Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Excerpt: Lucky for You by Jayne Denker

It’s where everyone remembers your name—and your mistakes. But the quaint Catskills town of Marsden has a way of inspiring the unlikeliest reunions, flipping the script on the best laid plans, and opening even the most stubborn hearts…

Jordan Leigh’s always had a reputation for being bad news. So she figured it was only a matter of time before she got into serious trouble. But serving house arrest in her hometown of Marsden is truly cruel and unusual punishment. Plus she's under police officer Will Nash's up-close-and-all-too-personal supervision…which could make things worse—or more fun.

To make amends, Jordan throws herself into making nice with her neighbors, taking in stray animals, and helping teenage girls get back on track. But what she really wants is to get on the right track with Will. To do that, she’ll have to show him she's grown up. And if that means making him break his own rules and face down his own fears, she's up for the challenge …

“I came for my cat.”

Will froze in the doorway, one hand still on the knob, as though he wasn’t sure whether to enter his own place or take off immediately. “Are you sure you weren’t arrested for breaking and entering? People usually know enough not to just walk into somebody else’s house.”



Jordan raised an eyebrow.

“I have a microwave. And a mini-fridge.”

“You should lock your door.”

“What for, besides keeping you out?”

“To keep people from getting at your gun, for one thing.”

“I keep that locked up.”

“No kidding.” Then Jordan said nothing, just let the innuendo hang there.

“I thought you’d left,” Will said after a moment.

“I did.”

“And you found out where I lived how?”

“Cam. And Gabe. They think it’s hilarious you live in the backyard, like you ran away from home and moved into the treehouse or something.”

“I suppose Cam left out the part about how he’s back in his old bedroom because Summer took back the house and threw him out.”

“Gabe liked taking him down a notch by telling that little story. I got all the dirt. Your brothers are very amusing.”

“That’s one word for them.”

“What happened after Gabe, anyway? I mean, the farther out you go on your branch of the family tree, the more nuts you find. Seriously, your DNA seems to break down with every subsequent sibling. Gabe’s the only normal one.”

“What do you want, Jordan?”

“I told you. I came for my cat.”

“Fred’s not available right now.”

Alarm flared in her belly. “Did someone call and claim him? Or did you give him away?”

“No. Nobody’s claimed him, and I wouldn’t just give him away. I mean he’s not here. He must be out doing...cat things. Hunting or whatever.”

“Oh.” Her fluttering heart calmed a little. “Well, I still need to talk to you.”

Although Will was in shadow, Jordan was pretty sure she could pinpoint the exact moment his shoulders slumped in resignation. Just a little bit.

“Fine. Do you want to go for a walk, then? Burn off some of this food?”

“No. Are you kidding? It’s friggin’ cold out there. Shut the door.” She sighed. “I swear I won’t jump you.”

Will turned on the lamp in the corner and closed the door, then crossed the room, giving Jordan as wide a berth as possible, dodging around her knees as she sat on the end of the bed, to reach another lamp. Jordan patted the duvet next to her. Instead, Will leaned against his desk, opposite the end of the bed, and crossed his arms and ankles.

“Afraid to get too close to me?” she challenged him.

“I learned my lesson.”

“Okay, obviously it’s still bugging you, so go on. Let it out.”

“Is this what you wanted to talk about?”

“No, but obviously you do.”

“So you’re not here with an explanation for why you took off without telling me? No reason why you never answered my calls and texts, when I was worried about you? And no, you know, apology, which is the acceptable thing to do in situations like this, when you kiss somebody and disappear and then reappear and act like it never happened?”

Wow. He really was still mad about that. “Okay, are you done?”

“For now. I’m leaving room for that apology. Got any of those in that giant bag of words you carry around with you at all times?”

“No, I don’t have an apology. What’s wrong with you?” Irritation transitioned into righteous indignation. Where did this guy get off expecting her to grovel—and for what? Absolutely nothing.

“What’s wrong with me? You mean I’m wrong for thinking that when we make plans to go out on a date, you’d...I don’t know...actually be there?”

Lurching to her feet, Jordan poked will right in the point of the V in his silly pullover. “That word. Right there. That’s why. A date? Why in the world would you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Pull a bait and switch. One minute you’re all over me, and the next you walk away and start planning a date, for God’s sake!”

Will pushed her jabbing finger aside. “What’s wrong with a date?”

“We had the perfect moment. That hookup would have been unbelievably awesome. And you killed it.”

“You wanted a hookup.” Will’s dark eyebrows drew together. “But not a date.”

“Yes! Why is that so hard for you to understand? God, you always overthink everything and just...kill it dead. Why couldn’t you just go with it?”

Jordan’s rant came to an abrupt halt as she stood there, panting, realizing she was way too close to him, but unwilling to step back. She didn’t dare—it would signal retreat. Besides, she didn’t want to. She just wanted to curl her arms under his and up his back to where his shoulder blades met, and pull him closer. She could blame the wine from dinner—wine always made her stupid—but she knew it wasn’t that. What she wanted, more than anything, was to go back to Halloween night and make it go the way she’d wanted it to. Hookup, like she said. Blessed, frenzied hookup. Kisses. Lips, tongues. Taste, touch. Clothes flying, skin-to-skin contact. Everything her body craved. And she knew Will’s did, too. He could act as standoffish as he wanted, but Jordan could see the heat in his eyes when he looked at her. He wanted the same thing. He’d wanted it then, and he wanted it now.

So she did just what she felt like doing—came one step closer. Wrapped herself around his solid form and waited for his arms to enclose her as well. “Just go with it,” she whispered against his mouth.

“I thought you weren’t going to jump me.”

She pecked his soft, soft lips. As nice as she remembered. “Changed my mind.”

Jayne Denker divides her time between working hard to bring the funny in her romantic comedies and raising a young son who's way too clever for his own good. She lives in a small village in western New York that is in no way, shape, or form related to the small village in her Marsden novels Down on Love, Picture This, and Lucky for You. When she's not hard at work on another novel, the social media addict can usually be found frittering away startling amounts of time on Facebook (Jayne Denker Author) and Twitter (@JDenkerAuthor)



Amazon  - CURRENTLY $.99 (In other formats of e-readers as well - Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play)


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