Three best friends … three single hearts … all turning thirty.
Winter’s Magic Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele firsthand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.
After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.
Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick’s dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick’s past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.
Available in both ebook and paperbook from Amazon. Page down for short excerpt.
Spring’s Surprise was actually the first book I wrote. A freelance editor helped me get it off the ground and suggested I give Beth her own book. So, Sara got bumped to #2 – I hope you agree that she’s worth the wait.
Sara Michaels is single again. And she’s celebrating her thirtieth birthday with a complete spa makeover and a day of boutique shopping with her two best friends. After a ten-month battle for freedom, a long weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, is just what she needs to erase the memories of a broken heart.
Jack Tanner is the soon-to-be new partner at Chester & Dorsey Development Firm. Jack’s love life has been on the back burner for years as he’s built a successful career. But the moment he meets Sara, he takes a hard look at his life and his priorities.
Sara steps out of her comfort zone and spends an unforgettable weekend with Jack. She’s never felt so carefree. Until she realizes too late that three days can change everything.
Available in both ebook and paperbook from Amazon. Page down for short excerpt.
Jenny Cohen defines successful independence: she put herself through college, couldn’t ask for better friends, owns a consulting firm, wears designer clothes, and just moved into her dream home . . . But she’s alone, except for her ailing mother whom she supports in a nursing home. As the marketing consultant for Chester, Dorsey & Tanner, she’s surrounded by male attention. Too bad it’s the overly-protective big-brother type.
Architect, Craig Stone, hasn’t looked at another woman since his wife passed away four years ago. His time is taken—building a career while trying to be both mother and father to his eight-year-old son. But when his appointment with the largest development firm in Nashville is double-booked with a black-haired beauty, he finds himself reaching for new possibilities.
The attraction sets off more fireworks than the Fourth of July. Yet, their relationship is riddled with issues neither one of them expected. Somewhere in the middle they must find a way to compromise or let go of a chance for love they may never find again.
Available in both ebook and paperback from Amazon. Page down for short excerpt.
Fall’s Redeeming Grace. I couldn’t stop after Jenny’s story. I just didn’t have the heart to leave Lauren Parker in such a horrible state of disgrace. (You’ll have to read Winter’s Magic to find out who she is) I’m hoping to wrap up the series early 2016, but it’s taking a lot of work to redeem this heroine. Stay tuned – you won’t want to miss her journey to finding forgiveness from those she’s hurt and love from the man she suddenly realizes she can’t live without.
WINTER’S MAGIC EXCERPT:
“You’re not leaving without saying goodbye, are you, Beth?”
Her breath caught at the sound of Nick’s voice. “I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“I forgot how demanding playing host can be,” he said. “Every time I thought I was getting closer to your crowd I got sucked back into another one.” His voice softened into a low caress. “I’m glad I caught you before you left. Do you have a minute?”
“I’m not in a hurry.” Wrong. She was in a hurry. In fact, she should be running—as fast as she could.
“Come with me.” Nick turned and led her back toward the front of the house to a room not open to guests. Stepping inside, she realized they were in his grandfather’s study. She took her time admiring the room, trying to steady her pulse.
A large mahogany desk sat at the near side of the room with a black leather couch and matching wing chairs facing it. The far side of the study held a conference table. The sound of a grandfather clock filled the air with twelve deep chimes.
“I wanted to talk to you about Midnight Mass.” Nick motioned for her to sit on the couch. “Let me explain.”
Beth sat, though she suddenly preferred to end the discussion quickly. She could tell from his awkward stance, he didn’t want to have this conversation any more than she did.
She had been right about him. Nick may have checked out her legs and caught her eye a few times, but it didn’t mean anything. And he seemed tired. Still incredibly sexy, but his eyes held exhaustion.
She should give him a break and make this easy. “I understand, Nick. Christmas Eve Mass is really a family affair. Your grandfather may want it to be just the two of you.”
“No!” He paused. “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant.”
“It’s okay. You were just being nice. It’s really no big deal.” She needed to leave. The air was so tight she could barely breathe.
“Beth.” He met her eyes with a commanding gaze that refused to let her shy away. “Would you go to dinner with me tomorrow night?”
Wow. Her gut had been way off base.
Dinner? Translation–real date? His words took a moment to sink in. But when they did, she couldn’t stop her mind from funneling through the numerous events already scrambling her weekend.
“I can’t. I’m sorry, it’s just really busy at the salon right now.” She told the truth. Even if Nick wasn’t off limits and completely the wrong man for her, the salon kept her too busy to even think about starting a new relationship.
“I’ve been wanting to try Carlino’s. Have you been yet?” he asked, ignoring her answer.
“I called to get a reservation last week and they’re booked through the holidays.”
“I’ve heard the same thing. But what if I can get one? Would you join me?”
“I really can’t.” She saw disappointment flash across his face before he could replace it with a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “We’re having our staff Christmas party.” The gleam reappeared. His reaction shouldn’t matter as much as it did.
“How about Sunday? I happen to know La Bella Vita isn’t open on Sundays. Let me see what I can do. I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know what time I’ll pick you up.”
She chuckled. “I didn’t say yes.” But she wanted to, even if accepting went against every sensible conviction in her brain.
“You didn’t say no,” he whispered.
“I guess I didn’t.” His stare burned through the last of her fortitude and suddenly, she realized that turning him down had never been possible.
“I still have your card.” He looked at her with a ‘cat ate the canary’ grin.
Her card. The one she’d given him for Lauren? She knew she shouldn’t say anything. But if she was willing to let her guard down and accept his invitation to dinner, she needed to know the truth—from him.
“Speaking of my card, Nick. Where does Lauren fit in?”
“Lauren and I stopped seeing each other a few days before I met you.”
So, they really had broken up. But what about the rest? “According to the rumors—”
“She wants to work things out, but knows I don’t.” His firm answer gave no leeway to ask further questions.
Beth rose as soon as Nick did, prepared to follow him from the room. Jenny’s words came back to her. He’s very private and doesn’t talk about his personal life. Maybe she should have remembered that twenty seconds ago.
Instead of turning to leave, Nick reached down and took her hands in his. They were warm and soft. His thumbs gently rubbed across the top of her knuckles in a subtle stroke.
“I’ve moved on, Beth. At least that’s what I want to do.”
He seemed to be waiting for an answer. She could blame it on the wine and the way his eyes bore into hers, but she didn’t know what to say.
They stood so close she could feel the heat coming from his skin. A hint of his cologne, mixed with leather and the smell of old books, filled her nose. Her eyes moved to his lips and she wondered if he was going to kiss her.
Oh, God help her, she wanted him to.
In her dreams, his lips had been soft and sweet. He’d been gentle at first, slowly caressing her mouth as he held her face in both hands. Then he slid his tongue across her lips, coaxing her to open. When he took her mouth deeper, an electric current sizzled between them and her body tingled everywhere they touched. Every part of her melting into him. She was lost.
She felt his arms come around her, bringing her even closer, but it didn’t seem to be enough. She wanted to run her fingers through his hair. Slide her hands across the taut muscles of his chest. She needed—.
A sound from the hallway startled her and she raised her eyes to meet his. She had no idea how long she’d been staring at his lips and remembering the dreams she would never admit to having. Heat flooded her cheeks as she read the smugness on his face. It had been long enough for him to read her thoughts. But the intensity she felt from his gaze told her it didn’t matter—he wanted the same thing.
SPRING’S SURPRISE EXCERPT
As the song continued, Jack led Sara around the dance floor in silence. When they rounded a corner, out of sight from their friends, he leaned down and softly brushed his lips across hers. A fleeting gesture. By the time Sara realized she had been kissed, he was whispering in her ear, “I’m looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow. Could I take you to breakfast before you head out to Beth’s stables?”
His breath on her neck made her feel intoxicated. And something inside her wanted more.
After a moment, Sara slowly turned her head and met his lips, this time kissing him back. She wasn’t sure where her courage came from, but it felt good to be in Jack’s arms. It had been a long time since someone had kissed her so gently or held her with such reverence. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt desired, but she was going to enjoy every minute. Even if on Tuesday she had to return to the real world and her real life.
Jack urged her closer, but their feet kept dancing to the slow rhythm of the piano and before she knew it, the kiss was over. Watching a slow smile form on his lips, she could see his pleasant surprise, mixed with a simmering heat.
“We’re leaving around eleven.”
“Then I’ll pick you up at eight. There’s a café down the street from where Jenny lives.”
As the song ended, Sara turned back toward the direction of their table. As Jack placed his hand at the small of her back, his thumb gently rubbed against her skin, sending a flutter through her stomach. He brushed one last kiss on her earlobe and whispered, “Thank you.”
SUMMER’S FAMILY AFFAIR EXCERPT
“Ms. Cohen,” he said, “we still have a few more questions, if you don’t mind sitting back down.”
“I do mind, Detective. My car is totaled.” She pointed to her red BMW Z4 convertible, now an ugly pile of metal being loaded onto the back of a tow truck. “I’m tired and sore and I want to go home. If you have any more questions, I would be happy to meet you at your office on Monday morning.”
“Ms. Cohen, you don’t understand,” he said.
“No, you don’t understand. I’ve given my statement three times and I don’t know anything else. Now, is somebody going to give me a ride home or do I need to call a cab?”
“She’s finished, Detective.”
Jenny turned and saw Craig standing less than three feet behind her. He was wearing a black suit, royal-blue shirt, and matching necktie. What a sight for sore eyes . . .
“I can give you a ride home. Let me take your bag.” He held out his hand and she let him take it. “Come on. I think you’ve had enough.”
As bad as she felt and knew she looked, she couldn’t turn away his offer. She fumbled through her purse, found a business card, and handed it to the detective. “Call me on Monday if you need more information.”
She turned back to Craig, who now stood so close she caught a hint of his cologne and couldn’t help the shiver that ran up her spine. He pulled a card from his wallet and handed it to the officer. “If you call her before Monday, call Mr. Warner first. He would be happy to make arrangements for any meeting you can justify to his satisfaction.”
Suddenly, he lifted her into his arms.
“Craig! Please, put me down,” she shrieked, then tried to compose herself. “I can walk just fine. I know I look like a train wreck, but I’m really okay.” Okay if she only referred to injuries. Being cradled against him, she could feel the taut muscles of his chest and her heart almost stopped.
“Jenny, you have no shoes and the street is covered in broken glass and plastic. I’m not letting you walk across it with just socks on your feet.”
Resigned, she relaxed and laid her head on his shoulder. “Thank you,” she whispered into his neck and breathed in a lungful of deep musk.
“That’s better. My car isn’t far. I’ll have you home in just a few minutes.”