Brown Family Day! NEVER ENOUGH

This last week I finished and turned in TART, the second in the DELICIOUS series and it’s Jules, Cal and Gideon’s book. So I thought why not have a fun Brown Family giveaway, since it’s on my mind and all.

How about an excerpt from NEVER ENOUGH?

Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group

The scent of the orange oil she used on the kitchen table carried through the house, back to Gillian’s office. Miles had gone off to school just ten minutes before and Gillian stood, staring blankly out over the sweep of the front yard, the pale autumn sun warming her skin.

And it did nothing to the cold dread in her belly.

She’d been holding the secret her sister had given up right before she’d died. Holding it tight, not wanting to think on it, knowing she had no other choice.

A little over thirteen years ago, Gillian had received a call in the middle of the night that her older sister, Tina, had been in labor. She’d rushed to the hospital – in a sadly ironic coincidence, that hospital had been the same one Tina had died in just three days before.

Gillian had come home with that baby. The one she adopted and built a life and family for and with. Miles.

Restless, she turned from the window and headed into the family room, to her piano.

Once her fingertips touched the wood, she calmed. As she sat, she let herself fall into that place where only the music mattered. Something simple today, uplifting.

Her fingers danced along the keys of a waltz and the knot of fear and rage began to loosen as the music flowed through her.

By the time she launched into Fantaisie-Impromptu, the line of her spine had lost its rigidity.

And that’s how Jules found her.

“I told you it could wait,” Gillian said, turning to find her friend standing in the doorway. “You have a business to run. You can’t just blow that off.”

“Whatever. You sounded like you were about to lose your shit just an hour ago. Where else would I be right now? Come on. I brought coffee and some chocolate croissant. For you, I brought ham.”

Thank God for friends. Gillian followed Jules from the room and into the kitchen.

Jules hugged her tight before they settled in at the breakfast nook nestled in the sunny corner. “First things first. I’m sorry about your sister. I know you two weren’t close and that she was a total cow for most of your life. But she was your sister and I know you loved her.”

“Thanks. I’m okay about that part. I mean, yes, I did love her, but I’ve known she was on this path for a very long time. I’m surprised it took so long, to be totally honest.”

She gulped the coffee and managed a few bites of the croissant, more to keep Jules from lecturing her than out of real hunger.

Jules waited, saying nothing else, knowing Gillian had to process it all and giving her that time.

“Right before she died, she told me who Miles’s father was.”

Jules’s eyes widened at that. “Do tell. After nearly fourteen years she finally dumps it on you as she’s dying. Typical.”

Just because Jules was supportive of Gillian didn’t mean she would hold back when it came to the subject of Tina’s behavior. She was right, of course. Tina had withheld this information for her entire pregnancy and the years since Miles had been born, despite Gillian’s many attempts to get her sister to tell the truth about it.

“She made me promise to find him and tell him he was Miles’s dad.”

Jules’s sleepy blue eyes snapped wide open. “What? Get out! Well, I hope you know that’s bullshit. Fuck that so-called promise to her.”

Gillian sighed. “I thought it over. I’ve been doing nothing but think about it since she told me three days ago. He needs to know, Jules. Miles needs the opportunity to connect with his dad.”

“Dad my ass. Where was he when Tina gave that baby to you like he was a pair of shoes? Huh? Where was he when you worked round the clock to afford the mortgage on this house? When you busted your ass to pay for braces and bicycles and summer camp? Fuck that. He’s some shithead who fucked a waitress fourteen years ago—without a condom I might add—so his judgment is seriously impaired.”

“He didn’t know. She swore to me that she never told him. I tried to put myself in this guy’s place, you know? What would my life be without Miles? What if I had a kid like him out there and didn’t know it? It’s not right, Jules. Not right that she never told him, and it would only be me furthering that to not tell him.”

“Well, damn it, Gillian, now is not the time for morals.”

Gillian laughed without humor. “Jules, they’re all I’ve got. I’m responsible for raising that boy into a man. What lesson would I be teaching him if I didn’t find his dad as I promised?”

“What if he takes Miles from you? Have you thought of that? Can you really take that risk?”

“No. I can’t. I have an appointment with Cal in a few hours. Before I tell the dad, I have to know my adoption is solid.”

“At least you’re doing that.” Jules shook her head and looked back to Gillian, reaching out and squeezing her hand. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being so judgy. You are doing the right thing, and of course this is about doing what’s right for your son.”

“I’m scared. It’s . . . He’s a rock star. A big one.”

“What? Really? Why didn’t she go after him for money, I wonder?”

“I don’t know. She wasn’t all bad, you know. She had her moments and I do believe she gave Miles up for good reasons instead of selfish ones.”

“Yes, and then had nothing to do with him since.”

True, and yet, in the end it had been a good thing. “That was for the best too. Miles is my son. Mine. She knew it. Even our mother knew it. Tina loved Miles in her own way. Loved me too.”

Jules sighed. “So who is it? How’d she meet him?”

“She met him when she was waitressing in some diner on Sunset Boulevard, she said. She wouldn’t say much more. But that she thought he was an okay guy and that he deserved to know about his son.”

Jules slammed her palm against the table with a squeal. “Adrian Brown. I knew it! It’s him, isn’t it?” Jules demanded as Gillian gaped at her friend.

“How did you know that? Did you know and never tell me?”

“Are you shitting me? You said rock star and immediately I thought of Miles’s face. And hello, have you seen Adrian Brown?”

Jules got up and tugged Gillian over to the far wall where Miles’s picture hung, and pointed. “Look at that.” She pulled her phone out and then shoved it at Gillian. On the screen was Adrian Brown’s website with his picture.

“Well bloody fucking hell.”

One winner, picked from the comments to this post will win a signed copy of NEVER ENOUGH. International entries are welcome! Good luck.

So what’s your favorite thing that happened this year?

35 comments to “Brown Family Day! NEVER ENOUGH”

  1. Amy Kathryn
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:24 am · Link

    My favorite thing that happened this year was the love and support from family and friends through some rough times. (That is why I particularly like your books with their focus on family and friends being there for each other!)

    Second favorite was seeing the manuscripts on display at the British Library.

  2. azteclady
    December 20th, 2011 at 7:43 am · Link

    I have a rather down year, what with one thing and then another thing, and all I can think of (in the same vein as Amy Kathryn above) is that my favorite thing this year was coming up from the mire–and, so far, staying with my head above water.

  3. Christine
    December 20th, 2011 at 9:14 am · Link

    It’s been a difficult year but I think I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I am very optimistic about that

  4. RebeLovesBooks
    December 20th, 2011 at 10:11 am · Link

    I got to surprise my Mom by showing up for her birthday party, 11 hours away. Very fun!

  5. Chelsea B.
    December 20th, 2011 at 11:33 am · Link

    My favorite thing that happened this year was our family vacation– when we all get together, it’s sure to be a blast!

  6. Viki S.
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:01 pm · Link

    My favorite thing that happened this year is my 23 yr old graduating Suma Cum Laude from college with a Bio degree and going into the PhD program. They pay him :). He deserves the best in life :).

  7. Randi
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:08 pm · Link

    While thinking about all that went on over the last year I was happy to recollect a lot of positives during the difficult year. But my most favorite was something that happened multiple times over the course of the year. It was the births of many of my friends children and that they are all healthy (even after 2 major scares), and that I adopted 2 kittens. They are currently 14 weeks old. No matter all that bad that happens new life always provides hope and smiles!

  8. Diane
    December 20th, 2011 at 1:24 pm · Link

    My favorite thing this year was getting the time to spend some vacation with my hubby!

  9. cky15
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:02 pm · Link

    cky15: Vacation what is that? It is a new words LOL. I have never really had a vacation like going some where that I would like to go physically.
    But I sure do alot of that when I read your books. I have always try to get my hand on a copy of a new one that I have not read because you are one of my favorite author.

  10. donnas
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:03 pm · Link

    I am grateful and happy that we are all still here to spend the end of the year together. Its been a rough year all around and Im glad its almost over. Next year can only get better!!

  11. Hailey
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:47 pm · Link

    My sons first birthday! It was the absolute high of my year!

  12. Jane
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:20 pm · Link

    I got to spend a whole month with my niece this summer.

  13. mariann
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:22 pm · Link

    My favorite thing would have to be my brother in law and his family moved back from vegas. Now I can see my 2 year old niece and 6 month old nephew all the time. 😉

  14. JenM
    December 20th, 2011 at 3:52 pm · Link

    I just started a temp job that is going to involve traveling to Canada, and Scandinavia, so I’m very excited about that and looking forward to the new year.

  15. Diaen Mc.
    December 20th, 2011 at 4:23 pm · Link

    Prepping for a trip to Europe with younger son and then signing for him to enter the military next summer. Scary but exciting.

  16. Beret
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:02 pm · Link

    I went to a Colorado Association of Libraries conference and gave a presentation on romance in the library. It was the fulfillment of a professional dream and I got to talk about romance novels in the library for over an hour!!!

  17. Linda
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:15 pm · Link

    Favorite thing this year – taking my kids to their first trip to Disney World – the look on their faces….

  18. Cecile
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:18 pm · Link

    Oh gosh.. My favorite thing that happened this year… I got a divorce and moved up North! I have to say that kinda takes a lead in my life.

    Not sure if that is what you were looking for… but that is my favorite thing!

    Please count me in!!!

  19. Julia - Yen
    December 20th, 2011 at 6:37 pm · Link

    My favorite thing that happened this year was seeing my baby grand nephew for the first time. He so adorable cute! And he already 3 months old. I’m just happy I’m able to spent times with him and my niece 🙂

  20. Emily
    December 20th, 2011 at 7:07 pm · Link

    It’s shallow and insignificant, but I flew on a G-5 for work. Multiple times. I’ll probably never be in a private jet again so I’m glad it happened this year. I also went to Las Vegas for the first time. Overall, it was a good year. I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I’m employed for now, and 2012 will bring good things.

  21. Alaina
    December 20th, 2011 at 7:57 pm · Link

    My fav thing.. I moved halfway across the country to move in with my boyfriend.. a new experience, but i love it here!!!!!!

  22. Johanna J
    December 20th, 2011 at 8:00 pm · Link

    My oldest daughter started Kindergarden! That was pretty amazing! I’m just wondering where the time goes! Thanks for sharing with us! 😎

  23. Catherine
    December 20th, 2011 at 8:03 pm · Link

    My favorite part of this year was seeing my daughter perform in a concert as a first chair clarinet. It was amazing to see how well she led the other clarinetists. I was a very proud mom.

  24. Lindsey E
    December 21st, 2011 at 3:25 am · Link

    I got to spend some time with Sherilyn Kenyon and she signed all my books.
    linze_e at

  25. Carinne
    December 21st, 2011 at 3:47 am · Link

    My son made his communion this year. We had a big party with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while. It was really great to see everyone!

  26. Belinda
    December 21st, 2011 at 5:40 am · Link

    I haven’t seen my grandson in 2 years. The best thing that’s happened to me is the feeling I get watching a video of him learning to sign, like his daddy.

  27. Stephanie
    December 21st, 2011 at 7:25 am · Link

    This year stated out with me losing my job and then my 5 year old pup all in the first month but by May I had a new and better job and my husband and I took in 2 pups that needed a home. But the highlight was both of my daughters graduated from college on the same weekend in May. I cried for days!!

  28. Mel
    December 21st, 2011 at 7:57 am · Link

    This year I was able to spend alot of time with my family and friends and I went to Europe.

  29. Melissa Lamb
    December 21st, 2011 at 10:46 am · Link

    My favorite thing that happened this year was that my family was healthy and we did not suffer the loss of a family member.

  30. Lisa B
    December 21st, 2011 at 11:37 am · Link

    Nothing stands out about my year. Pretty average i guess. I’ll say that i’m just happy we had a good year where everyone was healthy.

    Love this excerpt btw!

    Lisa B

  31. Maryam Salim
    December 21st, 2011 at 1:26 pm · Link

    Spending time with family, in particular my nieces, first getting to travel with my 7 year old niece home to Tanzania (without her parents, lots of quality time) to visit my parents and then having a family get together in London with my parents, my sister-in-law and the nieces.

  32. Kris M.
    December 21st, 2011 at 8:15 pm · Link

    my favorite thing htat happened this year was getting a job that I really wanted to work at. I was so excited and i love it there 🙂

  33. Chris Bails
    December 24th, 2011 at 4:23 pm · Link

    I would have to say my favorite thing about this year was getting a nook from my kids for moms day. I also have liked discovering new authors and finding lots of favorite new books. I just found Lauren this year and her Chase brothers series and fell in love with them. Thanks for the chance to win.

  34. ClaudiaGC
    December 29th, 2011 at 8:10 am · Link

    I haven’t got one particular favourite thing this year. I’ve made some new experiences at my job (good and bad) and I got to spend a lot of time with my boyfriend

  35. Spav
    December 29th, 2011 at 5:53 pm · Link

    Well, I went to San Francisco. I love it there!