HUGE congratulations to my lovely friend and fellow 5 Prince Publishing author Bernadette Marie on the release of her latest novel Penelope!
Some men keep secrets…Adam Monroe kept
Genre Contemporary Romance:
Penelope Book two of The Three Mrs. Monroes
Release Date: August 28, 2014
Digital ISBN-10: 1631120409 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-040-4
Print ISBN-10: 1631120417 ISBN-13: 978-1-63112-041-1
From loss breeds new life.
Penelope Monroe married on impulse and her heart had been broken by Adam Monroe’s lies.
Pregnant she wonders how she will survive, alone, with her baby.
Brock Romero held Adam Monroe when he died in combat. Now released from the Army he
makes it his priority to find Adam’s wife and share with her his last words.
On the verge of making the same mistake twice, Penelope must trust her
heart—especially when new lies are uncovered.
About the Author:
Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family
has graced bestseller charts since its
release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The
married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…
she can write it, because she lives it.
When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly
hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from
her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree
black belt in Tang Soo Do.
A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011,
5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to
write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.
How to reach Bernadette Marie
@writesromance on Twitter
Excerpt of Penelope:
God she was miserable.
Heat waves rose off the pavement and the air was thick and
still. Penelope Monroe sat on the front porch in one kitchen chair with her
feet up on another. With gentle strokes, she rubbed her pregnant belly. She
simply couldn’t believe how uncomfortable she was.
The smell of paint from inside the house wafted out and she
tried not to let it make her stomach churn. She’d been appointed to oversee the
two men putting in the new front window. That wasn’t much fun at all.
Both of their butt cracks stuck out of their pants and every
time they talked they cursed then looked at her and apologized. She wasn’t a
prude—well not really. She’d heard those words before, even if she didn’t use
Penelope closed her eyes and wished for a slight breeze. Her
head was buzzing with paint fumes, curse words, and the events of the past few
It had all started when she’d married Adam Monroe.
His image formed in her head and she let out a small sigh.
Those blue eyes and that blonde hair, he was like a god, she
thought. One she’d read about in books. He was a Marine, so his body was
chiseled hard and he carried himself—well, like a god.
He’d been a player. She’d known that. The night she’d first
laid eyes on him, he’d taken her friend home from the bar. At least he’d had
the sense to offer her a ride home before he drove off with Christina—her ex-friend. There were explicit details
from Christina she could do with forgetting.
That should have been her clue to never even talk to the man
again. Easy sex from women you picked up in bars wasn’t her style. She’d been a
virgin, after all. She’d been saving herself for her husband. It had been
Christina who thought differently of that. Christina liked the loud music, the
dancing, the beer, and the men. Usually she was considerate of Penelope’s
feelings when they went out. But that night Christina had gotten caught up in
Adam’s blue eyes, his hair, his body, and his voice delivering all the right
Penelope figured she was most mad about the evening because
she’d been having feelings she’d never had before. She thought, briefly, that
had she been given the chance to go home with Adam she’d have done it. She knew
she’d have chickened out, but he’d had a way with turning her heart to mush.
But it had been Christina he’d taken back to his place
and—well, again, she’d just like to forget that she knew every detail of that
She couldn’t have imagined that a few nights later, when
Christina had abandoned her at the bar for another one night stand, that Adam
would walk in and change her life.
The words he used were different than the ones he’d used on
Christina. His moves were gentle and that hadn’t been a word Christina had used
when she’d given Penelope all of her details.
He was a gentleman.
They talked, walked, and dated a few nights. He was sweet
when she told him she was a virgin and she was saving herself for her husband.
Not once did he make a move or cross a line. Then he said he loved her and that
had changed everything.
When he’d asked her to marry him, there had been no
hesitation. They’d gotten married and, that night, she gave herself to him.
Penelope let out a breath and opened her eyes. Everything
changed in that one night.
She ran her hand over her growing stomach. A small part of
Adam grew inside of her, even though he was gone.
The day she’d come to Parson’s Gulch was the day they’d
buried Adam—the day she’d met one of his other wives and seen the other with
his children. She was only one of three Mrs. Monroes. One of three Adam had
lied to. One of three who now fought to move past him.
The very thought of Adam’s lies still made her sick.
But just because she now detested her husband of only a few
months, she couldn’t hate the life that grew inside of her. This child was hers
and in a few days she’d see the baby for the first time. Adam’s other wives
would be there too.
She let out a small chuckle which had the window installers
looking over at her. Kindly, she gave them a smile and closed her eyes again.
Amelia Monroe, Adam’s second wife, had taken her in. She was
kind though Penelope was sure she wasn’t used to being so kind But she’d given
her a place to stay and had just friended her when she’d needed someone to
Vivian, on the other hand, had taken a little longer to warm
up to. But when she had, they’d bonded. Though Vivian wasn’t more than ten
years older than Penelope, she thought of her as a mother figure, where Amelia
was more of a big sister.
Adam’s lies had entangled them.
Adam’s death had brought them together.
Adam’s life grew inside of her.
Penelope opened her eyes and rubbed her aching side.
In just the past week, her stomach had grown so much bigger.
It stretched and Vivian was relentless with the cocoa butter routine. She had
stretch marks from Adam’s other two children and she was going to make sure
Penelope didn’t suffer the same fate.
More than just her stomach had changed though. A week ago,
the entire town changed in fifteen seconds when a tornado ripped through the
sky. There had only been a few injuries and no one had died—thank God!
Vivian’s home had been totaled and the front window of the
century-old house on Main and Pine had blown in. Penelope’s car had also been
totaled, but she thought she’d faired pretty well in that deal. Her beat up old
car, which didn’t always run well, had been replaced by her late husband’s
Penelope had never been one for flashy, vintage cars, but
she couldn’t help herself—she loved this one. It sat against the curb within
view. Oh, she might look sexy in it now, from the neck up. But no one would
ever give her a second look when they saw a baby seat in the back in a few
Sam Jackson, Adam’s lawyer, her boss, and now Amelia’s
fiancé, pulled tree branches around the side of the house and stacked them near
“I have the misting fan set up in the kitchen. Maybe you
should go inside,” he called to her.
“Too much paint.”
He nodded as he took his cellphone out of his pocket. He
looked at it, smiled, and walked toward her giving the front window a glance
first. “Why don’t you go in, get yourself a cold bottle of water, and walk
Penelope frowned. She knew it was much hotter upstairs.
Sam climbed the steps of the porch and held his hand out to
her. “C’mon. Amelia is up there. She just texted me. She has something to show
Penelope planted her feet on the floor, took Sam’s hand, and
stood with an umph.
“You start up,” he said placing his hand on her back and
walking her toward the door. “I’ll get you a bottle of water and meet you up
Penelope shifted him a glance and walked inside the house.
The heat was nearly unbearable, but she walked toward the
stairs and started up them.
Sam had redone every tread and in time, when she wasn’t
around, they would stain them and the rest of the floors in the century-old
house, which they were turning into a daycare center.
Adam’s father had donated the house to them. It was a kind
gesture, she thought as she neared the top step. He’d been gracious when they’d
Amelia had come up with the great idea that they take what
Adam had and turn it into a business to take care of his children. Amelia
hadn’t asked for anything in return. But when pushed, she’d mentioned she’d
like a gym in the basement.
So far she hadn’t stumbled across the secret project
Penelope and Vivian had been working on. She seemed to be preoccupied with what
she was calling her office upstairs.
Penelope hadn’t been upstairs in weeks. It wasn’t worth the
climb. And now that she was at the top of the stairs and the air was thick and
horribly hot, she knew she’d been right to stay downstairs.
Sam was right behind her with a cold bottle of water. He
handed it to her.
“C’mon, go in,” he said.
“She’s been behind those doors for a week. I don’t want to
be the one who goes in unannounced.”
“Yeah. You go first. She loves you.”
Sam scowled and stepped forward. “Yeah, and I’m the one she
punched in the gut when I startled her too. I’m walking with heavy footsteps.”
He twisted the knob of one of the closed bedroom doors and
pushed it open. Sticking his head around the corner, he pushed it open just a
“She’s afraid to come in. You’re not going to throw anything
Penelope heard Amelia grunt and then the door swung open
hard. “Get in here.”
Penelope walked through the thick air toward the room and
gasped when she walked in.
Amelia, Vivian, and Vivian’s daughters were standing in the
room with enormous grins on their faces. “Well, what do you think?”
Penelope looked around at the transformed area. They had
taken the two bedrooms, which shared a Jack and Jill bathroom, and completely
The room she stood in was painted a very soothing shade of
pale green. There was a wrought iron bed with a lacy white spread. Over the
bed, was a painting that she knew Vivian had found in the basement. An antique
dresser and mirror sat against the wall and they’d also added a beautiful
“This is magnificent,” she said with her breath wheezing
out. “This is what you’ve been working on?”
“Yes. You needed a place to stay,” Vivian said. “Amelia did
almost all of it.”
“You and the baby. This is your home now—when the fumes are
She felt the tears sting, but she tried to hold them back.
“I did that.” Emma, Vivian’s four year old daughter said as
she pointed to the rocking chair. “The Teddy bear. I made it at Build-a-Bear.”
Penelope covered her mouth and tears quickly rolled down her
“You’re such a girl,” Amelia teased as she put her arm
around Penelope’s shoulders. “C’mon, there’s more. Try not to cry too much or
you won’t be able to see anything.”
She walked her to the bathroom that joined the two rooms. It
was painted a soft brown and all the fixtures had been replaced with modern
replicas of older ones.
“This is gorgeous. I can’t believe I didn’t know you were
“That would have ruined the surprise. Okay, now you can cry
your eyes out,” Amelia said as she opened the door that led into the next
When Penelope saw it, she did cry harder. The pastel yellow
room with handmade curtains depicting tumbling teddy bears hung from the
window. Matching bumpers adorned a crib against the wall. There was a matching
rocking chair in this room with a teddy bear on the seat.
Ava, Vivian’s two-year-old, tugged on Penelope’s shirt. “I
Penelope batted her eyes and ran her hand over Ava’s braids
and smiled. Never in her life could she have expected such love. And to think,
these women and children had been jaded by Adam’s lies too. But they were there
for her and her baby. They embraced her. They loved her.
“I can’t…I don’t…Oh…” she sobbed.
Vivian moved to Penelope and wrapped her arms around her.
“Quit crying. You’re going to make me cry.”
“I don’t deserve this,” Penelope said.
“Sure you do,” Amelia added.
Penelope looked up to see her standing with her arms crossed
over her chest and Sam next to her with his arm around her shoulders. They made
a beautiful picture, she thought. Amelia was very lucky to have fallen in love
“You’ve all been so nice to me…”
“And we’re going to keep being nice.” Amelia walked toward
her and whispered, “Adam brought us together. We are all family now.” She took
Penelope’s hands in hers. “This is the least he could do to take care of you
and your baby.”
Again, Amelia was being sweet and that nearly made Penelope
want to laugh. But she’d learned this side of Amelia was as genuine as the side
that liked to kick men’s butts.
As Ava and Emma showed Penelope all the parts to their baby’s room, the doorbell rang.
They all exchanged glances and Vivian shook her head. “I’ll
get it. It’s probably those boobs putting in the window.”
Penelope watched her walk out of the room and then, hand in
hand, Sam and Amelia walked out too. She looked down at the sisters of her baby
and smiled. She’d be okay without Adam there or any other man for that matter.
She and her baby were loved. That’s all that mattered.