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New Release | Key to the Past by Judy Kentrus #romanticsuspense #newrelease #bookboost

Title Key to the Past (Book 2 in the Key Series)

Author Judy Kentrus

Genre Romantic Suspense

Publisher Lady Kay Publishing

Book Blurb

Virginia Hennypenny has worked hard to prove she could fit into a man’s world, running her construction company. Her well-ordered life is shaken when she receives a key with an accompanying riddle for her birthday from Margie, her late, eccentric grandmother. The key to the past isn’t always pleasant, but the mystery must be solved to prove one’s innocence. Even if you can’t hold the answer in your hand, it can be right in front of you. The slow hand may not be yours, but your heart will recognize the treasure of love it will hold. Does the key open a door or a box, or is it a symbol for something? Her older sister Matilda faced the same questions. Virginia has two months to solve the riddle until her next sister’s birthday. Stuart Anderson takes pride in running his construction and restoration company. He was given a mind-controlled prosthetic hand after losing a hand in Afghanistan when an IUD went off. When the historical society announces the restoration of one of Beacon Pointe’s most historical but haunted locations, he submits a bid. Stu anticipated Virginia Hennypenny would be his competition. They’ve been butting heads since high school. They have to get beyond their competitive streak when they’re forced to work together. When bodies are discovered in the walls, they’ll need the supernatural’s help to solve the murders.


Surrounded by the smell of fresh paint and the sight of the beautiful finish on the renewed kitchen cabinets, Stuart Anderson could appreciate how much work had gone into restoring the 1940s-era kitchen.

His male hormones, however, appreciated the lovely legs sticking out from under the sink, despite the owner being a royal pain in his ass.

“Hand me a wrench,” demanded the muffled voice. A hand reached out and wiggled fingers that most likely had never experienced a manicure. “One more adjustment and I’ve got this sucker.”

Not saying a word, he handed her the wrench sitting on the slate-blue stone counter.

“Thanks!” she hollered.

Once the slender body wiggled out from under the sink, he said, “The last time I saw legs like that, they were attached to a corpse.”

The owner of the beautiful legs sat up too quickly and rapped her head on the bottom of the cabinet. “Ouch, goddammit!” She gingerly put the tips of her fingers to the already-swelling spot on her forehead. “What the hell are you doing here, Anderson? Trying to get some ideas on how to restore homes?”

All he did was grin at her insult as she stood up. “That’s what I get for being a nice guy.”

He slipped a hand into the side pocket of his beige cargo work pants and pulled out a small bag. “I had to stop at the hardware store, and Mr. Hammer mentioned that your custom order for the Hathaway house had come in. Since I’m working a block away, I thought I’d drop it off. I can always take it back.”

“You’re such a smartass. Thanks.” She turned the water on, used the newly installed faucet, and bent over to look under the sink to make sure nothing was leaking. “Finally. We restore the interior of a house, and a damn faucet is what gives me the most aggravation!”

“As someone who works in the same field, I can appreciate your frustration.”

The leather tool pouch around her waist was well-tanned from years of use. She’d rolled up the sleeves of her button-down denim shirt and wore camel-color work boots. That’s where the masculine look came to an abrupt halt. She’d tied the tails of her shirt at her waist. The top four buttons were open to reveal the low, sweeping neckline of her tank top, which drew attention to her very nice breasts. She’d make the cover of Construction Monthly magazine. If he told her that, Vinny would undoubtedly smack him up the side of the head with a two-by-four.

Despite her being cute and irritating, he respected that she worked as hard as her crew which held her in the highest respect.

Stuart had known Virginia Hennypenny since high school. She’d been quite skilled at woodworking. Their advisor had offered up a challenge: Select a house and research its history. Vinny and Stuart selected the same house and began their history of butting heads.

Twenty-seven years later, they were still locking horns. The people in the Beacon Pointe Building Department braced themselves when a property was posted for historical renovation. Anderson vs. Hennypenny had become a standard joke because they would both vie for the project.

“Are you ready?”

“You mean ready for the announcement of the winning bid on the Zimmerman Homestead restoration? You bet your sweet ass! It’s a dream job. The main house was built in 1835, with the two additions forty years later.”

Coming from anyone else, that he had a sweet ass, would be flattering, but recognition from Vinny was nowhere near a compliment. He let it slide.

Vinny thrust a hand on her hip. “Whoever wins this bid will be written up in the Historical Architectural Digest.”

“There are three other companies submitting bids,” he reminded her.

“Don’t let this go to your head, Anderson, but we’re the best ones in the area to do that job.

All he did was smile. “Featherstone Restorations, Pauletto Historical Reclamation, and Nicholson Revivals. Hugh Featherstone claims he has a family history with the original owners.”

Her lips tightened in a scowl. “Featherstone doesn’t know the difference between a square and a round nail. The work those other companies do is slipshod and not historically accurate. When I walk into a house, I feel its bones and let it speak to me.

He tried not to smile, but couldn’t hold it in. “You mean you have a heart-to-heart with the resident ghost.”

“Don’t start with me, Anderson! It’s no secret that my hobby is ghost hunting, but when it comes to my work, I’m damn serious. Ghosts were people at one time, and they still have feelings.” Vinny threw her arms wide. “You’re a nonbeliever, so you don’t understand.”

“Vinny, I’m just busting you. And you’re right. I don’t believe in ghosts, since I have never encountered one when working on some of the older homes. When it comes to the quality of your work, I’ve got the highest respect for you and know how much you put into a job.”

“Pardon me.” She stepped around him, walked to the back door that he’d left open, and peered outside. “No snow.”

“What are you talking about? We just celebrated Memorial Day!”

“You paid me a compliment, so I figured we’re probably going to get a blizzard.”

“Funny, Hennypenny. I’ll see you at the meeting of the Historical Society and the Preservation Society tomorrow night when they announce whose bid was selected.”

“I’ll be there. Anderson, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

“Gee, Vinny, that’s the second time you’ve referenced my ass. You need to find a guy to scratch your itch,” he teased.

She crumpled the paper bag into a ball and threw it at him. “It certainly won’t be you!”

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Author Biography

Judy Kentrus, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Seasoned Romance,

Historical Romance

I’ve always been a romantic at heart, and I married my high school sweetheart. I make my home in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. I’m a mom with two grown children who have given me six grandchildren.

We love to travel. Many of the places we’ve visited have inspired me to use as a storyline. I never know what will give me inspiration, but my mind is always working.

When I’m not giving couples their happily-ever-after, you can find me in the kitchen, baking, especially cookies. I’ve been dubbed the cookie queen by my family and friends. You’ll find a new recipe every month on my website.

Want to find out more about my books and what’s coming? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter, via my website. My stories are fun, sexy, romances that will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love.

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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jun 15, 2023

Thank you, Judy, for sharing your new release with us!

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