When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it.
Or is there?
As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.
Excerpt Two ~
“Watch where you’re going!” a voice snarled above me.
The papers settled enough for me to stare into the angry blue eyes of a man wearing a dark suit, a white shirt and a crisp yellow tie. His dark blond hair was short but styled. He leaned down and I couldn’t help my involuntary squeak as I scooted back in fear.
“This is a courthouse, not a barroom brawl.”
“I... I’m sorry...” I stammered, caught off guard by his hostility. I reached for the paper closest to me.
“Don’t touch those!” He reached for the sheets, his shirtsleeves pulling back to reveal his wrists. No scars. He was scary enough without worrying that he was the man in the restroom.
Jerking my hand back, I got to my knees and grabbed the wall to pull myself up. “I was only tryin’ to help. No need to be nasty about it.”
His entire face puckered as he squatted. “You’ve helped quite enough. Thank you.” Even with his snotty tone, his cultured Southern accent was evident. He appeared to be in his early thirties, but his attitude and haughtiness reminded me of the women in the Henryetta Garden Club. The ones from old Southern money.
“I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m late to jury duty—”
A throaty snort erupted. “Of course you are. Why am I not surprised?”
Indignation squared my shoulders. “It’s obvious that your mother raised you better than this. What do you think she would say, knowing you were treatin’ a lady this way? You should be ashamed of yourself. Mr...” My eyebrows rose as I waited for him to answer.
His jaw dropped halfway through my tirade and his cheeks pinkened, making him look younger and less hardened. “Deveraux.”
“Mr. Deveraux.” I pursed my lips in disapproval. Any properly raised Southern gentleman was terrified of his mother’s wrath. Especially when the combination of poor manners and women were involved. “I suggest you brush up on your manners.” I turned left and started down the hall only to realize, to my horror, I had gone the wrong way. I stopped midstep and squeezed my eyes shut. This whole morning had to be a nightmare, just a bad dream. Situations like this didn’t happen in real life.
Only, in my life, they did.
Sucking in a deep breath, I spun around and headed the opposite direction, teetering on my broken heel. With my jaw thrust forward, I tried to pass Mr. Deveraux with as much dignity as I could muster.
Mr. Deveraux, to his credit, ignored me as he continued to scoop up the papers and stuffed them into manila folders.
Just when I thought I was home free, I heard a smug voice behind me. “Fourth door on the right.”
The sound of my click-thud steps echoed off the hard surfaces in the hallway, but I continued walking, in spite of my billowing mortification. It’s hard to look dignified when you’re swaying like a sailor. Finally, I reached the fourth door. I glanced down at my letter to make sure I had the right room, not trusting Mr. Crabbypants, but my hand was empty.
I’d dropped the letter.
Closing my eyes with a sigh, I wondered how this day could get worse.
A groan escaped before I could squelch it. I opened my eyes and plastered on a smile.
Mr. Deveraux handed the paper to me with a smirk. “A gentleman always helps those less fortunate, Miss Gardner.” He tilted his head toward me before moving briskly down the hall. “You’re late. You better get in there,” he called out, looking straight ahead.
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