Title: Now and Forever 2, The Book of Danny
Author: Jean C. Joachim
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Can the newest professor at Kensington State escape his previous life as a killer? Leaving the Army didn't mean the war left him. Scars to his body, heart, and soul haunt him. Capt. Danny Maine seeks a normal life. He struggles to free himself from crippling war memories and dangerous men, hoping that love and a new Glock will bring him peace.
Eliza Baines, widowed dean at the university, finally has life exactly the way she wants it, doesn’t she? When Danny Maine blows into town, he fires up her hunger for love and affection. Can she throw aside convention to build a life with a much younger man?
An engrossing, tale of love, loss, mind-blowing surprises, and facing off against insurmountable obstacles, the Book of Danny will touch your heart.
Caution: Occasional cursing.
Danny’s plight touched Eliza; wounded in the war and all alone. He seemed to be a self-sufficient man, strong, energetic and good looking, too. Eliza noticed how the green flecks in his hazel eyes danced when he smiled. She guessed his age to be around thirty, much too young for her, though she was attracted to him. Something vital and alive about this new professor crackled in the air. He exuded a power, electricity, a sensuality that grabbed her. She found herself staring at his lips and wondering what pressing hers against them would feel like.
The party broke up around seven.
“Can I help you clean up?’ Danny asked.
“Not necessary,” she said, gathering up dirty dishes.
“I want to.” He carried a stack of dished into the kitchen. They spent an hour straightening up.
“Are you hungry? I’m throwing together a salad for dinner. You’re welcome to join me.”
“Great, thanks,” he replied, returning her smile before glancing at her chest.
Together they chopped, and sliced ingredients. She set the table.
“I’m sort of an idiot about computers. Does the school have a special system?” he asked, passing bread to Eliza.
“We have an easy one. A professor from the computer department put together a manual, but you have to be a geek to understand it. I’d be happy to give you lessons,” she offered, her gaze straying to his lips.
“You may have to give me several lessons. On some things, I’m a slow learner,” he said.
“That could be arranged,” she said, lowering her eyes. “When would you like to start?” She passed the bread back to him.
“How about right after I take you out to dinner, tomorrow night?”
“You don’t have to—” Eliza said, a little color suffusing her cheeks.
“But I’d like to.”
“I’d like that,” she said. “Six thirty?”
“Fine,” he agreed. Their hands touched passing the butter.
“Do you know a girl named Callie Richards?” he asked, pushing his plate to the side.
Eliza stopped her fork in midair. “You know her?” she asked.
“She was engaged to marry my brother.”
“Oh!” Eliza gasped and dropped her fork, which landed with a clatter. “You’re that Danny?”
“So you know her?”
“She’s my best friend,” Eliza replied, picking up her fork.
“How can I get in touch with her?” he asked.
“Well, well, she’s…uh…she’s coming to the office tomorrow. She arranged for the story on former military personnel becoming teachers at Kensington State. In fact, she’s the reason Kensington State is hiring former military personnel first,” Eliza explained.
“I’ll see her there then. Don’t tell her. I want to surprise her.”
“She’ll certainly be surprised. Do you like to be called Dan or Danny?”
“My closest friends call me Danny,” he said, glancing at her lips.
“Then I can call you Danny, too?”
“Absolutely.” He took her hand, marveling at its softness. “I’m going to need housing and a car,” he said. It seemed like a good time to change the subject.
“Jonesy, the administrative secretary, has a list of housing. There is a pretty good used car place we’ll pass on the way to your motel tonight.”
“Great,” Danny said, dropping a kiss on her palm before letting it go. “What’s the policy on professors dating administrators?”
“The school feels that is our private business. You’re moving pretty fast, aren’t you?” she asked, slowly removing her hand from his.
“When you’ve been where I’ve been, you don’t want to waste time. Why should I play some stupid waiting game? Wait for what?”
“That’s certainly direct,” Eliza said, sipping her coffee.
“No wedding band. You’re single?”
“I became a widow four years ago. I’ve been seeing someone, but he’s away,” she admitted.
“His tough luck,” Danny said. “I’m sorry for the loss of your husband. I lost my brother, my only family, several years ago.”
“I have twin twenty-one year old daughters. I’m a lot older than you, Danny. You might want to rethink this.”
“Frankly, I don’t care how old you are. Does it matter to you?”
“I’m not sure,” she said.
“Seeing the things I’ve seen ages you.”
“I’m sure you’re more mature because of the Army,” she agreed.
“One dinner. One date. Can’t we just have fun?” he asked her, taking her hand again when she put her cup down.
“You’re on,” she said, standing up. “Maybe Delsey’s Used Cars is still open.”
* * * *
Danny set Eliza’s heart aflutter. His interest flattered her, kicking her pulse into high gear. Could she have an affair with a man so much younger? She had a feeling she’d be facing that decision before long. Eliza couldn’t deny her attraction to him. His strong physique, his sensuous lips, and the flicker of desire in his eyes lit a fire inside her she thought had gone out forever.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
The story is an emotional journey of a soldier back from war dealing with PTSD and other issues, too. The tremendous effort Danny makes to get back to a real life will touch your heart. And the happy ending will have you in tears, happy tears. This journey is an amazing one with good and bad, right and wrong blended together in the most human of tales.
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Jean Joachim is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling romance author whose books have hit the Amazon Top 100 list in the U.S. and abroad since 2012. She writes sports romance, small town romance, big city romance, and romantic suspense.
Jean has over 60 books in ebook, print and audio. She writes fulltime, never far from her secret stash of black licorice. An avid bird and dog fan, she has a fondness for chickadees and pugs. A music lover, especially classical, she’s married, has two grown sons and lives in New York City. She’d love to hear from you, email her at: email@example.com
Find her books on her website: http://www.jeanjoachimbooks.com
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