Piper Quinn was more than ready to turn forty. So ready she began planning her Parisian celebration at thirty-five. That is until her life fell apart at thirty-nine. Left staring at divorce papers, Piper instantly regrets signing that pre-nup. How was she to know her husband would turn her in for a younger model?
After “accidentally” setting her Manhattan apartment on fire, Piper finds herself not only newly divorced, but newly homeless. Forced to move back home with her parents and take a job she doesn’t want, she soon discovers the gossip train in town moves faster than the subway system in New York—and she’s the hottest topic to leave the station. If matters weren’t bad enough, life in rural Connecticut seems downright claustrophobic when her sixteen year old daughter stops talking to her.
A blast from her past is the spark Piper needs to reignite her life. Owen Clarke, an old high school flame has the ability to turn back time making Piper feel sixteen again. The instant chemistry between them gives Piper hope of redeeming her second act. There’s only one teeny, tiny three foot problem: Owen’s daughter is in Piper’s Kindergarten class. With temptation lurking in every corner, Piper needs to put her emotions—and hormones— in check.
No one said getting older was easy, but turning forty just became a game of survival.
Publication date: August 25th 2020
Print Length: 240 pages
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Excerpt from #Surviving40
#SurvivalTip: If it looks like a date and feels like a date…
it’s a date and you’re just in denial.
Owen peeked at his watch before shoving his hands into his pockets. “I’m hungry. How about lunch? I know a great place in Litchfield. Can I kidnap you for a few more hours?”
I tossed him my car keys. “Sure, you can even drive.”
“A carjacking, too? You’re not going to even try to resist?”
When Owen said he knew a place, I figured a place to grab a burger or a turkey wrap. I didn’t expect an Inn located on a vineyard. We sat outside at a table overlooking the grounds and rows upon rows of grapes. It was tranquil.
“Red or White?” Owen asked. The hostess had given him the wine menu of all the bottles they made here on the premises.
“Uhh, white sounds good.”
“Good choice. They have the best clams casino here. Maybe a riesling would pair well? They also have flights, so we could sample a few and then choose a bottle.”
I nodded. “Yeah, flights could be fun.”
It was dawning on me that this had all been carefully planned. Owen had turned a simple day of scoping out the gallery into our first date. Like a magician, he had unfolded his performance so naturally I wasn’t even aware I was wrapped up in the illusion until it was too late. I was in it now, a full participant. Not only was I unable to leave, I had no desire to. Damn he was slick! I knew I couldn’t even acknowledge the date. I had to pretend it was nothing more than friends having lunch, because a date would be breaking the rules, and if we started breaking the rules now, we’d never be able to stop.
Our meal was superb. Owen was right; the clams casino was delicious. He had the chicken cordon bleu for his entrée, and I went with the herb butter salmon. “Would you like dessert?” Owen asked, and although I knew picking coffees and desserts were his specialty, I shook my head.
“I think I’ve had enough sugar for today.” Everything we ate this afternoon was smeared in decadent glazes. “I’m content finishing this bottle of wine.”
Owen agreed and poured what remained of the bottle into both our glasses. “Let me get the check, and then we can take our glasses down by the lake.”
“I can’t let you pay for this.”
Owen flinched like I had pricked him with a pin. “Why not?”
“You know why not.”
“Piper, are you my friend?”
“Of course I am. What kind of a question is that?”
“Well, as my friend, can’t I take you out to celebrate your huge accomplishment? You have artwork hanging in a real gallery. Think about that for a minute. Buying you lunch is the least I could do to toast your good news.”
“I only even got the gallery because of you. All the more reason why I should be paying.”
“Lunch was my idea. The restaurant was my choice. The bill is mine to pay. Stop arguing with me.”
I opened my mouth to do just that, but closed it, deciding I shouldn’t argue with my kidnapper. Owen handed over his credit card and signed on the dotted line. Then we took our wine glasses over to the oversized Adirondack chairs to watch the sun set over the lake.
“This is pretty perfect,” I admitted. “My only regret is we’re almost out of wine.” There was one last mouthful left in my glass.
Owen dangled his arms over the sides of the armrest, his own glass almost empty as well. “If this were a date, we could order another bottle. We are conveniently at an Inn. No need to drive home. Then the town could all whisper about us as we rolled back into Stone Creek tomorrow dressed in the same outfits we left in.”
“How scandalous!” I feigned a gasp. “Good thing it’s not a date then.”
“Good thing.” Owen smiled and polished off the last of his wine. Yup. This was totally a date.
I dropped Owen off in front of Jitterbug. The shop was closed, but Sage was inside putting chairs on top of tables with Taylor. “I’ll send her out,” Owen said. “No need for her to stay any longer.”
“Are you sure? I could come back and get her when she’s done.”
“She looks pretty much done. Leaving a few minutes early isn’t a big deal.”
“Thanks again for coming with me this afternoon, and for lunch. It was a really nice time.”
“Well, if this was a date, I’d be glad you had a nice time.”
I laughed, and he unbuckled his seatbelt, moving a little closer to me.
“And if this was a date, I’d kiss you goodbye right about now.”
He did it again, paralyzing me with want. It was so unfair how easily he could turn a switch like that. I wanted nothing more than to fall into his arms and make out like we were teenagers, steaming up the car like Jack and Rose in Titanic. But Jack and Rose didn’t have a kid a few feet away who needed a ride home. So, instead, I said, “Have a good night, Owen.”
He chuckled in response. Chuckled. Was he aware of how frustrated I was? It must be nice to strut around swaddled in confidence. Owen got out of the car, a swagger to his step, and I blew out a hard breath. This was ridiculous. I was getting all hot and bothered over Owen Clarke. Owen, who was a lanky kid on the chess team and had a chin spotted with acne all through high school. Owen, who used to blush when he talked to me and was the kid I’d ask when I needed someone to explain Physics. Why was I acting this way?
Sage jogged across the street with her apron in her hand. “How was work?” I asked, trying to knock the image of Owen taunting me with a kiss out of my head.
Karen Anne was writing before she could read. As a toddler, she sat with a book in her hands and made up the stories, eager for the day when she’d find out if it all truly ended in happily ever after. Karen still determines the destiny of other people’s lives, but this time, the characters are her own.
She is a Contemporary Romance author who lives in New York.
Coffee drinker by day, wine enthusiast by night, she loves cats and deeply misses 90’s grunge.
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