Meant To Be
by Jennifer Labelle
Secret Cravings Publishing
February 16, 2011
(Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance )
Jenna Baker is shaken up after her recovery with a near death experience. As if, being haunted with visions and losing her husband in a car accident weren’t hard enough. Could she be losing her mind? She finally moves on to meet the man of her dreams, only to have the husband she thought was dead suddenly reappear.
After the shocking task of convincing Jenna that she’s not seeing his ghost, Tyler becomes overwhelmed with guilt for saving himself and leaving her to almost die. Jenna’s recovery takes its toll while Tyler’s vulnerability gets the best of him. He’s harbouring secrets that will devastate her and as Jenna unravels the truth her life takes an unexpected journey.
To put her premonitions to the test she needs to find Brady, this man of her dreams but first she must decide whether to forgive Tyler and his desperate need to make amends.
Excerpt: “So tell me about yerself.” He looked intrigued, as if he wanted to find out as much as he could, without pushing her past her limits.
“Hmm, let's see. I'm twenty-seven and an only child. Both my parents are still living and have been married the last thirty years. I currently live in Staten Island, New York, but I was born in Canada.”
“What else?” he persisted.
“What else? What is it that you want to know?”
“Anything and everything ye'd like to share. How about ye tell me about the most exotic place ye've ever been to, where ye've traveled. Now that would be interestin'.”
“Well, when it comes to traveling it's simple because I've never travelled before this.”
“Really?” he asked, then laughed.
Jenna played along. “Pathetic, huh? Honestly, Brady, being a wife and a mother, I didn't have the time.” The words slipped out before she could take them back. The laughter died quickly, and Brady looked upset.
“Yer married?” He was clearly not happy with the thought. “Yer here with me, and yer married and have a child. Please tell me this is some kinda joke. Cause if it is, it's not very funny.”
Playtime was over. The atmosphere became extremely serious, and Jenna began to cry. “No it's not funny,” she whispered, trying to hold back a sob. “The truth is I am pathetic. I was married, Brady, was being the word you missed. My husband died a little over a year ago, and it was partly my fault. God, I still miss him, but I'm trying to move on. I need to for myself, and I want to for my son. It's been hard, but above all else, the most important thing in my life, my whole life is my son.”
It was the first time she brought up her child, and she wasn't sure what to expect. She missed Jayden so much it hurt to think about.
“Shite Jenna, I'm so sorry, darlin'.” He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into the embrace. “But come on, love, yer far from pathetic, and it could'na been yer fault.”
She cried on his shoulder, and it felt so good to be there. She couldn't remember the last time she had such strong arms around her, and god, he smelled so good. “We didn't have seat belts on. We were stranded…” she sobbed. “Making love. It's my fault because I was the one who started it. I was irritated, I needed a distraction, and it nearly got the both of us killed. He's gone, and he shouldn't be, Brady. Why do bad things have to happen to good people?”
“It's not yer fault, Jenna. God, love, I'm so sorry, but thank ya for sharin'. Ye've helped me learn so much about ye. Now everythin' makes so much sense.”
That confused her. “What makes sense?”
“Well, when I seen ye at the airport ye seemed like ye were interested, but then ye looked so panicked and left so quickly. Last night ye was different, easy to talk to, and I even enjoyed yer flirting. Hell, ye even let me kiss ye.” He gave her one of his killer smiles. “But today ye seemed so shy.”
She smiled and then exhaled loudly. “I guess I'm not that hard to read. Thanks for listening.” She felt both relieved and foolish at the same time. He probably thought she was a nut case. “You know I'm still waiting.”
“For what, love?”
“Well, I just figured that after hearing my story any sane man would be running for the hills. I have baggage and a child, and you don't seem to mind at all.”
He laughed louder than ever. “Yer baggage isn't all that scary, love, and I think kids are grand. But then again, maybe I'm just crazy.”
He was so sweet and understanding he left her speechless. She barely knew the guy, and she'd already told him things that nobody else knew. Hanging on to her guilt was such a burden, and nobody knew that she had blamed herself this whole time. Yet she told him, had bared her soul to a man she'd only officially met the night before. There was just something about him that made her feel so comfortable.
“Brady,” she whispered breathlessly. “I'm going to have to kiss you.”
That's all it took. A slow, naughty grin came across his mouth, and there was no telling him twice. She stroked the side of his face and nipped his bottom lip before tracing her tongue over it to soothe the sting.
The moment their lips touched a fire exploded within her. Sliding her tongue along his, she just barely resisted the urge to tear off his shirt.
Before things got out of hand, Brady pulled away. Acting like a smartass, he scooped her up, threw her over his shoulder and began to walk up the path again. Jenna laughed the whole time.
“There, mission accomplished. Hearing laughter is so much better than watchin' someone cry.”
“I agree, not to mention throwing me over your shoulder gives you a good view of my ass.” She laughed, feeling so much lighter after sharing her burdens with him, and she could feel every defined and perfectly sculpted muscle on his chest and abs as he took his time putting her down.
“Not really…” he said taking her hand to twirl her around. “I actually have a better view like this. It takes care of all angles that way.”
She blushed, and he laughed again. “Jenna love, yer one of a kind.”
Author Bio: Jennifer Labelle resides in Ottawa, Ontario Canada with her husband and three beautiful children. After her third child she became a stay at home mom. In her busy household Jennifer likes to spend her down time engrossed in the stories that she creates. She is an active reader of romance (especially historical), mystery and anything paranormal. With an education in Addictions work she's decided to take a less stressful approach in life and hopes that you enjoy, as she shares some of her imagination with all of you.