United In Spirit is one of Jamila Jasper's free-spirited romance novel excerpts. Like most of her pregnancy romance books, this story features a black woman and a white man (with Asian heritage). In one of her most interesting romance novels, Jamila explores the steamy and forbidden relationship between the main character Camilla and her love interest Chuck. If you love romantic stories featuring steamy encounters and attractive African American female characters, you'll definitely enjoy this sweet story.
In this story, Camilla Rainey is a recently divorced mother of one. She is the picture of African American perfection and pride: dedicated mother and a hard worker who values education. Her biracial son Malcolm is her pride and joy. Camilla has big dreams for herself and even bigger dreams for her son. She won't let a thing get in her way — not nasty rumors or painful stereotypes. When she starts receiving giant alimony cheques from her ex-husband Frederic, Camilla enrolls Malcolm in a prestigious local private school to further his education…
On the first day of school, Camilla meets one of Malcolm's teachers, a handsome white man named Charles "Chuck" Coleridge. Chuck's Asian heritage isn't his only secret. On his thirtieth birthday, he will become sole proprietor of a business worth around one billion dollars. The only problem is, Chuck must obey his parents' wishes until then in order to receive this fortune.
Chuck's parents are incredibly wealthy and part of an extreme cult that requires sexual purity and requires that Chuck marry someone within the church. Of course, Chuck is far from pure and he has no intention of marrying anyone from his church. Chuck's ex-girlfriend was unable to accept that Chuck needed to keep their relationship a secret until he turned thirty.
Ever since Chuck dropped the axe, Fiona launched a campaign to ruin his life. As Chuck and Camilla become more and more involved, Fiona's tactics get more extreme and more than one person is in danger.
Camilla's main priority is to protect her son Malcolm. As her life becomes more and more dangerous, Camilla is afraid she'll have to cut Chuck off.
Will she have to give up a chance with the one man she ever loved to protect her son? Will Chuck manage to collect his inheritance before his parents find out about his betrayal?
Divorced. The word sounded so crass to Camilla Rainey, especially since it didn’t quite capture what had happened between her and Frederic. Camilla and Frederic had been engaged from the minute she found out she was pregnant. Camilla was eighteen and terrified; she came from a devout Episcopalian Massachusetts family who wanted nothing more than to see their little girl marry someone exactly like Frederic Matheson. She was black and upper middle class. Frederic was three generations deep in wealth. Camilla had no choice in the matter and Frederic seemed quite thrilled to make the woman his bride even if she was six years younger than he was.
Camilla was eighteen and not quite graduated from high school so the wedding planning had been left up to her mother. Whitney and Ezekiel Rainey had funded her entire wedding. Camilla still wasn’t sure how far that wedding had put them out. The entire affair felt like it was more for the people around town than for her. Frederic Matheson had never been happier but from the moment she took her vows, Camilla knew that she’d made a mistake. What choice did she have? She was pregnant. Her parents would certainly disown her if she did anything else; Camilla valued their presence in her life.
At first, their marriage went well enough. Frederic was attentive throughout Camilla’s pregnancy. The day she gave birth to their son, Malcolm, was the best day of his life. But Camilla was starting to feel a deep sense of wrongness around the time of her son’s birth. Her therapist chalked it up to postpartum depression but Camilla knew what she was feeling was far worse; she knew the consequences could ruin her entire life. Camilla was starting to choke on her white picket fence lifestyle.
With people relying on her, Camilla kept her mouth shut and continued to live her quiet New England life. Her life was filled with extravagant children’s birthday parties, soccer practice, school plays, apple picking and more. Frederic provided and provided and provided but he was rarely ever home. He was the Vice President of the bank in Boston and he didn’t have much time to pay attention to Camilla. Which was good.
Shortly after Malcolm was born, Camilla started to realize something frightening about her relationship with Frederic. She wasn’t sure if she was really attracted to him. Sure, she loved Frederic more than anyone she had ever known but she didn’t ever feel sexual around him. Even the “incident” that resulted in Malcolm’s birth had only happened because Frederic had pressured her. He had been begging and begging to sleep with Camilla and she was desperate to escape his advances. Camilla tried every excuse in the book from having her period to having a headache but eventually she caved. She lost her virginity to Frederic in his basement, bent over a pool table. Frederic claimed to be experienced but the thought of taking Camilla’s virginity had been too much for him. After only three minutes, he ejaculated inside of her.
Camilla was furious. Frederic promised to get her Plan B; she couldn’t afford the forty dollar price tag and she was too terrified of what her parents would do if she asked them for money. Frederic postponed and postponed until it was too late. Camilla knew when she missed her period exactly what had happened but then she was trapped. With a baby on the way, she made the decision she thought was best.
Seven years into her marriage, Camilla started to realize that she could no longer suppress her feelings of discomfort with Frederic. When he looked at her with his lusty gaze, she felt her stomach turn. When he touched her breasts and flipped her over so he could pump away ‘til satisfaction, she felt like she was detached from her body. Of course, Camilla could play the game of being a happy wife. She would moan and scream like she enjoyed it but she couldn’t shake her immense numbness.
Camilla started seeing a new therapist. This therapist was a woman. She was young and edgy with bright pink hair and piercings all over her face. At first Camilla felt uncomfortable with Dr. Berkman’s resistance to conformity. But over time Camilla began to open up and for the first time in her life, she could access her deepest feelings and deepest fears. Dr. Berkman could bring thoughts out of Camilla that she had suppressed since her early teenage years. Camilla realized that she wasn’t broken for not experiencing sexual desire for her husband. There was something else going on and Camilla knew she could never remain married to a man she didn’t feel attracted to.
With Dr. Berkman’s encouragement, Camilla started to try to get in touch with her sexual self. She would sneak onto her computer in the middle of the night while her husband and Malcolm were both asleep and she would peruse pages upon pages of sweaty and crass erotica. Camilla got in touch with her sexual desire in a way she had always been unable to with her husband. She had breathed life into her sex life all on her own and figured out the one truth she had been denying since her sexual awakening. Frederic just didn’t do it for her; Camilla wasn’t even sure if she could experience sexual attraction. When she was alone, she could get herself to feel but with Frederic there was nothing. A romantic at heart, Camilla was sure she couldn’t deny herself sex for the rest of her life.
Camilla was torn between a desire to protect Frederic’s heart and her own desire to live her truth. She couldn’t bear the idea of hurting her husband but she also knew that she couldn’t go her entire life without experiencing true passion. With Frederic, there was love but there had never been passion. Dr. Berkman refused to just tell Camilla what to do but after a multitude of tearful sessions, Camilla finally came to the conclusion that it was time to divorce her husband.
Divorce. It sounded so crude and final that Camilla resisted it for a while. She knew it was her only option but she despised the idea of becoming a divorcee. She despised the idea of allowing Malcolm to grow up in a broken home. Camilla also despised the idea of telling her husband of seven years that she had never been attracted to him in a real way. But the truth had to come out.
The night Camilla told Frederic she wanted a divorce, he punched the wall so hard that he had bruises on his knuckles for a week. He wept. He plead. He offered her everything in the world. But Camilla had gone through too much before coming to her decision. She was immutable. Frederic capitulated and didn’t put up much of a fight after he was sure Camilla’s decision was final. He was still partly convinced that after her “depressive phase” Camilla would come back to him. Camilla didn’t argue.
After the divorce, Camilla got used to her ex-husband’s occasional attempts to win her back. It was worth it for the alimony checks she received every month. One of the perks to being a wealthy divorcee was getting paid for it. By the time Malcolm turned eight, they’d been divorced five months and Camilla decided to enroll her son in private school. Malcolm had been having trouble at school and Camilla knew the divorce had affected him deeply.
Camilla was more nervous for Malcolm’s first day than he was. He ran downstairs fully dressed with his shock of dirty blond curls neatly combed out. It was the first time Camilla had actually been able to get him to keep his hair combed for school. Malcolm was all dressed up in his adorable preppy uniform and sipping on a glass of orange juice as Camilla got everything ready.
Camilla pulled out her phone and called her office.
“Jenny? I’ll be coming in late today okay?… Yes… Yes it’s his first day… I know… Yes… Alright dear… I’ll bring the budget by this afternoon… Okay bye,” Camilla said.
She put her hands on her hips and looked at her son.
“Are you excited for school today?” Camilla asked.
Malcolm nodded and smiled. Camilla felt a pang in her chest when she saw him smile. It was hard for her to admit that he looked exactly like his father. While Malcolm’s complexion and hair texture were closer to her own, his physical features were definitely Frederic’s.
“Is daddy coming to drop me off?” Malcolm asked.
Camilla sighed. “I don’t think so sweetheart okay? But he said that you guys will be doing something special together very soon,” She said.
Camilla wondered if she had fallen victim to the excessive permissiveness of divorced parents. The guilt she felt at separating Malcolm from his father was almost too much to bear in moments like this when he was so profoundly aware of his father’s absence.
Malcolm and Camilla got into the car and drove through traffic to Jonathan Brooks Academy. The majestic building almost looked like it belonged on a university campus as opposed to an elementary or middle school. As Camilla held Malcolm’s hand on the way to his classes, she noticed he was too quiet.
“Nervous?” Camilla asked.
“Yes… I’m scared about making friends. I want daddy to be here,” Malcolm mumbled.
“Well don’t worry sweetheart. You can make friends and have an amazing first day without daddy. He still loves you very much alright?” Camilla said.
“Why isn’t he here mommy? Why doesn’t he live with us?” Malcolm asked.
Camilla was almost sick of answering the question again and again. She and Frederic had agreed that Malcolm was a little too young to understand the complexities of adult relationships. Camilla figured she would tell Malcolm about why she had divorced his father and really explain it to him when he could understand things a bit better. It wasn’t really appropriate to tell an eight year old about an adult’s sex life after all.
Camilla stooped down to Malcolm’s eye level and replied, “Listen Malcolm, I know it’s hard but mommy and daddy are divorced now. Your daddy still loves you but he just can’t be around all the time anymore okay? Just try to have a good first day.”
Camilla wasn’t sure she was doing a good job of this. She was still a young mother, totally inexperienced and she hadn’t heard from her parents since the divorce. The message was clear; Camilla was on her own. They didn’t believe in divorce and the pushback had been bordering cruel. Malcolm seemed to be satisfied with Camilla’s response and he was about to run into his classroom when a teacher emerged abruptly from the doorway.
“Hi? Are you the new student Malcolm Matheson?” The man asked.
Malcolm nodded. The tall man smiled and looked from Malcolm to his mother.
“Hi Mrs. Matheson, I’m Chuck Coleridge,” He said. Chuck’s deep voice boomed down the hallway. His voice was as deep and syrupy as James Earl Jones’.
Camilla smiled and answered, “Hi Mr. Coleridge. I’m no longer Mrs. Matheson unfortunately. I’m Camilla Rainey.”
Chuck looked visibly embarrassed.
“Oh… My apologies Ms. Rainey. I just assumed… I’m sorry. If you want I can get Malcolm a buddy to lead him to the new student orientation,” He offered.
Camilla answered, “I would like that.”
Mr.. Coleridge went into the classroom and emerged with a tall, dark skinned girl who was apparently in Malcolm’s class. Camilla looked on smiling as the little girl sweetly held Malcolm’s hand and started to lead him through the hallways. Camilla felt suddenly reassured that everything would be fine and Malcolm would run into no trouble at this new school.
“Thank you so much for helping out,” Camilla said.
As she thanked Malcolm’s teacher, she noticed how absolutely gorgeous the man was. He couldn’t have been a day older than thirty five. His porcelain skin was glowing and flawless. Mr. Coleridge was clean shaven and Camilla could see why. With clean cheeks you could see his outstanding, sharp cheekbones and square jaw. He was tall and slender, dressed up in a white button down and black pants. Through the white shirt, his large biceps bulged like they were trying to escape.
Chuck smiled back.
“It’s no trouble at all. It’s rare you see a young mother as beautiful as you are who is unmarried. I’m sorry for my mistake earlier,” Chuck said.
He was just toeing the line between flirtatiousness and professional. Camilla wasn’t quite sure where she stood just yet.
“It’s no problem. Chuck? Is that short for something?” Camilla asked.
Hey, it wasn’t “flirting” to get to know your son’s teacher.
“Yeah Charles. It’s god awful but I hate it. It’s a family name. You can’t really tell but my mother’s Chinese. I wish they’d named me something a little less generic,” Chuck replied.
“Right. It’s a nice name. So are you Malcolm’s teacher?” Camilla asked.
Chuck laughed and continued, “One of them. I teach art but they’re trying to incorporate mandarin at the school to make us stand out as being prestigious.”
“Hm… Well I hope it works,” Camilla said awkwardly.
“Do you have any other kids?” Chuck asked.
“No Mr. Coleridge, I think I’m going to be just fine with one actually. He’s sort of a handful,” Camilla answered.
“Please, just call me Chuck. I know I’m a teacher but this Mr.. Coleridge nonsense is just a little too formal for me,” He said.
“Progressive!” Camilla joked.
“You don’t know the half of it,” Chuck said with a wink. Now that was flirtatious.
They looked at each other for a moment longer. Camilla was still uncertain about the tone of this interaction. She found Chuck Coleridge beyond gorgeous but she still didn’t know whether the teacher was flirting or just being friendly. It could be dangerous to make an assumption about this man’s interest that could backfire seriously. Camilla had enough of a reputation around town. She knew how rumors of sexual impropriety stuck to black women like glue. Camilla was hyper aware of how she was perceived so she was trying her hardest not to be inappropriate.
Chuck chimed, “Well, I’ve got to get to work now but I’ll give you my number in case you have any questions about… school.”
Camilla didn’t know what to feel. She felt relieved that she’d received the teacher’s number but she was still uncertain of what to make of it. Chuck pulled a notepad out of his bag and scribbled his number on a piece of paper in red pen.
“Thanks,” Camilla muttered.
“Any time,” Chuck said before disappearing back into the classroom.
You can continue reading this book on Kindle. Continue reading United In Spirit: BWWM Pregnancy Romance on Kindle!
If you are interested in more romance novel excerpts, check out an excerpt from a Jamila Jasper best-seller, Trust Fund Baby.
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