HUGE congratulations to my lovely friend and fellow 5 Prince Publishing author Bernadette Marie on the release of her latest novel Penelope!
Pregnant she wonders how she will survive, alone, with her baby.
makes it his priority to find Adam’s wife and share with her his last words.
heart—especially when new lies are uncovered.
release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The
married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says
she can write it, because she lives it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
head was buzzing with paint fumes, curse words, and the events of the past few
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.
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.
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
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.
and—well, again, she’d just like to forget that she knew every detail of that
Christina had abandoned her at the bar for another one night stand, that Adam
would walk in and change her life.
Christina. His moves were gentle and that hadn’t been a word Christina had used
when she’d given Penelope all of her details.
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.
hesitation. They’d gotten married and, that night, she gave herself to him.
changed in that one night.
Adam grew inside of her, even though he was gone.
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.
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.
looking over at her. Kindly, she gave them a smile and closed her eyes again.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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
fiancé, pulled tree branches around the side of the house and stacked them near
should go inside,” he called to her.
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
her. “C’mon. Amelia is up there. She just texted me. She has something to show
stood with an umph.
walking her toward the door. “I’ll get you a bottle of water and meet you up
stairs and started up them.
around, they would stain them and the rest of the floors in the century-old
house, which they were turning into a daycare center.
gesture, she thought as she neared the top step. He’d been gracious when they’d
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.
Penelope and Vivian had been working on. She seemed to be preoccupied with what
she was calling her office upstairs.
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.
handed it to her.
be the one who goes in unannounced.”
punched in the gut when I startled her too. I’m walking with heavy footsteps.”
pushed it open. Sticking his head around the corner, he pushed it open just a
hard. “Get in here.”
gasped when she walked in.
room with enormous grins on their faces. “Well, what do you think?”
taken the two bedrooms, which shared a Jack and Jill bathroom, and completely
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
out. “This is what you’ve been working on?”
almost all of it.”
she pointed to the rocking chair. “The Teddy bear. I made it at Build-a-Bear.”
around Penelope’s shoulders. “C’mon, there’s more. Try not to cry too much or
you won’t be able to see anything.”
was painted a soft brown and all the fixtures had been replaced with modern
replicas of older ones.
your eyes out,” Amelia said as she opened the door that led into the next
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.
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.
“Quit crying. You’re going to make me cry.”
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
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.”
want to laugh. But she’d learned this side of Amelia was as genuine as the side
that liked to kick men’s butts.
get it. It’s probably those boobs putting in the window.”
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.