This month, I’ve shared the beginnings of each of my books. And this beginning is quite a teaser – it’s the beginning of my upcoming June release, The Life She Wants. If you’ve read the first two books of the Lowery Women series, you’ll recognize a few familiar names here, and get a big surprise about one of them!
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“Melanie, can I skip this necklace? It seems like overkill to me.”
“Mel, you don’t really expect me to wear these shoes, do you?”
“Melanie, this dress is way too short for a grandmother.”
Melanie Lowery closed her eyes and took a long, slow breath.
If this was Paris or New York City, this type of fashion-model rebellion would never be tolerated. But Mel wasn’t in Paris. And while technically in New York State, she was nowhere near the fashion district. The three women in front of her were not professional models. They were her cousins, and they had volunteered to help her market this collection.
They were doing her a favor.
She could not scream at them.
One more deep breath.
“Amanda,” she said—as calmly as possible—to the petite blonde in the blue sheath, “it’s not a necklace, it’s an extension of the dress that happens to fasten around your neck. That jeweled bib is what makes the dress special. So please. Just. Put. It. On.”
The tall redhead standing by the door wore a flowing floral gown. Bright orange stilettos dangled from her fingers. Bree’s face said it all, but Mel stopped the inevitable flow of opinions before it began.
“Bree, I picked those shoes specifically for that dress. They match the clutch you’ll be carrying. It’s almost like I planned it that way.” She tried to keep the sarcastic edge from her voice, but failed.
“Pull in your claws, Mel. It’s not the color I’m worried about, it’s the crazy heels. I can’t walk in these things.”
“Seriously? I’ve seen you walk Hollywood red carpets in higher.”
“That was a lifetime ago. There’s not much call for stilettos on the farm.” Bree patted her protruding belly. “And don’t forget my passengers. Twins, babe. Twins. They’re wreaking havoc with my balance, not to mention my ankles.”
“Okay, Bree, I get it. Twins.”
“Nora.” Mel turned to face her eldest cousin, who was frowning at herself in the mirror while tugging at the hem of the dark red cocktail dress. “You may be a grandmother, but you’re forty, not eighty. That length makes your legs go on forever, so please stop yanking it out of shape!”
Amanda slipped her arm around Melanie’s waist. “Mel, you’re not even dressed yet, and dinner is in half an hour. We may not be models like you, but we’ll be fine. Go get your dress on, and we’ll meet outside the ballroom in thirty, okay?” Amanda turned serious, giving her a quick squeeze. Mel knew what was coming next.
“Are you okay?”
Note: The reader will come to see that’s a “code” question that Melanie gets asked a lot. Because there was a time not too long ago when she was definitely not okay. When she leaves this room and heads off to get dressed, she’ll meet a brash sports agent who will turn her already stressful life upside down. Shane Brannigan is chasing all the things that nearly destroyed Mel. Their lives are heading in totally opposite directions, and they’ll each have to examine their goals and redefine what “success” looks like to make it work.