Romance

Nola & Duke

Rachel Lyons

Nola wants nothing more than a happy family of her own, but being forty and a divorcee means the hourglass is turning on her dream. After sharing a steamy encounter with handsome businessman Duke, she wonders if life’s about to change for the better. But Duke has other ideas—that is, until he realizes he might lose Nola. Now, life’s about to become unrecognizable for the two of them...only, not in the ways they planned.

Age Rating: 18+

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Nola & Duke - Book cover
Romance

Nola & Duke

Rachel Lyons

Nola wants nothing more than a happy family of her own, but being forty and a divorcee means the hourglass is turning on her dream. After sharing a steamy encounter with handsome businessman Duke, she wonders if life’s about to change for the better. But Duke has other ideas—that is, until he realizes he might lose Nola. Now, life’s about to become unrecognizable for the two of them...only, not in the ways they planned.

Age Rating: 18+

1: Chapter 1

Nola

I pin one side of my long, wavy, dark brown hair back with two ruby-colored bobby pins. “There looks good,” I say to my reflection.

I wipe my sweaty palms on a hotel hand towel and give myself a once-over in the mirror.

“What do you think?” I ask Quinn. “I don’t think I look overdressed for the restaurant and hotel bar.

“I don’t want to come across desperate, looking like I put too much effort into dining alone in a five-star restaurant like an imposter.”

“You don’t look like an imposter, but you do look like a woman who wants to get laid tonight.” She laughs.

“Stop it, Quinn. I’m serious. Do I look okay?”

“Nollie, you look beautiful. Relax, get Mom’s voice out of your head, and go out and get yourself some. There’s nothing wrong with taking what you need. And sis, you definitely need to get laid.”

“God, what am I doing?” I stop myself from talking myself out of this tonight. “I’m forty fucking years old. Forty! I’m doing nothing wrong.”

“That’s right, you’re not.” She checks her phone. “Scott’s downstairs. I’m heading out. Call me tonight and let me know if you pick up a man.” She giggles.

“For the love of God, please stop teasing me. I’m going for dinner and drinks at the bar, and I might try to pick up a man.”

“Okay, whatever you say. Thanks for the day of shopping. I’ll pick my bags up from you in the morning. You really do look beautiful. Enjoy your fancy meal.

“Drink and dance at the bar and unwind. If you finally lose your second virginity then all the better, good luck.”

“Leave, I’m done with you,” I say and flip her off.

She laughs and leaves the hotel room. I go back to the bathroom and look at myself one last time. I turn to the side to check out my butt and back in the mirror. I smile.

“God, I love this dress.”

I face the mirror and lean forward a little to admire my cleavage. I stand and prop up my boobs into the built-in cups. I double-check the bows that are holding up my dress, tied at my shoulders.

“There, I’m ready.”

I grab my clutch off the bed and slip on my highest-heeled black stilettos. I open the door and send out positive vibes that I won’t be coming back to this room alone tonight.

***

I exit the elevator into the massive marble lobby and hear a high-pitched voice scream, “Nollie!” It echoes all around me.

I panic when I see Riley running toward me as soon as I step off the elevator.

I’m panicking because my two-year-old nephew is running toward me with a huge sticky sucker in his hand while I’m dressed up for the night.

I squat down and hold my hand out. I keep him at a safe distance with my palm on his chest.

“Hey, stink bug. Nollie’s all dressed up. Put your sucker away. Did you have a good day with Daddy?”

He nods his head yes, smiles at me innocently, and lays his lollipop on my bare arm.

Scott picks him up from behind. “Sorry, Nola, I set him down to shake hands with our old neighbor, Drew. Did he get your dress dirty?”

I ruffle Riley’s hair. “He tried.”

“Yeah, I’m not looking forward to this one growing up. He may be the one that finally kills Quinn and me.”

Riley lunges forward, wanting me to hold him. “No can do, stinker. I’ll see you tomorrow night for dinner. Nollie has to go now so I can make my dinner reservations.”

He cries loudly, pulling on my heartstrings. “Hold me, Nollie, hold me.” He hears his voice echoing and loudly cries, “Nooolllllliiiiiieeeeee.”

Finally, Quinn stops talking to whoever she was talking to and comes over to take Riley from Scott to quiet him down.

She hands me a wet wipe, and I look around the fancy lobby to see if Riley’s outburst has caught anyone’s attention.

Several people are looking our way, and my eyes land on a handsome man who has sat his newspaper down and is staring at us.

I smile apologetically and focus on getting Riley and my family out the door so I can eat a fabulous meal and relax.

“Ri Ri, I’ll see you tomorrow night when you and your brothers and sisters all come over to hang out for pizza.

“Be good for Mommy and Daddy tonight, and maybe I’ll make a special dessert, and we’ll eat it outside in the tent.” I put all kinds of excitement in my voice.

He shakes his head yes and sucks on his sucker.

I look at Scott. “So, what are you doing with your free time tomorrow night?”

“Indians game.” He chuckles, and I look at Quinn when I hear her making a gagging sound.

“Waste your alone time on a stupid sporting event, I had a lovely day out shopping with my sister, thanks for asking.”

“Where are all the bags? I know you didn’t shop for eight hours and buy nothing. What are you doing, keeping them here so Nola can sneak them in later thinking I won’t notice the new stuff?”

I hide my giggle. After twenty-two years of marriage and a childhood spent as best friends, he knows her better than herself.

Quinn’s mouth is hanging open and Riley shoves his lollipop into her open mouth.

I giggle. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Riley. Tell your brothers and sisters night night for me.” I kiss his sticky cheek.

As I turn to leave and make it halfway to the steps that will take me down to the restaurant, Quinn says loudly, “Good luck tonight, Nola,” and I hear Scott chuckle.

I don’t turn around to acknowledge them until Riley screams, “Ooo uck, Nollie.”

I stop by a section of couches filled with people relaxing before their evening meal, wanting some peace. I turn and send Quinn a look that screams, “REALLY?”

She laughs and puts the sucker back into Riley’s mouth. I shake my head when suddenly, a man clears his throat.

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