Title: Twice in a Lifetime
Author: Ruthie Henrick
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Audience: due to mild sexual content, recommended for 17+
Formats: trade paperback and eBook
Cover by: Regina Wamba of Mae I Designs
No of Pages: 349 paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9914164-1-7 (eBook)
ISBN: 978-0-9914164-0-0 (paperback)
Date Published: January 24, 2014
Blind date. When Allie and Ben are thrown together to help their friends out of a bind, they find the unexpected—and unwanted—spark of attraction difficult to ignore. Surrendering to it, they marry and live their happyish-ever-after—until Ben’s death reveals a betrayal that rocks Allie’s world.
The sidelines. Where Jake has hovered for the past fifteen years, business partners with his best friend, in love with his best friend’s wife. He’s shocked by Ben's duplicity, overcome by the guilt of a deathbed promise. But he’s waited half a lifetime for a chance to love Allie, and it’s time to make his move.
Marriage. Allie might be ready to take the slow slide from friend to lover, but a lifetime is a leap she won’t agree to. She can’t deprive Jake of the family he’s never had, but longs for—the family she can no longer give him. How can she refuse him, though, when he sets out to prove the only family he needs—has ever wanted—is her?
His hands forged a path down her rib cage, her abdomen tightening with a quick intake of breath as his thumbs grazed the sides of lace-covered breasts. The mewl of satisfaction that escaped on her gasp had his erection throbbing. His breaths came in harsh gasps. He dropped to his knees. His work-roughened palms rasped against the satiny skin of her hips as he tugged open the snap of her jeans and lowered the zipper. “Jesus, Allie, did you paint these on? Help me out here.” With a laugh she wriggled until he had the curve-hugging denim down and off.
Lust threatened to consume him as he uncovered her silky limbs and left her standing in nothing but mind-altering scraps of pink silk. She palmed his head, her fingers tickling through his hair and across his scalp as his hands explored the firmness of her toned runner’s thighs, roamed her trim hips and kneaded the lush globes of her ass. Jesus, she was…perfect. Better than anything good and soft he could ever imagine. He dragged open– mouth kisses over the front of her panties and was rewarded when she drew in a ragged shudder. His heart raced in his chest.
More. He needed more and he needed it now. Needed to bury himself –. Ah, fuck! Abruptly, he tightened his arms around her thighs and dropped his forehead to her belly. “Shit.”
Her hands held him close. “Not the reaction I was looking for, Jake.”
Hi there! I’m Alexandra Jane Harper, but just call me Allie—everyone does. Well, everyone except my dad. He and my mom are both teachers and I guess the apple really must fall close to the family tree because I’m only about six weeks away from being a teacher myself.
I was raised in the suburbs of Chicago with my parents and my older brother Ryan. I had a normal middle-class life and lived in a normal middle-class neighborhood. My parents let me take ballet lessons until I hit high school, where I joined the swim team and ran track.
When it came time to look at colleges my folks wanted me to consider schools nearby, but hello!—I was so done with endless winters full of snow, ice and freezing rain! So I took a pass and only applied to schools that promised sunshine and warmth—and discovered guys actually take off their shirts in February in Arizona!
Anyway, that’s how I ended up in Tempe and rooming with Reese Fielding. Most days she’s my bestie, but today? Possibly not. You see, I got dragged into a blind date with her boyfriend’s roommate tonight, this guy named Ben. And the last thing I need—or have time for—is a date with anyone, much less a player.
Hey there! Name’s Ben Tate. I grew up in Arizona, North Phoenix area with my dad and two younger brothers. I had a mom until I was about ten, but then some asshole decided he was Superman and got behind the wheel drunk.
So after that it was just us guys. And it was usually a houseful because, you know, we all had our friends over while my dad was at work. With us it was always baseball or football; but we even pushed the furniture back and held MMA matches in the living room sometimes. Never realized my dad knew about that; found out years later he did and was smart enough to store my mom’s breakable shit before we trashed it all.
My dad was great, but before my mom died, the whole family used to go to the lake with friends of theirs. That’s how Jake and I became so tight—they lived just down the street from us. We’ve got a lot of history between us, him and me. I don’t know what I’d do without him; he’s the best bud a guy could ask for.
Except right now? Yeah, today I could kick his ass. A blind date, what the hell? Hope this chick isn’t looking for a boyfriend, man, because I’m a free agent and have no plans to change that.
NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW THAT JACOB taylor ISN’T MY REAL NAME. I WAS ACTUALLY JUST known as YAKOV IN THE ORPHANAGE UNTIL I WAS TWO. THAT’S WHEN I WAS BROUGHT TO THE STATES BY MY PARENTS AND adopted. I rarely mention it because it really doesn’t matter ANYMORE, does it?
I was an only child AS YOU MAY HAVE GUESSED, probably spoiled, Certainly indulged. We traveled A LOT while I was growing up. GREAT VACATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD. all part of my education, my folks would say. MY MOM AND DAD WERE BOTH PROFESSIONALS—SURGEONS—yet they were ALSO down-to-earth PEOPLE. Some of my favorite memories are THE days OUR FAMILY AND OUR FRIENDS THE TATES spent skiing TOGETHER. THAT WAS back before THEIR MOM DIED.
BEN TATE AND I HAVE BEEN FRIENDS SINCE KINDERGARTEN OR SO. I’d WALK PAST HIS HOUSE ON MY WAY TO SCHOOL, THEN WE STARTED WALKING TOGETHER. NEXT THING WE KNEW WE WERE DOING EVERYTHING TOGETHER. AND IT SEEMS LIKE WE’VE BEEN DOING EVERYTHING TOGETHER EVER SINCE. SPORTS, JOBS, EVEN COLLEGE— IT JUST WOULDN’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HIM.
IT’S SORT OF LIKE I IMAGINE HAVING A BROTHER WOULD BE. MOSTLY WE GET ALONG GREAT, WITH THOSE DAYS THROWN IN THERE THAT YOU JUST WANT TO KILL EACH OTHER. I THINK TODAY MIGHT BE ONE OF THOSE DAYS. I don’t know why he’s making such a big deal about a little blind date. HELL, I’VE COVERED FOR HIM BEFORE; HE CAN JUST SUCK IT UP AND HAVE A BEER WITH THE SHY GIRL. ONE DRINK AND HE’S OUT; WHAT’S IT GOING TO HURT, anyway?
So, you want to hear the story of my life, huh? First off, I’m Bentley Logan Tate the Third, and isn’t that a mouthful! Thank God my parents thought ahead and gave me a pretty cool nickname. I’m fifteen years old and in high school. I do what most high school sophomores do: I play sports—baseball and football, I count the days until I turn sixteen and can drive—my birthday’s May 29th and I pay close attention when Becky Zimmerman wears tight t-shirts. Sue me; she’s got a nice rack.
Actually, sports is mostly what I’ve done my entire life. Jax Andrews—we’ve, like, been tight since we were in diapers—and a couple others have all played together on city-league teams since we were pee-wees. We could always count on my dad to be our coach.
I’ve always been able to count on my dad for everything. He taught me to ride my bike, he takes me fishing, we have “male bonding” my mom calls it. My mom’s cool too, but she has sissy names for everything, including me. And don’t’ ask, because I’m not telling you what they are.
Okay, dude, gotta wrap this up. I need to call Jax and make plans for tomorrow night. My mom and dad are going out of town and I’m supposed to spend the weekend at his house. One of these times my mom will realize I’m old enough to stay on my own, but it doesn’t’ look like it’s gonna be this time.
I’ve always been an avid reader, even as a child. I’ll read just about anything, but I love anything with romance in it. I am a romance junkie.
I first started writing a couple of years ago. I’ve never been that person who dreamed about being an author or loved telling stories. I used to try making up bedtime stories when my kids were little and I’d draw a blank every time. But an idea had been running through my mind for a while so I decided to start typing and see where it led. Three months later I had a really good first draft. Let me tell you, nobody was more surprised than me!
I love music, especially country music, and that’s generally the soundtrack to whatever I have going on. At work, doing housework, in the car—the music is always on. Except when I write—that I have to do in silence.
We have three sons and they’re all grown and scattered around the country, but the Big Kahuna and I are still ruled by a fifteen-year-old deaf Pekinese with OCD. Life is interesting!
I’m not much of a TV watcher, except for shows like The Voice and American Idol. Gives me lots of time to write, and read. Like many of you, I have a one-click compulsion. The number of unread books on my Kindle is really embarrassing.
I love chatting with other readers, sharing my favorite books and authors, and discovering those new to me. Come by and hang out with me on any of my social media.