Title: Beyond Today
Author: L. Simpson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing House
Release Date: November 15, 2017
Ticking all the boxes, the new man in Hannah's life also has
a past with enough baggage for a voyage, and she can't see how they'll make it
work between them beyond today.
When Hannah meets Howard, the elusive best man in her
friend's wedding, Hannah is instantly drawn to the damaged alpha because they
share a connection that makes her heart race and her head spin. But his past,
his family and how he slaked his sexual needs keep him prisoner, and challenges
her faith in people. With time, Hannah sees the real him, but when he does the
one thing she can’t accept, her own demons whisper: Run away from the only man
who has ever made her heart full.
No matter how shitty the day, I shed my crankiness as I got
closer to my cottage at the base of Mount Buffalo. Thoughts
of Molly’s Hen’s night and getting my groove on further lifted my
mood so when I turned down my long dirt driveway I was happy.
Inside, I gave my dogs Patsy and Eddie some attention
then rushed into the shower, almost tripping into my clawfoot
bath before putting on
my dress, more mascara and some Chanel Mademoiselle.
With five minutes to spare before I would be end-of-friendship late, I stoked
the fire, fed the hounds and headed out.
The winery was situated on a hill surrounded by grape vines
wearing their autumn coats. The wedding would be held at the renovated
butter factory that now served as the cellar at the winery. It
was made of old red brick with high ceilings and big wooden doors, and was
attached to the farmhouse where Molly lived. As I neared the house, I could
hear our friend Annie’s English accent animatedly recounting something,
and Bruce snorting in response. Walking up the back steps I was met at the
door by a relieved Dave and a near to tears Molly.
“Oh shit,” I muttered as she threw her arms around me. I
leaned down to hug her, resting my head on her blonde curly hair. She was
usually a little ray of sunshine, but not tonight.
“She won’t let me kick her out,” Dave ground out. Clearly
the twig bitch had brought her A-game. Molly shook her head and I
whispered fiercely in her ear, “She ain't got nothin’ on us.”
And she didn’t.
Molly gave me a small smile in return, but it didn’t reach
her eyes. “It’s fine, I only have a few more weeks to endure
it.” Molly had decided to tolerate Franny, but I wanted to give her a
bloody nose. I released my friend and turned to walk inside, even
“I need a fuck,” I started to say before going
smack-bang into a wall of muscle. The wall was tall because I was
staring at a tanned throat and I was no short-ass. I stumbled back before
looking up again. Fuck. I felt slammed into all over again. I’d run into a GQ
model with broad shoulders, a square jaw and short dark hair that was
faultlessly un-coiffed. I eyed his perfectly formed lips (that were turned
down) and beautiful chocolate eyes that were, at this moment, looking at me
from under raised eyebrows. I felt a pull of desire as my eyes moved
south along his body. The irony that I’d just declared I needed a fuck wasn’t
lost on me. Dave cleared his throat to snap me out of my exploration. I
blinked slowly and stepped back.
“Ah Hannah, this is Howard.” Molly introduced us, and I
could hear amusement in her voice.
So Howard was not a sixty-year-old banker, I thought,
still dazzled. It was a shame I hadn’t met him sooner. After a moment,
Dave made a strangled sound, disrupting my musing. I turned to see him looking
down trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to stifle a laugh. Bugger. I’d spoken out
loud. Now I was flushing red like a sunburnt ginger kid.
Slowly, I raised my eyes to Howard’s. “Well, Howard,
it’s a pleasure to meet the man I’ll be joining at the end of the
aisle,” I quipped as if I was hilarious. I wasn’t. This was
One Word. He didn’t need to say more—my undies
So deep and melodic, he had a voice that made my mouth go
dry and my girl parts tingle. I hadn't had sex since my ex, almost two
years ago, and that sad realisation made more blood rush to my cheeks, twice in
two minutes. Shit. I needed to lie down before I fainted.
Howard stood there looking at me, neither smiling nor
scowling, probably trying to figure out what planet I was from.
“Well, about that drink, ” I said breaking the awkward
silence abruptly, moving past him into the kitchen to drown myself in a bucket
“I can’t believe you said that out loud,” Molly
stage-whispered as she followed me, closing the door. I was humiliated but at
least Molly was smiling.
“Sorry I sounded like a complete cock. I didn’t embarrass
you too much did I? He didn’t look happy.”
“Oh, he wasn’t unhappy.” Molly smiled
“What happened? What’d I miss?”Annie rapped out as she
walked in, hands on hips and demanding an answer. Annie, my other
closest friend was also tiny like Molly, but had raven
black hair cropped short and jewel-like eyes now glittering with
anticipation. She was a smart ass. My antics were perfect cannon fodder
“Nothing.” I yawned, feigning nonchalance.
“She met him,” Molly said to Annie with a knowing wink.
I sighed. “Yeah, and I made a complete dick of
myself.” This would’ve been hysterical if I wasn’t the dick.
“Oh, I don’t think he saw it that way,” Molly said
smirking. I huffed, grabbed a drink and went through to the dining
room to get away from my friends making fun of me.
As a girl growing up, Laura was lost in the world of Anne of
Green Gables and Little Women. During high school, volleyball dominated her
life; there had to be something positive about being 6’1” with red hair.
Representing Australia from a young age she eventually took
up a scholarship at the University of Iowa. Living in America and being a
full-time athlete in a college town was an eye-opening experience and lots of
fun (from what she can remember). #gohawkeyes
Returning from the States, her career took a different turn
as she started working at the Red Cross and completed her Masters of Law in
Human Rights. As one of the few non-lawyers in the class, her essays were far
more floral than the rest, something that caused the discerning professors to
shake their heads. Through working and studying, she realised there are other
ways to win hearts and minds.
While she’s spent the last 14 years as an advocate against
poverty and homelessness, the desire to change the world through storytelling
has gotten stronger. She now lives in the Alpine Valley of North East Victoria,
Australia with her husband, daughter, two dogs and seven chooks. When
she’s not doing the whole mum thing, working at a homelessness agency,
renovating her farmhouse or trying to do laundry bleary-eyed at midnight, she