Bosom Buddies **BONUS EPISODE**

If you missed Episode One, read it here.

If you missed Episode Two, read it here.



“Come in, come in!” Celeste opened the front door to her adorable little lingerie boutique, Between the Sheets. “How’re you doing, sweetie?”

“I’m good. I’m fine.” I leaned into my friend’s enthusiastic hug. Celeste was one of the brightest, most positive people I’d ever met, and I often wondered why she liked someone like me who tended to teeter on the cliff of pessimism.

But she did like me, and I knew I was lucky to have both Coral and Celeste in my life. When we’d met at that volunteer rally back in college, I never could have guessed how long we’d know each other and how deeply they’d both impact my future. Hell, I lived in Georgia because after we’d finished our undergrad studies, Celeste had been determined to start up a business in Burton, her hometown. Coral had already written her first book by that time and knew she could work anywhere, so she’d decided to stick around and share a rental house with Celeste.

I’d gone to medical school in Atlanta, close enough that my girls could come to me at least one weekend a month. They’d cheered me on, getting me through those three long years of insanity, and when I’d landed a spot in a residency program in Savannah, we’d all been thrilled to live within about forty-five minutes of each other.

And now, all three of us had realized our dreams: Coral’s books were bestsellers, the kinds of books that were optioned for movie deals even before their release dates; I was working in a cutting-edge breast cancer treatment hospital, heading up some of the most promising studies and trials; and Celeste owned this totally kick-ass lingerie store on the main boulevard of Burton.

She studied me now, her eyes clouding with concern. “You don’t look fine.”

“Oh, stop with the flattery, Celeste, you’ll make me blush.” I rolled my eyes. “I just came off a twenty-four, and I only had time for a couple of hours of sleep before I had to drag my ass to Burton for this meeting.” I yawned big. “So sorry if I don’t match your sparkle. Cut me a break.”

“Whoa there, angel pants. Slow your roll. When I said you didn’t look fine, I only meant that there’s something in your eyes. Something that says you’re not at all fine and good. You’re upset.”

“Am not.” The denial flew fast from my lips. “Like I said, I’m just . . . tired.”

“Okay.” She shrugged, and she might have said more, but just then the bell over the door jingled as Coral came in, followed in short order by a group of three young women.

Celeste wore her official saleswoman smile as she glanced at me. I nodded, understanding that she had to deal with these last-minute-before-closing customers, and gestured to Coral to follow me behind the counter and into the small sitting room in the back of the store.

“Ugh, I saw those girls getting out of their car right after I did, and I kept sending them mental vibes: don’t go into Celeste’s store. But I guess my Jedi mind power must be a little rusty.”

“Oh, it’s fine. She’ll schmooze them, sell them a couple hundred dollars’ worth of sexy silkies, then send them on their way.” I sank onto the overstuffed loveseat. “God, it feels good to be off my feet. It’s been a long week.”

“Sorry about that.” Coral kicked off her shoes and curled into the opposite corner of the small sofa. “Just work stuff?”

I hesitated. I’d been vacillating all week on whether or not to spill my guts to the girls about Wesley. They both knew of him; they’d heard the story early in our friendship, on one of our very first margarita sleepovers. I’d gotten sloppy drunk and sobbed out my heartbreak. Still, I wasn’t sure I wanted to let them know that the first guy who’d broken my tender heart was now helping to transform my home.

“Yeah, just work,” I answered Coral finally. “A lot of challenges right now.”

“I’m sorry.” Coral reached over to pat my hand. “Want to talk about it?”

“No.” I shook my head. “Comes with the territory, you know.”

“Sure, but . . .” She shrugged. “We’ve all been there. Or at least near there.”

I had to swallow hard over a lump that had risen suddenly in my throat. Coral, Celeste, and I called ourselves the Bosom Buddies for two reasons: first, we’d met at a volunteer rally for Young Survival Coalition, and second, we’d all three gone into lines of work that had something to do with, well . . . boobs. I worked in breast cancer research and treatment, Celeste sold fancy and sexy bras, and Coral wrote historical romances that all featured those famous and stereotypical heaving bosoms.

But behind the truth was pain that was still scarred and hurting, at least for Coral and me. I’d lost my mom to breast cancer when I was only five years old. That was why obliterating the disease was my daily personal crusade.

Coral, though, had actually fought breast cancer herself. She’d been diagnosed at age seventeen and battled for three years before going into remission. Now, nearly ten years after she’d finished treatment, it was sometimes hard to remember that she’d ever been that sick—it had happened before Celeste and I had met her—except that every now and then, I happened to look into her deep gray eyes—those old soul eyes—and caught a flash vulnerability. And then I remembered my friend’s enormous courage.

I scooted over on the loveseat and slipped one arm behind her back. “Thank you, Cor.”

She gave me that heartbreaking half-smile. “I didn’t do anything.”

“You do stuff all the time. You’re always here for Celeste and me. You listen, you encourage—you’re the best cheerleader a woman could want. I love you to pieces, and I don’t say it nearly enough.”

“Oh.” Coral ducked her head, embarrassed. “We all do that for each other.”

“Well, we try. I don’t think I’m as good as you are.” I nodded my head toward the door that led to the front of the shop. “By the way, did you think Celeste sounded funny on the video chat last night when she asked us to meet up here today?”

“Funny how?” Coral tilted her head.

“I don’t know. Funny like . . . she’s hiding something. Or like something big is happening.”

“Oooooh!” Coral’s eyes got big. “Do you think it’s a guy?”

“Jesus, Cor, does it always have to be about a man?” I rolled my eyes.

“Not all the time, no, but every story’s better when a man’s involved,” she shot back, all sassy like. For all of her wise ancient spirit energy, Coral really was a hopeless romantic. It was probably why she was so good at her job.

“I don’t know about that,” I sighed, thinking of Wesley and our tense encounter at my house last week.

“Aha!” She wriggled to sit up straighter. “See. There’s something else going on with you, girlfriend, and it’s definitely man-related. I can just tell.”

I never lied to my friends, but that policy didn’t stop me from trying to redirect Coral’s attention. “Do you think Celeste is too stressed about this holiday benefit? Taking on the chairperson job was a big decision.”

Coral narrowed her gaze. “Stop trying to change the subject. Also . . . yes, I think she’s stressed, but no, not too stressed. You know her. She thrives under pressure.”

“Hmmm. Maybe.” I nudged her with my elbow. “Hey, do you have to be up early tomorrow?”

She frowned. “No. Not particularly. Why?”

“Because I’m off for a few days, and I was thinking we could crash at Celeste’s place tonight after dinner. We could have a margarita sleepover. We’re way past due for one.”

“That sounds like a plan.” Coral grinned. “Celeste will have to get up to open the store, but you and I can sleep in. Oh! And we could go to Kenny’s for waffles!”

“Now you’re speaking my language.” I loved the small diner in the center of Burton’s downtown. It was one prime reason I’d chosen to settle so close to this little town—but I wasn’t going to admit that to Celeste or Coral.

“This is perfect.” Coral rubbed her hands together. “While we’re here, we’ll gang up on Celeste and get her to spill whatever she’s hiding. And then tonight—” Her grin turned wicked. “We’ll find out what it is you’re trying to keep from us.”

I sent her a withering glare. “I will never talk. No matter how much you torture me.”

My friend snorted, smirking. “Oh, we’ll see about that, Sabrina. We’ll just see.”

Want to know what comes next?

The details of this meeting–and what’s up with Celeste–are all revealed in


which is part of the holiday benefit anthology


Releasing October 5th

But the next episode of BOSOM BUDDIES releases on Friday–

and it’s all about the margarita sleepover!

Stay tuned!

Preorder Tinsel and Tatas Today:


Apple Books



Barnes & Noble

Bosom Buddies Episode Two


If you missed Episode One, read it here.




I never thought I’d see her again.

Okay, so I hadn’t exactly been looking for Sabrina Hudson in the fourteen years since we’d last been together. For the first year, not thinking about her had been a matter of self-preservation. It had hurt too much, caused me too much gut-deep pain to let my mind linger on memories of her deep brown eyes, the way her whole face lit up whenever I said something she found amusing.

And then . . . well, life had gone on as it does when you’re young and grappling to figure out basic shit like surviving high school, getting into college, and supporting yourself. If I’d thought of Sabrina, it had been occasional and fleeting, with the pang of regret a little more bearable each time.

When I’d seen the name Hudson on the schedule that Linc had sent out to the crew, sure, I’d thought about Sabrina and her family. But as I’d noted a moment ago, it wasn’t exactly an unusual last name. It hadn’t even occurred to me this project we were working—this incredible sleeping beauty of a house—might belong to my Sabrina.

Because that was still how I thought of her. In my mind and in my memory, she was still my Brina girl, the first one I’d loved, the person who I’d most suffered over when Mom and I left town.

She was staring at me now, and in her gaze, I saw a mix of confusion and trepidation give way to disbelief and wonder.

“Wesley?” She breathed my name. “Is it really—how are you—I mean, what are you doing here?”

Of all the questions I was sure Sabrina was about to ask, that hadn’t been the exact one I’d expected. I gave my head a little shake just to get loose of the cobwebs before I answered.

“I work for Kent and Turner. I’m on this project, restoring this—well, uh, I guess your house.” I lifted one shoulder. “How’s that for a hell of a coincidence?”

“Yeah, coincidence,” she echoed, her eyes still stuck to my face. “It’s been—God, I haven’t seen you in—”

“Fourteen years,” I finished for her. “I know. I figured I’d never see you again. Every now and then I check on social media to see if you’re there. I saw a profile that looked like it might have been you, but it was ten years old, and nothing after.”

Sabrina wrinkled her cute little nose, making me want to reach out a finger to stroke down its length and smooth those bumps.

“I don’t do social media,” she said. “It’s not my thing. I had a couple of accounts for half a year back in college, but I hated how it made me feel, so I got rid of them.”

“Ah, so that was you.” I grinned. “You went to Carolina for college, huh? Long way from Waukesha.”

“Yeah, that was kind of the point,” she shot back. “I wanted to start over, far away from everyone I knew back in Wisconsin. I was ready to stop being poor little Sabrina Hudson whose mom died when she was in kindergarten.”

“No one ever thought of you that way.” I frowned, thinking back. “At least I didn’t.”

“You were one of the few. Every year, I had to deal with a new set of teachers who handled me with kid gloves, like I might shatter. And every time there was something in school that involved mothers, everyone looked at me like I was going to have a meltdown. Like the reminder that I didn’t have one was going to break me.” Sabrina pressed her fingers to her temples as though she was holding her head together, and suddenly I remembered that was her stress tell—what she did every time she was grappling with something huge like a killer exam or bickering friends. I hated the idea that I was the one causing her angst right now.


“Hey.” I couldn’t help myself. I lifted my hand to brush her fingers away from her hairline. “It’s okay, Brina girl. Maybe the rest of them were idiots, but I always knew you were made of stronger stuff.”

For just a moment, her lips curled into the ghost of a smile, and her eyes met mine with a muted gratitude. And then she seemed to remember where we were and everything that had happened between us. She stepped backward again.

“Yes, you always said I was tough.” The smile turned brittle. “Guess that’s why you figured I could handle it when you left me without a word. You never looked back, did you?”

“Sabrina.” Slowly, I shook my head. “No. That wasn’t what happened at all. It was—I didn’t have a choice.”

“That’s bullshit.” She tossed her head, making her wavy black hair dance. “Everything is a choice, Wesley. You moved away without giving me any notice, any explanation at all. You could have dropped me a note. You could’ve sent me a text. But you decided I wasn’t worth the time or energy.”

“It wasn’t that way,” I began again, but she rolled her eyes and cut me off.

“It wasn’t even the fact that you skipped town the day after—” She stopped abruptly, biting her lip, and I knew what she’d been about to say. “But we were friends, Wesley. You’d been my closest friend since preschool. We went through so much crap together, and I thought you were the one person I could always depend on. In a sea of craziness, you were my reliable float. After you left—” She turned around, giving me her back, but the way her head bowed, I knew she was hiding tears.

That just about killed me.

Who knew that all these years later, Sabrina Hudson still had the ability to rip out my beating heart?

“Sabrina, you have to realize that if there had been any way for me to reach out to you, I would have done it. God, don’t you think it destroyed me, having to leave everything and everyone behind me when we left? And if you don’t know, after all the years we were friends, after I told you that night how much I cared for you, if you didn’t know that you were at the top of the list of people I’d miss, then . . .” I trailed off. “Maybe there’s nothing I can say.”

“I guess not,” she whispered, the sound muffled since she was still facing away from me. “And if there’s nothing left for either of us to say, then I’m going home.” She waved one hand, gesturing vaguely to the space around us. “Tell Linc I was here and everything looks fine. Tell him I’ll be back next week to check on the progress.” She paused. “Please.”

“Don’t you want to take a look around? Check out what we’ve done upstairs?” I hated that my surprise appearance was robbing Sabrina of the joy of watching her house come back to life.

“No, not now.” She turned toward the door, and once again, she held her head between her hands. “I just came off a long shift at the hospital, and I need to get home to sleep.”

There was so much I wanted to ask her. She worked at the hospital, so did that mean she’d realized her long-held dream of becoming a doctor? Where was she living now, while she waited for her house to be ready? How had the last fourteen years treated her? Was she married, living with someone . . . did she have a family to raise in this rambling old house?

But I could tell that she was on the verge of falling apart, and I knew that if I witnessed that, it would only make her resent me more. So I didn’t ask any questions. Instead, I stayed where I was, hooking my thumbs in the beltloops of my jeans.

“Okay, Sabrina. I’ll let him know.”

She nodded and reached for the doorknob, hesitating only a second before she stepped across the threshold.

“I didn’t know what happened to you, Wesley, and I always wondered. I’m glad you’re alive and well.”

Before I could respond, she was out the door, pulling it shut behind her. I listened to the sound of her feet on the porch and then crunching on the gravel of the drive, but I went back upstairs before the slam of her car door.

A few minutes later, I heard the familiar rumble of Linc’s truck, and shortly after that, he climbed the steps to find me.

“Got those nails,” he announced, tossing me a small paper bag. “But we need to order some more from the company because the local hardware store doesn’t stock them on a regular basis.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.” I rubbed the back of my neck. “I thought what we had on hand would work, but these will be better.”

“Agreed.” Linc squinted at me, frowning. “Was that the homeowner I passed on the way in? I slowed down to wave, but she just kept on going.”

“Yep.” Tension made me a little terse. “She came by to check on things, I guess.”

“Didn’t hang around very long, did she? Was she happy with what she saw so far?”

I hesitated, unsure of how much to say. “She didn’t get any further than the foyer. I went downstairs, and I think she was surprised that she wasn’t here alone.” I opened the bag and pretended to examine the tiny finishing nails. “Turns out that she’s someone I knew . . . a long time ago.”

“Oh.” Linc watched me, waiting for me to go on, and when I didn’t, when my face went hot, his eyebrows rose. “Ohhhh. Old girlfriend?”

“Not quite. Kind of, maybe. We were just kids, and things—didn’t end the way I’d hoped. Or the way she’d hoped, I guess.” I closed the bag of nails again, crimping the paper to keep them from spilling. “It’s a long story.”

“I’ve got time and a good ear,” Linc offered.

“That’s okay.” I shook my head. “I know you need to get home, and I’ve lost the light here, anyway. Mind dropping me at the office on your way?” All of us working on the house tried to share rides to and from the site to cut down on too many vehicles in the driveway.

“No problem.” Linc waited as I grabbed my tools and stood up to follow him down the stairs. “You know, that offer to listen isn’t going to expire. Any time you need to talk, I’m here.”

“Thanks. You’re a good guy, Linc.”

He paused at the back door, his smile wry as he dug in his pocket for the key to lock up.

“I wasn’t always, and that’s what makes me a good listener. I don’t judge, and I believe in second chances.”

I nodded. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

But as we trudged to the pickup, I wasn’t thinking about Linc’s offer. Instead, I was hoping that maybe, somehow, Sabrina might also be an advocate of second chances.

It was unlikely. She didn’t seem disposed to hear me out or to understand what had gone done all those years ago in Wisconsin.

But a guy could hope.


What’s the story between Sabrina and Wesley?

And will she give him a second chance?

Read next week and find out!

If you missed Episode One, read it here.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t read the first four Burton romances,

catch up on them here!

Bosom Buddies Episode One


Everything in life is a tradeoff.

At least, that’s the way I look at things. Take today, for instance. Here I was at the end of a twenty-four-hour shift at the hospital, and by all rights, I should have been heading back to my condo to collapse into bed for a solid eight hours of desperately needed sleep. But instead, I’d turned left out of the hospital parking lot and aimed my car toward the small town of Burton, located about forty-five minutes due west of Savannah.

I wasn’t driving all the way into town today, even though I was tempted to pop into my friend Celeste’s adorable lingerie shop and shoot the breeze with her. No, my destination was about ten miles outside of Burton: I was driving to a picturesque little piece of property that boasted a small lake, two acres of wooded land, and over a hundred years of fascinating history.

Oh, and it also included a rambling old mansion that hadn’t been occupied for several decades. Seeing the beauty it could become hadn’t been easy, but I had a discerning eye for spotting potential, and this house had it in spades. I’d fallen head over heels for the place and made a rare impulsive decision. I’d forsaken the search for a cookie-cutter suburban starter home and committed to another year or two in my soulless Savannah condo in order to fund the rehab of my dream home.

Last month, the work on the bones of the house—the structural support, electricity and plumbing—had all been finished. This week, the company I’d hired to handle the historical rehab was supposed to begin working its magic, and I couldn’t wait another moment to see what they’d done so far.

Hence, the tradeoff. I was giving up sleep in exchange for a quick walk-through of my dream home.

It was late afternoon, so I wasn’t completely surprised to see that there weren’t any trucks in the winding driveway that led to the house. Was I a tiny bit disappointed? Sure. I wanted to think that the people I’d hired were giving my precious project all of their time and energy and attention, but the truth was that they probably had other jobs going on at the same time.

Anyway, being alone would give me a chance to really soak it all in without anyone there to rush me along or ask pesky questions. There you go—yet another tradeoff.

I let myself in through the front door only because I wanted the full effect of stepping into the magnificent foyer. I wasn’t disappointed. The walls were freshly painted in an updated shade of their original color, and the woodwork we’d selected for this space was already up, and even though it hadn’t been finished yet, I could already see how gorgeous it was going to be.

“Oh, baby,” I murmured. “You are going to be so beautiful when they’re done. I’d say we’re restoring you to your former glory, but I think it’s going to be even better than that. Kind of like getting a facelift that makes you look like a sexier version of your twenty-year-old self.” I giggled to myself, thinking of all the women who would line up for that kind of surgery.

Kneeling down, I ran my fingers over the baseboards and craned my neck to examine the molding that ran along the top of the walls, seeing in my mind’s eye the old photos one of my contacts at the county historical society had dug up for me, the ones that we’d used to make style and color decisions. It really was like the original, only better.

I was about to stand up again and make my way toward the kitchen when I heard footsteps upstairs. That was disturbing; if the crew had left for the day, no one should have been here. But there they were again: yeah, someone was definitely upstairs, and whoever it might be wasn’t making any effort to disguise his or her presence.

My mind raced through a number of possibilities, landing on the worst one first. I’d heard that sometimes vagrants or addicts or criminals scoped out empty houses and camped out there when they were fairly sure no one else was around. My place was pretty far off the beaten track, but still . . . if someone happened upon it, they might not like the idea of being chased away, and if they felt cornered or had a weapon, I could be in trouble.

I moved slowly, reaching into my purse and groping blindly. Like most women, I’d learned young the defense method of threading keys through my fingers, and if I could find them now, I might be able to buy myself time to get to my car. I thanked my past self for feeling safe enough out here that I’d left it unlocked. The door was just a few feet away, and if I could get to it silently—

And then the footsteps sounded again—this time louder and coming closer. My heart pounded, and sweat broke out all over my body. I tried to swallow, but my throat was bone dry. I took a deep breath and was about to make a run for the door when I heard a deep voice.


I looked up, lifting my eyes to the banister on the second floor where a man was staring down at me. I blinked, my mind darting this way and that as I tried to make sense of the stranger above me who knew my name.

It wasn’t Linc Turner, the co-owner of Kent and Turner, the historical restoration company I’d hired. I’d have guessed it was one of the men who worked for him, but I hadn’t met any of them. It might have been someone local to Burton—someone I’d met with Celeste or maybe through Young Survival Coalition, the breast cancer support network and organization where we both volunteered. But it wasn’t. Somehow, I knew I hadn’t seen this face in a long time.

But I didn’t know him. The familiarity was frustratingly fleeting and vague. I frowned, rising slowly as the guy who seemed to know me jogged down the steps. My keys were still in my hand, so if he turned out to be psychopath who somehow happened to know my name.

“I didn’t put it together . . . I mean, Hudson is a common name, right? But then I heard your car in the driveway, and when I looked out the window to see who was here, I knew it was you.” He took a step toward me.

I moved backward. “I’m sorry. I don’t . . .” My voice trailed off. “How do you know me?”

He was quiet for a moment, and then a half-smile curled his lips. My heart sped up again, but this time it wasn’t fear making my pulse race. It seemed that my body had realized who he was, but my head was slow to catch up.

And then he spoke, his voice low and husky.

“Brina girl.”

Just like that, it all came flooding back to me, and I knew without a shadow of doubt who was standing in front of me.



Who is Wesley?

And how does he know Sabrina?

Read next week and find out!

Meanwhile, catch up on all of the steamy romance happening in Burton right here!

The First One is only 99 cents today!