Reeling from a sudden breakup, Casey Webb leaves Brooklyn, drives north, and settles in a sleepy mountain town in upstate New York. She’s convinced she’s happy being alone—until she reads the acknowledgments in her ex-boyfriend’s hit debut novel, thanking his new girlfriend “above all.”
Good thing Ben Mailer is in town. The hot, young Brooklyn-bound chef offers the perfect distraction. Soon the backwoods are heating up… But as their fling turns into more, the demands of Ben’s family and budding career make moving to her idyllic town impossible.
Now Casey must decide what she can’t live without—her life in the mountains, or the man she wants to be hers above all.
EXCERPT- ABOVE ALL by RebeccaBrooks
“You’re a little scary,” he whispered, turning to look into her eyes.
Casey knew he was trying to be serious, but she had to laugh. “Me? You’d pretty much only seen me in sweatpants and knew I had nothing but eggs and beer in the fridge. If I’m scary, it’s because I’m the loser monster that follows young kids around, providing ample fodder for their parents to issue warnings about what will happen if they don’t do their homework and wind up with too many cats.”
Ben smirked and shook his head. “Something tells me you always did your homework. And last time I checked, you don’t have any cats.”
“Only because I’m not responsible enough to take care of them. I can’t even keep a house plant alive.”
“Overrated skills,” he said. “And you should try a jade plant. You can neglect them to your heart’s content and they’ll live.”
“Tried it,” she countered. “I was expertly negligent and still it died.”
He pressed his lips together, trying not to laugh. “You are a special one.”
“See?” she said. “Not scary.”
“Only scary to a houseplant.”
“Which you are not.”
“But I’m serious.” Ben brought the conversation back around. “You are. You’re beautiful, smart, thoughtful, observant, kind, and an incredible artist—I mean really—and you withstand subzero temperatures—”
“The water’s not that cold,” she objected, but he shook his head.
“Don’t interrupt me when I’m complimenting you. It’s intimidating to be around someone who’s basically the whole package. And intimidating because, how do I even get her attention when she has no reason to glance my way? And then, oh my god, what do I do if she actually does?” He shook his head.
“You’re crazy,” Casey murmured, not sure what to make of this boy who clearly hadn’t been around enough women to know that Casey was anything but special, and far from scary.
“I guess I’ve never known anyone who felt this real,” he whispered so quietly, it was almost as if he hasn’t spoken.
There was a long pause. Casey had no idea how to respond. There was no way to explain how deeply she had longed for him to come back, and your dimples make my heart beat like a bongo set didn’t exactly have the right ring. It was crazy, when she thought about how little they actually knew each other.
But it was even crazier to pretend that after what they’d just shared, they could return to their lives pretending that nothing had changed.
“I think I really like you,” Ben finally said. Quietly, in that embarrassed tone he got that made her want to kiss him all over.
But instead she laughed. “You think?” She raised an eyebrow.
“I know,” he whispered in her ear, his breath shooting arrows down her spine. “I’ve had way too long to think about it, and I know.”
ABOUT REBECCA BROOKS
Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind to try something new—and find the passion, excitement and purpose they didn’t know they’d been missing.
After a rough semester, Professor Lyssa Pennington just wants to post her grades and join her husband, Kyle, in Cornwall for Christmas. First, though, she’s expected to host an elegant dinner for Emile Duval, the soon-to-be Chair of Languages at Tompkins College.
Too bad no one told Lyssa murder is on the menu. And, by the way, Emile Duval is an imposter.
Who is he really? And who wanted him dead? Without those answers, the Penningtons can kiss Christmas in Cornwall goodbye.
Trooper Moran tapped his pen. “Let’s talk about the person you saw leaving the kitchen, the one who delivered the wine. Do you remember her coat?”
“I was fixated on her gloves.”
“Cloth coat? Down?”
“It was the kind of dark winter parka anyone would wear on a cold night, but that doesn’t tally with the classy gloves.”
“Did you see the woman’s footwear?”
“No, just the gloved hand.”
He chuckled. “Tell me about the glove.”
Lyssa’s cheeks were hot. “I was memorizing every detail to tell Kyle, because I really really wanted a pair just like them for Christmas.”
He shook his head.
“So I’m not a trained detective,” she joked. “I noticed some other detail, but I can’t grab hold of it right now.”
“Her head popping back for a look?”
Lyssa shook her head. “This woman didn’t second-guess anything. She’d worked out every detail.”
About the Author
C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’no wonder she writes academic mysteries (The Penningtons Investigate) that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits.
Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.
Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.
The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.
Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.
When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.
Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.
EXCLUSIVE RELEASE EXCERPT- CLAIMED BY THE KING
Broc held on to his sword tightly, the leather of his gloves creaking loudly under his powerful grip. He could hear it, despite the screeching winds and waves battering the wooden boat.
Although they were at peace with the men of West Hythe, one could never be too careful.
Every eight years, the humans had held up their end of the bargain, though. They had left a suitable young woman behind on the shore near their villages, and nobody had stayed behind to watch the giants’ arrival or possibly interfere.
In any case, the timing of this exchange was carefully thought out: nights on the Northern Sea were always foggy this time of year. If anyone had stayed behind, they would have to be very nearby indeed to be able to see a thing. Looking around the wooden longship, Broc could see a lot of his people were much more excited about tonight’s festivities than he was. Their chatter was even louder than the rhythmic drum setting the speed for the rowers. He hated to have to do this; to tear a young girl away from the only life she had known and take her to the Isles against her will. Sadly there was no other way to ensure the survival of their bloodline; without this tradition, Broc’s people might become even extinct. After the Great War, many of their number had fallen. Outnumbered, and overpowered by the sorcerers who had sided with humankind, their kind had retreated to the Black Isles and left the mainland to be ruled by men. However, their reduced numbers had meant that they would need fresh blood to replenish their line.
One can only interbreed for so long before things start to go wrong and madness sets in.
He had seen it happen with his own two eyes. If he squinted, he could just about see the shore through the dense fog. Luckily, his people had a lot better vision than the humans, meaning they could safely navigate the treacherous waters around Hythe Bay to collect the latest addition to their clan. Broc had first pick, as was tradition.
There was no way he could get out of it either. He’d been king of the Black Mountain and surrounding isles for seven years, ever since his father had sailed off into the next realm.
It was time to start thinking about an heir, whether he liked it or not. “Wonder what this one’s going to be like,” Rhea next to him remarked, her tone sharp with spite. Her comment was a reference to the trouble they’d had last time. Transitions could be difficult. He glanced over at the strong young princess, his cousin twice removed, as she stared darkly over the water leading to the coast. It was obvious she’d wanted to be his queen, but it wasn’t meant to be. A union between them would have been forbidden, in any case.
They were too closely related. And they even shared the same animal form.
Broc had always aimed to be a fair ruler; he could not make an exception to such an important rule for himself. The consequences would be too severe; the islanders’ mating rules existed for a reason. A king must do everything within his power to ensure a healthy heir is produced. In his case this had meant taking a human as his bride instead of the relative he’d grown up with. Although he hadn’t made his intentions about this Reaping public yet, Rhea had guessed. And she had made it a point to openly express her displeasure. Shortly before the keel of their ship threatened to hit ground, Teaq, Broc’s half-brother and commander of the Black Isle armies, gave the order to steady the oars and drop anchor. Impeccable timing as always.
Broc observed as Rhea and Teaq shared a dark look. It was obvious they each disapproved of tonight’s goings on for their own reasons. “There she is,” Teaq spat, unable to disguise his disgust.
His tone rubbed Broc the wrong way. It wasn’t the girl’s fault she had been sent to them as an offering in the Reaping. And what exactly had sparked Teaq’s dislike of human females, Broc had not yet understood. “Remember, she will be shown the respect deserving of any citizen of the Black Isles,” Broc spoke in a low, determined tone.
Teaq’s jaw tensed, but he did not respond. “Yes, my king.” Rhea averted her eyes from the shore and retreated to the back of the ship to stand watch over the waters behind them. As commander of the royal guard, it was her duty to ensure Broc wasn’t ambushed.
“Just remember what we discussed,” Teaq grumbled. “These are troubled times. The last thing we need is further complications within our own walls.”
When their father had conducted the last Reaping ritual, the girl had found it incredibly difficult to adjust to her new surroundings. For some time it was feared they’d lose her to madness, but thankfully she had recovered and integrated into their way of life some months later.
They’d instituted a new rule; the newcomer would not be fully introduced into their ways until she had obviously adjusted to her new circumstances. Teaq had wanted for things to go much further; including keeping the girl on house arrest for the first month; something Broc had vehemently disagreed with. As king, the final decision had obviously been his.
They would keep her in the dark, figuratively, but she would be as free as any of the other inhabitants of the Black Isles. At least as far as her movements within the castle on Black Mountain were concerned.
Still, it was for the best to be cautious. She did not need to know the truth about everything from the start. Humans did not handle it well when their views of the world were challenged. “I wish you’d reconsider and at least let me put a watch on her. We do not know of her intentions,” Teaq added.
Broc scoffed. Her intentions. This was just going to be some unfortunate girl who thought she was being sent to her death.
Just like the last ones.
Lately Teaq had grown more and more paranoid. They had enough to worry about with the threats from further out at sea. As long as the humans continued to hold up their end of the truce, their peace would hold.
“Alright. That’s enough of that,” Broc said. “We’ve laid down the rules already. But I won’t have her treated as a prisoner under my rule. Let’s get on with what we came here to do.”
The many dozen or so soldiers onboard held their heads bowed as Broc strode past towards the port beam, which was by now perfectly lined up with the shoreline. Teaq signaled the all clear and jumped over the side, landing squarely on his feet in the waist-deep water. Broc followed.
They were back on track, but this wasn’t the end of that particular discussion; Broc was certain of it. Teaq’s stubbornness was in part because as the older brother he’d always expected to get first right to the throne. He wasn’t good at following orders.
Too bad for him that their father, the late King Ryk, hadn’t seen it that way. They had fought it out just like in the old days. Hand-to-hand combat.
Obviously, it was Broc’s victory that had earned him the honor of ruling over the Black Isles. Whether Teaq liked it or not.
The salty water of the Northern Sea was close to freezing, but Broc—as well as the rest of his clan—were used to it. They were much better suited to cold temperatures than humans were.
Despite the saltiness in the air, Broc could smell the human from across the stony beach. Her scent was sweet, almost floral, with a hint of something sharp. Fear, perhaps.
His inner beast stirred. A new sort of sensation came over him. Although he hadn’t even seen her yet, he knew how this Reaping was going to end. She would be his. And she would give him his much awaited heir. It was a bittersweet prospect.
The poor girl had no idea what was in store for her.
ABOUT LORELEI MOONE
Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.
“Be still, Eve, and accept that I am in control.” His voice was hypnotic, as he moved the lit stick closer to her body. The flame came closer, and she held her breath in case the movement of her chest might cause her body to be in the wrong place.
Time seemed to slow down, as the fire was drawn over her stomach. Barely there long enough to be warm, but somehow it seemed to go on forever. Then, it was away again, and the cool air of the room replaced the warmth she had just experienced.
She breathed again, and her heart beat faster in her chest as relief flooded through her. Then, the flame returned. This time, it ran across her breasts. Eve didn’t want to watch in case she moved, but at the same time, she was completely unable to look away, as Ignis moved the lit stick, back and forth, lingering until her nipples grew pointed under the heat, and then it was gone again.
The third time, he dragged the fire along her body much more slowly, and his hand followed the path of the flame, caressing her body moments after he elicited burning sensations. The fire danced across the surface of her skin, stinging deliciously everywhere it went, and as he circled her breasts, she moaned, suppressing the urge to arch her back so he might bring the flame back to her nipples.
As he moved the flame over her skin, her clitty throbbed with need and she soon felt the wetness from earlier had turned into a trickle, which shamefully made its way down her leg. She hoped he wouldn’t notice, for she was sure she would be in disgrace. It was probably as bad-mannered as walking around and drooling. But then the tip of the stick slid over her right nipple, remaining there for much longer than before, until the pain became sharp and she squeaked.
By the time she had made a sound he had already moved it to her left nipple, allowing it to linger there, too, until the heat bit into her painfully. Suddenly, the torch was gone, and she was gasping for air as the residual burn stung in both her nipples, and the pain drew more pleasure from her as it pooled into a needy desire in her core.
“I think that is enough for now,” he murmured, and his voice gave away nothing, but when Eve looked down at his trousers, she was surprised that there was a bulge there which belied his true feelings. Although she hadn’t expected it, she didn’t blame him at all.
The fire… it had been so beautiful, so perfect, that she never wanted it to stop. With his skilful touch, he had the power to decide whether the flame felt like a lover’s caress or a scorching burn. The mixture of fear, relief, pleasure and pain had been intoxicating, and she floated in a heady haze of sensation, even as her nipples still stung from that final pass of the flame.
On the streets of London, eighteen-year-old Eve Smythe is freezing to death. She cannot return home until she sells her matches, but nobody wants them. Knowing she has not got long to live, she does the unforgivable: She strikes a match. The light draws the attention of a certain Mr. Ignis. He offers her warmth and food, but only if she agrees to do anything he wants. And his tastes are dark and terrifying.
As she tumbles further into his strange world of dominance and pain, she cannot help wondering, will he ever see her as anything more than his submissive plaything, or will he simply tire of her one day and cast her aside? Publisher’s Note: This Victorian, dark romance features sensual scenes, extensive fire play and dangerous situations, but the HEA is guaranteed. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.
Aria is an author of dark erotic romance that dances on the boundary between horror and romance. Her heroes are not always immediately obvious, and neither are the villains. Her books often have elements of horror, and the characters at the end of a story are forever changed by the events that befell them. But she always makes sure there’s a happy ending, even if the characters have to work for it.
Aria also writes the warm fuzzy romance stuff as Katie Douglas, and writing as Katie, she has had USA Today and multiple number 1 bestselling books in the US and worldwide.
Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, receive the unexpected news that their Uncle Gavin Sullivan, the black sheep of the family, has left them a hotel on the Gulf coast of Florida. The gift comes with a twist. They must live together for one year at the hotel and prepare the hotel to receive guests within a year. Sheena, eager to escape her role of unappreciated wife and mother, can’t wait for the opportunity to find herself. Dreams of sitting on the beach sipping margaritas are shattered when they see the property in need of renovation. But they begin their work of meeting the challenge. If they succeed, the bulk of Gavin’s estate will be theirs. Facing the unexpected, working together, the three sisters learn a lot about each other and the gift of family love.
Other Books in the Salty Key Inn Series:
Finding My Way
Salty Key Inn Series, Book 2
Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing
Published: June 2017
Darcy Sullivan and her two sisters continue to work hard at the Salty Key Inn, the small, Florida hotel they unexpectedly inherited. In order to inherit the rest of Uncle Gavin’s sizeable estate, they must meet his challenge to open the neglected hotel by the end of the year. Darcy figures once they meet the challenge, she’ll take off, travel the world, and maybe, just maybe, begin writing the world’s best novel. When she meets Nick Howard, an older man who is a reporter for the local newspaper and takes over his weekly column, her life changes. Under his tutelage, she writes about local residents, learning to see people in a different way—especially after meeting a cousin no one knew about. Her joy at having the part-time job that’s always been her dream is shattered when she learns Nick is dying. For support, she turns to Austin Blakely, whose grandmother is terminally ill, and through their growing relationship, comes to understand what true love is.
As Regan Sullivan continues to work with her sisters, Sheena and Darcy, to meet their Uncle Gavin’s challenge to make the Salty Key Inn a success, she wonders why she can never find the man of her dreams. Her sisters are happily settled with men they love. Why can’t she do the same? When she’s involved in a motorcycle accident with Brian Harwood, Regan learns to think differently about both her appearance and herself. And as she deals with her injuries and helps Brian recover from the accident she feels guilty about causing, Regan discovers that the love she’s always sought has been there all along.
In early January, Sheena Morelli sat with her two sisters in a conference room of the Boston law office of Lowell, Peabody and Wilson, waiting to meet with Archibald Wilson himself.
“Do either of you have any idea why we’re really here?” said her youngest sister, Regan. “The letter from Mr. Wilson said something about a reading of a will. But that doesn’t make sense to me. I didn’t even know Gavin Sullivan.”
“Me, neither. He’s probably some rich uncle leaving us a lot of money,” teased Darcy, the typical middle sister, who was always kidding around.
Sheena laughed with her. The three Sullivan sisters had no rich relatives that they knew of in their modest family. They were hard workers who relied on only themselves to make it through life. Well, thought Sheena, maybe Regan wasn’t as reliable as she and Darcy. As the baby of the family, Regan had always been a bit spoiled. At twenty-two and eager to escape her old life in Boston, Regan wasn’t about to spend too much time with the family. This time, though, at the formal request of Mr. Wilson, Regan had dutifully left New York City to come to “Bean Town.”
As Sheena waited in the conference room for Mr. Wilson to show up, she studied Regan out of the corner of her eye. With her long, black hair, big, violet-blue eyes, and delicate Sullivan features, she was a knockout—a Liz Taylor look-alike.
Darcy sat on the other side of Sheena in a stiff-backed chair. Studying Darcy’s blue eyes, red hair, and freckled nose, Sheena thought of her as cute…and funny…and maybe a little annoying, though everyone seemed to love Darcy’s sassy attitude. At twenty-six, Darcy claimed she hadn’t found her true calling. Whatever that meant.
Sheena had found her calling in a hurry when she got pregnant as she was starting college, where she’d planned to take nursing courses. Ironic as it was, her wanting to become a nurse and getting caught like that, had changed many things for her. Now, at thirty-six and with a sixteen-year-old son and a fourteen-year-old daughter, she still hadn’t recovered from losing her dream.
She straightened in her chair as a tall, gray-haired man entered the room carrying a file of papers.
“Good morning, ladies. I’m Archibald Wilson, the lawyer representing Gavin Sullivan. I’m pleased you all could attend this reading of his will,” he announced in a bass voice. He looked the three of them over critically. “Which one of you is Sheena Sullivan Morelli?”
She raised her hand. “I’m Sheena. Do you mean the ‘Big G’ Sullivan?”
Wide-eyed, her sisters released loud gasps. The name “Big G Sullivan” had been mentioned in the family on rare occasions, and only when her father and his two other brothers had had too many beers. And then it was never kindly.
Mr. Wilson nodded with satisfaction. “Yes, that’s my client. Sheena, though all three of you are beneficiaries, I will address you on most of the issues, as it pertains to the specific language of the will.”
Sheena sat back in her chair, her mind spinning. This scene seemed so surreal. Their father had broken his relationship with this brother years ago. He’d always said his brother was a loser, someone he could never trust.
“He’s left something for us?” said Darcy. “I was only teasing about such a thing.”
The lawyer studied Darcy a moment, took a seat facing the three of them on the other side of the small conference table, and opened the file he had carried in.
He began to speak: “I, Gavin R. Sullivan, of the State of Florida, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make, publish, and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament…”
Certain words faded in and out of Sheena’s shocked state of mind. Though her sisters might have been too young to remember him, she had a clear image of the big, jovial man who’d captivated her with his smile, his belly laughs, and the way her father grew quiet when they were in the same room together. On one particular visit, the “Big G”, as he was known, gave her a stuffed monkey that she’d kept on her bed for years. It wasn’t until the fur on the monkey was worn off that she’d noticed a seam was tearing. One day, while she was probing the hole, a gold coin fell out.
Sheena showed the coin to her mother, who snatched it away and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone about this. It’s very valuable. Someday you’ll need it. Until then, I’ll keep it safe for you. Your uncle loves you very much.” As her father walked through the doorway, her mother held a finger to her lips.
Until now, Sheena had forgotten all about the coin.
Archibald Wilson’s voice brought her back to the present. “Sheena, you, Darcy, and Regan are now the legal owners of the Salty Key Inn, but you, Sheena, will be in charge of taking over the small hotel in Florida, as your uncle directed in his will. Is that understood by the three of you?”
Sheena and her sisters dutifully bobbed their heads. The bewilderment on her sisters’ faces matched her own feelings. How in the world were the three of them going to run a hotel?
“Remember,” Mr. Wilson warned them, “the hotel may not be sold for a period of one year. And the three of you must live there together for that entire time if you are to have a share in the rest of his sizeable estate, the details of which will remain undisclosed until the end of your year in Florida. You have just two weeks to prepare. In conversations I had with him in setting up the will, I believe Gavin Sullivan intended for this to be a life lesson for each of you.”
“Whoa! Wait a minute! What about the lease on the condo I share with two of my friends? I can’t just walk away from that,” said Darcy.
“And mine?” said Regan.
The lawyer nodded. “Read over the conditions of the will. Any expenses like that will be taken care of by Gavin’s estate. All expenses as you settle in will be handled through me. But, beware, there will be hidden tests for you throughout this entire process. Tests that could make a lot of difference to each of you.”
Sheena exchanged worried glances with her sisters. She wished she’d asked their mother for more information about the uncle she was never to mention. And now it was too late. Their mother had died a little over a year ago.
“Live together in Florida for a whole year? Was Uncle Gavin crazy when he set up this deal?”
exclaimed Darcy. Her indignation was understandable.
Mr. Wilson stood. “I realize you all have a lot to talk about, a lot to think about. And let me know if you need any further clarification of the terms of the will. You are welcome to continue using this conference room, and please feel free to help yourself to any of the refreshments on the side table.” His lips curved with a touch of humor in what had been a mostly expressionless face. “Enjoy the challenge.”
After Mr. Wilson left them, Sheena sank back into her chair. Her mind raced at the thought of suddenly leaving Boston to go live with her sisters in Florida for an entire year. How could she do that? It would be difficult for her on many levels. They were sisters, after all, and like sisters everywhere, being together for too long sometimes caused battles to erupt. More than that, she had a family. And her husband, Tony, wouldn’t like the idea at all. Her children even less.
“What a joke,” said Darcy, shaking her head. “Living with the two of you for an entire year? Running a hotel? No way. And, Sheena, Tony would never allow you to do something like this. You’re what he calls ‘the Mrs’. And what about the kids?”
Sheena glared at Darcy. “Wait a minute! What did you mean by that ‘Mrs.’ remark?”
“Don’t take it the wrong way,” urged Regan. “It’s just that your family depends on you for everything. Especially Tony.”
Deep in thought, Sheena remained quiet. Tony was a good man who prided himself on always doing the right thing. And he expected her to fulfill what he thought was her proper role.
Though their relationship was still new when she got pregnant, Tony had stepped right up and offered to marry her to prevent her mother’s conservative church friends from counting on their fingers how long it took for their first baby to appear. It helped that their son, Michael Morelli, had started his life in the outside world a little late. Still, Sheena had always appreciated Tony’s consideration.
A worried sigh escaped her. She knew Tony wouldn’t support her being away from their family for an entire year. That would be going against his idea of her in the proper role of taking care of their family. And yet, with his business recently doing poorly, it might be an answer to their prayers—though Tony’s fragile ego might prevent her from actually saying so.
“What about you two?” Sheena asked. “You’ll have to quit your jobs. What then?”
Regan shrugged. “I don’t care. My job is boring—answering phone calls, greeting people and all. They’ll just find another receptionist to take my place.”
Darcy shook her head. “Receptionist? You were so much more than that. More like some kind of hostess with all those special meetings you helped them with. When I visited you in New York, I witnessed how it was—you serving them drinks before they went out to some business dinner.”
“What about you, Darcy?” Sheena asked. “You’ve got a very good job working in IT.”
Darcy grimaced. “Actually, I don’t like it very much. Working with numbers and codes all day isn’t that exciting. Mom was always so proud of me and my job that I didn’t dare tell her I wasn’t happy there. But, with her gone, I’ve been thinking of doing something else.” She smiled. “Maybe this whole thing isn’t dumb after all. Maybe this will be the beginning of something new for all of us.”
Sheena returned her smile. Put this way, it sounded wonderful. If, only…
About the Author
Judith Keim was born and raised in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Idaho with her husband and long-haired dachshund, Winston, and other members of her family. Growing up, books were always present – being read, ready to go back to the library or about to be discovered. Information from the books was shared in general conversation, giving everyone in her family a wealth of knowledge and a lot of imagination. Perhaps that is why she was drawn to the idea of writing stories early on. Judith particularly loves to write novels about women who face unexpected challenges with strength and find love along the way.