Skip to product information
1 of 1

Crimson Hill Series (Book 1-3

Crimson Hill Series (Book 1-3

Regular price $15.99
Regular price $19.95 Sale price $15.99
Sale Sold out

This is a box set of books 1-3 from the Crimson Hill Series.  Books are delivered by Bookfunnel for reading on any device. 


They had a deal. Derrick would marry Cindy’s best friend, Nicky, so that he could get a green card. It was only to be for a short while and then Derrick would return home to Cindy, his one true love.

It sounded good in theory, but plans had a way of going awry and it took Derrick eight years to find his way home to Cindy. Would Cindy even want him back after all that had gone on before? And would Nicky allow her former friends to seek happiness together without spoiling their plans?


Nicky moved back home with her son with one goal in mind, to break up Cindy, her former best friend, and Derrick, her former husband.  She did not want them to be happy together. If she can’t be happy, nobody would be. And then everything unravels at a pre-wedding party, and all her long-held secrets are revealed.

What’s more, at the same party, she sees Orandy again, the only man whom she had ever loved. The only one who kept pushing her away. Maybe now that they were in the same vicinity, she could get some answers and clear up some past misunderstandings between them.


His love for Dacy wouldn’t die.

Lee Wiley was patiently waiting for Dacy to get out of prison so that they could be together again, but they had a long wait. Dacy had fifteen more years on her sentence, and she had told him in no uncertain terms to move on with his life.

But Lee wasn’t having it. He could wait. He found it difficult to move on without her and he would grasp at any means to set her free so that they could be together once more. 

View full details

Collapsible content


No Goodbye

Chapter One

Derrick psyched himself up to knock on Nicky's door. He always went through a bout of anxiety when he met with her face-to-face. One never knew how the interaction would go, but this occasion warranted it. This couldn't be done over the telephone. Besides, he wanted to see his son. This was his weekend, and Nicky flouted the custody arrangement wantonly and with no regard for the court’s dictates.
Every other weekend was his, but she had found creative ways to stymie the rules because she knew he didn't have the time for a legal battle. She was using the child as a weapon. It was a miracle she had agreed to the divorce. She had fought him tooth and nail over it, using their eight-year-old as her bartering chip.
She took her time to open the door, probably seeing him on the security camera and deciding to make him wait.
Nicky always thought of new and innovative ways to make him pay for the sin of not loving her. He had tried. He just couldn't force himself to feel it, and what finer feelings he may have developed for her were squashed by her threats and her attempts to control him through the years.
She opened the door and pushed one leg forward in a model pose. Her slim body was encased in a hot pink dress with her breasts indecently spilling out at the top. She flipped her long hair over her shoulders, and then she purred for effect, “hello, ex-husband.”
It hit him afresh what a beautiful woman she was, but it was just a regular observation. Her beauty couldn't make up for the things she had put him through.
“Hi Nicky, may I come in? I want to talk to you.”
“Sure, you may come in,” Nicky smiled seductively, “are you planning to move back home with us so that we can be a family again?”
He cleared his throat and walked behind her until they reached the family room. The décor had not changed since he had moved out four years ago, except for the giant painting of herself in a seductive pose that Nicky had placed as the room's central focus.
Despite that change, it was a gorgeous house and much bigger and more spacious than his apartment in Midtown Atlanta. This house had a huge backyard with a deck and a mini orchard that he had planted with all the varieties of apples that he could find that did well in Georgia.
The trees were still thriving. He got up and walked to the patio area to view them closer. All of them had on fruit. He remembered how amazed he was when he tasted his first red delicious straight from the tree and not heavily waxed and in the supermarket. Those were the days when he was wide-eyed and innocent, and things could still surprise him.
“So what brings you over?” Nicky asked, “it must be important for you to want to see me face to face. Usually, you try to avoid me like a bad disease.”
“This is my weekend to pick up Jason.” Derrick narrowed his eyes at her. “Where is he?”
“At my mother's place,” Nicky said flippantly, “I have some errands to run today.”
He bit his lips and tried hard not to argue. Today was his day with his son. He spent precious little time with him already.
Instead, he turned to her, “I am going to Jamaica.”
Nicky nodded, “me too, Leighton is getting married to Camille. I got my invite. I haven't been back in years except for a funeral in Kingston. I think it will be weird going back to Crimson Hill. Most of the family live here in Georgia.”
Derrick shook his head, “I am participating in the wedding, I am the best man, but you misunderstand me, Nicky. I am going back to Jamaica for good, not just for the wedding.”
He realized the minute the statement sunk in because she gasped and sat up straighter on the sofa. “Your son is here!”
“I know, but I was gifted some land by Nana, and two years ago, I started a small equipment rental business, and it's doing extremely well. I have plans to expand it, and I think it is time for me to go out there and run it. It has potential. I would be my own boss.”
“That's so selfish,” Nicky hissed, “you are going for her, aren't you? I can't believe you are giving up your son for Cindy Allen.”
Derrick inhaled and then exhaled slowly.
Nicky was off on a tangent. If he asked her for them to have a civilized discussion, it would light the flames of discord. She usually flared up at the words 'civilized' and 'discussion'. They were her trigger words. Those words were almost on par with Cindy Allen- her former best friend, his former girlfriend, the love of his life, who wanted nothing to do with him when their green card experiment blew up in their faces.
He searched for the right thing to say to Nicky. She was getting worked up, he could see it, but she beat him to the punch.
“You won't see Jason again.” Nicky snarled, “I will make sure that he never travels to see you. I won't allow it. As for little Miss Perfect, she won't take you back. She is probably married to a nice country bumpkin by now and has ten children and has gotten fat and ugly.”
“Nicky…” Derrick murmured. It was but a whisper. She had gotten up and was pacing and clearly was no longer listening to him.
“Why else would she avoid social media?” Nicky spat out, “maybe she is no longer pretty Cindy with the soft voice and the nice legs.”
“Nicky, can we focus on the issue here? I am moving.” Derrick sighed. “I am going to do this despite whatever tricks you have planned to tie me down.”
“I will tell our son that you abandoned him for your high school sweetheart and that you are a deadbeat.” Nicky stopped pacing and looked at him pleadingly. “Don't go back out there. You are going to lose your only child because I will poison him against you. Don't for one minute think I won't.”
Derrick ran his hand over his face. In the past, he would flare-up. They would have a shouting match and call each other names. But today, he felt curiously calm. Nicky's paranoid utterances had some truth to them. He had always wanted to go back for Cindy and pick up where they had left off.
She didn't have a husband and ten kids; he got a faithful update from his grandmother about her every time they talked. And frankly, he still loved her. They should have never had that stupid agreement where he would marry Nicky, a US citizen, to get his green card.
It had been a plan gone awry.
“I think Jason is somewhat messed up already.” Derrick sighed, “by having us as his parents. I want to tell him why I am leaving. I'll visit your mother's place and take him out for a meal. I think we'll have to come to some sort of agreement about visits when I am in Jamaica. When you calm down, you'll see that threatening me won't stop the inevitable, Nicky.”
Tears welled in Nicky's eyes. “You make me sick! I was perfectly fine until you and Cindy made me participate in this stupid plan. You know that I loved you, and you used me!”
It was the accusation part of the recriminations where she rewrote history and played victim. All three of them were to blame. What was supposed to be a business marriage had turned into a sham show.
Derrick rubbed his neck, trying to get rid of the tension knot he could feel there. “I leave in two weeks.”
Nicky started sobbing. He couldn't stand to see it, so he let himself out.


Derrick went to Nicky's parent's house, which was close by, in a new subdivision with mouthwateringly high HOA fees, but the homes were gorgeous. He loved to drive through and gaze at them. There was a time when he and Nicky were house hunting when they just had Jason and were trying to live like a normal couple, they salivated about living in a neighborhood like this, but they couldn't afford it then.
They could afford it now. They had both made money beyond their wildest dreams. It was Nicky's doing too. She had cleared out their joint account and given it to her brother Dmitri to trade stocks.
At the time, they had been living in a cramped two-bedroom apartment, and Dmitri had been a young, cocky, stock trader with more dreams than sense. It was money that he had worked for as a laborer in Nicky's uncle's construction firm in the boiling summer sun and the harshest winters. Money that he had painstakingly saved, with one goal in mind, getting back to Jamaica and to Cindy.
He had been hopping mad when he found out what Nicky had done. He had assumed that Nicky was trying to sabotage him. She didn't want him to make any money to send back home or save to go back to Jamaica. That had been their biggest fight in the marriage. He had felt like wringing her neck when she had told him defiantly, “that money is mine too, and I did with it, what I thought best. This is what you signed up for! Complain, and I will have you deported!”
Fortunately for them, Dmitri knew what he was doing. He had invested in some stocks that turned out to be gold mines. He and Nicky and the whole Spence family were beneficiaries.
Nicky's parents were already well off. They had established their business as one of the best cleaning firms in Atlanta, but they retired and left the operation's running to their oldest son Marco and daughter Elaine.
Nicky's mother Lynette, a mixed-race woman of Guyanese descent, had moved on to catering. She said that the first business was for money, and the second was for pleasure. Nicky's father, Peter, spent most of the year in Jamaica, where he golfed and fished and had the freedom of acting like a single man. There was a rumor that he had gotten a younger woman pregnant recently and that she was living at his house in Jamaica.
At one time, Nicky and Elaine had lived there with him, that was how he had met Nicky, and she became Cindy's friend. Well, not only Cindy, but there was also a time when Nicky had been his friend too.
He parked in the driveway of the mini-mansion and closed his eyes. There was no him and Cindy.
Why was it that he always thought of the two of them as a unit? It was ridiculous and pathetic but made him oh so hopeful that they could be a unit again.
Before he could get out of the car, Nicky's sister Elaine came out of the house. She waved to him cheerfully and then came over for a hug.
He got out of the car, a ready smile on his lips. Elaine was older than Nicky by two years, they resembled quite a bit facially, but that was where the resemblance ended. Elaine was outgoing, vivacious, and bubbly. She was always looking on the bright side. Usually, she was smiling when everyone else was downcast. He always hung out with her at family gatherings when he had been married to Nicky.
“I swear Derrick, you look better every time I see you,” she winked at him flirtatiously. “I just dropped off the kids. I am going to counseling.”
“Oh, okay.” Derrick looked at her, “I didn't know you and Greg were having problems.”
“We have problems. Which couple doesn't?” Elaine chuckled, “but this session is not for us. The older married people, ten years and more at our church are ordered to attend a group counseling session with the younger married people and the ones who are thinking about tying the knot.”
“That's innovative.” Derrick nodded. “Does it help?”
“We don't know yet. We just had six sessions.” Elaine shrugged, “the divorce rate at our church is sky-high. They had to do something. Maybe something like that would have helped you and Nicky.”
“No,” Derrick shook his head, “Nicky and I would have never worked. We started out on the wrong foot, and I…”
“Still love Cindy.” Elaine finished the sentence for him.
Derrick sighed.
“How can you tell if it is love, though?” Elaine said contemplatively, “you haven't seen her in eight years. You are probably just fantasizing about the good old days; you do know people change. Even you have changed. Maybe the reality of Cindy will bring you a new perspective.”
“Maybe,” Derrick shrugged. “I will find out soon. I am going back to Jamaica in two weeks.”
“Leighton and Camille's wedding.” Elaine nodded, “I got the invite too. Aunt Caroline is acting as if it is her wedding. I can't imagine what poor Camille is going through.”
“I am not going just for the wedding,” Derrick said, “I am going back for good.”
Elaine frowned and then shook her head, “you know I am unsurprised. You are like my dad. It's like you have that place coded in your DNA.”
“That, and I have a business to attend to, I am expanding it, and I bought a house. I have a ton of things to sort out.”
“I am proud of you,” Elaine said, a genuine glint in her eye. “Don't be a stranger when you leave, don't ghost me. I am still your son's favorite aunty.”
Derrick smiled. She was the only aunty that Jason knew. His sisters from his mother's side of the family were strangers.
“Can you convince Nicky that using Jason as a weapon will not work this time?”
“I'll try, but my sister can be stubborn.” Elaine said sadly, “you know I had this fantasy that one day the two of you would have worked things out, at least for Jason's sake, but I guess it's not to be.”
Derrick nodded. “Never going back there. Bye, Elaine.”
“Bye, Derrick,” she gave him a sad little wave.
The wave reminded him of the time when he had gone to her office and told her that he was leaving her sister. It was the day that he had gotten his green card and had been free from Nicky and her threats.
Elaine had looked the same then. She knew when a man had reached the end of his tether. She also knew when not to argue when he had already made up his mind.
With that attitude, she was just like her mother, Lynette.
Lynette had never liked him, at least not for Nicky. She had disapproved of their arrangement from the start. As long as he lived, he would not forget the disappointment on her face when Nicky had Jason.
“You see what your stupid arrangement caused.” She had shouted at him in the hospital, “a whole baby!”
“Things like this don't work, Derrick! You have taken an innocent child into your madness. I am disappointed in you.”
Ever since that moment, her disappointment had colored the way they interacted with each other.
He rang the doorbell, and she came to the door.
“I told Nicky I will not be a party to this foolishness,” she said without a greeting. “She dumped Jason over here today, knowing full well that today is your time with him. He is playing with his cousins in the courtyard.”
“Good morning, Lynette.” Derrick smiled ruefully. “You are looking lovely as usual. You look like you could take a shot at winning Miss Guyana again.”
She grinned. “You are a flatterer, but I won't complain. I don't get many compliments from handsome young men these days.”
Derrick smiled. He wasn't just flattering her, dressed in a halter top blouse and jeans, her hair down and flirting with her waist, she didn't look much like fifty-five and a grandmother of six.
“How are you?” He asked.
“I'm not in the mood to be pleasant.” She said grumpily, “I am having problems with my cake decoration unless you know how to fix this disaster of a wedding cake I am attempting; I have no use for you.”
Derrick chuckled. “I thought this was your job for pleasure. Seems as if you are in pain.”
Lynette snorted, “it's a thin line between pleasure and pain.”
“Daddy!” Jason had heard his voice, and he came barreling towards him. He was grinning from ear to ear.
He ran and hugged him around the waist. “Mummy said you weren't going to come and visit me because you had better things to do.” The accusation was rife in his voice.
Lynette rolled her eyes. “Your mother was being flexible with the truth.” She glanced at Derrick, “told you that this whole arrangement wouldn't be good.”
“Aren't you tired of telling me I told you so?” Derrick asked. “You say that every time I see you.”
“Not tired,” Lynette shrugged, “maybe when Nicky has married again and happy. I'll let you off the hook.”
“Mommy is not getting married to anyone else but daddy.” Jason puffed his little chest out. “We are going to be a family again, mommy, daddy, and me.”
“And he is just seven,” Miss Lynette murmured, “imagine when he is older.”
Derrick looked at his son's earnest expression, and his heart melted. He had to remind himself that Jason was better off without him and Nicky in the same space. He couldn't be happy with her no matter how hard he tried, and he had tried.
“Go and get your things, Jason. You are staying with me tonight.”
“Cool,” Jason ran away toward the stairs, gleefully.
“I wanted to talk to you.” He looked at Lynette.
“In the kitchen,” Lynette said tiredly. “I have to do something about that cake.”
“I just wanted to tell you personally that I'm moving to Jamaica.”
Lynette headed toward a lopsided cake sitting in the middle of the island.
“I thought you would have left already,” she looked at him knowingly. “Peter told me you bought a house out there. I quite expected you to be gone by now.”
Derrick smiled, “so, this is no surprise to you then,”
“Derrick, I'm not blind.” Lynette shook her head. “And I'm not dumb either. I know you love Cindy, and you can't wait to go home to her and live the life of your dreams.”
“So, do I have your blessing?” Derrick asked.
“Yeah, sure. For what it's worth.” Lynette snorted. “You have an uphill task ahead of you, though, to convince that woman to take you back, and I don't see how she is ever going to trust you again.”
Derrick inhaled. That was the same fear that had kept him up at nights and had frankly had him glued to Atlanta for the past year. He could have gone from the moment he had bought the house, but he was literally afraid of being rejected by Cindy. He had weighed that very real possibility with leaving his son behind to grow up without him. Jason had won for the time being, but he missed Cindy. The pain was real.
Jason came to the kitchen doorway with his knapsack slung over his shoulder. It was partially zipped, and some of his toys were hanging out. “I am ready, Daddy.
Derrick dragged his eyes from Lynette's eyes and then exhaled. “Okay, kid. We are going to a softball match, then we grab some food.”
Jason smiled. Their smiles were identical to each other. It always hit him afresh, the similarity of their smiles.
Jason had Nicky's eyes and forehead and her curly hair, but his nose, mouth, and chin were all Wiley. Jason was a perfect combination of both of them. The only good thing that had come out of the Derrick and Nicky union and maybe the only obstacle to a relationship with Cindy.
He couldn't think of that now. He focused on his child, his firstborn, he couldn't wish him away, and he didn't want to, but his existence was going to make a difference between him and Cindy having their happy ending.
“Go with God, child,” Miss Lynette said as if reading his mind. “I wish you all the best.”