Good Girls Don'tby Kelley St. John
In high school, Bill Brannon was head over heels for his childhood friend Lettie Campbell. Twelve years later, Bill has almost forgotten his crush on the wild and feisty Lettie. Almost. But when fate reunites them, he realizes that some opportunities shouldn't be missed. Lettie Campbell wants to start her own business designing lingerie. Her dream is going to become a reality with the cash she¿s bringing in as a cheating consultant at My Alibi, a company that lies for cheaters 24/7. When her sister, Amy, asks her to help a friend by providing an alibi, Lettie agrees. Lying to strangers is easy. But lying to the friend you've had since third grade is hard. As the lies pile up and Lettie and Bill burn up the sheets, she will have to come clean. Because the person she's lying to is Bill¿and no amount of lies will help her when he discovers that he's been conned.
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Good Girls Don't
By Kelley St. John
Warner ForeverCopyright © 2005 Kelley St. John
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDigging through her briefcase, Colette Campbell snagged her cellular phone in one hand and her contact's information sheet in the other, while her sister rummaged through her green glitter-embellished duffel bag to grab a bright pink, misshaped vibrator. Both girls were notorious for bringing their work home; tonight was no exception.
"Amy, what the heck is that for?" Colette eyed the odd curve at the end of the oversized contraption. In her opinion, Amy's current employer had taken its passion line to the extreme, with the most popular products designed by her imaginative sister. But they were shooting for the next must-have sex toy. And Colette had to admit several of Amy's creations were already must-haves for her own bedroom.
Too bad they were the ones meant for singles. "This baby will put Adventurous Accessories over the top," Amy said, grinning with unabashed pride. She made the same claim with each of her toys, though Colette chose not to point that out.
At merely twenty-two, Amy Campbell already had a mind for business. Coupled with an affinity for the intricacies of sex, which she'd obviously acquired from their mother, Amy had a hot combination for today's boudoir market. Consequently, she fully intended for one of her personally designed products to become thenext Jack Rabbit.
Like practically every other female in America, Colette had watched Kim Cattrall's Samantha lose her senses over the unique vibrator on Sex and the City. And, like practically every other female in America, she'd wasted no time purchasing a set of talented rabbit ears of her own.
Thank God. Lord knows that battery-operated bunny helped her numerous times when Jeff hadn't got the job done. At least she had one "energize-her" in the apartment during her six months dating Mr. Perfect.
"So what does it do?" Colette asked, accustomed to Amy's tendency of bringing her sex trinkets home to show off her latest idea.
While Amy played Vanna, running a finger down the smooth length of the toy, Colette scanned her client's data sheet. My Alibi's customers were extremely specific regarding when she should make calls. In this case, the woman wanted a message left while the contact was gone. A typical request. For some reason, the lie seemed more believable when heard on an answering machine. Colette's eyes ventured to the referral line on the bottom of the front page. "Amy?"
"Yeah?" Amy said, still grinning at the toy. "What's up with this?" She pointed to the name scribbled across the page. "Referred by Amy Campbell?" Colette read the annotation made by the My Alibi sales associate.
Client specifically requested Colette Campbell as her sales representative.
"Oh, I can't believe I forgot to tell you," Amy said, scooting closer to Colette on the couch. She pointed to the data sheet. "That's a friend of mine. She needed a way to spend a week with her boyfriend, and I told her about My Alibi."
"You're helping your friend cheat on her husband?" Colette didn't like lying for a living, and she didn't plan to do it much longer, only until she had enough money to start her boutique. "I thought you agreed that what these people do isn't right."
"I know it isn't, but Erika isn't lying to a husband." Colette's attention moved back to the information sheet, specifically the "Relationship to Client" line. "Her uncle?"
"She's found the love of her life, but she doesn't think her uncle will approve," Amy explained, shrugging as though this were no big deal. "She needs an alibi for a week to spend some alone time with Butch and see if he really is the one."
"Why does she have to lie to her uncle to spend a week with her boyfriend?" Colette didn't like the sound of this. What was Amy getting her into?
"He's her guardian, and he's a bit overprotective," Amy explained; then, at Colette's raised brows, she continued, "Listen. I knew you wouldn't help on your own, so I had her go through My Alibi. That way it's merely another client, right? And besides, she's my friend and needs help. You won't let me down here, will you?"
Letting Amy down was something Colette was determined not to do. And Amy knew it. Occasionally, like right now, she used it to her advantage. However, there was no way Colette would help if Erika wasn't an adult. "You can't hire My Alibi unless you're eighteen. And if she isn't eighteen, I can't help her."
"She is eighteen. Her birthday was last month." Sure enough, the client's date of birth on the application matched Amy's statement.
"Come on, she's an adult looking for an alibi, and she isn't lying to a husband. She simply wants to spend some time with her boyfriend. You'll help her, right? Give her a chance at true love?" Amy asked. "For me?"
Colette sighed. "All right," she conceded. "I'll help her."
Amy leaned forward and hugged her sister, while her long ponytail smothered Colette's face and made her smile.
"You're rotten, you know that, don't you?" Colette asked.
"Yep," Amy agreed, moving back to her bag and holding up the new toy. Her mission had been accomplished, so naturally, she turned her focus back to her newest product.
"Tell your friend I'll help her this one time, but I don't plan to do it again. She really shouldn't be lying to her uncle."
"Got it," Amy said, punching a finger in the air for emphasis, but her eyes never ventured from the vibrator. "Isn't it amazing?" She switched her voice to produce infomercial appeal, flicked the switch and started the thing buzzing. "This exclusive curve allows the smooth, pulsing tip to hit the G-spot precisely. Every time. And if that doesn't pique your interest, feast your eyes on this."
Sounding like a late-night home-shopping host, she pushed a small button on the handle with her index finger. "Ahhh, see? The end lights up like a rainbow."
Holding the glowing contraption against her forearm, Amy let the pulsating head play against her skin while she giggled. "Cool, huh?"
Okay. Colette failed to see why illuminating like a multicolored strobe light would be of importance, particularly if you considered where those colors would be located if and when they hit the proverbial bull's-eye. But she humored Amy, nonetheless. "Yeah, sis. Real cool. If you have a spot to find."
Amy punched the switch and dropped Pinky to the couch, where it rolled like a deformed banana until lodging between the back of the sofa and the cushion. "No way. You haven't found it? Jeff hasn't found it? Geez, you don't know what you're missing."
Colette merely smirked. From what she could tell, Jeff did good to find his own part, much less hers. But rather than elaborate on how extremely dull those six months had been, she dialed the number listed on the My Alibi fact sheet.
"Seriously? Did he, you know, even look for it?" Amy asked, obviously bewildered at this revelation.
Did he look for it? Hmmm. Let's think about it. Well, that'd be a definite no. Matter of fact, all he looked for, as far as Colette could tell, was his own satisfaction. Which he obtained. Every time.
And pretty dang quick, at that.
Funny thing was, Jeff looked and acted every part the ladies' man. Strutted around with his much-too-muscled chest puffed out, his politician's smile plastered on tight and every wavy hair in place. Oh, and not a single tan line on his body, thank you very much. Or thank his home-tanning bed, coupled with his ritual to make certain he stayed on each side the same number of minutes. Colette had mistakenly believed the attention he paid to his looks stemmed from his business, rather than his mega-ego. He'd used his primary asset, his body, to promote a growing chain of health-food stores; therefore, he had to look healthy, right?
Of course, the result was quite phenomenal. Folks saw him as their goal and bought his stuff aplenty. The fact he'd tacked on a couple of Atlanta's Best Body titles didn't hurt either. Yep, he was pretty to look at, all right. But a dud in the sack.
Heck, Colette would've bet plenty of money on his ability to please. She'd have lost that bet.
Shoot, she'd have put money on him staying true too. Ditto for losing the wager.
"In case you've forgotten, Jeff and I have been over for two months. Matter of fact, I heard he put a ring on Emily Smith's finger last weekend. Just as well, since he was banging her the whole time we were together. Hey, who knows? Maybe he found her G-spot. He sure never found mine."
That sounded bitter. And she was not bitter. Relieved was more like it. She'd tried to make the whole commitment thing work, in spite of Jeff leaving much to be desired in the bedroom. In her bedroom, anyway. As she learned two months ago, he'd made his way through plenty of other beds during their time together. "Maybe you should try this out. It'll find the spot." Amy picked up the translucent pink vibrator and held it to her cheek. "It's waterproof too. And you don't even need a man. Really, you should give it a trial run."
Don't need a man. Yep, that'll fit the bill.
"Maybe I should." Colette laughed. Heck, maybe a pink, rainbow, light-up G-spot finder was what she needed to get her out of this funk. Twenty-nine-and-knocking- on-thirty, she was still searching for a guy who could carry on an intelligent conversation, had at least some semblance of a career plan and- wonder of wonders- could make her toes curl as much as one of Amy's toys. She was beginning to think she might have to let go of one of the three qualities. But if anything had to fly out the window, it would not be curling toes.
Amy lowered the vibrator and focused on the phone perched against her sister's ear. "Hey, Colette, you dialed the number, didn't you?"
Colette's laughter lodged in her throat. She hadn't heard the answering machine pick up. But there'd definitely been a ring on the other end. Hadn't there?
Yeah, she'd heard a ring. When had it stopped? More importantly, how much of their sisterly conversation had been recorded?
Dang. A path of heat blazed from her throat to her face. She'd have to do major damage control at the office tomorrow for this faux pas. How do you explain leaving a message about sex toys on a customer's voice mail?
But she couldn't hang up. She'd used the cellular provided by My Alibi, and the fictitious name Amy's friend had chosen for her company would be displayed on the caller ID.
She gathered her wits. So this wouldn't be her best performance as a My Alibi representative; it'd be okay. She'd simply apologize and begin her regular spiel.
Taking a deep breath, she prepared to start the process of prevarication via the uncle's answering machine. Then she heard a responding exhalation on the other end.
No. Way. There was not a living, breathing person listening to her now. Hearing her discuss G-spots, no less, when she supposedly represented a computer-graphics training company. Certainly Erika's uncle hadn't answered the phone, heard her talking and eavesdropped on that steamy little conversation with Amy. Had he?
Only one way to find out. Tossing a wary glance to her sister, she mustered up her courage. "Hello?" "Well, hello."
Excerpted from Good Girls Don't by Kelley St. John Copyright ©2005 by Kelley St. John . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Kelley St. John's previous experience as a Senior Writer at NASA fueled her interest in writing action-packed suspense, and she also excels at penning steamy romances and quirky women's fiction. She is a member of eight writing organizations including Romance Writers of America, and is a board member for three.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book is excellent! I had it read in just over a day. While you might think it would be difficult to connect with characters that lie and make sex toys for a living, the Campbell sisters don't apply. You feel a real connection and understanding from page one with both Lettie and Amy. And, the love scenes left nothin to be desired. They were original, well written and very sexy. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys any type of romance novel. In fact I have already leant my copy to a friend and she loves it too.
This book was hot hot and more hot!!! I finished it in three days. I couldn't put it down. There is not only one romance taking place but three. The characters are more than likeable they feel like they could be part of your family hehe. You'll enjoy this book. I recommend it for all romance readers. enjoy!
I'd planned to read a little before I went to sleep -- hah! Trust me, when you start this one, you won't put it down! I'll be buying all of her books!
I've been sneaking in chapters while I've been at work-- this is a great book- so far. I'm on Chapter 15, and I'm really enjoying the story. I feel like I know the characters, and it's easy to connect with them and what they're going through. Good Job!
Following her high school graduation twelve years ago Collette ¿Lettie¿ Campbell left Sheldon, Georgia to escape a terrible home life while dreaming of becoming a designer in Atlanta. Her only regret was leaving her younger sister Amy behind, but her sibling now lives with her in Atlanta. Amy asks Collette to do her a favor by covering up the actions of her eighteen year old friend Erika. Reluctantly Collette agrees as she is a ¿cheating consultant¿ at My Alibi. She makes the call informing Erika¿s Uncle Bill that his niece is in Tampa attending a training session when the teen is with her boyfriend on Tybee Island. To Collette¿s shock Bill turns out to be her best friend back in Sheldon Bill Brannon who wanted them to become her boyfriend, but she said no............. Bill and Lettie go on a date that leads to so much more as she begins to fall in love with her best childhood friend while he knows he has loved her since fifth grade. However, Lettie also knows she told Bill several lies starting with Erika and believes once he learns her lies he will reject her, but also realizes she owes him truth................... GOOD GIRLS DON¿T is an amusing contemporary romance with a partial second chance at love at least on the part of the male lead. The story line is character driven from the zany sex toys invented by Amy to Lettie¿s struggles between telling the truth to the man she loves and client privilege. Though some readers will wonder why Bill never used the Internet to look up the woman he loves, fans will appreciate this fun tale that hits the right G note............ Harriet Klausner