Her Summer Baby is Jamila's latest, steamy summer romance perfect for readers who enjoy reading free romance books online and those who enjoy interracial romance books…
This story is a 40,000+ word full-length novel with a guaranteed happily ever after ending featuring an ambitious 28 year old African American woman named Maxine and the guy she falls in love with Tristan.
This story explores some of the conflicts that all of us know too well…
Keep reading the description below:
Maxine is an African American graduate student taking on a summer internship funded by her wealthy parents. She meets an attractive white man named Tristan from the Bronx. Despite the instant attraction between the two of them, things don't start with a bang…
Tristan can't decide what he wants, Maxine is insecure about his feelings for her and there's a third party who is desperate to come between them for her own interests.
As the summer draws to a close, conflicts rise and the two will have to face facts: there's nothing stopping their relationship from hitting a brick wall once the summer ends.
Is what they have worth fighting to keep forever?
“Christina!” Maxine called.
Her daughter looked up from her “game” and grinned when she saw the look of anger on her mother’s face. Maxine stared at her formerly pure white walls, eyeing the mess of blue and red finger paints that Christina had smeared all over them.
She reached down and picked her daughter off the ground, swooping in to transport her to the brownstone’s bathroom. Maxine had long given up on keeping her clothing clean on the weekends so she barely flinched when Christina started to cling to her with paint covered hands. Luckily, Christina’s father wasn’t home…
Maxine stripped her daughter down to nothing and began to fill up the tub. Christina stood before her mother with chubby, soft, butterscotch colored skin, the perfect blend of her mother’s skin and her father’s. Coffee and cream. Christina’s hair was a natural, deep brown color and her thick curls framed her face. Maxine found her daughter’s hair beyond beautiful. Christina agreed, except on their wash and detangle day.
With the bathtub full of warm water, Maxine poured in Christina’s favorite bubble bath and sat her daughter in the water. Realizing her impromptu bathtime she giggled and clapped, splashing the warm water all over her mother’s clothes. Christina looked up at her mother and Maxine felt chills roll down her spine. She would never get over seeing Christina’s eyes — perfect copies of her own. Christina’s bright grey eyes stood out against her tan colored skin.
Maxine helped her daughter scrub down from head to toe and then rinse off. Then, she allowed Christina even more time to play in the bath, appreciating the warm water and the soothing feeling that penetrated her skin. She removed Christina from the shower and then toweled her down, dressing her in an adorable dress. She warned Christina about staying out of trouble and then placed her in her playpen as she ran downstairs to clean up her mess. Now that she was three, Christina had developed an obsession with making a mess out of her paints. This was the third time that Maxine had spent an afternoon scrubbing a mess.
By the time Maxine finished, she had broken out into a sweat. She checked the time, hoping that her husband would be home soon. Husband… It felt strange to think of him that way. Maxine remembered when they’d met how right it had felt. She had confirmed what she’d always heard to be true in movies and books: when you met the right guy, you just knew.
As Maxine walked upstairs, her phone rang. But it wasn’t her husband this time, it was her mother.
“Mama, hi!” Maxine called.
Maxine wondered what on earth could be prompting her mother to call when they’d spoken not many hours before.
“Maxine child… What are you doing?”
“Well Christina just made another mess so I’m through cleaning it up.”
Agatha chuckled, “Oh that girl is just as much trouble as her mother.”
“Listen, I think I have a fantastic opportunity for Christine.”
Maxine was skeptical. What kind of opportunity could a three year old really have. She remained silent to listen to what her mother said.
“Well you know I want the best for my grandchild and I recently called up an old friend at Bank Street School who thinks she can get Christina a spot.”
Maxine had heard of Bank Street School. Some of her husband’s business associates were big fans of the swanky preschool with it’s $40,000/yr pricetag. Maxine hadn’t even started to consider such ideas with her daughter and she wasn’t sure how well intentioned her mother’s suggestion was.
Agatha scoffed, “Yes, really, Maxine. I think Ollie and I would be more than happy to foot 50% of the bill. I know I never get to see my grandchild but it would pain me to have her entertain anything less than the best…”
Maxine sighed. This was a big thing that her mother was offering. A part of her wondered if she would be forever stuck living off Agatha’s generosity. But another part of her was aware of how big of a difference this might make in her daughter’s life. Maxine watched her daughter playing happily in her playpen and sighed.
“Mama, I don’t know if I can accept that. Plus, I haven’t even discussed it with–”
“Alright, alright dear,” Her mother interrupted, “But I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Discuss it with the Mr. and get back to me. I think Christina could only benefit.”
“Okay mama,” Maxine answered, “I’ll talk to you later.”
Maxine hung up and then checked the time again. If she wanted to spend time with her husband upon his arrival home, she would have to get to work fast. She set herself up at the desk near her daughter and began typing urgently to meet her deadlines. Alternating between work and attending to Christina, Maxine conjured up all the productivity she had within her. It was well after five when she heard the door downstairs thrust open.
Maxine scooped Christina up into her arms and brought her downstairs to meet her father. He looked tired, haggard even. Maxine knew his week had been stressful, especially considering the recent offer to buy his company that he’d turned down. All the same, he picked Christina up in his arms, kissed her forehead and then held her tightly. He looked at her gorgeous, dark skinned wife and gestured for her to approach and receive an evening kiss too. When his lips touched her forehead, Maxine’s anxieties about discussing the posh preschool went out the window.
They spent the night together with Christina, talking and playing with her, watching her smile and laugh as she enjoyed the time with her parents. When she started to drift off, Maxine scooped her daughter up and tucked her into bed. With Christina asleep, she’d finally be able to approach her husband about what Agatha had called to ask.
She went downstairs and found him with a glass wine and a grin.
“Good evening my love…”
“Hi…” Maxine said. She sauntered over to his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing his soft lips.
Her husband whispered, “So… Before I let this red wine take over me… How was your day?”
“My mother called,” Maxine replied.
“Yes?” Her husband raised his eyebrows. His thick eyebrows over his chocolate brown eyes could never fail to hypnotize Maxine. Or maybe it was his delicious peach skin or his perfect, angular jawline.
Maxine snapped out of her fantasy.
“Uh… Yes. She told me that she got Christina an opportunity to go to Bank Street School and that she’ll pay half the tuition if we say yes.”
“Bank Street School? You mean that posh pre-school Jen was telling us about two weeks ago?” He said, with an instant look of disgust.
Great. Maxine knew she would have some convincing to do.
“Yes, that school. And yes, tuition is $40,000 but we will only have to pay half of it!”
“And Agatha takes care of it right?”
Maxine shook her head, “Yes she will. But that’s not a big deal! She wants to help out. She wants the best for Christina…”
“I know my world is different from yours Maxine, but where I come from, we didn’t pay $40,000 to play with blocks.”
“I know but… Don’t we want the best for her?” Maxine asked.
Her husband sighed, “I just don’t know if I believe in it.”
“Please… It’s super hard to get kids into that school and I know mama pulled some strings.”
He pulled Maxine close, “Can we just try it out for a year first?”
Maxine smiled and looked up at him. This had been easier than she thought…
“Yes, really. But you’ve got to promise me that we aren’t turning Christina into a brat.”
“I promise,” Maxine said. She kissed her husband on the lips, enjoying the flavor of red wine on his lips.
“I love you, Tristan,” She whispered.
“I love you too Maxine…”
3 Years, 11 Months Prior…
After two weeks at home, Maxine Brewer was exhilarated to find herself in the city for the start of her new unpaid internship at a glitzy new online magazine that featured corny clickbait articles and vaguely left wing journalism. A part of Maxine wondered if she was a bit too old for an internship at 28. But in graduate school, the job market was just as harsh as it had been before grad school. Plus, her parents didn’t seem to mind forking over the cash as long as Maxine pursued her education. As a black woman, they thought Maxine’s education was more important than anything else, no matter the cost and no matter how old Maxine was.
Maxine’s “job” was at the sort of magazine that people in their twenties loved. Maxine felt like she’d spent so much time in school that she was out of the loop of what was cool and hip. At least she was able to fake it enough to get the position. Maxine questioned some of the moral practices of the company — stripping the trendy aspects of websites like Reddit or Twitter of their best elements just to max out on clicks and reads. Regardless of morals, Maxine knew it was a great opportunity. She would be part of the new face of journalism and her parents would be proud. This would be a big step towards putting her Masters of Fine Arts to good use after graduation. Being at home for too long was tiring. At first, her parents seemed happy to see her but then they would start asking the usual questions:
“When are you going to bring home a nice young man?”
“Why don’t you try going out with Galen from down the street?”
Maxine was surprised her parents hadn’t caught on yet… She wasn’t interested in Galen or any other man. They interpreted Maxine’s avoidance of men as being a problem, a signal that something inside her was deeply broken. Really, Maxine was just protecting herself.
As the only black woman in a neighborhood of white people, Maxine knew the score. Men were satisfied with having her as a friend or a casual sex partner but nothing more. They certainly didn’t want to come home to meet her parents. She couldn’t believe how her parents didn’t notice that. They should have understood what life was like for her in that town. Throughout high school and her four years of undergrad, Maxine’s life had involved little to no dating at all.
All her mother wanted was for Maxine to become a trophy wife. Agatha was convinced that Maxine could screw or marry away her blackness and integrate into America’s wealthy. Maxine tried her best to avoid all their questions and inquiries into her personal life but after a while it got exhausting. A part of Maxine wanted to just scream and tell them the truth: No man wanted to date her. Another part of her couldn’t stand all the drama that would accompany honesty. Some things were more trouble than they were worth.
Maxine would have loved to find a handsome black man to hold her down but the black men that surrounded her weren’t any better. The ones from her town were busy chasing after the “Kimberlys” and “Jennifers”, trying to have babies as soon as possible. The black men from out of town found Maxine “stuck up”. They thought that her focus on school and her career and her standards made her “bougie”. Maxine resented the idea of dating more and more the closer she got to thirty.
On her first day of work, Maxine was dressed far more formally than anyone else. Her mother had bought her an emerald green J. Crew shift dress just for the occasion. Maxine hated how her mother picked out everything for her even if she was in her twenties. But she felt like she had no control over the matter. Agatha Brewer was desperate to fit in and she wouldn’t take any chances with Maxine’s appearance not matching up with the norm of their Connecticut neighborhood.
Agatha Brewer was old fashioned and everything about her attitude screamed old money. She didn’t believe in public displays of affection or unladylike behavior of any kind. Agatha Brewer believed in the Holy Trinity: wealth, good looks and Ralph Lauren polo. Maxine resented her mother sometimes, but since her parents had snagged her this internship and paid for Maxine’s Cornell Grad School tuition, there were some annoyances she was forced to tolerate.
Maxine looked around the room trying to see if there is anyone in this crowd she could befriend. She hated the types of people she went to school with. They were so boring and so painfully white. But the black girls at her college thought that Maxine acted “too white”. Maxine was somewhere in the middle and uncomfortable to boot. This summer, Maxine was hoping to meet someone interesting… Someone who hadn’t gone to a prep school and someone who didn’t summer in Martha’s Vineyard. Her world felt so small and so suffocating. As Maxine’s eyes wandered across the room, she noticed a the most handsome guy she’d ever seen standing in the crowd as the interns were being addressed by the head honcho.
The man’s skin was a deep tanned color like he would have preferred surfing to standing in an office. He was at least 5 inches taller than Maxine and dressed way less like an uptight prep than anyone she’d ever met. From the moment Maxine saw him, she felt immediately self conscious about her Louboutin heels and J. Crew dress. Maxine didn’t even know why she felt so self conscious. She locked eyes with the man standing across the room and then blushed before looking away. This guy was gorgeous. Maxine hadn’t been so instantaneously attracted to anyone in a long time. There was something about him that didn’t seem like other guys she knew although he was clearly trying to play the part.
Maxine snapped back into reality when her boss announced, “Okay ladies, gentlemen, we’re going to do a little ice breaker here! Everyone go around say your name, university and one interesting fact about yourself!”
Maxine hated these ice breaker games but she was happy for the opportunity to figure out what the man’s name was. She wasn’t even paying attention to any of the other introductions.
“I’m Tristan Nixon. I go to SUNY Stonybrook and my interesting fact is… I was almost named Ricky Nixon but luckily my dad left and didn’t get a final say,” the man said with a broad smile.
The lines on his face revealed that his face was more often than not plastered in a smile. Maxine melted at the sight of it.
Everyone in the room chuckled. Tristan smiled; Maxine was captivated once again. So he was beautiful and funny. Tristan was a towering 6’4” and he was dressed with a relaxed, California cool surfer look. He wore skinny dark wash denim, black Converse sneakers and a black t-shirt. His hair was short, thick and curly. His body was muscular and lean, much thicker than the athletes in her town that were skinny from years of tennis or squash. Tristan’s thick lashes framed his deep, chocolate brown eyes. Everyone else in the room introduced themselves; Maxine couldn’t keep track of all the names.
When it was her turn, she stumbled over her words.
“Um… I’m Maxine Brewer. I’m a graduate student at Cornell and um… I’ve been playing the piano since I was six,” Maxine said.
She looked across the room at Tristan unconsciously hoping he approved. At the very least, he would know that she was educated. Tristan didn’t seem to have even noticed her. After they were done with their “ice breaker”, their boss — Darien Williams — continued to fill them all in on their duties. Then, Darien warned them about the rules and regulations of the internship. No lateness, no missing deadlines, no open-toed shoes and no office drama. The subtext was clear: don’t hook up with each other if you can’t handle the consequences.
“Remember ladies! Staying away from men now is the best thing you can do for your future,” Darien warned. Most of the room chuckled. Darien was warning a room full of twenty year olds not to get involved with each other and it was painfully obvious that no one was interested in taking him up on his advice.
Maxine folded her arms. Unlike everyone else, she didn’t think that would be a problem. Maxine wondered if there were any other black people working in this office. She was always filled with anxiety upon entering new environments. Maxine wondered if her new crush was interested in black women. Not just as romantic partners but as friends. That was rare too.
Maxine always felt miserable and alone in these all white environments. If she wasn’t performing she was easily labelled as unfriendly or rude. Black girls weren’t allowed the privilege of being shy. That was Maxine’s least favorite part about crushes… trying to figure out if they were interested in her or if they would reject her violently.
Maxine didn’t want to be treated like an experiment anymore. She’d had enough of that in high school. If she was going to be with anyone now, she wanted the real thing. She didn’t want to be their “first time with a black girl”. Maxine knew she deserved better than that; she’d settled for less for too long. At 28, she was done with the games for real. Any guy that came to her had to come correct.
After their introduction to the workplace, all the interns were left to their own devices. Maxine sat at her desk and checked her new work email to see what tasks she had been assigned. As she was about to open her email inbox, a girl popped over to her desk to introduce herself.
“Maxine right? I’m Nicola,” the girl said.
Nicola Stone was just the type of girl that Maxine had been hoping to avoid. She was a girl clearly floated in the wealthiest circles. Nicola was average height with an incredibly thin build and incredibly expensive outfit. Both of her arms were jingling with Kate Spade bangles and her ears and neck were decked with Tiffany’s jewelry. She was your quintessential girly girl who believed in wealth and more importantly, flaunting it. Maxine was about to be introduced to every single girl she’d gone to school with; in the past, her experiences with girls and women like Nicola had been less than positive.
“Yeah, I’m Maxine. Nice to meet you Nicola,” Maxine said flashing her smile.
“No offense but you seem like the only cool person in here. I mean your skin… It’s just so tan! And you go to Cornell. Do you know Mark Winslow? I totally fucked him last summer. He’s on the hockey team…” Nicola blurted out.
“Yeah, I know him,” Maxine replied. She hated Mark. He was a typical athletic douche bag who had threatened to “rape the black outta her” when she’d rejected him. His excuse afterwards was that he’d been drunk and everyone seemed to eat it right up. Maxine had never been able to let go of the experience, no matter how much her friends had prodded her to let it go.
Nicola answered, “That’s so cool. So you’re a Brewer right? What does your dad do? My daddy just bought a summer house on the Vineyard and we should totally ditch the city for the weekend. I scored some coke from my friend Matty yesterday and it would be so cool if we like chilled and stuff.”
Maxine’s eyes popped wide open. Was this girl really just offering her cocaine in their office? White girls truly didn’t know how lucky they were to do things like talk about cocaine openly at work. Maxine looked around paranoid but no bosses were around. Nicola was totally nonplussed as if what she was saying was the most natural thing in the world. Maxine didn’t even get a chance to answer her question with a resounding “No!!” when Nicola continued.
“Anyways, I’m going to see what other cool peeps this office has to offer. I’ll email you my number. Kisses!” Nicola announced before bouncing away.
Maxine had to admit she was a little stunned. That was everyone’s usual reaction to being bombarded by hurricane Nicola. She watched as Nicola bounced around the office and eventually landed at Tristan’s desk. Maxine stole glances at their interaction, trying not to make it blatantly obvious that she envied Nicola’s confidence. She wasn’t sure what they were saying to each other, but she could tell from Tristan’s body language that he wasn’t interested in Nicola at all. Maxine felt a pang of hope in her chest. Was it because he wasn’t into white girls or because Nicola was just annoying?
Maxine smiled and felt a little satisfied. But then she caught herself. I don’t even know if this guy likes black girls! She thought to herself. Talk about jumping the gun… That was the problem. She never knew until she knew. Sometimes you find out when it was too late. Sometimes Maxine made a bold move and was only disappointed. White men could be cruel in the way they rejected her. Maxine had lost many friends by just daring to think they could ever see her as romantic partners. Now it seemed much safer not to take any risks… Maxine didn’t even know a thing about Tristan but she was willing to risk it all for a chance to go out with him just once. Keep it together Maxine!
Maxine watched as Tristan excused himself from the conversation with Nicola who bounded off to another cubicle to bother someone else. Tristan got up and appeared to be going… directly towards Maxine’s desk. Maxine glanced behind her to make sure she wasn’t about to make a fool of herself. Nope, Tristan was coming right towards her.
“Hey, Maxine right?” Tristan asked.
“Tristan, right?” Maxine finished for him.
“Yeah… So did that girl, Nicola or whatever her name is come talk to you. Do you know what her deal is?” Tristan asked.
Maxine shook her head.
“No idea… She knows a couple people from my school,” Maxine answered.
Tristan leaned over and whispered, “She just offered me coke…Totally bizarre. I’m not into drugs like that anyways. I can’t believe how reckless some people can be.”
I’m being so awkward! Maxine thought to herself. Here she was face to face with this amazing man and she was acting like a shrinking violet.
“I totally agree. Well I’m always here to chat if you want. Plus we might get assigned to work on some articles together!” Maxine chipped.
Tristan replied, “Yeah I hope so. You seem smart so it will be great to have you on my team. This is a big opportunity for me. Getting this internship nearly cost me a relationship…”
“Yeah that totally sucks. But I think this whole thing will be worth it in the end even if we aren’t getting paid,” Maxine added. She was curious about this “relationship” that Tristan had mentioned.
Tristan raised his eyebrow. “I hope so…” He said.
Tristan continued, “So do you spend a lot of time in the city?”
“Yeah, I’m from Connecticut. What about you?” Maxine answered.
Tristan scoffed, “You? From Connecticut. Wow, you must be a rich girl. I’m from the Bronx.”
Maxine blushed at the term “rich girl”. She hated when other people pointed out how much money she had. It had been one of the ways fellow black students alienated Maxine from their outings and lunch tables. But Maxine was intrigued. She’d never met anyone from the Bronx before. While her parents had working class upbringings, they never let Maxine anywhere near that former life.
“Is it nice?” Maxine asked.
“Yeah… If you think fighting with cat sized rats on the subway is nice,” He chuckled.
His laugh was deep and low. Maxine couldn’t help but feel hypnotized.
Maxine felt embarrassed again at her naivety.
“Oh…” She answered.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m joking. Hey you’re kind of chill you know that. I think I should probably leave you be to work and all of that but if I want to escape hurricane Nicola I’ll come over to your desk again. I think she’s got a little crush,” Tristan said with a heartwarming smile.
He moved away, slow and suave with that intensely cool vibe he projected. As Tristan walked away, Maxine found herself ogling his butt. Damn. Tristan was built like a model, there was no doubt about it. He had strong, muscular thighs and a nice pair of taut buttocks. Maxine thought about the way Tristan had leaned over her desk and the way his musky cologne had seeped into her nostrils. She could practically still smell it on her clothing. Maxine couldn’t help but fantasize about him. She hadn’t felt so insanely attracted to a guy since she’d started grad school.
So far, Maxine’s first day of work was going perfectly. She couldn’t wait to get home to call her mother and tell her everything about it. That is, tell her about everything except her new crush. Maxine wanted Agatha far away from her potential love life at all costs. But she needed to include her mother in her daily life. Agatha was the primary black woman that Maxine looked up to. She was the light of Maxine’s life and her closest friend. All the same, Agatha’s thoughts on romance often depressed Maxine. She felt like she was “behind” her mother’s schedule for how things were supposed to happen and that stung.
Nope. Maxine vowed to keep every crush a secret until there was something real to report.
If you enjoyed this sample and you're interested in another story like this one, Walking Down The Aisle by Raven Ferrari. Click here to read the free sample.
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