’d chosen what she thought was security, even against her grandmother’s wishes and advice.

She’d lost it all when Ray no longer had a use for her. Even Evie didn’t need her after she went off to college.

She sounded disgustingly poor-poor-pitiful-me, but she’d made her own choices. “Thanks for fixing the porch.”

“Cecelia used to give me money off the rent for doing her odd jobs.” He turned, bounded up the porch steps, then threw over his shoulder, “I don’t expect the same thing from you.”

The message, she assumed, was that he didn’t want anything from her. He disappeared into the bowels of her grandmother’s house, the screen door banging shut behind him. One of the hinges dropped off, the screws pinging on the porch.

She’d deserted him, hurt him, hadn’t talked to him, or written him. She’d owed him more than a note. Yet she’d walked away and never looked back. Just as Ray had done to her over a year ago, the day after they’d settled Evie in her first-year college dorm room in San Luis Obispo. So Maggie knew how Cooper felt.

She shoved the house keys in her jeans pocket, snapped her fingers, and whistled. People didn’t like being snapped at, but to dogs, it was a sound, a command, and if they obeyed, they knew they’d get a treat. Samson followed her back across the lane to the minivan, and she carried the first of her boxes into her grandmother’s house. Her house now.

They say you can’t go home again; Maggie had no choice but to try.

Hope you enjoyed Chapter one of Can’t Forget You! Here’s where you can find the ebook! Kindle Kindle UK Nook Nook UK iBookstore iBookstore AU iBookstore UK Kobo Smashwords All Romance CoffeeTime

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