But the road to love can be rocky. What can save Alex’s marriage when her hubby’s driving her crazy? How can Max ever feel close to her man again when he never puts out? And just when Dani and Tucker are getting close, dreams of Darren’s death begin to haunt her. Can she move past them? And what about Sam? Although Kyle’s logged some serious ice time, her cold shoulder may put his heart in perma-freeze.
Is happiness around the next corner? Or are these four women simply headed TO HELL IN A COACH BAG?
They may be on the road to Hell, but at least they’d enjoy the trip.
The heads popped up in unison, and Maxine stared at Sam who was pale as a ghost. "I am so sorry."
"That's okay," Sam answered quickly.
"Okay?" Alex screamed. "That's a four-hundred-dollar Coach purse."
That got my attention. I stuck out my head. "Excuse me, ladies, but I couldn't help but overhear. Did you say four-hundred-dollar purse?"
"Oh, Tucker," Maxine wailed, grabbing ahold of my shirt with both fists. "You have to get that purse."
"O-o-okay." Was she the next to crack? I started to leave, but Max called me back.
"Oh, and Tucker, be careful."
"I will," I replied, bewildered. It wasn't like I was going to have to scale the edge of the building to get it. There were stairs.
It was not until I got below that I understood her statement. The billion-dollar purse was stuck on a tree branch hanging over a muddy ravine separating the tennis courts from the outer courtyard. Here and there, quaint little bridges crossed the ravine. There had been some recent mountain storms, and it was plenty full at that point. I looked up to the balcony where the three women watched me.
"How much did you say this purse cost?" I yelled.
"Four-hundred dollars," they yelled in unison.
As I leaned against the tree trunk and took off my loafers, I glared at them, wondering about the twisty path that brought me to this. I jumped and caught a low branch, then muscled my way to sit on it.
"Oh, my!" Maxine exclaimed.
I analyzed the branch the purse was hooked on and noted no branches were near enough to reach it. One above it appeared questionable, with patches of stripped bark. I climbed higher, hoping to angle my way down, and finally made it to a position where I was directly above it. I laid flat on the branch, holding on with one hand. The other I tried to extend to the purse. I was within inches. Pushing a little farther, I leaned to my right and gave my reach the added inch, and I snagged it.
"Got it!" I called triumphantly. But as I did, my weight carried me around the branch, and I found myself hanging upside down, with my arms and legs wrapped around the branch. Squeals of delight came from the Musketeers, but I ignored them and concentrated on my predicament.
I needed to free my hands to walk myself back in, so I stuck the handle of the purse in my mouth, careful not to leave bite marks on the expensive leather. But when I returned my hand to the branch, an unpleasant noise sounded over the rush of the water below. I prayed the crack came from another branch, and held very still, just in case. To my relief, nothing happened.
Until I began to inch back toward the trunk, at which point a very loud CRACK rent the air. Oh shit. My stomach lurched as I fell through the air, hitting several smaller branches on my way down. I landed with a thud on the soggy bank.
From above came a threefold gasp, followed by a hushed silence.
I assessed my condition, moving to determine if anything was broken. Sore yes, broken no. So, I rose, covered in mud like a horror movie swamp monster. It was smeared on my face, in my hair, and all over my white shirt. I held out my hands as they dripped and looked at my trio of spectators.
"Oh, good. You still have it," Sam yelled happily.Links ~ For MJ
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M.J. Schiller is a lunch lady/romance-romantic suspense writer. She enjoys writing novels whose characters include rock stars, desert princes, teachers, futuristic Knights, construction workers, cops, and a wide variety of others. In her mind everybody has a romance. She is the mother of a twenty-two-year-old and three twenty-year-olds. That's right, triplets! So having recently taught four children to drive, she likes to escape from life on occasion by pretending to be a rock star at karaoke. However…you won’t be seeing her name on any record labels soon.