Everybody's guilty of something...
And Judge Kendra Rutherford is guilty of letting handsome architect Reid Maguire become a tempting distraction, and allowing his legal battle to become entirely too heated and personal.
But after losing his reputation in a bitter courtroom fight with his ex-wife, Reid is determined to clear his name and rebuild his career. Now only the sexy judge presiding over the trial can give him back everything he lost. But she's making it hard for him to keep his priorities straight, especially when their passion and rival ambitions collide, and they're both guilty of losing their hearts....
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March 01, 2007
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Excerpt from One Night With You by Gwynne Forster
"I'm fed up. I deserve a life, and I'm going to have one," Kendra Rutherford said aloud minutes after she awoke that cold December morning. So resolute was she that, without waiting to brush her teeth, she wrote a letter to the Chowan County, North Carolina, court clerk.
For the last five years, I have gone once monthly to every hamlet in Chowan County to judge the cases awaiting trial. I am tired of it. I am bored with it. I want a change, and if you cannot assign me to a single, permanent jurisdiction, expect my resignation.
Yours sincerely, Kendra Rutherford, JD, Esq.
She addressed, stamped and sealed an envelope, thinking, I can always return to law practice. Arguing some of these petty disputes is less boring than judging them anyway.
"But being a judge is an esteemed position," her sister, Claudine, said when they spoke later that day.
"Big deal," Kendra replied. "It's been so long since I had a date that I wouldn't know how to act on one. ing yours and our parents', of course. In the first place, people who know I'm a judge practically genuflect when they see me, and in the second, I don't stay any one place long enough to make friends with men or women. Half the time, my family has no idea where I am unless I telephone."
"Good grief, Kendra, I hadn't thought of it that way. Papa loves saying, "My daughter Kendra, the judge.' He'll be unhappy if you quit."
"He'll be even more unhappy if I go nuts. Fourteen years after getting my law degree, I don't have a single thing to show for it. As a judge, I'm at the bottom of the pile. Socially, I'm not even in the pile. There'll be some changes made. And soon."
"It isn't like you to do anything rash, Kendra."
"That's the worst thing you could have said to me. Hell, Claudine, I don't even remember being a teenager. my life since I remember it."
"Yeah? And it paid off, didn't it?"
"Depends who's looking at it. Look, sis, I'd better pack," Kendra said. "I have to try cases in six towns before I get back home. Last time I was on this circuit, I ran out of stockings and underwear, so I have to concentrate on what I'm doing right now. Talk to you soon."
Reid Maguire propped his left foot on the bottom rung of a ladder that leaned against Philip Dickerson's stables and looked eye to eye at the owner of the largest agricultural enterprise in southeastern Maryland.
"It's time I left Dickerson Estates and got on with my life," Reid told Philip, the man who had saved his life and, in due course, become closer to him than his own brother. "I've saved enough to get started, and I have a job. I'll be an assistant architect in a noted firm, but after what Brown and Worley and that class-action suit did to my reputation, I'm fortunate to get that."
"It isn't going to be easy for you, Reid. You were one of the foremost architects in that part of Maryland, and you had your own firm. You were the one giving the orders. This will be a terrible comedown."
"I know, Philip. And I've reconciled myself to it. But by all logic, I should be dead, and if it hadn't been for you, I would be. It had to be a blessing that I stopped you on the street in Baltimore that day and asked you for a dollar and a half. I meant to buy a razor with it and finish myself off. One day I was on top financially and professionally, and, thanks to the biggest lie ever propagated in a court, a day later I was flat-broke and even my home and my car were taken from me. Worst of all, with my reputation destroyed, no one would hire me. I slept on the street, and lived off the kindness of strangers.
"If my beautiful wife had sold the jewelry I'd bought her or gotten a job and taken care of us until I could ride out the storm, it would have been different, but no. The lady walked. You didn't give me the money I asked you for, Philip.