Back in college, Jane Lewis would have given anything to be like homecoming queen Connie Bryan. Instead, she was just Plain Jane--overweight, frumpy, and painfully shy. That was then. Today, a lovely and confident Dr. Jane Lewis has a thriving psychotherapy practice, her own radio talk show, a beautiful old Louisiana mansion, and her affectionate, nutty dog, Olive, to keep her company. The only thing missing is someone to share her life.
Jane has never forgotten Michael Sorenson, the boy she'd admired from afar in college. Now, he's inspiring her to hope for a future together. She's also never forgotten the brutal, unsolved attack that ended Connie Bryan's life--and haunts Jane still. Suddenly, the present collides with the past, as she finds clues into the identities of Connie's attackers--clues that send her into a world of risk and excitement, challenging her to become a truly extraordinary woman...if she dares.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 01, 2011
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Plain Jane by Fern Michaels
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1988
Jane Lewis closed her book and heaved a huge sigh. If she didn't know the material now, she would never know it. She rubbed at her aching eyes with the palm of her hand, confident that she would ace her last final in the morning. She looked down at her watch and sighed again. She'd spent the entire day and evening in the library without eating. She realized surely that she was hungry, starving actually. Another sigh escaped her lips when she thought about the weight she'd put on since coming here to LSU. Forty pounds to be exact. She was going to work out and take off the entire forty plus ten more this summer if it was the last thing she did. It probably would be, since she was so out of shape.
Jane turned when she felt a hand on her shoulder. "Is your name Jane and are you in Acadian Hall?"
"Yes, I'm Jane Lewis. I've seen you from time to time, but we were never introduced," Jane said, standing up to offer her hand.
"Connie Bryan. I'm on four. You're five, I think. I was wondering if you would mind if I walked with you if you're going back to the dorm. It's late, and I hate walking alone. I hate to admit it, but I'm a real scaredy cat."
"Sure," Jane said, gathering up her books. Connie Bryan was everything she ever wanted to be but could never be--petite, blond, 105 pounds, and so popular she'd been voted Homecoming Queen. She dated the star quarterback and rumor had it they were getting married in June.
"You ready for graduation, Jane? I have two finals tomorrow, and that's it. How about you?" Connie asked, falling into step beside Jane.
Jane blinked at the girl's obvious friendliness. "My last final is at eight. I feel pretty good about it. Is it true you're getting married after graduation?"
"Yes. My mama is planning the wedding as we speak. She told me she was addressing the invitations tonight. The last fitting on my gown is Saturday. I can't wait. All I want to do is get married and have a whole houseful of children. Todd does, too. I'm going to teach for a year or two before we start our family. How about you, Jane?"
"I'm going on to medical school. Tulane. I'm anxious about that. I don't think I'm marriage material, at least not yet. I want a career"
"Commendable. Four years of college is enough for me. Do you have a specialty in mind?"
"Pediatric medicine. I might switch up and just do general medicine. I'm not sure. Do you mind if I ask you a question?"
Connie laughed. "It's really dark out here, isn't it? Gives me the creeps. I'm so glad you're walking with me. What's the question?"
Jane looked around. Normally the campus was a beehive of activity even this late in the evening. Tonight, though, with finals pretty much over, a lot of the students had already left, hence the quietness at this late hour. "A couple of the lights are out. I noticed it last night. My question is, how did it feel to be chosen Homecoming Queen?"
"It was the second most exciting moment of my life. The first was meeting Todd and knowing I'd met my soul mate. Are you seeing anyone special?"
Jane laughed. She wished she could think of something smart and witty to say to the pretty girl walking along with her. "No, I'm not seeing anyone special or otherwise"
"You just haven't found the right guy yet, Jane. But you will in time. The moment you look into someone's eyes and know that person is your destiny, it's like no other feeling in the world. Todd and I are going to have such a wonderful life. We have our house all picked out, the furniture, even the kitchen dishes and place mats. We want four children and neither one of us cares if they are boys or girls as long as they're healthy. We even picked out names. I'm going to bake and decorate for the holidays. We're going to have Christmas trees in every room in the house. Todd and I both just love Christmas. We met right before Christmas break our first year here at LSU. I can't wait. I think about it all day, and I dream about it every single night. God has certainly blessed me"
"You're very lucky, Connie. I wish you all the happiness in the world," Jane said sincerely.
They came out of the darkness like stalking wolves. It was hard to distinguish how many there were until they started to talk. Five--and one hovering outside the immediate group---Jane thought, as the fine hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. Odd man out. Then she started to shake, or was it Connie who had suddenly grabbed her arm in a viselike grip?
"Well, lookee here, boys. We snagged us a real little beauty. The school beauty, to be exact"
"What... What do you want? Leave us alone" Connie managed to squeak before a hand was clamped over her mouth, and she was pulled away from the safety of Jane's plump arm.
"Come on, you guys, cut it out. This isn't funny," Jane gasped before a hand was clamped over her own mouth.
"It's not supposed to he funny, so shut up. One more peep out of you, and you'll get a chop to the neck. We have plans for Little Miss Homecoming Queen, don't we, guys?"
Jane struggled to free herself, but the arms holding her were muscular and hard. In that moment she knew escape was not an option. She watched in horror as three dark forms dragged Connie off the path and into dense shrubbery.
"You can't do this," Jane whimpered behind the smelly hand, knowing she was going to he next. "I thought I told you to shut up. We aren't interested in a fat tub of lard like you."
Jane kicked backward, hoping her Nike would meet flesh It didn't. She felt a hard jab to her stomach and then one to her chest. She went limp with the pain. She sensed rather than saw the boy on the sidelines leaving. With the side of her face to the ground, she could hear running feet. Maybe he wasn't one of them. Maybe he was going for help.
It seemed like an eternity, but it was only minutes before the boys Waded places. A moment later she was free, kneeling on the ground, crying with pain, knowing what was happening to Connie Bryan. She had to do something besides moan and whimper. She struggled to her knees, anger rivering through her. The moment she was on her feet, she screamed at the top of her lungs, the sound carrying in the quiet evening. She felt her head snap backward as a knee jabbed into the small of her back. She bit down on the hand coveting her mouth and knew she drew blood; she'd bitten the boy to the very bone. She spit the blood from her mouth.
"What the hell..."