Executives’ Wives’ Club series
One fatal car wreck…
Everyone’s lives changed…
Blurb for Birth
Brie Sullivan has a new baby girl and there are a million things to do, but Brie doesn’t have the energy to keep up. Why? She’s still grieving for her husband and suffering from baby blues, but she won’t let that stop her. She’s come up with the answer–find a new husband to be the father of her kids.
Jason Clark has been doing everything he can to help Brie. He loves her but can he accept her proposal of marriage knowing she’s not thinking clearly about the future?
“There’s no reason why you can’t get married again.”
Brie groaned, “Hey, right. What man in his right mind would want a ready-made family?”
“I think you’re just tired. How much sleep have you been getting?” Jason walked forward, holding out his hands. “Why don’t you let me take care of Isabella while you lie down and rest?”
Unable to resist, she stood and handed him the baby. “Thanks, Jason, the girl doesn’t want to sleep. She wakes up every two hours and usually stays awake for at least an hour or more.”
Brie waited until Jason had Isabella settled in his arms before she stepped back. A smile fluttered across her daughter’s face. Brie wished he’d hold her in his arms too.
“If you like, you can sit over there in the rocker.” She pointed to the chair wedged in the corner by the head of the bed.
“Thanks. Now why don’t you lie down?”
Brie dragged herself to the other side of the bed and slung back the covers. “Let me know when you get tired. I’ll take over. I know you have to work tomorrow.”
“Right, like you don’t have to get up and take the kids to school.” Jason settled into the rocker. A slight whimper escaped from the baby, he quickly fed the bottle back into her daughter’s mouth.
“Yes, but at least I don’t have to pick them up. I’m in a carpool with another mother down the street.” Brie fluffed her pillow and crawled into bed. The soft cushion of the mattress cupping her body, she melted against the sheets. Peace teased her mind at the luxury of not having to jump up again in two seconds.
“So you’ve been able to get some rest during the day?”
“No, that’s when I try to get everything else done.” Brie reviewed the chores she hadn’t accomplished today. Laundry—half done. Dishwasher—still not unloaded. Formula—damn she only had two bottles left.
“Why? What can’t wait?” Jason’s question made it sound like she didn’t have two other children to take care of.
“Well, there are meals to fix, which reminds me, I have to make a run to the grocery store tomorrow.” She quickly glanced at the night stand to see if there was any paper available. She better make a list.
“Don’t worry about it now. Just try to get some sleep.” The soothing tone of his voice lulling her senses, she closed her eyes.
Visions of Eric floated through her thoughts…him getting up at night, bringing the baby back to her, his help in the evening with the chores, his steady presence when she was too exhausted to go on. “I need a second set of hands.”
An idea popped into her head. The perfect solution. She just needed to get married.
Forcing her eyes open, she rolled to her side and stared at the man holding her daughter. He wasn’t married and didn’t mind her kids. If they could join forces, all would be good.
Excited by the possibility, she sat, the covers falling to her waist. “That’s it. I need a husband.” Lifting her voice, she stared into a pair of sexy brown eyes. “Jason, will you marry me?”
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Needing to revive her life and jump start her heart, Jennifer Larson is facing the biggest challenge of her life, moving into an unplanned future. While the rest of the Executives Wives’ Club continue to mourn their husbands, Jen is tempted into the future by a sexy chiropractor, Hagan Chaney.
“No, but it doesn’t appear as if Hagan feels the same way about your date as you do.” Brie cocked a brow and nodded approval. “He goes all googly-eyed when he looks at you.”
Jen shook her head, uncertain if Brie had read the signals correctly. Could he still find her attractive after their date last night?
Yet, she couldn’t forget the inviting strength of Hagan’s body lying over hers on the floor. “I wish, but he’s only being kind.”
“Wrong,” Brie whispered and lifted a container of steaming spaghetti sauce. “The man looks hungry, and it’s not for my pasta.” She walked out of the kitchen.
Jen stood, staring after her friend.
Could Brie be right?
Would Hagan ask her out again? And if he did, should she go?
She strayed to the door of the dining room and her gaze narrowed in on Hagan like a homing device. His strawberry blond head bowed low, he sat listening to the constant chatter of his young dining partner.
Jen waited for a moment for him to glance at her. When he didn’t, she searched the table for an open seat.
Why would he want her? She had nothing to offer.
Yes, some men might find her attractive because of the funds she’d received from Craig’s life insurance. However, as a doctor with a successful practice, Hagan didn’t need her money.
“Mrs. Larson, sit by me.” Ethan’s reminder of her married named slashed through her desire to get serious with any man. She nodded and strayed forward. Her marriage to Craig hadn’t been perfect. So why fall into the same old trap with a new guy? Maybe the EWC members’ opinions about dating again were right.
She should’ve waited.
Jen walked around Brie, who sat at the end of the table, and slid into the seat next to Ethan. “Everything looks great, Brie.”
“Thanks. Why don’t we past the salad around this way?” Brie handed the bowl to Jen and glanced around the table as if afraid she’d forgotten something.
“Mr. Cheney, can you please put some spaghetti on my plate.” Allison batted her eyes and offered him a shy smile.
Sitting across the table from them, Jen couldn’t help but notice the young girl’s hand sprayed delicately on his arm, the twinkle in her eyes, and the small smile, which fluttered repeatedly over her lips.
How could anyone resist her youthful charm?
Jen gripped the tongs a little tighter, angry for being jealous of a seven-year-old. She selected a few extra croutons and stared at the green leaves.
A man as sexy as Hagan could have any woman he wanted—one less than half his age. He didn’t need her problems, money, or hang-ups about having kids. He could choose a wife who would gladly give him a horde of kids.
Good for him. She didn’t need a husband she’d only like to have a little fun.
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Pregnant shopkeeper Jillian Wilson prepares for single parenthood until high-risk security specialist Derrick Harris, the baby’s father, is caught in an explosion that changes everything.
Confused, Derrick returns to the States with amnesia. Jillian believes she has it all a husband, a baby, a perfect life, to bad that her dreams hang on Derrick’s faulty memory and a lie.
“What’s the matter with you?” she asked, setting down their coffees on the counter. “You look flustered. What’s going on?”
Jillian twisted her hands in front of her, trying to hold herself together. “Jason called me this morning. Derek has been hurt.”
The explanation made her think of the pain he must be suffering. “A car exploded, and he was hit by flying debris. He has a concussion. He’s in a hospital in Germany.”
“Wait a second, how did Jason know to call you?” Karen Ann eyed her suspiciously.
“That’s the strange part. Derek is claiming we’re married.” Jillian studied her friend. Could she pull off another lie?
“Married? That’s not what you told me the other night. You said that he left before you got married.”
She couldn’t do it. “I know, but with the blow to the head, his memory is foggy. He can’t remember anything about his last assignment.”
Karen Ann grabbed Jillian’s arm. “What have you done?”
“I told Jason we were married,” she confided tearfully.
She wiped at her tears. “What other choice did I have? He remembers marrying me. He wanted to marry me, he would have married me. I’m the one that got cold feet. I can’t let him down.” She begged for understanding. “You can’t tell anyone the truth.”
Karen Ann picked up her coffee. Jillian waited, uncertain as to how her friend would handle this news. “You know you’re asking for trouble.” She sipped her coffee then set it back down. “But you’re my best friend, so, yes, I’ll keep your secret.”
She sighed with relief and hugged her friend. “You’re the best.”
“I know.” Karen Ann grinned. “So when is your husband due back?”
Jillian drew in a deep breath. “Saturday. I called Michael this morning and told him about Derek. He’s coming down Friday so he can drive me to Dallas the next day. We’ll close the store early on Saturday.”
“Does Michael know about the baby?” Karen Ann leaned against the counter.
“No, I wanted to save some news for when Derek gets home.” Jillian shook her head. “Jason already wants his brother to stay in Dallas to keep us apart. But I know he’ll never go for it.”
Karen Ann’s eyes widened. “Then you want him to come live here with you?”
“Yes. Where else would he live? After all, we’re married,” Jillian reminded her friend, and tried to drill it into her own head.
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Susan York faces the biggest decision of her life.
“A baby or college?”
Unmarried and confused, Susan is not looking for a
guy. She only wants to get through her classes without getting sick.
Colt Lefevour needs help with his English Lit homework until he discovers Susan is
pregnant. Hurt from his ex-girlfriend aborting his baby, he wants to be the
father of Susan’s baby, but can he convince her to let him help.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me, Kelly. He’s a smart guy. Why would he need me to help him with the class?” Susan watched the blade of the knife go through the onion. She was glad her job in Kelly and Jason’s household didn’t include cooking. Kelly had insisted she liked the chore. Susan, as the maid, only had to clean up.
“Jason is a smart guy, too. But he can’t spell worth a damn,” Kelly said around the matchstick in her mouth. Susan really didn’t believe the technique kept the tears away.
“Yes, but Jason loves you.” Susan wondered if anyone could not find Kelly loveable. Besides being a beautiful blonde with blue eyes and a killer figure, she was smart. Too bad she…
“Maybe, but when we were teamed up together in the master’s program, he was a royal pain.” Kelly threw the match in the trash. “I think the man went out of his way to find big words to use in our report so he could ask me how to spell them.” She scooped onion pieces off the cutting board and put them into a skillet. “And believe me, he was just like Colt. Jason wanted me to go out with him, and he thought if he pestered me enough, I’d give in.”
“So what should I do?” Susan shifted on the wooden barstool to get more comfortable. The baby rolled over and stretched. The soft pressure against the wall of her abdomen drew her hand to her stomach. “The man is hot. I’ll never be able to resist him.”
“What’s wrong?” Concern rang in Kelly’s voice.
“Nothing, why?” Susan said, confused by the quick shift in topics.
“You had a funny look on your face.” Kelly picked up the green bell pepper and started chopping.
“Oh, the baby is moving.”
“Really?” Kelly’s eyes lit up.
Susan knew how much Kelly wanted to have a baby. It was part of the reason she was living with Kelly and Jason. “Do you want to feel the power of an all-star kicker?”
“Yes.” Kelly put down her knife and walked around the counter.
Her hand must have alerted the baby, because a kick hit Kelly’s palm.
“It must be amazing to feel a little person growing inside you,” Kelly said in awe.
“Usually.” Susan shrugged. “Sometimes, though, it’s more discomfort than amazement. Like at night when the baby wakes me, or during the day when he lays on my bladder. Sometimes I feel like an alien is invading my body, with demands I can’t meet.”
“You know you don’t have to face this alone. Jason and I will help you in any way we can, even if you don’t want to let us adopt your baby.” Kelly placed her hand on Susan’s shoulder. “You know we think of you as part of the family.”
“Yes, but…” Susan didn’t want to go over this again, but she still didn’t know what she should do. “If I keep the baby, how will I be able to go to school and get a degree? And if I let you and Jason adopt it, my parents will never forgive me.”
Susan ran her hand along the edge of the cold granite countertop. “You know my dad. He still refuses to talk to me.”
“He’ll come around.” Kelly walked back into the kitchen. The scent of onions filled the room when she stirred them in the pan. “You have to give him a little time, and try to see it from his point of view. Not only does he feel like he’s losing you, but he thinks he’s losing his grandchild too.”
“But why can’t he see this as a decision I have to make for myself? I want to get an education so I can make a good living, but I can’t if I’m trying to take care of a baby.”
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Susan York faces the biggest decision of her life. “A baby or college?”
Unmarried and confused, Susan is not looking for a guy. She only wants to get through her classes without getting sick.
Colt Lefevour needs help with his English Lit homework until he discovers Susan is pregnant. Hurt from his ex-girlfriend aborting his baby, he wants to be the father of Susan’s baby, but can he convince her to let him help.
Excerpt from Baby Decision
Susan took in his relaxed stance. He stood, leaning back against their professor’s desk. With a strong, athletic body, he looked like good sex wrapped in soft worn jeans. His attitude, almost cocky, seemed to disappear when he smiled. Add in his sandy blond hair and green eyes, and she could easily see why women found him hard to resist. Her breasts tightened with longing. She marveled at the feeling, which had deserted her the last few months. Her stomach, on the other hand, rumbled loudly with distaste.
She’d noticed most of the girls in the class wanted to win his favor. He’d been nice to all, but he still remained unattached, which only added to his appeal.
A quick surge from her abdomen caused Susan to grab her purse. She couldn’t make it to the end of his speech. Bolting from her seat, she sped to the classroom door.
She ran down the hall, bent on getting to the bathroom. After six months of pregnancy, she should be used to getting sick at the drop of a hat.
Once in a bathroom stall, she dropped her purse and allowed her body its release. She gripped the cold, ceramic toilet with her hands to hold herself erect.
She gasped in air after her stomach emptied itself. “I hate this,” she mumbled, flushing the toilet.
Coming out of the stall, her reflection in the mirror hit her in the face. A sigh escaped. She looked awful. She swished back her dark brown hair and turned on the faucet. Cold water stung her face when she splashed it against her skin and rivulets slid down her pasty white cheeks. Her hair hung limply over her shoulders, lifeless and dull. The red lipstick she’d added to her lips this morning to give them color completed the picture…an ugly Gothic queen.
She couldn’t believe the girl in the mirror had been called beautiful only a few weeks ago. But then, the guy only wanted to get laid. He hadn’t known she wasn’t in the market for any man.
The door to the bathroom squeaked opened, and she turned.
“Gosh, Susan, are you all right?” Tracy, a cute blonde from Susan’s class, rushed forward.
“Yes, I’m fine.” Susan pulled paper towels from the dispenser and patted the moisture from her face.
“Well, you should have seen Colt’s face when you went barreling out of class. I thought he was going to take off after you. He just stood there, staring at the door.” Tracy dropped her jaw and opened her eyes wide in a parody of shock.
Tracy laughed at her silly face in the mirror. “Mrs. Murphy had to tell him to continue. Then when class was over, he helped me gather up your stuff.” She dropped Susan’s book bag on the counter with a thud. “The man must really have the hots for you.”
The admiration in Tracy’s eyes didn’t help Susan feel any better. She didn’t welcome his concern. Now, because of it, she’d have to apologize for running out on his speech.
Even worse, she’d have to endure the scent of his cologne again.
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