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Friday, February 14, 2020

Sweet Treats: A Valentine's Day Collaboration



Happy Valentine's Day, bookworms!

I can't tell you all how excited I am for this post. I love doing fun Valentine's Day themed posts on the blog every year. Last year, I invited a few authors to share snippets of their couples on VDay. This year, I asked a few of my friends from the reading world to come up with Valentine's Day date scenarios for a favorite couple of their choice - thank you to Nereyda for the great idea. And let me tell you, you guys are in for a visual treat! All of them were so creative and their mood boards had me swooning! <3 <3

I hope you guys enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed compiling it! Be sure to add the books to your TBR and don't forget to follow the awesome contributors! If you're interested, there is also a giveaway for you to enter at the end of this post.

The Couple: Anna & Etienne

The Book: Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

The Bookworm: Andi

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I first fell in love with Anna and the French Kiss when I read it back in December of 2010. Anna and Etienne will always be my OTP (one true pairing) so when It was a no brainer on who my date mood board would be for. In my mind this is taking place after the event of Isla and the Happily Ever After. Etienne and Anna are in Paris and he is bringing her to the places that meant something to them. They go by the Eiffel Tower just because it is Paris to a lot of people. Then they would see a movie at the theater that had been too so many times before and reminisce about when Anna found out Paris is the theater capital of the world. After that they would have a panini from a street cart as a reminer of the first meal they shared outside of school. And of course they would need dessert and Anna loves a good macaron. And finally to end the night, they would go to the one place that means the most to them, the would go to Point Zero...the beginning of everything.


The Couple: Nya & Johan 

The Book: A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

The Bookworm: Elizabeth

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I imagine Nya and Johan going on the American date Nya thought she might have when she was in living in NYC. They head out to Coney Island, and go on all the rides and take tons of photos to share in the International Friend Emporium Chat. Johan buys Nya cotton candy and tells her it's an American confectionery called Sugar Bubble, and she wins him a teddy bear boyfriend for Bulgom Pamplemousse von Bearstein so he won't be lonely now that Johan doesn't sleep with him anymore. Neither Nya or Johan had the freedom for silly fun when they were younger, so I love the idea of them just acting like carefree kids.

The Couple: Mack & Liv 

The Book: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bookworm: Sam

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I was so unsure about this coupling, but they ended up forming a beautiful union.
When I think about them planning a day together, I imagine it being rather low-key. Both Mack and Liv work in fast paced industries, and everyone needs a time out from all the hustle and bustle every now and again.

As they both like to cook, and eat, I imagine them preparing a picnic lunch together. Then their date would move outside. Mack grew up in Iowa and eluded to some sort of past farm-boy experiences, therefore, I have them going for a casual horseback ride through a field or park. Since the story takes place in Nashville, I thought they could head to Centennial Park or Love Circle for their picnic, where they would enjoy each other’s company or read a romance novel to one another. And, because Mack likes to make a bit of a production out of things, he would set up his yard or some space on the farm for an outdoor movie viewing, probably a romantic suspense film, as those books are his favorites.

Liv worked in a field that is known to be tough for women, and because of that, she had to wear this hard shell most of the time. However, there were these moments during the book, where she revealed some of her softness, and one of those was when she asked Mack to cuddle with her. It was a beautiful moment, and I therefore felt it was important to include many activities, which would allow these two to get their cuddle on.

The Couple: Regina & Gus

The Book: Can't Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

The Bookworm: Melinda

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Reggie and Gus have a reservation at their favorite fancy restaurant they don't normally go out for Valentine's Day but at the last second Girls With Glasses has a major emergency that Reggie has to deal with. Gus is, of course, understanding. While she deals with her work crisis he makes quick plans and when she emerges she finds board games, puzzles, and comics in various stations around the living room. Gus surprises her with pizza delivery from their favorite spot and thrills her by making her favorite salad dressing and salad which they both jokingly refer to as why she fell in love with him. They end up having a quiet but perfect Valentine's Day.

The Couple: Nick & Sabrina

The Book: Headliners by Lucy Parker

The Bookworm: Katie

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When thinking about where to take Nick and Sabrina out on a date, I thought of cute towns where they can get away from the hustle and bustle of London that they're used to. Immediately, a day spent in Colmar sounded ideal with its cute and colorful buildings in Old Town and its lovely, romantic atmosphere. A part of Colmar isn't called 'Little Venice' for nothing, but Nick is smart enough to suggest other activities besides a ride down the canal to Sabs.

The Couple: Willow & Garrison

The Book: Whatever It Takes by K.B Ritchie

The Bookworm: Deanna

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If you're familiar with Willow Hale, you know that her famous family is constantly hounded by the paparazzi. Willow's also an introvert who would rather stay home than party it up anywhere else. When planning a special date night for Willow and Garrison, I imagine Garrison keeping things simple and special by flying under the radar . The first stop would be Superheroes & Scones. It's the comic book store owned by Willow's sister-in-law Lily Hale, so Garrison could have it opened for just the two of them. (It's also the place Willow and Garrison started to really get to know each other and fall in love.) They could browse the racks while sipping some coffee and nibbling on scones. Then, Garrison would whisk Willow home to cuddle up on the couch while eating take out and watching their favorite superhero movies or maybe playing one of their favorite video games -- Willow's choice. This may not sound like a super exciting night to some, but it Willow it would be everything.

The Couple: Evie & Zach

The Book: A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon

The Bookworm: Nat

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So I chose Evie and Zach from Rebekah Weatherspoon's A Cowboy to Remember. Evie absolutely loves nutmeg and well Zach loves *her* so for their Valentine's Day date he surprises her with a trip to Grenada for a spice tour!
The day begins with breakfast, then the tour and ends with a walk on the beach. He definitely brings the cowboy hat on the trip too ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

The Couple: Meg & Reid

The Book: Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

The Bookworm: Charlotte

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Meg and Reid's story in Love Lettering is in part about discovering each other as they explore New York City. So what better Valentine's date than a vacation to a new place, where they can re-live that feeling? Paris it is! Poor sweet Reid isn't the biggest city person, so Meg takes him to the quiet parts, the places that let you forget you're surrounded by buildings and noise and crowds: they take walks in the Buttes-Chaumont Park, visit Pรจre Lachaise, have picnics by the Seine. Reid overcomes his overwhelm and buys Meg fresh flowers at the little shop on the corner every morning (even though he doesn't speak French, he's the shop lady's favorite). They eat good food, drink good wine, and enjoy their top floor studio apartment overlooking a quiet street in the Marais.
Meg obviously never stops looking at letters and signs. But because dates and vacations aren't supposed to feel like work, she and Reid invent a new game to play: seeing who can spot the most Paris invaders installations as they wander. The mood board of their date includes a little nod to Meg's penchant to hide messages. Zoom in and see if you can spot the hidden Invader.

The Couple: Kristen & Josh

The Book: The Friend-Zone by Abby Jimenez

The Bookworm: Lauren

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I enjoyed the chemistry of Josh and Kristen so much in this book! I vividly remember (which is surprising given how bad my bookish memory is) the conversations about Mexican food (tacos specifically) and margaritas. Those happen to be two of my favorite things too! I thought I'd pull together a low-key date night that matches their relationship and food-related interests. They'll be going on a taco tour, where they order multiple tacos for takeout from various Mexican restaurants around them, bring some homemade margaritas to the beach, and have a picnic. The book takes place in California (LA, I believe?) so it would be a fun way to try a bunch of tacos, compare them, and see what they like best while enjoying a nearby beach! I included some flowers and a cute dog because Kristen has a passion for her dog and her business (for people with tiny dogs needing staircases!).

The Couple: Ash & Kincaid

The Book: The One for You by Roni Loren

The Bookworm: Rowena

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 I chose Ash and Kincaid from The One for You by Roni Loren. Ash knew that Kincaid was busy at the B&B for Valentine's Day so he made himself scarce so she can get shit done. But he made his presence known throughout the day, to let Kincaid know he was thinking of her. He wrote her letters and hid them in places he knew she'd find, he surprised her with flowers cause he knows she loves them and when she came home, he surprised her with a cozy date night in with all of her favorite things...and him.

The Couple: Frank & Emily

The Book: Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

The Bookworm: Wendy

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Frank and Emily are both home during the summer and Frank plans a day out with fun nods to how they originally met. They'd meet at the rock climbing gym where he'd teach her how to rock climb. Next stop: dessert! They'd swing by her old place of work to get ice cream together and pizza next door for sustenance before they would take off on a run together. They still love running together and making playlists for the other. Little does Emily know the route he has planned leads to a (new to them) U-pick apple orchard for apple picking. Dinner is picked up to go and they eat picnic style on the dock watching the sun set! Luke Bryan plays in the background because Emily is still trying to convert Frank to country music and even he has to admit the chorus of "I don't want this night to end" is appropriate. 

The Couple: Thea & Gavin

The Book: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bookworm: Ari

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Valentine’s Day

GAVIN

Gavin checked the time on his watch.
“Okay folks, t-minus thirty minutes until Thea gets home from class. Let’s get t-t-this show on the road!”
“What show, Daddy?” asked Amelia.
“The one where Daddy surprises Mommy with an extra special gift.”
“I still don’t think you’ll be able to convince her to go,” said Liv.
“Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day!” Mack said as he walked through the back door. “Where’s your holiday spirit?”
“Holiday spirit? Isn’t that for Christmas? Also, why is he even here?!”
“He was the only one available to help me set up the backyard,” Gavin replied.
“Yeah, plus I gotta make sure Gavin here doesn’t screw this up.”
Liv took off the stove and turned around. “Oh yeah, and what makes you the expert on love? Because you read romance books?”
“The first rule of book club—DON’T TALK ABOUT BOOK CLUB!”
“Okay, okay can we wrap this up already? Thea will be home any minute and I need everyone gone before she gets here,” said Gavin.
“The food is done so I just have to wrangle up the twins and Butter and we’ll be out of your hair,” said Liv.
“Thank you, Liv. And thanks for helping me in the kitchen.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t screw this up or I will have your neck. C’mon girls, sleepover time!”
“Can we have ice cream, Aunt Livvie?” asked Amelia.
“Sure honey, but only one scoop.”
“I could go for some ice cream right about now, too,” said Mack.
Liv crossed her arms. “Who said you were invited?”
“Hey—”
“Let’s go people! Out! Have fun with Aunt Liv tonight, girls. Mommy and Daddy will see you tomorrow.”
“Bye, Daddy,” the twins replied.
“That Liv is something else,” Mack mumbled.
“Goodnight, Mack,” Gavin said as he shut the back door.

THEA

Thea grabbed her backpack and stepped out of the car. It had been a long week filled with late night studying and writing papers and she couldn’t wait to spend the next two days in bed before she had to do it all over again. She unlocked the door and stepped inside.
It was quiet—too quiet. “Gavin? Girls? Anybody home?”
Thea made her way to the living room and stopped. Gavin stood in the middle of the room with a long-stemmed rose and a smile on his face. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Thea.”
Valentine’s Day. Dammit. She had forgotten that was today. “What’s going on? Where are the girls?”
“Liv took them for tonight. It’s just us two. C’mon, I have a surprise for you.” Gavin took her hand and led her through the back door. As soon as they stepped outside, Thea’s mouth dropped.
There, in the middle of the yard was a table set for two surrounded by fairy lights that were strung from the trees. The outdoor fireplace crackled in the background, warming the night.
“What’s all this?” Thea asked.
“We are going to spend a romantic evening together. No kids. No work. No stress. Just us.”
“You did all this by yourself?”
“Well, I had a little help from Mack and Liv,” said Gavin.
“Wait, how did you manage to get those two to work—you know what, I don’t want to know. I can’t believe you did all this! It’s beautiful, Gavin.”
“Well, it’s all for you Thea.” He took her hand and led her to the table and pulled out her chair.
Thea sat down as Gavin took his seat across from her. “Wine?”
“Yes, please.”
Gavin filled both their glasses. “A t-t-toast, to my beautiful wife.”
They clinked their glasses and Thea dove into her dinner. “Mhmm, this is amazing!”
Gavin chuckled. “How was class?”
“Exhausting, just like this whole week. I need a nap.”
“A nap sounds good right about now. Coach has been working us extra hard with the start of the season around the corner and my legs feel like jelly.”
Thea tensed. It had only been a few months since their almost-divorce and while things were back on track, Thea couldn’t help but wonder if all their progress would be short-lived once the new season started.
“Hey,” Gavin said as he reached across the table for her hand. “I can hear you thinking.”
“It’s nothing,” Thea reassured.
“Thea.”
Thea sighed. “I’m just afraid…I’m just afraid that’s all.”
“Come here,” Gavin said as he moved his chair back as Thea settled on his lap. “I know these last few months have been rocky and it feels like we’ve just got to a good place, b-b-but I promise, things won’t be like before. I love you, Thea and that’s not changing. Ever.”
Thea’s heart fluttered. “Dammit, Gavin. You can’t just go around saying things like that.”
“I’m just speaking the truth. Are you finished with your dinner?”
“Yeah.”
“Good, because I have a few more surprises for tonight.”

GAVIN

Gavin lifted Thea off his lap and led her to the fireplace. He grabbed the blanket he had placed outside earlier, wrapping it around them and pulled Thea close as she settled her head on his chest. They sat in silence, listening to the fire crackled before Thea finally spoke.
“So, what more surprises do you have up your sleeves, Mr. Scott?”
Gavin reached in this back pocket and pulled out an envelope and handed it to her.
“What’s this?” Thea asked
“Open it.”
Thea looked at the envelope and then back at Gavin. With an encouraging nudge, Thea slowly lifted the flap and pulled out two tickets.
“Tickets? Where are we going?”
“Remember how I said for our honeymoon I wanted to go someplace warm where you could walk around in a bikini all day? Well, we’re going on our honeymoon.”
Thea pushed off Gavin’s chest and looked him in the eye. “Are you serious?”
“Yes.”
“Gavin! Wow, oh my god. This—this is just, wait. We can’t go on our honeymoon now. What about school and the new season starting up? What about the girls? Gavin this—”
“Thea.”
Thea stopped her rambling.
“I’ve been planning this for weeks and I’ve already worked out all the kinks. We fly out during your spring break. Coach has agreed to let me take a few days off, granted I put in some extra hours at practice. And Liv has agreed to watch the girls while we are away. The only t-t-thing left for us to do is to pack our bags.”

THEA

Thea stared up at Gavin. She was speechless. A honeymoon. The honeymoon. The honeymoon they never got to have was finally happening. A tear slid down her cheek.
“Gavin, I don’t know what to say.”
“Say yes, please Thea.”
“Yes. A thousand times yes!”
Gavin lifted Thea up and placed her over his lap, so she was straddling his legs. He reached up and palmed her cheek, wiping away her tears as he brought her lips down to meet his. She kissed him softly.
“I love you, Gavin.”
“I love you too, Thea.”
“How about we finish off the rest of this evening inside?” Thea tilted her head to the side as she looked down at Gavin. “Preferably in the bedroom?”
“You don’t have to ask me twice!” Gavin said as he lifted Thea into his arms and strode toward the house.
“Maybe I’ll even give you a sneak peek of what to expect on our honeymoon…”
Gavin laughed and Thea joined in as he carried her to their bedroom.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The End.


The Couple: Victor & Whitney

The Book: Just One More by Jodie Slaughter

The Bookworm: Jazmen

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I chose Victor and a Whitney from Just One More because they were robbed of their true chance to go on a date on Valentines Day. They met in an Uber where the MC threw up on him because of a shaky Uber ride. Because of the rough night she missed the opportunity to get these Valentine’s Day special-only cupcakes. So, I’d send them to the Sex Museum in NY which is perfectly fitting because their relationship is basically based on a one-night stand turned full-blown relationship. Because they’re simple they’d just get street food like pizza and pretzels and they end the night with a nightcap, minus the liquor and all of the sex. Oh, and of course she’d get the cupcakes.

The Couple: Magda & Tyson

The Book: Open House by Ruby Lang

The Bookworm: Beth

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Magda and Tyson try camping in the wilderness instead of on top of a NYC house, with much better success.

The Couple: Ezra & Angie

The Book: A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie

The Bookworm: Me


One of my favorite couples from Therese Beharrie is Ezra and Angie. For this Valentine's Day, I thought I would take them back to where it started, in that little cafe where Angie first forced Ezra to be her fake boyfriend. Following some coffee and pastries and them being all cuddly, they take a very scenic road trip to a cabin where Ezra has set up an indoor tent with lanterns, pillows, and soft blankets. They reminisce about that one Christmas day when they met and eventually fall asleep in each other's arms. On their way back home the next day, they happen upon a wedding at one of their stops where once again they are mistaken for members of the wedding party! This time around Angie isn't so grumpy! ;)

Books Mentioned


Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals, #3) Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #2) Can't Escape Love (Reluctant Royals, #2.6) Headliners (London Celebrities, #5) Whatever It Takes (Bad Reputation Duet, #1) A Cowboy to Remember (Cowboys of California #1) Love Lettering The Friend Zone The One for You (The Ones Who Got Away, #4) Since You've Been Gone The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1) Just One More Open House (Uptown, #2) A Wedding One Christmas (One Day to Forever, #1)

Giveaway

Prize: 
- A romance novel of your choice worth up to $20

Rules:
- To enter the giveaway, enter the Rafflecopter below
- Must be 18+ to enter the giveaway.
- Open internationally as long as The Book Depository ships to you.
- Giveaway will run until Feb 21st, 2020.
- No giveaway accounts, please.
- Winner will be selected using a random number generator through Rafflecopter.
- Winner will be contacted on Feb 22nd, 2020 and will have 2-days to respond.
- I am not responsible for any lost packages.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you so much to Andi, Elizabeth, Sam, Melinda, Katie, Deanna, Nat, Charlotte, Lauren, Rowena, Wendy & Ari for taking their time to create these stunning mood boards!

If you could plan a date for your favorite fictional couple, what kind of date would you plan?
Let me know in the comments below!