“From the hopeful opening lines to the heartfelt final lines, Show Me How to Love You satisfies on every level…” 5-star Reader Review
Neal’s story continues from Show Me How to Leave You…
A divorced man, a widowed woman. They aren’t looking for love. But that’s precisely when love finds you.
Neal Thomas walked out on his cheating wife, and he’s not looking for a replacement. Until an encounter on a long-distance flight with an enchanting woman leaves him rethinking his empty bed. Suddenly he can’t stop looking… and wanting.
Ella Hammond nursed her husband of thirty years through a debilitating illness. Now, after a year of grieving his loss, life is all about her kids, her grandkids, and caring for her elderly mother. Yet there’s a lonely piece of her heart that wonders if romance has to end now that she’s widowed and over fifty.
In a fateful meeting with Neal on a plane, Ella embarks on a sensual journey she never thought possible. But Neal has appetites Ella’s not sure she can satisfy.
How far does Neal want to take her? How far is Ella willing to go? Worse, how will Neal’s horrid ex try to sabotage their budding relationship?
Can two people who have loved and lost find a second chance?
Show Me How to Love You is a standalone contemporary second chance romance, but if you’d like to learn more about Neal (and his marriage to that horrid, cheating ex-wife!), try the prequel Show Me How to Leave You.
What Readers Are Saying:
Show Me How to Love You
© 2019 Jasmine Haynes
The man was tall, dark, and handsome. A perfect romance hero.
And Ella Hammond had read her share of very erotic romances.
On her way to visit her daughter, she was marooned at the San Francisco Airport surrounded by a sea of travelers, from business types and huddled couples to backpackers and families with small children. The loudspeaker made her ears ring every time there was an announcement.
But studying him drowned out all the frenetic activity around her.
Ella had been married for thirty-three years, and she’d never looked at another man. Okay, she’d looked. You’d have to be over ninety if you didn’t appreciate the aesthetic quality of a good-looking man, and she was only fifty-five. But she’d never looked, not with interest. Once she’d been widowed, she’d felt guilty looking.
It had been almost a year since Dale died.
And now, finally,Ella looked at Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome. With interest.
She was on vacation from her elderly mother and flying off to see her grandchildren in Chattanooga. She’d chosen late February for the trip over leaving Mom for the holidays. At eighty-eight, who know how many holidays Mom had left. But that meant Ella missed Christmas with the grand kids.
Unfortunately, due to bad weather back east, her outbound flight from San Francisco was late, which meant she’d miss her connecting flight to Chattanooga. The best the airline could do, considering all the delayed flights, was to put her on a nonstop to Nashville. Her new flight, however, took off three and a half hours later than her original, and with the time change, she wouldn’t get to Nashville until after five, then add to that a two-hour drive to Chattanooga. She’d decided to spend the night in Nashville and rent a car in the morning.
She allowed herself another look at the man. A long, luscious look, savoring every detail of his total perfection.
Until he caught her.
She’d been smiling like a teenage girl, and now her face heated with embarrassment. She dropped her gaze to the carpet, to her small carry on bag and the shoes of the people next to her.
Hopefully he hadn’t seen that smile. Or the annoying flush on her cheeks.
Her eyes, however, had minds of their own and rose once again to Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.
Short, dark hair with slashes of gray, long, sooty lashes over chocolaty brown eyes. Okay, she’d read too many romance novels. In his late forties, he was a sight to behold in a dark blue suit, white dress shirt, and red tie. He had to be a workout fanatic to fit into that suit without a single strained button or bulge. She loved men all dressed up like casual Friday didn’t exist. Dale had always worn his suit to work.
Her stomach twinged.
But Dale had been gone almost a year, and he’d been sick for two years before that. He’d always said he wanted her to move on and enjoy her life.
Not that she’d ever marry again. But, well, sex would be nice.
She could imagine sex with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Hot, sweaty sex, in the dark so he couldn’t see all the imperfections of her fifty-five-year-old body. Not that she was in bad shape. But she’d had three children, and darkness would be best.
Anyway, it was just a fantasy. She’d never approach the man.
Her marital sex life hadn’t been the best but not the worst either. At least they’d made love on a semi regular basis. But then Dale got sick. She’d lived the last three years like she was a nun, like being a widow meant you weren’t allowed to think about other men or look at other men. Or dream about sex. Instead she’d read erotic romance novels. A lot of them.Which actually gave her dreams erotic enough to wake her up at night. A month ago, she’d even had an erotic dream about her mother’s doctor, who admittedly had the most amazing rear view. But he was probably younger than her twenty-eight-year-old son. She wasn’t a cougar. Or a MILF. Or even a GILF.
But no sex in more than three years? It felt like a lifetime. She wasn’t sure she even knew how to do it anymore.
Looking at this man, however, lit up something inside her.
The call for first-class to board came over the loudspeaker, ringing in her ears, and her eye-candy entered the short line.
She had to smile. They were worlds apart. He was first class; she was just economy. Even if Dale had left her comfortable.
No wonder Mr. First Class had looked so good in a suit.
As he passed, she thought she could smell his aftershave, something manly and woodsy that would linger in her head the whole flight.
At the last moment, he turned his head, looked right at her. And smiled.
A smile that stole her breath and made her tremble.
She wasn’t sure if she returned that smile or if her face was frozen in a rictus of pure astonishment.
Then he disappeared down the jetway. Into another class. Belonging to another world.
Her phone rang, and her mother’s icon popped up on the screen as she fished the cell out of her purse.
This was her world. Her stomach seemed to fall straight through to the floor. All she could think of was the next catastrophe.
“Hi, Mom.” She forced brightness into her voice. Without meaning to, she always used a different tone with her mother, like she was talking to a child.
“Oh, dear. I’m so glad you’re there.” Her mother’s voice was equally as bright.
“How are you doing, Mom?” But her inner voice was shouting.Please don’t let anything be wrong.
“Oh, I’m feeling so very good today. So I thought I’d go through that old file of papers sitting on the footstool by the sideboard and throw out the stuff we don’t need.”
Ella’s stomach didn’t just sink this time. It fell with a crash to the tarmac below. “You mean the yellow folder?”
“Is it yellow?” A pause. “Oh, yes, I guess it is.” Mom sounded so happy.
Damn. “Okay, Mom. That’s wonderful. But those are this year’s tax papers.” And other financial stuff, bills that came to her mother, though Ella had transferred most of the mailings to her address. “So why don’t you put everything back in the folder and put it on the footstool, okay?”
Her mother had an independent apartment in a Morgan Hill retirement home—an hour south of Ella’s home on the San Francisco Peninsula—with caregivers a few hours in the mornings and evenings. They collected the mail, putting everything that looked financial in the yellow folder so Ella could deal with it when she visited her mother at least once a week.
It had never been a problem before.
“Did I do something wrong, dear?” Her mother’s voice turned plaintive.
The loudspeaker blared announcing boarding for the zone before Ella’s.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I just want to make sure I know where all the papers are. So please put them back on the stool for me, okay?”
At eighty-eight, her mother’s dementia was getting worse. She should be in assisted living at her home, but there wasn’t a room available right now. She got by with part-time caregivers, but it was too expensive to have someone there twenty-four hours a day. Ella did her best to manage her mother’s daily life and controlled the finances, though Ella’s son did the taxes. Her sister Cynthia, a nurse, handled Mom’s medical issues. Not that she had many. She was healthy as a horse, to use the old cliché. Except for the dementia.
“Okay. I’ll put them back, dear. I was only trying to help.”
“I know, Mom. No worries.” She could only hope her mother hadn’t thrown out any tax papers. But how could you be angry with someone who returned from lunch in the dining hall and got ready for bed because she thought she’d just eaten dinner?
Their roles had reversed. Now she was the mom. Only managing a parent was a hell of lot harder than managing little kids. With them, there was always that stock line: “Because I said so.”
They called her boarding zone. There was a great rush of people cramming into the line, leaving Ella behind. All the overhead bin space would be filled by the time she made it on.
“When are you going to be here, dear? In time for lunch?” Every day her mom asked what timeElla would arrive.
“Remember I’m going to Chattanooga for two weeks, Mom? To see the grand kids?”
“Oh yes, I forgot. Give them my love.” She didn’t remember the kids’ names. But she remembered Ella’s name. That counted for something, surely.
“I will. I have to run. We’re boarding now. I love you.” It was almost a relief to hang up. As soon as Ella got on the plane, she’d text her mother’s caregiver to make sure she put the yellow folder in the cupboard. She should have done that months ago. Her life was full of should-have-dones.
Ella loved her mother, but the caregivers hadn’t made Ella’s job easier. There were still a million phone calls every day, a million details to handle. Mom didn’t remember appointments, didn’t remember what day it was, couldn’t even remember what Ella told her at the beginning of a conversation.
She finally boarded the plane after shuffling down the jetway.
She stepped into the aisle and saw him immediately, seated on the left by the window, the aisle seat next to him empty. As he studied a sheaf of papers on the tray table in front of him,she was free to look without getting caught.
He was a beautiful man, sexy, perfectly formed, his jaw clean-shaven. And the right age. She preferred older men.
The queue stopped again, a seat ahead of him. He looked up, right at her. And he smiled again. Her cheeks heated, but this time, she didn’t look away, meeting his smile, flashing it back at him.
Then the line carried her forward and she was past him, her heart fluttering. At least she’d done something, even if it was only a smile.
Her row was halfway down. Ahead of her, an old couple had taken their seats, a young girl—all right, she wasn’t a girl, she was probably twenty, but that was young to Ella—and the grimace on the girl’s face was either disgust or fear, a part of her probably screaming never to be that wrinkled or decrepit.
The old man and woman rose, sidled out in slow, methodical steps, holding the seat backs to steady themselves as the girl took the window seat. Then another slow, methodical slide back into their seats. It wasn’t a moment. It was a journey.
Ella smiled at the couple as she passed. Old people were invisible to the young, until they got in their way. At fifty-five, Ella was invisible, too.
At least she had been until a handsome man smiled at her on a plane and made her heart flutter. For just a moment, she didn’t feel like a grandmother.
When he’d looked at her, she felt like a woman.
Half an hour later, Ella lamented her seatmates, a thirty-something mom and toddler. She loved children, just not whiny toddlers on a plane. While adorably tear-streaked, his screams had risen to fever pitch.
Ella closed her eyes, wanting to stick her fingers in her ears. Just when she thought her eardrums would burst, the fasten-seatbelt light flickered out. Ella grabbed her cosmetics bag from the seat pocket in front of her and headed down the aisle.
In the small cubicle, she freshened her lipstick and the makeup she’d applied at four o’clock this morning. She fluffed the blond hair from which her hairdresser had expertly purged any trace of gray.
She imagined this was the woman Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome had seen. Not too bad.She could still fit into her wedding dress. Her daughter Ashley hadn’t wanted to use it, so Ella was saving it for her youngest, Brooke. Of course, by the time Brooke got married, she probably wouldn’t want it either.
Leaving the restroom, she sidled past the waiting line and made her way to her seat.
Four rows away, she noticed the scowls on the faces of the people around her aisle seat. Two rows away, she smelled something. Oh no. No, no, no.
There was no wailing now, just tears.
And a pool of vomit on Ella’s seat.
“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” the harried mother repeated. “I called the flight attendant.”
A flight attendant wouldn’t do any good. They’d all be smelling that the entire flight. But Ella said the polite thing. “I’ve got kids and grand kids. I’ve been through it.”
The flight attendant arrived and stared at the puddle on Ella’s seat. Closing her eyes, she muttered,“Shit,” under her breath.Then, recovering quickly, she pursed her red lips. “We’ll take care of this right away.”
The smell intensified. Nothing like recirculated air to pump the entire plane full of the sickly scent. Ella stepped back so she wouldn’t have to see the mess, her move accompanied by groans and moans and whispers of sympathy as everyone thanked their stars it wasn’t their seat.
The petite brunette air hostess was back in three minutes with a male team member, both equipped with paper towels and plastic bags. Ella could have told them that wasn’t going to do it. After long gagging minutes, they’d cleaned the worst of it, but a huge wet spot remained on her seat. And so did the stench.
Ella, her hand over her mouth, asked “Do you have any disinfectant? To at least take the smell out?”
The male attendant looked at her with lively brown eyes. “I’m afraid you won’t be able to sit in this seat.” His southern drawl was pleasant, as was his apologetic smile.“But unfortunately the plane is chock-full, ma’am.”
A lot of women didn’t like being called ma’am, something to do with ageism. But Ella had always thought it was just politeness.
She looked at her seat, back at him. “Can I sit in one of your jump seats?”
He smiled a happy, toothy smile. As if they were talking about the weather instead of her ruined seat. “I’m afraid that’s against regulations, ma’am. But I’ll do some checking. We’ll find something.” Then he sailed off to the back of the plane.
The mother by the window cradled the now sleeping toddler in her lap. “I’m sorry,” she mouthed at Ella as the brunette air hostess continued working on the seat.
The male flight attendant returned, still with that happy, toothy grin. “Ma’am, we have found you a seat.” He beamed at her. “Do you need anything out of the overhead?”
“No. There wasn’t any room up there.” She pulled her carryall from under the seat, stuffed her cosmetics away, thanking God the little tyke had managed to confine his breakfast to just her seat.
Then she followed the flight attendant up front.
“We have one last seat. A passenger didn’t make it.”
“Maybe it was providence,” Ella said.
Over his shoulder, he said, “Ma’am, we never would’ve made you sit in that seat.Even if we had to let you sit with the pilot.” Of course, that was probably against regulations, too.
He pulled aside the curtain that separated first-class, holding it for her.
She recognized the empty seat. And the man seated by the window, his dark hair streaked with gray.
It really was providence. And way more fun than sitting with the pilot.