Hot and Bothered by Jennifer Bernard

Hot and Bothered

A Jupiter Point Novel
by Jennifer Bernard
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Ben, the most romantic of the smoking hot Knight brothers, knew from the moment he met his high school sweetheart, Julie deGaia, that she was the one for him. Marriage, kids…he wanted forever with Julie—until the moment she skipped town without a word. Then Ben’s father was murdered, and his life was irrevocably changed. Now, after twelve years, Julie’s back. Ben’s over her, of course. They’re completely different people now.

Right. If they’re so different, why do his feelings for her seem so damn familiar?

And how, after all this time, can she still make Ben so hot and bothered?

Julie was never supposed to return to Jupiter Point. It’s only by staying away that she’s ensured her safety. But she owes a huge debt to the wealthy and demanding Reinhard family, who took her in as a child. What the Reinhards want, they get, so here she is, dodging a handsomer-than-ever Ben Knight. Her former sweetheart has turned into a hunky pilot who aims that sexy smile at everyone except her—until he learns the truth about why she left in the first place.

If the past can’t keep Ben and Julie apart, a deadly threat in the present might. As for that idyllic future they always dreamed about? It might take some Jupiter Point magic to put this star-crossed couple on the road to happy ever after.

About Jennifer Bernard

Jennifer Bernard is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called “an irresistible reading experience” full of “quick wit and sizzling love scenes.” A graduate of Harvard and former news promo producer, she left big city life in Los Angeles for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She still hasn’t adjusted to the cold, so most often she can be found huddling with her laptop and a cup of tea. No stranger to book success, she also writes erotic romance under the name Juniper Bell.

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~ Excerpt ~ 

They pulled into the parking lot that sat above the beach. From here, a little path wound through dune grasses and coarse sand to the ocean shore. To the left, Julie spotted the little lifeguard stand where she’d spent the last two summers of high school. Since it was only staffed during the summer, sheets of plywood now covered its windows. She wondered what lucky crew of teenagers shared that job now.

“I guess that leaves us with the same question I asked before. What’s next?” Ben’s soft question sent chills along her skin. What did she want to happen next? What did he want?

“Well…I suppose we could get out of the truck,” she suggested. “Be a shame not to.”

“After coming all this way, it would seem like a waste,” he agreed. As if they’d rehearsed, they both opened their doors and swung out of the truck, a coordinated movement that reminded Julie of how in sync they’d always been.

He led the way through the dunes to the beach, which had a winter bleakness to it, now that it was exposed by the low tide. Only a few seagulls swooped and cawed overhead, occasionally landing on the heaps of seaweed left behind by the receding tide.

They picked their way past the high-tide mark, causing a sandpiper to skitter away in a rapid-fire blur of brittle legs. Julie wished she’d brought something warmer than a sweater; the wind off the ocean wicked the heat away from her.

Ben noticed, of course. He was always alert to that kind of thing. She used to tease him that she loved him mostly for his body heat. From his conflicted expression, she could tell he was hesitating about whether to put his arm around her to provide some warmth.  But he didn’t touch her this time. Instead, he shifted his position so he blocked the wind better.

Such a sweet Ben-like gesture. It made her heart ache for what used to be between them.

“What’s next? North or south? Or back to the truck and blast the heater?” Ben asked.

What’s next…

“One way or another, we need to keep moving.” She hopped from one foot to the other, trying to generate some BTUs.

Ben sidestepped around a pile of kelp. “Here’s what I think we should do. Start fresh.”

“How do you mean?”

He shrugged. “We’ve both changed. We’re not the same people we were at eighteen. I, for instance, am a hardened military veteran. I can land an A-10 Thunderbolt near the front lines as easily as I used to beat you at Ping-Pong.”

“Oh-ho. I see you still exaggerate like a champ. I beat you at least one time out of five.”

“Yeah, and that one time out of five you were wearing extra-short shorts.”

She shoved him a little. “Don’t even try to pull the ‘distracted’ card. I can play that one too. I remember each and every time you played shirtless.”

He laughed. “I barely had any muscles to show off back then. Care for a rematch?”

“Promise to keep your clothes on?”

“Not a chance. I need every edge I can get. You don’t need short shorts to be distracting any more. You’ve been distracting me since you got back.”

That confession made her heart do a slow spin of joy. “Not intentionally, believe me. I was trying to avoid you,” she admitted.

“I was trying to avoid you too.” He grinned down at her. “And see where that got us. Don’t you think destiny is trying to tell us something?”

“I gave up trying to interpret destiny a long time ago. Now I just put one foot in front of the other. And try not to trip over my shoelaces.”


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