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The Life That Mattered (Life Duet #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Jewel E. Ann

Language:
English
Book Information:

Are all lives worth saving?

Ronin Alexander’s heart stops beating, but paramedics bring him back to life.

A life as a ski patroller.
An opportunity to pay it forward.
A chance to meet Evelyn Taylor at a cafe in Vancouver.

He falls hard and fast for the bath shop owner. Evelyn brings him into her world—a world where her two best friends are getting married.

A world of wealth and politics.
A world of sex and lies where the lines between friendship blur.
A world where Ronin realizes he should have stayed dead.

Are you ready to step into another dimension with this mind-bending romance, a provocative story that pushes boundaries and tests the true meaning of love?

Books in Series:

Life Duet Series by Jewel E. Ann

Books by Author:

Jewel E. Ann Books

PROLOGUE

“Can you keep a secret?”

Mom failed to answer her phone, the new normal I’d come to expect. It didn’t deter me from calling and leaving a message. Fifteen minutes earlier, my life exploded. I needed someone—anyone—at that moment.

Months ago, I should have disconnected her phone line. No one still used landlines.

And … she died.

Dead people didn’t use phones. At least, I’d always assumed they didn’t. At that moment, I felt like anything was possible. Literally anything.

I estimated that I had maybe ten more messages to leave before her mailbox reached capacity. Ten more messages before I’d disconnect her phone line, go through her things, and sell the house.

“My husband did something … with another woman.” I choked on a sob, as a deadly storm of emotions ripped through me. After a minute of strangled silence, I scrounged a tiny shred of composure and continued. “And I think I’ve known the truth. But I couldn’t say anything because it took away his pain—at least temporarily. It’s better than the alternative, right? I mean … I thought he was dying. Part of me wanted to tell him that I knew. I hate secrets. But I feared what he might do if he found out I knew, or how it would break us if I was wrong and accused him.” I wiped a few tears that forced their way free because I couldn’t erase the memory of the gun in his hand and the hopelessness on his face.

“And the worst part? I can’t tell my best friend. I can’t tell anyone … so I’m telling you because this insane part of me thinks you might have connections.” I chuckled. “Afterlife connections. Spiritual connections. Supernatural connections. I’m not really sure because I still can’t believe this is happening. I don’t actually think he’s crazy. But, Mom … it’s pretty fucking crazy. Him feeling her. It’s not right. It’s not fair.”

I closed my eyes. “Sorry for the language. But I fear—” Another sob exploded from my chest. “I fear it’s too late.”

Rubbing my swollen eyes with the heel of my hand, I blew out a slow, shaky breath. “I’m not myself at the moment. Anyway … Dad’s good.” I searched for anything to take my mind off the gun and those three terrible words he’d said to me. “Katie’s pregnant, but I’m sure she already told you that. I haven’t mentioned the affair. After her two miscarriages, I refuse to do or say anything to cause her more stress. As for me … I’m pretty sure we’re done having kids. Two is enough. Although, I thought a surprise could come along. Did I mention our sex life has been better since he’s been with her? Weird, huh? At first, I thought it was just guilt and silent remorse, but I honestly think when he leaves her, there’s this tiny window where he’s not physically in pain. So, we have sex. And it’s intense. It’s mind-blowing.”

I sighed into the phone. “A little surprise is no longer a possibility. I officially hate surprises. And…” I closed my eyes, seeing the gun and that look—irrevocable despair “…I think it’s too late for new beginnings. Today I saw the end.” I let a few more tears come to life before pulling back my sleeve to glance at my watch. “I love you, Mom. I miss you. And if you don’t have any connections to help my situation, don’t feel bad. I’ll figure something out. Just the possibility that you’re listening is enough. Today I miss you more…” the next round of emotions burned my eyes “…than I have in all the months you’ve been gone. Today I j-just really n-need my mom.”

Falling in love tomorrow is such a waste of today.

CHAPTER ONE

Six Years Earlier

Third wheel.

Tagalong.

Odd woman out.

For two years I played this awkward role. When did I lose my self-respect?

“I love Canada,” my best friend, Lila, declared as she helped me pack for our threesome trip to Vancouver—tagalong me, Lila, and her fiancé, Graham Porter.

Porter Realty.

Porter Investments.

Porter Communications.

Porter Arena.

Senator Alfred Porter.

Representative Grant Porter.

Mayor Isabel Porter.

The Porters had a presence and financial investment in everything. They represented the one percent, and they did it in style.

“I’m glad Graham has meetings, so we’ll get to hang out without me feeling like I’m cock-blocking your fiancé.” I zipped my suitcase as Lila plopped down onto my bed.

“Stop it with the third wheel thing. We’re all friends. We were all friends before anything romantic started between Graham and me. Well, except for that part where I hated him. Anyway, he likes you better outside of the bedroom.”

I laughed, acknowledging the truth with an easy nod. Graham was my best guy friend.

When he found out my parents couldn’t afford treatment for my father’s failing kidneys, he arranged for his family to pay for everything, and he made sure Dad received the best doctors. My father owed the Porter family for his extended life.


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