Penny moves back to Miami to start her a job with a list of things to accomplish.
1. Find a place to live.
2. Avoid her gold-digging mother.
3. Reconnect with old high school friends: her best friend Sandra, the dramatic Eva, the dark Michael, her half-brother Wyatt, and her former crush Jay.
Jay may have kept her firmly in the “friend zone”, but that didn’t stop her from wanting more. Her five friends have stood by her through some difficult times and she’ll need their help now to accomplish her first two goals.
As soon as Jay sees Penny, he puts his plan into motion. His investors need to see him with a stable woman, one who isn’t all flash and no brains; Penny fits the bill perfectly. There’s just one hitch—he wants more.
Their pretend date sets off a whirlwind of plots. From mothers who want to control their children’s lives to the loss of her exciting new job, Penny’s world turns upside down. She knows she can overcome all obstacles except one—she’s falling for Jay all over again.
Jay Marshall pressed his lips together as he held the phone. His hands curled into a ball then straightened. He stared out his bay windows overlooking the ocean. Another beautiful day on the beaches of South Florida, not that he cared. Sunshine never filled him with joy. The humidity outside suffocated the spirit, but somehow, with this deal, he’d break free.
“Yes, you’ll see I mean business, Mr. Danvers. My business plans are long term.”
Danvers sucked in his breath, as if he were doubting the sincerity of Jay’s words, then told Jay. “And I’ll meet your girlfriend. It’s always telling with people from Miami. Flashy women and cars do not make good investments on my end.”
Jay gritted his teeth and tugged at his free ear, but kept the phone on the other. Miami advertised plastic women on the highway as a special brand. Flashy came with the area code. Instead he nodded his head and told the potential investor, “I understand. See you next week.”
He hung up the phone and stared out the window. The brightness showed his reflection and his grim frown. Jay needed to win. His eyes squished together. He’d pay the price for success. He had no other choice.
Jay’s mind raced to his technical girlfriend. Eva was the epitome of flashy, beautiful, and fake. She’d been a friend since high school, and two months ago, they’d ended up dating. On paper the award winning dramatic actress, his money, and their history should be a match. Yet he couldn’t imagine his entire life videotaped.
If he walked away from her, there would be no regrets. His investors hoped he had a nice, sweet woman on the side. His cousin and her friend, Penelope, flashed in his head before he dropped the thought.
He pushed his hand on the glass window before he stepped back into the shadows of his office.
Darkness didn’t suit him either. Nothing stirred inside him anymore, though he craved something. Anything other than boredom from the sticky heat of his life.
He shook his head and poked his head out of his office. His secretary sat there typing. “Call Eva. Set up an appointment for us to talk today.”
With the click of the door knob he rolled up his sleeves. He needed the deal to put his goals in line with his investment portfolio.
His eyes narrowed in on the first words, long term growth.
Long term read to his eyes like a rescue rope. He blinked. Life should be lived with long term goals to reach. Freedom meant change.
Today, he’d break up with Eva. In his heart, he’d always hoped for a woman that tugged at his heart strings. But hopes didn’t earn freedom. He’d prove to himself, and the others, John Jay Marshall came out of the game of life on top.
Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston then moved to Miami. Eventually, found that writing is her passion.
She always wrote stories to entertain herself. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, but when she sat down to see what she enjoyed doing, writing became obvious.
The Zoastra Affair, Chaperoning Paris, Borrowing the Doctor, and Electing Love, Mything the Throne and Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush will be published in 2014.
Now she is represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency.