Author: Peggy Jaeger
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Series: Second story in The Uptown Girls series, Standalone.
Genre: Women’s fiction, Contemporary Romance, Military spouse, NYC romance, Starting over
“Why did you start working at the center?” he asked.
“I don’t work. I volunteer.”
His brows tugged together. “You’re not a social worker?”
A laugh barked from deep inside me. “No. Not even close.”
“But you said you were Mrs. Salazar’s advocate. I assumed it meant you were involved in her case management.”
“I am, in a way. My best friend recruited me after my divorce. I’ve been helping Carla transition into her new life, so that’s why I called myself her advocate.”
“Why did your best friend recruit you?”
A question that, if I answered, would open up an entire line of queries I didn’t want to get into. I thought for a moment how best to word it so he wouldn’t press.
“She thought I could bring something to the table for the women the center serves. I guess you could say I…understand the difficulties they face each day.”
He stared at me for a few beats, his deep eyes zeroed in on my own. It was as if he could see inside my brain, pick apart my secrets, try to comprehend my desire to do some good.
“You said you were married for fifteen years.”
“Was it a…happy one?”
A union based on fear and lies isn’t one I’d consider happy. But, again, that was more than I wanted to share.
“Let’s say I’m happier now and leave it there, okay?”
He waited a moment before nodding. I took a mental breath.
“So,” he said once our plates were cleared away with the waitress promising to bring the check. “What are you doing this weekend?”
Again, open mouth, Phil, and say the first thing that pops out without thinking.
He tilted his head. “Are you always so suspicious when a man asks you out?”
Since no man had asked me out in almost two decades, I couldn’t answer him with any kind of accuracy.
“I’m not suspicious—”
“The corners of your eyes are narrowed, your shoulders have squared, your back has gone military straight, and you can’t look me in the eye. Those are all characteristics of distrust.”
When I stayed silent, he added, “I’m good at reading body language. Left over habit of dealing with soldiers on the front line who couldn’t verbalize their injuries.”
I made an attempt to school my facial features. He grinned and said, “Too late.”
“Are you asking me out?” I finally managed to say.
He tilted his head, his brows tugging together to form a quizzical line between his eyes. “Because I’d like to see you again. On a personal level,” he added, as I opened my mouth to ask why again.
“You want to go out with me?”
“I believe I’ve been trying to establish that. The question is whether you want to go out with me.”
The girl I’d been before my ill-fated marriage would have said yes in a heartbeat. I’d gone out with other guys when Trey and I had taken breaks from one another, usually after a huge argument over something stupid. I’d been a cute, party and clubbing girl with a Black Amex card in my purse and no cares or worries in my life.
And I’d liked men.
Madina was charming, smart, ridiculously handsome, and I’d seen him be kind and sweet to Carla. All were wonderful qualities in a guy.
But Trey had possessed those same qualities once up a time, and I’d fallen in love with him for what I’d thought would be a lifetime. He’d destroyed my self-confidence and worn down my ego almost to the point of nonexistence. Since I’d left him I’d shied away from all male encounters. Not that there had been any.
Aurora’s voice whispered at the back of my mind again while Madina sat across from me waiting for an answer.
Take a chance, Phil. You don’t have to marry the man, but you de- serve a little fun and attention. God knows it’s been too long since a guy focused on you. You may have a wonderful time.
Was she right? Was it time for me to join the land of the dating again?
I took one last sip of my water, realizing before I spilled it all over myself that my hand was trembling.
With a complete leap of faith, I asked, “What did you have in mind?”
About the Book:
She’s a wealthy socialite who survived an abusive marriage.
He’s a hardworking guy raising his son and caring for his widowed father.
They come from different worlds, but it’s said…opposites attract.
Can they find the balance between their two lifestyles to make their love work?
Or will their differences tear them apart?
Life and love are a balancing act.
Universal Buy Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxeLZe
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Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/mCnVnb8Nq7g
About the Author:
Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0