More Than Love
Jenkins Family & Friends ​​

Going from friends to lovers doesn’t come easy…

Corporate Attorney Benjamin Jenkins is one of Cincinnati’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s only interested in one woman—Makena Nichols. Though life took them in different directions, they’ve been friends for over forty years. Now Ben wants more than just friendship. He wants all of her.

Makena compares every man, including her ex-husband, to Ben. He’s her heart. She’s crazy about him, and what they share is more than love. But she’s not willing to risk their friendship for a romance that might not last. However, Ben is persistent, and her stubbornness is no match to his.

When a Jenkins’ family secret shatters Ben’s world, Makena is the one he turns to. But will their friendship survive a roller-coaster of emotions? Or will their eternal love bring them through this challenging time?

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“Come here.” Ben pulled her close.

Makena didn’t protest. Instead she wrapped her arms around his neck and placed her chin on his shoulder. She might be afraid to risk their friendship for something more serious, but there was one thing she couldn’t deny. Being in Ben’s strong arms felt like home. Warm. Comfortable. Safe. It felt right. He felt right.

She inhaled his fresh scent, a combination of his natural redolence and the body wash in the guest bathroom. Makena loved everything about this man. He was intelligent, kind, honorable, and the most dependable man she knew. He was everything she desired. What if she was making a mistake by not taking their relationship to the next level? What if she kept the distance between them, and another woman came along and snagged his attention? She would never know if they could be more than friends if she didn’t give them a chance.

No. No. No, her common sense screamed inside of her. I can’t. We can’t, she told herself.

Ben moved slightly, and Makena’s head shot up. Their gazes collided, and before she could process what was happening, his mouth settled over hers. The realization that he was…that she was…that they were kissing each other, hit Makena like a two-by-four against her head.

The kiss was urgent, yet exploratory. She knew she should stop what he had started. She knew she should push him away. She even knew the last thing they should be doing was kissing. But man if she wasn’t enjoying the moment.

The kiss quickly grew more intense, sending the pit of her stomach into a tailspin. Ben’s hold on her tightened and he deepened their connection. Makena’s brain told her to back away, but the desire pulsing through her body said no, not yet.

“Well, it’s about time.”

Ben and Makena startled apart like two teenagers getting caught making out in the back seat of a car. She tried catching her breath as her heart practically pounded out of her chest and her hand hovered over her mouth.

Her daughter Ava stood at the opening of the kitchen, grinning like she was just notified that she had won Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.

“Does that mean that you approve?” Ben asked, his grin matching Ava’s.

Makena swatted his arm as embarrassment swirled inside of her. “There’s nothing to approve. That ki— Uh, this,” she stammered, shocked that she hadn’t heard her daughter enter the house. “This is not what it looked like.”

Ava burst out laughing. “Well, it looked like a whole lotta something to me.” She strolled toward them, still grinning and walked into Ben’s arms, greeting him with a hug like usual. “Hey, Uncle Ben. Are those your famous pancakes I smell?” she asked, searching the kitchen.

“Yeah, there’s plenty left in the warming drawer. Help yourself. We’ve eaten.”

Ava’s gaze bounced from Ben to Makena. “Really? ’Cause you guys still look a little hungry to me.”
Copyright © March 2020 by Sharon C. Cooper