Roxy LaFollette is proud of the food empire she built in Flynn’s Crossing. With her nationally-acclaimed restaurant, her gourmet grocery, and her catering business, she has little time to indulge in the kind of relationship her girl tribe friends recommend. Besides, all men are scum in her opinion – her friends’ fiancés and husbands excluded, of course. The results of a business decision, however, are about to put the reason for her cherished opinion at center stage in her life.
Movie director Mac Smythe knows it is probably best to let the past stay in the past. With so much riding on the success of the thriller he is filming in Flynn’s Crossing, he has no time for distractions. His taste for adventure has been tempered over the years, due in large part to the loss of the one woman he thought he could trust and love. But when fate finally gives him a second chance, it seems that his desire to forgive is jinxed.
As two pasts unexpectedly collide with the present, only time will tell if love has the power to overcome the consequences of questions, lies, and betrayal and lead Roxy and Mac into a future neither could have imagined.
And here's an excerpt!
Prologue - Fifteen Years Ago
She wanted to savor the lazy feeling for a few minutes longer. The bed still held the warmth of his body, and she hoped that he would return quickly. After all, neither of them had to get up today, no early calls to capture the right lighting or endless steam trays to fill for service. Today, they would begin the rest of their life together.
She waited, wondering what could possibly be taking him so long. His pager had beeped an incoming message. A summoning, an urgent long distance call, he’d said. He hadn’t looked at her as he dressed quickly in the clothes laid out for today and headed out the bedroom door.
It had been half an hour now. She knew how he got when he was conducting business, probably some incredible new deal. Rain strumming the windows of their San Francisco hotel room finally lulled her back to sleep.
“Madeleine? Madeleine! You need to get up!” The voice was abrasive and demanding, someone used to having everyone jump to attention. Madeleine sat up quickly and looked around the room in a daze.
“You’ll need to be getting your things and going now, young lady.” The gray-haired woman looked disapproving. She would undoubtedly purse her thin pale lips even tighter if she realized that Madeleine was bare-assed naked under the sheets, rosy from a night of lovemaking and lax-muscled from the considerations of her lover.
But what was this woman doing in his suite?
“I, ah, I don’t understand?” Madeleine heard the timid question in her own voice.
The woman bustled around, impatience in her movements, as she gathered Madeleine’s clothes and dumped them without ceremony on the foot of the bed.
“I said, you need to get dressed and go, now!” She stood with hands on hips as if she expected Madeleine to jump right up, naked or not, and comply. The seconds stretched to minutes, and finally, Madeleine felt she had to say something.
“He’s going to be right back, but there isn’t any place we need to be today. He said so. He’s just taking a call.”
The older woman smiled with malice in her expression and harrumphed. She pointed towards the door. “Now.”
Madeleine still didn’t understand. They were going to take a few weeks off, Rome and maybe more of Europe he’d said, and then they’d head to LA and some post-production work. And after that? They’d figure it out.
She had to be assertive and put this forbidding woman, whoever she was, in her place. Madeleine drew herself up and looked the old biddy in the eye, hoping that she adopted the same haughty stare she’d seen some of the movie stars use.
“You’re mistaken. He’ll be right back. Then we’re going to the airport and taking some time off.”
There was no show of compassion, no sympathy and no fear. In fact, if anything, the callousness became more prominent on the woman’s face.
“No. You’re the one who’s mistaken. Why do you think he sent me in here? To tell you it was time for you to go! That’s part of my job description. I clean up after his… mistakes.” She spat out the last word as she glared at Madeleine.
Madeleine literally felt her head spin - she was sure it must be because this made no sense. He’d said – well, he’d said a lot of things. But she knew they were taking off today for a little vacation, because he made sure they both packed their bags after the movie’s wrap party last night…
And that’s when she noticed it. Her bag was sitting on its wheels, next to the clothes she’d set out for today.
And in the place where his bag had stood beside it, empty air.