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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Cupid's Kisses: A Valentine's Day Event



Happy Valentine's Day, bookworms! 

As a fan of romance novels, I knew I had to celebrate this holiday on the blog with something special. Boy, do I have a treat for you all or what? I asked some authors whose books I've enjoyed in the past to share a short scene or snippet of what their couples might be up to and these authors delivered some seriously swoony and friendshippy goodness!

Before we begin with the post, I'd like to thank all the authors and one of my favorite publicists, Estelle at Forever Romance, for contributing to this post from the bottom of my heart! I'm virtually showering you all with chocolate and romance books! Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the very end of this post.

Now, let's finally begin with what you're all really here for! :)

Talia Hibbert 
© Talia Hibbert, 2019

Want to find out how Rahul and Jasemine went from pals to non-platonic pals? Be sure to check out WANNA BET? and Talia's sexy books!

Wanna Bet? (Dirty British Romance, #2)  Bad for the Boss (Just for Him, #1) A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood, #1)

FIND TALIA: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon

Felicia Grossman


© Felicia Grossman, 2019

Valentine’s Day Scene:

February 14, 1851
Centerville, Delaware

Ow, ow, ow. Ursula Nunes Truitt rubbed the bottom of her stocking-covered foot. She really should wear slippers at all times, but who knew dominos were so hard on one’s soles? Spreading her hoops, she knelt to retrieve the item, before tossing it in the pile with the wooden animals, small balls, and toy soldiers that somehow made their way from the nursery to her dressing room, no matter how many times it was tidied.

Hazard of having four children.

“Hazard of spoiling four children. Or at least that’s what my mother enjoys reminding me.” Jay, her husband of a decade, leaned against the door as she slid in in front of her dressing table. A little rose water made everything better. That and pearls and large amethysts. She glanced down to rifle through her jewel box and frowned at the gold, pink, and red rectangle blocking her view.

“What in the world is this?” Ursula waved the object at Jay.

“It’s a Valentine?” He picked his way across the room, but still managed to bang his knee on the rocking horse that should’ve been too heavy for any of their progeny to lift.

“Pardon?” She rubbed the crisp edge of the thick, decorated board.

“You know, a card showing my love and affection for you on Valentine’s Day?” Her husband ceased rubbing his leg and moved behind her.

Ursula wrinkled her nose. “Isn’t that some sort of Catholic thing?” Not one on Jay’s side, Truitt or Hale, was Catholic. She bit her lip, at least not to her knowledge, though who could really keep up with such things as they were all rather irreligious and she’d turned their household into a Jewish one.

“Maybe. Other people celebrate it though.” He kissed the top of her head before smiling at her in the mirror. “You know they purchase their sweetheart gifts and tokens…”

She snorted and dissolved into a fit of giggles.

He turned his lips down in an exaggerated frown. “Why are you laughing?”

Ursula had to cover her mouth for a full minute before she could speak again. “That word, ‘sweetheart.’” Another snort. “I’m not particularly sweet or girlish or what have you…” Fiddlesticks, she really needed to get a hold of herself. He was attempting to be romantic, but it was just so…more giggles. And all right, a few more snorts.

And Jay had joined her. He wrapped his hands around her though, and pulled her back against his chest. “You’re terrible and not making this particularly easy for me. Not that you ever do.” He gave her another kiss. This time on the temple and her body began to hum, even through the laughter. “Look, here’s the deal, Urs, there was this salesman, Howland—he has a sister. The woman is trying to start her own business making pretty cards for Valentine’s Day so...”

“Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place? I’m always interested in helping new ventures. I’ll send her a letter in the morning to see if she’s interest in passive investors.” Ursula leaned back into Jay, inhaling the lovely combination of peppermint and wood and cherries that was her husband, before returning to the card-object.

She stroked the material again, turning it over in her palm. Crimson and pink roses weaved in and out of the gilded frame that surrounded two kittens with a heart between them. Ursula shrugged. “It is rather pretty.” It really was. Very intricate.

Jay brushed her neck with his lips. “That’s handstitched lace and embroidery.”

“Fancy,” she managed between small moans. How was he still able to do this to her so easily?

“Why don’t you open it?” He guided her hand to unfold the thing and reveal gold lettering.

She squinted. “’To Urs, the love of my life, who I see every day, you will always be the first person I think of when I wake, the last when I got to sleep, the only person I imagine when I’m in the bath, unless you’re there as well.’” Ursula wet her lips. “Now that’s rather naughty. And not your handwriting.”

“This woman and her employees do custom work.” Jay’s lips twitched right before he nipped at her earlobe. She moaned, potentially his name, potentially nonsense.

“The poor woman.” Ursula dropped the card on the table and turned around in the chair so she could face her husband. She wrapped her arms around his neck. “Now we are most certainly have to invest in this company to make-up for that.” She pulled him closer so their foreheads touched. “Though it isn’t a bad idea. It’d be better with chocolate.”

“Next year, I promise chocolate.” He kissed her nose.

“In a gold box.” She rose on her knees, her skirts pooling around the chair, and gave his lower lip a little nip. “Though this year…”

“Yes, Urs? What is it you want?” He rubbed her chin and she melted into him.

“Let’s start with you getting me out of the corset and we’ll see where it goes?” She managed to breathe the question as he kissed down her neck. Lord, it was getting warm, so he really needed to hurry.

“I knew you’d get in the spirit of the holiday.” Jay lifted her into his arms and carried her to the bed.

She nuzzled his chest. “How could I not?”

He laid her down and brushed a stray lock of blonde hair off her forehead. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Urs.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Jay.”

THE END

Watch how Urs & Jay's love story unfolds in Felicia's debut novel, APPETITES & VICES, out Feb 18th!

Appetites & Vices (The Truitts #1)

FIND FELICIA: Website - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon


Katee Robert

© Katee Robert, 2019

Dmitri Romanov walked out of his office and blinked. A trail of roses led from the doorway, down the hall, and around the corner. Apparently his wife’s declaration over Christmas to get him to appreciate the holidays meant she wanted him to appreciate every holiday.

Surely she knew she was the one thing in his life he appreciated the most.

The trail wound through the house—obviously Keira was enjoying herself when she set this up—and then up the stairs to the master bedroom. He pushed open the door with a single finger, half expecting to find her positioned on the bed in some new lingerie she wanted him to rip off her. He grinned. He was more than happy to oblige.

But the bed was empty but for a scattering of rose petals.

Moyo koroleva?”

“In here.”

He moved to the bathroom, drawn by the wobble in her voice. Concern flared, even as he told himself there was nothing to be concerned with. They were safe enough as such things went. Peace reigned and business was good. He and his wife were happy.

It didn’t stop him from being prepared to defend this new life of his by any means necessary.

He found her sitting on the edge of the tub, her eyes a little too wide. She wore one of his button-up shirts as she liked to do, but the expression she turned his way felt more fearful than lustful. “What’s wrong?”

“Uh…” She waved a shaking hand at the counter, and he quickly moved to find and remove whatever had scared her. 

Except…

Dmitri stopped cold. “This is…” His words dried up, his chest going suddenly tight. “Moya koroleva, what is this?”

“That’s a silly question, Dima.” She laughed hoarsely. “You know what it is.”

He picked up the pregnancy test, his gaze glued to the plus sign. “You’re pregnant.” He spun around and took a step toward her before he caught himself. Caution. Dmitri cleared his throat. “Is this not what we wanted?”

“Yes.” She gave a slow smile, though her eyes were still a little too wide. “It is. Holy crap, Dima. We’re going to be parents.” She laughed softly. “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

He swept her into his arms and kissed her thoroughly. Even after all this time, Dmitri didn’t have the words to fully encompass his love for this woman. But he could show her. He showed her every chance he got. He finally lifted his head and was satisfied to see the fear had faded from her face. “I love you.”

“I love you, too.” She went onto her toes and nipped his bottom lip. “Take me to bed, Dima. Let’s celebrate.” 


She didn’t have to tell him twice.

Curious about how the unlikely pair of Dmitri and Keira came to be? Read Katee's THE BASTARD BARGAIN and her prolific backlist!

The Bastard's Bargain (The O'Malleys, #6) The Fearless King (The Kings, #2) Make Me Yours (Make Me, #3)

FIND KATEE: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon

Mia Sosa

© Mia Sosa, 2019

Tori and Carter: An Acting on Impulse Valentine’s Extra

Hollywood Observer 

9:00 a.m. PT 2/7/19 by Observer Staff 
Los Angeles, California 
Hurts So Good 

Interested in catching a glimpse of Carter Stone while he works out? Well, now’s your chance. We’re hearing reports that Stone’s wife, Tori Alvarez, is training him for his next film, and she’s using LA’s streets and parks as her exercise room. Tipsters have spotted the couple in Griffith Park and around the Hollywood Reservoir loop. Stone’s described his wife as a taskmaster when it comes to fitness, so we can only imagine what she’s putting him through these days. If it means we get to see Stone sweat, we heartily approve. 

Carter

I’m in bed staring at the ceiling, my hands tucked behind my head, when Tori waltzes in, pulls the comforter down to the footboard, and cocks a hand on her hip.

“You’re not getting out of this,” she says in her patented no-nonsense tone.

Tori would never willingly deviate from the personal training routine she designed specifically for me. And with only three weeks left before I’m due to start filming in Boulder, she’s being more stubborn than usual.

“But it’s Valentine’s Day,” I whine, sitting up and reaching for the warmth she just stole from me. “Can’t I get a day off? Aren’t we entitled to spend the morning lazing around? Spooning? Making love? Watching Netflix? All of that can be done from the comfort of our couch, too.” I puff out my chest and flex my biceps for good measure. “How can you resist?”

She turns away with a smirk and taps the light switch. “We’ve been through this before. You asked me to help get you in shape in a ridiculously short amount of time. The consequence is that I’m going to be a hard ass about it. Your fine self needs to be dressed, warmed-up, and ready for our run in fifteen minutes.”

I stick my tongue out at her. “Fine.”

She strolls to the door as though my mild protest means nothing to her and bats her eyes. “Don’t be that way. As a token of my affection, I made you a smoothie.” 

“How romantic.” I drop back down, my head instantly swallowed by the overly soft pillow she purchased last week. “You sure I can’t convince you to spend the day in bed?” 

“Positive,” she says with a decisive nod before she sails out the room. 

I love her confidence. I truly do. But it’s going to be fun proving her wrong. 

Tori

Carter strides into the living room, his dark brown hair stuffed inside the same red baseball cap he was wearing when we met. A long-sleeved tech shirt and running pants emphasize the progress he’s made so far. I study his chest—to monitor his training efforts, of course—and ignore the urge to tackle him to the ground and kiss him senseless. “Your pecs are coming along nicely.” 

He widens his stance and straightens his shoulders. “Are you sure? Maybe you should touch them to be certain.”

Tempting. But if I give in, we’ll throw off his training schedule. His next film promises to be his most physically demanding role yet, and I want him to be prepared for it. He may be grumpy about my methods now, but he’ll thank me after he faces his first action scene at high altitude. 

“Let’s go, hot stuff,” I say, handing him a smoothie and pulling him toward the front door. “Usual route?”

After taking a long sip, he says, “I’m in the mood for a change in scenery. Can we start out on Sunset and loop around to Santa Monica?” 

I mentally calculate how far we’ll need to go to approximate our typical run to the reservoir. “Yeah, that should be fine.” 

Minutes later, we’re jogging at a steady pace down Sunset, the temperature cold enough that I can see the puffs of air swirling around my face as I breathe out. 

Before long, I spy a man jogging our way, his hands balancing a small plant. Expecting him to pass us, I stumble to a stop when he says my name.

“Yes?” I ask, backing away from him cautiously. 

“This is for you,” he says as he hands me a bonsai tree. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I whip my head in Carter’s direction and meet his gaze. “What are you up to, Mr. Stone?”

Whistling, he shrugs and looks everywhere but at me. Eventually, though, he caves. “It reminded me of the divi-divi trees in Aruba, okay? Thought it would be a nice way to remind us of where we met.”

I tuck the plant under my left arm and reach up to stroke his jaw. “It’s perfect. Thank you.”

He smiles, his eyes lighting up in triumph. “Wanna head back to the house now? I doubt you’re interested in running while holding a bonsai tree.”

Hmmm. So that’s his angle. He thought he’d escape a training session by giving me a bonsai tree. Oh, Carter. Sweet, silly, clueless Carter. “Nope. I’m good. In fact, this is a good way to add resistance. I’ll pass it to you when I’m tired.”

He groans. “I thought you’d say something along those lines.”

It’s kind of ridiculous running with a bonsai, but I won’t be deterred this easily. 

“How you doin’ over there, Champ?” Carter asks.

“Just fine,” I manage to say between all my huffing and puffing. 

A minute later, I spy a woman walking up the block briskly, a wine bottle in her hands.

I immediately turn to Carter. “This you, too?”

He snorts. “Maybe.”

The woman stops in front of us. “Ms. Alvarez?”

“Yes.”

Smiling like the Valentine co-conspirator that she is, she hands me the bottle with a graceful flourish. “Enjoy your day, ma’am.”

I don’t even need to read the label to know he’s purchased my new favorite wine, a Zinfandel from a Sonoma County vineyard. It’s a potent reminder that Carter’s always paying attention to my likes and dislikes, depositing them into his mental database so he can draw on them later. 

“This is good, Carter. Consider me impressed.”

He wags his eyebrows. “Impressed enough to head back and spend the day with me in bed?”

“We’re finishing this run, babe.” I present him with the bottle. “Might as well accept your fate.”

“If you say so,” he says, taking the wine grudgingly.

I smile to myself, loving the effort he’s put into trying to dissuade me from my plans. This is life with Carter: a surprise around every corner. And I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I’m seconds away from telling him we can reschedule our run when someone taps me on the shoulder. I yelp and draw back. 

“Ms. Alvarez?”

“Yes.”

“Sorry for scaring you,” a teenager says. “This is yours.”

He hands me a large paper bag, and I can tell from the scents wafting around me that there’s Puerto Rican food inside this unassuming package. When I peek at the contents, I lick my lips in anticipation. Damn, damn, damn. Bacalaitos, rellenos de papa, alcapurrias. It’s a potpourri of yummy-fried goodness that I’m mentally and physically incapable of saying no to. “You didn’t.”

“I did,” Carter says, his tentative grin growing more assured the longer we stand here.

“Let’s go home, then.”

He cocks his head back and regards me with a smirk. “I thought you’d say that.”

“You’ll need to make up the missed workout, though.” 

“Do you have any recommendations for alternative exercises?”

With a bonsai tree in one hand and a bag of goodies in the other, I rise on my toes and kiss him. “Plenty. And we have all day and night to figure out which positions will best serve our needs.”








Can’t get enough of Tori and Carter? Their story begins in ACTING ON IMPULSE and you’ll see them again in CRASHING INTO HER, out February 19! Also, be sure to check out Mia's other gorgeous books!

Acting on Impulse (Love on Cue, #1) Unbuttoning the CEO (The Suits Undone #1) Crashing into Her (Love on Cue, #3)

FIND MIA: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Amazon

Jenny Holiday


© Jenny Holiday, 2019

The champagne cork was not cooperating. Gia blew out a frustrated breath, set it down, and shook out her hand. This time of February, champagne bottles should not be malfunctioning. Today was a day for love, not finger cramps.

“Here. Hand it over. I have a hack.”

“I just bet you do.” Gia raised her eyebrows and leaned back to watch—until the hack looked like it was about to take a turn for the dangerous.

“What are you doing?” Gia lunged, but she was too late. She winced at the sound of breaking glass. She should be used to it by now. The Ladybug Café had been open for more than a year now, and something broke nearly every shift.

“Oops!” Elise’s eyes were wide as she held up the stem—just the stem—of a wineglass. “I saw this cute video compilation of all the ways you can open a bottle of champagne, and there was this one where you use the actual glass to do it.” She grimaced apologetically as she handed the beheaded stem to Gia. “Does anyone have a sabre?”

“Oh! Oh! I kind of do!” Jane rummaged around in her bag for a moment. “New chakram!”

“I thought you made those things out of cardboard.” Gia examined the familiar circle of metal that was the signature weapon of Xena: Warrior Princess—and of adorable fantasy novelists who cosplayed her. 

“I always have, but for my birthday Cameron had this made by a metalworker.”

“And you just carry it around in your purse?” Elise laughed.

“No. I brought it to show you guys.”

Gia and Elise duly admired the weapon. “I don’t think it’s going to work for champagne sabering proposes, though,” Gia said. “It’s not actually sharp.”

She started to pick up the bottle again, but everyone’s attention was drawn by Wendy hustling in through the kitchen. It was Monday, and the restaurant was closed, so Gia had instructed her friends to come in through the kitchen door out back.

“Jasmine and Noah are both projectile vomiting, so I’ve got like twenty minutes, tops.” Wendy came around and sat at the bar next to Elise and Jane—Gia was standing behind it.

“We can’t get the champagne open, so we—”

“Give it here.” Wendy grabbed the bottle and popped the cork with no trouble.

Everyone clapped as Wendy started pouring.

“Poor Noah,” Jane said. “I talked to him earlier, and he sounded miserable.”

“His poor immune system has basically given up now that Jasmine’s in day care,” Wendy said. “I swear to God, she brings something home, she’s sick for a couple days, and he’s out for a week.”

“Is it a man cold?” Elise asked. 

“Nah. He’s really sick. And stoic, so basically, it’s the opposite of a man cold. But Jas is totally vomiting horizontally, so I really shouldn’t have left, but he made me.”

“Aww. To my big bro, the martyr,” Jane said. She raised a glass, and everyone followed suit. 

Except Wendy, who hadn’t filled her own glass. Hmm.

“I shouldn’t drink,” she said once she realized everyone’s attention had landed on her empty glass. “I’ll be on nurse duty all night.”

That was reasonable, on the surface of things, but there was something about the way she said it, that seemed a little…off.

Jane must have agreed. “Wendy,” she said.

Elise picked up on the group ESP chain. “OMG! Wendy!”

“It was an accident!” Wendy protested, but she was grinning.

“Oh, come on,” Gia mock-admonished as she poured Wendy a glass of sparkling water and topped it up with a little of the Ladybug’s famous house-made iced tea in an attempt to match the color of the bubbly the rest of them were drinking. “You’re too smart for accidents. I’ve been in a cab with you speeding to a pharmacy for emergency birth control.”

“Well, we weren’t trying, but we weren’t not trying?”

Jane laughed. “What does Noah say?”

“It was his idea, basically. He says let’s get all the projectile vomiting over with.

“Two kids!” Gia exclaimed. She turned to Elise, her eyebrows raised in silent question. 

“Nope,” Elise held her hands up like she was being robbed. “One and done. One miracle baby is quite enough for me, thank you. She’s finally sleeping through the night. Things are finally normalizing. We are good.”

Everyone accepted that answer, knowing what a shock to Elise—and to her marriage—the one pregnancy had been. Gia jokingly turned to Jane with the same eyebrows-raised face.

“No way,” Jane said. “No offense to the mothers present, but—”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They all chimed in, joining Jane in her signature refrain.

“Here here.” Jane got out her phone. “Let me show you a picture of the pool I’ll be lounging at next week while you’re all shivering up here with your kids and your restaurants and your various and sundry responsibilities.”

Jane and her husband Cameron were going to Disney World next week. They were roller-coaster obsessed, and Jane had been talking endlessly about Space Mountain, which she’d never been on. She unlocked the phone, set it down on the table, and opened her photo stream.

And they were all treated to a detailed photo of Cameron. A very comprehensive photo.

Everyone erupted in laughs and catcalls as Jane snatched the phone back. “Oops.”

Wendy tried to grab for the phone, but Jane twisted away, which put her right in Gia’s face. “And you, Miss Ladybug?” It had the effect of deflecting everyone’s attention. “Will you be joining the ranks of the procreators and leaving me alone on team childless by choice?”

“Nope. No time soon, anyway.” Gia patted the bar. “This place takes all my time, all my money, and has given me crow’s feet, so I figure that’s close enough.”

No one objected, which was one of the many things she loved about her girls. They accepted each other as-is, automatically falling in line behind each other’s decisions.

Elise’s phone dinged with an incoming text. She picked it up, smiled, stifled the smile, and looked up, all businesslike. “I have to go soon.”

“Why?” Gia teased. “Are you late for a game of Scrabble?” Elise and her husband were known for inventing dirty versions of the board games they were both obsessed with.

Elise waggled her eyebrows. “Well, as I noted, Mia is sleeping really reliably now.” She batted her eyelashes.

“Ack!” Wendy held up her hands. “We don’t want to know.”

“Anyway,” Gia clinked a spoon against her glass. “Enough with the kid and husband talk. You can all slink back to your dens of iniquity”—she shot a sympathetic glance at Wendy—“and your vomitorium. And you can get all swoony tomorrow. But today is Galentine’s Day. It’s our day.” She lifted her glass.

Everyone else did, too, and there were oohs and awws and I love you guys all around as they clinked. Gia let herself be suffused with happiness as she looked at her friends—and her restaurant. Happiness and accomplishment. She had worked hard to get where she was. And she’d had a lot of luck, too, mostly in the form of these women. Her best friends. Her chosen family.

And just when she was about to get totally moony, her own phone dinged.

Truth or dare?

She smiled. She couldn’t resist responding. Truth.

Truth doesn’t work anymore. I know all your secrets. Pick dare.

Okay, dare.

I dare you to come up here right now.

She snored. That’s original.

I try. He sent a photo of him from their apartment upstairs. It was a…comprehensive photo.

I can’t. I’m the host here.

She looked up, wondering why she wasn’t being busted for texting Bennett when she’d been the one admonishing the others for too much husband-talk.

They were all bent over the phones. Yeah, this party was over.

She smiled. I’ll be right up.




Have you met the bridesmaids in the BRIDESMAIDS BEHAVING BADLY series? Be sure to check it out as well as Jenny's other books!

One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1) It Takes Two (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2) Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3)

FIND JENNY: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon

Therese Beharrie


© Therese Beharrie, 2019
A Falling For His Convenient Queen Valentine’s Day Short

‘Most people are satisfied with dinner or dessert. Maybe a gift of the chocolate variety. But no, my wife had to build an animal shelter.’

‘Technically,’ Queen Nalini of Kirtida said, ‘I didn’t build the animal shelter.’

‘No, you only commissioned it,’ King Zacchaeus answered.

‘One of the perks of being queen.’

‘Was arranging for opening day to be on Valentine’s Day one of those perks?’

She gave him a blinding smile, and for a moment, he lost track of his thoughts. He wasn’t sure how, after two years of marriage, she was still able to stun him with that smile. Shouldn’t he be immune by now? Shouldn’t he, at least, not get distracted by it?

‘You’re doing it again.’

He blinked. ‘What?’

‘Being dazzled.’ She tucked her hand into his arm, smiling at a young girl carrying a dog much too big for her. ‘You’re well aware of my charms by now, surely.’

‘I’d hoped so, too. But, alas.’

He brushed a kiss on her cheek, and her eyelashes fluttered up. Her surprise was as adorable as her smile. It made the fact that he was breaking the rules worth it. He wasn’t supposed to kiss her in public. It was one of those stuffy rules he kept to most of the time because his kingdom liked tradition. He left shaking things up to matters that were more important. In short – he picked his battles. Ironically, that worked for his marriage, too.

‘You’re going to get us both into trouble,’ she said, though her eyes had softened and affection shone through.

‘Perhaps, but I’m sure the kingdom will forgive me. It’s Valentine’s Day.’

‘See the benefit of it now, do you?’

He chuckled at the jab to his prior belief – or disbelief – of Valentine’s Day, before they were distracted by Nalini’s assistant. Nalini left to speak with some new potential benefactors, and he did his own mingling. His eyes kept shifting to Nalini though. Somehow, he was still amazed at how much she’d grown into her role as queen. It helped that their people loved her, of course, but she’d transitioned into living in a new kingdom; becoming a ruler rather than merely a princess as she had been; and turning a marriage of convenience into one of love smoothly.

He smiled at the last thing. It had only been two years before that she’d refused to accept the distance he’d put between them when he’d first suggested they marry. His suggestion had been for the benefit of their kingdoms. An alliance. A business deal. Now, he couldn’t imagine it. Of living in separate rooms, or looking at her and feeling something other than pure, unadulterated love. 

He had no doubt she’d handle the transition into motherhood as seamlessly.

His heart filled as he took in the swell of her stomach beneath the blue material of her dress. He couldn’t believe he was going to be a father. Couldn’t believe that through the turmoil of his own family, he’d found enough love and hope to look forward to starting a new one.

And it was all because of her.

‘King Zacchaeus.’ His head snapped toward the voice. Nalini smiled. ‘Have I dazzled you so much you’ve forgotten where you are?’

‘Yes,’ he said, wanting nothing more than to pull her in and kiss her deeply. He restrained himself this time. He knew where those deep kinds of kisses led. Had the proof in the stomach she was currently rubbing.

‘Everything okay?’

‘Fine. I’m just hungry.’

He bit back a smile. She narrowed her eyes.

‘Don’t you dare laugh at me. This is your fault.’

Our fault.’

We are not judging my eating habits.’

‘Touché.’ Oh, but he loved her. ‘Come on, let’s go back to the castle. We’ve done our time here, and I’d like to celebrate Valentine’s Day more traditionally with you.’

‘Dinner?’ she asked. ‘Dessert? Chocolate?’

‘All the above. Probably more.’

‘Oh,’ she said, her cheeks colouring. ‘In that case, we better made this quick.’

‘Wh–’

He didn’t get the chance to finish his question before she was walking through the crowd of people – who graciously gave them way – and stopping in front of a small cage with two occupants. Both of whom were wearing t-shirts.

‘Why are these kittens…clothed?’

‘They’re expressing their appreciation of their new owner.’

He frowned at the sparkle in her eyes, and lowered to his haunches. The kittens were sleeping, the poor things, tangled over one another as if prowling around the small square of the enclosure had exhausted them. When he was level with them, one of the kittens opened their eyes. Pale blue circles peered at him. It was a stark contrast against its white body and grey spots. The other, he noted, had a grey body and white spots. He was instantly taken. Then he took another look at their t-shirts.

‘They’re wearing t-shirts with my face on them.’

‘Yes,’ she said, her smile so bright it powered through his annoyance. ‘I arranged for it with your fan club. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Apparently they’ve already started to explore the possibility of animal clothing for members with pets.’

‘You’re kidding me.’

‘No,’ she said gleefully.

He wasn’t upset with her – how could he be? – but he wished she hadn’t done it. His fan club was the strangest thing about being king. Oh, he appreciated the appreciation, but surely, they had better things to do than to print his face on miscellaneous items?

‘I can see you’re not pleased with this. But don’t take it out on Salt and Pepper.’

His lips curved. ‘You named the kittens Salt and Pepper?’

‘Temporarily,’ she said. ‘They’re yours, so you can name them whatever you like.’

‘I like Salt and Pepper,’ he said, taking a step toward her. ‘I’m not sure why you thought buying me kittens for Valentine’s Day is a good idea, but I like them.’

‘Because we talked about getting pets for our children.’ She rubbed her stomach again. ‘With this one coming in a few months, I thought we’d get a jumpstart.’

He softened. They’d spoken about this once, before they’d married. About how someday, their children wouldn’t be banned from having pets in the castle as they’d been. It had been one of those moments when he’d known he’d felt something more for her than the respect a marriage of convenience dictated. He hadn’t even realised she’d remembered that moment. The fact that she did made the gift all the more precious.

‘You’re amazing, you know that?’ he said, brushing a curl from her face.

‘Even if I did–’ which she still struggled with, he knew. He’d spend a lifetime convincing her otherwise ‘– I like to hear you say it.’ She leaned into his hand. ‘I think this is against the rules, by the way.’

‘Oh, it definitely is.’ But he slid a hand around her waist and touched his forehead to hers. ‘It’ll be worth the fallout.’

They stood like that for a moment, then broke away. When they turned back to the room, no one was looking at them. It was too conspicuous, and made him think his security deserved a raise. 

‘I can’t wait for my gift,’ she said lightly from beside him. ‘It’s probably as lovely as this, right?’

‘Exactly,’ he said. ‘It involves the beach, dinner, dessert, chocolate…’

‘And more?’ she asked slyly.

He feigned ignorance. ‘What more could there be?’

Her face flushed. ‘You brought it up. Don’t make me say it.’

‘My queen,’ he said in a stage whisper. ‘Are you propositioning me?’

She tapped his hand lightly, though he knew she did it in lieu of an arm slap. His wife was too dignified to do that in public. He gripped her hand before she could let go.

‘You happen to be in luck, my darling,’ he said. ‘It does include more. Let’s go home so I can show you.’

*The End*






Want to find out how these two royalty fall for each other, read FALLING FOR HIS CONVENIENT QUEEN! Don't forget to take a peek at Therese's other releases while you're at it.


Falling for His Convenient Queen (Conveniently Wed, Royally Bound) A Wedding One Christmas Second Chance With Her Billionaire (Mills & Boon True Love) (Billionaires for Heiresses, Book 1)

FIND THERESE: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon

Helena Hunting

© Helena Hunting, 2019

A little bit about this extra MEET CUTE scene: Daxton Hughes is a former child TV star turned law student and Kailyn just happens to have been his biggest fangirl back in the day. That love became embarrassingly apparent when she fangirled all over him on their first day of law school. Despite that one humiliating event, they develop a friendly college rivalry, at least until Daxton betrays her in their final semester. I absolutely can’t wait for you to read the rest of their story on April 9th!

Valentine’s Day, 2010, First Year Law School, UCLA

Valentine’s Day is one of those irksome non-holiday holidays. Especially when I’m surrounded by classmates talking about their plans for tonight. I’ve been invited out for a “singles” dinner, but I’m noncommittal. It’s not that I don’t want to hang out with my classmates on the coupliest day of the year. It’s more that it’s a co-ed group, and I don’t want to end up paired with someone, or worse, sidelined while everyone else pairs up. 

Besides, I always spend Valentine’s Day with my best friend, Holly, except for when she was in college in Santa Barbara, and a couple of years when we had boyfriends. I shove my earbuds in to block out everyone’s excited chatter and pull up Holly’s contact.

Kailyn: Wanna be my Valentine?

Holly: No can do. 

Kailyn: ???

Holly: I have a hot date.

Kailyn: What? With who?

Holly: Ian Somerhalder, of course.

I snort and look around to make sure no one has noticed my less-than-becoming nasal sounds. The Vampire Diaries is Holly’s newest TV obsession and she’s valiantly been trying to get to me start watching it with her. It’s only the first season, so all it would take is a Saturday marathon to catch up.

Kailyn: I thought you were standing me up for real! 

Holly: LOL! Not a chance! See you tonight at six? I have all the chocolate things.

Kailyn: I’ll bring the savory snacks. Message with any special requests. 

I’ve just hit Send when a package of colored pens lands on my desk. I startle and look over my shoulder in time to see Daxton Hughes fold himself into the desk behind me. None of his friends is with him.

I arch an eyebrow and hold up the bag of pens. “What’re these for?” I’m playing it super cool, but inside my stomach is doing flip flops and I think my heart is about to pound out of my chest. My teenage crush just gave me a gift on Valentine’s Day. Swoon times a million! 

He lifts his shoulder in a casual shrug. “A thank you for always letting me borrow your pens.”

“Does that mean you need one today?” I’m already rummaging around in my pencil case. Daxton always needs a pen, but he never keeps the ones he borrows. 

I find the perfect one and pass it back to him.

His half-smile widens to a full-on grin when he sees the hot pink pen with the pale pink hearts and glitter lips floating around inside it. I may not love the holiday, but I love fun pens. Our fingertips touch as he takes the pen from me. And yes, my heart flutters. I’ve been watching him on TV for years and the fact that I see him in person—and talk to him—regularly, is just ridiculously surreal. At least I’ve stopped fangirling over him outwardly. Internally is a whole different story.

The professor commands our attention and I turn to face the front of the class. At the end of the lecture Daxton taps me on the shoulder to return the pen. I’d tell him to go ahead and keep it, but then he wouldn’t have to ask for one next class, so I take it back, like I always do.



Kailynn finds her HEA in MEET CUTE, out April 9th! In the meantime, you can check out Helena's backlist!

Meet Cute The Good Luck Charm Clipped Wings (Clipped Wings, #1)

FIND HELENA: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon

Annie Rains

© Annie Rains, 2019

Valentine’s Day in Sweetwater Springs

Valentine’s Day was just like any other day. At least that’s what Kaitlyn was telling herself this evening. The muffled noise throughout the Sweetwater Bed and Breakfast begged to differ, however. Every room was booked by couples for tonight. Most were out to dinner right now, but later they’d return to have their Do Not Disturb signs and celebrate their love privately.

Kaitlyn wished that Mitch was home today. He was a policeman, though, and as such, he had a duty to serve and protect the citizens of Sweetwater Springs. Taking off just so he could appease her need to feel romanced this evening would be silly.

“Kaitlyn, dear, what’s wrong?” Gina Hargrove, Mitch’s mom and also the co-owner of the inn asked.

Kaitlyn forced a smile. “Nothing. I’m fine.”

“You can’t lie to me,” Gina said. “I was young once. I know how hard it is to be away from the one you love on a day like this one.”

Kaitlyn shrugged. “Mitch and I spend most nights together. He’s working, and tonight I’m ensuring that our guests have the most romantic night of their lives.”

Gina placed a hand on Kaitlyn’s shoulder. “I’ve already invited my sister Netty over to help me host.”

“What?” Kaitlyn looked over at her soon to be mother-in-law.

“You heard me. You’re off-duty tonight.”

Kaitlyn shook her head. “That’s very nice of you, but Mitch isn’t off-duty.”

A sneaky smile curved Gina’s lips. Kaitlyn had worked with her long enough to recognize the look. “What did you do?” 

“I know the chief of police here in town. Alex used to be a regular at our household, you know. Let’s just say, Mitch is going to be called to a scene for disorderly conduct tonight. If you’re lucky, he might just put you in cuffs.” Gina winked.

Kaitlyn’s mouth dropped open as her cheeks flushed.

Gina chuckled. “As I said, I was young once. Your only job is to be at Dawanda’s Fudge Shop at seven p.m.”

Kaitlyn looked at the clock. “That’s in thirty minutes.”

Gina patted her shoulder. “Then you better hurry, dear.”

***

When Kaitlyn walked into Dawanda’s shop at five minutes till the hour, Dawanda waved and gestured toward a corner table where there was a lit candle, a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries, and another of small fudge squares.

Kaitlyn patted her heart. “Thank you!”

The corner lights were off. Dawanda reached behind her to turn on some soft music as well. “Pretend like I’m not even here, okay? Just let me know if you need something.”

“Don’t you have somewhere to be for Valentine’s?” Kaitlyn asked.

“Not just yet. After I lock up in an hour, I’ll have some fun of my own.” 

Kaitlyn nodded and then walked over to the table against the wall. She sat with her back facing the main entrance so that Mitch wouldn’t see her right off the bat. She wanted to savor the surprise. She knew he wouldn’t be able to stay very long, but having this moment together would make all the difference. She’d spent so many Valentine’s Days lonely, wishing for someone to come along that would sweep her off her feet and make her feel like one of the heroines in the rom-coms that she and her best friend Josie enjoyed. Now she’d found that person and she wanted to celebrate their love along with everyone else.

Kaitlyn heard the sirens off in the distance, growing louder as they approached. Then flashing lights cut into the store. A moment later, Kaitlyn heard the front entrance door open and Mitch’s heavy steps approach the counter.

“Are you okay?” he asked Dawanda, his voice urgent. 

“So nice to see you, Mitch,” the storeowner said with her characteristic cheer.

“What’s going on?”

Kaitlyn imagined Mitch looking around the store, his gaze finally landing on her.

“Kaitlyn?” 

She turned to look at him and smiled. “Surprise,” she said softly.

“There’s no disorderly conduct?” he asked, looking between her and Dawanda.

“Only lying to an officer, but you’ll have to take that up with your chief of police,” Dawanda said. 

When Mitch looked at her again, Kaitlyn tilted her head toward the empty chair across from her. “Alex, Dawanda, and your mother did all of this for us.”

Mitch stepped over and sat across from her. “I still love to hear that word. Us. If you ask me, it’s the most romantic word in the dictionary.”

Kaitlyn grinned.

He reached for her hand and dipped his head to kiss the delicate skin there. “I didn’t forget Valentine’s Day, you know.” He pulled his hand back and reached inside his front pocket, pulling out a black velvet box. “I was going to give these to you once I got home.” He slid the box in front of her.

“You didn’t have to get me anything,” she said. “All I want is you.” And now she had him right in front of her. He was all hers even if it was only for a few minutes.

She took the box, opened it, and released a soft gasp. Inside were a beautiful pair of ruby earrings. “They’re beautiful. Thank you,” she said, looking up at him. 

“I also happened to have booked a room at one of the most romantic retreats in America,” he teased, talking about the inn which had won the accolade last year.

“Did you?” she asked. “I thought that place was all booked up for Valentine’s Day.”

“I know the owner well.” He picked up a chocolate strawberry and held it out to her. She bit into it and returned the favor. They sampled a few more treats and then he frowned. “I have to go.”

“It’s okay. I’ll be waiting for you at home,” she said. She wasn’t lonely anymore. Endorphins from the chocolate and Mitch had her glowing from the inside out. “Maybe I’ll have a surprise for you of my own when you get there.”

His brows lifted subtly. Then he lowered his lips to hers in a kiss that begged for more. Later. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Kaitlyn.”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Mitch.”


Kaitlyn and Mitch first fall in love in CHRISTMAS ON MISTLETOE LANE. Be sure to read their book and check out Annie's cozy-looking backlist!

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane (Sweetwater Springs, #1) Springtime at Hope Cottage (Sweetwater Springs, #2) Forbidden Kisses (Blushing Bay, #1)

FIND ANNIE: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon

Tif Marcelo

© Tif Marcelo, 2019
A Valentine’s Surprise

Camille

The members of the Love my Soldier Facebook group warned me, but I didn't listen. Don't get too comfortable, they said. Change is inevitable, they warned. Don't worry, it will be fun, they encouraged. But I thought that all that didn't apply to me, not yet anyway. Because, hello, I just reopened Lucianna, my food truck, and Drew just proposed to me after returning from deployment, both a short month ago. I am living my best life, now an empty nester with my sister Ally fully in college with no sign of boomeranging back to our tiny flat in San Francisco.

What I should have heeded was what Nona used to say:

Don't take your eyes off from your cooking.

"Cami. Say something." Drew, my handsome, sweet Drew, squeezes my hand. We're sitting across from one another at a round table, in an intimate corner of one of San Francisco's most exclusive restaurants. Hooray for the connections among food truckers, L'Amour's proprietor wants to build another brand under their flagship fine French cuisine with a fleet of food trucks, and offered us a rare table for Valentine's Day in exchange for my sage advice. Yes, me, a veteran! 

The ambiance is perfect, with an impeccable table setting and a blooming fragrant rose between us, with restaurant guests speaking in hushed tones above a concerto playing through the background speakers. That is, it was perfect until he told me his news.

"You have to move?" I ask, stunned, as he tucks his phone--the source of this news--in his pocket.

He winces. "I...I'm being BNR'd."

I've learned a whole lot of acronyms the last seven months, but this one doesn't isn’t familiar. "That sounds freaking scary."

He half-laughs. "By name requested. At the Pentagon. They need someone with computer engineering experience to manage a new information system they're rolling out next year. I was recommended. A colonel just emailed me for an interview, tomorrow--"

"An interview? But you never said you were under consideration for another job." My voice is a panic and faces turn my way. 

"Babe, I just found out. Nothings for sure."

"Would you want it? The job?"

"It's in my field, in the sphere I want to be in in the future. This program is massive, and I believe in it. If we look at it objectively--yes, I would want it. It sounds...amazing."

My heart squeezes at the conviction in his words, at the passion he's expressing. Drew, while he has made his own way in the world, even standing up to his dad for his own dream, is a giver. He always thinks of others before himself. Some people might describe him as a people pleaser, but they're wrong. He's empathetic and generous, and it's for these reasons that I love him. And this thing, this job, excites him; it's in the light in his eyes. 

I already know I want this for him, but…

"Wow. That's great. I'm so happy for you, babe." I mean every syllable of my words, but my voice fails to convey the excitement I should feel. I glance down at our clasped hands. At the simple diamond ring he slipped onto my finger just a month ago. When he moved to the Bay Area he was under the impression he would stay a couple of years. After he proposed, I thought I had time to wrap my mind around joining our families and our two different careers together. To get settled before we uprooted.

We haven't yet set a date for the wedding.

"How long would the assignment be for?" I ask.

"Two years, at least. If I take it."

The consequences play out in my head. We have a wedding, a honeymoon, our life to plan. Scheduling it around a bustling food truck was one thing; managing it with his trips to the field to train was another. But this is something else entirely. We would be doing this apart. My heart pumps a panicked beat, but his words catch up to me. "So you have a choice." 

We're interrupted by the server setting down French onion soup for me and vichyssoise for Drew. Once the server leaves, we move our bowls around so they are centered--we have become that couple--but even the dishes clattering doesn't snap me out of the spiral of my thoughts of the idea of not being able to see him every day. 

"I do." And it's followed by a silence. I don't know what I'm waiting for, a concession that I'm more important than his work? A plea for me to come with him? Permission to go, when this is what he wants to do?

The thought that maybe we aren't on the same page wakes me like a drop of hot oil on my skin. "Of course you want this job. I'm sorry. It's just that this is a shock, and I wasn't expecting this tonight."

"I'm sorry, and you're right. Let's let it go for now, okay? Talk about it after dinner?" He looks up just as the Chef Badou heads toward our table holding up a bottle of wine. "Our host is on his way."

"Okay," I whisper. "Though I don't know what you guys are going to drink, because I have dibs on that bottle."

#

Drew

The car ride home is a deafening silence.

Way to go, dude. Your first Valentine's Day with Camille and you ruin it with news of a possible move, which you couldn't even fake being sad about.

Here's the thing about the Army. The only thing you can count on about this job is that it changes. It's what makes this career all the more exciting, but it can also be a logistical nightmare.

Which is what it would be, if I get it. 

But this is my dream job. It will give me skills that will allow for me to have a successful life as a civilian, too. Bonus--it's something I'm interested in. The long term potential of the education and experience I would receive is pretty damn amazing. And if there's one thing I took from the drama with my dad, is that the long game is just as important as the short quarter. 

The flip side is that wanting this opportunity makes me the biggest jerk, because it would mean leaving the woman I love. 

At the restaurant, Camille didn't hint at a problem while chatting with Chef Badou. I watched her closely, mentally measured the smile across her face for sincerity. Evaluated the tone of her answers.

She was a poker face.

But right now, it's all too much for me. Because if there is another thing the drama with my dad taught me is that family is absolutely everything. 

I make my decision by the time we climb up to the third floor of her building and open the front door. And when we step into her living room/kitchen/dining room, and I kick off my shoes, I launch my thoughts. "I don't know what got over me in that restaurant. Of course I want the job, but this isn't just my decision. This is our life now. I don't even know what was I thinking. If there is the option to stay, of course I will."

She turns after she drops her purse on her round kitchen table, arms crossed.

Ruh-roh.

"Why didn't you ask me to come with you, Drew?"

The question knocks me in between the eyes. "Why? Because your life is here, and you're just getting re-started. We weren't supposed to move for at least another year and--"

"Did you consider it?"

"Yes, briefly. But I would never ask you to give up what you have for me, especially in this unexpected way. I guess I just considered that my dream was just--"

"Just yours?" She steps up to me so we're toe to toe, and she wraps her fingers into the belt loops at my side. "But, see, they're not just yours. They're mine too. You support me in everything I do, and I want to do the same. Like you said, it's our life now." 

"I don't understand."

"What did I say when you proposed?" A grin lifts at the corners of her mouth.

I think back to the chaos of that day. "You said that the food truck has wheels."

She nods. "I love that you didn't assume I would just give up everything to be with you. That you see me separate of you. It thrills me that you respect that I have my own dreams and aspirations. To me, that's everything. So I'm deciding that I'm going with you. If you want me to tag along, of course."

"Really?" I lift her off her feet and squeeze her to me. She buries her face in my neck, giggling. I breath her in, and commit it all to memory, for even the few minutes during the day I'm away from her. I set her down, address one last nagging feeling. "But your customers. Your sister. It would mean a move in a couple of months if I get this job."

She heaves a breath. "I'm not saying it won't be hard. I might even cry a little. This city is the only place I've ever known. Logistically, the next two months would be a nightmare, and I'm not really sure if the rig can make it cross country." She shakes her head, but a smile widens on her lips. "But hey, it will be an adventure, right? I'll give Ally the choice to keep this flat, or rent it out. I'm sure the Washington DC area will welcome a panini food truck." Her face lights up. "And maybe I'll get my own compass tattoo."

"You are the absolutely the most understanding woman I know." I sweep her off her feet this time, and carry her deeper into her flat, down the short hallway to her bedroom. "Let's explore some places to put that tattoo, Ms. Marino."

She raises an eyebrow. "Now that is a plan I can get behind. And oh, this means I get to pick the Netflix shows for the next gazillion years."

"Deal." I set her down on her bed, marvel at the best Valentine's, Christmas, and birthday present I ever received--this woman who has given me unconditional love. "Even The Tudors."

She pulls me down by my tie. "Okay fine. Just for that I'll allow Fixer Upper. Now, shhhhh." 

And she plants a sweet kiss on my lips.

Find out more about Drew, Cami and the amazing food truck, Lucianna, in Tif's gorgeous debut, NORTH TO YOU. Then, check out the rest of her amazing food-related releases!

North to You (Journey to the Heart #1) West Coast Love (Journey to the Heart #3) The Key to Happily Ever After

FIND TIF: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon 

Priscilla Oliveras



©Priscilla Oliveras, 2019
“Valentine’s Surprise”
Yazmine & Tomás: A Slice of Life

With a grumbled moan, Yazmine rolled over in bed. She reached out for her cell, trilling its morning alarm on the nightstand. A squinty-eyed stab at the screen later and the whiskey rich sound of Harry Connick, Jr., crooning about flying to the moon silenced. 

Tucking the phone under her pillow to muffle the music when the snooze period ended, she scooted backwards along the king-sized bed, searching for the warmth of Tomás’s body. They had less than nine minutes before her alarm went off again. Then the mad morning rush of getting Maria up and dressed for kindergarten, lunch packed, belly full, bundled up in her coat, would begin. 

Cold sheets and an empty half of the bed greeted Yaz’s quest for a little more snuggle time with her hunky husband. 

It took her sleep-hazy brain a few seconds to catch up with reality. Tomás had been up and out of the house at four am this morning, racing to catch the first flight to St. Louis for a business meeting. If he got lucky, he’d wrap up in time to make it home for a late-night Valentine’s Day celebration together. 

She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and vaguely recalled the kiss he’d pressed to her forehead. His whispered “Te quiero” and her murmured “Love you, too” seemed more like part of a delicious dream.

Disappointed by the lack of cuddles to help fight the frigid Chicago winter morning, Yaz groaned and pulled the thick comforter and sheet over her head. The sound of paper crinkling caught her attention. Peering out from under the covers, she peeked at Tomás’ side of the bed.

Morning sunlight sneaking around the edges of the window shade cast thin beams of light across the bed, illuminating a folded sheet of white paper underneath two foiled-wrapped pieces of her favorite dark chocolate perched on Tomás’ pillow. A splash of red ink in his artistic handwriting spelled out her name across the front.

With an excited giggle that sounded more like Maria when the local news reported school closings due to weather, Yaz sat up in bed. She scooped up the candies with one hand and reached for her husband’s note with the other.

Unfolding the paper, she caught a hint of Tomás’ delicious musky aftershave. Her absolute favorite scent. Even better than her sister Rosa’s flan baking in the oven. 

Yaz pressed the letter to her nose, inhaling deeply. 

Ay, it wasn’t nearly as good as wrapping her arms around his waist and burrowing her nose against his warm neck for a whiff of the scent that drove her wild with need. But his lingering aroma ramped up her anticipation for their intimate plans later tonight.

For now, though, she’d indulge in a little morning chocolate and read her sexy hubby’s words.

She unwrapped one of the chocolate squares, then nibbled off a corner before setting it and its partner aside so she could curl up with Tomás’ love letter.

Pressing back against the black upholstered headboard, Yaz grasped the paper with both hands, Tomás’ deep voice whispering in her ear as she read…

Querida Yazmine,

I’m sorry I’m not here to start our first Valentine’s Day as husband and wife the way we’d both like. With you in my arms. Your violet perfume teasing my senses. Your kissable lips and luscious body driving me crazy, in the best way possible. Me desperate to make sure you feel as adored and fulfilled as you make me feel every single day.

As I promised last September, and just as I promise your papi every night in my prayers, my main goal in life is to be the best husband for you. The best papá for Maria. I may not always get it right, but know I’m trying my damnedest. You and Maria are the biggest blessings in my life.

So, while I may not be in your arms at this moment, know that you’re in my heart. Today and always. And I’m counting the hours until we see each other again.

Te adoro,

Tomás

Moisture filled Yazmine’s eyes. The red letters blurred together as she stared down at her beloved’s beautiful words. A tear plopped onto the paper, leaving a dark wet spot to the right of his signature.

Yaz knuckled the dampness from her eyes before more damage could be done to her precious letter. She pressed a kiss to his signature, then carefully refolded the paper. A tidal wave of appreciation and desire surged through her for the amazing man who’d pledged to love and cherish and respect her and had done that and more, long before their wedding this past September. Helping her and her sisters as they grieved and slowly found peace in their papi’s passing. Superbly stepping into the role of hermano, becoming a big brother to Rosa and Lilí. As always, an amazing dad with his daughter, her daughter now, too. 

And soon…Yaz placed a hand over her belly, still awed by the news she’d received after class…soon Tomás would be a papi for a second time. Sí, the news of her pregnancy was her Valentine’s Day gift to her beloved. 

Their little familia would grow by one more by the end of the year.

Another daughter or perhaps a son would join them.

Yazmine’s eyes fluttered closed, and she sent a prayer of thanks to Mami and Papi for keeping watch over her and her sisters. Certain they were smiling right now, thrilled to know she had an amazing life with an equally amazing man who made her feel like she could achieve whatever her heart desired.

Jazz music trilled from underneath her pillow, Harry Connick, Jr.’s, melodious voice calling her to start the day. She grinned, suddenly giddy with excitement. Her favorite chocolate, a love letter from her one and only, and a morning serenade by her favorite jazz artist. Life couldn’t get any better than this.

Rising from the bed, she paused to gently rub her belly through her silky sleepshirt. Actually, sharing their happy news with Tomás over a bottle of sparkling cider would definitely make their lives better.

Yaz grinned. Sí, she absolutely could NOT wait for tonight, and the look of absolute joy she fully expected to see on her husband’s chiseled face. 

Pleased with her plans, she leaned down to pull open the narrow drawer in her nightstand. Inside, along the far left, lay the letter Papi had given her before he passed. Yaz set Tomás’ on top for safe keeping. Two special mementos she would always treasure. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day to all of us,” she whispered, gently closing the drawer.

Love for her familia buoyed her, and she quickly turned to start her day. The sooner it went by, the sooner she’d be reunited with the incredible man who showed her, in ways little and big, how absolutely perfect they were for each other. 


Meet all three of the Fernández sisters and the men who capture their hearts in the Priscilla's beautifully written MATCHED TO PERFECTION series

His Perfect Partner (Matched to Perfection #1) Her Perfect Affair (Matched to Perfection #2) Their Perfect Melody (Matched to Perfection #3)

FIND PRISCILLA: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Amazon


Giveaway

I'm giving away a copy of any of romance book (not exceeding $15) from the above authors to my readers. It's open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you or you can accept a Kindle, Nook or iBooks copy. Giveaway ends February 21st 2019.

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I hope you enjoyed reading these sweet scenes as much as I did! Thank you, once again, to the lovely authors who participated! You all rock! <3
What are your plans for Valentine's Day?
Let me know in the comments below!

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