This is an excerpt for a follow up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller, She Belongs to Me. Though there aren’t really any spoilers, you can bypass this sample and read more about the first book here.
If you missed the first excerpts and want to read the full first chapter, click here.
Last week we ended with…
What would her daughter want in life? Jaynee wondered. Would she want to marry and settle down, or would she choose a different path?
As if hearing her unspoken question, Johanna nudged her. “Did you ask him?”
Jaynee shook her head, and her daughter released a heavy sigh.
“What are you girls whispering?” Jordan asked from the driver’s seat.
“Nothing important,” Jaynee offered, attempting to postpone the discussion. “Johanna just wants to do something with her friend. I told her we’d discuss it tonight.”
She couldn’t lie. Years ago she’d tested their marriage simply by trying to keep something secret; she’d never made that mistake again. But they needed to be alone, not in front of their children for this conversation. Johanna didn’t understand this. She couldn’t appreciate that if she wanted Jaynee to campaign for her, they needed to discuss matters in private.
“Well, I think it is very important,” Johanna retorted.
Jaynee glared at her, imploring her to stop. “Honey, I didn’t mean it’s not important; it’s just something we need to discuss later.” The fact was she wanted her daughter to have alternatives in life. Jaynee’d had several modeling and singing opportunities when she was a teenager. But terrified of failing, she’d walked away from them. Instead, she’d dated idiots and ended up in horrible situations. If she’d made just one of those other choices, she wondered how different her life would have turned out. Her mother had a decent singing voice, even made it on the country charts a couple of times. But her voice was better, and the couple of summers she’d spent traveling with her, she’d always been asked, “So, when are we going to see your name in bright lights?” Jaynee would smile and stare down at her feet. The thought of groupies and stalkers harassing her scared her to death. But then, she’d always wondered, what if.
Jordan patted Johanna’s knee. “Stop fighting with your mother and tell me already.”
“I’ve been offered an opportunity, Daddy.” It was always ‘Daddy’ when she wanted something. She forgot her father used to be a detective, a good one too. Johanna paused, waiting for the word “opportunity” to sink in. “There’s this agency…”
Jaynee caught Jordan’s expression, his brow already furrowed. He wasn’t much on opportunities unless they included academic scholarships, and based on Jaynee’s mother’s history, the word “agency” probably hadn’t thrilled him either.
“Well, the owner…” Johanna cast her eyes at her lap, pulling at an imaginary loose thread on her dress.
Jaynee turned her head to conceal her smile. Her daughter had about two seconds to finish.
“You see, he wants to train me to be an actress.”
As Jordan stopped at an intersection, he made eye contact with Jaynee. She was correct, of course; this wasn’t the place. He was clearly trying to contain his immediate “no” to avoid a conflict before church.
“He assured Mom it wouldn’t cost anything,” she prattled on, oblivious.
Jaynee sighed. The little terror was bringing her in on this, as if she’d had ongoing conversations with the agency.
Jordan’s face reddened, obviously searching for an explanation why she’d do this behind his back. “Jaynee?” His voice cracked in his confusion, since they discussed everything as a couple, as she’d insisted when they first married.
“Nothing has been discussed, Jordan. The owner called and asked if he could train Johanna. I told him we’d talk. I wouldn’t sign her up without speaking with you first. You know that.”
He exhaled a breath. “Jo, your mother is correct. We,” he gestured to himself and Jaynee, “will discuss this, and then the three of us will sit down together, later.”
Johanna crossed her arms. “That means no.”
“No, it means we’ll discuss this later.”
“But you’re just gonna say no,” she pouted.
“If you insist on having this conversation now, you’re correct; my answer will be no. But if you behave like an intelligent young lady and allow your mother and me to discuss this, then…well, I don’t know what will happen, but at least you won’t get an instant ‘no’. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Dad,” she mumbled. She knew not to push him. Jordan doted on his children, but stood firm in his decisions and wouldn’t tolerate disrespect. “I can’t wait until I go away to college…out of this state. Far away…NYU,” she grumbled under her breath.
Jordan ignored her and Jaynee stroked her arm, wanting to tell her I told you so. Jaynee and Johanna got along okay, but the last few months had been difficult. Jordan had mentioned that Johanna was becoming a woman, and it was never good to have two women in one household. He would know. He’d grown up with two older sisters. Because of this, as much as he was one hundred percent male, he had a better understanding of female behavior. He would laugh and inform Jaynee it was what made him such a great husband. She agreed. But then couldn’t help but wonder: If I have such a great husband, why do I feel so awful inside?
Until next time, happy reading!
I love talking about all things books, so please connect with me via one of the links below.