The Necklace II – Back to Brighton, November 1962 by Linda S Rice
This is book #2 of a 6-book time-travel romance series. Book #1 of the series (The Necklace – The Dusky Club, June 1962) is permanently free on Amazon.
It’s been five months since Susan and her best friend, Lynn, returned from their short journey to the past. While on a girl’s cruise, they’d met two ladies from Haiti, one who had “the sight.” She had instantly read into Susan’s soul, discovering an obsession Susan held within herself for a certain person for almost fifty years. To cure her of this obsession and make Susan realize that what she had in the present was far better than anything she would ever have had with James, she sent Susan back to the year 1962 to meet the real flesh and blood James.
The love affair that ensued between James and Susan was tempestuous and stormy. It wasn’t long before Susan realized that James wasn’t the perfection she’d made him out to be. As the seven day journey came to an end, she felt almost relieved to return to the present.
One impetuous action, however, was to throw a complication into what Susan was intended to learn from the trip. Although she came back fully understanding that her present life was near perfection compared to anything she could have had with James, something keeps tugging at her heart, something that won’t allow her to fully let go of her feelings for him.
In desperation, she contacts the ladies from Haiti, only to find out that the ballerina necklace she left in the past with James is serving as a link between them and that the only way to break it, will be to go back into the past again to retrieve it.
At midnight on a cold November evening, Susan is again transported back in time to November 1962, back to the Dusky Club, where James and the boys, who will one day become the most famous band of all time, are still engaged to play.
Will Susan be able to retrieve her necklace from the past and bring it back into the present? Will the link between her and James finally be broken?
Targeted Age Group:: Adult audiences only
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The inspiration for this book series came from friends after I jokingly mentioned how I'd love to travel back in time to meet a teenage crush I had back in the 1960s. As many of my friends all had the same teenage crush experience, they egged me on to write a time-travel romance that would make all our fantasies come true. The first book was actually intended to be the last, the moral of the story being that what you wish for often doesn't turn out to be better than what you already have. But, my readers fell in love with my two main characters, James and Susan, and asked for more. And, as James and Susan invaded my brain, I continued their love story with Susan desperately trying to stay in the past with James. As I typed, it almost seemed as if James and Susan had taken over and were writing their story for me.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My main male character, James, is based on a real-life person who I will not name, but who developed into a fictional character and young man of his time (the early 1960s). As a talented musician, he is arrogant and self-centered. Being from a poor, working-class family, he has very specific ideas on how females should behave. He is bossy and controlling and his youth (at the beginning of the series) makes it difficult for him to control his emotions and temper. But he is also a man who is caring, honest, loves deeply and passionately and has an over-the-top sex drive…much to the surprise and delight of Susan.
Because I love feisty female characters, Susan developed into a challenge to James's chauvinistic personality causing them to constantly buck up against each other. Sparks constantly fly between them in their relationship as well as in the bedroom. Susan, being a liberated and fiercely independent woman from the future, is also stubborn, jumps to conclusions, and has an uncontrollable jealous streak making their relationship full of fire along with the passion.
The hotel room door closed behind Susan and she heard James turn the lock. She spun around to look at him.
“Locking us in, are you?” She smiled at him.
“Yes,” he said, looking at her in an almost shy way.
She tilted her head to the side with a query in her eyes.
“Go there,” he said, pointing to the middle of the room. “And close your eyes for a minute.”
She looked at him questioningly but moved forward a few feet then closed her eyes. “What’s this all about?” she wondered.
She heard him go to the side of the room and fuss around for a few minutes then drag something towards her.
He had removed the tablecloth that was covering the items on the desk and lit the candles.
“Okay,” he said. “You can open your eyes now.”
When she opened them, she saw there was a chair in front of her that he’d moved over from the desk under the window. Her eyebrows raised as she spotted the lit candles along with the glasses, champagne bottle and bowl of strawberries on the desk.
“Go ahead and sit down,” he instructed.
“Okay,” she responded, slowly lowering herself into the chair. She was more than puzzled until he suddenly went down on his knees in front of her. She sucked in her breath and her eyes widened, terrified at what he was about to say.
He looked up at her adoringly and with so much love in his eyes that it hurt her to look at him. The pupils of his gorgeous hazel eyes were dark and she could see the beginning of tears forming in the corners. The amber highlights sparkled. His lips were trembling. He looked down for a moment as he reached into his trouser pocket, drawing out a small box. His eyes were downcast as he lifted the lid.
“I know this isn’t much… but it was all I could afford…” he whispered. “When we’re famous, I’ll get you a bigger one…” His voice trailed off. He looked up into her face. She could see tears glistening on his long lashes.
“I love you so much, Susan…Will you be mine forever?” he asked. “Will you marry me?”
She stood up so fast, the chair toppled to the carpeted floor behind her. She covered her face with both hands and turned away from him.
What, oh what, had she done? Why hadn’t she been paying attention? How had things got to this?!!!
Then she remembered the song he had sang to her before dinner.
Oh my God!!!!
An intense self-loathing washed over her and she squeezed her eyes shut. She knew he had fallen in love with her last June when she was here, and she felt she had fallen in love with him too. But then, after reflecting on their tempestuous relationship, she’d realized that she didn’t really love him after all, not in the sense of a life-long love. She’d gone back to her life in the future with a renewed outlook on her current relationship, and if it weren’t for the necklace, and whatever magic it held, she wouldn’t have come back.
She knew that her leaving had broken his heart, especially when he didn’t hear from her and couldn’t find her. He’d kept the necklace on too, and even though he was with other girls, he’d never forgotten her. He’d never stopped loving her.
And then she came back.
She came to get the necklace, nothing more, and she could have had it and disappeared again before he even knew what had happened. She would have become a dim memory to him and it all would have been over and done with. She wouldn’t have seen Mel again. She wouldn’t have met Auntie Annabelle or Auntie Ginny.
But, no… No! She’d selfishly decided she wanted to be with him again. Have him hold her in his arms again, feel the magic and excitement of the band as they were on the cusp of becoming world-famous. She’d taunted and teased him and deliberately drove him crazy with her rebelliousness and rampant hormones. She’d toyed with him. She hadn’t even really thought about being in love with him again, knowing her time here was limited and that she’d have to go back again.
Leave him again.
Break his heart again.
If she’d only been paying attention, she would have realized her coming back had not only renewed his love for her, but it had consumed him. If she’d only listened to John’s warnings and opened her eyes to what was so obviously happening.
But she hadn’t. All she’d thought about was herself and “being in the moment,” building new memories to take back with her. She hadn’t even tried all that hard to get the necklace back, letting her 17-year-old hormones have their way. Letting whatever power he had over her run loose and unchecked.
She’d given no serious thought or consideration as to what he was feeling other than the pleasure they could give each other in the bedroom.
She was devastated and caught up in so many lies, she didn’t know what she could say now to rectify anything.
She heard him stand up behind her and gently turn her around to face him, a pained and agonized look on his face. Their eyes met for a brief moment before she looked away. She couldn’t think of one single word to say.
He gently lifted one of his hands and turned her face back towards his. She saw a tear drop onto his cheek and wished she could cry herself, but she was beyond tears, hating herself and hating what she had done to him.
“You love me, don’t you, Susan?” he asked, his eyes pinned onto hers, imploring her to say “yes” and explain away why she was reacting to him this way.
When she didn’t respond, his arms dropped to his sides and his shoulders slumped. He looked down at the floor then back up at her. The ring dropped from his fingers onto the carpet.
She took a step backwards, then another, biting her lip.
It suddenly seemed as if a light came on inside of his head as he stared at her face.
“Is there someone else?” he asked quietly.
She shook her head from side to side as she took two more steps backward away from him, but even though she shook her head “no,” he could see the truth in her eyes.
“Tell me the truth, Susan,” he said, a hard and pained look coming over his face. “Is there someone else?”
When she still didn’t respond, he moved forward and shoved her back against the hotel room door, raising his voice.
“There is someone else, isn’t there? Someone you met when you were gone. Tell me!”
She shook her head again, whispering, “No, oh, please… no… don’t ask me…”
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