Wednesday, 1/24, A. Marie Johnson is giving life with her latest release – If We could do it Again.
“Nothing can go on between us. You can’t come in town and just sweep me back into your arms, Noble.”
“I can’t? Because that’s exactly what I plan on doing. Starting right now.”
Noni Clark never imagined living her life without Noble Preston by her side… until she had to. Their high school sweetheart love came to an unwanted end when Noble graduated and moved to California, leaving her behind in their hometown. With no other choice but to move on, Noni finished her final year of high school alone and continued to find her way through life without him… until he came back.
Riding on the upside of a promising acting career, Noble Preston has never been more satisfied with life, but there is one thing missing to make it complete; Noni Clark. After nine years without seeing her, fate finds a way to bring them back together through his younger sister, Avery. Avery needs a wedding planned, Noble is going to stay for the planning and fund it all and Noni is the best wedding planner in the city. The chance for Noble to win Noni back and keep her for good seems promising… until trouble pops up.
A mother that never wanted to see the two of them together, a man who has already made a place in Noni’s life and an enticing vixen from Noble’s very recent past make it hard for the unforgettable lovers to truly reunite.
Can a love that never seemed to fade win? Or will the destiny that first set them apart continue to trump all?
Sneak peek –
Today looked like it was going to be that day. That day after 25 years, with no priors, that I was finally going to get locked up.
That I was going to be unwillingly hauled downtown and thrown into a too small jail cell with only God knows who.
I was sure of it.
“Thank God you answered, Mia,” I whispered into the phone, scurrying to the back part of my office space, “I need you to tell me what the consequences may be for choking somebody?” she simply laughed at my admission. Probably assuming I was joking but I so wasn’t, “I’m serious, Mia! I’m 2.5 seconds from wrapping my hands around this woman’s neck!”
Mia, my cousin, giggled even harder at my confession. She was a secretary at Omaha’s local correctional facility and I was hoping she could pull some strings for me if need be.
“I don’t think you’re built to do a one to three year sentence for assault, Noni,” she said with another laugh, “What’s going on? And why are you whispering?”
“I’m whispering because I don’t know when Noble’s crazy ass mother is going to walk back in,” I poked my head around the wall corner to make sure she still hadn’t returned yet, “I don’t think I can go through with this, Mia. She makes me want to rip my freaking hair out. It’s like she just wants me to fail this job. She disapproves of every single thing I suggest and I honestly don’t know if I can go forward with planning this wedding.”
“Oh no,” Mia sighed into the phone, “I was afraid this was going to happen. It will break Avery’s heart if you don’t plan her wedding, though, Noni.”
“I know it will, and that’s why I’m trying so hard to keep my lips sealed and my hands at my sides. I’ve always liked Avery but…”
“But her and Noble’s mother has never liked you. I know, lovey, and I always hated the way she treated you when we were growing up, but let’s face it. The woman is never going to change so you have to work around her. You’re the best wedding planner in town and no one can do right by Avery like you can. You can’t give up on her.”
I hated to admit that Mia was right. I was one of the best wedding planners in the Midwest, certainly the best in our city, and that was the only reason I didn’t feel comfortable telling Avery I couldn’t plan her wedding like I initially wanted to. That and the fact that she was one of the sweetest people I’d ever met. She deserved the dream wedding I knew I could provide for her.
“I hate Noble for even putting me in this situation, Mia. He’s a damn celebrity for crying out loud, he could have hired anyone in the world to plan his sister’s wedding.”
“Now you know he couldn’t have just hired anyone when the love of his life is the best of the best. Don’t kid yourself, Noni.”
“The love of his life?” I repeated, “I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Noble just thinks he wants me again. I don’t think he…”
“Girl, bye!” Mia shouted, and I was so well versed on her tones to already know she was somewhere rolling her eyes, “You never stopped being that man’s true and only love. No matter how long it’s been, Noble still loves you like he did when y’all were kids. He’s never going to stop coming for you, Noni.”
“With all the women I’m sure he’s met since me…” the words trailed off when I heard the front door of my building open. Cruella was back, “The devil’s back, Mia, I gotta go.”
“Please don’t put your hands on her, lovey. I don’t want to have to explain to my boss why I had to book my own family into the county.”
Laughing lowly, I whispered into the phone, “I can’t make any promises. Tell Lyla to have the works ready in about an hour. I’m going to need it…”
“Noni! Are you still in here?” Barbara, Noble and Avery’s psychotic mother, yelled from the front of the building.
I would have to apologize to Mia later for hanging up on her. The irritation in Barbara’s voice let me know I needed to get back to the front pronto.
“Yes. I’m right here,” I answered, stepping back out into the front of my office space, “Were you able to get ahold of the caterer you wanted?”
Barbara folded her arms across her chest. Turning her nose up when she replied, “No, I was not actually. So I guess that means we will have to contact the one you suggested… for now.”
Her old, tired, cranky tail just had to add in for now. Like the caterer I suggested to her was so subpar that they only needed to be used as a placeholder.
I patted my hands at my sides to keep them from going to a place they shouldn’t and said, “OK, I’ll contact Robyn at The Table For You. She’s always my go-to and she’s very flexible. I’m sure the date of Avery’s wedding won’t be a problem for her at all.”
“You do that,” she sassed, “In the meantime, we’re going to need you to come up with some more color schemes because the one you showed us isn’t going to work for my little girl’s special day.”
One to three, Noni.
One to three.
“Of course, I’ll put some more color choices together tonight and I’ll email them to Avery in the morning,” is what politely came out of my mouth but my fingers were still itching to get around her fat neck.
If she wasn’t Noble and Avery’s mother, and if I didn’t already know I couldn’t survive a one to three year prison sentence, we would have been on the floor tussling by now.
Before Avery had to leave our meeting early, she told me she loved the pastel pink, gold, and white color scheme I put together. Now here her mother was telling me something completely different. Something that I quite frankly knew wasn’t true. Barbara was doing everything she could to get under my skin and it was working.
God was it working.
“Make sure you CC me on that email, too. You didn’t CC me on your very first email. Avery had to forward it to me and that’s not her job.”
“Anything else?” I asked, completely ignoring her smart remark.
This wasn’t her damn wedding to begin with. So who was she to tell me what ‘my job’ was?
Noble was going to be my first phone call as soon as her feet hit the sidewalk…
“Yeah, there is something else actually,” she stepped closer to me and squinted her evil eyes, “Stay away from my son, Noni. I never thought you were good enough for Noble back then and I still don’t. He doesn’t need you disrupting his life while he’s back in town. So… be a dear and keep your interactions limited to the planning of Avery’s wedding only, OK?”
We hope you’re ready for this five star read!