Building Forever is the first in a series of standalone novels focused on older characters who think love has passed them by. I loved writing these second chance romances, and I hope you enjoy reading about the books—especially this one because Charlie and Simon will forever be the characters who started me on this journey.
About Building Forever
A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.
Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.
Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.
But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.
Building Forever Excerpt
Simon is so delightfully shy. He’s not the awkward kind of shy, though. He’s confident enough in himself to brazen things through. But he is the quiet kind. Thankfully, that confidence will allow him to stand still long enough for the world to move forward around him, and for the invitations he wants to come his way.
Are You Busy?
Simon spent the short walk next door thinking of excuses to visit, only to be disappointed when the doorbell didn’t chime, or produce a requisite barking and thunder of footsteps. Simon poked the little button again. Nothing. He raised his hand to knock, but the door opened half a second before his knuckles could tap the wood. Charlie stood in the doorway, blinking in the sunlight. He had a pencil clenched between his teeth, a notebook in one hand, and a tape measure in the other.
Simon let his hand drift back down to his side. “Your doorbell doesn’t seem to be working.”
As if they’d agreed to test the doorbell together, Charlie tucked the tape measure into a pocket and flipped open the notebook. He plucked the pencil from his teeth and wrote: fix doorbell. That done, he looked up with a smile—the same one that had charmed Simon the previous weekend: wide, friendly, effortless, as though the man walked about with his mouth permanently curved, his eyes always sparkling with humor and life.
“Thanks for the reminder,” he said. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to know who you use for your cable.” The perfect excuse. Plausible and simple. “I’d have called, but I don’t have your number.”
Was it Simon’s imagination, or did Charlie flush slightly? Probably the sun on his face. Regardless, Charlie turned to a fresh page of the notebook and started writing. Then he stuffed the pencil back between his teeth and tore out the page.
Simon did not imagine the tingle as their fingers touched. Resolutely, he didn’t glance up to see if Charlie had registered the small charge.
The list started with a name, Charlie King, and included an address, two phone numbers, one marked cell, and an email address.
Simon quirked an eyebrow. “What, no emergency contact?”
Charlie definitely reddened this time. He also gave a wry smile before snatching the page back and scribbling some more. “You’re lucky I didn’t give you my health insurance information and a list of Liv’s allergies.” He handed the page back. Under Charlie’s email was a second, and the name and number of the cable provider. Simon smiled at the less than professional addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
“All the cable around here is crap,” Charlie said. “So it’s pick the pile that stinks the least, you know? It’s the wires, they’re old. But Valley Net is rolling out fiber in town, so hopefully we’ll get it up here soon.”
“And Auntie Cassie?”
“Emergency contact.” Grinning, Charlie gestured toward the hedge on the other side of his property. “Anything I don’t know, Cassie will. She’ll probably stop by sometime soon to welcome you to the neighborhood and try to press you into the watch we’ve never managed to organize.”
“Ah, okay. I’ll, um, look forward to her visit.” Simon started folding the sheet, smoothing each crease as a way to delay the inevitable. He’d asked for assistance, Charlie had rendered it. The meeting was at an end. By the time he’d reduced the list to a tiny square, he couldn’t put it off any longer. Simon glanced up—and met Charlie’s gaze. It was neither expectant nor impatient. Rather, he maintained his aura of welcome friendliness.
“Are you busy?” Charlie asked. “I was about to measure the porch and start sketching out ideas. I could definitely use your advice or expertise or whatever, if you’ve got a minute.”
“Sure.” Simon fought a grin as he slipped the little square into the pocket of his pants.
About the This Time Forever Series
Small towns and second chances.
Simon, Frank, and Brian think love has passed them by. Each is facing down his fiftieth birthday—Simon in a few years, Frank next year, and Brian soon enough. Each has loved and lost. But for these men, everything old really is new again, and it’s only when they return to their roots that they’ll find their second chances and the happily ever after they’ve been waiting their whole lives for.
This time it’s forever.
This series includes:
- Building Forever — releasing October 15, available now!
- Renewing Forever — releasing November 12, available for preorder!
- Chasing Forever — releasing December 10, available soon!
About Kelly Jensen
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories about the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas, and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, cowritten with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
Connect with Kelly:
- Website: kellyjensenwrites.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites/
- Twitter: twitter.com/kmkjensen
- Tumblr: kmkjensen.tumblr.com/
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kmkjensen/
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/kellyjensenwrites/
To celebrate the release of Building Forever one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and a swag pack of stickers, art cards, and bookmarks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 20, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!