LOVE (AGAIN) BY VONNA IVORY JOSEPH
Finding a man. No problem. Keeping him—now there’s the challenge.
Finding a man has never been the problem for Lacey Robinson, but keeping one has been a story with a less than happy ending. One too many failed relationships left the successful businesswoman jaded and ready to accept a loveless, but otherwise fulfilling life.
Following her latest stutter and stall on the way to the altar, Lacey’s convinced she’s the problem in her relationships. Never one to settle for mediocrity, Lacey sets her gifts on raising her son and being her best self. Just as she’s finding her footing, she meets Zack Reid, a sexy and self-aware widower who’s learning to navigate life as a single man.
With pressure to settle down from Lacey’s family and pressure from Zack’s to get back to living, the gun-shy lovers find out how hard it is to mend hearts you didn’t break.
Mornings in the city moved like honey. The traffic was heavy, but there were few honking horns or shouting bikers. Empire City or not, the South moved slower. Regional norms such as greeting one another in words or nods prevailed, even in the face of population booms. No matter the speed a commuter zipped by you at, when the Atlanta traffic stopped them, you’d get a nod and you’d return it with a syrup sweet smile and tip of your chin. Not even Lacey Robinson on her worse day could resist the melodic sway of an Atlanta morning. The Fourth and Inches looked closed when she reached the perforated window and peeked in.
“Are you looking for me?”
Zack’s voice dripped in sensuality, and Lacey clenched her intimate parts.
Why is he so damned hot? She adjusted her tortoise shell eyeglasses, forced a trite smile and turned to face him in all his glory. He was taller and even more attractive in the fresh light. His skin was darker, and his whiskey brown eyes danced with golden flecks. She’d missed those the night before. Lacey remembered his good looks and put forth more of an effort when dressing for her return to the bar. She wore a pencil skirt, instead of her customary trousers, and brushed on an extra coat of bronzer and mascara. The storeroom’s lowlight had done Zack Reid a grave injustice. His features were markedly masculine. He worked out as made clear by the roundness of his shoulders in the fitted black t-shirt he wore over distressed jeans and motorcycle boots.
“I-I think I left something here.”
“You did. I have your purse in the office.” He unlocked the door and let her in. “You smell good.”
Lacey felt her cheeks warm and sweat sprout at her temples. She ran a finger over her curling edges. What is going on with you, woman?
“Thank you. You do too.”
You do too! Jesus, Lacey. Get yourself together.
She followed Zack through the empty bar, pausing when he passed through a pair of swinging doors. He stopped and tossed a curious look at her but didn’t argue. He returned shortly holding Lacey’s leather clutch.
“Is this it?”
“Yes, thank you,” Lacey said, pressing the purse to her chest.
“Aren’t you going to check it?”
“You don’t know me. I could be a jewel thief or a con artist.” A warm smile ignited the space between them. “Do you want a cup of coffee or something?” Zack asked.
An hour had slipped by when a thin man with as much hair as he weighed entered, talking loudly on his cell phone. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Lacey and Zack sitting at a highboy laughing over bagels and coffee. He ended his call and made a beeline to them, flashing a cocky grin and holding his hand out to Lacey.
“You must be the beautiful stranger my boy helped escape the storeroom last night,” he crooned. “I’m Garrett Leakes. I’m the better half of this partnership.”
Zack shook his head and chuckled. “Garrett is part owner of the bar.”
“I’m more than that.” He said, slithering up Lacey’s forearm. She snaked it out of his grip and frowned at him.
“Excuse us for a second, Lacey. G, let me holler at you.”
Garrett followed the visibly annoyed man through the swinging doors and into a dim hallway. Zack raked his hands over his face and head, before looking at his friend.
“Back off, G.”
Garrett took a step back and cackled. “You like her. She’s stuck up.”
“Why? Because she’s unaffected by your signature bullshit?”
“Let me have another crack at her,” Garrett said with a wink.
Zack’s fists balled up of their own volition, shocking him a bit.
“Damn. Chill. Is it that serious?” Garrett searched his friend’s pinched face, then allowed a sneaky grin.
When the men returned Lacey had left.
“Told you. Stuck up. I’m familiar with the type. But good for you—getting a hard-on again, bro.” Garrett slapped Zack on the back and left him staring at the front door.
ENTER TO WIN
GOOD ENOUGH and CROSSED LINES. The first two books in the Good Enough series, featuring the main character.
ABOUT VONNA IVORY JOSEPH
Joseph was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She made Atlanta, Georgia her home as a teenager, where her stories are chiefly centered. Joseph joined the U.S. Air Force and honorably served in Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.
With a fresh voice and modern focus on the new South, Joseph challenges antiquated adages and ideas about the diverse region through a personal, yet unfiltered lens. Her first novel Good Enough, explores classic barriers to love - barriers such as class, family obligations and skillfully disguised insecurities.
Written with loving, attention to detail Joseph invites readers into her beloved South, making Good Enough novels simultaneously, contemporary romances with diverse characters and love letters to the new South that ask, "if love knows no barriers, then why not you?"
Joseph has since published nine novels and eight shorts stories. She currently lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Demetrius and three children.