Hi Jennifer and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Maybe This Time!
Please share your favorite scene from Maybe This Time:
I loved writing this scene. For so long Jackson has kept his feelings for Abby hidden, so in this moment when he finally reveals them, I love his frustration and his conflict. He knows he wants to go after what he’s wanted for a long time, but he is still feeling guilty that she was once married to his best friend.
I love the tension between them in this scene. At this point in the story, Abby is attracted to Jackson and his revelation leaves her wondering whether she can take a chance on another relationship with him.
I had a lot of fun writing the dialogue in this scene and the characters really came to life for me.
Jackson’s voice in the hallway made her jump. What was he doing there? She quickly stashed the divorce papers under the couch and stood, knocking over the wine glass. Luckily the cheap plastic goblet was empty, and she bent to right it as Jackson entered the living room.
“Hi…Hey…” She stammered, tucking her hands into the back pockets of her jeans. “What are you doing here?” She hadn’t seen him in a few days, though it would be a lie to say he hadn’t crossed her mind—too often for comfort, in fact.
And now he was standing in her living room—his living room technically—looking amazing in a pair of jeans that hugged his thighs, a tear in the right knee, and a black collared shirt, opened at the neck beneath a black leather jacket. His hair was gelled in a purposeful mess, and the five o’clock shadow along his jawline-as always-tempted her touch.
What the hell was it about that stubble?
Shoving her hands even deeper into her pockets, she commanded her body to stay firmly where she was.
“I came to drop off the new lock and set of keys to the shed in the backyard. Sorry, it took longer than I’d planned…” He looked around the cluttered space. “Wow, I wasn’t expecting you to have so much stuff.”
She shrugged. “I’m hoping to be unpacked and organized by Christmas.” She forced a laugh.
He studied her for a moment then shook his head as though shaking a thought away. “Anyway, here are the keys.” He started toward her with his hand extended and she was nodding, though not really hearing his words.
Her mind had taken an unwanted detour to the look in his eyes when she’d touched his hand at the hockey game. Such a simple gesture…a stupid simple gesture that had served to complicate things between them, blur some imaginary line. She took the keys and played with the key ring, trying to summon the courage to say something about the other night. To explain that whatever that was wasn’t something that could turn into something more.
He cleared his throat and spoke before she could. “The other night at the game…”
Her head whipped up. “Yeah?”
“Nothing?” she said weakly, hoping to fill in the blank correctly. Or partly hoping at least.
“I wouldn’t say nothing,” he said. “I mean, there’s something happening…” He coughed. “Between us.”
She was shaking her head furiously, but an argument refused to verbalize.
No doubt because it would be bullshit.
Jackson took a step closer. “So you’re saying you didn’t feel a connection?”
“I didn’t feel any connection,” she said quickly, backing up slightly. The heat from the fireplace now toasting the back of her legs. “That would be crazy…weird, right?”
Another step closer. “Crazy weird because?”
“Because of Dean,” she said emphatically.
“Right Dean,” he said as his gaze fell to the floor and landed on the divorce papers under the couch . “But it looks like there is no Dean anymore…at least not for you.” He moved even closer and now was just inches away.
Oh God, it was hot in here and it wasn’t just the fireplace. She swallowed hard, the urge to close the gap between them overwhelming. But… “There’s still a Dean for you though right?” Damn. She had no idea which answer she wanted from him. Her mind was hoping his friendship with her ex-husband would be enough to make him retreat. But her body was screaming ‘Dean who?!’
His gaze locked on hers, and he reached out and tucked her hair behind her ears, cupping her face with his hands. “What if it doesn’t matter anymore? What if all that matters is what I want?”
“What do you…”
Her words were silenced by his mouth crushing hers a second later. Her arms fell limp to her sides and she blinked several times, not moving, not breathing…too in shock to kiss him back. She just stood there motionless as his lips finally realized they weren’t getting any response from hers.
He backed away a fraction of an inch, still touching her face. “I have no idea where that came from,” he said.
“No shit,” she whispered, still in shock.
He released her and took a big step back. “I’m sorry,” he said, running a hand through his hair. “I’m going to go.” He started to walk toward the door, then stopped and turned. “No, you know what? I’m not going to go.”
“You’re not?” She’d somehow found her voice again.
“No.” He paced the living room between the stacks of boxes, head down, muttering to himself as though trying to make sense of what had just happened.
Had he forgotten she was standing there? “Jackson, do you want to let me in on what’s happening right now?”
He glanced up at her and stopped pacing. His Adam’s apple bobbed twice as he seemed to weigh his words. “Abby, the thing is…” He stopped.
“The thing is…” she coaxed.
“Remember second grade?”
Her eyes widened. The thing started that far back? Wow, this was obviously not a short story. “No.”
He sighed. “Of course not. The truth is…” He stopped again.
Oh for the love of God! “Jackson, why did you kiss me?” Should be an easy enough question, but he looked confused, pained…tortured.
He stared at the ceiling for what seemed like forever, before lowering his gaze to hers. “Because I have feelings for you.”
Feelings? “Like good feelings?” she asked, lowering herself back down to sit on one of the unopened boxes. She couldn’t trust her legs for this conversation.
“No, terrible, unwanted, unreciprocated, completely wrong feelings…but they’ve always been there and now it seems they have a mind of their own,” he said, his shoulders slumping as though a weight had lifted from them.
Only to be placed on hers. What the hell did she do with that information? “But you…”
“I mean you treated me…”
“I know.” He sighed, sitting on a different box in front of her. The cardboard gave way and he ended up half stuck between the folds. “I know this is terrible timing.” He looked frazzled as he tried to reposition himself in the box.
At any other moment, the sight might be hilarious.
“And it’s been killing me trying to decide if I should tell you any of this. I’ve held it in so long, I thought I could continue to keep it hidden, but the truth is, since you’ve been back, it’s been harder and harder to keep this to myself. Being around you and not touching you, not kissing you, not holding you is torture and I think you’ve felt it too.” He paused.
His words were an arrow straight to her heart, but she had no idea what to do with them. Her own feelings for him had come on so sudden, yet so strong, and now he was telling her that he’d always felt something for her? She bit her lip as she nodded. “Things have definitely felt…different lately.”
“Different.” He looked disappointed as he nodded. “Okay.”
A long silence fell between them.
“So, that’s why you always…”
“And you never…”
Realization was a long time coming, but now the effect of it hit her like a freight train. Becky had been right. Abigail’s ex-husband’s best friend had always been in love with her. Was still in love with her.
Oh shit. Shit, shit, shit. She stood and now it was her turn to pace. “But… Oh, but…”
He struggled to crawl out of the nearly flattened box. “Abby, don’t freak out.”
“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t expect you to ever feel the same way, and that one-sided kiss just now pretty much confirmed it,” he said.
She stopped and stared at him. “It did?”
“Yeah. I mean I’ve always known you’d never…”
“I’d never what?”
“Go for someone like me. Go for…me.”
And why the hell not? “How do you know that?”
“Because you dated guys that were…not me,” he said, placing his hands on his hips, a look of frustration etched on his handsome face.
“You never showed the least bit of interest. How could I possibly have known how you felt?”
“You’re right. And now it’s too late.”
Too late. She nodded slowly, wondering why that idea made her stomach turn. She didn’t return his feelings…did she? She had some feelings—definitely attraction—but real, sincere feelings?
Her mouth went dry.
Oh God. One thing was certain, she didn’t not share his feelings.
“Now that I’ve made things even more awkward between us than they’ve ever been, I think I’ll go.” He headed toward the door. “Let’s try to forget about all of this okay?” he asked, his expression desperate as he lingered, a hand on the door.
Forget about it. Yes. Definitely the best thing to do. The only thing to do.
Then why was she walking straight toward him, her eyes locked on his? Stop Abigail. Do not do something you’ll regret.
Too late. Her arms reached up around his neck as she stood on tiptoes to place her lips gently against his. Not the desperate, longing, full crushing attack he’d placed on hers, but a soft, inviting gesture she had no right to offer.
“Abby,” he moaned against her mouth placing his hands on her hips. “This is not forgetting about it.”
“I know, but the way I see it, if we’re going to forget about it, why not add more things to the list?” she whispered, licking her bottom lip.
Excerpt. ©Jennifer Snow. Posted by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.
Giveaway: Ebook: MAYBE THIS TIME (Colorado Ice) by Jennifer Snow (Gifted via InstaFreebie)
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Abigail Jansen is done with hockey . . . and hockey players. After leaving her two-timing NHL-star husband, Abby decides to start over in her hometown of Glenwood Falls, Colorado. There she doesn’t have to deal with people gossiping behind her back or hear the word “hockey”—until her daughter tries out for the junior hockey team. Now Abby has to face her fears . . . and coach Jackson Westmore. He’s tall, dark, handsome—and happens to hate her.
All through high school, talented hockey player Jackson Westmore had a crush on Abby, but he would never make a move on his best friend’s girl. He gave her the cold shoulder out of self-preservation and worked out his frustrations on the ice. So when Abby returns, newly divorced and still sexy as hell, Jackson knows he’s in trouble. Now even the best defensive skills might not keep him from losing his heart . . .
Meet the Author:
Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and son. She writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance stories set everywhere from small towns to big cities. After stating in her high school yearbook bio that she wanted to be an author, she set off on the winding, twisting road to make her dream a reality. She is a member of RWA, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Film and Visual Arts Association in Edmonton. She has published over ten novels and novellas with many more on the way.
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