Buy now from your favorite source:

Books

Judy Uncensored by Debra Salonen

Judy Uncensored

Available in print from CreateSpace!

Call it a “little blue pill epiphany.”

She may be 50-something, trapped in a dead-end job and worried her get-up-‘n-go got up and went, but Judy Banger isn’t ready to throw in the towel. Too bad her first attempt to re-ignite her sex life winds up with a 911 call. And she knows it’s absolutely wrong of her to cry on the shoulder of a sexy carpenter with a Mrs. Robinson fixation, but it’s not like she’s going to meet the man of her dreams any time soon, right? Especially not in a hotel room where her ill-conceived plans to take control of her life flew out the window the minute a sexy young cop showed up…with a second set of handcuffs.

Judge Wilson “Wiley” Canby embodies the fire and smoldering angst of every romance hero Judy ever imagined all in one perfect package. Too bad Judy’s never considered herself romance heroine material. And to make matters worse, their first meeting involves a black lace bustier, fishnet stockings and a whip named Gerald. Judy’s doomed…unless, of course, Wiley’s ready to explore his naughty side, too.

EXCERPT from Judy Uncensored:

Chapter 16

“Judge Canby, so good to see you again. Are you meeting someone?”
Wiley greeted the hostess with a smile. Tall, willowy, available. She’d made that clear by flirting with him non-stop any time he came in alone. He’d considered asking her out. Now, he was glad he hadn’t. “I am. Her name is Judy. Do you have a table under the canopy?”

Wiley greeted the hostess with a smile. Tall, willowy, available. She’d made that clear by flirting with him non-stop any time he came in alone. He’d considered asking her out. Now, he was glad he hadn’t. “I am. Her name is Judy. Do you have a table under the canopy?”

“For you? Of course, right this way.”

She hid her disappointment well, chattering about the weather as she led the way through the urban-styled restaurant that could have served as an art gallery given the dozen or so modern paintings on the wall. “New crop?” he asked.

“Yes. The owner got these on loan from an artist’s co-op in the city.”

San Francisco. One of his favorite places on the planet. Maybe he’d take Judy there this weekend or next. They’d stay near Union Square and walk everywhere. Have dim sum in Chinatown.

He missed what the hostess said.

“Pardon?”

“Coffee today or herbal iced tea? It’s pomegranate/blueberry.”

He pictured Judy with her huge water jug. “Water to start. We might try the tea later. Thank you.”

She lingered–mostly out of habit, he assumed. Wiley tried to be polite but was relieved when she returned to her post. He needed to try to get his game face on before Judy arrived. Normally, this was not a problem. He’d had years of practice being serious, sincere and pensive. His job required it. He heard arguments, weighed the facts as presented, balanced conjecture and emotion against the rigid interpretation of the law, and made thoughtful and, hopefully, rational verdicts. He held people’s fate in his hands. He’d never once phoned in a decision–until this morning.

Thank God, the defendant changed his mind and grabbed the plea bargain within minutes of hearing the prosecutor’s opening salvo. The guy was guilty. He’d been caught with drugs in his pocket and in his blood stream, along with a list of deliveries he would have made…if he hadn’t run a red light.

The deal got him into a drug treatment program and helped him avoid a second strike. It kept Wiley from zoning out on the bench–or worse, sitting there with a hard on. Maybe I’m the one who needs some kind of treatment. Having sex with Judy Banger was all he could think about.

He took a big gulp of water at the same instant she walked in the door.

“Wiley, hi,” she called, completely ignoring the hostess who did not rush to seat her the way she had with Wiley. Judy wound her way through the tables, not once glancing at the artwork on the walls. That blinders-on focus said more to him than all the fawning compliments and flirtatious glances he’d ever received. She was there to see him, not art.

Impulsively, he stood and flipped a twenty on the table. “Change of plan. I’m playing hooky from work.” He put his finger to his lips. “Don’t tell anybody. Are you free to join me?”

She glanced around, as if expecting someone to jump out and cry, “Surprise.” After a second or two of thought, she shrugged. “Having my afternoons to myself is one benefit of being jobless…until the next round of bills come in. But I am kinda hungry,” she added. “Family drama triggers a need for comfort food.”

He led the way to the exit, glad to see the hostess was busy behind the register. “Oh, we’ll eat. Just not here. I’m thinking of some place a lot less stuffy. Does that work for you?”

“Anything works for me,” she said. He thought he heard her add, “If I’m with you.” Or maybe he imagined it. Either way, her answer was the one he wanted to hear.

Forty minutes later, they sat across from each other on his shady patio. The dappled light from the eucalyptus added a scented ambience that beat the heck out of the restaurant. He unpacked the sandwiches, sides, vinegar and sea salt chips and chocolate chip cookies he’d picked up at the deli.

“That’s quite a spread for two people,” Judy said, nibbling on a chip. “Are you expecting company?”

“I’m a sucker for leftovers.” Plus, if things worked out as he hoped, they might need a midnight snack.

He’d texted his clerk to cancel court, blaming his absence on bad sushi. He doubted anyone would question his lie. He’d been the epitome of responsibility his entire career.

She unwrapped a sandwich, studiously arranging it just so on the china plate he’d pulled from the cupboard. When she failed to look up or smile, he knew something was bothering her. “Tell me what’s wrong, Judy. You’re disappointed about lunch? We can eat there every day next week.”

She inhaled deeply. His gaze dropped to her chest. How could it not? He hadn’t stopped thinking about her lush, beautiful body. He wanted to make love with her so badly he had a perpetual woody. Wouldn’t Fletcher laugh if he knew his dad had turned into a horny reprobate who lusted after a woman he barely knew?

“Wiley, you’re great. I like you. A lot. In fact, a lot more than I have any business liking any man right now.”

“What do you mean ‘right now’?”

She plucked a sesame seed off the bun and popped it in her mouth. “For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing exactly what I wanted without stopping to consider the consequences or taking into account who might get hurt by my actions. In other words…I’ve been acting like a man. No offense to your gender.”

He leaned forward, elbows bracketing his plate. “Believe me, you’re not the only woman attempting to level the playing field. What does that have to do with us?”

Her lips formed a pouty frown. “If I’d met you before Buddy and you’d brought me here to share this romantic picnic, I’d have said, ‘Screw the food, let’s get it on.’ And we’d have been upstairs in your bed so damn…I mean, darn…fast, you’d be wondering what happened to your jockeys.”

His pulse quickened and his hard-on got harder. “And that’s a bad thing how?”

She tossed up her hands. “I think I’ve given you the wrong impression. I did a little swinging when I was married, but I’ve dated six guys in all the years since my divorce. That includes Buddy.

“Like I said, I gave into his pleading because I wanted to thumb my nose at society and say, ‘Hey, screw this. I may be old, but I’m not dried up and ready to throw in my vibrator.’ But that doesn’t make me easy.”

“I know you’re not. Apparently, I’ve forgotten every dating protocol I ever knew. We should have eaten lunch at the restaurant, gone to a movie, changed our relationship status on Facebook…” That brought a smile, as he’d hoped. “Judy, I’m sorry. I’m not making excuses, but everything you said applies to me, too. Well, not the vibrator, but…I’ve let work and responsibility–and maybe the past–keep me from fully engaging in life. When I’m with you, I feel exhilarated and optimistic and whatever the opposite of bored is. I apologize if I jumped to the wrong conclusion, but I thought–after last night–that you and I were on the same page.”

Her smile looked sad. “As you had every right considering my hand was on your…you know. But this morning at Heritage House, something changed. My mother tried to use me against my sister…normally, it’s the other way around.”

She let out a sigh. “I think a part of me has been waiting my whole life to be the favorite. But, Mom’s crazy mind games didn’t work. Instead of feeling special, I felt sorry for her. I know who I am, and I like who am. I don’t need her approval anymore.” She blushed. “Dang. I sound like a guest on Oprah, right?”

“You sound like Judy. This doesn’t surprise me.”

Her look screamed, “Blow me.”

“Really?” she asked. “Because I spent most of my life believing I was destined to screw up…so, I did.”

He took her hand. “You’ve worked hard to provide for yourself. By doing your job you helped a lot of people live out their final years with dignity and joy. You paid taxes and never robbed a bank, right? How’s that screwing up?”

He could tell she liked his reasoning but didn’t quite buy his argument. He scooted his chair a little closer. “Judy, I’ve lived the most normal, by-the-book life you could imagine. Did that protect me from loss and sadness? No. So, where did such upright, rule playing get me? I’m fifty-five. Alone. Stuck in a job that sucks any smidgeon of joy from my day. Did I mention the first thing I reach for when I walk through the door at night is the cognac?”

She squeezed his hand. Her warmth, her empathetic smile made it easy to say, “I’m not an impetuous person. Ask Fletcher. It took me two weeks to make up my mind about whether or not to buy the Prius. But from the moment I met you, I haven’t been able to think about anything–anyone–else. I want to get to know you better. I think we’d be good together.” Coward. Tell her how you really feel.

But before he could add, “I think I may even be in love with you,” she dropped her chin to her chest and shook her head.

“I can’t see you anymore, Wiley.”

“Why?”

She let go of his hands and jumped to her feet. “I’m moving. After I left Mom’s, I decided I like myself too much right now to let her negativity pull me down. She can’t help how she is. She’s my mother and I love her, but I love myself enough to run like hell. So, I called Fletcher and told him I’d take the job. I’m going to manage his new club.”

“His sex club?”

She nodded. “He’ll need help with the paperwork. Southern California is a fresh start and a five-hour drive from Mom. Does that make me a coward? Maybe. But I prefer to label it an act of self-preservation.”

He called on all his years of judicial practice to keep from showing his disappointment. “When do you leave? Today?”

She blinked. “Heavens, no. It’ll take me a couple of weeks to get all my ducks in a row.”

He pointed at the table. “Then you have time for lunch?”

She pressed her hand to her belly. “I do, but…I just broke up with you. Didn’t I?”

He chuckled and waved away the idea. “We aren’t exactly a couple, Judy. You don’t owe me anything. I like you. I would have liked the chance to get to know you better. If you have time for dinner or a movie–even a jog together–before you leave, that would be great. If not, then this–whatever this is between us–wasn’t meant to be.” He pointed to the table. “But we can still enjoy lunch together, can’t we?”

Judy took a deep breath and thought about what he was asking. Had she truly, honestly turned down a chance to date the man of her dreams? She could almost hear Pru’s shriek of horror from Iceland. “You are the world’s biggest dope, Judy. Strip him, screw him and let your mother go f-herself.”

The Judy Banger of not so long ago would have done that. But look where jumping into bed with Buddy, Jed and the ménage had gotten her. If she had the guts to stand up to her mother, surely she was brave enough to hold out for Mr. Right. And, despite being physically attracted to this gorgeous hunk of a man, she knew how high the odds were stacked against them ever becoming a couple.

But a girl had to eat.

“Lunch,” she said stupidly. “Of course. Sorry. My head’s all over the place.”

She sat, tucked the linen napkin her host had brought from the house on her lap and picked up her giant sandwich. Her brain hadn’t been on food when she ordered. She’d still been trying to figure out why Wiley had been so set on leaving the Midtown Diner. To avoid being seen with me? Or did his agenda have more to do with the look of desire she’d read on his face as he watched her walk toward his table?

No trace of that desire remained now, she thought, watching him chew a bite of his Reuben. She’d doused those smoldering embers like a rainstorm on a campfire.

They dined with the stiff formality of polite adults who’d lived long enough to fake small talk with artificial grace. The whole thing felt as empty as the calories she consumed without really tasting. And she knew exactly who was to blame.

Although generally she made a point of avoiding contentious subjects at mealtime–Thank you, Mom–Judy decided to risk heartburn–and heartache. “Why’d we leave the restaurant, Wiley? Because you didn’t want to be seen with me?”

His shock appeared real. “Of course, not. Why would you say that?”

“The Midtown’s popular with the D.A. and the Chief of Police. Fletcher’s ex-partner said a lot of awful things about me. Small towns…people gossip…word gets around. Your reputation could be tarnished.”

He shook his head. “I doubt that. Nor do I care. But you’re right about living in a fish bowl. I didn’t want to feel as though our every movement was being analyzed–not because you’re Judy Banger, but because I’m Judge Wilson Canby.”

She honestly hadn’t considered that.

“I’m sorry if that rattled you, Judy. I should have asked your opinion, instead of imperiously demanding we leave. Can you tell my social graces are a little rusty?”

Can you tell I’m a little neurotic? Before she could comment, her phone started to play a familiar tune. “Oh, sorry. I left the ringer on in case my sister snapped and wound up murdering Mom.”

She started to turn it off, but Wiley shook his head. “Take it. I’ll get us more iced tea.” Her glass had room for about half an inch of liquid.

She chewed fast and swallowed before answering. “Fletcher, what’s up? Did you change your mind about hiring me?”

Wiley’s son’s laugh sounded identical to his father’s. “Of course not. I wanted to update you on Buddy’s memorial service. Lewis just confirmed with the Veteran’s Cemetery. They’ll inter his ashes this coming Sunday.”

“My goodness. That’s not a lot of warning. How can I help?”

“Lew’s going to email you a flier. If you’d print a few copies and post them around town…maybe, one at the bar and another at Heritage House? Wherever you think appropriate. Oh, and Lewis said to tell you he really hopes you’ll be there.”

“Of course. I wouldn’t miss it.”

“Thanks. And, by the way, he thought hiring you was brilliant. His word. We’ll try to talk more at the funeral, but Lew will have his kids, so we probably won’t have much of a chance.”

She said a hurried goodbye as soon as she spotted Wiley returning. She hadn’t told Fletcher about meeting his dad. That hadn’t been a problem until he offered her a job–and she’d accepted. Now, she felt duplicitous. Which made her feel all the guiltier about wanting to jump Wiley’s bones.

“I am one sick individual,” she murmured under her breath.

“Pardon?” Wiley asked, his hip brushing against her arm as he stopped to set down her glass.

The contact set off an electric frisson that sparked mini-explosions in hormone centers around her body. Her nipples puckered. She crossed her legs and sat a bit straighter, trying not to wiggle and jiggle in the parts of her body that lived to wiggle and jiggle.

Wiley must have picked up some kind of silent “I’m-hot-and-ready” signal on his man radar because he pulled his chair directly across from her and sat, hunching forward so their torsos were only a foot or so apart. “Judy, can we be frank with each other?”

Any closer to those let-me-jump-in-and-swim blue eyes and she’d be frankly ripping off his shirt. Stalling, she grabbed her glass and took a drink. Unfortunately, the condensation on the side splashed onto her upper chest and trickled straight toward her cleavage. Wiley caught the drop on his finger and popped it in his mouth. A little icky but also a lot sexy.

Judy’s self-control evaporated. Two weeks of hot and heavy dreams, lusting and thrusting with her dream Wiley, flashed across the screen in her head.

“Could we…um…get it on, instead?”

His head cocked to one side. “Seriously?”

“Doesn’t have to be serious. I like fast, fun and frivolous. What about you?”

He tossed back his head and laughed. “Never tried it that way, but I’m game, if you are.”

Was she?

No.

Yes.

Yes, please.

His grin told her the last answer was the one that came out.

She stood and took his hand. “We should take this party inside…you being a judge and all.”

He rose and pulled her to him. “Screw the judge. This is Wiley and Judy doing whatever pleases them.” He kissed her hard and fast. Then he grabbed her hand, and they dashed like naughty little children into the house.






Her Forever Gift -- Free!