The Superhero Wives Series can be read in any order, but The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives comes before Four Calling Byrds and The Superhero’s Husband.
Ariana, Victoria, and Emma’s men spend more time saving the world than doing dishes. These wives want some semblance of a normal married life, but would settle for an uninterrupted meal together. Besides, how can they compete with saving the world?
When a catastrophic earthquake devastates Shadow Town and crime spirals out of control, it appears the city needs all the help they can get to clean it up. Everyone expected the resident superheroes to save the day, but nobody expected the wives’ help too…
Books in the series:
Short Stories (available for FREE via signing up for the author’s newsletter):
Note: Each Superhero Wives story features a different couple and can be enjoyed as a standalone or in a series.
Download a sample of the first 10% of this story HERE.
Enjoy a sneak peek of the first chapter of The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives
Saturday, April 3rd
in Windy City
‘Psst. I’m gonna be late.’ Adam’s hushed voice whispered in Ariana’s mind, jolting her out of the present.
“Hold still,” her mother said.
Ariana stiffened and ignored her mom, focusing on her future husband instead. How long would it take to get used to his telepathic superpower? She opened her mind to him and sent a reply, ‘Why?’
‘I’ve been…detained.’ Adam forced an image to flood her mind: his naked body with his manliness poorly covered by his hand. Her cheeks tingled and warmed as she looked at her mother’s smile. She focused on the image in her head instead, noticing the scorch marks on Adam’s skin. Black ash against his thighs and across the ripples of his abdomen. What had happened? She assessed his skin—unharmed as usual. Thank goodness for an invincible fiancé.
His voice continued, ‘I may not make it in time.’
‘Like hell you won’t!’ She shifted her weight and the chair she stood on creaked. “Ouch!” Her hand jolted to her rump, swatting her aunt’s hand away.
“Hey, you need to keep still.” Her aunt gripped her hips to keep her in place.
Ariana sprang off the chair, the bustle of her white gown half-pinned and half-flowing behind her. “Um, I have to go.”
Her mom’s jaw fell open, but she righted it. “You need to go? Now’s not the time for cold feet.”
Finding her mom’s purse, Ariana pulled out the minivan keys and gave her mom a kiss on the cheek. “Trust me, if I don’t go now, there won’t be a wedding.”
“Won’t be a wedding? What’s going on?”
Her mom was on her heels as Ariana flew out of the bedroom and ran down the stairs, focusing on Adam. Tingling filled her chest. ‘Where are you?’
‘The alley behind Top Perks Coffee Shop.’
‘Do you know what time it is?’
Adam sent an image of his bare wrist. ‘I was going to look for my missing watch, but I couldn’t find the time.’ He transmitted a chuckle.
‘Of course, you have a joke. Come on! Our wedding starts in less than an hour.’
‘I know.’ Adam’s words were clearly enunciated in her mind. ‘That’s why I’m telling you I’ll be late.’
‘Don’t move! I’m coming to get you.’
“Where are you going?” Her mother stood in front of the front door.
“No time to explain. Meet me at the church,” Ariana panted.
She stopped in the study of her parents’ house and snatched Adam’s tux, flinging it over her shoulder. With a quick movement, she wrapped yards of her gown’s white fabric around her arm and ran outside.
“You can’t do—” Her mother’s voice was drowned out by the purring V-6 of the sensible gold party machine.
With squealing tires, Ariana flew down the driveway and left her mother yelling in the front yard. “Sorry, Mom, but there’s no way I’m being stood up on my wedding day.”
More than one neighbor’s necks turned to rubber as they watched the scene of the runaway bride. Ariana waved and blew them a kiss before she further pressed the accelerator and clenched the steering wheel.
The van lurched one way and then the other as she rounded the corners through the back streets of Windy City, rolling through red lights and ignoring the speed limits. Who had time for that crap, anyway?
Leaving black tracks on the pavement, she screeched to a halt in front of a rusted dumpster at the end of the alley, perfectly matching the image Adam had sent. She clicked the button to open the side door, yelling into the empty ally, “This better be good.”
With caution, Adam emerged from behind the dumpster with one hand covering his frontside and another covering his backside. The hair was singed off his chest. Hmm…was all his hair below his neck burned off? She looked down at his legs. Yup, that’d be interesting.
He crawled into the van.
Before the door slid shut, Ariana threw the vehicle into reverse and spun the tires out of the alley, heading for the church.
“Here,” she huffed, handing her naked fiancé a small, foil-wrapped package. He’s okay, Ari. He’s always okay.
In the rearview mirror, Adam twirled the package in his hand. “Fingernail polish removing wipes?”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t be complaining right now. Get the soot off and throw your tux on. Honestly, today, I don’t care what you look like. I wouldn’t even care if the hair on the top of your head had been burned off. You have a wedding to be at in thirty minutes.”
Adam ran a hand through his short, light brown locks, ensuring himself that it was still there. “Don’t you want to know what happened?”
“That’s not important right now. Focus.” Ariana pointed at the tux, then to Adam.
Adam laughed. “Well, he got away.”
“I said, get ready.” She hid any amusement from her voice.
“Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony?”
Ariana glanced in the rearview mirror, then back to the road, holding up her index finger. “One day. All I ask is that you show up ON TIME this one day.” Ariana’s arm was shaking. She returned her hand to the wheel and tightened her grip. Note to self: don’t let Adam out of your sight on days with important events.
Adam laughed. “Don’t you ever worry about me?”
Ariana’s heart raced and her palms sweated. “You’re invincible. You assured me yourself that you’ll always be fine. Come on, throw that tux on! I’m sure it’ll be all over the Superhero News Network later today and monopolize our wedding reception anyway. I’ll catch up then.”
Pulling the van up to the church steps, she turned to her future husband. His lip curled up, and all her anger melted away. She took a deep breath as he leaned forward and placed a kiss on her temple, giving one of her blond ringlets a little tug. He whispered, “I love you, but, I think, you’ll be late.” In a flash, Adam was out of the van and disappeared into the church.
Out came Ariana’s mother, her wavy gray hair wild in the wind. Ari stepped out of the van, took a deep breath, and smiled, letting it all sink in. She was gonna marry the man of her dreams today. This was truly the beginning of the rest of her life. A fabulous life with an amazing partner at her side.
Her mom took her hand and helped her out. “We have ten minutes to finish getting you ready.”
Her dad stepped beside them. “You look beautiful, dear.”
Ariana smiled. This was everything she’d ever wanted. Loving parents and marrying a man everyone drooled over—even if they only drooled when he was in costume, saving the world.
in Shadow Town
Victoria swirled her straw in her Diet Coke. She hated Diet Coke, but being in a newer relationship, she needed to keep her figure in better shape than a Marshmallow Peep. That thought made her stomach growl. She enjoyed being “full bodied” and wanted to keep her curves. It was a fine line to not be too skinny, nor too heavy. The Diet Coke was her balance, but it reminded her how much it sucked to be pushing thirty and divorced.
Today, her mind was on everything except the man in front of her. Work, the book she was reading, and her grocery list.
Victoria shook her head and looked up at Mike. “Sorry, I was distracted. What did you say?”
“I had asked if you wanted to get away this week. You said you took a few days off of work. We could go to my cousin’s lake cottage.” He winked at her. “It would be romantic.”
Should she tell him she hated winking? It was creepy and something a sleazebag would do. She bit her tongue and focused on his question. “This week? Um… I’ll have Chew-Barka. Can I bring him?”
The smile on Mike’s face dissolved as he rubbed his temple. “I can ask, but can’t your ex take him?”
She sat back in her chair. “Ask him to do me a favor? I’d rather give up chocolate.”
Mike tilted his chin. “You know Thursday’s our anniversary.”
“We’ve been dating for three months.”
Had it been that long already? “You’re counting months? I thought only teenagers did that.”
Mike’s lips tightened. “Are you not into this relationship?”
She swirled her straw, splashing soda over the edge of the glass. “Yeah, it’s fine… I mean good. It’s just—”
Mike looked over Victoria’s shoulder, and his eyes bulged. “Speaking of the devil. How is it he always seems to interrupt us?”
She ground her teeth, not needing to spin around to know her ex-husband stood behind her. “Yes, Vance, how is it you always seem to know where I am?”
Her ex made his way to the side of their table. His voice was smooth, deep, and familiar. Victoria tried to forget how much it appealed to her. “Coincidence, I guess. I was on my way to the mayor’s campaign headquarters, but saw you here.”
“Come on. Campaign headquarters is across the city.” Victoria took a drink of her soda to prevent her thoughts from escaping.
“You’re a supporter?” Mike asked. “I thought nobody liked the mayor. How he won, I’ll never know.”
“Obviously, more than half the city liked him enough to vote for him, otherwise he wouldn’t be mayor. Besides, I always root for the underdog.”
Mike leaned forward. “I read that they are trying to have a recall election. Nobody believes he won.”
Victoria turned to Vance and didn’t hide the annoyance in her voice. “So, why are you here?”
Vance’s smile said I’m-hiding-something-I’m-not-going-to-tell-you. “I was simply taking a walk for a little exercise. You know, being healthy and all.” He rubbed his neatly trimmed, dark beard while turning toward Victoria’s date. “So, how’ve ya been?” He gave Mike a small punch on his shoulder.
“Ow—” Mike jerked away, rubbing his bicep. He straightened and recovered his pride.
Vance motioned to the table. “Were you done here?”
“No. We hadn’t ordered yet.” Victoria ground her teeth together.
“Great! I’m starving.” Vance grabbed a chair from the neighboring table, turned it backward, and straddled it.
“Join us,” Mike said to the already sitting down Vance. “I think Victoria has a question for you, anyway.”
Vance picked up the menu that lay in front of Mike. “Were you done with this?” He tipped down his sunglasses and stared at Mike’s hot coffee for a moment.
He better not use his power.
He tipped his sunglasses back in place and smiled again. A smile that made Victoria sweat. “A question for me? How sweet of you to think about me.”
Victoria shook her head and sputtered out the lies. “I don’t have a question, and I never think about you.”
Mike interjected. “What she means is would you take Chew-Barka until the weekend?”
“Yeah, I’d like to take Victoria away for our anniversary this week.” Mike picked up his coffee.
“Anniversary? What’s it been? A few months? I thought only kids counted months.” Vance shook his head and focused on the menu. “Nah. That won’t work. I’m busy.”
Victoria set her menu down and glared at her ex. “You’re busy? If you’ve got so much going on, how do you always find the time to hunt me down and torment me?”
“Well, I didn’t have plans, but I do now.” Vance turned away from Mike, toward Victoria, and curled the corner of his lip up into a sly smile. Of course he had plans. They involved keeping her and Mike apart. Now throw in a little irritating Victoria, and Vance’s week was full. Did he really hate her that much? Well, she had broken his heart.
Victoria choked down a sip of her Diet Coke. “That’s okay. I think it’s time I found a kennel here for Chew-Barka.” She turned to Mike, who had lifted his coffee mug to his lips.
“No—” Victoria tried to stop him, but it was too late. He had tipped the coffee cup back and taken a sip. The icy cold liquid sprayed out of his mouth, all over the table.
Mike set the cup down. “What the hell! It’s freezing.”
Victoria wiped her face and glared at Vance.
Vance’s cocky smile appeared again, then a little chuckle. “I don’t know why you’re looking at me.”
Victoria shook her head at him, trying to tell him she was on to him—on to the fact he used his freeze vision.
Vance set the menu down and changed the subject. “No kennel for Chew-Barka. That’s like doggie jail. It’s bad enough you put him in one of those things when you moved out west. Let me see what I can do. I’ll get back to you.”
Mike frantically wiped the coffee off the table. “That would be great if you took him for the whole week.” He reached over to reciprocate the punch Vance gave him.
“No!” Victoria tried to warn him again, but it was too late. Mike shook out his fist after slugging Vance’s shoulder. Vance hadn’t budged. Like a rock as always.
Mike opened and closed his hand. “Wow, man, you must spend a lot of time at the gym.”
Victoria stood up. “I’ve lost my appetite. You two enjoy each other. Mike, call me with details. Vance, I’ll see you tomorrow when you pick up Chewy.” Victoria left the men alone for their romantic lunch.
visiting Shadow Town
The first thing Emma saw when Becky opened her front door was her sister’s beautiful, bright white smile. “Hey, sis! I’m so glad you could come over at the last minute. I hope I’m not pulling you away from quality time with your hubby.”
Emma bit her lip, holding back a smile of her own. Quality time? Ha. She purposefully didn’t leave out his costume when she left. Would Estevan be able to find his black leather supersuit without her? Fight supervillains without her guidance? “It’s really no problem. Besides, I want to hear your news.”
A little curly-haired, pig-tailed girl, wearing a black sweat suit and black mask, pranced across the room like a gazelle, finally stopping in front of Emma. Swooping her niece up in her arms, Emma kissed her chubby cheek. “How’s the little princess today?”
Samantha lisped, “I’m not a princess. I’m a superhero.”
“Oh, my mistake. What are your secret powers?”
“I’m just like Capitán Rápido. I can move super-duper fast and can see into the future…a whole day into the future.”
“Instead of only ten seconds? You’ll be unstoppable!”
Samantha slid from Emma’s arms and ran as fast as she could around the living room.
Emma laughed, “She’s so cute!”
Becky took her purse from the shelf beside the door. “Ever since she saw Capitán Rápido on the Superhero News Network today, she’s been racing around the house.”
“Capitán Rápido was on SNN? What happened?” Was her husband okay?
Becky pulled her keys from her purse. “I guess that supervillain he had been chasing took off out of Actionville and made an appearance in Windy City. Smoke everywhere, but I’m sure The Kite has him under control.”
Estevan would be so disappointed that he didn’t make the capture. Emma shoved a hand in her pocket, thinking of the bright side. Estevan drove Smoke Shield out of Actionville and Emma might finally get some quality time with her husband. Of course this happened now when she had a pile of proposals to work on at the City Council.
Becky continued, “I’ll be home in about two hours. Do you want to hear the news now or later?”
“Now, of course.”
Becky’s smile brightened, if that was possible, swallowing all her other features. “I’m pregnant!”
“Really?” Emma hefted her sister into her arms. “That’s fantastic!”
“Hopefully, you’ll have success soon, too.”
Emma shook her head, refusing to think of that possibility. “This isn’t about me right now. I can’t wait for another niece…or maybe a nephew this time.”
Becky looked down at her watch. “I gotta go. Josh is meeting me at the doctor’s office. I have my first ultrasound today, three months along already.” Becky gave Emma another hug before heading out the door.
“Watch this, Auntie Ems!” Samantha crawled up on the couch and jumped off the back with her arms outstretched. “Did you see that? I can fly!”
“Wow, you’re even better than Capitán Rápido. He can’t fly. Not like The Kite.”
“Mommy says I’m going to have a brother or a sister, but I need to be patient.”
“Your mommy’s wise. You’ll need to be very patient.”
Samantha ran around the sofa, crawling back up and jumping off again. Emma smiled. Oh, how she wanted a child of her own.
Was that even possible in her life?
Someday, I hope.
THANK YOU FOR READING CHAPTER 1.