Lacy’s Rules

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Description

Lacy lives by a set of rules she created to protect herself and her family. She has had to escape and rebuild her life twice. Now as a single mother of three, she has created a private sanctuary in a small town where eccentricity is normal. She craves peace and quiet and the love and laughter of her children. It has taken her a long time to find herself, and to know herself. She knows she has trust issues, but when the first half of your life is built on lies and deception and the second is based on hiding from your past, trust does not come easily. She let Nick in once and he hurt her. She doesn’t want to let him in again. She can’t afford to give second chances.

Nick thought he was in love with Lacy. When he tries to rekindle that love, he discovers that he never really knew her before. He is faced with walking away from a woman who keeps secrets or trying to strip away those skeletons from her past to discover the real woman beneath. What he finds is a vulnerability and fragility that seeks love and dominance, but it is bound with a strength and courage that goes beyond what he believed possible.

Suddenly, Lacy’s past is back. Lacy’s sanctuary and her privacy are invaded. The person she ran from is trying to force her back into the life she left behind. Does she have enough strength in her to fight that battle again or can she lean on Nick for some of his strength? Can the two of them stand united and fight the one person that could destroy her?
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lacys-Rules-Mariella-Starr-ebook/dp/B00YZS6LC4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433971219&sr=8-1&keywords=lacy%27s+rules+mariella
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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

Nick Giordano sat far back in the shadows on the last barstool next to the wall. He had deliberately picked this spot to remain hidden. If he were caught, they would accuse him of spying. The fact he was spying did not bother him in the least.

The Hideaway Bar was a local hangout, a little upscale place with dim lighting. It was also the location of a bachelorette party for his younger sister, Kristen and her four co-conspirators. Nick loved his little sister, but at twenty-four, he still did not think she was ready for marriage. She was immature, wild, and liked to drink too much. He had spent more time and effort over the years than he wanted to admit trying to keep her out of trouble.

Nick had another reason for being at the Hideaway. Lacy Majors would be there.

He sipped his beer and had to catch himself not to sigh, or moan, or curse aloud. He had done a lot of that over the last couple of months. Until he had met Lacy, Nick Giordano had always gravitated to women who were self-confident, bold and sexy. He liked his women tall, busty, leggy and outgoing. Lacy Majors was the polar opposite. She was petite, delicate, beautiful and quiet. For reasons he still could not fathom, Nick was totally in love with her. She had been his for a little while. Now he missed her so much, he ached.

At first glance, many people often mistook Lacy for a kid. Not until their second look, did they realize she was an adult. At five-foot-one, she was not leggy, but she was shapely. She was not overtly sexy, hiding her compact body in overalls, long skirts, and loose tee shirts. She was a sweet and quiet stay-at-home mom who, except for a few select friends, was very much a loner. She was a natural woman, the original earth mother.

She had a wild mass of strawberry curls, which always seemed to be out of control. She tried tying down her hair or clipping it up, but those springy curls had a life of their own. Nick loved her hair. He never wanted her to control those curls because her hair was as sexy as hell. He could not keep his hands out of it, and he liked tangling his fingers in it, using it to bind her to him. Lacy Majors was the most unconsciously sensuous woman Nick had ever met.

That sweet, quiet, sensuous woman was also stubborn and exasperating. He had nicknamed her Miss Independence because she wanted to do everything by herself. She would not ask for help even if she had no clue what she was doing. He had put his foot down a few times, about her overextending herself, and although she initially threw a fit, she did eventually listen.

She was not listening to him now. She wasn’t talking to him either. According to his sister Kristen, one of Lacy’s few good friends, she was still angry. She would not answer his calls. She refused to accept his flowers, candy or any of the other tried-and-true methods he had used to apologize. Lacy had cut him out of her life.

Still, Nick was trying to watch out for Lacy because she needed someone to watch over her. Her vulnerability appealed to him. Her stubbornness baffled and infuriated him. The closest he had managed to get to her lately was at her son Ryan’s softball games. She would have banned him from that contact too, except it was beyond her control. He was the coach of her son’s team.

He missed Lacy and he missed her children. Ryan, at eleven, was a terrific kid. The almost four-year-old twins, Grace, and Olivia were adorable and so identical that, even after months of being around them, he still had trouble telling them apart. He missed them so much. He had to find a way back into her life.

Nick had never been happier than during the eight months they were together. It was only after he popped the question that doubts crept in and he began to think they might be moving too fast. He had taken a lot of ribbing from his fellow deputies in the Monterey Sheriff’s Office. Most of that teasing focused on his marrying the poster pin-up girl of every horny teenage boy in the late 1990s. At first, he had no idea what they meant until he found her poster image online. That wild mane of strawberry blond curls, the sapphire blue eyes, the Taylor Swift lookalike beauty that she was famous for long before the country queen came on the scene. There was Lacy nearly naked wearing only three tiny triangles − all dolled up and pouting sexily for the camera. She had been a teenager marketed for sex and titillation.

Nick’s Lacy was Lacy Jamison Majors. She had acted in commercials since the age of three. From seven to eighteen years old, she starred in two television series and had major roles in a dozen or more award-winning made-for-TV movies and theater releases. When she turned eighteen, she had quit her last series to pursue a degree at a small university in Michigan. She only returned to Hollywood during the summer breaks of her last two years of college to make two more movies, serious dramas, which won her consecutive Oscars along with numerous other awards. She had two Golden Globes besides the Oscars, and her list of awards were five inches deep on her web bio. While the studios waited for her to decide on her next project, she had quietly dropped out of the industry.

She walked away from her lifelong career without a backward glance. She married, moved to the mid-west, and lived a peaceful life as a minister’s wife. When tragedy struck and her husband was killed in a convenience store robbery, she moved to California where she bought a property in Carmel by the Sea. She settled in to raise her son, Ryan, and await the birth of the twins.

Lacy’s life was her children, her home and her part-time pursuit of writing. She wrote a popular series of books based on a husband-and-wife team of detectives. Nick had not been familiar with the mystery series before he met Lacy, but now he was a fan. She said she didn’t make a lot of money, but it paid the bills. He had never seen any indication that she was financially unstable or needy.

If she had any ambitions to return to the film industry, she did not talk about them. She had never tried to hide her history from him, but there were few traces of it in her home − no homages to golden statues on her mantle, no movie paraphernalia lying around. The only hint of her past was an ever-present stack of scripts piled high on a bedroom side table.

Time had been kind to Lacy. In her mid-thirties, she was strikingly beautiful. Yet, even though millions knew her face, surprisingly very few people approached her. In fact, she was often mistaken for being in her early twenties or even younger. Sometimes she was carded in restaurants by wait staff not paying attention.

At one point, Nick had been included in the short list of favorite things in Lacy’s life. He was desperate to find a way back onto that list again.

Nick was a deliberate man. He thought through issues, and generally made sound decisions so as not to make mistakes. That was until he had developed a severe case of cold feet after their engagement and opened his big mouth?that had been a huge mistake. The idea of taking on a ready-made family and the ribbing from his friends and fellow law-enforcement officers took their toll on him. He worried about how he would deal with a celebrity wife. Those doubts made him second-guess his decisions. He went from worry to panic at the speed of light. He reasoned that he needed more time to be sure, so he asked Lacy to postpone their wedding date for a few months. It was not one of his stellar moments and he was not proud of it.

She gave him time. She gave him forever. She threw the engagement ring at him ? the ring she had taken from him with tears of joy only a month earlier. Their argument had been loud and angry. He had verbalized all his hidden doubts as they hurled accusations at one another. She threw a cup of hot coffee in his face in anger. He yanked her over his knee and spanked her, hard.

He had kicked himself in the ass several times a day since. One stupid moment had ruined his life. That moment being when he voiced his doubts − not when he spanked her. She had earned that reprisal.

“Living dangerously?” asked Theo, the owner and bartender of the Hideaway Bar. He slid a cup of coffee across the bar to Nick.

Nick shook his head, “No. I’m keeping an eye on my little sister and trying to keep her out of trouble.”

“Kristen isn’t the one you have had your eyes on all evening,” Theo said with a grin. “I don’t see much of Lacy. Barhopping was never her thing. She keeps to herself, but then she always did.”

“Did you know her before?” Nick asked. “In the business, I mean?”

“I knew of her, saw her around occasionally while doing my stint as a stunt man. She was a sweet kid. I heard she married a minister, missionary, or something and took off to live in one of the Bloomington’s‑Indiana or Illinois. I never knew which one. I was surprised when she moved back, but Carmel isn’t like most of the towns in California. We have our fair share of celebrities who come here to be anonymous. That’s the way we like it.”

* * *

“Mom!”

Lacy rolled over covering her head with a pillow, only to have it yanked away.

“Mom! Come on.” Ryan, eleven years old and used to his mother’s antics, yanked the covers off and dragged her from the bed with a thump.

“Can’t I take a nap in peace? The girls are napping!” Lacy demanded. “Who is the mother around here?”

“You are, but until I get old enough for a license, you are also the driver,” Ryan said with a grin. “It’s Saturday and I don’t want to be late for the game! Were you drinking last night?”

Lacy groaned. “I had a glass and a half of wine, you slimy toad! That can hardly be called drinking.”

“It is when you aren’t used to it, and you’re not,” Ryan exclaimed in his ‘I’m older and know more than you think,’ voice. “Who drove home?”

“Not I,” Lacy admitted, getting to her feet. She grabbed her son around the waist and tackled him onto the bed and into a hug although she was not much bigger than the boy. “You know I don’t go out very often. I would never take the chance of driving along those cliffs even after only one glass of wine.

“I know, Mom, but Dad said he didn’t let you drink because you couldn’t hold your liquor well,” Ryan said quoting something he had obviously overheard.

“Honey, your father was a Baptist teetotaler who did not believe in drinking alcohol in any form even cold medicine. That doesn’t mean a glass of wine or an occasional beer is wrong for most people. I am not advocating drinking, you know I seldom drink, but you need to understand that the keyword in life is moderation,” Lacy explained.

“Do you still miss him?” asked Ryan, his gray eyes looking so much like his father’s and far too somber for a boy his age.

“Yes,” Lacy said honestly.

“Dad was kind of strict,” Ryan said. “Sometimes, I worry that he wouldn’t approve of some of the things we do now.”

“What things,” Lacy asked. She tugged at her son to get him to sit on the bed next to her.

“Like going to church all the time like we did before, and you working around the house and in the yard. He always said that was a man’s job. You send the girls to daycare. He wanted you to stay home with me,” Ryan said. “You take us to movies and the arcades. Grandma and Grandpa Majors thought that kind of stuff was a sin.”

“Your grandparents were a little strange, Ryan. I hope you realize that,” Lacy said. “It was their prerogative to believe what they wanted, but their beliefs had nothing to do with us. Dad and I did not believe the same way as they did. Yes, your dad was strict, but we had fun too. As a minister, David had obligations to his church and we had to support him in his job. There were times when I didn’t want to go to church as often, but as his wife, I did it to help him. I loved him and wanted to make him happy. I know nearly everything we did was centered on church activities, but that does not mean that everything outside the church is wrong or sinful. Your father didn’t believe that and neither do I. I don’t want you to forget the good times we had with your dad.”

“I know, Mom,” Ryan said.

“I bought this house knowing it would need repairs and it is work I enjoy. As far as the girls go, they need the socialization they get in daycare. It gives me quiet time to write. Before, being a homemaker and a minister’s wife was a full-time job. I enjoyed staying home with you. After we lost your dad, though, life was different. I needed something to take my mind off him. That was when I started taking my writing more seriously. You are happy here in Carmel, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” Ryan admitted, “but, I miss Dad a lot, and I worry about you.”

Lacy smiled and kissed her son on the forehead. “It’s okay to miss your dad. I still miss him, too. We always will. You don’t have to worry about me, honey. I’m the grown-up in this house. Your job is to be eleven and to have fun.”

“Mom, will you at least talk to Nick today?” Ryan asked suddenly.

Lacy shifted her eyes so she would not face her son while telling a lie. “Maybe. Go get the girls and wash their faces. I’ll do the same and we’ll go. If we leave now, we won’t be late.”

“Mom, we are always late,” complained Ryan.

“Not always,” Lacy exclaimed.

Ryan gave her his ‘I know better’ look and she blushed. “Okay, we are late a lot, but I am trying to improve.”

“Try harder! Move it, now!”

* * *

Lacy did not speak to Nick. She took the girls to the refreshment stand and to the restroom, and carefully avoided contact with him. She focused on keeping her eyes on her son and his game, and off the handsome Nick Giordano. It was not easy.

Nick was a good-looking man whether he wore a Deputy’s uniform or jeans and a tee shirt with a baseball cap jammed on his head backward. He was not a small man, but not too big for a man either, which had suited her. He topped out at six feet and was fit, lightly muscled, and solid. He was not overly muscle bound or ripped like so many of the men running around the California coastal beaches. He looked good − dressed, or undressed. His dark Italian looks drew a woman’s eye. They fawned over his longish, slicked-back, black hair with curls escaping over the edges of his collar, not to mention his caramel eyes with flecks of green. Add all that to the dark beard stubble accentuating his handsome face at the end of a day, and Nick was one very sexy man.

He had been prime bait for the many single mothers of his little league softball team. He had ignored their advances and diplomatically backed off when they got too close. She liked him, but she had shown him no interest other than admiring him from a distance. He was her son’s coach. He was the one who had actively pursued her. She had deflected his hints and then his blatant flirting since she was the mother of three and had no idea why he would be interested in her.

Then he had interceded on her behalf with an aggressive father and fan who apparently remembered her last television show but couldn’t distinguish a television show from reality. With her acting career fifteen years behind her, Lacy did not have to face that very often. She had been grateful when Nick stepped in pretending to be her boyfriend so the man would back off. When she thanked him and asked how she could return the favor, she expected to bake some cookies or cook him a meal. Instead, he asked her to go out with him. She agreed reluctantly, but when he called and suggested a family restaurant and a date that would include her children, her heart flipped over. As skittish as she had been about dating, she found it comfortable to spend time with Nick. It had not taken long for her to lose her heart to him.

She knew him, or at least she thought she had known him. She knew she loved him, he still claimed that he loved her. To Lacy though, actions spoke louder than words. She was not so sure now that he loved her with the kind of commitment she needed.

Lacy had enjoyed his company. During the months they had dated, their casual dates had evolved into a serious commitment. That had led to her being in his bed nearly every time they could sneak away for a bit of alone time. In the latter days of their relationship, they ended most dates at his townhouse in his bed. Sometimes they didn’t even go out but instead wanted to use that time to be together. She had kids, one old enough to have at least a vague understanding of adult relationships. One of Lacy’s Rules was that she would not parade a succession of men through her children’s lives. She had successfully kept her children separate from her few miserable attempts at dating before Nick.

Lacy was a woman completely aware of what she needed in a man. Responsibility, reliability, and dependability were at the top of that list. If Nick could not handle an engagement, how could he handle marriage? She could not make a mistake when it came to marriage. It was too big and too important.

Lacy had loved her husband, David Majors. She had jumped into their marriage at twenty-two in order to facilitate an easier escape from her previous life. She had desperately wanted to get away from the entertainment industry and, most important, her mother. Lilith Jamison had been Lacy’s manager and agent. In a long list of self-indulgent behavior, Lilith’s role as a mother begrudgingly came in at last place. Lacy had been desperate for love after her eighteen years of verbal abuse and browbeating by a woman who easily masked her true nature behind a fa?ade of false beauty and elegance.

She had found what she craved with David. He was a stable man of firm beliefs who loved, nurtured and took care of her. Her marriage had worked because David understood her. He had given her the stability and love she needed. Although she sometimes chaffed under his strict rules and his beliefs, she loved him with her total being. David had been a devoted minister, and a loving husband and father.

When David had been killed by a gunman in a convenience store robbery, the entire city of Bloomington, Indiana, had mourned his loss. He had been beloved and known for his work in the poverty-stricken areas of the city. She and Ryan were devastated. Without David, Lacy’s life in the Midwest held no appeal. Neither did her rigid in-laws who expected her to fall in line with their radical faith and beliefs. David’s parents thought she should bring their grandson into their home so they could supervise his upbringing. She had declined the offer, and moved herself and Ryan halfway across the country to escape again.

Lacy had never lived in Carmel, but she had visited there often, tagging along with a good friend, one of the older actresses on her second television series. Jayne Harris and her mother, Marion, had stepped into the breach left by Lilith, who was too self-involved to be bothered with a teenage daughter.

The fates were on Lacy’s side that day four years ago when she had driven into the small artistic community of Carmel by the Sea. It was a community of tiny Fairy Tale Cottages, storybook cottages and modern houses built of glass and stone to overlook the sea. Real estate was limited and expensive. Lacy drove into Carmel fully expecting to stay with her friend, Jayne Harris, until she could find a house. She suspected she would purchase something in one of the suburb communities in Monterey County. As the fates would have it, as she pulled over to the side of the road in front of Jayne’s house, she noticed a realtor removing a ‘For Sale’ sign from her trunk. The Storybook Cottages of Carmel rarely went on the market, and there were usually long waiting lists of potential buyers. Lacy temporarily forgot her friend and bought the property on the spot. It was not an original Fairy Tale Cottage designed by Hugh Comstock − only twenty of those extremely tiny and expensive pieces of history were still in existence. She bought a storybook-style cottage named Luibh Cottage.

Carmel was foremost an unconventional and bohemian community of artists and individualists. The town had preserved a tradition of eccentric cottages for nearly a century. Built in 1963, Lacy’s cottage was much larger than the originals. By the look of the interior, though, no one had updated it since the days of Brady Bunch orange counter tops and shag carpets.

Nevertheless, Luibh Cottage’s exterior construction had all the quirks and details of the original Storybook Cottages. She loved it. It looked as if someone had transported the cottage directly from ancient Ireland or merry old England, and she could modernize it enough inside to deal with the everyday life of raising a son. The roof was moss covered and the property was in desperate need of repairs, but she did not care. It was the Storybook dream home of her childhood imagination. It took a big chunk out of her bank account, but she never second-guessed her decision. She had plunked down the money and moved in with Jane until the deal went through. She was determined to start a new life.

In the four years since, she and her family had planted their roots in Carmel. She had not known she was pregnant when she left Indiana. As a young widow, pregnant, alone, and raising a small boy, she had been welcomed into her neighborhood. She found real friends in the small community and among her close neighbors. She loved living in Carmel where only occasionally someone recognized her. Most people respected her privacy. She would sometimes run into the occasional celebrity in the grocery store and be greeted as a friend.

* * *

?“Mom, are we going for pizza?” Ryan asked, climbing into the family van.

“Pizza,” Grace and Olivia, the twins, echoed excitedly as Lacy strapped them into their safety seats.

Lacy knew this scenario. The team often held their victory celebrations at The Pizza Factory. There would be a few parents and Coach Nick Giordano present to ride herd over twenty overly excited eleven to thirteen-year-olds. It was something she had enjoyed before her breakup with Nick. It was not something she wanted to be part of now, except she would not deny her son the pleasure of celebrating the team victory with his friends.

“Pizza,” she agreed to three cheering children.

Later, Lacy glanced over at the table housing the large group of boys, her son included. The boys were laughing, yelling and shoveling pizza into their mouths. It was typical boy fun, loud and boisterous and exactly how she wanted her son to remember his childhood.

She sat in a booth with Gracie and Olivia, far enough away not to embarrass Ryan by having his mom there. Pizza sauce completely covered the faces of both her beautiful little sprites.

Nick slipped into the booth beside the girls. They both leaped to greet him with their sticky fingers and sauce-covered faces. He did not seem to mind as he gave both of them a kiss.

“Good game,” Nick said, switching his attention to Lacy.

“Good game,” Lacy repeated, giving him a stare that should have backed him off, but didn’t. She had never been very successful at intimidation.

“We need to talk,” Nick said without preamble.

“We did talk, now we have nothing to talk about,” Lacy said steadily.

“I am about out of patience, Lace,” Nick said ominously. “We are going to talk.”

“It has all been said.” She held up a single finger in warning. “Lacy’s Rules! Do not start something in front of my kids. Go away. You said your piece and got what you wanted. You have nothing to complain about.”

“You are the most stubborn and obstinate woman, I have ever met! I want . . .”

“I don’t care what you want. Not here and not now!”

“We are going to talk, Miss Independence,” Nick said in frustration. He knew Lacy’s Rules, as she had been blunt about them from the start. Lacy’s Rules were things that she would not compromise on, rules she had established mostly to protect her kids. They encompassed everything from limiting sugar to watching too much television. Whatever happened between the two of them, her kids were not to be affected. That meant no arguing in front of them. That was quite the opposite of his own upbringing in a loud, unruly Italian family.

Nick slid out of the booth. Before Lacy realized what he intended, he dropped a kiss on her lips and then turned to give each of the twins another kiss on the cheek. He sauntered off, ignoring Lacy’s splutter of indignation and a death stare.

Lacy took her kids home where they watched a movie, ate popcorn, and she put them to bed. She was restless after her encounter with Nick. When it came right down to it, she missed him terribly. Nick had been her strength for nearly a year. Once they had gotten past that awful period of feeling each other out, they had meshed well as a couple. Lacy sometimes thought she was a throwback to another era. She liked a man with a strong sense of self and didn’t mind the man being in charge. She did not mind a man telling her what to do. She did not even mind being taken to task for misbehaving. She was not a child, she did not pretend to be one, but she loved that Nick took care of her. She liked being around someone who looked out for her. She missed having him around. She missed having a relationship with Nick. Being lonely again was almost physically painful.

After checking on her kids to make sure they were asleep, Lacy went into the second-story tower room figuring she would put in a couple of hours work on the renovations she was trying to complete. Someday it would be her private office space. Over the last four years, she had floated from place to place around the house in search of a dedicated space where she could write. She had used her bedroom for a while, but had begun to feel trapped because she spent so much time in there. Then, she converted the cupboard under the stairs to a mini office. However, she was no Harry Potter and it was too claustrophobic for her. It did make for a convenient place to spend a few minutes writing out bills and Ryan used it to do his homework. It was also a sneaky way to monitor his computer use and time since the door to the cupboard had to be open if you were using the desk or the computer.

The kitchen table was a frequent haunt of hers, and now, most often, the high kitchen bar. With three kids, she spent a lot of time in there anyway. Working in the kitchen though meant she could not shut a door on her computer and her work, and the mess she made. She also had to be extra careful to put her laptop away between writing sessions since anything she told her twin daughters not to touch instantly fascinated them. She did not want them accidentally dropping her laptop, destroying it and her latest book.

Originally, she had planned to use a small room downstairs as an office. That was before she realized having only one bathroom in the house, on the second floor, was not convenient or practical for a woman expecting twins. She had hired a contractor to convert the room on the first floor into two rooms, a bathroom and laundry room.

At this point, the only room left to change into an office was the tower, a six-sided room with four large windows. The ceiling was falling in and she was in the process of pulling the rest of it down to expose the conical peaked beams. Before their breakup, Nick had wanted her to call a contractor to do the demolition or he wanted to do it himself. After their breakup, she decided she could handle it.

She went into the tower room and climbed a ladder. Her children slept like logs. With the door shut, it was unlikely that she would disturb them.

* * *

Nick sat in his recliner and fumed. He was tired of being the sensitive, politically correct ex-boyfriend. He wanted to storm over to Lacy’s house and kiss her until she came to her senses. Alternatively, if that did not work, he would like to set fire to her cute little backside for putting him through this misery. He fumed because he knew his job as a County Deputy meant he had to be above petty grievances and domestic disputes. One report of sexual harassment or stalking and his career would be in the toilet. In this day and age, most people would not view the spanking of his ex-girlfriend lightly. Domestic discipline was contrary to most modern beliefs, even if many consenting adults did practice it.

He took a long swallow of watered-down iced tea and got to his feet. To hell with it! He was going over there to have it out with her. Grabbing his car keys, he headed out the door.

* * *

Ryan Majors a

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5 out of 5 stars

16 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. SH

    Rated 5 out of 5

    SH

    When I see that Mariella Starr has released a new book it is an automatic buy for me, regardless of the synopsis, she is just that good! I snatched this one up and settled in for a fantastic journey. Ms. Starr has a knack for developing plots and characters that drag you in and won\’t let you go. The fact that the books are long and written very well are icing on the cake. I loved this story about Lacy and Nick, I cheered them on and worried for them, and crossed my fingers that all would turn out well. No spoilers here though, buy the book and enjoy the ride! Fantastic!

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  2. SH

    Rated 5 out of 5

    SH

    When I see that Mariella Starr has released a new book it is an automatic buy for me, regardless of the synopsis, she is just that good! I snatched this one up and settled in for a fantastic journey. Ms. Starr has a knack for developing plots and characters that drag you in and won’t let you go. The fact that the books are long and written very well are icing on the cake. I loved this story about Lacy and Nick, I cheered them on and worried for them, and crossed my fingers that all would turn out well. No spoilers here though, buy the book and enjoy the ride! Fantastic!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  3. Arianna

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Arianna

    A Mariella Starr release day is always a good day for me. So far, I have loved every book she has written. As usual, once I started reading, I was hooked. Characters are clearly defined, you can get inside their heads, and you get to know them. They become your friends for as long as it takes you to read the book. Ms. Starr’s books are always well developed, and you become invested in the storyline. Nick and Lacy are meant for each other, and no matter what the obstacles, they are there for each other. Squabbles and disagreements are human nature, but so is the humor that I always find in Ms. Starr’s stories. I wanted to tell Nick to hang in there and hug Lacy when she is so frustrated. I want Ryan to give lessons on how wonderful big brothers are supposed to be, and I’m sorry, but I wanted to keep those little girls for myself. Another delicious read. How long do I have to wait for another?

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    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  4. Arianna

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Arianna

    A Mariella Starr release day is always a good day for me. So far, I have loved every book she has written. As usual, once I started reading, I was hooked. Characters are clearly defined, you can get inside their heads, and you get to know them. They become your friends for as long as it takes you to read the book. Ms. Starr??s books are always well developed, and you become invested in the storyline. Nick and Lacy are meant for each other, and no matter what the obstacles, they are there for each other. Squabbles and disagreements are human nature, but so is the humor that I always find in Ms. Starr??s stories. I wanted to tell Nick to hang in there and hug Lacy when she is so frustrated. I want Ryan to give lessons on how wonderful big brothers are supposed to be, and I??m sorry, but I wanted to keep those little girls for myself. Another delicious read. How long do I have to wait for another?

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  5. Meg

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This is a great book that captures your attention and holds it. Lacy has struggled to free herself from the overbearing presence of her mother – going so far as to walk away from a lucrative and promising career in the film industry. Lacy has far more sensible dreams – to provide a warm, nurturing and loving home for her children. Those dreams are shared by Nick, a man of strong character who adores this feisty woman and her children. Though there are some ups and downs, together they form a united front to stand firmly together as Nick informs her that, Lacy\’s Rules are great but he has come up with a few of his own. Learning Nick\’s Rules has some uncomfortable consequences for her backside, but they fill her heart with love and security. The book introduces you to some great characters and makes you hope your friends are as loyal and loving as theirs. Very well done and I recommend to anyone who loves a romantic story that is also spiked with a bit of drama and a bit of heat.

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  6. Meg

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Meg

    This is a great book that captures your attention and holds it. Lacy has struggled to free herself from the overbearing presence of her mother ??? going so far as to walk away from a lucrative and promising career in the film industry. Lacy has far more sensible dreams ??? to provide a warm, nurturing and loving home for her children. Those dreams are shared by Nick, a man of strong character who adores this feisty woman and her children. Though there are some ups and downs, together they form a united front to stand firmly together as Nick informs her that, Lacy’s Rules are great but he has come up with a few of his own. Learning Nick’s Rules has some uncomfortable consequences for her backside, but they fill her heart with love and security. The book introduces you to some great characters and makes you hope your friends are as loyal and loving as theirs. Very well done and I recommend to anyone who loves a romantic story that is also spiked with a bit of drama and a bit of heat.

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  7. Margaret Corcoran

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Margaret Corcoran

    I loved this book. It has everything that a dd relationship book should have. There is lots of well developed characters and scenes with lots of twists and turns. It is well written and described. I highly recommend this book to all.

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  8. Margaret Corcoran

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Margaret Corcoran

    I loved this book. It has everything that a dd relationship book should have. There is lots of well developed characters and scenes with lots of twists and turns. It is well written and described. I highly recommend this book to all.

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  9. MartyLynn

    Rated 5 out of 5

    MartyLynn

    I almost missed this quiet release, I had to go back through my e-mails to find out why. Regardless of the reason a Mariella Starr book is always an instant purchase for me. As usual, her characters are a delight and it was a terrific read. What I can always depend on is the quality and length of her books, real books, not short stories and believable storylines. There are about six authors on my list of \’must buys\’, most of them on the national best-sellers list, M. Starr has been added to my list. I don\’t even bother with the description because I know I won\’t be disappointed. I wasn\’t this time either. Terrific storyline, plots, characters and I\’m never disappointed. I loved Lacy and Nick, the children and her crazy neighbors. It makes me want to go and check out Carmel. Thanks for a delightful afternoon of pleasure.

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  10. MartyLynn

    Rated 5 out of 5

    MartyLynn

    I almost missed this quiet release, I had to go back through my e-mails to find out why. Regardless of the reason a Mariella Starr book is always an instant purchase for me. As usual, her characters are a delight and it was a terrific read. What I can always depend on is the quality and length of her books, real books, not short stories and believable storylines. There are about six authors on my list of ‘must buys’, most of them on the national best-sellers list, M. Starr has been added to my list. I don’t even bother with the description because I know I won’t be disappointed. I wasn’t this time either. Terrific storyline, plots, characters and I’m never disappointed. I loved Lacy and Nick, the children and her crazy neighbors. It makes me want to go and check out Carmel. Thanks for a delightful afternoon of pleasure.

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  11. SharKay

    Rated 5 out of 5

    SharKay

    I love a book that draws you into the lives of it’s characters. Lacy’s Rules is that kind of book. Life isn’t always easy, and it’s the ups and downs that shows what people are really made of. Lacy has given up a lot to remake herself into someone she likes. She is careful who she picks as friends and even more careful with the men in her life. The roller coaster ride this book took me on was fun, and the characters were even more so. Romance with twist of D/D relationship and some hot sex. Just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean hot sex is off the table, and every woman would be envious of a catch like Nick. I enjoy reading about people falling in love and working through their problems to a happy ever after. Good job, can’t wait for the next one.

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  12. SharKay

    Rated 5 out of 5

    SharKay

    I love a book that draws you into the lives of it??s characters. Lacy??s Rules is that kind of book. Life isn??t always easy, and it??s the ups and downs that shows what people are really made of. Lacy has given up a lot to remake herself into someone she likes. She is careful who she picks as friends and even more careful with the men in her life. The roller coaster ride this book took me on was fun, and the characters were even more so. Romance with twist of D/D relationship and some hot sex. Just because you??re a mother doesn??t mean hot sex is off the table, and every woman would be envious of a catch like Nick. I enjoy reading about people falling in love and working through their problems to a happy ever after. Good job, can??t wait for the next one.

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  13. Redrabbitt

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Redrabbitt

    This is an extremely emotional story to read. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and I was so captivated with what all Lacy has had to endure as a child and still as an adult due to her mother. Her mother, Lilith, is a narcissistic, psychopath who is greedy and depraved, she thinks the world revolves around her and expects to get her way, no matter what. Lacy Majors is a good mother to Ryan, Olivia and Gracie, her children are her number one priority in life. After the death of her minister husband, she moves to Carmel and beyond the love and care for her children, she writes mystery novels. Nick Giordano, a deputy, is Ryan\’s baseball coach, and involved with Lacy. They have their ups and down, but work things out, he is her rock and proves his love and support. The plot of the story kept it in constant suspense with the pages turning for all the twist, turns, mystery and suspense. It is packed full of charming characters and entertaining dialog.

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  14. Redrabbitt

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Redrabbitt

    This is an extremely emotional story to read. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and I was so captivated with what all Lacy has had to endure as a child and still as an adult due to her mother. Her mother, Lilith, is a narcissistic, psychopath who is greedy and depraved, she thinks the world revolves around her and expects to get her way, no matter what. Lacy Majors is a good mother to Ryan, Olivia and Gracie, her children are her number one priority in life. After the death of her minister husband, she moves to Carmel and beyond the love and care for her children, she writes mystery novels. Nick Giordano, a deputy, is Ryan’s baseball coach, and involved with Lacy. They have their ups and down, but work things out, he is her rock and proves his love and support. The plot of the story kept it in constant suspense with the pages turning for all the twist, turns, mystery and suspense. It is packed full of charming characters and entertaining dialog.

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  15. JK

    Rated 5 out of 5

    JK

    Don\’t you just love it when the book you are reading turns into more than you even hoped it would be? That was the case with this one for me!! I loved the synopsis, and as I was reading, I just never wanted it to end!! Lacy and Nick are great characters: they both have faults, but their love (and a little discipline) bonds them together. Lacy\’s awful mother has cost her so much that you can\’t wait to see her brought down. The story just takes you on their journey together, and I for one wouldn\’t have missed it for the world! This will be frequently re-read!!

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  16. JK

    Rated 5 out of 5

    JK

    Don’t you just love it when the book you are reading turns into more than you even hoped it would be? That was the case with this one for me!! I loved the synopsis, and as I was reading, I just never wanted it to end!! Lacy and Nick are great characters: they both have faults, but their love (and a little discipline) bonds them together. Lacy’s awful mother has cost her so much that you can’t wait to see her brought down. The story just takes you on their journey together, and I for one wouldn’t have missed it for the world! This will be frequently re-read!!

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