About The Book:
At Arm’s Length (Love in the Suburbs, #2) by D.E. Haggerty
Jackson Schmidt is the biggest jerkity jerk ever. They should totally erect a statue to commemorate his jerkityness, jerkdom— Uggh! There are literally not enough words for ‘jerk’ to depict the man.
Unfortunately, Jackson is also the most gorgeous specimen of manhood I’ve ever laid eyes on. One look at him and I want to jump and climb him like a tree. But whenever he opens his mouth, his status as the biggest bastard on the planet is immediately reinstated. It’s impossible for the man to say anything remotely nice – at least not to me. To my best friend, though? To her, he’s Mr. Perfect Gentleman. Did I mention he’s carrying a torch for my engaged best friend?
My libido does not give one flying hoot Jackson is a dick who has a crush on my bestie. Nope. Not at all. No matter how much of a schmuck the man is – and trust me he takes schmuck to the next level – I continue to pant after him like a nerdy freshman crushing on the prom king. If I want to keep my sanity, I’m going to have to keep Jackson at arm’s length.
Sanity is totally overrated.
“Woman, can we have one dinner when we don’t have to deal with your infernal matchmaking,” Frankie’s grandpa growls.
My eyebrows raise of their own accord at his grumbling. Bill is usually a mild-mannered dude, but I guess even the mild-mannered have their limits.
“You’re ruining my fun,” Grandma pouts. Seriously, pouts. She sticks out her bottom lip and flutters her eyelashes at him.
“You can flutter your eyelashes until the cows come home. I stopped falling for that bologna approximately three decades ago.”
“Cuddle-pumpkin, you didn’t have a problem with my eyelash fluttering the other night.”
He grunts. “You were offering something I wanted.”
“Oh my god, are you talking about sex?” Frankie shrieks. “Stop!” She slams her eyes shut and covers her ears. “La la la. My grandparents do not have sex. Nope. Nope. Nope.”
“I’m surprised she didn’t hear us when she lived here. Guess it was a good thing she had those pain pills to put her to sleep,” Grandma remarks.
I choke on the piece of lamb I’m chewing on. Jackson pats my back as he bursts out laughing. “I thought there was nothing that could phase you, babe.”
I take a sip of water. “Oh, I’m not phased,” I smirk when I see Frankie take her fingers out of her ears. “I’m perfectly okay with Grandma and Bill having loud sex.”
Frankie screams and jumps to her feet. “I’m…” She looks around as if the walls will offer her some type of excuse. They don’t. She throws her arms in the air and stomps out of the room.
Bailey watches her leave before turning to me with a grin on her face. “You were right. Sunday meals at Frankie’s grandma’s house are the best.”
All my favorite ‘Love in the Suburbs’ characters are back in “At Arms Length,” the next installment in the series. Grandma is up to her matchmaking hijinx and once again she has a knack for just the right (or really wrong) person. With granddaughter Frankie safely engaged, she turns her sights on Jackson and Shelby and hilarity follows. It doesn’t help that Jackson can’t help but tease Shelby and she really wants to hate him for it, but he does inspire an itch that needs scratching.
Shelby has a handicap, and it isn’t the fact that she is missing part of one of her arms. She just hasn’t quite figured out her own self-worth. She hides behind funky hair, geeky clothes and a prickly shoot first attitude that hinders her more than she knows. Luckily for her, she has got some great friends who love her for who she is and aren’t afraid to tell her like it is. I love the progression of her character in this book. And I loved that there is more to Jackson than meets the eye, this was his chance to shine. I really can’t wait to get to know Bailey better in the next book.
Also, since everyone seems to be adopting Grandma, I have decided to adopt Grandpa instead. He needs no help keeping up with his outrageous wife, but it is always the quiet ones you need to watch out for. I think hanging out with him would be loads of fun.
Read on to see my review of book one, “About Face”.
About The Author:
I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Love In The Suburbs #1:
In this first book in the ‘Love In The Suburbs’ series, Frankie is a high-end event planner who has spent years focusing on her career. She has a designer wardrobe, a great apartment in the city, and a circle of like-minded friends who love a great party as much as she does. She has all anyone could want, that is until a serious car accident leaves her badly injured.
Unable to navigate the stairs to her apartment, she finds it necessary to live with her grandparents, in the suburbs, during her recuperation. Her grandmother seeing how desperately unhappy Franky is, figures if 50 years of marriage kept her happy then the right man just might bring Frankie a little bit of happiness. Armed with the grandsons of her friends and earthy advice that only a grandma can get away with giving, she sets Frankie up on blind dates to varying degrees of hilarity.
In sheer desperation, Frankie conceives of the idea to distract Grandma by fake dating her gorgeous physical therapist. There are only a couple of complications. He doesn’t go in for fake and he may actually be just what Frankie needs.
As always the relationships between the characters are the strength of Haggerty’s storytelling. Sure the story is romantic and it is comedy, but at the heart, it is a journey of self-discovery. Armed with a new life view and new friends Frankie takes a hard look at both the best and worst of the life she has spent her adulthood building and inside herself to find a way forward after a life-changing event.
I am done with men. D – O – N – E. DONE!
I don’t care how much billionaire Roman Cadwell pushes (and, oh boy, does the sexy man push ALL my buttons), I am not dating him. Especially not when he’s wearing a golden band around his ring finger. I do not get involved with married men. Call it my line in the sand. If a man can’t be faithful, I want not one single thing to do with him.
But what if Roman isn’t really married? What then? No, no, no. I will not fall into Lying McLiarson’s trap.
Only every time the man touches me, my body forgets I’m a good girl and wants to give in. Hands off, Mr. Lying Pants, before I forget I’m a good girl.
Although – no one said I had to be a good girl forever.
Author’s Note: This romantic comedy contains absolutely, positively NO cheating. None. But it does have a whole bunch of witty dialogue and a super sweet happily ever after. And maybe more drama than the author originally intended. What can she say? The characters have minds of their own.
Hands Off is book 3 of the Love in the Suburbs series but can be read as a standalone.