Happy Labor Day! I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday. It’s sunny and gorgeous here. But I’m sort of looking forward to the winter. I love change, even the change of seasons. It’s not like we get snow here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it’s get cold and we get a lot of rain. And when it rains, I’ll get to test that my new roof holds against leaks!
Okay, enough about that. Today I’m going to give you an excerpt of my October 1 release, The Naughty Corner. I love this cover that Berkley did for the book. This is fun story about a woman who doesn’t like kids. And now she’s got to babysit her twin nephews for the summer. Lola Cook’s nephews are not all sweetness and light; they’re incorrigible. She calls them Heckle and Jeckle, those two naughty magpies from the old cartoons (yes, I’m dating myself!). But Lola has a plan: To get rid of the boys for most of the day, she sends them off to football camp. Little does she know that she’s the one will end up playing for the coach. Here’s a blurb and excerpt for you!
Somebody’s been a bad girl…
Writer Lola Cook is on a deadline. Meeting it gets twice as difficult when she finds herself in the unwelcome role of babysitter for her nephews. Six weeks with the twin teenage terrors is too much for Lola—until she has a brilliant idea: send the boys to football camp. That’ll at least get them out of her hair for five hours every day. Perfect.
Divorced father Gray Barnett has coached summer football camp long enough to know he’ll get saddled with misfits, but William and Harry exceed all expectations. They’re impossible, they’re disruptive, and when he meets their hot aunt Lola, they’re worth the trouble. That is, if Lola accepts Gray’s conditions. Every time the twins misbehave, it’s Lola who must take their punishment. With every naughty infraction, Lola gets more and more accepting—of the penalties. She has no idea just how bad a girl she can be—or how much fun it will be to get what she deserves.
The Naughty Corner
Copyright Jasmine Haynes
“Now that is one hot male animal.” From her perch in the bleachers, Lola Cook pointed with a small flick of her finger at the football field below as the coach strutted in front of his line of players, counting out their jumping jacks.
Coach Gray Barnett was a hell of a fine specimen.
“He’s old.” Charlotte Moore, Lola’s best friend since they’d attended this very same high school, made a face. “He must be close to forty-five.”
Lola laughed. “That’s only seven years older than we are.” Which made him an excellent match for Lola. She preferred seasoned men who wanted good sex without entanglements. Just the way she liked it. At least she did when she found time to date, which certainly hadn’t been much in the last few months.
Charlotte, on the other hand, with her curly red hair, emerald green eyes, and petite buxom form, took her pick of buffed, outdoorsy younger men, her favorite kind. “I mean, he’s good-looking and all . . .” She trailed off, leaving the but unsaid.
Lola studied him. At this distance, his dark hair almost seemed to gleam in the morning sun. He was tall and broad-shouldered, had the calf muscles of a runner, and his butt in those shorts was definitely squeezable. “So he’s some big CEO?” Not a full-time coach.
“Yeah. A global manufacturing company headquartered in Mountain View.” Close to Google and a bunch of the other Silicon Valley giants. “This is his way of giving back to the community. It’s his fourth year coaching the football camp.”
In addition to being a psychologist with a list of private patients, Charlotte was also a guidance counselor at the high school, and she’d given Lola a heads-up to enroll her two nephews. Without the camp, Lola hadn’t a clue what she would have done with the boys for the summer.
The boys were now prone on the ground, obviously incapable of the push-ups Coach Barnett wanted out of them. He stood over them, coaxing. It was Tuesday, first day of camp, and at a little before nine, the July sun was already warm on her head; the high school football field would be roasting by midday. Andrea would kill her if the twins got heatstroke, but barrels of iced sports drinks lined the benches, and a huge thermos, presumably filled with water, sat on a table along with baskets of fruit and power bars.
“So what did Andrea say when she heard what you did?”
Lola snorted. “She had a hissy fit. But I told her it was either football camp, or I was shipping Heckle and Jeckle to her over in Europe.”
“Heckle and Jeckle.” Charlotte snorted a laugh in return.
“Oops.” Lola covered her mouth with her hand. That was her nickname for the twins, after the naughty magpies from the ancient cartoon. And that’s how she thought of her nephews, naughty brats. “I mean Harry and William,” she said with a dramatic elongation.
On her best days, Lola wasn’t a kid person, but where the twins were concerned . . . she shuddered.
“They’re fifteen and a half years old,” Charlotte groused. “I don’t understand why Andrea has to have a nanny, for God’s sake.”
“Because my sister is a freak.” Which Charlotte knew well. Andrea was five years younger than Lola and so overprotective, it was pathetic. Though in a way, Lola couldn’t blame her. Andrea had suffered through four miscarriages before she conceived the twins. She thought she’d never have her own child. But honestly, the experience had warped her. She’d been terrified of coughs and colds, scrapes and bruises. She hadn’t even let the boys have bikes in case they were hit by a wayward car. What kid didn’t know how to ride a bike? Overprotective to the extreme, their mother had turned the twins into brats. Naming them Harry and William after the English princes said it all.
This summer Andrea had planned to take the boys on a whirlwind tour of Europe while her rich executive husband visited each branch of his company in every foreign country. What fun for them all. Until the nanny fell ill. Horrors. What was Andrea to do with the boys while she attended all the company functions and parties? After all, as the president’s wife, her presence was a requirement. Her big idea to solve the nanny debacle had been for Lola to go with them and squire the twins around Europe because, after all, Lola’s job was of no importance when compared to Andrea’s need. An all-expenses-paid trip through the best of Europe’s hotels did have certain appeal. And they’d make a visit to the south of France where her parents had retired to three years ago. It all sounded great. Except that Lola would have to spend every waking hour with Heckle and Jeckle, oops, Harry and William. She’d rather clean toilets. Even more important, she had the Fletcher Cellular job to finish. It was the first major tech-writing project she’d had sole control of since she started her own business. No way was she screwing it up for her sister’s convenience. She was not going to Europe, and she wouldn’t have taken the boys at all if Andrea hadn’t started crying. And begging. And making Lola feel guilty. Not to mention Mom’s call from the south of France.
So thank goodness for Gray Barnett’s altruism and his football camp for high school boys, which was six weeks long, Tuesday through Saturday, eight in the morning until one. Lola had also enrolled the twins in a driving school, lessons on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Problem solved. She’d barely have to see the little magpies at all.
“Your sister needs therapy,” Charlotte said, ever the loyal best friend.
“She’s already in therapy.” Andrea wasn’t born rich, but after she’d married Ivy League Ethan Penfrey-Jones and given him the little princelings, she’d become the stereotypical rich society matron. “I used to like her once upon a time,” Lola mused. “She was a good kid.” Money had spoiled her the same way she’d spoiled the twins.
“She sure has your number. The twins for the whole summer.” Charlotte rolled her eyes.
The coach now had the boys running the track. Lola counted sixteen charges, none of whom appeared particularly athletic. Then again, the football camp wasn’t about training next year’s great players. She’d been diligent enough to read the mission statement on the website; the camp was about giving kids some self-esteem. Lola admired the coach for that.
And she certainly admired several other things about him. By the benches, he downed some water and snacked on a banana. Lola had a vision of the old commercial where the half-naked construction worker drank his diet soda. Watching Gray Barnett gave her the same heated sensation.
Charlotte might have been remembering the commercial when she said, “Well, I can’t sit here all day watching men get sweaty.”
Lola could, if the sweaty man was Gray Barnett. “Yeah, I gotta go, too.” She had a meeting with one of the engineers from Fletcher Cellular. She’d watched long enough to be able to assure Andrea that the boys were in capable hands.
She certainly wouldn’t mind spending six weeks in Coach Gray Barnett’s capable hands. But she had work to do.
To read another excerpt from The Naughty Corner, drop by 69 Shades of Smut Blog on Fri, 9/6. Hope to see you there! And if you drop by my website, you’ll find yet a different excerpt. Lots of fun reading!
Somebody’s Lover, Jackson Brothers Book 1 is free through next weekend, 9/8! You can find it on all the major retailers. Kindle Kindle UK Nook Kobo iBookstore iBookstore AU iBookstore UK All Romance Smashwords Coffee Time Sony.