Excerpt Monday: SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED by SANDY JAMES

I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from Signed, Sealed, Delivered with all of you! It releases James_SignedSealed_ebook(1)tomorrow!

Here’s the blurb:

For the fans of Jennifer Probst, Ruth Cardello and Jill Shalvis, comes a series about love, friendship, and lunch!

When life gets tough and love is hard to find, four friends take their troubles to lunch. High school teacher Juliana Kelley tells the Ladies Who Lunch that her life needs an overhaul . . . and gets a whole lot more than she wished for.

Juliana has spent thirteen years in the same teaching job. She’s ready to dive into a new career with both feet . . . when a run-in with the hottest man she’s ever seen knocks her head over heels. But with her failed marriage to a fellow teacher fresh on her mind, Jules can’t afford to lose herself in a relationship-no matter how perfect it may seem.

Connor Wilson has hit rock bottom when he loses his career as a top-notch Realtor because of a large gambling debt. Now, in a small town he finds a fresh start-and a gorgeous redhead who sparks new life into him. Together they start a successful real estate company, but when pleasure sneaks into the business, they’ll have to decide what they can let go . . . and what they can’t live without.

*****

Connor approached slowly, trying to let common sense and intellect argue to stop him. He had no business getting involved with her. Not now. His life was being held together by a frayed shoestring. Yes, things were looking up after far too long, but the control he held came to him day by day, sometimes hour by hour. He was tempting fate by going to her, introducing a complication that was risky at best.

Yet he couldn’t stop himself.

“Another shot and a lime, please,” she said, setting the empty glass upside down on the wooden surface.

The fiftysomething bartender put a fresh shot glass on the bar, filled it with Patrón, and plucked a lime wedge from his store of condiments. He plopped it on a small plate and set it next to the tequila. “Anything else?”

“Give me ten minutes,” she replied with a wink. “Then I’ll let you know.”

The bartender chuckled as he headed back down the long bar to chat with a pair of guys closer to his age.

She jumped when Connor pulled out the barstool next to hers. Her eyes fixed on his face, then her mouth bowed into a frown. She might as well have held up a stop sign.

He wouldn’t let that chilly reception discourage him. Sitting himself down, he gave the bartender a dismissive wave of his hand when the man held up an empty mug, clearly asking if Connor wanted a drink.

Sure, he wanted one. But he wasn’t going to indulge.

Juliana picked up her shot glass and neatly downed the contents. Grabbing the lime, she grasped it with her teeth, sucked hard enough to make Connor’s groin tighten, and then grimaced. Her body gave a little shudder before she dropped the lime wedge on the plate, leaned back, and sighed.

“So where’s the tacky blue blazer?” she asked, her voice low and irritated.

“Don’t have one,” Connor replied. “My clothes are all very fashionable.”

Her lips twitched as if she might grin. When she finally turned to face him, her eyes made his ability to think logically evaporate. Green as clover, they were as hypnotic as a metronome, drawing him into their depths until she was the only thing in his mind.

“There’s obviously one in your future,” she said. “One with an equally tacky logo. You and Max got pretty chummy in the lobby.”

Seeing no need to mince words, he spoke his mind. “Max Schumm is a douche bag.”

She snorted as a small smile bloomed.

“I mean it. I have no intention of being a part of his egomaniacal agency.”SSD-Graphic-#2

“Then why were you there?”

“Keeping an eye on the competition.”

“Competition?” Juliana cocked her head. “Do you work for Carl Barton, then?”

“Nope.”

“Those are the only two decent real estate agencies in Cloverleaf.”

He loved that she was interested enough to keep pressing the point. “As of now.”

“Meaning…?”

“Give it a little time.”

Those lovely eyes shot fire. “I’m not drunk.” A glance to the empty shot glasses. “At least not yet. But you’re not making any sense.”

The bartender put himself in front of them. “Another?” he asked Juliana.

“Why not?” she replied.

“For you?” he asked Connor as he set up another shot of tequila and lime wedge.SSD-Graphic-#1

“I don’t suppose you’ve got any Squirt back there?” Connor asked.

“Matter of fact, I do.” The bartender reached under the bar, fished out a two-liter bottle, and set it next to Juliana’s empty glasses. “Use it for mixing.” He retrieved a large glass, tossed some ice into it, and filled it before sliding the soft drink closer to Connor. “Anything else?”

“Could you shoot those pretzels down here?” Connor gestured to the full bowl on the far side of Juliana.

After complying, the bartender returned to his other customers, leaving Connor and Juliana to sit in silence.

She didn’t immediately down her shot. Instead, she fiddled with the fresh lime wedge, turning it in circles on the plate.

Connor picked up a few of the pretzels and munched on them as he slid the bowl closer to her. She was right. She wasn’t drunk. But he’d watched how she’d picked at the pathetic dinner Max had provided, and if she kept drinking tequila without eating something, it would catch up with her. “Pretzels?”

“Why are you here?”

Tossing a couple more of the tiny pretzels into his mouth, he chewed them slowly as he tried to think up a brilliant answer to that question.

None came to mind.

Since his past relationships had been nothing but disasters, often falling apart because of lies told to spare feelings or avoid discussions, he decided honesty was going to be the only way to approach her.

“I followed you,” he finally replied.

“Why?”

“Because I think you’re beautiful and I want to—”

*****

James_SignedSealed_ebook(1)Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Ladies Who Lunch, Book 2

Available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and BooksAMillion

Find me at my website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *