Karen’s Killer Book Bench #SecondChance #Romantic #Suspense: THE THEATRE by Marsha R. West

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Second Chance Romantic Suspense



When Kelly Lawson, New York TV actress returns home to Texas to choreograph and direct for her local theatre, she accuses a Glenview police officer of harassing two of their gay actors. Police Chief Josh Kincaid, the most recent man her mother has selected to be Kelly’s love interest investigates, causing upsets in town politics and falling under the actress’ spell. Is there a way to bring their two worlds together? How can Josh keep Kelly, her cast, and crew alive?

Second Chance Romantic Suspense


“Kelly. Kelly.”

A voice she’d recognize in the middle of a bazaar in India. The low tones of the Texas twang said you’re loved. Kelly Lawson pivoted toward a short, blonde woman making her way through the crowd. Her soft voice requested people step aside. Jane Lawson, the epitome of politeness. In good shape at sixty-five, wearing her signature navy blue, red and white, her mom seemed unaware of the admiring glances a few of the male passengers cast her way.

Kelly had hoped to have someone care for her the way her father did her mom. However, she’d chosen a life filled with obstacles to a long-term relationship. Steven’s face flashed across her mind. Her hands clutched the handle of her carry-on bag as the horror of her discovery spiked through her system. He was supposed to be the one, but he’d taken his own life rather than deal with the insecurities her success caused him. Two years, and yet the pain and guilt still bubbled to the surface. She shoved down the cold emptiness to focus on the approaching woman.

“Hey, lady. You look great.” Kelly hugged her mother.

“Ah, that famous smile is much better in person than on the TV screen.” Jane stepped away, casting a glance up and down before she gave Kelly an approving pat on the back. “I’m glad Phillip convinced you to come home.”

“I got the Nikki Stevenson part because of him. How could I tell him no?”

“Some people might’ve. I’m not surprised you didn’t. I have a cooler with cold water in the car for you, dear. Let’s go home.”

“Thanks.” A lump formed in Kelly’s throat at her mother’s thoughtfulness. No one remembered your preferences the way a mom did.

Kelly grabbed a handle for her two stacked bags and followed her mother out of the airport. When she stepped through the exit doors, the heat took her breath and brought her up short. The Texas summer oven. She brushed at the prickles of perspiration, which popped out along her hairline and hurried to catch up with her mother. “How’s Dad?”

“He’s okay. Perhaps fuzzier than when you were here last, but he manages.”

“I’m sorry, Mom.” Kelly took her mother’s free hand, squeezed. An ache filled her middle. After a while, Kelly continued, “Was the traffic bad?”

“The drive was a snap, because at the end I found you.”

“You’re a sweetie.” The lump forced its way back into her throat. She’d needed this after Steven’s death, but she hadn’t taken time to come home then. Losing the soap opera role might prove to be good after all.

They got in the car, and Kelly took a swallow of water, relishing the cool. The trip from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Glenview took right at an hour-and-a-half. The miles flew as they chatted.

“Let me see if I have this straight,” her mother glanced at Kelly. You play the leads in Hello, Dolly! and Anything Goes in addition to choreographing those shows. But you only direct and choreograph West Side Story and State Fair.”

Kelly nodded and silently congratulated herself. Her Mom hadn’t mentioned men at all. Apparently, Kelly had been wrong to suspect her of ulterior motives for telling Phillip about her schedule change, which allowed her to work in Glenview during the summer. Maybe Kelly could come home more now without the fear of her Mom’s matchmaking schemes.

“You remember me talking about Cindy Kincaid in the Alzheimer’s support group?”

“Uh huh. Having someone to share your concerns with must help.”

“Cindy’s son is named Josh.” Her mother paused to concentrate on making the turn. “Have I mentioned he’s the new police chief? Johnson retired, and the city council jumped at the opportunity to hire Josh when he moved from Houston where he’d been a homicide detective.”

Geez. Only moments before, Kelly had taken a guilt trip, believing she’d misjudged her mom. Jane Lawson hadn’t changed after all.

“Cindy couldn’t be more pleased about Josh’s new job. He’s divorced with a college age son.”

Kelly’s hands twisted in her lap. Here it comes. Wait for it….

“He’s a nice man, dear, very tall, a handsome blond, and if I do say so, built.”

“Mo-om.” The two-syllable word flew from Kelly’s mouth, and heat flowed up her face. Nobody could embarrass like her mother.

“I’ve had the Kincaids over to the house for supper several times. I’m sure you’ll like Josh.”

“Mother.” The name Kelly used only when she had to make a point. “I have no reason to meet their son. Thank you for thinking of me, and while I appreciate your good intentions, I’m not looking for anyone. Maybe I won’t ever be. But I’m not going to be interested in the Glenview Chief of Police.”

“We’ll see, dear.”

Meet Author Marsha R. West…

A retired elementary school principal, a former school board member, and theatre arts teacher, Marsha R. West writes Romance, Suspense, and Second Chances. Experience Required. She lives in Texas with her supportive lawyer husband and Charley, a deaf, Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier. Their two daughters presented them with three delightful grandchildren all who live nearby.

The theme of Marsha’s eight books is always second chances. She even has a four-part series titled The Second Chances Series. She believes in Happily Ever Afters. Her husband picked up a plaque for her on one of their several trips to Maine that states her philosophy exactly. Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end. The Heroines and Heroes in her books are in their 40s and 50s with their parents and children often playing supporting roles.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, the North Texas local chapter, NTRWA, Authors Marketing Guild LLC, the WORD BY WORD BLOG, and has her own weekly blog and monthly newsletter. Her books can be found on AMAZON, B & N, KOBO, and iTunes. Print books are also at Indie Lector Stores and Amazon. Blurbs and Universal Links for each of her books can be found on her website https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/ Where you can also sign up for her NEWSLETTER and BLOG


Links to Marsha’s website, blog, books, etc.:

Universal Links for each of her books can be found on her website https://authormarsharwest.wordpress.com/Where you can also sign up for her NEWSLETTER and BLOG

Contact her at marsha@marsharwest.com , and follow her on…      https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn

https://www.twitter.com/Marsharwest  @Marsharwest





Special Giveaways: Marsha will give away an e-book copy of THE THEATRE to one lucky reader and a $10 Starbucks gift card to a second lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Marsha, for sharing your story with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!





22 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench #SecondChance #Romantic #Suspense: THE THEATRE by Marsha R. West”

  1. Loved what I read in the blurb and excerpt! This sounds like a story I would thoroughly enjoy. I will have to check out your books, as you’re a new author to me. Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you Karen!

    1. Hey, Judy. Always nice to meet a potential new reader. If you like the theatre setting in this book, you will likely enjoy SECOND ACT, Book 1 The Second Chances Series, also with something of a theatre theme. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Nice to meet you, Marsha….interesting setup and excerpt….might have to give this a go!
    Thanks, Karen and Marsha.

  3. Good morning, Marsha, and welcome back to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. A daughter really understands her mother, doesn’t she? LOL Great excerpt. I can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for sharing it with us today!

    1. Hey, Colleen. I was recently reminded this is a small town romance, though I seldom consider it because the Heroine grew up in the small town, but has lived in NYC for the past 15 years. But she’s back in her home town. Small Texas towns have their own charm. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.

  4. This books sounds like a wonderful read. Thank you so much for sharing an excerpt. I’m so glad authors are writing “older” heroes & heroines – 40+. Not all romance readers are in their teens and 20’s.

    1. Hey, Eileen. A woman after my own heart. All my books have characters in their 40s and 50s. So generally, you’ll find their parents and their children in the books, too. Hope you find some of my books you enjoy and good luck in the Giveaway. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I always like meeting new authors and trying new books. Book sounds like a great read. Would love to read and review books in print format
    Hope I Win
    Thanks for chance a have a good week

    1. Hey, Crystal. Glad to hear you like to try new authors. All my books are in print at Amazon except TAINTED, my most recent. It will be available by next month. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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