By Mari Carr On Apr 16 2014, 9:00 am
I’m thrilled to announce that The Back-Up Plan recently released. The story is part of my Second Chances series—six books that talk about the exploits of the wine girls. These six women get together every Thursday night for a little wine-time happy hour where they unwind, gossip and help each other survive as single women!
My own group of friends inspired the premise for the books. Over the past few years, I’ve watched all of them deal with an assortment of issues—from divorce to health concerns to weaving their way through the stickiness of the modern-day dating scene. I think when we’re younger we have a tendency to think there will be a moment in our adult lives when everything falls into place and we’ll finally get our acts together. I’m turning 45 this year and I’ve begun to realize that “moment” doesn’t exist. Life is constantly throwing us curveballs and it’s our ability to adapt, to accept and to move on that keep us in the game. I’ve been quite inspired—and awed—by the true grace and courage of my friends as they’ve dealt with their problems and the Second Chances series has been my attempt to write a “happy ending” for each of them.
The stories have been a challenge to write because all six stories take place concurrently during the course of a single year. In each book, there is a prologue where the women celebrate New Year’s Eve with wine and resolutions. And then…it’s been a bit of a puzzle as I make sure they are all where they’re supposed to be as the months pass.
If you’re interested in checking the books out, they have released in the following order:
Fix You – Zoey deals with the diagnosis of breast cancer.
Full Moon – Fear of putting her broken heart on the line has single mom Josie seeking to fulfill some fantasies…with no strings attached.
Status Update – Newly-divorced Laura struggles to rediscover her own identity after spending so many years as a wife and a mother.
The Back-Up Plan – Career-minded Kristen comes to the unsettling realization that her work is not enough for her. She’s lonely.
Never Been Kissed (coming Sept. 9) – Shelly has spent her entire life trying to overcome her shyness while dealing with her weight issues. With her health at stake, she decides it’s time to reinvent herself.
Say Something (coming 2015) – Eccentric Georgie has three broken engagements and a ticking biological clock. However, before she can move forward, she needs to put the past to rest.
The Back-Up Plan
Just how legally binding is a promise made on a cocktail napkin?
Second Chances, Book 4
Kristen Grey has always been married to her work, but as her fortieth birthday looms, she begins to wonder if that’s all there is to life. When her friend Zoey suggests she come up with a goal for a second chance at happiness, the first idea to pop into Kristen’s mind falls out of her mouth—to find a husband.
One night, after a few too many shots of vodka, it falls out of her mouth again, in front of the last man she wants to hear it. Her annoying, cocky law partner, Jason Mitchell. She’s shocked when he vows to help in her quest to find a man.
After all, he has a vested interest in her success. Years ago, they foolishly made a pact that if they hadn’t found “the one” by age forty, they’d marry each other. Time is running out.
Problem is, as Jason and Kristen try to help each other find love, it becomes more and more apparent that maybe the back-up plan isn’t such a bad option after all.
The heroine in this story has no objection to how her law partner likes to recess. Legal eagle? Nope. Spread eagle.
“What are you wearing?”
Kristen glanced up, her brow creased. He’d clearly interrupted her when she was deep in thought. She’d been working hard preparing for a medical malpractice suit. He almost felt guilty for distracting her. Almost.
He crossed the room to her, walking around her desk. She pushed her chair back and swiveled to face him.
“What are you wearing?”
She looked down, perplexed. “A skirt?”
He rubbed his forehead as too many sleepless nights caught up with him all at once. She was driving him crazy these days. Wearing her hair down, smiling, singing, laughing at all his dirty jokes. Lately he’d gotten in the habit of calling her every night before he went to bed just because he wanted to hear her voice one more time before he closed his eyes.
Then sleep would elude him as he saw her face and heard her chastising him for drinking too much or not eating a healthy dinner or chasing the wrong kind of women. God. All she had to do was take that tone with him and his cock was rock hard for an hour afterwards. He’d jacked off so many times in the past few weeks he was getting callouses on his palm.
He gritted his teeth, then forced himself to say, “Under the skirt?”
She narrowed her eyes in her typical grow up way and his dick twitched. Shit. Here we go again.
“Seriously? You came in here to ask me that? Go home, J. Or better yet, call Monica. For some insane reason, she’s really into you. Maybe she can take your mind off this unhealthy obsession you have with my stockings.”
“So you are wearing stockings.”
“That’s all you heard me say, isn’t it?”
He shrugged, perfectly aware he was standing over her, looking and acting like king of the Neanderthals. He didn’t care. She was poking the bear. Every freaking day.
Then he caught a whiff of flowers. “When did you start wearing perfume?”
She shook her head, apparently unbothered by his odd change of subject. “When I was fifteen. Are you feeling okay? You’ve been walking around here for weeks like a tiger with a thorn in his paw. What’s going on?”
He wished to God he knew. Because maybe if he did, he wouldn’t do what he was about to do next. Unfortunately, intelligent Jason had abandoned ship when Kristen walked into work this morning in her short skirt and stockings. The only person still in residence was the idiot.
He bent down, caging Kristen in her chair, and kissed her. Put his lips against hers and pressed close.
She struggled for only a minute. He barely registered her hands on his shoulders, shoving against him. Then her fingers stopped pushing and started gripping.
Jason released his white-knuckle clench on the arms of her chair once he realized she was kissing him back. Their lips parted at the same time, their tongues meeting halfway as he grasped her face in his palms, stroking her soft skin.
She made a quiet whimper when he knelt between her legs, but she didn’t hesitate to part her thighs, to make room for him between. Neither of them came up for air, as if breaking the union of their lips would somehow crush the magic. Instead, they dove headfirst into the kiss, allowing it to go on and on.
Kristen’s hands loosened from his shirt, moving along his shoulders, then back to his tie. She released the knot and tugged the silk from the collar. When she started to tackle the buttons of his shirt, Jason gave up whatever semblance of control had remained.
He lowered his hands to her legs, caressing her thighs before gathering enough courage to dive beneath her skirt. His fingers had only traveled a few inches before he found the clasps of her garter.
Kristen gasped, a strong burst of air that almost pushed their lips apart. They recovered quickly, however, and resumed kissing, tasting. Jason relished every soft cry, every delicate sound of pure bliss she made.
He’d kissed hundreds of women in his life, but none of them compared to this. They didn’t even come close.
Jason deepened the kiss when his fingers found the bare skin above her stockings. Kristen spread her legs wider and he moved closer, but her tugging his shirt open distracted him. When had she unfastened the buttons? She stroked his chest, toyed with the light smattering of hair there, pressed her thumbs against his small brown nipples. There wasn’t an ounce of shyness in her exploration. Nothing, but sure, assertive hands. He shouldn’t have been surprised. Kristen was a powerhouse in the courtroom, confident, strong. It was apparent those attributes carried over to the physical realm as well.
His erection thickened even more, causing an almost lightheaded effect. The edges of his vision went fuzzy. What the hell was he doing? This was Kris.
The Back-Up Plan is available at Samhain.