Lust & Lies
The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles Book 1
by Casandra Charles
Genre: Urban Drama, Romance
Love was never on her mind, but Toni was different (she thought). Even though they were at two different places in life, JR let her guard down and welcomed him in. After only a few months of their long-distance relationship, things started to move really fast, making JR really nervous. Then the drama began as Toni suddenly moved in with her and she started uncovering the hidden secrets of the real person.
As JR was coming to terms with the idea of Toni being in her life, she remained torn between him and her past in Atlanta. A past that included David, her on-again, off-again lover who was everything JR wanted in a man: well-educated with a successful career, good looks, and the drive to want more of everything that Toni didn’t have. However, even after two years of dating, their relationship was like oil and water: they just didn’t mix. As Toni’s real personality was revealed, David looked more and more like the safe place for JR. When her current situation started to heat up, JR began wishing she had her old life back.
The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies is just the beginning as JR tries to find the right balance in her life; however, that happy balance is not so easy find, especially when it’s full of lust and lies.
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“Hey, girl, how was your time in Atlanta?”
“It was cool, Angela, but too short. I didn’t even want to leave.”
“I am so happy for you and Toni. He seems like a really good guy.”
“Thanks, Ang, he is. He really is. I have so much work to do these next few weeks. As much fun as I had in Atlanta, it really set me back. I’ve been spending more than I’ve been making. I have to be on my grind these next few months. I was thinking about picking up a tax job for the next few months.”
“You and this tax job thing.”
“Come on, Ang, you know most of my clients pay under the table; I need a tax job. Besides, the extra cash will come in handy. So a nine-to-five gig would be helpful right now.”
“What you going to do? Go back to bartending or retail?”
“I don’t know yet, I was thinking retail. This is a new city and all, and I’m not too familiar with the club scene round here. It might be safe to do a retail gig since I’m living by myself and all. I’ll keep you posted. I’m about to walk into this crazy house in a minute. I’ll call you later.”
“Alright, Jamie, I’ll talk to you later.”
Finally after seven hours of heavy cleaning and packing away, my new place started to look livable.
“I deserve a drink for all my hard work,” I said to myself as I walked over to my cabinet full of large bottles of liquor and began to make myself a much-needed drink.
“What do I have a taste for? Malibu Bay breeze, peach Long Island or a sex on the beach.” I took a long pause and decided to fix myself a peach Long Island.
Ring, ring, ring.
“Hey, what you doing?”
“Nothing, I just finished cleaning up and I’m about to fix myself a drink.”
“Who is at the house with you?”
“Nobody, I’m by myself, why?”
“You’re making yourself a drink by yourself?”
“Only alcoholics drink by themselves,” Toni said as he began to laugh.
“I drink by myself all the time and I am not an alcoholic, I’m West Indian. Besides, I have to refresh my bartending skills sometimes.”
“You’re crazy. What does being from Trinidad and Tobago have to do with anything? What are you making?”
“I’m making a peach Long Island, and my Trinidadian roots makes drinking a social affair, as West Indians are very social drinkers, like Italians and wine.”
“Italians and wine, I got it now. Well, enjoy your drink. Wait, what is a peach Long Island?”
“It’s a Long Island ice tea with peach schnapps instead of triple sec.”
“Damn, you’re making a real drink.”
“Yes, I am, thanks to Mexico. Remember I told you when Angela and I went down there last year I came back with a suitcase full of liquor.”
“I thought you were exaggerating when you said suitcase.”
“No, I was dead-ass serious. When you spend forty bucks on a medium bottle of Ketel One in the U.S. it’s like twenty-five bucks in Mexico, or at least the part of Mexico we went to. I loved it.”
“Spoken like a true alky.”
“Ha, ha, funny. I know how to hold my liquor. Besides, one to two drinks doesn’t make me an alky.”
“No, one to two drinks a week don’t make you an alky.”
I didn’t have the heart to tell him I meant one to two drinks a day on certain days.
“Thank you,” I said with a false sense of security. “Anyway, honey, enough ’bout me, what’s going on with you?”
“Same oh, same oh. Just thinking ’bout this girl I love.”
“Girl you love, are you cheating on me? Because I thought I was the woman you love.”
“Ha, ha, very cute.”
“Anyway, I’m ’bout to fix dinner, enjoy my drink, take a shower and head to bed. I have a busy day tomorrow.”
“Is that anything new? I’ll call you later, baby. Love you.”
Secrets Revealed...The Beginning
The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles Book 2
JR didn’t have many friends and was so embarrassed at her life’s direction she tried to pretend she was okay, but her true friends knew better. This included David, her past lover, who was happy she was back in Atlanta, but things just weren’t the same between them. Maybe because JR was still legally married to Toni, as he refused to sign the divorce papers, or maybe because David’s life was moving forward and JR’s life had fallen backwards.
This new JR was nothing like her old self. JR was once a strong independent woman, but now she can’t even look herself in the mirror without falling apart. After years of lies and now emotional abuse from Toni, who refuses to let her go, she just couldn’t hold it all in and finally her emotions started to get the best of her. JR tried to drink her problems away, which only made things worse, as she truly lost her direction. Then her life unexpectedly came crashing down after her friendship with Terry took a turn for the worse. One by one JR not only lost her old friends, but she also lost her way, which led JR to seek help.
Jenny was JR’s saving grace, and after diving deep into her past, she finally began to uncover the hidden secrets of the real JR. Secrets even JR hid from herself. As Jenny encouraged JR to let her guard down yet again and explore dating, she met Mike, a twenty-five-year-old young professional who was nothing like Toni. He was educated, had a thriving career, and truly supported JR even after watching the drama unfold between Toni and her, but he never ran, and JR appreciated his strength.
Lust and Lies was just the beginning as The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles continues and JR is faced with the newest chapter in her life, a life full of questionable memories into her past, present and future self.
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It’d been two months since I last spoke to Toni, and he had been avoiding my phone calls. I was so upset with him, but Jenny told me to make peace with it all and try to move forward. Sooner or later he would sign. I hated knowing I was finally ready for a new relationship and I had this crap hanging over my head.
David and I had been going strong, but we still never defined what we were. I was starting to get back on my feet, my mortgage dropped by over 50%, so I was able to manage things again. I started working on a new project, and this project was nine months long, which was a blessing. I was able to play catch-up on bills and start saving again.
This client was working me like a slave, and I did the managing, coordinating and even the marketing. My client asked me to join MeetUp.com to reach out to groups so we could advertise the event. I’d never heard of MeetUp.com, so I was interested in meeting like-minded friends for work and, of course, play. Don’t get me wrong, my friends were still around, but I was always open to meeting new people. So I ended up signing up for a few meet-ups such as Atlanta Woman on the Move, Movie and Lunch, Atlanta Book
Club and Singles in Atlanta. I was intrigued by the Singles in Atlanta mainly because they did group activities like bowling, happy hour and other social meet-and-greet things, which I was always down for. Also I knew the history between David and me, so I was still trying to keep my options open. Besides, I would never meet anyone online, not my style, not that desperate.
Within minutes I received a number of emails from the Singles in Atlanta group.
Maybe it was because my subject line was “Single and Ready to Mingle.” I was starting to get my confidence back, and even though I was still married, I felt single. Just needed it to be on paper, which I couldn’t tell anyone when this would happen, but why should I have to stay low key when Toni was clearly enjoying his newfound freedom. It’d been a year, so I was good.
I entertained the emails because I was just having fun. Nothing serious was going to happen, and none of the guys emailing me were my type. I always laughed when I said someone was not my type because my checklist was crazy. I always told Jenny I had a certain type and she’d never pressed me about my type, but I knew it would come up sooner or later. Everyone had a type, so why should I have to settle? This was always my thought as I cut off a potential relationship as soon as I found out they were not my type. Why waste time in a relationship if they ain’t your type in the first place?
“So, JR, how is everything today?” Jenny asked.
“I’m good, last week was interesting.” I began to tell her all about my time on MeetUp.com.
“So, just like that, you didn’t email back?”
“You say it like it’s a bad thing. They are not my type, so why settle?”
“You didn’t even give them a chance. Don’t think of it as settling, think of it as compromising for the right person,” Jenny said.
“I hear you, but it sounds like settling to me.”
“You’ve mentioned your type often. So tell me your type. What’s on your list?” Jenny asked, but I really didn’t want to share my crazy list with her because I didn’t feel like being judged, but Jenny was such a great help in my life, and I felt comfortable talking to her even when I felt she would judge me.
“Oh boy, don’t judge me, okay?” I said as a disclaimer. “I know you will tell me my list is unrealistic,” I said before I even began reciting my list to Jenny.
“It’s always good to share. I won’t judge,” Jenny said with a smile.
“I want someone sane, who has a good job, who treats me with respect and would love me for me,” I said with confidence, knowing that was the easy part of my list, but now here was the detailed part. “I don’t want anyone with kids because I have no kids and don’t want any. I need someone who owns a house. I own a house, so why is this wrong? A person who is educated, has a close relationship with his mother and family, is five foot ten, at least one hundred seventy pounds, is in good shape, and who is well traveled, which means they have a passport. I have been traveling with my passport since I was six.”
“Okay, let me stop you there,” Jenny said, interrupting my list as I was about to go deeper into my list of demands. “A good relationship is all about compromise, and you need to be a little more flexible about your next relationship. You can’t punish your future relationship for the wrongs of your past relationship. You realize everything you listed was a fault in a past relationship? Toni didn’t have a passport; he didn’t have a
college degree and was a blue-collar worker. Robert didn’t respect you, and you felt he was trying to change you and didn’t love you for you. David has a kid, and you feel like you are number two in his life. Terry didn’t have a close relationship with his family, and one would think you guys got so close because he looked at you like a little sister but then crossed the line. Do you see where I’m going with this?”
I totally understood what she was doing, but anyone could compare a past relationship list to something no one wanted in the future. So even though I understood her, I didn’t agree with what she was doing.
“I feel you, but I don’t think my list is bad. I feel I know what I want now, and I will be damned if I settle for anything less.” I was done talking about this topic, and Jenny knew this, so she let it go.
I was truly enjoying my sessions with Jenny. I didn’t feel pressured to talk about a topic I was very uncomfortable with nor felt like she was judging me when I said something crazy even though I always added a disclaimer before I hit her with something crazy. We discovered I had coping issues because I never really dealt with most of my main issues at hand. I was too busy running from my problems or trying to be rough and tough that I never allowed myself to be honest about how I truly felt. She thought it all started with my childhood. I hated to make excuses for things, but she made some valid points. I was always the tough girl with thick skin growing up when, in fact, I was so soft and emotional. Growing up in Brooklyn was great, but moving from house to house and school to school took its toll on me, and I guess I never bounced back from this. What was I supposed to say to my parents, I don’t want to move or I want to stay in this school? Clearly this wasn’t an option, so I just held in my feelings about yet another school or yet another move whether we were running away from my dad or not. For the longest time it was just my older sister, Jenifer, and me, but twelve years later my little sister, Jayla, was born. I watched my parents in a loveless marriage and didn’t understand why my parents would have another child. Jenny thought my fear of having a child came from my parents. I told her I would hate for my child to suffer in a loveless marriage if things didn’t work out with the father. My parents stayed together for the kids, which was the craziest thing they could do, and then having Jayla was even crazier. I truly believed my mother loved my father unconditionally, and I felt my dad took advantage of that love and did what he did. He made his bed and now he had to lay in it, and because of his selfish acts, my mother finally left him, and he had three daughters. I just hoped and prayed none of us had to feel that pain my mother felt when my father disrespected her with those other women. Karma was a bitch and it often skipped the person who truly deserved it.
Jenny felt that although my marriage to Toni didn’t end well, I still had hope for finding love again. It went deeper than the parents, and the kids were the ones that suffered the most. My sisters and I were proof of it. I wished my mind-set was set to forever, but after my separation from Toni, I’d learned so much about myself, and I thanked God every day for the miscarriage I had. I would hate for my son or daughter to have to go through what I was going through with Toni now acting the way he was acting. Everything happened for a reason, I guess, but Jenny felt I would never be at peace with a child until I dealt with the skeletons in my closet with the fear of having kids. I told her my mind wouldn’t change about kids, but I understood what she was saying, and since I’d never dealt with the fact I had a miscarriage, it might hurt me in the end.
The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles Book 3
Terry, JR’s play brother, wanted to do more than just play. Toni, JR’s blue-collar and now petty and bitter ex, vowed to make JR life miserable at any cost. Wes, JR’s first high school love, had to take a backseat as JR grew up and moved on with a successful life as he still ran the streets, wishing he had JR back again. And Mike, a younger man who stole JR’s heart, struggled with growing up as he battled the thoughts in his head and the passion in his heart.
Pillow Talk is a unique twist to the backstory from the point of view of the men in the Jamie Reynolds Chronicles as they also uncover their true lust, lies and secrets.
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I watched JR as she walked in the club doors. I had to admit she was looking fine and sexy as always. JR would never come out of the house looking anything but sexy. She was sexy as hell and she knew it. She was also predictable, so I knew her ass would be at the club within the first hour of the doors opening. And like clockwork, here she was.
“Hello, Robert,” she said with a straight attitude, but she was really cute when she was mad.
My mind started to think of the anger sex we used to have. Damn, I missed this lady. “Yo, you here solo?” I figured once she heard I was coming, she would have brought sand to the beach, but this was going to be too easy.
“It’s a party, so I didn’t want any baggage.”
“Well, why bring sand to the beach?” I said, but she had to know what this meant, as I bit down on the corner of my lips.
“You crazy. Anyway, thanks for coming.”
“Hey, man. Just like that. Don’t act like we don’t have history.” I didn’t know what came over me, but I had to finish talking to JR. I grabbed her arm so she couldn’t just walk off. Being this open was something I wasn’t used to, and thank goodness the waitress came over because I didn’t know what I would have said next as she began to pull away from me.
As the waitress gave JR and me a glass, I noticed she was confused, but I really just wanted to make sure she had a great time at her party despite me kind of crashing it. “Thanks, but you really didn’t have to,” was all she could say as she noticed I’d bought her a bottle of Moe. JR was always so humble and low-key about stuff like this, but it was too late, the waitress had already begun opening it.
“Come on, JR, you know you will always be my girl,” I whispered in her ear while toasting her filled glass and then handed her an envelope, which was her birthday gift, and asked her to open it later.
I couldn’t do anything but laugh as I watched JR walk away. She smiled and placed the envelope in her purse, and I couldn’t help but notice she was adding a little extra swag in her walk. I noticed she wasn’t wearing any panties under that hot pink sweater dress, as her ass was firm yet jiggling just right. This was going to be a long night, and I watched JR most of the night from the other side of the room. I didn’t care if I looked like
a stalker, I was on a mission.
JR was the one that got away. Maybe it was love, but I was down to find out for sure what had me acting crazy like this. I knew I hadn’t been on my best behavior when I was with her, but she knew who I was when we met. I never lied to her about my relationship status, but she just got caught up and in way too deep.
I played my role the whole night until I caught her speaking to that lame cat True. As I watched them from the corner of my eyes, it looked as if JR wasn’t enjoying the conversation. After I noticed he grabbed her arm, I knew she wasn’t feeling it, so I walked over to see what was up.
“Yo, JR, you good?”
“I’m good,” was all she said with this look in her eyes. A look I never saw before, so I was glad I was around.
As soon as True saw me, he let go of her arm, and this cat made a fist as if I was about to fight him or he was about to strike JR. Needless to say, JR walked away, and as soon as I noticed True wasn’t about nothing, I walked after her.
“Yo, you got a ride home?” I yelled as I tried to catch up to JR. I guessed the party was over, as I knew she was upset, and sadly, she was just where I wanted her. As much as I didn’t fuck with True, I did have to thank a brother ’cause whatever he did to mess up with JR was about to pay off for me. I didn’t know what that was about, but True was a bitch, so whatever he did to JR to have her upset, he probably deserved it because JR was pretty forgiving until you crossed the line. Trust me, I knew all about her wrath when she was fed up with the BS.
JR was clearly drunk, and I hate drunk sex, so I was just hoping to allow her to sleep it off at my place until morning.
“Man, I should be fine,” she said as she reached in her purse, looking for her keys.
“Since when you drive home drunk?”
“I ain’t drunk. I’ll be fine,” she said, almost falling down.
“Come on, I got you. I can take you home, or you can come back to my place.”
She just paused without answering, so I knew my answer, and I just grabbed JR’s hand to stop her from going in her purse, and walked her over to my car. I was a perfect gentleman so as not to mess up what could happen by making JR feel uncomfortable, especially since I was living in the loft off Howell Mill now. The same damn loft where JR and Mo got into it. That night was crazy, and I swore I would never forget it. Shit got way too real. So I hoped JR didn’t remember the last time she was at or near my loft ’cause shit wouldn’t pop off for sure.
To my surprise she played it cool, and seeing JR in my loft after all I put her through over the years was the best feeling in the world. I needed her to know I missed her, not just sexually but also mentally as well. Shit just wasn’t the same once JR left my life. So many deals fell through in the office, I got in a car accident, Maria and I fought all the time, and I ended up putting on weight, hell, probably because I didn’t get my daily dose of ass from JR, which she called bedroom cardio.
I was trying to maintain this gentlemanly demeanor longer, but I just couldn’t and needed to see if she was as wet as I remembered, so I licked my finger and placed it inside her. Of course, not much had changed. Not only was she as wet as I remembered, I was right and she still wasn’t wearing panties with dresses. I wanted her to remember meas I took her hand and placed it on my erect penis, pulled her closer, and asked, “Did you miss me?”
I had her just where I wanted her as she said, “Yes,” and I just felt her pussy get wetter. I wanted tonight to be special, and even though I wanted to just bang her out, I wanted this shit to last, so I slowly undressed JR. I was able to see every curve in her body, and not one thing had changed. She still had that amazing Coke-shaped body I remembered.
“Babe, I missed you so much. I promise this time will be different.”
“Wait, what? What did you say?” JR said as she pulled me off her.
“Come on, JR, I want to make love to you. You looked so beautiful tonight, and it was driving me crazy to think of you with another man.”
I didn’t know if JR got sick because of what I said or because she’d had too much to drink, but next thing you know she ran over to the kitchen and threw up in the sink.
“JR, you okay?”
“I’m fine. I just need to sleep this off.” And just like that, she passed out on the couch and went to bed. I hate drunk sex and even more the smell of throw-up, so I just took my ass to bed myself. Maybe I could talk to JR in the morning during breakfast.
JR must have been tired because I woke up around 10 a.m. and she was still asleep. I figured I’d jump into the shower first and clean up; then I’d wake her up and see if she wanted to order breakfast or go out and grab something. But by the time I got out of the shower, she was gone, just like that. No note, no text, not even a fucking goodbye. JR won this round, but I promised she wouldn’t win the next one.
Casandra always wanted to write a book but hesitated for many years, as she suffers from adult dyslexia. She never allowed her disability to hold her back on anything, and she finally completed her first book, Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies, in 2015, Secrets Revealed in 2016 and now Pillow Talk in 2018.
She is the successful owner of Smell the Sunset, LLC, which is an umbrella company for Creative Encores, LLC, an event planning business, and What’s Good USA, a Good News website that highlights good news from around the United States, and now her newest adventure, author.
Casandra loves to travel and explore and has a bucket list of places to visit a mile long. She lives by many mottos, but her favorite one is “Live Laugh Love,” which is also tattooed on her left arm to remind her every day to Live today, Laugh often and Love always.
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