Author Name: J. V. Speyer
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: Saturday, April 14 2018
Is This Book Romance? Yes
Story Type: novella
Word Count: 35000
Rock star Jo Avery didn’t have a choice about coming out, but ever since her ex outed her as bi she’s been a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ issues. Most of her family wants nothing to do with her, but her brother has always supported her. When he gets married, he wants her in the wedding party, and she has to accept.
The only problem? Her new sister in law is the daughter of conservative pundit and anti-LGBT warrior Sarah Tremblay. Sarah has another daughter, too, the beautiful and charming Valeria.
Valeria has been in the closet since she was fourteen. She’s always envied Jo’s strength and freedom, if not her path to living her authentic life. She soon finds herself falling for the fierce, pretty rocker, but coming out could cost her everything. How many risks can she take for someone she’ll only know for two weeks?
Can Jo and Valeria turn attraction into love, or will their whirlwind romance blow out before it gets off the ground?
Valeria laughed at herself. "Sorry. I'm not a morning person." She hauled herself to her feet and dragged herself up the ornate marble stairs.
Izzy had sprawled across one of the sofas. She wasn't a morning person either. She tried to be, for her job, but most of the people on her floor at the bank just left her alone until eleven. Mother sat primly on the edge of another chair, handbag clasped in her hands. "I don't see why that little tramp isn't here yet," she snapped.
"I couldn't say, Mom." Valeria kept her voice even and light. She didn't have to ask who the "little tramp" might be. "The appointment doesn't start for another fifteen minutes, so it's probably early to start worrying."
Valeria wouldn't blame Josiane if she'd gotten right back on the plane, turned around, and headed back to where she came from, or maybe took a two-week vacation. If Valeria were Josiane, she wouldn't have ever come back to Westchester County, not for all the money in the world. Of course, Valeria wouldn't have been Josiane. Valeria wouldn't have ever dared to stand up and admit to being with a woman.
"She went to all the trouble of having the fitting room changed, she can have the courtesy to show up on time." Mom tossed her long, faded hair over her shoulders. "Honestly, I'm sure she must have run absolutely wild. Don't French mothers discipline their children?" She added a vicious glare at Izzy here.
"It's not Nathalie's fault Izzy turned out this way, Mom." Izzy roused herself to speak now. "She did her best. Some kids are just born bad. But Val's right. The salon isn't even open yet. She can hardly be expected to know anyone would let her in."
Valeria frowned, but kept her mouth shut. She suspected Simon, Josiane's security guard, had more to do with the switch than Josiane had. What she couldn't do was to figure out why. Hopefully Simon would have time to explain before they headed out on tour again.
Mom harrumphed, unwilling to be mollified. Valeria hadn't expected anything else. She gently changed the subject to the bridal shower, which Valeria was hosting later on that week. Izzy got a little worked up by that subject, but at least it woke her up. Mother, on the other hand, did much better once she was weaned away from the subject of Josiane Avery.
Josiane showed up exactly two minutes before the store opened, with Simon in tow of course. Mom gaped at them both. "Who is this?"
Josiane gave a brittle smile. "Mrs. Tremblay, I assume. This is Simon Parrino. He's my head of security. Simon, you remember Isabelle, Tom's fiancée. And this is her mother, Sarah Tremblay."
Simon didn't offer to shake Mom's hand. He narrowed his eyes at her instead. "I understand you're the one who called and cancelled our ride arrangements yesterday."
Valeria cringed. Simon couldn't know, of course. He'd never met Mom, never interacted with her. He'd almost certainly seen her on TV, but he wouldn't have experienced the full force of her personality. He couldn't know she couldn't be challenged, not head on like this.
Mom drew herself up to her full height. "I most certainly did. And I'll do it again. This is Isabelle's time, not Josiane's. Josiane is here only at her brother's insistence. She may be an attention seeker, but I simply will not permit her to take away from Isabelle's special day."
Valeria had seen legislators, statesmen, and military men quail in the face of that tone from Sarah Tremblay. Simon didn't bat an eye. "What you do not get to permit or not permit is measures I take to ensure the safety of my clients. It was very kind of Valeria to be willing to take time out of her busy day to pick us up and drive us around, but those were risks she took and time she spent that she didn't need to take onto herself. Do you realize that the last time someone took it upon themselves to do what you did I had to shoot a man in the head?" He stepped in a little bit closer to Mom.
"Are you threatening me?" Mom gasped. Valeria was ninety percent sure the way Mom clutched at her pearls was just for show.
"There were four men trying to kidnap our drummer." Josiane interrupted. "You can feel free to look it up. It was fairly public at the time. In the meantime, I see our consultant is here and ready to get to work."
Their consultant, who introduced herself as Bea, walked in with three dresses. She shot Josiane a grateful look before turning to Simon. "I know you had concerns, Mr. Parrino, about the camera situation. Perhaps you'd like to examine the camera room before we begin?"
Izzy and Mom both turned pale and exchanged glances, but Josiane just sat down with a calm expression on her face. "Cameras?" Izzy objected. "What in the world are you talking about?"
J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before making the greater Boston, Massachusetts area her permanent home. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house with more animals than people.
J. V. finds most of her inspiration from music. Her tastes run the gamut from traditional to industrial and back again. When not writing she can usually be found enjoying a baseball game. She's learning to crochet so she can make blankets to fortify herself against the cold.
J. V. can be found on Twitter at @JVSpeyer, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JVSpeyer
Author Website: www.jessicawritesonline.com
Author Twitter: @jvspeyer
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