TITLE – Unpredictable Love SERIES (& Book #) – Pine Grove Novels, Book #1 AUTHOR – Jean C. Joachim GENRE – Contemporary Small Town Romance LENGTH (#Pages/# Words) – 47,000 Words
Uh oh. Amber signed her sister’s name on a pen pal letter to a Marine. As usual, Jory Walker was stuck fixing her sister’s little white lie.
When letters poured in from SSGT Trent Stevens in Afghanistan, Jory had no choice but to correspond. Sure he’d be drooling over Amber’s bikini photo, thinking it was Jory. Since they’d never meet, what harm could it do if she sent him a few letters?
Would her charade boomerang replacing happiness with pain? What started off as an innocent ruse, morphed into a monstrous web of deceit. Maybe unpredictable love was destined to break her heart.
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With patience, she’d fitted them together to form the image of a man she could almost touch.
Sometimes, she’d reread three or four before turning out the light. She’d tacked his picture on the wall next to her bed. He was the last thing she saw before falling asleep and the first thing in the morning. Jory had planned to wind down the correspondence, but every day she eagerly awaited mail delivery, and a new peek into the mystery man who had inched his way into her heart.
Admitting she had feelings for SSGT Trent Stevens wouldn’t happen. Jory wasn’t some foolish schoolgirl with a crush on a handsome Marine. She was a grown woman, who had been shouldering the responsibilities of an adult since she was seventeen. Her head wouldn’t be turned by a few letters and some fancy words. She was above that. Or so she thought.
Amber leaned against the doorjamb. “Uh, it’s after six, and I don’t see any dinner on the stove.”
Jory’s lips compressed into a frown. She rose from her desk, fueled by anger. “You’ve got a lotta nerve. I’m up here beating my brains out, writing four Goddamn letters to Trent Stevens. Letters you should be writing! And you’re asking about dinner? Here’s the deal. You want me to write, fine. But you’ve gotta cook.”
“Me?” Amber pointed at her own, ample chest.
“Really? I can’t cook.”
“Then learn, damn it. It’s about time you did anyway.”
“And if I don’t?” A sassy look crossed her sister’s face, and she rested one hand on her hip.
“I’ll write to Staff Sergeant Trent Stevens and tell him you’re a fraud. Then, I’ll report you to Laura Dailey. They’ll drum you outta town.”
“You wouldn’t do that.” Amber frowned, but Jory saw uncertainty in her eyes.
The older one narrowed her eyes. “Try me.”
Amber chewed her lip. “Okay, okay. But not every night.”
“Three nights a week.”
“Three?” Amber’s voice shot up two octaves.
“That’s right. Like it or lump it.”
Amber made a face and huffed down the stairs. Jory broke into a smile as soon as her sister was out of sight. That’ll teach her. Besides, she needs to learn to cook and pull her weight around here.
Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. The Renovated Heart won Best Novel of the Year from Love Romances Café. Lovers & Liars was a RomCon finalist in 2013. And The Marriage List tied for third place as Best Contemporary Romance from the Gulf Coast RWA. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Married and the mother of two sons, Jean lives in New York City. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued put, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice.
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