After lots of procrastination and dancing on the steps to failure, I'm finally ready to set a tentative date for the publication of the second book in the Falling Like a Johnson series. The book will be published in early November 2017 and I'm excited to share JT's and Hallie's story with you.
For now I will leave you with the cover and a brief excerpt! I hope you enjoy it and will purchase a copy when it finally hits the Kindle Store. If you haven't read the first book in the series: The Gift, featuring Jaxon and Maya - you can purchase it HERE.
The excerpt is taken from Chapter Six after JT agrees to pretend to be Hallie's boyfriend on her trip home to Antigua for her ex best-friend's wedding. He seeks advice from his brothers.
JT swallowed a curse as he watched Hallie leave. He should've told her that her plan didn't make sense and convince her going to Antigua was a bad idea altogether. Instead, he managed to get drawn into her crazy scheme. This wouldn't be the first time he pretended to be her boyfriend. But this would be the first time he'd do so after he admitted he was in love with her and knew for sure she didn’t love him back. He didn't doubt he'd be able to pull off the loving glances and tender caresses perfectly but what would happen if Hallie realized he wasn't acting?
JT still couldn’t concentrate on the painting he’d been working on long after Hallie left. He tapped his paintbrush against his easel before returning it to the table. The colors were all wrong. Try as he might, JT couldn’t get his vision from his mind to the easel. He dialed Hallie’s number three times but stopped at the last digit. He wasn’t going to back out of their agreement and it was best he didn’t pretend otherwise. He very rarely ever managed to tell her no - even when it was in both their interests that he did. The minutes passed by in a lazy haze and eventually JT couldn't pretend any longer that he would get any work done. He packed away his supplies and rung up the only person able to help him sort through the mess he knew he'd made of things.
"Want to get a beer after work?" he asked when Jaxon answered on the second ring.
"What did Hallie do?" his brother asked not bothering to hide the amusement that laced the edges of his voice.
"Stop having a laugh at my expense," JT protested. Jaxon didn't see the point of JT not being up front with Hallie about his feelings. It was something they argued about every time the topic came up. JT tried to explain that the rules were not the same when you also ran the risk of destroying a friendship. After his conversation with Jasmine, JT knew his feelings would have to run their course.
"So what happened?" Jaxon asked again. JT gave him a quick rundown of the situation and wasn't surprised when his brother chuckled at the end.
"Forget drinks. Orlando and I will be over after work. Baby brother, I think it is time we staged an intervention."
JT's brothers ambled into his apartment several hours later with pizza and beer. Orlando loosened his tie and sunk into the couch. He uncorked a beer and glanced at Jaxon.
"I'm here for the pizza. Everyone knows JT needs more than an intervention."
"A miracle," Jaxon chuckled.
Orlando took a long sip of his beer. "More like he needs salvation."
JT sat opposite his teasing brothers. "He's right here and doesn't need the intervention of Jesus."
Orlando laughed. "That's not what Grams Nona says whenever she sees your tattoos."
For a moment JT cast off the Hallie stress and laughed. His father didn't take his transformation lightly but nothing could compare to the way the matriarch of the Johnson family disapproved of JT's new lifestyle. He offended every, single one of Nona Johnson's Southern Baptist roots. She'd once joked about converting to Catholicism just to get her hands on some holy water. At least they all thought she was joking. Sometimes you couldn't quite tell with Grams Nona.
"I think you should call Genevieve and work your sexual frustration out. Then, continue doing what you always do. It's either going to fade away or come to a head eventually," Orlando suggested. JT thought of the stunning French model he had an arrangement with. She knew he didn't want anything more and was fine with that. JT just wasn't comfortable with the way Hallie’s face popped into his head whenever he slid inside her.
“I saw Genevieve today.”
Jaxon thought for a while and said, “Well I guess we’ll just have to wait for things to come to a head.”
"The way you say come to a head actually worries me."
His brother shrugged. "There really is only so much pressure your emotions can take JT. You're not superman, no matter how many times you dressed up as him for Halloween growing up. I think you should tell her.”
JT and Orlando gave him a look that said 'tell us something we don't already know."
Jaxon surprised them by continuing with his pizza mere inches from his mouth. "But believe it or not I do understand that you fear losing her as your best friend. So my next suggestion is to stop blurring the fucking lines. You shouldn't pretend to be her guy. Not on this trip or at any other time. Tell her you changed your mind."
Orlando made a sound in his throat. "You know JT’d prefer to chop off his dick than break a promise to anyone. Especially Hallie."
"We aren't going to talk you out of this are we?" Jaxon asked.
JT thought about it for a while then decided to go for the truth. "No."
"Well the only thing to ask is that you keep us updated on your demise," Orlando quipped.
JT rolled his eyes. He enjoyed his brothers’ teasing and he often gave as good as he got. However, the thought that Jaxon might've hit closer to the truth than he like chaffed his already sore heart. It wasn’t until much later as he lay alone in bed he wondered why he’d been too afraid to tell the men who knew him better than anyone that Hallie didn’t love him back.
Copyright to Rilys Adams, 2016