Looking for Trouble by Trice Hickman
Some dreams will test your head and your heart…
John Small may be a successful Wall Street banker, but at heart he’s a country boy from the sleepy town of Nedine, South Carolina. John wants to open Nedine’s first black-owned bank. But big dreams can bring big problems and John’s snooty New York City girlfriend, Madeline, is just the beginning. John is about to learn some hard truths about money, power, love, and loyalty. And when his future, and his family’s legacy, is in danger, help will come from where he least expects it…
Alexandria Thornton is a hard-working corporate attorney by day, but she’s passionately pursuing her dream as a spoken word artist by night. Frustrated with her career and her lackluster love life, Alexandria’s ready to throw in the towel on both that is, until a man from her past reenters her life and changes everything. But her newfound happiness is short-lived when old lovers, lingering secrets, and hidden desires threaten to end it all…
Sharing one of Trice Hickman’s favorite quotes from LOOKING FOR TROUBLE:
“Alexandria took another deep, cleansing breath, releasing the last of her fears. “I know exactly what I desire,” she said, and then paused. “I want to experience real love. The kind of love I don’t have to question. The kind I can believe and trust in. The kind that’ll have my back when the chips are down and support me when I need it most. The kind of love that’ll catch me if I fall, and then help me stand up tall again. And I want the kind of love that’ll make me cry out in sweet ecstasy when he’s making love to me. How many of y’all out there want that kind of love?”
TAKE AWAY FROM LOOKING FOR TROUBLE
“You can never go wrong doin’ right.”
…taken from my novel, Looking for Trouble, available wherever books are sold! Get your copy today!
“Speak what’s in your heart. Say what it is that you desire, and watch it walk into your life.”
…taken from my novel, Looking for Trouble, available wherever books are sold! Get your copy today and thanks in advance!
Excerpt from Chapter 13
After leaving his grandmother’s house, John felt renewed. But he also understood that his newfound comfort was only a temporary state because it came wrapped in a sense of uncertainty about what was on the horizon. He sighed deeply as he steadied himself and made a sharp turn into the Holiday Inn parking lot. So many things were going through his mind, making his head swim with questions he couldn’t answer. He parked his car, then sat with the engine running. He took two deep breaths and reflected on the events of the last twenty-four hours. He was grateful for the advice his Grandma Allene had given him. Her words of wisdom had been like a heaping dose of medicine that lifted his ailing spirit. “Grandma’s always right,” he whispered to himself. “Madeline might not be the one for me.”
“Why didn’t I see this side of her before now?” John whispered to himself. But if he was really honest about things, he knew the reason, and it was because he’d chosen to see what he wanted. Given his busy work schedule, which included twelve-hour days, and Madeline’s hectic calendar, the only real time they spent together was on weekends, and most of those hours centered around his bed or hers, enjoying each other’s bodies as a physical release from their long, power-packed weeks. He realized that although they’d been seeing each other for a year, their limited contact was almost like being in a long distant relationship. And now, for reasons he couldn’t explain, Madeline suddenly wanted more.
After a few more minutes of reflective thought, John finally decided to turn off the engine, head inside, and brace himself for whatever awaited him once he entered his hotel room. When John walked into the room, he found Madeline stretched out across the bed. The South Carolina heat outside was brutal, but the air in the room was unbelievably frigid, just the way Madeline liked it.
“It’s freezing in here,” John said, still standing near the door, not moving a muscle.
“You’re back.”Madeline smiled,purring with seduction.“I adjusted the air conditioner just slightly, but I can turn it off if you like.” Madeline rose from the bed and walked over to adjust the air-conditioning unit. Slowly she strutted and swayed her way back across the room, reclaiming her spot on the king-size mattress.
John noticed that Madeline’s sultry waltz seemed intentional, meant to get him hot and bothered. But instead of feeling turned on he felt slightly on edge. He looked at her through new eyes, trying to determine what was real and what was an act. He’d let her seduce him more times than he now cared to admit; all because of the physical pleasure she was able to give him.
“I’m so sorry about our little spat,” Madeline said. “I didn’t want you to leave the room upset with me. What if you had gotten into an accident while you were out? Our last words would have been bitter ones.”
John walked over to the bed and sat on the edge, opposite of where Madeline was perched. “You’ve never worried about things like that when we’re back in New York, and the streets and roads there are much more dangerous than here in Nedine.”
“Danger lurks everywhere, John.”
“Yes, I guess it does.”
Madeline lowered her eyes.“Do you forgive me?”
“What’s done is done. Let’s just try to get through what’s left of this weekend.”
Madeline scooted over to where John sat. “C’mon, baby,” she purred again.“I said I was sorry. I know I shouldn’t have overreacted. Now forgive me and don’t make me beg.”
“Sure, uh, let’s just drop it, Madeline.”
“I want us to talk about this, honey. You have to understand . . . I really wanted this trip to be perfect. When you said your parents didn’t like me, well, I felt absolutely awful. I guess I took it out on you. Forgive me . . . please?”
John looked into Madeline’s eyes, noting the brightness they carried. But he knew he had to be careful with her, especially after she’d shown him how she could go from sugar to venom faster than his Mustang could go from zero to sixty. And as he looked even closer, he noticed that it wasn’t necessarily brightness he saw. Rather, it was a wild, almost erratic stare. He knew she hadn’t been drinking, because her breath didn’t smell of alcohol. Is she doing drugs? he wondered, quickly glancing around the room. He was going to question her, but then he thought better of it. He didn’t want to chance what her answer or reaction might be. So to avoid any further drama, he acquiesced.
“Okay, Madeline. I forgive you.”
“I missed you while you were gone,” she said wantonly, wrapping her long arms around his shoulders. “And regardless of what you think, I was worried about you while you were out.”
John felt uncomfortable being so close to her. The feel of her body next to his usually excited him so much that he had a hard time controlling his sexual urges. But now, he had little interest in feeling her flesh pressed next to his. He loosened her grip, releasing himself from her embrace. He stared at Madeline and could see that although she was pissed, she was trying her hardest to hide it. If it weren’t for the vein pulsating on the side of her temple and the deep breaths he could see her taking in an effort to control her anger, he would have sworn she was as happy as a birthday girl. He watched as her eyes suddenly darted across the room, landing on a magazine sitting on the desk. She lingered there for a brief moment before returning her stare to him. When she did, he saw what looked like a hint of sadness rimming her lids.
He didn’t doubt that she probably felt a little down because he’d left her in the room by herself, and the “Southern gentleman” side of him hated to see a woman in any type of distress.The thought that he was in any way the cause of Madeline’s present state made him feel bad about leaving her all alone in a strange city with no one to turn to. His compassion and guilt took over. “I didn’t mean to cause you any worry, Madeline.”
“I know. And I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I guess we both did a good job of upsetting each other.”
Madeline took a deep breath and slowly scooted her body even closer to John’s. “Yes, we did. But I’m glad we’re back on track, because this is supposed to be a fun weekend for us. I feel terrible about our little lovers’ quarrel. I’m glad we can move beyond it.”
Although John was remorseful about the way he had treated Madeline, he knew what had happened between them was more than just a simple lovers’ quarrel. She’d shown him a side of herself that he was beginning to think only touched the surface of the kind of person she could be.
( Continued… )
© 2013 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Trice Hickman . Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this sneak peek.
About the Author
A self-proclaimed Southern girl, Trice Hickman’s love affair with books began when she was a small child growing up in Eastern, North Carolina. But it wasn’t until she enrolled in an advanced women’s literature course during her junior year of college at Winston-Salem State University that she thought about becoming a writer.
After suffering from years of writer’s block, her literary window finally opened with the release of her self-published debut novel, Unexpected Interruptions, November 2007. The book garnered praise from literary reviewers, book clubs, and readers, and was selected by Black Expressions as their December 2008, Editor’s Pick for Dynamic Debut Feature. Trice’s much anticipated sequel, Keeping Secrets & Telling Lies, was released June 2009, and her third novel, Playing the Hand You’re Dealt, was released August 2010.
Upon the success of her work, Trice signed a multi-book deal with Kensington (Dafina Books). Her fourth novel, Breaking All My Rules, was released in February 2013, followed by Looking For Trouble, November 2013.
In her spare time when she’s not writing, Trice enjoys reading, cooking, entertaining, and traveling. You can learn more about Trice and her work by visiting her website, http://www.tricehickman.com.