Hey, everyone!! Today's guest is Author Chicki Brown, who is sharing her new release, I Want You Back, with us!! Check it out and be sure to comment below for your chance to win a FREE Kindle copy of the book!!!
Nick Stafford is the youngest in his family. He's recently graduated from medical school and finished his internship. Everything was going well for him until Cherilyn, his girlfriend of two years, starts hinting about marriage. The thought of adding more responsibility to the pressure he is already facing getting ready to take the last of his board exams and the nearly quarter of a million dollars in student loan debt already hanging over his head is too much. He breaks off their relationship.
Eight months later, he runs into Cherilyn at an event on the arm of another doctor, and she's wearing an engagement ring. Seeing her with another man stirs up a jealousy like he's never experienced before.
Now all Nick can think of is how he can get her back.
Nick had the distinct feeling he was in for a fight. One of the things he loved about her was that she had never been a doormat. She wasn’t going to make this easy for him. On top of that, when the word got around about what happened at the wedding, his name, as insignificant as it was, was going to be mud in the Atlanta medical community. So many of his father’s and his brothers’ colleagues were sitting in the salon at The Estate this afternoon. It was just a matter of time before the rumor mill started churning.
After they finished dinner, he helped Cherilyn clean up. She kissed him goodbye before he left. “Call me if you want to see me again.”
“Stop it, Cher. Don’t play like that.” He kissed her lips, which tasted like powdered sugar and cream from the cannoli and left with thoughts of where he would take her on their date. He shook his head as the word echoed through it while he drove back to his apartment. She was right, not since they had first met would he consider what they did as dating. The first few times, he’d taken her out to dinner and a movie or they visited one of the popular clubs in Buckhead. What they had was a relationship, one that was more like a marriage than he cared to admit.
His phone rang, and his father’s cell number appeared on the digital dash display. It was pointless to ignore it. Victor Stafford Sr. was like a dog with a bone. Nick groaned and hit the button to answer.
“Hey, Daddy. Can I call you back? I’m driving right now.”
“Don’t BS me, boy. Your car has Bluetooth. I bought it, remember?”
Nick sighed. “Right. What’s up?”
“Where are you right now?”
“On I-20 on my way home.”
“Your mother and I want you to swing by here first.”
“Is it important? I have to get up early tomorrow.”
“What do you mean, is it important?” His voice rose. “We’ll be waiting for you.” The line went dead, and Nick beat his fist on the steering wheel. He’d expected this, but not so soon. The best way to handle it was to just get it over with, so he took the next exit for I-285 and headed for Cascade Road.
And so it begins. I’m being called on the carpet.
His mother and father were sitting in the family room when he arrived at the house and let himself in. “Have a seat, son.” His father looked perturbed. “I guess it’s pointless to ask if it’s true, since your mother has already received two phone calls from friends who were at the wedding.
“This is my business, Daddy. It’s between Cher and me. I may be your youngest, but I’m not a damn kid. Why are you calling me on the carpet like I’m sixteen?”
“Nicholas, don’t ever speak to your father like that!” his mother interrupted before his father had a chance to explode. “You and Cherilyn haven’t been together for nearly a year. Why would you break up her wedding?”
“Because he doesn’t have a bit of sense,” the elder man sputtered.
“Victor, let him answer.” She turned back to Nick and waited for a response with a shadow of disappointment in her eyes.
“I didn’t break up the wedding. I just went to speak to her before the ceremony.”
“Couldn’t you have come up with a better way? Showing up at the wedding was so crass. We raised you better than that.”
“Nobody saw me except Cher, her mother and one of the bridesmaids. I’m sorry I’ve embarrassed you, but I never stopped loving Cher. She wouldn’t respond to any effort I made to get in touch with her. I had to get her to see what a big mistake she was making. What else could I do, Mama?”
“You could’ve told me. Cherilyn and I had such a good relationship; I could have talked to her and told her how you were feeling. Why are you so convinced it would’ve been a mistake?”
“She called off the wedding, didn’t she? If she loved him, she would’ve gone through with the wedding as soon as I left.”
They responded with raised eyebrows. “But this doesn’t make sense. You told us that you two broke up because she felt you were getting too serious.”
Nick hung his head and mumbled, “I lied.”
“What?” His father’s voice rose again. “Why?”
“I knew you and Mama would think I was a fool for breaking up with her. Cher wanted to get married. With doing my residency, studying for step three of the boards and…”
“The idea scared you,” his mother finished the sentence.
“Yes, ma’am. It scared me to death. I tried to explain that to Cher, but she wasn’t hearing it.”
She leaned in, folded her hands and pinned him with her gaze. “There was more to it, wasn’t there, Nicholas?”
He chewed on his bottom lip. “There was. She felt that I’d started to take advantage of her.”
“Mama, it didn’t feel like that to me. I loved being at her apartment and having her cook for me. Since she has her own washer and dryer, I’d do my laundry there. It was just more convenient. The ones in my building work when they feel like it and…” Her questioning gaze stopped him.
“Yeah, I did.”
His father was strangely silent as he listened to the discourse between mother and son.
“Now that she’s broken her engagement for you, it’s time for you to step up, as you boys always say.”
Nick snickered. “She told me our relationship has new rules now. I have to date her like I was supposed to.”
“Good for her. I realize you’re from a different generation. You have different ideas about things, Nicholas, but we taught you to respect women.”
His father finally spoke. “Cherilyn is a great girl, and it’s clear that she loves you. If you love her, marry her, son. Don’t make her regret what she did to Derrick today.”
“Daddy, you know I don’t have the money for a wedding now.”
“Maybe she doesn’t want a big wedding. Maybe she just wants to be married to you. You need to find out.”
“Since when has one of my brothers gotten married without you giving them a reception that rivaled Barack’s inaugural ball?”
“Greg and Rhani did,” his mother answered.
“And it took you months to get over it.”
“I don’t deny that, but we gave them a fabulous party a few weeks later. We’d do the same for you and Cherilyn. Isn’t that right, Victor?” She sent him a piercing glance.
“That’s right,” his father answered without hesitation. He knew he’d be in the doghouse for months if he denied Lillian Stafford an opportunity to plan a celebration.
“You’d do that after I’ve caused a scandal?”
She covered his hand with hers. “Don’t be silly. You’re our son. After Marc married and divorced a Las Vegas showgirl, Charles got himself kidnapped and Greg got arrested for indecent exposure, nothing you boys do can embarrass me anymore.”
“And I’m the baby.” Nick stood wearing a stupid grin. “I’m sorry about the way this happened. I need some time to think about everything, and I have to see how Cher feels about it.”
“Don’t rush into a decision. Make sure it’s what you both want.”
“I will, Mama. It might take a while, but I’ll let you know what we decide.”
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CreateSpace (paperback) - https://www.createspace.com/6179027
Coming soon to Nook
About the Author:
Contemporary women’s fiction/romance author Chicki Brown has been featured twice in USAToday. She was the 2014 B.R.A.B. (Building Relationships Around Books) Inspirational Fiction Author and also the 2011 SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine) Author of the Year. Chicki was also a contributing author to the Gumbo for the Soul: Men of Honor (Special Cancer Awareness Edition).
A transplanted New Jersey native who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, Brown still misses the Jersey shore, the pizza and the hot dogs.
Nia Forrester, Beverly Jenkins, Iris Bolling, Lisa Kleypas, and J.R. Ward are among her favorite authors.
Amazon Central Author Page: http://amzn.to/l2kjXQ
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