When smart, successful, levelheaded lawyer Alexis Pearson gets blindsided by her faithless fiancé, who disses and dumps her, she decides to change everything. Gone are the trendy dreads in favor of her own soft and natural tresses. She's going to get her body, mind, and spirit in shape with tae kwan do classes -- and maybe kick some butt in the process to work out the aggression brought on by the abandonment . . . and her boss's unsubtle offers to help mend her busted heart. Of course, she never intended for it all to get out of hand -- and she certainly didn't mean to break the elbow of her first-time sparring partner, Remedy Brown.
At least she got the attention of this tall, dark, and very handsome nightclub owner with the unfortunate name. And though Alexis is wary about diving recklessly too soon into the relationship fire again, she can't help wondering if sexy, warm-hearted Remedy might be a remedy for what's ailing her. But the man comes with some crazy baggage -- namely Ayzah, his estranged and deranged ex-wife, who's pure, unadulterated 'hood. And suddenly both the personal and professional lives of the "new" Alexis Pearson are about to get a lot wilder . . . and riskier.
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About the Author
Nina Foxx, originally from New York, is the bestselling author of five novels--and two industrial design patents. She has had a short story featured in Wanderlust: Erotic Travel Tales, and her fourth novel, Marrying Up, was successfully adapted into a musical stage play. She worked as an industrial psychologist specializing in human-computer interaction, and is currently completing a third graduate degree--this time an MFA in creative writing—and working on an experimental film project based on one of her books.
Read an Excerpt
Just Short of Crazy
By Nina Foxx
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Nina Foxx
All right reserved.
"Cut it off." Alexis spoke before Angel even opened his mouth. Walter had loved her with long hair so it had to go. Part of making a clean break.
Angel acted like he didn't hear her. He stood looking at her in the mirror with his cutting scissors frozen in midair.
She repeated herself. "All of it. Almost a buzz cut."
"Girl, you crazy," he said. "I can't attach no weave to that." He laughed, along with everyone around her. Alexis waited for the laughter to die down and then simply smiled. "I know. I don't want one. I think I just want to go natural. Uncover the new me."
Angel was reluctant, but he poked out his lips and turned on the clippers. The shop was quiet the whole time. They all watched as Alexis lost what must have added up to five pounds of hair. To not want mounds of Texas big hair was akin to blasphemy.
She left the shop and ran her hair through her new hairdo. It felt great. It had been years since she'd felt her natural hair and it was softer than she remembered it being. Why in the world had I been hiding under all that rug for so long? Alexis almost couldn't keep her hands out of it. She chuckled to herself and hopped in her car. Had she become a cliche, the scorned woman who made all sorts of changesafter shedding one hundred and eighty pounds or so of dead weight? This new hair was part of the post-Walter Alexis. What a way to spend a lunch hour. This was the first time in years she'd had anything done other than her weave tightened or relaxer touched up. It had only been a few minutes and already the butt-length, ultrastraight tresses that used to define her felt passe.
The cut had certainly taken less time; there was still time left before her next appointment at the office.
Alexis grabbed a cup of coffee and headed back to prepare. Her phone buzzed almost as soon as she walked through the door. She stumbled across the floor, then snatched the phone off its hook.
"Alexis Montague Pearson."
"So serious." It was Shana, the legal assistant to her boss, the head lawyer. The one whose name was on the building. Alexis could hear the smile in the woman's voice.
"How can I help you?" She failed to understand how some people could always wake up happy. Shana was happy all damn day long.
"Monty would like to see you. This morning."
A few butterflies flitted in her stomach. She cleared her throat. "Okay. Am I in trouble?" She tried to make a joke out of it.
"Not that I know of. In half an hour?"
As if I have a choice. "Of course." She hung up the phone. What now? They couldn't possibly have anything to complain about. She was doing more casework than she had in months.
Alexis finished up what she had been doing before lunch, then straightened up the papers on her desk. The elevators in the building were ancient and slow, so it would take her a minute or two to get to Monty's office. No need to keep the boss waiting.
She put everything in its place and stood up just as her phone rang again.
"Yes, Auntie." Alexis glanced at the clock. A gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach told her she should have let this one go to voice mail. It was her Aunt Athena.
"Don't sound so happy to hear from me."
"I'm sorry. I was on my way to a meeting."
"That's fine. I understand, you have been busy lately. Too busy even for the auntie that took you in and gave you a good life."
Alexis rolled her eyes. How many times had she heard that? Yes, she had been raised by her Aunt Athena, alongside her cousin and best friend Paris. Back then, her mother had been unmarried, pregnant and fourteen years old. It had seemed like a good idea; growing up in smaller and more rural Austin with two home-owning parents would surely be better for her future than the meager existence her single mother could provide. Alexis bet all her money that her own mother, God rest her soul, had no idea that her daughter would be paying for that decision in perpetuity.
"I won't keep you long. I just called to remind you to go and get fitted for your bridesmaid dress. You do have the details, right?"
How could she not have them? After the wedding information had been e-mailed to her, her aunt had set up some wedding site that sent almost daily countdowns with never ending wedding updates. And there were a lot of them. Paris could not seem to make up her mind about anything. "Yes, I do. I wouldn't miss it for the world. I made sure that I would be done in time to get there by eight tonight." Not exactly true, but it seemed to satisfy her aunt. Surely everyone was rushing to wear an unflattering sherbet-colored dress. Alexis gritted her teeth, then hung up and locked her small office.
It was unusual for Alexis to be summoned to the executive suite, and she had no idea what the reason was this time. Her performance had been exemplary, more so than usual. She'd logged more than the necessary hours, and done all of the research and depositions they'd asked her to do, even interviewed other people's clients when necessary. Alexis frowned. She knew she had taken a hard-line approach to many of the clients lately, especially the female ones. Maybe the people upstairs didn't like that or had received a complaint.
Before she and Walter broke up, she'd coddled most of her clients. Usually she pitied them, feeling sorry for the way most of them let men walk all over them. . . .
Excerpted from Just Short of Crazy by Nina Foxx Copyright © 2006 by Nina Foxx. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
At the same time that her cousin is preparing for her wedding, attorney Alexis Montague Pearson struggles with the disintegration of her relationship to her now former fiancé. Her boss assumes she needs cheering up and offers to be the cheerleader, but his inappropriate action angers Alexis, who quits and files a sexual harassment suit.--------- To release her rage against males, Alexis decides to attend her Tae Kwon Do class though she feels bad that the last time she was there she out-sparred businessman Remedy Brown, accidentally breaking his elbow during their battle. Remedy likes Alexis and plans to use the broken arm incident as an avenue to get to know her. However, he has a slight problem, his ex-wife Ayzah, encouraged by her man, tries to extort money out of Remedy using their son as a pawn.------------------ Nina Foxx¿s romantic suspense thriller is actually the comparative tale of two women as the audience along with Remedy contrast Alexis and Ayzah, who rotate first person perspective. The story line is driven by these females as Ayzah is a loose cannon, who uses the ¿Hood¿ as a protective mechanism while Alexis is a professional, who learned dirty fighting at a different type of bar than her adversary. Fans of a deep character study will want to read Ms. Foxx¿s strong comparative analysis of two diverse females whose only link is Remedy.---------- Harriet Klausner