Playing For Keeps by Jamie Hill
The blurb: Life can’t be all fun and games, or can it? Madison Stewart spends her days taking care of children at the Sunny Days Childcare Center, and her nights wondering what’s missing from her life. When Robert Cooper brings his three year old daughter, Sophie, to the center, he not only fills the vacancy in Maddie’s classroom, but also the empty spot in her heart. Sophie’s mother returns with her own agenda, and Rob is forced to choose between an old, familiar existence and his new, more complicated relationship.
An urgent phone call from her mother draws Maddie into the past, where she’s flooded with memories, some of which are better left buried. Maddie struggles to deal with a series of unfortunate events, which increasingly complicate her daily life. Unresolved feelings niggle at her, until she’s forced to face her past and put things to rest, one way or another.
Reader Advisory: These stories are not erotic romance but they do contain graphic scenes and language, including college sex and drug use. Previously published as two novels: Hide and Seek and Run to Me
“Phenomenal book. I laughed, cried, was mad, humiliated.I just went the gamut with this one. Any author who gets all these feelings along with a good story is top notch in my book. What a great book such depth in the writing along with great characters. I just loved it and look forward to reading the next one. Bravo to the author you made a fan out of me.” 5 Stars, kooks, Amazon Verified Purchase
“Another great read by Jamie Hill – In this follow up to “Hide and
Seek”, Maddie and Rob are knee deep in sexy domestic bliss when a series
of unfortunate events causes Maddie to reflect back on the circumstances that
brought her from the halls of Harvard to a small suburb of Oklahoma City. We
get to visit with old friends and meet new ones (I do wish that Zoey, the wild
room-mate, would have popped in), find out how Maddie got her tattoo, her wild
college days and why her relationship with her family has remained so strained.
This is another solid outing by Jamie Hill and I really enjoyed getting to
visit with Maddie, Rob and the babies again, finding out Maddies back-story,
and the fact that, apparently (!!), Maddie has a definite type when it comes to
men.” ~ 5 Stars, Scarletledder, Amazon Reader and Verified Purchase
Now, the six paragraphs:
Maddie twisted one finger around a patch of his chest hair, twirling it. “I walked away from a two hundred thousand dollar education. My parents wanted me to be a lawyer. They were paying for it. But it wasn’t me. Deep down, I knew it would never be me. I couldn’t stand up to them, at first, and when I finally could, I did it in the wrong way.”
“What did you do?” he asked softly.
“Just what I said. I walked away. The semester ended, I put Zoey and Milo on a plane to Madrid, and I wandered around Cambridge aimlessly. My bags were packed, but I couldn’t go back to Hartford. I had a couple of drinks at some dive, smoked a joint with a hooker named Topaz. I think she was a woman. Damn good make-up job if not. I actually bought her a hamburger so she’d stay with me longer. When we left, we passed this place, Jake’s Tattoo Emporium. Classy, eh? Well, this Chevy full of Mexican guys hollered at me and Topaz, so I figured I had two choices. Make a quick but disgusting twenty bucks—you realize I’m joking here—or get a tattoo. Topaz ducked into the Chevy, I ducked into Jake’s, and I got a heart tattooed on my shoulder. Thank God it was lame pot, or I might have come away with an eagle, or a skull and crossbones, or some such thing.”
Maddie didn’t realize tears had started to fall, but noticed when they pooled on Rob’s chest. He did nothing but hold her tightly and let her talk.
“I ended up at the bus station, and the only place I could think of to go was Zoey’s hometown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She made it sound so great. I always gave her shit about it, of course, a fucking Okie from Muskogee. But there I was, riding a bus for seventy-some-odd hours and ending up in a bus station that looked surprisingly similar to where I started, except it was in Oklahoma. I had some money. Obviously my parents were the ones with the money, but I had a credit card that I managed to max out before my old man cancelled it. I rented a room, scouted out the town and neighboring locations, and got a copy of the help-wanted ads. Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you wish to look at it, Frances was looking to hire a kid wrangler. My reputation was still pretty golden at that point, so I got the job. I called the folks, they had a vague notion of where I was from the credit card company, and told them I was moving to Oklahoma to work at a childcare center. After the maid brought the smelling salts to my mother, and my father went hoarse from yelling at me, I told them thank you, see you, screw you, and hung up. That was five years ago.”
He stared at her. “They never came after you, or tried to call?”
That’s six, sorry! Blame our Friday Freebits Hostess Ginger Simpson for the abruptness, she’s the one who chose to make it six paragraphs…LOL
Stop by Ginger’s blog and see who else is playing Friday Freebits:
And come back next week for more fun!
Oh, and you can find Playing For Keeps here: