Authors: Debby Conrad
See Jane Love
Table of Contents
“So, do you know of any red-blooded, oversexed males who might want to have a hot, steamy affair with me?” Janie Callahan asked her sister Sara. She picked a baby carrot from the vegetable tray and dunked it in the bowl of ranch dip before shoving the whole thing into her mouth and chewing.
Sara Montero gave Janie a look over her shoulder. “Just one, but he happens to be taken. And please tell me you’re not going to start this again.”
“I didn’t mean Alex.” Janie’s words were barely intelligible. Swallowing, she reached for a radish this time and twirled it in the dip. “This stuff is so good. I wish I could cook.”
“That’s not cooking. All you do is open a container of sour cream and stir a package of ranch mix into it. Even
should be able to handle that.” Sara opened the oven door to examine the lasagna. The wonderful aroma of garlic, herbs and tomatoes instantly filled the air. “Another twenty minutes,” she announced, setting the oven mitt aside and shutting the door.
Janie shook her head as she sniffed and savored the smell, setting her long, auburn curls flying. “I’d still manage to goof it up somehow. You know my domestic skills are extremely limited.” She licked her fingers clean. “So, do you know of any available men who would be willing to . . . you know, rock my world?”
Sara stared at her younger sister as if Janie had asked if she knew of any assassins, then she burst out laughing. “I never know when you’re serious.” She waved a hand in the air.
Janie met her sister’s gaze head on. “I’m totally serious.”
“Janie, stop it! You and I both know you’d never climb into bed with a stranger. You’re too nice a girl.”
“Who said we had to use a bed? And who said I had to stay a nice girl forever?”
Sara shook her head and frowned. “Alex and the kids will be back any minute. So, can we
talk about something other than your crazy, sexual fantasies? Sexual fantasies that you have no intention of following through with.”
Sara had sent her husband to the state store for some wine, and the kids had begged to go along for the ride. Six-year-old Travis, and three-year-old Olivia. Livvy, they all called her. Her niece and nephew were the loves of Janie’s life.
Sighing, Janie rested her elbows on the kitchen table. “What do I have to do to convince you that I’m totally serious? I want to have a wild, passionate affair. I want to have sex with a man who will make me feel things I’ve never felt before. What’s so crazy about that?”
“I’m not going to listen to this,” Sara said, turning her back on Janie and busying herself with wiping crumbs from the countertop.
“Fine. It’s not your problem anyway. You’re married to Alex and probably have a wonderful sex life. You couldn’t possibly understand.” She picked up another carrot and dunked it forcefully into the dip. Then, bringing it to her mouth, she bit down on it with a loud crunch.
Sara slowly turned around. “You’re only feeling this way because of what your agent said. And believe me, that woman had no business suggesting you go out and have a meaningless affair. Besides, there is no such thing. At least not for nice girls.”
“How do you know? You’ve only done it with Alex.”
Leaning her back against the white-tiled counter, Sara said, “It’s not working. I’m not going to give you my blessing on this. So, forget it.”
“I don’t need your blessing. I’m twenty-eight years old. I can do
I want, and with
It’s the whom part I have yet to figure out.
“I know that, but I still feel responsible for you. You’re my baby sister.” She gave Janie a stern look, then crossed her arms and rested them over her protruding stomach. “Do you know what kind of diseases are out there? And what if you should end up pregnant? Have you thought about that, at least?”
“Ever hear of condoms?” Staring at her sister’s big, round belly, Janie thought, maybe not, and smiled.
Sara was four months pregnant with her third child. With Travis and Livvy, you could barely tell she was expecting until she was almost six months along. But with this one, she’d started to balloon out during the first trimester. Even so, Janie thought her sister still looked great. Better than great.
Sara had gotten all the grace and beauty, while Janie was just . . . Janie. Sara was tall, about five-eight, compared to her own five-feet-two. And although they both had curly auburn hair and green eyes, Sara was strikingly beautiful, while Janie was just sort of plain. She might be considered cute, at most. And wouldn’t you know, she was the one who had gotten the extra dose of freckles when they were being passed around, while Sara’s pearl-colored skin was flawless.
“Your problem is,” Sara continued with her lecture, “that you’ve never been in love before.”
“I have, too.”
Tilting her head and raising an arched brow, Sara said, “You mean Frick and Frack?” Those were Sara’s pet names for Janie’s ex-boyfriends, Frank and Justin, neither of whom Sara had ever cared for. “You were never in love with either of them. You just thought you were. When you meet the right person, it’ll happen. Trust me.”
“So, let me get this straight. I’ll never have an orgasm unless I’m truly in love?”
Sara’s face flushed. “Stop talking like that!”
Janie sat up straight in the chair. “Sorry, Little-Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes. I didn’t mean to embarrass you, but you don’t understand.”
“I understand perfectly. Rona Sampson needs her head examined. Maybe you should think about getting a new agent.”
Janie liked Rona, in spite of Sara’s opinion, and she thought Rona’s suggestion sounded like a pretty good one.
Go out and have a wild, passionate, meaningless affair, and then write everything down.
“Gertie thinks it’s a good idea, too.”
Sara’s mouth dropped open. “You discussed this with your eighty-two-year-old neighbor?”
“Eighty-three. And yes. Gertie’s not a prude. Like some people,” she muttered under her breath, looking pointedly at her sister.
“I don’t believe you!”
“Sara, my last book was rejected because the editor said there wasn’t enough passion and emotion. And my love scene sucked,” she added quietly. “It’s no wonder, since I obviously don’t know what I’m doing.” The few times she’d made love with Frank, and then with Justin, had left her unfulfilled. To put it bluntly, both men had been sadly disappointing in the bedroom. Duds.
“But you’ve sold six romances already.”
“I know that, but times are changing. Romance readers don’t want sweet and innocent anymore. They’ve moved on to hot and steamy, some toward erotica even. And unless I can push the envelope with my love scenes, Sassy Books isn’t interested in publishing any more of my work.”
“That’s ridiculous.” Sara’s face grew even redder.
“Yes, it is,” Janie agreed. “But it also happens to be true.”
“So, you’re just going to go out and pick up the first guy who comes along and have an affair with him? Just so you can see what it’s like to have an or--” Sara bit her lip and shook her head slightly. She obviously couldn’t say the word aloud.
“Or-gas-m,” Janie slowly enunciated each syllable. “And no, I’m not about to pick up the first guy who comes along. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. That’s why I asked if you knew of anyone who might be interested.”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Sara said, slapping her hands to her sides. “Like I’d actually tell you if I did. I’m not your pimp!”
Okay, that was honest, at least.
“Well, Gertie promised to keep her eyes open for me.” She paused, gauging her sister’s reaction. Sara only frowned and crossed her arms over her stomach. “Don’t you at least want to know the type of man I’m looking for? Just in case someone comes along?” When Sara rolled her eyes, Janie rushed onward. “I want a man who’s beyond good looking, but not in an all-American boy way. Someone who looks a little sinister might do the trick. You know, the bad-boy type.”
Sara sighed in frustration but didn’t interrupt.
“And he has to be tall. With dark hair and dark eyes.” Frank and Justin were both fair--blond hair and blue eyes.
She wondered briefly if that had something to do with her feelings, then dismissed the idea as silly.
Sara shrugged helplessly this time.
“And nice buns would be an asset.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “Definitely.”
“Trust me,” Janie said grinning. “So, that’s it. A tall, good-looking bad boy with tight buns, dark hair and dark eyes. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”
“I suppose not. But what about integrity, ambition and--
Janie waved a hand. “I don’t want to marry the guy, I just want to have sex with him. As long as he has all the necessary parts, I can overlook a few flaws such as lack of ambition and integrity.”
Sara lifted her eyes skyward. “Please help her, God.”
Janie ignored her sister’s melodramatic behavior. “So, can you think of anyone who even slightly resembles my fantasy lover?”
“No one except my brother-in-law.” Sara had no sooner made the comment when a look of horror crossed her face. “Don’t worry, I’m only kidding. I wouldn’t wish Gabe on any female. Especially my baby sister.”
Alex’s brother. Janie’s eyes grew wide. She’d never thought about
. He was coming to dinner tonight and would be staying in Erie for the next week.
Rattling on, Sara added, “Except for his good looks, he doesn’t have a thing going for him. He’s definitely the love ‘em and leave ‘em type.”
No problem there.
“You know, I don’t think he’s ever dated a woman longer than a week.”
Perfect. A week. That should be enough time, Janie thought.
Gabe Montero was tall, all right, and he had dark hair and dark eyes. As far as the sinister look and bad-boy type, he fit the bill there, too. Not to mention his nice butt.
But Sara was right. He didn’t have a thing going for him. The man was a total screw-up--always had been--and, as far as she knew, lacked any kind of redeeming qualities whatsoever. As a teen, he’d spent more time in juvenile detention centers than in school, and when he was eighteen he’d done time in a real jail for stealing a car.
Gabe and Alex were total opposites. While Alex had been concentrating on his grades so he could get into a decent college, his younger brother had all but flunked out of high school. Janie supposed his behavior had a lot to do with the fact that their parents had died in a car accident when the boys were fourteen and twelve. The Montero brothers had gone to live with an uncle who, according to Sara, had resented having to take them in.