Kennedy Ryan is returning with a compelling new novel about hope and healing, and what it truly means to love for a lifetime, and we have a first look and cover. The story follows divorced couple Yasmen and Josiah Wade, co-parents and business partners, who get a second chance at all that they once had.
The dress’s zipper stubbornly stays put at the middle of my back.
I’ll ask the hostess to zip me up.
I grab my stuff and leave the bathroom just as the outer office door opens and Josiah walks in. His glance skitters over me, starting with my hair and sliding to my bare toes.
“Sorry. I didn’t realize you were in here,” he says.
Josiah’s face is interesting enough to make handsome look mundane, though the man is undeniably fine. The kind of fine that makes you lose your train of thought mid sentence and bite your lip. Gorgeous dark skin gleams, pulled taut over the high sculpted bones of his face. To be so controlled, nearly austere, there is something boundless about his presence. Standing here with him, that energy, an amalgamation of ambition and audacity and swagger, swirls around us in the office. It’s like being corked into a bottle with a typhoon.
His brows lift, querying. I’m staring.
“Oh.” I turn my back to him, as much to recover my composure as to get my zipper up. “It’s stuck. Can ya help?”
He doesn’t answer, and his steps are so quiet I barely hear him cross the room, so the heat of his body warming my exposed skin startles me. The backs of his fingers brush over my spine as he pulls the zipper. It doesn’t budge at first, so he has to tug. Even just that whisper of a touch reminds my skin how to goose-bump. I glance over my shoulder and up, my breath hitching when our eyes collide. The air around us practically crackles, charged with a familiar current I’d forgotten was even possible.
He clears his throat and slides the zipper to the top. “There you go.”
I turn to face him and am unprepared for how close he stands. I’m barefoot and my view narrows to the broad chest and shoulders of the man in front of me. We’re not alone like this often anymore, leading separate lives that only intersect at our kids and our business. Kassim and Deja are usually around, or staff, friends, coaches, teachers. It’s rarely just us. We used to know each other better than anyone. Now I’m not even sure what he watches in the little free time he has away from this place, or if he even watches TV at all.
“Have you seen Ozark?” I ask.
The thick line of his brows dips. “Nah. Should I?”
“It’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in a really long time. The acting, directing. The writing is stellar.” I’m rambling. I want to shove a sock in my mouth to make it stop running.
“I’ll have to, uh . . . check it out.” He glances at the door. “I need to get back.”
“Yeah.” I reach into the bottom of my suit bag to grab my green heels, bending to slip them on. “I gotta go too.”
He runs a thorough glance from my head to my shoes. “You look . . . nice.”
“Nice?” I scoop up the suit bag, now stuffed with my clothes, and speed to the door, grinning over my shoulder. “Pfftt. I look amazing.”
He shakes his head, allowing a small smile. “You look amazing. Have a good time.”
“I’ll try not to be out too late. And don’t let the kids stay up all night, Si. They have school tomorrow.”
“Like I’m the pushover parent.”
We both know he is, so I just stare at him until his smile broadens to that startling brightness that will snatch your breath if you let it. “Get outta here. I’ll see you at the house.”
Not home. Not the dream home we worked for and fantasized about for years. Now it’s just the house where the kids and I live. Josiah’s in the same neighborhood, but a few streets over. I’m not sure why my thoughts keep revisiting the past tonight when my reflection, my mindset, everything has “future” written all over it.