Katie’s world came crashing down in an instant.
Her husband, daughter, and unborn baby. . . all gone in a flash. The life that she’d come to know, gone before she ever really got to live it.
With a broken heart, she deals the only way she knows how, by shutting it all off. No communicating, no feelings, just pure nothingness.
Alone with nothing but her own thoughts and a well meaning family, she moves back to her childhood home, a horse farm. It’s there that she finds herself healing along with the horses her family rehabilitates. But when Parker McKenzie comes back into her life she’s reminded of all that went wrong, and all that she lost.
A.E. Woodward lives in Vacationland with her husband and two young children. Between her day job and the pursuance of a master’s degree, she wrote her first novel, Imperfectly Perfect. Since then she has written three more novels, Imperfectly Real, Kismet, and Imperfectly Bad.
In the twenty minutes that has passed since my Mom called Parker, the kitchen has become a hub of excitement and confusion. I’m still sitting on the hallway floor. In all the confusion I think I’ve been forgotten. But that’s fine, because I’m really good with being alone. It’s soothing for me to be lonely. That, and listening to all the conversation gives me something else to focus on besides myself. Tommy and Pop eventually join Mom and Stevenson in the kitchen, waiting for Parker. Each of them throw their two cents in as to how this should go down. Tommy insists that he should go with us, saying that Parker can’t handle the responsibility. I appreciate that he’s still trying to look out for my best interests, but the fact of the matter is that Tommy doesn’t know the half of what I need.
He goes round with Mom and Pop, but Stevenson stops him. “We need to follow her lead, Tommy.”
“I just don’t think her going there with him is the best option right now!” Tommy yells.
“Now, I respect your concern, Tommy, and we all appreciate that you want the best for your sister. However, if Katie wants to go alone with Parker then that is what we give her. She needs to be in control of her own recovery. We need to remember that this isn’t about us. She’s an adult, she can make her own choices.”
Tommy lets out a sarcastic laugh just before I hear the screen door fling open, the springs creaking in response, and then quickly slamming shut. “What the hell is going on?” Parker asks anxiously.
Quickly, Stevenson fills Parker in on my request. He adds that Parker shouldn’t feel pressured, especially if he’s not comfortable with the situation, but that he needs to understand how huge this could be for my treatment.
“Why me?” he questions.
“I dunno, Parker,” Tommy barks. “Why you?”
There’s a brief, awkward silence before Stevenson clears his throat and continues to speak. “Obviously Katie knows you well enough to know that you’ll be there for her, while allowing her enough independence to cope with it on her own terms. She’s trusting you,” Stevenson says without emotion.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” he mutters. Experience tells me that he’s most likely running his hands through his hair. He always does when he’s nervous.
A fist slams against the table, making me jump out of my skin. “You’re right, you can’t!”
“Tommy!” Mom scolds.
A few more moments of awkward silence pass. I can only imagine the looks that are being thrown in that kitchen. The tension is surely raising a few questions in everyone’s mind. “I just don’t think this is the best idea,” Tommy speaks quietly. “You’re in over your head, Park.”
“We’ve been here before, Tommy,” Parker reminds him.
One locked safe, a troublemaking tattoo, and two determined people… add up to unlocked secrets and a love that just won’t stop.
Luke “Lucky” O’Conner is a committed bachelor. His motto…“Nobody’s ever getting this Lucky.” So when Kaley Harlow walks into his tattoo shop and somehow leaves with the only record of the numbers to his new safe tattooed on her sexy little hip, Lucky’s motto is threatened. If he wants to see those numbers again, he has to get close. Closer than he’s ever gotten to any woman. And he has three weeks to do it.
Kaley Harlow, a happily washed-up former child star, is out to ruin her reputation. She’s through with people looking at her like she’s still that innocent little girl in pigtails. Not to mention, her agent has just signed her up for a movie contract. But, really, all Kaley wants is to start a new life and finally go to college.
When Lucky happens into Kaley’s life for the second time, the hot, tattooed badass is exactly what she needs to sabotage her image. But this badass has a secret, one that could ruin more than just Kaley’s reputation.
Kelly resides in a quiet suburb somewhere between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY. Her day job? Kelly works in health care representing a group of nursing facilities in the WNY area. She’s been faithfully writing for three years but did write her first book ten years ago. She put it down to raise her son as a single mom and then picked it back up when she and her son finally grew up. That's when she settled into her newly married adult life and started to seriously write again. She's dabbled with Romantic Suspense stories, but recently she's been on a contemporary kick. The recipe for the men in her stories: a dash of bad boy attitude, a cup of strong and confident and, of course, besides being packed with magnificent bodies, and doused with shameless aptitudes, they must have a tender heart you want to rip out of the pages (or your e-Reader) and take to bed with you at night.
Lucky Numbers Adult Excerpt
“Put your hand under your dress,” he said, his thumb still stroking that damn wet beer bottle like it was her clit.
Kaley turned to see if anyone was watching.
“Hey!” Lucky’s stern voice whipped her head back to him. “Look at me. Don’t worry about anyone else. I’ll warn you if someone is coming.” His feet spread her legs farther apart. “Where you’re sitting, I’m the only person who can see you. Now, do as I say, unless you want me to stop.”
His daring eyes held hers, and all discretion slipped out of her grasp. She gave him his answer by dropping her hand beneath the table.
“That’s good,” he rasped, deep and low. “Now place your hand on your thigh and slide up to the top of it. Are you there yet?”
“I want you to grip it hard.”
With her heart racing and wishing his hand was there instead of hers, her fingers dug into her flesh.
His eyes raping her of any reluctance, he bent forward and grunted, “Harder.”
Noting all the hot spots, the tight grip he had on the beer, his biceps and the tattoos bulging from the cut of his sleeves, his mouth that lay slightly open, Kaley squeezed tighter.
“Are you wet?”
“Yes,” she gasped, clinging tighter to her thigh. “I’m so wet.”
His tongue tapped his top lip. “Are you throbbing?”
“God, I’m aching for you,” she said, and she meant it, for she wanted nothing more than his tongue on her.
“Kaley,” he said, swaying closer, tempting her, “tell me, is your pussy mine?”
“Yes,” she breathed out. “It’s all yours.”
“Then touch what is mine.”
It’s been eight days, sixteen hours and forty-seven minutes since life as I know it ended. I know, it sounds so melodramatic and teen-soap worthy, but it’s the truth. Eight days, sixteen hours and forty-seven minutes since David found out. Since he kicked Jeremy out, ended their friendship and told me I could never see him again.
I didn’t plan on David getting suspicious, and I definitely didn’t plan on getting caught. My selfishness has cost Jeremy everything, my brother won’t even look at me, Lyric must hate me for practically blackmailing her to keep silent and my best friend is barely speaking to me.
Now my life is full of secrets and lies. The people around me have been affected by the choices I’ve made and the lies I’ve told. But what will they do when they discover the biggest secret of them all?
Jeremy is everything I shouldn't want, and the person I can't live without.
SarahBethI've been in love with my brother's best friend, Jeremy, for as long as I can remember. Just saying the words aloud causes my heart to clench. I’ve never admitted it to anyone other than Olivia, but I knew she’d never tell a soul. She encouraged it actually, went out of her way to help me find sexy outfits to wear around him and helped me come up with some crazy plan to make him notice me. Those usually ended with him scolding me so they probably weren’t the best way to get his attention.I’m not really sure when my feelings for him started changing. First, my love for Jeremy was the love any child has for her hero. My dad was always busy, and while, my brother David loved me, Jeremy was the one who kissed my knee when I fell off my bike, the one who taught me how to climb a tree, all the things my brother - who even as a teenager was over-protective of me - didn't want me to do. He never grouched about having to watch me like David did, he was always willing to play games with me and include me in whatever he and my brother were doing.I was heartbroken when David went away to college, but the fact that Jeremy was gone too devastated me in a way that not even losing my parents did. All of a sudden I was alone. They both kept in touch after they left for school, at least at first. The phone call came every few days for months, but gradually became only once a month or less, especially after David came back for Christmas and argued with our dad. After that, the only time David would call was when he knew Dad was gone.Then, when our parents died and everything fell apart; Jeremy was there to comfort me, to hug me, to dry my tears. That doesn't mean that my brother wasn't there, because he was. He was just stuck being the grown-up. David had to deal with funeral arrangements, lawyers, wills, the court and our grandparents.Once Jeremy and David moved back home, David became more of a parent than a brother, and Jeremy made every attempt to fill that role. Unfortunately, my feelings for Jeremy were never that simple. The fact that he became as over-protective now as my brother is did nothing to discourage my growing infatuation with him. Up until recently though, Jeremy never gave any indication that he saw me as anything other than David's little sister.I’ve been chasing after Jeremy since about a month after my brother moved back and brought him with him. We spent a lot of time together because he was trying to distract me from the life I was thrust into, taking me to the movies, hanging out, helping with homework… all the stuff that brothers do with little sisters. It didn’t take long for hero worship to turn romantic. But looking back, it’s clear I wasn’t the only one with a secret. At the time, I thought that the reason my brother didn’t react the same way Jeremy did when I really started dating was because he was so preoccupied with getting his business off the ground and raising me. Now, I can see that the reason Jeremy always did his best to scare away any guy I brought around was because he was jealous.I imagined that convincing Jeremy to give me a chance, to really look at me like a woman, instead of his best friend’s baby sister would be impossible. But just when I thought I should give up, he kissed me. We continued our relationship in secret because I was afraid of what David would say and how he would react. It didn’t take much to convince him to keep it a secret, even though I know it bothered him to not be able to tell him.I finally got everything I wanted, but I fucked it up royally. I lied to my brother, my best friend, even Jeremy. I was so concerned with what I wanted that I didn’t give anyone else a thought. Jeremy wanted me and maybe even fell in love with me, but now, everything I had, all the people who loved me; none of them are here. It’s all so completely screwed up, and I have no idea where to start fixing anything. Jeremy's friendship with David is ruined, my brother broke up with Lyric, Olivia won't even speak to me. I'm completely alone for the first time.I have so much to make up for. I’m the hateful bitch who destroyed a friendship, made someone who could have been a friend lie to my brother, and I kept secrets and lied to my best friend’s face. I have no idea how to even begin to make things right, but I know I have to try.JeremyI fucking knew this thing with her would blow up in our faces. I should have known better, but instead, I went for it. It’s always been SarahBeth for me, always. And not in a dirty old man way, don’t call Chris Hansen and To Catch A Predator because it’s not like that. When it started, I was jealous of David. He had a dad and a mom, which was already something I didn’t have, and then came SarahBeth. She was this tiny little thing with big eyes and curly blonde hair, I swear to God, she looked like an angel the first time David showed her to me. He was disgusted and pissed because she was crying all the time and taking all the attention. Meanwhile, I would have given anything to have the life he had.As she got older, she worshipped her brother, and me by association. Following us around, trying to imitate us and running after us on her short little legs. By the time she was old enough to chase us, we were thinking about cars and tits not little sisters, and she drove David crazy. He’d get impatient and yell and she would cry. Big, fat tears that broke my heart, even back then.We grew up, moved out and then moved on, leaving SB behind us. At least for a while. Then, the unthinkable happened. That night, it almost broke David. I think it did in some ways, but SarahBeth? Man, it destroyed her. In the blink of an eye she lost her parents. In a way, she gained a new parent in David because he took the “guardian” title to a whole new level. In fact, and it makes me feel like an asshole to say it, but I think Dave may have been more her father than her actual dad was.When we moved back, David spent a lot of his time building his business. It was easier for me in a way because I just had to get hired. David built his job from the ground up, which took up the majority of his time, leaving me to entertain SarahBeth. We got extremely close during that time. I knew she had a crush on me, but I thought it was more hero worship than true romantic feelings. I was wrong.The older Sarah got, the more beautiful she became. Gone was the tiny tomboy who wanted to follow us everywhere, and in her place was a beautiful woman. The more time I spent with her, the more I started noticing things about her; the smell of her hair, how soft her skin was. The more I noticed, the more I tried to stay away. The sister of my best friend shouldn’t be the girl I can’t stop thinking about. I did everything I could to distance myself from her, making excuses when she asked me to take her places, showing up with a date when I knew she would be there, even though I knew it would hurt her. The lengths I went to were atrocious and shameful, but I was trying to avoid this situation. Instead of thinking of her like a sister, I was thinking of her as someone I wanted to own. She became the girl I wanted to claim, to make sure everyone knew she was mine.Finally giving in and taking her should have brought relief, but instead all it brought was more stress and in the end more heartache. I’m old enough to know better. Hiding things never works, secrets always come out. I wanted her more than I wanted his friendship, and look where it got me. He hates me, she’s devastated, and everything is completely fucked up.I have to make things better; I need to fix this. Fixing my friendship with Dave and deserving SarahBeth is the only thing that matters to me now. He has to understand that hiding our relationship wasn’t to hurt him; we weren’t trying to deceive him. We were only trying to figure out how to tell him. David discovered us before we were ready, before we could figure out what to say to him. We should have just been honest from the beginning. If I had just gone to him before, explained that I do love her, that I will be good to her, maybe he would have given his blessing.At least then, we would know. David’s reaction might have surprised us. Instead, I let the fear of losing his friendship, of no longer being like brothers color my reactions and influence my decisions. I’m done being afraid; I’m done hiding. Making him understand just how much I want to be with her, that she is it for me has become my top priority. Now I just have to figure out how to get him to talk to me without him kicking my ass.
I am a wife and mom to 3 boys, ages 15, 14, and 8! After spending the first half of my life in a small town outside of Philadelphia, PA, my parents moved my brother and I to another small town outside of Greensboro, NC. I moved to Hickory, NC after marrying my husband. We dated a total of three months before getting married, and we’d known each other for a total of six! People thought we were crazy, but 2014 marks our 10 year anniversary, so it obviously worked out!