THE MYSTERIOUS MRS. PENNYBAKER
by Nancy Fraser
A former Hello Girl during WWI, widowed Ariel Pennybaker served her country proudly. She now carries on her late husband’s legacy…a home for the many returning, injured soldiers.
With her year of mourning nearly at an end, she’s had enough of her self-imposed celibacy. It’s time to get back in the game.
A chance meeting with a handsome WWI aviator has her imagining thoroughly naughty thoughts. When a second man walks into her life, her naughty thoughts turn downright decadent. What better way to fulfil her fantasies than by sharing both men’s beds.
As tempting as the idea is, Ariel has a huge secret, one she must protect at all costs. And, it’s possible one or both of her lovers is not what he seems.
It was half-past six that evening when the doorbell rang. Ariel pushed herself from the comfortable chair in her living room, shoving the brown envelope and its contents beneath the plush cushion before starting toward the door. Marie had left less than an hour earlier, and Ariel had taken advantage of the peace and quiet to review the papers she’d been sent.
No doubt it was Nick Stanton on the other side of the heavy door, anxious for a repeat of the previous evening’s carnal delights. Her body thrummed with the memory and renewed anticipation. She reached for the brass knob and wrenched the door open.
Rather than Nick, as she’d expected, Lieutenant McMillan stood on her stoop. He reminded her of a Hollywood heartthrob with his classic good looks. Rather than his usual business-like demeanor, a sly, cocky grin adorned his otherwise handsome face.
“Good evening, Mrs. Pennybaker.”
Ariel nodded but made no move to allow him inside. “Lieutenant McMillan, to what do I owe the honor.”
He glanced past where she stood. “I stopped by earlier, to make sure you got home safe and sound following last night’s storm.”
“Marie mentioned you’d stopped by. I appreciate your concern. As you can see, I arrived and am quite safe. Thank you.”
“May I come in?” he asked.
“Why?” She paused to study him for a brief moment. “Have I done something to warrant a visit by the police?”
He chuckled and shook his head. “No, of course not. I assure you, my visit is one of personal curiosity, not professional.”
A moment of apprehension skittered across her skin. Her pulse raced. Had he assumed too much in the way she touched him when they’d bumped into one another at the theatre?
Had he also sensed her moment of excitement at being trapped between two handsome, virile men?
“Curiosity about what, Lieutenant?”
“Forgive me,” he said. His dark gaze and serious expression seemed to be one of true apology. “I should have explained the reason for my call to your maid so she could relay the message. Or, at the least, stated up front as to why I’m here.”
Her apprehension lessened somewhat and she stepped back and motioned him inside. “Perhaps now would be a good time to provide that explanation, Lieutenant.”
“Since I’m not on duty and this is not a police matter, I’d hoped you would forego using my official rank and call me Jon.”
“I guess that will all depend on what you want.”
He grinned. “I’d like to ask you questions about your service during the war.”
Her apprehension was back, ten-fold. She tilted her head and mentally measured the distance between him and the closed front door. “Whatever for?”
“My sister was also a Hello Girl, although she was stationed in England rather than France.” He paused, as if he were searching for just the right words. The smile she’d noticed when he first arrived disappeared, his brow furrowed, and his voice came out a hushed whisper. “She and four members of her group contracted a fever while they were there. By the time the doctors found a proper treatment, Audrey and one of the other girls had succumbed.”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Like most authors, Nancy Fraser began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for four publishers. She has published twenty-two books in both full-length and novella format. Nancy is currently working on a second fairy tale for Decadent Publishing.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nfraserauthor @nfraserauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Fraser/e/B004AOL61Y/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_8?qid=1434392132&sr=8-8
BN Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/nancy-fraser