Queen Move- Prologue
“Combining sweet nostalgia with the important issues Kennedy never shies away from, Queen Move is nothing less than wonderful. I couldn’t put it down and never wanted it to end!”
— Alexa Martin, Author of Intercepted
Queen Move, an all-new powerful second chance standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling and RITA® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan, is coming May 26th and we have your FIRST LOOK!
Make sure to enter on Kennedy’s site to win a QUEEN BOX, stuffed with a signed paperback and all the things you’ll need to treat yourself like a queen!
Two Years Before PresentIs there anything sadder than a daddy’s girl at her father’s funeral? My mother’s quiet sniffs a few seats down give me the answer. A grieving widow. “He was a good man,” someone in the long line of mourners offering condolences whispers to her. Mama’s head bobs with a tearful nod. In this day and age, she still wears a pillbox hat and veil. It’s black and chic like Mama, channeling tragic Jackie Kennedy or Coretta Scott King. My father was not just a good man. He was a great man, and everyone should know he leaves behind a widow, grieving deeply, but ever-fly. I squeeze the funeral program between my fingers, glaring at the printed words. Joseph Allen leaves behind a wife, Janetta, three children, Kayla, Keith and Kimba, and six grandchildren. He leaves behind. Daddy’s gone, and I don’t know how to live in a world my father does not inhabit. The casket is draped with sweet-smelling flowers in the center of the funeral tent. When we leave the cemetery, it…he will be lowered into the ground with unfathomable finality, separated from us by white satin lining, six feet of dirt and eternity. Kayla, my older sister, sobs softly at the end of our family’s row. Her four children watch her carefully, probably unused to seeing their unshakeable mother shaken and reduced to tears. Even I’d forgotten how she looks when she cries—like she’s mad at the wetness streaking her cheeks, resentful of any sign of weakness. It’s not weak to cry, Daddy used to say. It’s human. “But doesn’t the Bible say even the rocks will cry out?” I’d challenged him when I was young, loving that something from Sunday school took. “So maybe tears aren’t just for humans.” “You’re getting too smart for your britches, little girl,” he’d said, but the deep affection in his eyes when he kissed me told me he was pleased. He liked that I asked questions and taught me to never accept bullshit at face value. I miss you, Daddy. Not even a week since his heart attack, and I already miss him so much. Humanity blurs my vision, wet and hot and stinging my eyes. I want this to be over. The flowers, the well-dressed mourners, the news cameras stationed at a distance they probably deem respectful. I just want to go to the house where my parents raised us, retreat to Daddy’s study and find the stash of cigars that only he and I knew about. Don’t tell your mother, he used to whisper conspiratorially. This will be our little secret. Mama hated the smell of cigars in the house. “Tru.” Who would call me by that name? Now, when the only people who use it, my family, are all preoccupied with their own pain? A tall man stands in front of me, his thick, dark brows bunched with sympathy. I don’t know him. I would remember a man like this, who stands strong like an oak tree. A well-tailored suit molds his powerful shoulders. Dark brown, not quite black, hair is cut ruthlessly short, but hints at waves if given the chance to grow. His prominent nose makes itself known above the full, finely sculpted lips below. His eyes are shockingly vivid—so deep a blue they’re almost the color of African violets against skin like bronze bathed in sunlight. No, a man like him you’d never forget. Something niggles at my memory, tugs at my senses. I’d never forget a man who looked like this, a man with eyes like that…but what about a boy? “Ezra?” I croak, disbelief and uncertainty mingling in the name I haven’t uttered in years. It can’t be. But it is.
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SynopsisThe boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have… Dig a little and you’ll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern. Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old. Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other. The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence. Get into our business and you’ll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant. Twenty years later, my “awkward duckling” best friend from childhood, the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore. Finer. Fiercer. Smarter. Taken. Tell me it’s wrong. Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have. When we find each other again, everything stands in our way–secrets, lies, promises. But we didn’t come this far to give up now. And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine. About Kennedy Ryan A RITA® Award Winner, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour and many others. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but has a special passion for raising Autism awareness.The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has appeared on Headline News, The Montel Williams Show, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for ASD families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.
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