Her Secret Life. Gwynne Forster
“I want to see more of you, and I think you know that,” Warren said.
“It’s against club rules for me to make a date with you, but that’s all that has kept me from trying to ask you out.”
For heaven’s sake, there are other ways, Jackie thought, but to him she said, “I appreciate your discretion, sir.”
“I don’t know how to take that,” he said, surprising her with his directness, “and please stop calling me sir. Are you saying you’re not interested?”
Jackie stared into his eyes, darker now than usual and with a fire blazing in them that she had no trouble identifying as passionate attraction.
“Is that the only conclusion you can come up with?” she asked, determined to keep him guessing.
“I wasn’t trying to be subtle or discreet. I merely stated a fact. And I’d be a lot closer to you this minute if club rules didn’t forbid that, as well.…”
is a national bestselling author of twenty-three romance novels and novellas. She has also written four novels and a novella of general fiction. She has worked as a journalist, a university professor and as a senior officer for the United Nations. She holds a master’s degree in sociology, and a master’s degree in economics/demography.
Gwynne sings in her church choir, loves to entertain at dinner parties, is a gourmet cook and an avid gardener. She enjoys jazz, opera, classical music and the blues. She also likes to visit museums and art galleries. She lives in New York with her husband.
Her Secret Life
MILLS & BOON
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Thank you for reading Her Secret Life.
Once I began to bring Jacqueline Parks—the heroine of this title—to life, she became one of my favorite female characters. I empathized with her, having at various times led a double life; I’ve been a teacher/ student/babysitter, student/disc jockey and grad student/waitress/vocalist. Remembering the different faces I’ve worn and the demeanors that I’ve adopted, I thought it might be fun to create a character whose double identity was at once necessary and a threat to her well-being.
I had to find a man who matched her in intelligence, accomplishments and concern for others, and I think Warren Holcomb fits the bill. I like most his humanitarianism, which is expressed primarily in his Harlem Clubs. In this story, Warren’s clubs get youngsters off the street and expose them to a life beyond boxing and basketball.
If you’d like to learn about other titles by me, please visit my Web site at www.gwynneforster.com.
Jacqueline Ann Parkton closed her laptop computer, put it into her desk drawer and locked it. She had one hour and twenty minutes in which to go home, change and get to her evening job on time. For the past three years, Jacqueline had worked two jobs in order to maintain her standard of living while providing the best possible care first for her mother, when her father’s resources had become depleted, and then for her father.
She stepped out of the building on Fifth Avenue and West 30th Street in Manhattan, which housed African American Woman magazine, took a taxi to her apartment on West End Avenue, and began the metamorphosis that she underwent every evening that she worked. Jacqueline Ann Parkton led a double life, and she was plagued by a constant fear that someone in one of her two worlds would appear in her other world and recognize her.
In less than two hours, she transformed herself from the conservative and sedate senior editor and crime reporter for AAW (African American Woman magazine) to a sexy bombshell who served drinks at the most prestigious private men’s club in New York City.
On that cold November day, Jacqueline Ann Parkton, known as Jackie Parks at Allegory, Inc., the men’s club in which she worked, adjusted her micro-mini pleated pink skirt, tied the strings of her tiny pink paisley apron and gazed down at the three-inch, pencil-slim heels of the sandals on her feet. “These things are a blueprint for curvature of the spine,” she said aloud and began brushing out the wig that nearly reached her hips. She put the brush on her dressing table and looked around at the sand-colored walls, the royal-blue and beige Kiernan carpet, the antique gold-framed mirror and her chair with the same antique gold finish. At least she had a comfortable and attractive dressing room.
When the bartender rang her bell, Jackie glanced at the mirror for a last inspection and went to work. With her right hand, she balanced a large silver tray filled with vodka martinis and gin comets against her shoulder and headed for the private lounge where Warren Holcomb entertained half a dozen business moguls.
As she approached the lounge, the unmistakable feel of a hand on her buttocks nearly caused her to spill the drinks. Normally, she showed the powerful men her perfect white teeth or winked when they became familiar and pretended not to mind, but that one had stepped over the line. He’d touched her. She had no tolerance for that order of brazenness and, by reflex, her left hand raised immediately as if in defense. However, her presence of mind returned just as fast, and she lowered it. Don’t forget girl. You need this job.