The Boyfriend's Back

And She Knows There's Going to be Trouble!     (May 2009)

Despite many hurdles, Hailey Maddox has managed to create the perfect life for her teenage daughter. Oh, except for one tiny thing. A ghost from the past in the form of JT McNulty, her first love. When he arrives to attend his mother’s funeral, Hailey’s not surprised—she’s terrified.

After fifteen years of avoiding the truth, she’s got no choice but to come clean—to her daughter and to him. And Hailey still has feelings for this man who’s literally too good to be true. Will JT forgive her for what she’s done? Will she convince him she’d never hurt him? Not again, anyway.

Excerpt: The Boyfriend's Back

Church, bar, church, bar, Statlerville was exactly the same as the last time JT had been here. But he was lost. How did a person get lost in their own hometown?

Move away and stay away for fifteen years. That’s how he’d done it, anyway.

Click to read a longer excerpt.

Top Ten Nine Facts

  1. I was thrilled when Superromance bought this and my next book, The Runner-Up, because I've always wanted to write a series about brothers.

  2. My favorite romance brothers are the Quinns from Nora Roberts's Chesapeake Bay series. Close on their heels are the Bridgertons from Julia Quinn followed by Nora's McKades.

  3. On the big and small screen, I love the Curtis brothers from The Outsiders and the Winchesters from Supernatural.

  4. I have my own brother. He's better than all those fictional brothers combined. (He's my big brother; hero worship is to be expected.) Neither of the McNultys are based on my brother, though. Thank goodness.

  5. There was originally a third McNulty brother, but he was cluttering the plot so he had to go. His name was Sam. I liked Sam. Maybe a future book will need Sam.

  6. I wanted to name the younger brother Shawn but my critique group didn't like that name. I tried Phillip next and again it was rejected. Apparently Shawn and Phillip do not evoke "hot" for my critique partners the way they do for me. (Obviously they never watched The Guiding Light, circa 1980-something, because Phillip Spaulding was hot!) I like the name Charlie a lot, though, so I'm happy with the final choice.

  7. The first draft of this book included a truly dreadful mother for Hailey. I really loved the character but my editor thought she was overwhelming the rest of the conflict. Once she was gone, I was surprised by how much more adult Hailey became. I guess even fictional characters need to cut the old apron strings.

  8. In early drafts of the book, JT's dad had had a stroke and couldn't talk. I was struggling to find the conflict and decided to experiment with a father/son conversation. As soon as I wrote some dialogue for Jack I was hooked. I had been stifling a very fun voice!

  9. When Hailey still had her bad mother, the plot involved her moving out of her mom's house into Sarah's pool house. My editor couldn't believe that someone would live in a pool house. Obviously she needs to watch a little of The O.C. because Ryan Atwood (another awesome TV brother) had quite the pad in the Cohen's pool house.

Prequel: JT Asks Hailey Out for the First Time

Mrs. Manley, the guidance counselor, stopped in front of the table where Hailey and her best friend, Sarah, were selling tickets to the Homecoming Dance. Mrs. Manley had a tight perm, a bad set of fake pearls, and low self-esteem she covered up with a toothy smile. The smile fooled none of the students at St. Peter’s high school, meaning her life was pretty much a living hell of pranks, cruel graffiti, and crueler nicknames.

Click to read more of the prequel.

Deleted Scene: The Boyfriend's Back

The physical therapy was going great. He was pretty sure of that. But, and this was the point he and his dad had been going around on for the last three days, he wasn’t entirely sure of that.

Click to read entire scene.

Deleted Scene #2: The Boyfriend's Back

What if I weren't me?" JT said. "Let’s pretend I’m someone else.”
“Like Sarah?"
“No. And not your mom either. Someone from high school who left town. Who’s got an X and a Y chromosome, please.”

Click to read entire scene.