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About the author:
When Joy Tremay isn’t reading romance novels, she’s busy using her over-active imagination writing them. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Joy enjoys dancing, especially Hawaiian hula, kayaking and swimming. She lives with her husband in northern California and would love to hear from her readers.
What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always liked stories of reunited lovers finding themselves back in each others’ arms.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Right this way, miss,” said the young waitress as she led Diana to a table where Natalie and her husband Max waited for her. Diana let out a sigh of relief that their other “guest” hadn’t arrived yet.
“Happy belated birthday,” Natalie said as she hugged Diana. Max reached over and gave her a quick kiss on the check. As they all sat down, Diana smiled at the friend, who was more like a sister to her, and her husband. In her estimation, they were the perfect couple. Max Adler was tall, dark, and handsome and Natalie was a vivacious, petite redhead whom he had instantly fallen in love with during their junior year of college.
Diana had been thrilled to be Natalie’s maid of honor three years ago and had even been more delighted when Max had accepted a job in Las Vegas two years ago. Natalie and Max had purchased a house a few miles from Diana’s apartment complex, which made it easy for the women to see one another frequently.
“Too bad Richard couldn’t join us,” said Max.
“Unfortunately, he had to attend a teacher’s meeting tonight,” Diana said, “but I’ll be seeing him this weekend.”
“Max wanted to talk to him about boring golf,” said Natalie, rolling her eyes.
“I can’t believe I’m twenty-seven now. I feel so old,” said Diana as she tugged down her burgundy lace skirt. She had paired her favorite hip-hugging, knee-length skirt with a short-sleeved, black lace top.
“Well, you don’t look a day over twenty-one. I still remember when you had braces on in junior high school,” said Natalie as she reached over to hand Diana a small silver box with a red bow on top.
“Oh Natalie, you didn’t have to,” said Diana, smiling as she opened the box and took out a silver necklace with a silver miniature star pendant attached to it. A small diamond twinkled at the center of the pendant.
“It’s beautiful,” she said and Max stood to help her with the clasp.
“Natalie wouldn’t stop until she found the perfect present,” chuckled Max as he looked at his wife lovingly. “She dragged me to all the shops in New York last week.”
“She loves to shop,” Diana said and grinned at Natalie.
They both did, but Natalie had more disposable income due to her husband’s generous monthly allowance while Diana had to budget her finances carefully on her preschool teacher’s salary. Natalie was a stay-at-home housewife, but she was currently writing a mystery novel in hopes of getting it published.
“Thank you both,” said Diana as she fingered the pendant. “I love it.”
“Love what?” said a deep voice that made Diana’s heart quiver. She recognized the voice instantly even after all these years. She hoped that she didn’t look as nervous as she felt.
Max stood up and held out his hand to someone behind her.
“I’m glad you could join us, Mr. Redmond,” Max said respectfully. Diana glanced at Natalie, who was looking at her with an apologetic smile, before she turned in her seat to get her first look at the man whom she had never really forgotten.
“Please, call me Jake.”
He looked the same – still over six feet tall, still muscular, and still dangerously handsome. His haircut was shorter and he was a bit broader around the shoulders, but otherwise his chiseled features and sensuous green eyes were as captivating as ever. He wore a black jacket over a white shirt, which emphasized his wide shoulders and black slacks. Jake glanced at her and her internal temperature shot up as she tried to keep her face impassive while remembering the last time she had seen him on the beach, writhing in his arms.
“This is my wife, Natalie, and her best friend, Diana,” introduced Max. Diana swallowed softly as she watched Jake shake Natalie’s hand. Then he turned to her and she felt her hand being enveloped by his much larger one. She tried to smile, but her lips were frozen as she looked into his eyes, which were staring at her quizzically.
“You look familiar,” Jake said. Diana’s eyes widened. He couldn’t possibly have remembered her, had he?
“I, uh –” Diana started, not knowing what to say.
She glanced at Natalie, whose eyes had widened comically, but she could see no help from that corner, so she looked up at Jake again.
“We met many years ago,” she said, hoping that he wouldn’t remember. It was too humiliating to re-hash the past.
Jake’s eyebrows shot up inquisitively. He continued to stare at her until Max cleared his throat. Diana glanced at Max gratefully as he gestured to Jake to take a seat. Jake sat next to Max and across from Diana. He continued to stare at Diana intently. Her fingers clenched beneath the table as she tried to remain calm. Sitting across from the man who had invaded almost all her dreams during her college years was unnerving, to say the least.
“Are you ready to order?” asked a waiter.
Diana looked up along with Natalie and Max to give their orders. Diana felt Jake’s intense scrutiny of her, but she didn’t dare look directly at him even though every molecule in her body was aware of his presence.
“How was your flight?” asked Natalie glancing at Diana’s guarded expression.
Jake’s eyes never left Diana’s as he answered Natalie.
“Uneventful,” he replied distractedly with a strange note in his voice, which compelled Diana to look directly at him. She knew then that he had recognized her. His eyes widened a fraction and then became even more probing as his gaze wandered over her features. She gulped softly at his thorough inspection.
“I hope you don’t mind, Jake, but we’re also celebrating Diana’s birthday tonight,” said Max, unaware of the tension in his midst.
Diana could have kicked him under the table. Why did he have to reveal that information?
“Happy birthday, Diana,” Jake said softly as he smiled at her. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“A long time since when?” she asked, knowing that all she could do now was to pretend not to know him, but she had never been a good actress.
“You don’t remember me?” he asked softly and her body temperature shot up at his teasing tone.