From Ice Wagon to Club House: The Life of Jude Mooney
Mainstream Romance: Urban, Mystery, Historical
Cover Artist: Nika Dixon
Editor: Julie Skerven
Word Count: 97,554
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Probation? No booze? What?
Jude Mooney, the man who began his working career on a horse, is building an empire--but at what cost to his life, soul, and love?
Jude Mooney, the son of poor but proud Irish immigrants, is delivering ice on a horse-drawn cart to New Orleans families with his friend Pete when the novel opens in 1914. When his brother James commits suicide after a banking scandal, a devastated Jude looks for easy money and good times in the notorious Storyville, but his time there is marked by disillusionment an tragedy. When he flees Storyville and the disapproval of his parents, Jude finds himself in his family's native Ireland. It is there that he meets the fiery revolutionary Maeve, the young woman who will set him on fire and change his life. When he then flees Ireland with a young family, circumstances force Jude to enter the world of bootlegging and horse-racing.
That night, Jude awoke from a disturbed sleep. Maeve haunted his dreams. He sat up in bed, his body soaked in sweat. Images of her sitting across from him with the sun shining on her dark hair sent his blood throbbing to his brain. Visions of her slender body sent shivers of wanton desire through his spine, and he imagined what her skin was like under her clothing. Taking deep breaths, Jude tossed the blankets aside, stumbled from his bed, and shakily made his way to the dresser, grasping its edges. His loins burned, and he poured water from a pitcher into the basin in front of the mirror. He splashed the water over his face and stared at himself in the mirror. A voice inside echoed within the depths of his soul. Go to her. She wants it as much as you.
Walking stealthily down the hall in his bare feet, Jude looked from left to right and then behind him. He’d slipped into his dungarees but was bare-chested. Coming to Maeve’s door, he knocked softly and gently tried the door. Suddenly, she was before him, prim in a flannel gown, her hair in a long braid. Her eyes, however, defied her lady-like attire. She unbuttoned the few buttons at the top of her gown while she licked her lips. Her gaze met his, and she reached for him, clasping the blanket around his shoulders and drawing him near until Jude was so close to her that he could smell the scent of her hair. Jude closed the door with his foot and crushed Maeve against the wall as his mouth closed over hers. She said huskily, “My birthday’s tomorrow. I want you for a present.”
Jude laughed softly, bent over her, and let his lips linger along her neck and face. His breath feathered the downy hair on her neck as he buried his lips into her skin. She hungrily returned his kisses and let her open mouth devour his firm chest. She encircled his neck with hot arms and leaned hard against him. Jude slipped Maeve’s gown over her head and drew in a breath upon seeing that she was naked underneath the gown. She covered his bare torso with kisses as she unzipped his pants with frantic fingers. Within minutes, they were both naked. Jude lifted her, growing hard against her mound as he felt her legs part and wrap around his middle. He made his way to the bed, her legs around his waist. Spasms of desire and pleasure already coursed through his insides, and he leaned over her, drinking in her small frame, creamy skin, ample breasts, and shapely limbs. Maeve’s body grew taut against him, and Jude nibbled her thighs until her legs parted even more. Convulsive spasms raced through Jude’s loins as he penetrated her, collapsing onto her prone body with hurried breathing. He buried his lips in her moist hair and then let waves of sated desire pour through him.
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