Monday, December 26, 2016

New Preorder from Jennifer Skully & Bella Andre!

Happy holidays to everyone! I hope you’re enjoying the season!

First, let’s talk about joining my newsletter! You’ll get 3 free books just for signing up! So expect a couple of welcome letters to start giving you all the details. Here’s where you can join and start getting free books: Oh, and of course you’ll learn about contests, new releases, and all that cool stuff as well!

And now Irresistible in Love, the story you’ve all been waiting for! Evan and the woman of his dreams. The woman who is not his bitchy soon-to-be ex-wife. The woman who has been his sister-in-law for the last 8 years...and now he wants her to be more. This is the story Bella and I have been dying to write! Preorder Irresistible in Love, Maverick Billionaires Book 4, coming to you March 8, 2017! Reserve your copy today!

And oh yes, I’ve been dying to write this story. I’ve been feeling Evan’s pain through three books, and I couldn’t wait for things to explode. Because inevitably they had to! Evan couldn’t just keep on taking the crap his wife Whitney kept dealing out. So now you have it, what really happened! I think you’re going to be totally surprised when the truth about Whitney finally comes out!

Evan Collins is the man with the Midas touch. Having left his hard childhood behind him, the tech genius vowed to one day have everything. But when he discovers his marriage is built on lies, the only people he can trust now are the Mavericks—and the woman who has always been there for him: Paige, the sister of his soon-to-be ex-wife.

The blurb…

Paige Ryan has always loved Evan Collins, a secret she’s hugged close to her heart for nine long years. But when her sister's devastating betrayal is revealed, Paige can’t keep her feelings hidden any longer.

Paige is a beacon of light for Evan. Despite believing he needs to keep the walls around his heart stronger than ever, he's irresistibly drawn to her sweet, pure heart—and the undeniable sparks flaring between them. She's the only one he trusts to help him face the darkness of his past head-on before it destroys him. But will their forbidden romance end up destroying them both?

Preorder Irresistible in Love here: Kindle  Kindle UK  Kindle CA  Kindle AU  iBooks  iBooks UK  iBooks AU  iBooks CA  Nook  Google Play  Kobo

More in the series…

Breathless in Love (Will and Harper)

Reckless in Love (Sebastian and Charlie)

Fearless in Love  (Matt and Ari)

Irresistible in Love  (Evan & Paige) coming 2017

Wild in Love (Daniel) coming 2017

Check out all our current Freebies available everywhere!

She’s Gotta Be Mine is FREE! Try Book 1 of the Cottonmouth Series.

Dead to the Max, Max Starr Series, Book 1 is free!

Try Invitation to Seduction, the first book in the Open Invitation Triology for FREE!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Courtesans Tales coming back to you!

Have you joined my newsletter yet?! Well, if you haven’t, you’re missing out on free books! All my newsletter subscribers get 3 free books! Right now they are Beauty or the Bitch, Somebody’s Lover, and Twisted by Love. They’re FREE just for joining my newsletter! You’ll hear about new releases, contests, and all the current freebies I’m currently running on all the retailer sites. So join up! Here’s where to go (so to speak)!

So now let me tell you all about the Courtesans Tales!

I recently got the rights back from Berkley for the three anthologies in the Courtesans Tales. So I’m bringing them to use with new covers, new blurbs, and putting each story out individually so you can enjoy them one at a time without having to buy 3 all at once! These are sexy stories all based the kinky fantasy some women may have: getting paid for sex (not that we’d ever actually do it!). Now, of course, if you did have that fantasy, you’d want a sexy, handsome, to-die-for guy, right! And all my heroes are to absolutely to die for! Mouthwatering. Not to mention smart, funny, successful, and rich! And make no mistake, these are sensual romances with the requisite HEA, though it might be a little unusual. They’re all stand-alone, but they’re connected by the elegant, classy agency “Courtesans.” Here’s a little bit about Courtesans.

A glitzy, sensual world of powerful people and the courtesans they’ll pay anything to have.

An exclusive and secret agency, for over two hundred years Courtesans has specialized in providing entertainment of a sexual nature. Its clients are rich, powerful, and influential men and women, and one only meets a courtesan through referral from trusted sources. Courtesans facilitates bringing together men and women to satisfy any sexual need imaginable, matching the perfect courtesan with just the right client. The agency prides itself on training its courtesans, male and female, to interpret and fulfill its client’s greatest fantasies, even the secret ones no one dares to say aloud. The price is high, but everyone who’s ever had the pleasure of a date with a courtesan will agree, the fantasy is worth every penny. And sometimes it changes your life.

Stories to make you blush…

To start, I’ve put the first three books up all at once, the rest to follow (9 tales in all) in coming months.

The Girlfriend Experience, Courtesans Tales Book 1

When a friend tells Marianna about life as a courtesan, Marianna wants it. Thrust into a world of powerful men, she holds all the power.

A widower, Chase seeks to ease his pain in insignificant relationships. Until he treats Marianna like his girlfriend rather than a courtesan.

Now Marianna learns that money doesn’t buy self-worth. And it’s the reason she’ll lose the man who is worth everything.

Payback, Courtesans Tales Book 2

When Dominique Lowe’s husband of 15 years divorces her for a younger model, she finds the perfect revenge. She becomes a courtesan, to show her husband she’s far more woman than he could handle.

High-priced, with even higher standards, when Gabriel Price refuses to pay her worth, he becomes the man she must have.

Now Dominique must learn that power doesn’t buy happiness, but love is worth everything.

Triple Play, Courtesans Tales Book 3

Can a three-time loser at marriage (and a courtesan) find love? When Noelle St. James finds Dax Deacon, the answer may very well be yes. If she can survive the sex games that Dax wants to play.

And here’s where you can these elegant, classy, kinky, erotic tales:

The Girlfriend Experience, Courtesans Tales Book 1
Read an excerpt

Payback, Courtesans Tales Book 2
Read an excerpt

Triple Play, Courtesans Tales Book 3
Read an excerpt


Dead to the Max, Max Starr Series, Book 1 is free!

She’s Gotta Be Mine is FREE! Try Book 1 of the Cottonmouth Series.

Try Invitation to Seduction, the first book in the Open Invitation Triology for FREE!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Contest! Win a Kindle Fire!

To celebrate fall and the release of my new book Love Affair to Remember, I’ve teamed up with more than 40 fantastic erotic romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels, PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner! 

You can win Somebody’s Lover, Jackson Brothers Book 1, plus books from such fabulous authors as Sydney Landon, Marie Force, J. Kenner, Lorelei James, Lara Adrian, and Evangeline Anderson.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here:

When you’re done, leave a comment to let me know you’ve entered! I’d love to know!

The contest opens Oct 17 and ends Oct 24! Good luck, and enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2016

New Release! Excerpt Love Affair to Remember Chapter One!

A couple of weeks ago, I gave an excerpt of the prologue for Love Affair to Remember, After Office Hours Book 2! To celebrate the books release, let’s do an excerpt from Chapter One! Where you’ll catch up with Jordana from Desire Actually and learn more about Ivy (who will be starring in Book 3, Pretty in Pink Slip).

If you’ll remember from the last blog (you can pop back there to read the prologue if you haven’t already), Parker Hunt is interviewing with Gloria King. And there is major history there! And Parker got the job…

So away we go with Chapter One!

Love Affair To Remember
After Office Hours, Book 2
© 2016 Jennifer Skully
Chapter One

“All right, out with it, you’re bursting.” In Gloria’s opinion, Jordana Davis was almost manic.

She often had lunch with Jordana, but this was the first time they’d invited Ivy Elliott. Until recently, Jordana had been the Human Resources admin, but a couple of weeks ago, she was promoted to manager. While still working as Grady Masterson’s assistant, Ivy had stepped in to cover some of Jordana’s administrative duties.

It had also been close to the same length of time since Gloria’s interview with Parker.

He’d gotten the job. And he was starting on Monday. How on earth had the second week of September come around so fast? She would have only the weekend to prepare herself.

She wasn’t sure she could deal with him as well as she’d told herself she would.

Jordana lowered her voice, which wasn’t necessary since the noise in the Chinese restaurant they’d chosen was amplified by concrete floors and a warehouse ceiling of bare pipes and vents. It was a Thursday workday, the tables were full, the scent of cooking food set off choruses of stomach growls, and the din around them was like a bubble protecting their voices. “This is top secret.” Jordana held out her hand. “Pinkie swear you won’t tell anyone. An-y-one,” she stressed.

“Pinkie swear?” Gloria laughed, looking at Jordana’s crooked pinkie. “I haven’t done that since I was ten years old.” She wasn’t even sure modern children knew about pinkie swearing. She was old enough to be Jordana’s mother, though she felt more like a big sister, despite the eighteen-year age difference. And despite their coloring. Where Gloria was blond, Jordana had silky brunette hair to be envied.

“My daughter has started pinkie swearing on everything.” Ivy groaned. “Like not giving her peas for dinner. Or letting her play with my iPad before she goes to bed.”

That answered the question. Pinkie swearing was universal. Gloria didn’t know Ivy’s exact age. She hadn’t spent as much time with her as she had with Jordana. But with Ivy’s bobbed dark hair, Gloria figured the woman for midthirties, and of course, she’d seen all the pictures of an adorable, dark-haired little girl decorating Ivy’s cubicle. She assumed there wasn’t a husband since there was no ring on Ivy’s finger and no photos of a man.

Ivy crooked her pinkie through Jordana’s. “I’ll swear. Now dish.”

Gloria laughed and swore, too. “Top secret.” She zipped her lips.

It felt good to be with the two of them. Accepted. She hadn’t felt that way in ages. She was glad Jordana had added Ivy to their twosome.

Jordana breathed dramatically. “Grady and I are dating.”

Gloria almost dropped her Chinese tea cup. Ivy punched the air, exclaiming, “I knew it.”

“You did not.” Jordana eyed her.

Ivy pointed her finger. “He looked at you. A lot.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

“It was the way he looked at you. Like he was having thoughts that weren’t even remotely work-related.”

Jordana leaned in to whisper, “Do you think Rhonda noticed?”

Ivy flapped her hand. “No. But I saw you both a lot more than she did.”

Rhonda was Jordana’s boss, and she hadn’t been happy at all when Jordana was promoted to manager a few weeks ago. That had been Brett’s doing. Although Gloria liked to think she had a hand in backing the whole thing. Which was why she was on Rhonda’s hit list, too.

“We’re planning to tell both Rhonda and Brett tomorrow.”

“Friday. Right. Good idea,” Ivy said. “It’ll give Rhonda the weekend to cool down.”

The weekend. That would change everything. Starting Monday, Gloria would have to see Parker just about every day. In meetings. The Monday staff meeting.

She had to stop thinking about how gorgeous Parker had been in that interview, that if he’d changed, it was only for the better.

Ivy rolled her eyes, heavy on the drama. “I do not want to see what Rhonda’s like right after you tell her.”

“Well, I wanted you guys to know first.” Jordana made a face that mirrored Ivy’s drama. “Especially because you’re going to have to work with her, Ivy.”

“I’m very happy for you,” Gloria said. She meant every word.

“Thank you.” Jordana squeezed her hand. “That means a lot.”

Jordana had been good to her from the first week they’d both started at their new jobs over nine months ago. They were the new girls. Jordana had never looked down on Gloria for being older. They were friends, with no qualifications whatsoever.

Their food arrived, thrown on the table by two of the wait staff carrying plates for at least three other orders.

“I’m worried about Rhonda’s backlash.” Jordana started them off by spooning out broccoli chicken for herself, and they all passed the different dishes. The mixed aroma of the spices was like perfume.

“I’m not going to lie and say Rhonda will handle it well.” Ivy didn’t pull any of her punches. “She’ll make your life miserable.”

Gloria had so many questions. How long had this been going on? And what about Grady’s wife? A sharp pain reached under her ribcage. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I wasn’t sure what was happening myself. And you know how you just can’t talk about something that you haven’t figured out for yourself.”

She knew exactly what Jordana meant. Gloria didn’t have a lot of friends. She was too career-oriented. And then there was the divorce. She hadn’t wanted to hang with women who trashed their exes, and many of the friends she’d had before the divorce were couples, belonging to the two of them. The few friends of her own had drifted away because she couldn’t talk about what happened. She couldn’t explain. There was just too much guilt.

God, she was getting maudlin. Or maybe it was seeing Parker again after all these years. She’d been thinking too much about him since that interview a couple of weeks ago. Now he was starting on Monday. God. How would she handle it?

She couldn’t talk to Jordana. She couldn’t admit what had happened between her and Parker. So yes, she knew exactly what Jordana meant. There were some things you had to sort out for yourself before you could talk to anyone else.

“Besides, Grady was married,” Ivy added, as if that explained everything.

“His wife left him before anything happened between us.” Jordana’s tone was defensive. “I would never give a married man the time of day.”

Gloria felt that same stab under her ribcage. No, she couldn’t tell Jordana what she’d done to ruin her marriage. It didn’t matter that it had been only one night, one huge mistake.

“That’s my point.” Ivy’s plate was almost empty, as if she wanted leftovers to take home. “You had to keep it a secret because no one knew his wife had walked out. Even I hadn’t figured that out, not until she showed up the other day.” She put her hand over her mouth. “God, your face, Jordana. I thought you were going to faint when you saw her.”

Jordana pointed at Ivy, her smile wide. “See, that’s why I invited Ivy. I don’t have to explain anything. She says it all for me.”

Not really. Gloria was still confused. “Tell all, girlfriend.” It felt good to use that word, to be with friends. She needed friends, even if she couldn’t tell them anything about herself, about her past, about her mistakes. “I’m not getting the clear picture.”

So Jordana gave them the blow by blow of what had happened, though Gloria had a feeling there were quite a few explicit details left out.

“It was like a bat to the head. I didn’t see it coming.” Jordana blushed, smiled, at first a small one, until it stretched across her face. “But I totally fell in love with him.” She snapped her fingers. “Just like that.”

Ivy high-fived her. “He’s a good guy.” Then she widened her eyes and pursed her lips. “And let me tell you I know about the bad ones. You’re really lucky.”

Everyone had a story, and Ivy’s didn’t sound like it had a happy ending.

“I agree. Grady’s one of the good guys.” Gloria remembered how falling for someone could be exactly like a bat to the head. All those emotions tumbling around inside, the ones you pretended weren’t there, until suddenly you were completely overwhelmed.

She’d done everything she could to make up for the terrible mistake. It hadn’t worked.

Honestly, she didn’t dwell on the past or think incessantly about that night. She didn’t go over and over her regrets and her mistakes. But seeing Parker Hunt’s name on that interview list had pried the lid off all her guilt, all her emotions, turning them raw again.

Jordana’s happiness over having found Grady made her feel every single minute of the five lonely years since her divorce. And before that, too. From the moment she’d made that monumental mistake with Parker. She’d had a comfortable happiness once upon a time, no strife, no emotional upheavals. Then she ruined it with one night of passion. She didn’t deserve a second chance. In fact, since the divorce, she’d buried any hints of passion deep inside herself.

“You okay, Gloria?” Jordana pushed a plate of steamed vegetables at her.

“I’m great.” She wouldn’t dampen the atmosphere. They were here to celebrate. “I’m happy for you. This is wonderful.”

“Yeah, well, we’ll see after my meeting with Rhonda,” Jordana said with just the right amount of snark.

“You want to get a drink after work in case you need to talk?” Gloria included Ivy in the invitation as well.

“I would,” Jordana said. “But I’m having dinner with Grady. We need to compare notes and see if we both still have jobs.”

“Don’t let Rhonda bulldoze you,” Gloria warned. “You’re not doing anything wrong.” Rhonda was like a piece of heavy machinery chewing up everything in its path. “You’re being above board by telling them. You don’t report to Grady. You’re not in his chain of command in any way.”

“Rhonda will find something. Like I’ll give him a raise or a bonus when she’s not looking.”

“You can remind her that I send all the updates to payroll now.” Ivy’s dark eyes were bright, as if she were sitting ringside for an electrifying fight.

“Brett knows how many checks and balances we have for payroll.” Not to mention the fact that Gloria herself reviewed expenses for any huge anomalies.

Jordana punched out her fists at both of them. “I knew there was a reason I had to tell you two. You make me feel better already.”

“You’re seriously worried about Rhonda?”

Maybe Jordana was. Just a few weeks ago, Gloria had encouraged Jordana to ask for an office instead of a cubicle, which she needed with all the confidential data she handled. Jordana had gotten the office and the promotion. Which pissed Rhonda off. So yes, there was a possibility of backlash.

But Jordana totally surprised her. “I don’t want anyone to think Grady and I were having an affair.”

Gloria’s heart gave a big whomp and flopped down to her stomach. “No one’s going to think that.” But of course they would.

She’d worried about the same thing after her one night with Parker. It kept her awake at nights. It was why she’d left Sunderland. Everything Jordana said made her more acutely aware of her guilt.

Ivy, even if she was probably over ten years younger than Gloria, said the wise thing. “As long as Brett doesn’t think you’re violating any company policies, why do you care what everyone else says?” She smiled softly at Jordana, as if she had wishes no one ever granted. “Are you happy?”

“Hell, yes.” Jordana’s face was all shining light and joy.

Gloria didn’t have a clue why she hadn’t seen it before. She and Jordana had lunch right after that interview with Parker, and she hadn’t noticed a thing. She’d been too preoccupied with her own stuff. Wallowing.

Dammit, she was going to share in the joy. What happened with Parker was five years and nine months behind her. Her divorce was five years in the past, too. This was now. She might not deserve the happiness that Jordana had found, but she wasn’t going to drag herself down. She especially wouldn’t drag her friends with her.

Holding up her water glass, she said, “A toast. To you and Grady.”

“And to Rhonda not becoming a raving monster.” Ivy clinked her glass.

“To everyone being as happy for you guys as we are. Raise your glass,” Gloria ordered.

Jordana did. “Yeah. To us.” She leaned in. “God, I’m so crazy about him.”

Gloria couldn’t remember how that felt. She only remembered being crazy.


Hope you enjoyed catching up with the gang from Desire Actually! Here’s where you can get Love Affair to Remember, available now!

If you haven’t caught up, here’s where you can snap up Desire Actually, After Office Hours Book 1


Dead to the Max, Max Starr Series, Book 1 is free!

She’s Gotta Be Mine is FREE! Try Book 1 of the Cottonmouth Series.

Try Invitation to Seduction, the first book in the Open Invitation Triology for FREE!
Kobo  Nook 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Excerpt! Love Affair to Remember Prologue!

Coming to you on October 12, Love Affair to Remember, After Office Hours Book 2! Thanks to Rae Monet for this fabulous cover. I LOVE it!

When I was writing Desire Actually, Book 1 in the After Office Hours series, I got hooked on Gloria King’s character. If you’ll recall, she was the CFO. I love a lot of things about her: She’s confident and secure, she’s made it in a man’s world, and she’s a mature woman. I love writing about strong, mature women. Gloria’s just about to turn 48, and she’s still elegant and sexy in addition to being smart. And Gloria has a secret by the name of Parker Hunt. Hmm, I was dying to know exactly what went on between these two in the past… And how would that affect their future? So I just had to write Love Affair to Remember. Here’s a blurb to give you a hint of what happened!

What if one night ruined your whole life?

In one sizzling night of forbidden passion, Gloria King set fire to her comfortable life and watched it be consumed in the conflagration. The man who lit the match—Parker Hunt.

And now Parker is back.

More than five years have passed since Parker has seen Gloria, but the passion between them is undeniable. And he’ll do anything to have a new chance to get it right, if only he can convince Gloria to trust her heart.

Gloria has pieced her life back together after their forbidden night. But Parker is still the only man in the world with whom Gloria can never look for happiness, no matter how badly she might want it. If only she could resist his magnetism, forget the delicious taste of his kiss and the sweetness of his caress…

Can a single night of passion born in shame become a lifetime of love?

Anything can happen After Office Hours…

Hmm, so what do you think happened!!?? As an excerpt, I’m going to give you a taste of the prologue from Love Affair to Remember. In Desire Actually, Gloria and Jordana discuss Gloria’s interview with Parker Hunt, who is applying for the position of Marketing VP. So here, you get to see exactly what went on in that interview!

Love Affair To Remember

After Office Hours, Book 2

© 2016 Jennifer Skully


He was gorgeous. As perfect as the day they’d first met, as the day she’d last seen him. As gorgeous as he was that night.

His hair had been all dark then, but the few strands of gray now peppered through the earthy brown made him seasoned, more desirable, even mouthwatering. But it was his eyes she remembered the most, a penetrating sapphire as deep as the ocean seen through a cloudless sky from a plane thirty thousand feet high. Looking in them had sometimes made her dizzy. Beneath the black suit, white dress shirt, and red tie, he still wore the same toned body, without an ounce of fat gained in the more than five years since they’d worked together.

Since she’d made that one terrible mistake and her life had changed utterly.

With only the width of her desk separating them, Parker Hunt was too much. Too handsome, too sexy. Too much history, too many memories. Just too everything.

“Gloria King.” He said it as if he was finally getting over the shock of seeing her on his interview agenda. “It’s been a long time.” His whisky-smooth voice was as potent as ever.

How on earth had she thought she could handle working with him again? But the company had moved too far along the interview chain to put a stop to it. Besides, they were both different people now. She was different. Scarred by her own guilt and by everything she’d lost. She would never allow anything like that to happen again. Not with anyone. Especially not with Parker Hunt.

Even if she hadn’t dated anyone in the five years since her divorce.

Even if she’d never forgotten Parker.

“I was very glad to see you on the interview list.” Gloria pushed back slightly from her desk, crossing her legs. She hadn’t dressed specifically for him. Three other interviews had been scheduled for the day. But Parker looked at her, and her feminine side was happy that she’d changed five times this morning and finally settled on a less businesslike skirt and blouse.

With another man, the appreciative look would have been a warning sign. You didn’t hire an executive who ogled a woman right there in her office. But Parker wasn’t just any executive. She might have ruined her life over him, but if he hadn’t given her a second glance, her forty-seven-year-old heart—forty-eight in October, only a few weeks away—would have stopped beating.

She put them cleanly on the business level by saying, “I’ve read through your resume.” Not that she’d needed to look at it. Parker would make a top-notch VP of Marketing. He worked outside the box, not just with new releases but in searching out alternate applications for current products. He would be an asset. “But I’d rather hear straight from you what you’ve been doing since you left Sunderland.”

Sunderland was the company they’d both worked for. Until Gloria couldn’t work there anymore. When she could no longer see Parker day in and day out without the crushing weight of her guilt. And the fear that she’d succumb to her own selfish passions again.

He smiled his too-gorgeous smile. “I didn’t move around much after Sunderland. Same company for the past five years.”

There was so much she wanted to ask him, especially about his bare ring finger and its lack of telltale tan line, indicating he hadn’t worn a wedding ring in quite some time. But she wouldn’t ask what had happened. Couldn’t. She noticed he hadn’t even looked at her hand.

“So why did you leave your last job?” She waggled her fingers at the resume on her desk. “Besides wanting to explore your opportunities.” Which was a meaningless artifact everyone added to their details so they didn’t have to say they’d been fired or hated their boss or they were bored out of their minds. With Parker, she assumed it was none of those reasons.

Putting his elbows on the arms of his chair, he steepled his fingers. “Do you want something Brett Baker will find palatable? Or the truth?”

Brett Baker was their CEO. The Silicon Valley startup was relatively large in employee headcount, considering that they wouldn’t begin shipping the final product for three and a half months, at the beginning of the new year. Their funding was decent, though Brett was always reviewing options. His greatest strengths were his integrity and his fair-mindedness. But he didn’t take anyone’s crap either.

“The truth would be good. And I know full well you’ll give Brett the same answer.”

He grinned. “With a little varnish.”

“All right, give me the totally unvarnished version.” She settled back, the sun falling on her head. She hadn’t closed the blinds and the office was small. None of the executives had sumptuous digs with massive furniture and plush d├ęcor. Her conference table supported four at most, and she’d borrowed a chair from that grouping for Parker. You were provided a space large enough to fit your needs, but they hadn’t skimped on the hardware. Her computer was state-of-the-art, her desk equipped with an ergonomic keyboard and her chair providing proper support.

It was nothing like Sunderland, but there she’d been only a controller and Parker was a marketing director. They’d both moved up in the ensuing years. Until their universes once again converged. It could be a cataclysm worse than the collision that wiped out the dinosaurs.

“Unvarnished it is.” His gaze tracked her face, from her eyes to her mouth, turning the word into something sexual with just a look.

Or maybe she was turning everything sexual because she was starved for male attention.

“Brett knows,” Parker went on, “that I didn’t see eye to eye with my former CEO.”

“And he didn’t think it was a warning sign?”

Parker splayed his hands in the air. “He appreciated the honesty. But in the unvarnished version, the guy was a dickhead.”

Her lips curled in a slight smile. Parker answered it just as slightly. They’d both known their share of dickheads at Sunderland, and they’d both had a tolerance for them. You couldn’t walk out every time you encountered a difficult boss or coworker or employee, or you’d never keep a job. “You were there for almost five years. So what changed?”

“Profits changed. Or should I say losses. About nine months ago, orders started falling off. People want product improvement, new bells and whistles, and we weren’t keeping up anymore.”

Nine months. Just when Gloria was changing jobs. Why did that seem like a portent for this moment, as if they’d been walking a path destined to bring them together again?

He shrugged, shook his head with feigned sadness. “I worked as well as I could with him. But you have to spend money to make money. And the product suffered even more. Until the quarter was so bad, he wanted me to pull orders in from the following month to make the numbers look better.”

“Robbing Peter to pay Paul. It’s happened before.” She’d been known to call customers to ask if they’d be willing to take an early shipment.

“Yeah,” he said on a sharp breath. “But the product was still in QC and wouldn’t make it out the door till the following week. He just wanted me to authorize my customer service group to do the invoicing.”

There was negligence, and then there was downright fraud. You just couldn’t bill for stuff you hadn’t shipped. “What did your CFO say?”

Parker blew out a disgusted pfft of air. “He was a yes man. Since the shipments were completed, even though not tested, he was okay with it.”

“Well, gee,” she said, dousing the words with sarcasm. “Why don’t we just invoice for everything that’s in the warehouse since it’s completed and will eventually ship on an order?”

He smiled with her. God, that smile. It turned her heart inside out just as it always had. She had to stop looking at him. “I refused to have my customer service people involved,” he said. “Told the bosses that if they wanted it, then Accounting would have to do the invoicing. They backed down but the writing was on the wall.”

She understood perfectly. “Why’d you leave Sunderland, though?” He’d enjoyed the job, and there was a good possibility he’d have made it to the executive staff in a short time.

The silence was as screeching as nails on a chalkboard. And the look he gave her scorched. “I left fairly soon after you did.”

She wouldn’t touch that one with a silicon oven mitt that handled up to five-hundred-degree temperatures. She’d cut all her ties with that job. She hadn’t returned friends’ calls. She’d pulled her blinds down over everything that had to do with Sunderland.

It hadn’t worked. She’d still ended up divorced. Alone. And guilty.

“Well,” she said with ridiculous brightness. “What can I tell you about us? You’d be a great fit. I know you’ll bring dynamic ideas to the mix. There’s a lot of opportunity here. And Brett’s a good man. You won’t get any of those invoicing shenanigans under his watch.” She sounded like a cheerleader on speed.

Parker didn’t seem to notice. Or he was too polite to mention it. “How’s your executive team? The unvarnished version.”

“Unvarnished,” she said softly, thinking about Rhonda Clark, VP of Human Resources. “What did you think of Rhonda?”

He smiled without curving his lips. “Is that a subliminal message?”

For a very short time, they talked without saying anything, with just a look. Gloria had always felt that if nothing was acknowledged, if it was never said aloud, you had the thing totally in hand.

Maybe that’s why her emotions had burned out of control so quickly. In that one single night.

And why everything had gone so wrong afterward. Because, while she thought she had control, she was kidding herself.

“Due to our…” She didn’t want to use the word past, or even history, because of everything it implied. What was the right word? She left the sentence hanging, which might have been even worse. “She can be annoying. Everyone else is cooperative, a team player, and all that business.”

“Rah-rah,” he said, and they both laughed.

He could always make her laugh. She’d noticed him the first time—had really seen him—because he made her laugh. But she didn’t want to think about any of that.

“The most important thing is that you’ll never be pushed into unethical practices. And Rhonda is manageable.” She shouldn’t say it, but it was the unvarnished truth. “You’ll charm her into agreeing with you on just about anything.”

He settled deeper into his chair, regarding her with an understated grin she’d call cheeky. “Thank you for that vote of confidence. I appreciate the good word you’ve put in with Brett.”

“I didn’t put in a good word. I haven’t even told him we worked together.”

He regarded her for a long moment, emotion in his eyes that she couldn’t decipher. “Why?”

“I didn’t want to influence the selection process.” She hadn’t been able to decide how much to say. In truth, she hadn’t known how she’d react to Parker after all these years. And now she’d reacted the same as she had the first time. And the last time. The difference was more than five years in between, and the fact that she wasn’t the same woman anymore. “I’ll tell him after this. And that you’ll be a good fit. There’s nothing else really to say.”


“Nothing that has any bearing on how well you do your job.”

His facial expression shifted, eyes slightly narrowed, a line across his brow. “Can you work with me again, Gloria?”

This was her out. The moment he’d entered her office, she’d wondered if she could handle seeing him day after day. But she wasn’t the same person she’d been. She was stronger because she’d paid for her mistakes. She wouldn’t let her emotions get the better of her. Not this time. Not ever again.

“Of course I can work with you, Parker. We’ve both moved on from Sunderland. We’re different people.” She smiled and rose to her feet. He joined her, and she held out her hand. “I’ll put my vote in for you. You’re the most qualified.”

But when he took her hand in his, the shake lasted far longer than formally necessary. With his touch, the ghost of the woman she’d been unfurled inside her, whispering that her emotions weren’t as dead as she wanted them to be.

* * *

He wasn’t worried about getting the job. His resume was solid, his qualifications impeccable, and just as Gloria had said, he was a good fit.

Everything had fallen into place. He’d found himself on the wrong side of an internal power struggle, and before he’d even updated his resume, he’d learned about this opportunity.

Silicon Valley was a small world with a big grapevine. You heard who went where, when they did it, and why, and he knew the paths Gloria had traveled. He’d learned about her promotion. He’d even heard about her divorce. And he knew her name would be on that agenda before the HR Manager, Jordan Davis, had even handed it to him.

He just hadn’t expected the impact the sight of her would have on him. Her beauty hit with a visceral reminder of everything they’d done, everything he’d felt. Back then, it had been a huge error in judgment. If he could change that, he would. But that was then.

And this was now. Everything was different. Their rings were gone, their debts paid after more than five hard years, and the past was simply that, past. If there were new lines around her eyes, he didn’t see them. She was as luscious as she’d been back then. A couple of years older than him, she hadn’t suffered the fate of physics that many people did as they entered their late forties.

He’d told only one lie throughout the whole interview process.

Because he hadn’t come here for the new job. He hadn’t come to get away from an unethical situation. He hadn’t come for the pre-IPO stock options.

He’d come for Gloria.


And there you have it, the set up for Love Affair to Remember, After Office Hours Book 2! You can find it as an iBooks preorder, coming soon to all other retailers as a preorder, and available on October 12.

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