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Second Act by Marsha R. West is an April 99 cents Sale Event pick #laterinliferomance #99cents
Title: SECOND ACT, Book 1 The Second Chances Series
Author: Marsha R. West
Genre: Later in Life Romance/Romantic Suspense
Addison Jones Greer, divorced mother of two teens, is the executive director of Cowtown Theatre. When someone murders a member of the board in the costume room, suspicion rests on everyone involved with the theatre, including Addie. She has angered some board members because she wants to fire the artistic director. Although she’s warmed him several times, he continues to go over budget for productions.
Mike Riley, Fort Worth homicide detective, hates that he caught this case. His sister-in-law dragged him to a theatre fundraiser where he met Addison, the first woman he’s wanted to pursue a relationship in a long time. Not about to happen now.
Addison hasn’t ventured into romance since she caught her now ex-husband in their bed with his secretary. Trust isn’t something she’s good at. How could she trust someone who seems determined to think she’s capable of murder? Or worse, thinks that her kids might be involved?
Mike Riley gripped the champagne glass. How the hell had he allowed Cindy to browbeat him again into putting on a tuxedo and coming to another fancy shindig? The women in their low-cut glittery dresses and the men in their expensive tuxedos mingled in the crowded theatre logia. His finger stole up to loosen the collar. He didn’t usually fasten the top button. He’d refused to go the bow tie route and wore a western string tie, otherwise he’d have strangled for sure.
“Mike Riley, what am I going to do with you?” His sister-in-law, draped in something gold with a glass of champagne in her hand, waltzed up with his brother Pat close behind.
“You don’t need to do anything, Cindy. I’m here like I promised.”
“But you wore your western boots.” Her pretty face wore a definite frown when she made eye contact with him.
He lifted a boot and glanced down. They were clean. He hadn’t tracked in manure or mud. “They’re my best ones.” He took a quick swallow from his glass. What he’d give for a beer, rather than this piss poor, fizzy white wine.
Cindy shook her head at him and slid her free arm through one of his. “Come on. I want you to meet someone.”
He dug in his heels. “Now wait just a minute. You didn’t say anything about meeting anyone. Just that I had to come and spend money. I’ve done both, and now you should let me go home.”
“She’s little, bro, but it’s easier to give in when she’s made up her mind. It’s what the kids and I do.” Pat slung an arm around Mike’s shoulder and nodded sagely, as if the two years Mike had on him at forty-seven didn’t matter.
“Okay. Okay. I give. Who is it this time?” Please let it be a man friend. He was tired of Cindy’s matchmaking efforts.
“She’s beautiful.” His sister-in-law said with something of a sing-song pitch.
Okay, not a guy.
Cindy handed her glass to her husband and then tugged at Mike’s string tie. Pat rolled his eyes when Mike looked at him for help.
“She’s smart, a friend, and Cowtown Theatre’s executive director. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her since joining the board a couple of months ago.” Cindy retrieved her glass and led them around the concourse. “Addie will be mobbed with people, but I’m sure she’ll give us a moment.”
Directly ahead, eight to ten people clustered in a group.
“Excuse me. Pardon me.” Cindy politely elbowed her way through to the center of the crowd. Pat and Mike followed along like dutiful puppies, making their own apologies.
Mike stopped. He worked to close his mouth, which had dropped open. A raven-haired woman in a long, strapless dress stood before him talking with a short, white-haired man. Her voice had a low mellow tone with only a hint of a Texas accent, unlike his and Pat’s which left no doubt as to their state of origin.
“Mr. Simmons, we can’t thank you enough for your support. Your money is allowing us to provide ten scholarships for children to attend our summer program.”
“Glad to hear that, Addison. I’m sorry I can’t stay longer, but I have an early morning meeting.” He stepped away.
“Addie, I want you to meet some people.” Cindy pushed up close to the woman with the sultry voice and blue eyes that matched the dress.
“Hey, Cindy. Your decorations are a hit. I’ve heard rave reviews.” The executive director smiled at his sister-in-law.
“We had fun. Glad people like what we did. Addie, I want you to meet my husband, Pat.”
“Thank you for sharing your wife with us.” The woman extended her hand, and it was lost in Pat’s large one. “She’s a great addition to the board.”
“My pleasure, Ms. Greer. She tells me she’s enjoying herself.”
“Oh, please, call me Addie. I feel like I know you from what Cindy’s told me. You’re a pediatric oncologist. Must be heart-wrenching work sometimes,” she said with something of a tremble in her voice.
“Yes, but often just as uplifting when you see the will these little patients have to battle the disease. They and their families make you appreciate your blessings.”
“And this is my brother-in-law, Mike.” Cindy pulled him forward.
Now those blue eyes fastened on him as they had his brother. Mike’s pulse skipped a beat. Hell. Why had he worn his stupid boots? He wished he had on a highly polished pair of shoes like the ones Pat wore. Even one of those strangling bow ties. Anything to make him seem acceptable to this woman.
“Cindy mentioned that you’re a detective.” She emphasized the job title.
“Yes, ma’am.” Mike held the woman’s hand longer than necessary, too. She was gorgeous, and the warmth sent from her sparkling eyes and smiling face spread through him. If he’d worn his western hat, he’d have yanked it off and fiddled nervously with the brim.
“You and Pat certainly chose very intense professions.”
“You might say.” He was like a teenager with his first crush. A waiter passed by, and he set his half-empty glass on the tray. Wouldn’t do to drop it. He’d look like the ass he felt.
“You didn’t finish your champagne, detective. Don’t you like it?” A small crease formed between her eyebrows, apparently worried the champagne they’d chosen had failed to find favor with him. She tipped her head, waiting for him to answer, as if it were important to her.
“Well, ma’am, I just prefer beer.”
A laugh burst from her mouth, and the corners turned upward, a small dimple winked at him. The laugh morphed into a giggle, which she tried to smother with her fingers. Fingers he’d love to taste, as well as her rose-colored lips.
“I’m so sorry, detective. I’m not laughing at you.”
“No?” He couldn’t help but smile at her, even if she were making fun of him.
99 Cent Sale April 11-17!
What makes your featured book a must-read?
In this Later in Life Romance, the first of the Second Chances Series, you meet one of four women who’ve been friends since elementary school. These are women who have suffered and continue to face challenges sometimes to their very lives or the lives of their children or loved ones. And yet, they dig deep to find the fortitude to keep on keeping on. Friendships and families play an important role in their lives. The ups and downs they face make for a wild ride and yes, a second chance at love.
Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card:
Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs April 11 – April 18, 2023.
Winner will be drawn on April 19, 2023.
A retired elementary school principal, a former school board member, and theatre arts teacher, Marsha R. West writes Later in Life Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. She lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband and Charley, a deaf, Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren all who live nearby.
The theme of Marsha’s ten books is always second chances, and she even has a four-part series titled The Second Chances Series. She believes in Happily Ever Afters. Her husband picked up a plaque for her on one of their several trips to Maine that states her philosophy exactly. Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end. The Heroines and Heroes in her books are in their 40s and 50s with their parents and children often playing supporting roles.
She’s a member of North Texas Romance Writers, Authors Marketing Guild LLC, & the WORD BY WORD Blog. She has her own weekly blog and monthly newsletter. Her books can be found on AMAZON, B & N, KOBO, iTunes and other sites. Print books are also at Draft 2 Digital, Indie Lector Stores, and Amazon. Blurbs for each of her books with links can be found on her website.
Social Media Links:
https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ Where you can also sign up for her blog and her NEWSLETTER MRW Press LLC (list-manage.com)
Contact her at email@example.com , and follow her on…
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Marsha R. West (Author of Vermont Escape) | Goodreads