Bad Behavior by Jennifer Lane
Excerpt from Chapter 3, Conjoined
Sophie and Grant in couples therapy with Dr. Hunter Hayes
Hunter stole a glance at the clownfish in the aquarium rather than meeting the stunning crystal-blue eyes of his client, then broke the silence. “One thing I typically ask clients to do in the first session is set goals for therapy. We had some, uh, catching up to do in our first meeting, though, and ran out of time.”
Sophie managed a sly grin.
“What would you like to accomplish in here?” Hunter continued. “What would you like to improve or change? Grant, how about you go first.”
Grant looked startled. Tapping his fingers on his thigh, he eventually said, “My one and only goal is to stay out of prison.”
Hunter was dismayed. “Meaning that if you don’t come to counseling, your PO will put you back in prison? You’re only here because you’re mandated to be?”
“That goal sucks, Grant.”
Both Sophie’s and Grant’s eyebrows shot up, and Hunter decided to explain further.
“What I meant,” he said, trying again, “was that I understand you’re mandated to be here. But you could really get something out of this, Grant. You could work on improving your relationship with Sophie, which I know means a lot to you. You could explore some life goals for yourself, now that you’re trying to make a fresh start. The sky’s the limit. For you to just sit here and tell me you’re fine — well, that’s a total waste of time for you and for me.”
Grant had been inching up straighter and taller with each word out of Hunter’s mouth, and by the time the psychologist finished with the diatribe, he sat rigidly erect on the sofa. His eyes attentive and his mood sober, he replied, “Yes, sir.”
“So I’ll ask you again, what are your goals for therapy?”
Stealing a helpless glance at his girlfriend, Grant began sweating. He felt like he was back in college ROTC again, enduring a quiz about Navy history from a superior.
Sophie watched him squirm, and she offered, “Do you want to deal with your nightmares?”
Grant whipped his head toward her, disconcerted by her question. “Uh — um — ”
“You’re having nightmares?” Hunter interjected.
“Not really,” Grant lied.
Sophie frowned. Although they’d only spent the night together perhaps four times, on two of those occasions Grant’s sleep had been interrupted by what appeared to be intensely distressing nightmares.
“You said something about improving our relationship, sir?” Grant quickly added, redirecting the conversation. “That would be one of my goals.”
“Okay, and what would you like to improve about the relationship?”
We need to stop lying to each other, Sophie supplied silently on Grant’s behalf.
Then Grant turned to her and shrugged. “I don’t really know how we could improve our relationship. It’s perfect already.”
Hunter watched Sophie practically swoon over Grant’s comment, and he chuckled. “Well, my work is done here. Your relationship’s already perfect.”
Noticing Hunter’s grin, Sophie said, “Our relationship is awesome. Grant’s right about that.” She clasped his hand. “But I do have an idea for something we could work on.” Sophie took a deep breath. “Um, I think we need to be more open with each other.”
Hunter nodded. “I agree. There’s quite a bit you two seem not to know about each other.”
And a lot I don’t want Sophie to know, Grant thought.
Description from Goodreads: Grant Madsen’s got issues. He’s still battling his Mafia family and doing everything possible to keep his loved ones safe. With the cruising season coming to an end, he has to find another job soon or he’ll rejoin his father in prison. And he’s trying to convince his rebellious teenage nephew to stay away from their criminal relatives (you can imagine how that’s going). But worst of all, Grant’s parole officer has mandated that he attend therapy.
The only saving grace is that they’re couples sessions with his girlfriend, Sophie Taylor, a fellow parolee who’s struggling with a few issues of her own. Sophie desperately hopes her past with Grant’s brother won’t destroy her future with him. There’s a sleazy professor at work who revels in sexually harassing women in the psychology department. And her father still hates Grant.
Their psychologist has his work cut out for him.
When Grant’s ruthless father hints at a plot to get out of prison, Grant must use everything he’s learned in therapy and beyond to try to stop him. It’s a race against time -- and a race to rescue Sophie from the Mafia’s clutches once again. But this time McSailor and Bonnie refuse to play victims. This time the cuffs are coming off.
About Jennifer Lane:
After surviving the rigors of writing a psychology dissertation, the author known as Jennifer Lane has happily turned to writing fiction. She still maintains her psychology practice in Ohio, but please rest assured that she's not psychoanalyzing you right now. The tales of healing and resilience from her career have inspired her to write her own stories: The Conduct
Jennifer Lane, Author
Romantic Suspense featuring Healing and Redemption
With Good Behavior (The Conduct Series #1) released July, 2010
Bad Behavior (The Conduct Series #2) released March, 2011
Summer Breeze Anthology (short story Swim Recruit) released July, 2011
Facebook: Jennifer Lane, The Conduct Series
Goodreads: Jennifer Lane
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