Two people starting over, making much needed changes in their lives.
Zoe crawford has moved to a new city after being dumped and humiliated by her ex-husband. She is going to put her wants and needs first and get her life in order.
Tony Alessi has returned to his hometown to rehab his body and soul, leaving his ATF career behind.
When Tony meets Zoe, he likes what he sees. She appreciates the attention from the younger man but doesn’t want to participate in a cougar challenge. As Zoe learns to trust Tony, she admits to some odd happenings in her life. The feelings of being followed, call hang ups and an apartment break-in. When the attacks turn physical, she accepts Tony’s help.
Soon Zoe’s life is threatened, the couple hides in Tony’s cabin and grow closer as they discover who they were and who they hope to be.
Will Zoe’s past ruin her chance to change her life for the good?
Excerpt # 2
Patty cleaned the area. “So, you’ve caught on that the Alessi men are tough on the outside but mush on the inside when it comes to those that they love?”
“I don’t know about love.” Zoe started bouncing her foot. Talking about love and their relationship made her uncomfortable.
“Stay still,” Patty scolded. “Who are you trying to fool? Tony loves you. He’s a great guy and he’s getting back on track. What’s the matter? Isn’t he good enough for you?”
“No. That’s not it at all. He is a good man. I mean, don’t you worry that I am so much older?” Zoe dreaded the answer.
“Listen, the age thing is hard to avoid but you can’t help when you were born any more than Tony can. You two fit together like puzzle pieces. Wouldn’t you want him to be in your life every damn day?”
Patty stopped working on Zoe’s forehead and stepped back to stare into her eyes.
Zoe blinked, fighting the threatening tears.
Patty knelt in front of her, her tone softened, “Look Zoe, I had cancer and it changed my outlook on life. I appreciate what I have so much more. It was a terrible way to learn that lesson.” She took Zoe’s hand and held it between both of hers. “You seem to be a good person and Tony cares about you. He told me that, straight up. I know him and he’ll be a good partner. When he gives his word, he means it. He won’t screw around behind your back. In fact, if he is anything like his brother, he’ll drive you crazy trying to make you happy. Would that be such a terrible fate?”
“No,” Zoe whispered.” No, it wouldn’t be.”
Hello Joyfully Reviewed Fans,
My name is Tony Alessi and Melanie Jayne wrote a novella about how I got together with Zoe Crawford. I’m not really sure how to start this conversation. You see, I‘m not really good about talking about myself. I mean, I’ve had lots of practice since Atlanta, but that has been with my therapists, doctors, family and Zoe.
Hmmm, where do I start?
Okay, here goes: Zoe. She is amazing. The most amazing thing about her is that she doesn’t think she is amazing. I met her at the gym while I was doing my daily workout, rehabbing my knee. I saw this brunette with killer curves yelling at that douchebag trainer, Greg. I pulled my earphones out so I could listen. Zoe is a bigger woman, muscled but soft. She has the kind of body that makes me want to pound into her and then cuddle next to her. Later when she climbed onto the treadmill next to me, I made eye contact, and she lost her rhythm almost falling off. I gotta tell you, it was the first time that I had felt sexual attraction since the shooting. I liked it that I affected her. She sure affected me. God, I wanted her. If she had given me any kind of hint that she was interested, I would have led her to showers and stripped her naked so I could get my hands on her body.
My pursuit of this woman was not easy and I will admit that I used every advantage that I could find, to get close to her. You see, Zoe had just moved to town to start over. She didn’t know anyone, she just picked a new place and moved. How brave is that? She was making big changes to her life. She tried to discourage me, she told me she didn’t want to “participate in a Cougar Challenge”, and that she couldn’t understand why I would be interested in a “woman like her”. Ha! How could I not want her? She is smart, independent and compassionate, plus she is sexy as hell. Her ex had convinced her that she wasn’t desirable. I’ve made it my mission to show her how wrong he was.
Now don’t make me out to be some kind of good guy, I have a dark side. On the job, I spent some time in a deep–cover operation for the ATF. I was a bad man who did his share of vile acts. I’m working through it, but that darkness still haunts me. Zoe accepts me, she isn’t afraid of the darkness or my fears. Like I said she is amazing.
Some bad things started to happen to Zoe, the feeling of being stalked, a break-in at her apartment and then somebody shot at my P.I. brother and her. That’s when I made my ultimate move. We disappeared to my cabin in the woods. Just Zoe and me, that’s where, I think she finally fell in love with me, although she still wouldn’t admit it. We spent hours working side-by-side, talking and having sex. Lots of great sex.
Let’s just say, when I had to, I took care of her problem. That act forced Zoe to confront her doubts about a relationship with me. The age difference, her size and how she needed to take control of her life, she had to work through her fears. It wasn’t pretty but she got there. Like I said, my Zoe is brave.
We are together now, the remodel work on our cabin is almost finished and tonight I plan on proposing to her after dinner, sitting at our picnic table in the meadow. She might not say yes immediately, but I know that in time, I’ll convince her.
I live on a grain farm southeast of Indianapolis, Indiana with my very patient husband of twenty-five years and our two English Mastiffs, Buster Brown and Ginger. I graduated from Indiana University when it was the #1 party school in the country and I took great pride in helping the school achieve that ranking.
I haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I change careers every decade. I have worked in retail, a federal courtroom, travelled across the state closing loans, and behind the scenes in a casino.
I’ve always had an active imagination so when a good friend suggested that I try writing a book, I thought why not, it should be fun. It has, but I have had to work very hard to learn how to do it. I am so lucky for the outpouring of advice and education from so many in the industry, plus the hand-holding and cheerleading from My Gurls. I also have an incredible Ad-man-istrative Assistant, who tries to keep me under control. He rolls his eyes so much that I worry about a permanent condition.
When I ‘m not working or writing type stuff, I sleep, watch courtroom TV shows, and sports. I was a competitive pro-am ballroom dancer for ten years and I read as many books as I can.
I love to attend Author-Reader Conventions and look forward to meeting you.