While his brothers have found their true loves, Paxton remains stubbornly single, and it's not helping his career. Sure, he's a successful lawyer, but to become a judge you've got to mingle with the right crowds-and without a partner at his side, he's not getting enough invitations. He needs someone, and soon. Someone like Jolene Joyner . . .
Jolene, a local high school English teacher, has a history of driving Paxton crazy. She's just too perfect-and she's never let him forget it. But now Ms. Goody Two-Shoes is in trouble for the first time in her life, and she needs a lawyer. He'll take her case-if she'll play by his rules. Six months of socializing should do the trick-if they can convince everyone they've put aside their animosity and fallen madly in love. Then they can go their separate ways.
The only problem is that Jolene seems to have developed a taste for bad behavior . . . especially where Paxton is concerned. And instead of just a pretty partner in deception, he's got himself a new client who's anything but innocent . . .
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Paxton Cates was not in a good mood. When his phone rang at three fifty-six in the morning and he heard the voice on the other end of the line, he'd been tempted to hang up — but he knew there'd be hell to pay with his mother if he did. Which was why he was walking into the Climax Police Department at five forty-five a.m.
The new rookie cop he'd met in court the week before stood ramrod straight behind the front desk. He stopped and shook his hand. "Officer Davis. Are you the one who brought Ms. Joyner in?"
"Yes, sir. I made the collar."
Paxton squinted one eye at him. "Right. What is she being charged with?"
Davis picked up a clipboard and handed it across the desk to him. "It's kind of a long list. It's probably easier if you just read the charges yourself."
Huh. Captain America here made her sound like a hardened criminal. He took the clipboard from Davis, who seemed a bit too jazzed about the arrest. If he was looking for an adrenaline fix from fighting crime, he was in for a disappointment in Climax. Paxton nodded and moved toward the holding cell in the back. Officer Rojas was leaning against the bars of the cell, laughing with the prisoner.
"Rafe." He nodded at him. "I'd like a few minutes with Ms. Joyner."
"Sure thing, Paxton." Rafe straightened away from the bars and winked in at her. "I'll be back."
Paxton grabbed a straight-backed wooden chair from along the wall and moved it to sit directly in front of the cell. He relaxed back and stared at his high school nemesis, Jolene Joyner. Jojo. Jo. The girl who'd found a way to annoy him almost every day in high school as if she'd put it on her to-do list. The sweet smile she'd graced Rafe with disappeared and her gaze narrowed at him through the bars. She still looked like the perky, hot cheerleader she'd been in high school. The black jeans and shirt she wore only highlighted her long, wavy blond hair. Not bleached; more like sun-streaked honey. And she had those big gray eyes she used to suck guys in and hypnotize them. He'd avoided that sad fate his whole life — he wasn't going to fall for it now.
"Paxton." She lifted her stubborn little chin at him. "What took so long? I called you almost two hours ago."
"Jolene. Two hours? Really? Well, let's see." He stretched his legs out in front of him, crossing them at the ankles. "I had to shower. And eat breakfast. I was going to scramble a couple of eggs to save time, but then I decided I really wanted pancakes. I make a mean pancake. I even heated up the maple syrup to pour over them. And then I had to drive here."
"You live ten minutes away."
"I made coffee. French press. That takes a little longer to get it just right." He needed to let Jo know she couldn't run him around like she did one of her adoring boyfriends. No sir. She'd had guys wrapped around her little finger for years. She broke a nail and the boyfriend du jour came running. Paxton wanted it clear she couldn't wrap him up like that. "I had a Redbox movie to turn in or I would've been charged for another day. Please. Zombie Stewardesses was good, but not that good."
"Oh, good. Are you sure you didn't have a library book you could have dropped off at the night drop? We wouldn't want you to have to pay an overdue fine."
He didn't bother to stop his grin. "Actually, princess, I dropped that off too."
"Don't call me that."
That's right. She'd always hated it when he did that, hadn't she? Guess he'd forgotten. He let his gaze wander over her, meandering down and up the long length of her and watched her bristle like an angry kitten. They'd met in preschool when he'd cut off one of her pigtails. She'd burst into sloppy tears and he'd had to spend recess in the time-out chair. Instant enemies. The older they got, the less they got along.
Between college, law school, and a stint with an established law firm in D.C., he'd been away for over ten years. When he'd come back two years ago, they'd both discovered absence hadn't made the heart grow fonder for either of them. Mostly they just gave each other a wide berth. "So, Jolene. It's good to hear from you. How are things? How's old ... dang, what's his name? Jason? John? Jeremy! How's Jeremy doing?"
"Jeremy? I wouldn't know. We broke up two years ago and he moved to Florida. Don't you ever talk to your mother?"
"Sure I do. We just don't talk about you." Well, enough fun. He sat up and reached to the table behind him for the clipboard with her arrest paperwork. The first thing he saw made him smile. "No way. Your name is Jolene Jolene Joyner? I wish I'd known that back in middle school."
He heard her huff of breath and grinned up at her.
"Mama was a big Dolly Parton fan. Laugh all you want, Paxton. You can't tell anyone about my name on account of the attorney-client privilege."
"Damn, Jolene Jolene, I could have had a lot of fun with that."
She made some noise that sounded like a junkyard dog about to attack. "Would you mind getting back to my charges, please?"
"Okay, okay. Let me guess ... Officer Davis pulled you over for speeding, saw all the previous speeding tickets on your record, probably an unpaid one too, couldn't be charmed by your big eyes or moved by your tears, and arrested your cute little behind. How'd I do?"
"Uuhhh. Not quite." A delicate pink flushed her cheeks and she bit down on her lower lip. She'd probably practiced that in front of the mirror a million times to get it to look that sexy.
Paxton jerked his gaze away from her mouth and down to the clipboard and skimmed further down the form. "What the hell, Jolene?"
"He totally made some of those charges up."
"Which ones?" He pinned her with his gaze before reading them off. "Trespassing, breaking and entering, burglary? Why would you break into the animal shelter, Jo?"
She turned her head to stare at the cinder-block wall in front of her. "It's a long story."
"Do tell." He waited a beat, but when she remained silent — for the first time ever, to his knowledge — he went back to reading the charges. "Aggravating a police officer, resisting arrest, and bribery. Bribery, Jo? Seriously?"
"No! I told you he made some charges up. All I said was I was sure we could clear everything up with a friendly talk over doughnuts. When he accused me of trying to bribe him, I only brought up money and sex as examples of what a real bribe would be. Just check his tape — it'll prove I'm telling the truth. He just doesn't like me, is all." Jo's lower lip pushed out before she pressed her lips together.
"Money and sex? Why were you even talking to him?" What was he saying? Jo would talk the ears off an elephant. He ran his hand over his face, taking a deep breath before glancing back at her. "He didn't like you? Gee, what could you possibly have done? I mean, other than break the law."
"I might have referred to him as Barney Fife. I mean, possibly." Jo's gaze flicked up at him and quickly away before she stood up from the cot attached to the wall and paced in the small cell. "And there was that whole awkward part where I sort of head-butted his nose, which hurt me more than him, I'm pretty sure. The doughnut offer — a totally polite gesture on my part. Other than those little things ... I don't know why he didn't like me. Normally I'm a very likable person. Please, Paxton, you've got to help me fix this. I've never not been ..."
"Perfect? Look, this really isn't my specialty anymore, but I've got a friend who —" He stopped talking as a thought hit him, and he felt a little bit like the Grinch when he decided to steal Christmas from Whoville. Because Jo was right. Outside of him, everyone did like her. Jolene Joyner had a perfect reputation. Until last night, but he could spin that no problem. "On second thought, I've got a proposition for you."
She stopped pacing and tilted her head at him. "What?"
"You know I'm vice president of the Climax Judicial District Bar Association —"
"I had no idea."
"I'm planning on running for president, but it's been strongly suggested to me that I'd be a shoo-in if I was in a stable, committed relationship." Coming back to Climax had been the next step toward his ultimate goal of becoming a judge. He'd been working on his political and community connections, but being a bachelor, he was left off the invite list on many of the local social gatherings that seemed to cater to couples. Jolene could be his way in.
"And to think you acted like I was the crazy one. I am not flying to Vegas with you for some quickie marriage at the drive-through Chapel of Elvis."
"Good lord, no. I'll help you deal with your arrest and charges and you just have to pretend to be in a relationship with me for six months. Tops."
"You and me? A couple? No one is going to buy that. I mean, we go together as well as Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club."
"You know they kiss in the end, right?"
"Cats and dogs. Cheerleaders and baseball. Eggnog and tuna fish."
"No one knows that but you and me. I bet you've never even told your mother, have you?" "No. You know our moms are good friends. I didn't want to start something awkward between them."
"We can make it work for six months. Deal?"
She shot him what he used to call her princess-deigns-to acknowledge-the-peasants look back in high school. He hated that look.
"You know what ... never mind. Let me go see about getting you out of here and the charges dropped." He looked back down at the list. "They can't prove the B and E or theft, so I'll get those thrown out ... what? What was that look for?"
Jo walked over to the cot and lifted the blanket to reveal a sleeping puppy.
"Christ, Jo." Paxton shut his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose, wishing he was anywhere else but standing in front of Jolene Joyner wanting to shake some sense into her. He stepped up to the bars where he spoke low enough for her ears alone. "What were you thinking?"
"I don't know." She slumped down onto the edge of the cot, opening her mouth to explain, but stopped and shook her head with a shrug.
Right. Why would she trust him when she didn't much like him? He gripped the bars tighter before letting go and stepping back. "How is it they let you keep the dog with you? He's evidence."
"He doesn't like men, so Barney, I mean Officer Davis, said I could keep him until the shelter opened and could come get him." She reached out, softly petting the dog. "But Paxton, if you could work something out, I would really like to keep him. Please."
"You know the legal system isn't a big believer in finders keepers, right?" It was like the princess thought there were special rules just for her. "How did you get those bruises on your forearms and face?"
Glancing down at her arms with a curious look on her face, she ran a hand lightly over the purple smudges. "Huh. I guess that's where Officer Davis grabbed me to pull me out. I sort of got stuck under the chain-link fence. He didn't mean to hurt me. I bruise easily."
She moved over to him, staring up at him through the bars, her eyes like soft storm clouds after a spring rain. "Yes?"
"Shut up." He reached his hand through the bars and smoothed her hair, examining the soft purple smudges on her cheek and nose. "At least until I get you out of here. I'll get the charges dropped with the excessive force used by the arresting officer; you'll walk with a few hours of community service."
"You're that sure?"
"I'm that good." He grinned when she rolled her eyes. "Hang tight. I'll have you out soon."
Picking up the clipboard from the chair, he nodded at her and turned to head out. A quick call to Judge Garvey, who'd be slipping his hearing aids on right about now, should speed things along and then he and Jolene "Jojo" Joyner could go back to ignoring each other.
Turning back, he raised an eyebrow when she stayed silent, staring at him.
"Thank you." Her small hands trembled and twisted around the bars. "I'd help you if I could ... I just —"
"Can't. Right." Paxton watched her fingers twitching in agitation. She might be saying no right now, but that hesitation told him he still had a chance to change her no to a yes. He could be pretty charming and convincing. Just never with Jo. He was up to the challenge. "No hard feelings here, but just so you know, I haven't given up."
Jolene sat in the county courthouse, attempting to look as calm and collected as possible. Under the circumstances, she thought she was doing an okay job of it, considering her stomach felt an awful lot like the time three summers back when she'd eaten bad shrimp. She inhaled and exhaled carefully in an attempt to rein in her galloping heart. How did you get yourself in this predicament, Jojo?
Totally rhetorical question. A person didn't go from never getting in trouble — speeding tickets aside — for her whole life to being handcuffed, thrown in jail, and charged with a minimum of three misdemeanors and not know how it happened. Jo hadn't acted on impulse since before middle school. In fact, since as far back as the fourth grade, Jo had lived her life according to the rules. Nothing she did in her life was done without careful consideration. Her actions were always deliberate and sensible. She'd learned to color inside the lines in all areas of her life. Until the phone call at two in the morning. Answering the phone wasn't the problem. But her hasty, rushed response to it ... That may be where she'd gone wrong.
You think, Jo? Maybe if she'd held it together and handled the situation calmly, she might have come up with another option. Shutting her eyes, she recalled what had led to the one impulsive act in her life: a promising student in need, the student's punk boyfriend way too excited about breaking and entering, and the life of an innocent puppy. It had been an emotional perfect storm that battered her cautious, normally prudent decision-making process.
The fact that she'd had to call Paxton? Meant she'd hit bottom. Seriously, she and Paxton Cates hadn't said two friendly words to each other since sometime in freshman year of high school. His voice, thick with disapproval a few hours earlier, still cut through her brain: what were you thinking?
Which to her mind was a dumb question because, pfft, of course she hadn't thought it through. It had been ill-advised, half-baked, foolhardy, headlong, and probably about a million other compound words she could think up. And she was an English teacher, so she could think up a lot.
Paxton had donned a dark suit and a red power tie since his visit to the jail that morning, and the man wore a suit well. Perfectly fitted and stylish but not, she'd guess, the same expensive suits he wore when he represented clients in D.C. But then, compared to practicing law in D.C., it must be as different as driving a car behind eighty-year-old Beatrice Simon in a school zone versus driving in the Daytona 500.
The man had charm; he was a real sweet talker. Except for her, everyone liked Paxton Cates. He remembered little details, like when he asked Stu Baker, the court bailiff, about his daughter's softball game. And he'd had Bettyjean Pruitt, the court stenographer, all but melting when he asked about her carpal tunnel. The opposing counsel was close to busting a gut when Paxton relayed some golfing story that involved shots of whiskey, a runaway golf cart, and the Silver Foxes golf tournament.
Watching him relaxed and chatting up the handful of people called into a rare Saturday court session wasn't helping calm her down. The more Paxton laughed and joked with people, the tighter her insides coiled up like a spring, compressed and ready to explode out.
It was only when his warm, firm hand settled on her knee that she realized she'd been wiggling her foot so furiously her whole leg was shaking as if she was sitting on some vibrating chair.
"Relax, Jolene. You've put yourself in my hands, and not to brag or anything, but I've got very talented, capable hands."
"If you're trying to take my mind off being nervous with cute banter, please don't bother." The last thing she needed was his cute banter, although something about his touch and his deep voice in her ear steadied her nerves.
"Touchy, Jojo. Touchy. You don't need to worry. I know for a fact Judge Garvey is in a hurry to get home to tend to his pumpkins this afternoon."
"How would you know that?" She narrowed her eyes at him, studying his handsome face. Those summer leaf-green eyes that made you think you were the only interesting person in a room when they locked on you. As far back as she could remember, Paxton had liked to talk to people, and people liked to talk to him. And not just women either, so it wasn't because of his good looks.
Excerpted from "You Can't Hurry Love"
Copyright © 2017 Margaret Klavik.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You Can’t Hurry Love by Lee Kilraine is the fifth book in her Cates Brothers series and it is the first one I have read and I have to admit that I have missed out on some greatness! The way the writer pulls you into the world of Climax, NC with its quirky characters leaves you panting for more SO I know what I will be doing next, I will be starting with book 1 of the series! Cannot wait for the weekend to get here! Why do we need to work?! So, You Can’t Hurry Love is the story of Jolene Jolene Joyner and Paxton Cates. Jolene is a good girl who has coloured inside the lines all her life and suddenly this Ms Goody Two-Shoes has gotten off the good track and … well, I am sure you can imagine. Paxton is a handsome lawyer that can charm anyone out of their … well, depending on their gender, just use a bit of imagination! These two have been sworn enemies since grade school when Paxton cut off Jolene’s braid but right now, Jolene needs his professional help and Paxton needs a make believe girlfriend to advance his carrier so does that not sound like a perfect recipe for some mayhem! I love the humour that was peppered throughout the story, the chemistry, the heartbreak, the devastation, the emotional connection … I can only imagine what the other Cates brothers’ stories might be like! Lee Kirlaine, you have gained a new fan! Keep bringing us more of Climax!
You Can’t Hurry Love – A Cates Brothers Novel by Lee Kilraine This is the first story I’ve read by Lee Kilraine and it appears to be book number 5 or 6 in the series. I enjoyed it very much and will be adding the other books in this series to my ever growing to be read list. Paxton Cates is a lawyer following his dream. Jolene Joyner is a teacher who deferred her dream to appease her parents. Paxton and Jo have known each other since kindergarten when he cut her ponytail and it has been downhill ever since. This story is sweet and charming. I could picture it as a Hallmark Channel movie (if HC had charming movies with hot sex). The characters are well developed, the settings are described in such detail that I could visualize the scenes as they unfolded and the family connections are deep. There is something that I wish would have been explained better. Paxton peeks into Jolene’s closet and finds a treasure trove. It’s never talked about again and I wanted more detail of what was in there and why. It was not enough of a distraction to take me out of the story, though. This is a book that I would recommend to my mom (and tell her to skip the sexy parts because she is my mom after all).
You Can't Hurry Love (A Cates Brothers Book) by Lee Kilraine 5 Stars I loved loved loved this book. Everything there is about this book was perfect in my opinion. I couldn't set it down once I started it, and I mean that literally. I'm only sad that this was my first book by this author. I have every intention of getting all the books before this one and devouring them but I can't help but wish I had started at the beginning of the series. I love enemies to friends to lovers books, but this one climbed to the top of the list. It all started when Paxton pulled the chair right in front of the cell that Jolene was currently occupying. I thought to myself right then...yep this is gonna be a good one. The interaction between these two was amazing, and that it had been going on since preschool and him cutting off one of her pigtails was genius. The families got to me, both sides were so loving and caring and that tore at my heartstrings and made me smile. The town and how they all reacted to these two was hilarious as well as the brotherly love with all the Cates brothers. Besides the main characters I'd have to say Georgie and the way she took her best friend role so serious was one of my favorite parts of this book… …...Paxton leaned forward over the counter. “Why is Georgie looking at me as if I sneezed on her goodies in the display case?” Glancing over her shoulder at Georgie, who still had her death stare aimed at Paxton, Jo said, “Just ignore her. She doesn’t eat enough fiber.” “I heard that.”....... This author's writing style is why I love to read, perfect flow and just the right amount of content, no filler fluff. I'm seriously hoping there are at least two more books in this series, one for Georgie and the other for Darlene, I'm just feeling like there might be a lot more to that story then we know. Many thanks to this author for a fantastic feel good read!
You Can’t Hurry Love is the fifth installment in A Cate’s Brothers Series by Lee Kilraine. While this is the fifth book, it can be read as a stand alone and the story will be fine, but I am one who always says to read the series in order so all of the characters get their full spotlight. This installment focuses on Paxton and Jolene, two people who couldn’t be more opposite yet not one could be more perfect for either of these two. This story was such a page turner, that I ended up reading this in one sitting, foregoing sleep and activities to read this one. I actually bought all of the other books in this series just so I could reread all of the series for fun. Kilraine definitely has a new fan in me, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. If you are looking for a great contemporary romance that while in a series can be read as a standalone than this is the book for you. But be prepared to fall into a book hole, as it is such a good read that putting it down is near impossible to do.
You Can't Hurry Love (A Cates Brothers Book) by Lee Kilraine is part of her A Cates Brothers series. This story can be read as a stand alone. This is the first book I have read by this author and I know that I will be reading the other books in this series too. She has written a contemporary romance that will keep you engaged from the start. She will pull you in from the first word. Her attention to details are creative and make the story flow. I enjoyed her characters, they are connectable, lovable and true to life. They really do just pop off the pages. This is the story of Paxton and Jolene. Their story is about achieving dreams and finding themselves in the process. They have known each other since they have been small. They haven't never really gotten along until now. Paxton has dreams that he wants to achieve and he needs someone to help him. Jolene is one who never breaks the rules but she wants more out of her life. So when she finds herself in some trouble, she turns to one person, Paxton. He uses this as a way to get what he wants and needs. But what will happen when they realize that they have more in common then they realized? Their chemistry and attraction to each other is out of this world. Can they pretend to be boyfriend-girlfriend for six months and not get get more then they bargained for? You will fall in love with these two. Jolene is strong, but when she starts coming out of her shell, watch out. She wants to keep her reputation but yet she wants to live life. She really does grow throughout this story and it was great to see. Paxton is the handsome lawyer who is determined to get what he wants. It was great also watching him grow. He learns to find things out about himself that he didn't know he had in him. Both of them go through life struggles that you will keep hoping to see their HEA at the end. They are great together even though they really couldn't stand each other in the beginning. They both need to learn to trust and live life. Will they find this together or are they better off a part? The secondary characters in this story is great and strong as well. They are so supportive and really just great. They help make this story for what it is. I had a hard time putting their story down as it will keep you reading until the last page. I highly recommend this story as I know you will want to see if Paxton and Jolene find their HEA and will they each get what they really want.
the final cates brother gets his match in you can't hurry love, even though i doubt this is the last we'll see of climax, north carolina. paxton cates and jolene joyner have been at war ever since paxton cut off one of jolene's pigtails in kindergarten. when jolene is forced to ask paxton for help out of a legal quandary, he decides to ask for a fake relationship as payment. jolene has always been such a goody-two-shoes, and he needs to project stability and family values if he wants to make partner at his law firm. the thing is that jolene has been feeling disatisfied with where she is in her life. she's been acting like the good girl for so long that she's completely repressed the wild child she used to be. the why and wherefores are easily explained by the messed up family dynamics. jolene has a twin sister who went to the troublemaking extreme, and the more darlene acted out the more jolene behaved. soon it became second nature for jolene to ignore her wild impulses, and when her mother asked her to give up a career in dance—jolene's true calling—she did it. but in doing so she denies a part of her soul. deciding to fake date paxton is an act of rebellion. but paxton wants to date her for the steady, upstanding presence that no longer fits. and she's not sure what he'll think of the new jolene. (spoiler alert: he likes new jolene. quite a lot.) the thing is, being with jolene now, has made him look at their long-time rivalry through a new lens. and what he realizes is that he never actually hated jolene. he always liked her. he liked to argue with her because that's what boys do when they like girls they're not ready to be in relationships with. one of the things that makes paxton a great hero is how emotionally honest he is. he realizes how he feels and he goes after what he wants. it takes jolene a while to understand what is happening, but it's easy to be sneaky when someone is avoiding you. the epilogue on this one was so sweet and closed the story out for these two characters perfectly. they ended up exactly where they were supposed to. **you can't hurry love will publish on september 19, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books (lyrical shine) in exchange for my honest review.
Loved this story! It's filled with humor, lots of snarky banter between Paxton and Jolene, and a fun enemies to lovers romance. Great characters and great writing make it very enjoyable. Paxton Cates is a lawyer in Climax, NC with plans to become a judge. To move up in the legal community of Climax he needs to mingle. Attending events alone doesn't seem to be working. He needs a girlfriend, With no prospects and no time to find one Paxton is at a loss. Then he gets a call from Jolene Joyner. It seems that little Miss Perfect has gotten herself into some legal trouble. So he strikes a bargain with her. He'll take her case and keep everything secret if she'll agree to pose as his girlfriend. Attend functions with him. Basically help him achieve his goals. Best laid plans..... A delightful read that I recommend to everyone.