Just Jenny by Sandra Owens

Book 1 in the Blue Ridge Valley Series

The small mountain town of Blue Ridge Valley is the home of three best friends, Jenny, Autumn, and Savannah. Each woman believes she has her life perfectly planned, but there is a saying in the mountains… If everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

In Just Jenny, Jenny Nance has a plan–save enough money to tour the world. The desire to traipse the globe is a dream she once shared with her twin sister. Jenny made a deathbed promise to her sister that she would go to all the places they had fantasized visiting together. Nothing will entice her to break her vow to Natalie, not even the sexy new Blue Ridge Valley police chief . . . No matter how attracted she is to him.

Dylan Conrad left the Chicago Police Department to accept the position as Chief of Police in Blue Ridge Valley. Burned out and haunted by a tragedy of his own, he needs to get away from the memories tormenting him. He's hoping to find peace in the small mountain town, but the quirky residents, an infamous moonshiner, an errant prized bull, and a feisty redhead by the name of Jenny weren't quite what he had in mind.


Read an Excerpt:

“Here we are.” Jenny slowed the car and cut the engine.


The headlights were still on, illuminating the flat surface where we were parked. Off to the left were waist-high boulders, and to the right, the land disappeared.


Jenny opened her door. “Come on. You’re going to love this.”


I wasn’t so sure about that, but I followed her to the back of her car. She opened her trunk, grabbing a blanket and flashlight. Being a city boy, communing with nature wasn’t high on my bucket list.


“Are we going hiking in the middle of the night? Like through the woods? Aren’t there bears?” I had my gun on me, but maybe I should have studied up on bears. “How many bullets will I need to take down a pissed-off bear?”


She laughed. “You’re hilarious.”


“Wasn’t trying to be funny, Red.” I trailed behind her to a boulder near the edge. “What are you doing now?” I asked when she turned on the flashlight, illuminating the rock.


“Making sure there aren’t any snakes.”


Oh, hell no. I backed up a few steps. Give me a shoot-out with a bad guy any day, but snakes? Nope. Not happening. “Tell me again why we’re here.”


“You’ll see.”


She spread the blanket over a rock that might or might not have snakes hiding in it just waiting for a couple of dumbasses they could bite. She patted the space next to her. I took a moment to debate the merits of being a wuss versus manning up and climbing onto a possibly snake-infested boulder. It was probably a lot easier to shoot a bear than a snake, and I made a mental note to find a shooting range that had small, slithering targets I could practice on. But I was a lawman, and it was my duty to protect citizens and pretty girls, so I pushed myself onto the rock.


“Shouldn’t we leave that on?” I said when Jenny turned off the flashlight.


“No, we can’t see the stars when it’s on.”


But we could see the damn snakes. “Is that what we’re doing, stargazing?” I didn’t think I’d ever done that before, not that I could remember. The lights were never off in Chicago, so we never bothered looking up at night.


She lowered onto her back. “Come look.”


On my back beside her, I lifted my eyes to the night sky. “Wow,” I whispered.


“Amazing, isn’t it?”


“Yeah.” We fell silent, both of us entranced by the glittering diamonds on black velvet. It helped that the moon was a mere sliver in the sky, allowing the stars center stage. I slipped my hand over Jenny’s, and she laced her fingers around mine.


It was too dark to see her well, but I could see the gleam of her teeth as she smiled, and the outline of her hair spread out over the blanket, and I could smell her scent. Something earthy, like a combination of cinnamon and vanilla beans and rain. Made my mouth water. She lifted her hand and pressed her palm against my cheek. I took that as permission and lowered my mouth to hers.


Her lips were soft and warm, and when she parted them, I slid my tongue over hers. My body hummed with longing for this woman. I put my hand on her hip, pulling her closer.


“Dylan,” she whispered. Her breath hitched, and she grabbed the front of my shirt, fisting her fingers in the material.


Oh yeah. I sucked her bottom lip into my mouth, then let go, chuckling when she made a little growling noise. She paid me back by clamping her teeth lightly down on my lip, giving a little tug.


I gathered a lock of her hair, wrapping it around my hand and tugging her head back. “Still think my kiss is just nice?”


She grinned. “Jury’s still out.”


We’d see about that. “You better take a deep breath, Red, because you’re not coming up for air until I get my fill of you.”


“Is that so?”


“I don’t say things I don’t mean.”