Today I am so pleased to welcome Jodi Payne to Joyfully Jay. Jodi has come to talk to us about her latest release, Not Over You. She has also brought along an exclusive excerpt and giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
I’m here today to talk about my newest release, Not Over You. It’s a standalone, second chances, coming home romance set in my favorite place on earth, Cape Cod. It features locals, who are there when the summer tourists all go home, and draws on memories from my childhood of family and friends who live there year round, as well as some newer experiences I’ve had there with my own kids. It’s a sweet love story with lots of heat, that’s big on family and tradition and what it’s like to come home.
I hope you enjoy the exclusive excerpt!
Jarlath finished his food orders for the pub and submitted them. In a couple of weeks, he’d be ordering the more traditional Irish fare the locals preferred in the off-season, but for now there would still be plenty of demand for stuffed quahogs and steamed little necks, chowder and crab cakes, flatbread pizzas and lobster mac and cheese.
Or chowdah and lobstah as his dad would have said. Jarlath didn’t really have the pronounced salty Cape Cod accent. Most of his friends didn’t either. Maybe all the summer visitors from New York made the local accent less of a thing when they were growing up? Or maybe the teasing about pahking the cah in Havahd Yahd had finally just gotten to them. Whatever it was, people seemed to be able to tell he was from the Cape, and maybe he did stretch his r’s some, but he thought it was more about what he said than how he said it.
He closed his laptop and considered pouring himself a taste from that bottle in his drawer, but decided that because Ezra was closing, he’d save it for home. It was damn near ten o’clock, and he’d been at the pub since eight in the morning, so he needed to get some sleep. It was going to be a long-ass weekend of work with a bunch of late nights in a row, even with a time-out for the Borden family reunion, and he was going to need all the patience he could muster.
Jarlath grabbed his hoodie and pulled it on as he made his way out to the bar to touch base with Ezra about his schedule for tomorrow. Secretly, he was kind of hoping to get a glimpse of the handsome suit Ezra told him was sitting at the bar too, maybe see something he could fantasize about later.
He could hear the conversation and laughter of the decent-sized crowd before he got there. George Thorogood was on the jukebox, and that made the little hairs stand up on the back of his neck. God, he hated that song. Every time he heard that song it would make him think of—
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Tonight?
“Headed home, Boss?” Ezra had never met Scott, had he?
His stomach twisted, and everything started to move in slow motion as Jarlath approached the bar. The fucking Thorogood song warped painfully, and Ezra’s voice dropped into a deep slur like in the movies.
A pair of bright-blue eyes he hadn’t seen in five years locked on to his.
Blue like the summer sky. Blue like he hadn’t seen since Scott left town. And fuck if he didn’t fall for Scott all over again right there.
“You okay, Boss?”
Oh, fuck me. It didn’t matter that he’d known he would run into Scott eventually. It was still like seeing a ghost. A hot fucking ghost.
Scott’s smile hadn’t changed; it was just as confident and cocky as ever, with that little sarcastic lift tugging at one corner.
No. He told himself stubbornly. Nope. This wasn’t happening. Jarlath rubbed at his chest as if that might stop his heart from pounding, and the room abruptly returned to normal.
Jesus Christ, look at him. Scott Fucking-Blue-Eyed Borden in a sharply tailored suit with the same perfect hair and that goddamn knowing smile. Back at the pub. His pub. Shit.
He wished he’d had that shot of scotch in his office after all. “Scott. This is…a surprise.” Okay, it wasn’t really a surprise.
“Family thing. I’m sure you’ve heard.” Scott’s smile changed slightly, growing less sarcastic and more sentimental. It was real; Jarlath could see it in those blue eyes. “I was hoping I’d run into you. Do you have time for a drink with me?”
No. He needed the drink, just not with Scott. But, just like before, just like always, “no” wasn’t what came out of this mouth. “Sure.”
Ezra topped off Scott’s drink, put an empty glass on the bar, and poured a couple of fingers of whiskey in it for Jarlath.
“Thanks.” He picked up the glass gratefully and took a sip, half hoping the initial burn would wake him from this nightmare. No such luck. “Ezra, this is Scott Borden. Scott, this is Ezra Macintyre. I hired him after you quit.”
Jarlath arched one eyebrow. “Four days isn’t notice.”
“Things move fast in my industry, Jar. I told you. I didn’t have two weeks.”
Jesus Christ. You haven’t changed one bit. What the hell was Scott’s “industry” anyway? He’d never been sure. Tech-blah, blah-Silicon Valley, blah-blah. “Isn’t this where we left off?”
Five years ago, Scott Borden finally shook the sand off his feet and left his Cape Cod hometown for a dream job in Silicon Valley. Scott barely gave Falmouth a second thought once he was in California, but he’s never been able to get Jarlath completely out of his mind.
Jarlath O’Connolly now owns his late father’s pub in Falmouth Heights. O’Connolly’s pub is part of the heartbeat of his hometown and its walls hold the memories of everything he’s ever loved. Everything except his best friend, Scott. Scott was easy to replace with a new bartender, but there was no replacing Scott in Jarlath’s heart.
The summer is ending, there’s a hurricane in the forecast, and Scott’s finally come home, but Jarlath isn’t sure he’s ready for the reunion. A lot has changed, including Jarlath’s understanding of who Scott really was to him. Will they still find each other hard to get over once they’re face to face?
Jodi Payne takes herself way too seriously and has been known to randomly break out in song. Her men are imperfect but genuine, stubborn but likable, often kinky, and frequently their own worst enemies. They are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the path to their happily ever after. For those looking to get on her good side, Jodi’s addictions include nonfat lattes, Malbec and tequila any way you pour it.
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- linktree (all other social media): https://linktr.ee/jodipayne
Jodi has brought a $5 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, September 24th at 11:59 pm ET.
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