When the going gets tough, Jill Delaney gets going...in the other direction. This time the other direction has Jill hitching a ride with the senior center's Spring Fling tour to Orlando. Screwed out of a promotion, she's ready for some fun in the sun before it is time to balance her checkbook again. Ethan Cooper just wants to get his mother settled into her new job so he can pick up the pieces of his own life. But first Mom's got a little vacation planned. Now Ethan has to survive a trip with a busload of retirees and one sexy but infuriating blonde, then he's home free. But when they find themselves stranded and alone, Jill and Ethan are faced with making their own way south. Fighting scorching sexual desire and each other along the way, they give in and indulge in a little vacation sex-which doesn't mean they have to fall in love. After all, Jill's not ready to be domesticated, and Ethan's convinced she's not his type. They never saw the handcuffs coming...
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Twice Upon a Roadtrip by Shannon Stacey
For a Thursday it had been one hell of a bad day.
Jillian Delaney navigated across the grocery store parking lot, cursing her rotten luck. It wasn't a Monday or a Friday the thirteenth. She hadn't broken a mirror, walked under a ladder or tripped over a black cat. There was simply no explanation for the words that had come from her boss's mouth.
She stopped the cart and let it rest against her hip while she opened the back door. The cart slipped and she cringed as the shopping cart gouged a trail across the cherry red fender of her new car.
"Damn," she hissed, examining the wound. Could this day get any worse?
The fates only laughed at the foolish question and split the bottom of the plastic bag in her hand. Groceries showered the pavement. Two cans of vegetables hit the asphalt with metallic thuds before splitting up and rolling in opposite directions. A can of soup ricocheted off a can of tomato paste. And the jumbo thirty-nine ounce can of coffee landed on her foot.
Jill let loose a short, frustrated scream and threw the torn bag into the car. Tears burned her eyes, but she concentrated on her anger. She was not going to cry in the grocery store parking lot. She would cry when she got home, then comfort herself with the one-pound bag of chocolate she'd just bought. One by one she picked up her canned goods and pelted them into the backseat. Half bounced back at her--par for the course today.
Some idiot had stolen her promotion. For four years she coveted that job, waiting for Mrs. Bright to retire. Now some out-of-towner with a fancy resume--she wasn't even from New Hampshire--had swooped in and pulled the rug out from under her. In two weeks, somebody else would be the head librarian at the Carlson Memorial Library.
Jill swore and kicked the fender, leaving a nice little dent right below the scratch. In for a penny... She kicked it again.
Pain exploded in her toes. An anguished growl tore from her throat and she sat on the edge of the backseat. With one hand, she rubbed her bruised toes while the other hand massaged her temple. Maybe a good, public cry was inevitable, because her day was getting worse by the second.
A pair of men's Reeboks stopped in front of her. "Hi there. Is there a problem?"
Geez, do I look that bad? Or maybe the screeches of outrage had given her away. She stood with a weary sigh.
The man occupying the Reeboks smiled at her and she completely forgot what she was going to say.
His tall frame was a tad bit thinner than she usually liked, but he still managed to fill out his worn jeans and Red Sox T-shirt pretty well. Her gaze skimmed over his clean-shaven jaw, his sensually curved lips. He had thick, mahogany-hued hair she would bet curled like mad if he didn't keep it trimmed short. And those dark chocolate eyes...
Jill pressed her lips together to keep from grinning like an idiot. Spring was most definitely in the air, and it had been a while since spring had sprung. "I'm fine--really. Thanks for asking."
"I, uh...I appreciate the groceries but I bought my own," he said, waving toward his own cart.
"What?" Wasn't it just her luck to bump into a cute guy whose elevator didn't go all the way to the top? If only she was more superstitious, she'd have a clue what she'd done to bring this on herself. Had she spilled salt at lunch and not tossed it over her shoulder? "Look, pal, I'm not in the mood for any games right now, so if you move your cart I'll just leave, okay?"
"That's my car."
"What? I don't..." She looked over her shoulder and the words died on her lips. Her travel mug was red, not blue. And her center console hadn't been that organized since it left the dealership.
"This isn't my car!"