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A Simple Plan

Author(s): Marisa Chenery, Edward Holzman

Revenge is a dish best served cold. A treacherous land developer recruits and takes control of the life of young, beautiful and needy Tonya. He proceeds to meticulously and methodically groom her to infiltrate the family and the business of his nemesis, Preston Styles, and realize his vendetta.

The attractive young Styles family is picture perfect on the surface with lots of advantages, including a large working ranch and successful land development business, but everything isn’t rosy.

Tonya soon discovers she likes the ranch, and Preston even more. A personal agenda slowly emerges, but there are many loose ends to tie up. How far will she go to realize her dreams?   

Excerpt


Laura stood, grabbed Tonya’s hand and pulled her up and away from the table. Still keeping hold of her, Laura led her out of the room and down the hallway until they reached the den.

Inside the room were trophies and ribbons spread throughout. Tonya noticed the large rifle case that was full of firearms. Laura let go of her hand and walked over to the bar. Tonya crossed over to some of the trophies and studied them.

“What can I get you?” Laura asked.

Without turning, she said, “Surprise me. Are all these yours?”

“You bet. Those big ones are for first place in the North American long range rifle competition. I won two years in a row.”

“I’ve never met a markswoman before.”

Laura came out from behind the bar, carrying two wineglasses. She crossed to where Tonya stood, then handed her one. At that moment, Lacy walked inside. She drew up short, obviously not expecting anyone to be there.

“Oh. Excuse me,” Lacy said sarcastically. “What are you doing? Tripping down memory lane?” She strolled farther in as she came closer. “Everyone, if they spend enough time here, gets the grand tour of ‘the good old days.’”

The girl’s words were mean-spirited, and Tonya could see from Laura’s expression she was hurt by them. It didn’t take much thought on her part to decide to come to the rescue.

“What about you, Lacy?” Tonya asked. “Do you have any trophies?”

That had the desired effect. Lacy glared at Tonya, then silently left the room without a backward glance.

“Thanks,” Laura said. “You really didn’t have to do that. I’m used to it. Finding fault in everything I do or say is a game Lacy seems to enjoy. How about that whirlpool?”

Tonya smiled. “All right. Sure. I’ll change into my swimsuit and meet you out there in a few minutes.”

She took a sip of the white wine Laura had given her, then handed the glass to her before she hurried away.

Once outside, Tonya headed for her bungalow. After she arrived, she threw on her bikini and then went to the pool area where the whirlpool was located. Laura was already there, waiting for her. She also held the drinks she’d poured for them earlier.

They climbed into the whirlpool and set their wineglasses on the ledge next to them. Tonya had to admit the hot bubbling water felt great. Along with the drink, she was sure she’d be all loose and relaxed once she got out.

Laura soon started a conversation that stemmed from what had taken place inside the den with Lacy. She told Tonya about her first meeting with her stepdaughter.

“I can’t believe it,” Tonya said. “That’s a hell of a first impression.”

Laura snorted. “Tell me about it. Here I am head over heels in love with Preston, praying he’ll ask me to marry him, and when he finally introduces me to his daughter, it turns into a cat fight.”

Tonya shook her head. “Let’s forget about Lacy. Listen, I hate tan lines.” She leaned forward and reached behind her for the clasp on her bikini top before she took it off. “Do you mind? There’s no one around.”

“No, of course not. As a matter of fact…” Laura removed her own. They sat in silence for half a minute before she broke it. “Um…we’re dysfunctional.”

Tonya met Laura’s gaze, not sure what she meant by that. “Pardon me?”

“Preston, Lacy and me. I just wish I knew how to make it work.”

“Sounds to me as if Lacy just needs to realize how lucky she is. When I was her age I would have killed to have a family like yours.”

“What about your own?”

Tonya tore her gaze away and stared straight ahead. She made the decision to tell the truth. “I was taken away from my mom and raised in orphanages and foster homes until I was eighteen. I never knew my dad. It’s not the same growing up that way.”

“I’m so sorry. It must have been really hard.”

“I’ve found people to take care of me, but I always look at real families. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

“Tonya, you’ll meet the right man and start a family of your own. You’re going to be okay.”

Tonya turned her gaze on Laura, feeling the impact of her words. There had been pity in her voice, but also conviction with her last words. She wanted to believe what Laura had said would actually happen to her one day.

Laura stretched her neck from side to side and let out a little groan.

“Tight?” Tonya asked.

“Very.”

“Come here.” She scooted behind Laura and set to work rubbing her neck and back.

“Mmm. Preston and I…we used to be so much in love. We did everything together.” Laura reached over for her drink and took a sip before she returned it to the ledge. “His business took off, and he along with it. Mentally, anyway.”

“Well, at least, it’s not as if he’s having an affair or anything every time he goes out of town.”

Laura stiffened for a few seconds, then relaxed once more. “No…no, it’s not like that.”

“Relationships are hard enough without someone always trying to get in between. I mean Lacy.” Tonya paused. “I’m sorry. It’s not my place.”

“It’s okay. You’re right. You know, though, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been watching you. I guess you kind of inspired me.”

“I did.”

“Absolutely. Starting tomorrow I’m turning over a new leaf. I mean, Preston and I have to make our relationship work before we can make our family work, right?”

Tonya looked at the back of Laura’s head as she continued to rub her shoulders, not sure she liked the sound of that. “I guess.”

“This feels so good. No one touches me like this anymore.”

Distracted, getting lost in her thoughts, Tonya said quietly, “I know.”

She realized her mistake as Laura stiffened once more. To cover it up, Tonya increased the pressure of her hands and the other woman relaxed into the massage. 

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-92785-931-5
Genre: Thriller
Date Published: 02/26/2014
Publisher: Forever More Publishing

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