TART – I crowdsourced folks at twitter and my facebook page to see what book readers wanted a sneak peek at and TART was overwhelmingly the winner. SO here you go. This is a scene between Jules and her best friend Gillian (who you met in NEVER ENOUGH) along with Gillian’s fiance, Adrian Brown and their son, Miles.
Juliet Lamprey is having the time of her life running her successful bakery, TART, when Gideon Carter comes back into her life. Returning home to help his grandfather run the family on the farm, Gideon is back for good. When they meet again, the spark between them is immediate, and it isn’t long before the former childhood friends play catch up in bed.
That’s not good news for local lawyer Cal Whaley. Though the sexually open but strictly monogamous Cal has loved Jules for a long time, he’s hardly ever taken it further than friendship. When he sees her start to fall for Gideon, he knows he has to make his move or risk losing her forever.
Who would have anticipated that all three of them would connect on such an intimate level? The trio’s scalding liaisons take them places they’ve never dreamed. But such an intensely passionate and unusual relationship comes with equally as complicated emotions, and when Jules must suddenly leave town, she wonders if she’ll have a choice to make when she returns
Gillian’s house, well, the one she lived in temporarily until the renovations were finished on the new house anyway, was a place Jules always gravitated to. The front windows were ablaze with light and as she moved up the walk she caught sight of Miles, a cat in his arms, walking through the room.
Gillian would close the curtains soon, Jules knew. Now that it was common knowledge that Adrian Brown was Miles’s father and that he and Gillian were getting married, photographers made their way out to Bainbridge Island from time to time to try to grab pictures. One had even set himself up in a tree across the road. Of course he fell from his perch and broke his ankle in the fall.
Gillian was a far nicer person than Jules because she called an ambulance. Jules would have turned the hose on him and made him crawl his worthless butt away.
Still smiling and feeling a little vicious, she knocked on the door. The year before she’d have sailed right in. But those days were long past, also the product of the higher profile she had now that Gillian was going to marry someone famous. The doors were always locked up tight now.
Gillian opened and pulled her into a hug. “Come in. Adrian just got home.”
Jules put her bags down in the kitchen, out of the way of traffic and above normal cat inspection.
Still, Claypool came out and meowed at her in his scratchy old-guy voice so she knelt and gave him a scritch under the chin where he liked it best. “Hey, old man, looking good today.”
The cat purred at her, turned, rubbed his side along her knees and sauntered away.
“Story of my life. Get some lovin’ and you all leave afterward.” Jules stood and washed her hands.
Adrian Brown, ridiculously gorgeous and equally ridiculously in love with Gillian, strolled into the kitchen, pausing to plant a kiss on Jules’s cheek. “I got extra pad thai for you.”
“You come in handy. Thanks.”
“Do we have to wait until after dinner to eat the cake?” Miles poured juice into the glasses before he sat.
“Yes.” Gillian sent her son a look and he blushed.
Jules winked at him. “I brought extra just for you.”
He grinned, looking very much like his father.
They talked about the renovations. Adrian’s recording studio was finished, which was a lucky thing as he’d started working on his next record with some hot-stuff producer. The rest of the house was continuing apace and should be done by the beginning of June.
The food was good, the company even better. She was so glad Gillian and Adrian were settling out on Bainbridge instead of in Seattle. Jules never would have said it out loud, but it would have been really hard to not see Gillian as often as she did. And Miles, who she loved as fiercely as she did his mother.
Jules hated the ferry. Hated all boats for that matter, big or small. Which was sort of a problem when you lived on an island and all. Thankfully the trip was just over half an hour and there was a bridge too if she had to go that way. Bainbridge had just about everything and everyone she needed anyway.
Finally, after they’d finished dinner, Adrian and Miles cleared away the dishes and brought new ones out along with some freshly brewed tea.
“All right.” Jules placed five boxes on the table.
“Wow! That’s all cake? Score.” Miles sent a look to his dad, who also grinned.
“I told you I brought extra for you.”
“Which is your favorite?” Gillian sipped her tea as Jules placed the slices out on little plates on the table so everyone could see and take a taste.
“I’m not telling. Given what I know about you and what you like and the things Adrian told me, I’ve come up with several different ideas. But I don’t want to influence you in any way.”