Friday, September 24, 2021

Read an Excerpt from Jorden by Taylor Lee

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JORDEN, Book 3 in USA Today best-selling author Taylor Lee’s provocative new series, The Justice Brothers. JORDEN, the oldest Justice Brother, is unquestionably the most distinguished. But underneath that sophisticated persona is a sexy, challenging lover.

· An Assistant US Attorney fights the legal battle of his life. This time Jorden’s on the defense and his children are at stake.

· An accomplished psychologist and coach revered by all, Mac discovers she can’t outrun her past. She can only hope her righteous lover will forgive her.

· An evil woman isn’t about to let her children and former husband go without a fight. And this woman fights dirty!

· A family drama that calls for the best and the worst of the two passionate lovers. Unfortunately, Jorden and McKenna discover that Justice—like Love-- isn’t always fair or easy.

WARNING: Romance so HOT it singes the pages. HOT, tough, explicit. Not for the faint at heart. Definitely bring a fan!


Excerpt:


Surprisingly, Jorden found himself paying more attention to the new coach than he had in the beginning. He had been so concerned about his young daughter that he hadn’t focused on the tall, redheaded dynamo. In addition to being attractive, she was clearly a forceful leader. She owned her side of the court and was intimately engaged with the players. Jude punched him on the arm to get his attention. “Any chance you  can join Sky and me for dinner? We’re meeting up at the Shipwreck with that redhead you’ve been ogling for the last half hour. How about you tag along?”

Jorden felt his cheeks heat, hoping that his “ogling” hadn’t been as obvious to others as it was to his intuitive brother. He gave himself room. Any man with eyes would have been attracted to the vibrant woman who’d dominated the direction of the game. Seeing the opposing male coach and half of the fathers in the crowd attempting to make their way into the Wildwood group celebrating their upset win, it was clear he wasn’t the only ogler in the crowd.

Turning back to his brother he said with a rueful sigh, “Well, given that Emma doesn’t get back from basketball camp for another ten days, and Chloe has a sleepover with Marcia, it looks like I’m batching it tonight. Guess I am free for a quick bite at the Shipwreck. I might forego Skylar’s favorite double-bacon burger with extra cheese, but that Glenmorangie Scotch she’s partial to sounds damn good. It’s been a long week.”

Jude snorted. “In case you haven’t noticed, you’re always batching it, big brother. And no, those two gorgeous nieces of mine don’t count. Tell me, Jorden, when was the last time the Assistant United States Attorney for the Ninth Judicial District had a date? A real one, not just those one-night-stands you do to make sure your pecker still pecks?”

At Jorden’s snort, Jude assumed an uncharacteristically serious expression and said in an undertone, “Hell, big brother, maybe we can grab some alone time and discuss the elephant that’s not only in the room, but apparently back in our lives.”

When Jorden didn’t answer, Jude persisted. “Have you seen her yet?”

“Yeah, I have.”

“Okay. I’ll let that non-answer stand and simply ask how is she?”

Jorden shrugged. “Francine is Francine.”

“Hmm, destructive as ever?”

Jorden responded dryly, “Like I said, Francine is Francine.”

Driving to the Shipwreck, Jorden relived his conversation with Jude. At his brother’s insistence, Jorden had added a little detail to his cursory responses. Thankfully, Jude was savvy enough not to press. But then, why would he? When it came down to it, Francine was Francine. For anyone who knew her, that was enough said.

Remembering his strained conversation with her the previous night, Jorden admitted that he hadn’t thought about much else in the last twenty-four hours. Chloe’s game had been a welcome three-hour respite. For the first time since his ex-wife had waltzed into the judicial center and appeared unannounced at his office door, the basketball game had given him an opportunity to think of something besides her.

As he entered the Shipwreck, he conceded that given the fact that Francine had grabbed center stage in his mind, the idea of making small talk with a stranger was less than appealing. He was about to make his excuses to Jude and head home to another quiet night on his lakeside deck with a bottle of Maker’s Mark when a luscious laugh caught his attention. Turning toward the melodic sound, he saw his brother lounging at a table with two gorgeous women. One of whom had red hair, and, he now knew, an amazing laugh.

 Jude spotted him across the pub and bounded toward him. “Don’t even think it, bro, much less say it.”

Jorden shot him a sheepish grin. “Say what, Dr. Phil? That your antisocial brother looked like he was going to bail and forego the opportunity to chat it up with his intrusive brother and a woman he’s never met? I don’t have to tell you, dude, that if Skylar wasn’t sitting at that table with a hopeful look on her face, I would have turned tail and ran before I got to the door.”

Jude laughed. “And missed a night of booze, bad food, and me on your ass? C’mon, counselor. Where’s your sense of adventure?”

He turned to the redheaded woman he’d been admiring earlier in the school’s gym and extended his hand. “Good evening, Ms. Durant. In addition to being this outrageous guy’s older and definitely stuffier brother, I’m the father of one of the most beautiful almost-sixteen-year-olds inhabiting the earth and an equally wonderful ten-going-on-forty-year-old daughter.”

Ms. Durant’s voice was as melodic as the tempting laugh he’d heard earlier. The sound of which, he admitted, had been powerful enough to draw him into the pub instead of escaping to his empty house.

 “Good evening, Mr. Justice. And may I say that your description of your brother and daughters are on target.” The confident woman shook his hand firmly and grinned at Jude. “Detective Justice tops the outrageousness Richter scale, and you have a lovely and talented daughter.” She turned to Skylar with a smile. “As for this one-hundred-and-ten-pound pixie that could eat all of us under the table, let me just say that I am green with envy. If I ate half of what Skylar does, you would have to roll me out of this pub strapped to a gurney.”

Jorden joined in the laughter and sank into the chair between the two women across from his brother. Ignoring Jude’s “I told you so” expression, Jorden responded to the woman to his left, deciding that for the moment he’d try to ignore her enticing fragrance.

“We’re in agreement on all counts with one clarification. It’s bad enough when two of my brothers, Jude and Jared, are routinely referred to as outrageous, while Jake and I are known as the uptight ones. So please, hold the ‘Misters’ and any other titles and call me Jorden.”

As he spoke he allowed himself to see that in addition to her thick, red hair streaked with gold and tied in a casual ponytail, the gorgeous woman had stunning dark brown eyes shadowed by dark brows and lush lashes. Her pale, smooth skin was heated by a soft rosy glow that spoke to her healthy lifestyle. She also had one of those full pouty mouths that demanded to be kissed, slowly and well.

Deciding that the sudden tightness in his trousers confirmed that it had been too long since a woman had piqued his interest, Jorden allowed himself to imagine holding Ms. Durant—make that Mac—on his lap, feeding her tidbits of food. That image, coupled with the surreptitious assessments he’d made of her ass as she’d strode up and down the sidelines of the basketball court almost made him forget his clumsy oration that had brought their lively conversation to a halt.

The moment was cut short by Mac’s attempt to change the conversation. “Speaking of your beautiful daughter, Jorden, Chloe told me about the sixteenth birthday bash you’ve planned for her.”

Jorden demurred with a smile. “I can’t claim the credit or the blame. The bash, as it’s rightly being called, is the brainchild of my doting grandfather. The Judge, who loves entertaining, insists that a party to end all parties is the only way to celebrate his adored great granddaughter’s coming of age. If I had my way, we’d be going to the park to play on the swings and have a princess cake like we did when she was eight.”

Mac laughed. “Well, whomever is planning it, Chloe is giddy with anticipation. Of course, the fact that she and her mother are planning a shopping spree to buy what Chloe described as a ‘killer dress to end all dresses’ has something to do with her excitement.”

Jorden stared at her, then dropped his fork and rose to his feet, knocking his chair to the floor with a loud crash.

Mac reared back in her chair, her eyes widening with surprise. Seeing her consternation, Jorden tried to explain, but his desert-dry mouth was incapable of forming and spitting out words.

Mac stared at him in dismay. “I…I’m sorry. Did I say something wrong, betray a confidence? If so, I apologize. I didn’t—”

Jorden held up his hand, stopping her. He knew he was glaring at her, but the rage flooding him made it impossible for him to soften his expression or speak in a normal tone. Instead, his harsh words and equally hard tone made his anger clear. “Don’t apologize. This has nothing to do with you. You did nothing wrong.”

He sucked in an audible breath and made a clumsy attempt to explain. “The problem is, Chloe and Emma have not seen or talked to their mother for over six years.”

Shooting Mac a grim stare, he didn’t mask his cold anger. “Oh, and I have a restraining order in place preventing their mother from being within fifty yards of the girls without supervision and my express permission.” He closed his eyes for a moment fighting to calm the outrage that was threatening to choke him. Reaching for his wallet, he threw a hundred-dollar bill on the table and nodded to his brother.

Assuming the dispassionate tone he relied on when he addressed the court, Jorden said, “Thank you for a nice evening. I enjoyed…” The words stuck in his throat, unable to get by the baseball-sized lump in his throat. He met Jude’s acknowledging frown and emitted a heavy sigh.

Turning back to Mac, who was pale, her expression strained, he said flatly, “Look, I’m glad you’re in Chloe’s life. She needs a positive female role model.”

He turned and strode to the door without a backward glance at the three silent people staring at him.

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