Loving Simone

Second Publication: June 8, 2021

Original Publication: 2009

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Loving Simone has undergone a transformation. Raven, however, is still the same! After 20 years of writing, editing, writing, and editing more, I’ve learned a great deal. I wanted to take all that I’ve learned and re-write/re-edit my previously published novels, starting with Loving Simone. I’ve designed new book covers and livened up the interior for a more enjoyable read. The new Loving Simone is now available wherever books are sold. Coming soon on Audible.com.


Paperback: 266 pages
eBook: Kindle
ISBN-13: 978-0981809458

To family and friends, Simone Woodson has the perfect life. What else could she possibly need? Her husband, Jackson, an accountant at a prestigious Washington, DC, law firm, provides for her all the worldly things she could wish for. However, looks can be deceiving. Behind closed doors, there is a perfect storm brewing. Betrayals and her insatiable desire for intimacy are ripping her marriage apart at the seams.



Autographed Copy



Here’s an excerpt from my favorite chapter. Enjoy!

Excerpt Copyright 2009, 2021 by Jessica Tilles. All rights reserved.


Simone looked over the ledge of the balcony, peering down at the many heads below. Where had Jackson gone? She hated it when he left her alone at these drab office functions. The only purpose of these boring affairs was for upper-level management to observe their associate partners and to read more into the type of employee they had hired. Everything was always a test, but Simone knew how to play the role of the perfect wifey. Still, she did not appreciate Jackson leaving her stranded with artificial people, forcing her to engage in the unnecessary, who-gives-a-damn conversations.

“There he is.” The white woman sitting next to her pointed.

Simone was unaware the woman had been watching her or knew she was looking for Jackson.

“Out of the restroom, to the corner bar for drinks.” The woman fished for a compact in her purse. Pausing to open it, she glanced at Simone with a knowing smile. “I hate being left alone at these things, too. Always know where mine is. Right now, he is directly below us trying to schmooze his partner. It won’t work, though, he’s an asshole.” She laughed at her own politically incorrect statement. “Anna Stein, nice to meet you.”

Simone offered her a genuine smile. She loved women who refused to be defined and not afraid of being forward. Kind of like Celeste. Simone lacked the courage to be one of those women.
“Simone Woodson. It’s very nice to meet you.”

“I watched yours when he walked away. Wondered whose group he is in since I haven’t met him before.”

“Oh, he’s not a lawyer. He’s in accounting and finance for the firm.”

“Ahhh. So, he has a little less work to do tonight, huh?”

Simone shrugged. “It seems to me he is always working the room, anyway.”

“Overachiever. I know the type well, believe me, hon. Lawyer, accountant, this room is reaming with Type A personalities. They just can’t help themselves.”

Simone laughed infectiously. Jackson was the most anal-retentive person she had ever met. She noticed how he seemed right at home in this crowd while she longed for her comfortable sofa and a good romance novel. She looked at Anna again, noticing she was in perfect shape, not an ounce of fat anywhere on her lean frame. Her ballroom gown was slightly inappropriate. Intent on letting her body show, per the long front and back V-shapes, which would have been a problem had she had any cleavage, but looked perfectly normal against her flat chest. She sported a stunning diamond pendant with matching diamond teardrop earrings. Her features were perfect—perfect-shaped nose, high cheekbones, pouty lips painted in stunning red—all downplayed by a blunt bob haircut for her raven red hair.

“Got to watch him, though.” Anna nodded at her, tilting her head slightly. “Not just yours, all of them,” she continued in a conspiratorial whisper, slightly leaning forward. “The firm purposely hires young, hot, needy women as the,” she curled her index fingers into quotation marks, “support staff. One of the perks of this firm. Looks the other way when the gentlemen handle the needs with the help.”

The shock of discovery hit Simone full force. “No!”

“Oh, honey, very much yes. See the blonde at the far table against the back wall? Over there.” She pointed a French-manicured finger over the rail. “The one that’s just off her mother’s tit. Yeah, she’s been my husband’s assistant for the past year. I invited her to the house for a social and to let her know I am ahead of the game.”
“You did? How did that work out?”

“Well, let’s say this time I was able to nip it in the bud. She is more loyal to me than him, that’s for sure. I know all his business, but I wasn’t always so astute.”

Simone sighed and leaned back in her chair. Here was this beautiful, forty-something bombshell openly admitting her raggedy-ass husband was sticking his man-business in other places, and she talked about it like strategizing and fighting for him. For the first time, Simone removed the self-pity aspect of the situation. She had gone about this all wrong.

“So, is he worth it?”

“Oh, honey. That’s not the question. If that were the question, the answer would be hell no, for him or any man. But I need him. I love him. And I will be damned if I lose what I have built over the past decade to some cutie who can give deep throat.” She cocked an eyebrow, adding emphasis to her statement.

Simone laughed, bringing her hand up to stifle her laughter. She could not believe Anna had said that.

“You are a bit more modest than me. More conservative.” Anna laughed, shaking her head. “Sometimes, I get ahead of myself. I hope I didn’t embarrass you, or myself.”

“No, absolutely not.” Simone lifted her wine glass and took a small sip of the dry Chardonnay. “I appreciate your honesty. Really.”

“So, who is your husband’s helper?”

“Actually, I don’t know.”

“Hmmm. That means he is uncomfortable introducing her. She is probably overaggressive. Make sure he points her out when he comes back.”

“I damn sure will.” Simone smiled with a nod.

“But I would bet my money on the brown bombshell sitting against the far wall. She has had her eye on you since you sat down.”

Simone sat up to look around.

“Don’t look yet…” Anna hesitated, glancing past Simone’s head. “Okay, turn slightly.”

Simone obeyed.

“See her?”

Yeah. I see her ass.

“I never saw her at one of these before,” Anna admitted. “But it’s just an educated guess.”

Simone felt her anger rise. The girl looked like she could belong to the thick voice that had called a few days before. If it did not belong to her, the woman damn sure knew the owner of that voice.
Simone patted Anna on the hand. “I think you’re right. I am going to find out right now.”

“No, no, no.” Anna clicked her tongue. “No scenes, no fights. Not here.”

“Oh, no. Watch how I handle this.”

Simone stood slowly, adjusting the deep green body con dress perfectly hugging her. She loved this dress. She and Celeste had spotted it together, and she knew she could rock it, with the help of a girdle and control top pantyhose. However, with the easy flat look achieved, Simone made her way slowly across the room, seemingly intent on finding the restroom. She made eye contact with the only other Black woman on that side of the balcony dining area and gave her a How are you? sister nod, the acknowledgment of one Black woman to another. Simone knew instantly the woman was unsure of how to respond. If she ignored Simone, it would give Simone reason to pause and ponder, something she did not want. After an awkward split fraction of a second, the woman smiled warmly and nodded.

Taking the nod as approval to approach, Simone walked to her. “Excuse me.” Simone smiled. “Are there any restrooms on this level?”

“Oh, no.” The voice sounded higher than she had anticipated. “No, you have to go down near the portraits. The restroom is on the other side.”

“Thank you.” Simone rolled her eyes dramatically. “I have no idea where my husband went and I hate these things. Do you work for the firm?”

“Uhm, uh, yes, I do. I think…actually, are you Mrs. Woodson?”

Bingo. Simone smiled. “Yes.”

“I am Mr. Woodson’s assistant. India Walker. It’s very nice to finally meet you.”



“Oh, please call me Simone. I didn’t realize Jackson had a new assistant.”

India glanced around, apparently embarrassed and unsure of how to continue, not wanting to misspeak. “Uh, yes, I was assigned to him this week. His last assistant was, um, well, she decided to pursue other opportunities.”

“Really?” I bet she did. After she called me, and Jackson fired her. Simone wondered how much information India had and exactly how loose-lipped she could become. However, she never got a chance to go any further with her questioning as she felt a pair of hands slip around her waist.

“India. I see you’ve met my beautiful wife, Simone,” Jackson announced proudly.

Simone glanced at India, noticing she looked as if she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her.

“Yes, Mr. Woodson, she was just looking for directions to the restroom.”

Why did she offer him an explanation? Simone knew then Jackson had probably threatened anybody about coming near her or speaking to her, and, certainly, were not to give her any information.

“Well, India, I am going to make my way to the ladies’ room.” She turned slightly from Jackson, whose touch felt disgusting to her now. “Thank you on the heads up,” she said lightly, giving India a conspiratorial nod.

Jackson looked back and forth between the two. Seeing how Simone did not look upset, he grinned amicably at both women before escorting Simone to the restroom. Simone would not tell Jackson what she knew about his other assistant. She refused to burn the bridge to India so easily. As she and Jackson walked past the small cocktail table, Anna raised her glass with a classic smile. Simone grinned in return.

“So, I didn’t know you had a new assistant.”

“Yeah, I like India. She’s knowledgeable about the subject matter and more helpful with my filing.”

“Hmm.” Simone felt Jackson stiffen. She leaned over and kissed his cheek. “You look handsome tonight.”

She smiled as he puffed his chest out a tad bit. “You know I do. I am rocking this tux, damn it.”

They both laughed and Simone shook her head as she made her way into the ladies’ room.