Valentine's Day Extravaganza: Day 2 - Valentine's Day Gone Wrong Pt. 1

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to day 2 of the Valentine's Day Extravaganza week!

If you missed yesterday's post which was a Galentine's Day love-fest, don't forget to check it out. Today, I'm featuring part 1 of a series of Valentine's Day Gone Wrong posts. There are some seriously swoony and funny contributions and I can't wait to hear what you all think.

Once again, thank you to all the wonderful authors who contributed to today's post and for making it as epic as it is. 

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Please enjoy!

Alanna Martin


by Alanna Martin
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: April 27th 2021
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

© Alanna Martin, 2021

Josh’s 10 Easy Steps to The Perfect Valentine’s Day When You Are Owned By Three Huskies

  1. Decorate the house with your girlfriend’s favorite flowers.

  2. Buy the chocolate peanut butter pie she loves from the bakery in town and put champagne in the fridge.

  3. Forget to lock the dogs in your bedroom.

  4. Be gone for only ten minutes while you pick her up from work.

  5. Come home to find the dogs have destroyed all the flowers and knocked the pie off the counter.

  6. Discover the dogs didn’t just ruin the pie, but that they ate some of it and vomited all over the kitchen.

  7. Watch your girlfriend dote on the dogs and call them “poor babies” while you clean up the aforementioned vomit.

  8. Curl up on the sofa with your girlfriend and three huskies who think they did you a huge favor by saving you from a pie.

  9. Realize you don’t need chocolate or flowers to have the perfect day, because you have all the love you need in your life right here.

  10. Remember the champagne you put in the fridge, and decide a bit of that sure wouldn’t hurt though.

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Ann Marie Walker


by Ann Marie Walker
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 19th 2021
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

Valentine’s Day Gone Wrong…Or Maybe Exactly Right!

© Ann Marie Walker, 2021

Paige Parker doesn’t need a man. That’s exactly what she told her assistant when she booked a getaway—alone—to celebrate Singles Day, the day after Valentine’s Day. But what she didn’t count on was the B&B to be anything than advertised. Or that a storm would prevent her from fleeing the pigsty. Or that the head swine would look more like Ryan Reynolds than an elderly innkeeper. And what she really didn’t count on was a truce with her grumpy host turning into a potential love match…

“What made you come here?” Lucas asked.

“You mean to a sleepy little island with no cars?” she asked, echoing his earlier line.

“In winter no less.” He leaned forward, placing one elbow on the counter and resting his chin in the palm of his hand. “You know my story, Paige Parker. Now tell me yours. And you can start with why in the world a beautiful woman like you is spending a week alone at the beach.”

Her face flushed and a warmth spread through his chest. Complimenting her was an attempt to put her at ease, but her response pleased him far more than he’d expected.

She shifted in her chair, and the red in her cheeks became more noticeable. “I’m celebrating Singles Day.”

For a moment, Lucas drew a blank. But then he remembered the special request that had accompanied the booking. “Ah, that would explain the cake.” He’d thought a request for a cake inscribed with the words “Happy Singles Day” was a mistake, or maybe even a joke. Either way, he had ignored it.

Paige raised a brow. “Yeah, where is that, by the way?”

“Afraid you’ll have to add that to the grievances you’ll be filing with the booking site.”

She shook her head. “It’s becoming quite a list.”

“Ah yes, but on the other hand, there are unadvertised perks.”

“Like what?”

“Not every day you get to play with a litter of adorable puppies.”

Paige nodded. “So we’ll call it even on the cake.”

He was half-afraid to ask, but curiosity got the better of him. After all, whatever she was about to tell him had brought her to the point of booking a last-minute vacation. Surely he would find it amusing if nothing else. “What is Singles Day anyway?”

Her eyes lit up. “Actually, it’s called Singles Appreciation Day or, in some places, Singles Awareness Day.”

He cocked his head to one side. “Sad.”

She pursed her lips, then let him have it with both barrels. “It’s not sad. There’s nothing sad about loving yourself and being content with who you are. The latest census showed that nearly half the country is single.”

That wasn’t what he meant, but the exasperated look on her face was so adorable, Lucas couldn’t help but laugh. And once he started, he couldn’t stop. Paige glared at him, which only made him laugh harder, and when she crossed her arms indignantly over her chest, he nearly doubled over. He hadn’t laughed this hard in ages. It was like he was back in grade school with a serious case of giggles. “No, no, I mean the acronym.” He struggled to catch his breath and, when he finally did, explained. “Singles Appreciation Day,” he said, saying the words slowly so as to separate them. “S-A-D. Sad. Rather unfortunate acronym, don’t you think?” He’d no sooner finished when the laughter returned. Hell, his abs actually hurt.

Paige’s resolve cracked, and her frown melted into an amused grin. “Yeah, I noticed that as well. But for some reason when you said it—”

“You figured I was just being an asshole?”

“Let’s just say you’re lucky I don’t have that cake,” she said, shaking her head. “Or you would be wearing some of it right now.”

“Sorry,” he said, trying his best to act contrite and failing miserably. “Let me make it up to you.”

She narrowed her eyes. “How?”

“By celebrating Singles Day with you.”

She snorted. “I think you’re missing the point of the holiday.”

“Not at all. We can celebrate being alone.” He winked. “Together.”

“You seriously want to celebrate Singles Day with me?”

He’d have thought she was being intentionally obtuse if it weren’t for the genuine look of surprise on her face. “Yes. When is it?”

“Today actually. The day after Valentine’s Day. The day also known as Half-Price Chocolate Day, but that is beside the point.”

Lucas clapped his hands together. “Perfect.” He started for the front door.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“To the store.” He shrugged into his coat. “A special occasion calls for a special meal.”

Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker is on sale now!

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Candace Harper


by Candace Harper
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 9th 2021
Amazon - Kobo - Other Retailers

Valentine’s Day Gone Wrong

Featuring Characters from “The Best Places” in Second Chances: A Sapphic Romance Anthology

© Candace Harper, 2021

A lot of things were different from when Rebecca and I were young. However, the one thing that had never changed about Rebecca in all our years apart was that she loved surprises. For our first Valentine’s Day as a couple, I had the perfect plan. 

She thought that I was spending the weekend at a work retreat, but really, I was taking her and Tyson on a surprise weekend getaway to the town where we’d first met. 

Because I couldn’t help myself, nearly everything about the weekend was planned out to the letter. I couldn’t have done it without some help from her fifteen-year-old daughter, Emma. The bed and breakfast was booked, Emma had packed her a bag with everything she might need, figured out how she was going to be taken care of, and I’d made the perfect plans. We were going to picnic on the lawn at our alma mater, go to an afternoon screening of Legally Blonde, then to dinner at our favorite restaurant from the college years. 

It was going to be absolutely perfect, except for one tiny little problem. We hadn’t figured out a way to get her there without completely spoiling the surprise. 

Emma had tried everything she could think of beyond faking an actual emergency to make sure she had no plans for the weekend, but as usual, the woman I loved refused to reveal whether she even had any for anything other than tonight. Usually, it was charming. Right now, it was driving me batty. But what could I do about it?

The only thing you can control is yourself, I reminded myself. I just had to finish the drive to her small house in suburban New York, and it would all be fine. With less than an hour to go, what could go wrong?

Well, apparently, the answer to that question was everything. When I pulled up to her house, it was dark against the setting sun. There was no sign of her blue Jeep. That was not a good sign. Emma was supposed to be gone already - she had plans to spend the whole weekend with her new enbyfriend and a few of their other friends at a cabin by the lake. But Rebecca should have been here. Emma had said she would be. 

As if knowing I needed to talk to her, my cell phone rang. A photo of Becca, Tyson and I popped up on my car’s dashboard, and I pressed accept. 

I tried to keep my voice modulated when I greeted her. Wherever she was, I didn’t want her to know that anything was off. “Hey sweetheart, how’s it going?”  

“Remind me again, when are you leaving for your work retreat? I thought you were leaving tomorrow?” Her honeyed voice filled the speakers. Just the sound released a little bit of the tension from my shoulders, even as I wondered at her question.

“No, I had to leave tonight, remember?”

She swore, and I heard the sound of cars honking around her. It was alarming, to say the least.

“Becca, are you okay? Where are you?”

“Well, I just got on the highway, but now I have to get off of it,” she huffed. “I was planning to surprise you for the holiday, but I guess that’s a bust, huh?”

A snort burst from my nose, turning into the giggles before I could stop  it.

“What? What’s funny?”

The giggles morphed into full blown laughter that confused Tyson. He hopped up into the front seat and stuck his nose in my face, as if that would solve the problem.

“Becca, I’m sitting in your driveway right now,” I laughed. A moment of silence greeted me before she answered.

“You did? But what about your retreat?”

“I made up the retreat as a way to make sure you wouldn’t try to make other plans. I had a whole trip planned. It was supposed to be a surprise, but uh, I guess the cat’s out of the bag on that one.”

She let out an ear-splitting squeal that I knew was delight. “You didn’t! Oh, you are wicked, my darling. Well, I’ll be home in half an hour and then we can commence on whatever plans I haven’t ruined, if you’ll still have me.”

“Of course I’ll still have you, you goose. And you haven’t ruined anything. Just, come home soon. Tyson’s getting antsy.”

“I’ll be home as soon as I can,” she laughed. “Love you, Ros.”

“Love you, too. See you soon.” I shook my head as I hustled Tyson out of the car

If this was any indication of how the rest of the weekend would go, it might not go according to plan, but we’d certainly have a blast. 

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CK Brown


by CK Brown

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Farah Heron


by Farah Heron
Publisher: Forever Romance
Publication Date: March 2nd 2021
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

The Valentine’s Surprise

 ©  Farah Heron, 2021

One would think that with a full dozen ex-boyfriends, Reena would be an old hand at Valentine’s day. But in honesty, she never really felt the need to celebrate her romantic relationship-du-jour with contrived cards and tacky stuffed animals on a bitter cold day in February. And as for the chocolate and desserts? If she wanted those things, or wanted to give someone those things, she didn’t need to wait for a day randomly named after a Catholic saint to do it.  

But this year Valentine’s day was different. Mostly because her current relationship wasn’t at all like the twelve that came before it. Being with Nadim was like savoring crème brûlée when all she’d had before was Jello pudding. This was their first Valentine’s day together, and he made her happier than she’d been in her life. He deserved to be spoiled, and she knew exactly how to do that. 

She made him mandazi— soft, fragrant East African yeast donuts scented with coconut and cardamon that are fried fresh by street vendors spilling onto the sidewalks in his hometown of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. He was reminiscing about them just yesterday. Reena could make most yeast doughs with her eyes closed, but for some reason her mandazi never turned out like the ones she’d had when visiting Dar Es Salaam. So, she did the unthinkable. She went to her mother’s for cooking help.  

“Nah, Reena, that’s your problem,” Mum said, tapping the recipe Reena had brought. “Not enough oil in it. And cardamon powder! No! Crush fresh elaichi only. Where did you get this recipe? Ina’s Garden or something?”

“Ina Garten?” Reena asked. Mum had a tendency to accuse Reena of finding recipes from food TV stars whenever Reena’s food wasn’t Indian or East African enough for her. 

After crushing the cardamon pods with a mortar and pestle, and adding a little extra oil and coconut milk to the dough, Reena had a batch of soft on the inside, crisp on the outside richly brown triangles of deep-fried sweet dough, ready to be dunked into chai after dinner. Nadim would love these. 

After carefully packing up the mandazi in paper then a tote bag, she left her Mum’s and went straight to Nadim’s favourite micro-brewery to pick up some of their special limited-edition raspberry cocoa sour stout. He needed at least some chocolate for Valentine’s day. Her phone rang while she was in line to buy the beer. It was Nadim.

“Are you going to be home soon?” he purred. Even after so many months, the sound of that voice, tinged with his posh London accent, sent shivers up her spine. “I have a surprise for you.” 

“What kind of surprise?” Reena asked with a low voice. 

“I’m not telling, but I’ll give you a clue… it’s brown. It’s a little bit sweet. A little bit… spiced.”

“Is it that organic Mexican chili chocolate I love?”

He hesitated. “No.”

“I’ll need another clue.”

“I’m not going to tell you what it is, Reena, it’s a surprise.”

She pouted. “Fine. I have a surprise for you, too, and I was going to give you a clue, but now I won’t.”

“But I did actually give you a clue, remember? The brown and sweet part? I want a clue, too.” 

Reena looked up. She was almost at the front of the line. “Okay, but then I have to go. Your clue is that it originates from Tanzania.”

“Ha! So does your surprise! See you soon!” He disconnected the call. 

Huh. His surprise was from Tanzania, too? She ordered her beer, and as she walked out to her car, it hit her. 

His surprise was him. Brown. Sweet. A bit spicy. Tanzanian. He would be the Valentine’s day gift waiting for her at home. Most likely naked. 

A flush went through her body as she picked up her pace a bit to get home. She was so glad she’s revised her thoughts on Valentine’s day. 

On the drive she heard her phone buzz with a text, but of course she didn’t look at it while driving. In her rush to get home to the naked man waiting for her, she hadn’t connected her hands free. No worries. She was only twenty minutes from home. After parking her car behind her apartment building, she checked her phone. The text was from her mother, from about fifteen minutes ago. 

Reena you took the biriyani I made for your sister when you left instead of the mandazi. I know you wanted to surprise Nadim today for Vaseline day so I’m coming to drop it off for you. 

Two things came to Reena’s mind. One, Vaseline day was either the worst or the best auto-correct for Valentine’s day she’d ever heard (it might be the best if it came from literally anyone other than her mother). And two, her parents’ house was only about ten minutes from hers, so… holy shit her mother was about to knock on her door and be greeted by a naked Nadim. They didn’t have a peephole, and Nadim would assume it was Reena knocking since she forgot her keys so often.

Grabbing the beer and biriyani, she rushed around to the front of the building. Her mother’s empty car was parked on the street. 

Crap, crap, crap. Mum was already in there. Reena took the stairs up the building two at a time, pulled open the building door, and raced to the hallway. Maybe she could catch her before Nadim opened the door. 

She was too late. Because there was Mum, standing outside Reena’s open door, with comically wide eyes and an open mouth. 

Shit. Her mother was currently getting a full-frontal view of Nadim. Sunday brunches with her whole family were about to get three-thousand times more awkward than they already were. 

Heart beating heavily in her chest, Reena rushed to the door to diffuse the situation. She immediately saw that Mum and Nadim both had shocked expressions on their faces, and they were both holding plates of mandazi. And, thank the lord, they were both fully clothed. 

Mum saw Reena and smiled. “Look Reena! Nadim has mandazi, too! His look exactly like the ones I used to get from Dar Es Salaam! Where did they come from?”

Nadim grinned at Reena. “I bought these for Reena. Yesterday she mentioned how much she loved them, but hers never turned out right. I drove across town to this little East African bakery! Happy Valentine’s day, Reena!”

Reena grinned. “Mandazi is my surprise? Mandazi is your surprise!” 

He laughed. “Yes! This is why we’re perfect for each other.” He gave her a quick kiss on the lips. 

And she had to laugh, too. Mostly out of relief that his brown, sweet and a little bit spicy treat was actually East African donuts, and not her East African man, naked. That would have been lovely, of course, but not so much with her mother right there.  

After that traumatizing experience, Reena felt entitled to keep the biriyani, but managed to get rid of her mother. And amazingly, Nadim actually did get her the Mexican chocolate that he said he didn’t get. So in the end they both got everything they wanted, lots of mandazi, dark chocolate, craft beer, and each other naked. 

Reena suspected she’d never skip Valentine’s day again. 

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Hope Parker


by Hope Parker
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 15th 2021

Sam & Kit from Rhythm of the Rain- first Valentine’s Day

 ©  Hope Parker, 2021

“Well, what do you think?” Kit spun around, her hands subconsciously going to the flare in her hips. I knew she traced the new stretch marks on her stomach and studied her fuller figure in the mirror after she got out of the shower, but she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Just six short months ago, she’d brought our first child into the world with a raw strength that made me impossibly proud. 

Kit’s dress was a purple sheath that fit her curves perfectly and her makeup was done in smoky tones while her light brunette hair fell in wild waves down her back. She’d let it grow out since Andrew had been born and I loved tangling my fingers in the strands while we made love, anchoring her to me.  “I think you’re stunning. You look beautiful,” I murmured, crooking my finger, and beckoning her toward me. Kit smiled and shook her head, following instructions. She trusted our dynamic—Kit had bestowed upon me the honor of being her Dominant—which had kept us close in the stressful past weeks of little sleep, a crying baby, and next to no time to nurture our relationship. 

She perched on the edge of the bed and took my hand. “Closer, baby,” I said, leaning forward to cup her cheek. She met me halfway, bracing herself on the handles of my wheelchair. As her lips caressed mine, I savored the little groans and moans that were leaving me breathless. Before we could get carried away, I chuckled and pulled back. It was Valentine’s Day and the first date that we had a chance to go on as a couple since the baby was born. Kit bit her lip and glanced away, a devious glint in her eye that let me know she was ready to resume the intimacy we’d been missing. What she didn’t know is that I’d been doing more than planning a dinner date. Unbound, the BDSM club I owned, had an exceptionally good month. Good enough that I could finally do something about the homesickness that plagued my wife. She assumed I didn’t notice when she cried after hanging up a FaceTime call with her family, but I did. Chicago may be home now, but Texas would always be where our roots were. 

I pointed to the closet. “Honey, would you mind getting out my suit jacket? We need to get going.” Kit stood and headed to the closet, a confused expression on her face. I rarely asked her to get items for me unless I absolutely needed the help. When she opened the door, her hand flew to her face, her cute little dimpled smile peeking out from behind her fingers as she caught sight of the full suitcase we reserved for weekends away. 

Joy flooded through me at her reaction. I checked my watch. “I promise we will go out alone tonight but we have a flight to catch. You ready to go home for the weekend?” 

Kit bounded over to me and wrapped her arms around my neck as her laughter filled the room. “Sam, this is incredible, thank you! But the babysitter, and Andrew, what’re we going to do?”

“She was just here to help out while we got ready. Andy’s coming with us. Your mom was very excited about watching her grandson tonight. My sister put a crib in the guesthouse so he’ll be more than comfortable when we get back to the ranch.” Kit laced her fingers through mine and kissed me with a passionate hunger I missed since we’d been adjusting to life as new parents. 

“I love you,” she whispered. “This is the best gift I could’ve asked for.”

“I love you, Kit. Happy Valentine’s Day.” I grinned, put our suitcase in my lap, and led the way to the car waiting to whisk us away. 

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Jacqueline Snowe


by Jacqueline Snowe
Publisher: Heart Eye Press
Publication Date: February 15th 2020

Valentine’s Day Gone Wrong


© Jacqueline Snowe, 2021

The second I walked into our place, the smell was off.  I scrunched my nose and lifted the hem of my shirt to cover my face. It had to be a combination of burnt eggs, fire, and…a candle? Maybe a lemon cleaner mixed in? 

Either way, the combination hurt my face and I coughed a few times once I stood in the foyer. What did Jonah do? 

“Ry, you home? Don’t come in here.” Jonah called out, his voice coming from deeper into the unit. The third floor we rented and shared wasn’t that large. He should’ve known better than to say don’t enter. Didn’t he know that was like a neon sign telling me to not listen?

I took a few steps into the living room and found the culprit of the smell.

The kitchen. Jonah, specifically, standing in the kitchen shirtless with a helpless expression as he stared at three pans with something that might’ve been food. It was now black and gross and had smoke coming from it. 

“Um, this looks… fun,” I said, still keeping my shirt over my nose. “Can I ask a question?”

“No. You can’t.” He turned and crossed his arms, narrowing his large brown eyes at me as a red blush crept up his neck. “No questions. You’re going to put on a nice dress and once I figure out how to discard this… stuff, I’m taking you out.”

“Oh, mighty presumptuous of you.” I grinned and took a step closer. “Was that bread? Or a fish? I can’t tell.”

“No questions, Ryann.” He pushed off the counter and put his hands on my shoulders, gently making me walk backward. His bare and strong chest distracted me and I reached up to trace the line of his pecs. He trembled and I moved my hand up his neck to cup his face. 

“Did you try cooking and accidentally burn everything? Because, sunshine, it smells like death and trash in here.”

His jaw tightened and he looked over my shoulder. I knew his worry signs enough that he was embarrassed. For a guy who was a god on the hockey team, and in the bedroom (wink wink) he wasn’t used to being bad at things. “I wanted to…make today special.”

“Because it’s Valentine’s Day?” I asked, my chest fighting at how much I loved this guy. I loved all of him. The grumpy, embarrassed, horrible-cook parts of him. I fought a grin.

“Because it’s our first one together and I wanted to… I don’t know, make you a nice meal and tell you how fucking lucky I am to be with you. Your brother said you loved lobster and I asked if you had a family recipe—”

“Wait,” I said, suddenly breathless. Jonah and my brother had a rocky friendship since I started dating one of his teammates but for Jonah to talk to my brother about this? That was huge. That was… romantic. My brother could’ve punched him in the face, sabotaged this moment, and Jonah would’ve taken it for me. 

But the biggest reason Jonah made me fall for him even more was the fact he knew to ask about my parents recipe. I told him all the things my parents used to cook when they were alive and he remembered. “Jonah,” I said, jumping onto him and wrapping my legs around his hips. “You wonderful boyfriend, you.”

“You’re not…disappointed?” he asked, pressing his lips to my neck. I loved when he hugged me back like this—all tight and close, like he never wanted to let go.

It made me feel safe and loved and wanted all in one embrace. A girl couldn’t ask for much more.

“Not even a little bit.” I squeezed his broad shoulders and tight body with all I had and leaned back to kiss him right on the mouth. He kissed me right back, moving toward the living room wall where he pressed my back against it and tilted my head up.

He deepened the kiss and groaned into my mouth. “I love you so fucking much, Ryann, I just wanted to make today special for you.”

“You do almost every day,” I said, pausing the kiss to make sure he looked at me. “I love you too and I don’t need a fancy meal. We could order pizza or have sandwiches. I don’t care about that. I care about you, the fact you talked to Michael to try to make today special. Those are all the things I care about.”

“Okay.” He grinned at me now, the full-fledged Jonah Daniels grin that no one else got to see very often. It was all mine and my face heated when that grin shifted. “Want to help me shower off the smell?”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

It might not have been the most romantic Valentine’s Day for everyone, but it was the perfect one for us and at the end of the day, that’s all that mattered. 

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J. Greene


by J. Greene
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2nd 2021

© Jazmen Greene, 2021

“How could you think he was me?” 

I tighten the belt of my robe until it’s nearly cutting off my circulation. If it were possible, I’d embed the belt into my skin. Never to be opened again.

 “How was I supposed to know it wasn’t you? You’re practically twins,” I hiss. “It’s dark. He’s here early. Oh my god.”  I drop my head into my hands before I pace the room.

Carson laughs. And not just any laugh, a belly grabbing, bent at the waist laugh. 

I spin to him. “I can’t believe you’re laughing. I grabbed your father’s dick.” I turn and walk to the window, raising it, hoping the air will cool the fire at my cheeks. 


“Don’t baby me right now. I’m donating my hands to the Salvation Army.”

“I love your hands,” he says pulling them from the windowsill, kissing each finger. “You can’t give your hands away. Besides who’s going to grab my dick?” he says snickering.

I yank my hands back. 

“Do you want to spend Valentine’s Day in a casket?” 

Carson grabs my face at the chin, angling it upward. “It was an accident, Brianna. Relax. It’s fine. He’s fine. A little turned on,” he chuckles. “but fine.”

“Oh my god.” I walk from the window and resume pacing. “I am a harlot, and I grabbed your father’s penis. Thank God I didn’t reach inside his pants like I intended.”

He giggles. 

“I want a pre-divorce.” I snap.

Grabbing me at the waist, stopping my pacing, Carson nudges his hand under the edge of my robe.

“Don’t play like that. We're getting married. Do I need to take out the handcuffs again?” His grin is salacious.

“I can’t believe you’re thinking about sex.”

“It was dark downstairs, he shrugs, “but it’s not up here.”


“And... I can see your legs. I want to know what’s beneath your robe.”

“Absolutely not.” I walk over to the bed plopping down. “Don’t follow me.”

He walks over and sits next to me. “We started here, Bri. Remember?” His voice sounds wistful.

“Of course, I remember.” I smile even though I don’t want to. “I also remember being just as mortified as I am right now. “This house is cursed. This bed is cursed.”

“The only thing that’s going to be cursing is you in about five minutes.”

“We’re not having sex.”

“It’s Valentine’s Day. I wanna be balls deep in you. Deeper, if I can manage.”

“Ugh,” I grumble and lay backwards on the bed.

“Bri, it’s not a big deal. It’s just a penis. Don’t make a thing of it.”

“I. Am. Humiliated.”

“Let me make it better.”


“Let me lick it away.”

“You’re insatiable.”

“You know this, and yet your robe is still on.” He leans down and licks the top of my thigh. I don’t shiver, as not to encourage him.

“The robe is staying on.”

His breath hits too close to my vagina.


“I can’t untie it. It’s too tight.” 

“That’s not an issue, Bri.” He brushes against my body until we’re eye level. He breathes out a “hi,” against my lips. I shiver and say “hi” back. He grabs both ends of the opening to my robe and tears. 

I gasp as the material rips. “What the fuck?”

“Fuck this robe.”

“You’re an animal.”

“Again, you know this, and yet…”

His eyes drop, and he’s quiet as he takes in the negligee beneath the scraps of the robe. It’s black lace, and low cut at the front. Really low. It’s in the shape of a “V” at the front, and only covers my breasts, until it gapes open between my breasts down to my stomach. Carson doesn’t know this, but it’s backless and ends in a thong that’s shaped like heart over my ass. 

“Bri, I know I said it before, but I’m going to get you pregnant tonight. I hope you’re ready for kids.” One of his arms snakes around my waist, tickling the skin at my back.

“Not until you marry me,” I moan.

“Then let’s practice, so when we’re ready, we know how to do it.”

“I don’t wanna be in the mood, Carson. I’m embarrassed,” I whine.

“Don’t worry,” he runs a finger down the center of my chest, goosebumps follow the trail of his finger, like they wanna be close to him too. “You’re about to forget.”

Carson pulls one end of the lingerie aside, which is easy, and takes one of my nipples into his mouth. 

“We shouldn’t,” I mewl.

“And yet we are.”

“Make sure the door is locked.”

“Nobody is coming up here. Plus, you couldn’t pay me to move right now.” He slides the same finger lower until it’s urging at the end of my one piece. “You’re very wet, Brianna, for someone who doesn’t want to be in the mood.”

“Carson, you’re touching me. That’s all it takes.” 

“For me, too,” he says smiling. 

I return his grin.

“I hate being so easy.”

“Let’s make it hard.”

“I thought only you got hard.”

“Nah,” he shakes his head. “I meant hard for you to breathe.”


I get my answer when he drops to his knees, yanks my lower half close to his mouth, pushes the crotch of the lingerie to the side and sticks his tongue inside of me. 

“Why are you always in this position?” 

“As long as you’re before me, I’ll be beneath you.”

“I really fucking love you.”

“I love you, too. Now let me enjoy my Valentine’s day gift.”

“I didn’t give it to you yet.”

Carson mutters, angling one finger inside me, “You’re about to.”

Find Jazmen:

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Joanna Lowell


by Joanna Lowell
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: April 6th 2021
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

© Joanna Lowell, 2021

London 1883

Saint Valentine’s Day

Lucy’s heart galloped as Anthony, Duke of Weston slid his finger under the red ribbon. It wasn’t only the sight of his large, beautiful, skillful hands moving with such delicate precision: pulling apart the bows, spreading out the lace, unfolding the heavy paper. It was her knowledge of what the parcel contained. 

Her first Valentine to her husband.

Morning had transitioned into late morning, into early afternoon, and still they lazed abed. Lucy felt warm, warm and lavishly fulfilled. Anthony had hinted that his Saint Valentine’s gift would come as a surprise, in the evening, but Lucy hadn’t been able to wait a moment longer to hand him hers. 

Now he lounged against a bolster, blanket tugged to his hips, well-muscled torso exposed to her view. She still flushed everywhere to look at him. 

And to touch him… it made her every nerve shower sparks. 

He was sliding the small, framed picture from the wrappings. 

She couldn’t watch. She dove into her pillow, laughing at her own jitters. Before she’d even known his name, she’d painted his nude body. The Valentine’s drawing she’d made wouldn’t shock him. Would it? Certainly, she’d never attempted anything so erotic, so ecstatically indecent. The two of them, twined together, becoming one—captured in the moment of bliss. 

She heard him draw a breath. 

“Thank you,” he said, too heartily. “A very good likeness.” 

Not exactly the response she’d anticipated. She’d imagined he’d be struck speechless, that he’d simply utter her name, with that hitch in his voice that sent a pulse straight to her lower belly.  

She lifted her face from the pillow. “Erm, yes. I strove for… accuracy.” 

He was considering the picture with a notably bland expression. 

“We’ve come a long way.” He shook his head. “I don’t even mind so much anymore, getting jarred awake and clawed in the middle of the night.” 

She sat bolt upright, the sheet clutched to her neck. Was that how he thought of it? The delirious moments their shared passion stole from sleep? Surely, he was joking. 

He looked at her and smiled with unmistakable sincerity. “I’ll hang it in my study.” 

Dear God. She lunged for the picture, succeeded only in knocking it horizontal in his hands. 

She gasped. 

Anthony held a charming watercolor of her irascible old cat, Mr. Malkin. A very good likeness. She’d painted it for her Great-Aunt Marian.

Her mind flew to her studio, to the table where just yesterday she’d enveloped three identically-sized framed pictures in brown paper, before carefully—so carefully—selecting the one she knew to be Anthony’s daring Valentine, festooning it in ribbon and lace.  

“Drat,” she whispered. “This is Aunt Marian’s. I must have wrapped the wrong picture.” 

“I like it.” Anthony grinned. “But I’ll give it up,” he drawled, all teasing gallantry, “once you give me the right picture.” 

“The right picture.” A cold knot was forming in Lucy’s stomach. Had she accidentally posted it to Aunt Marian’s fashion house? 

Or worse. Much worse. 

Had she switched it for the pen-and-ink illustration of the Divine Comedy? 

The one commissioned by the Prime Minister? 

“My love.” She swallowed hard. “We need to go right now, to Downing Street.” 

Joanna Lowell, The Duke Undone

Find Joanna:
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Lauren Mae


by Lauren Mae
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 24th 2020

A Wintery Valentine’s Day Double Date!

© Lauren H. Mae, 2021

I recently finished the book Fighting Gravity by Eve Kasey, so when I signed up to plan a Valentine’s double date for The Infinite Limits of Love, I knew I had to invite Tate and Rosie to spend it with Dylan and Dani from my book, The Rules. Dylan and Rosie have similar occupations, and I think they’d all hit it off. I’m sending them to Maine for a snow-filled date.

Dylan and Dani are total beach-bums, but in February, ice sculptures on the shore will have to do. The date starts at an ice festival overlooking the promenade. There’s snow and ice art, and even a sled-dog race.

After all of the looking at ice, it’s time to strap on some skates and have fun at the local outdoor skating rink, featuring an ice bar and music. Think rollerskating when you were a kid, but colder and with more booze.

Skating is quite the workout, but luckily outdoor dining is still warm and cozy in a private tent with a firepit. The champagne doesn’t even need to be kept on ice!

Last but not least, the outdoor hot tub at their hotel is the perfect way to enjoy the winter night without freezing your Valentines off. Added benefit: It will keep away the sore muscles that are sure to follow that skating session. 

What do you think? Would you go on this hot date in below-freezing temps?

Find Lauren:
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Lizzie Shane


by Lizzie Shane
Publisher: Forever Romance
Publication Date: Mayb 25th 2021
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

© Lizzie Shane, 2021

Happy Valentine’s!  Connor, the hero of my upcoming novel ONCE UPON A PUPPY (Grand Central/Forever, May), has a bit of PTSD from Valentine’s Day after he was supposed to get married on V-Day and wound up jilted instead, but when his unconventional dog-trainer, Deenie, shows up at his door on Valentine’s, he’s about to discover that sometimes Valentine’s Gone Wrong is just right…

Connor didn’t want to talk about Monica or Valentine’s Day or feelings—but Deenie didn’t know about any of that. She was safe.

And she was nothing if not distracting.

He grabbed a pair of glasses, filling them from the filter pitcher in the fridge, and handed her one. “So Ben edged you out at the farmhouse?”

“It’s not like that. It’s just today. I’m sure it wouldn’t be awkward if it weren’t Valentine’s Day.”

She said Valentine’s Day like others might say Root Canal Day, and Connor hid his smile behind a drink of water. In his pocket, his phone buzzed again, and he grimaced, pulling it out and setting it facedown on the counter.

Deenie eyed it curiously. “Why are you ignoring your phone, Connor Wyeth?”

“Valentine’s Day,” he explained. He was going to leave it at that, but then heard himself blurting out, “I’m on some dating apps.”

She looked as surprised as he was that he’d admitted that. He hadn’t talked to anyone but his mother about his plan to get back out there. Everyone else would assume it had something to do with Monica and their would-be anniversary. He was sick of everyone thinking everything he did was in reaction to her—even if he’d inadvertently trained the entire town to think that by overreacting since she left.

But Deenie didn’t know any of that. And she made no secret of her dislike for him, so he didn’t have to worry about her smothering him with sympathy.

“Everyone I’ve matched with seems to think today is the perfect day to strike up a conversation.”

His phone buzzed again, and Deenie’s blond eyebrows arched. “And you’ve matched with a lot of women?”

“I’m on a lot of apps,” he said defensively. “I didn’t know which ones were popular in the area right now. I haven’t been doing this much over the last few years, so I wanted to cover my bases.”

Deenie grinned, her bright blue eyes sparkling with eager interest. “Exactly how many online girlfriends are we talking about?”

“They aren’t girlfriends. They’re matches. Potential future romantic partners.”

“Uh-huh. How many?”

“I don’t know.” He did some quick math in his head, tabulating the numbers from the various apps. “Seventy?”

Deenie choked on her water. “Okay. Wow. Though I guess I get it.” She waved her glass at his body, the gesture making his cheeks heat. “Is that why you’re working out? Getting fit for your harem?”

He shoved down the unwelcome pleasure, not wanting to be flattered by her matter-of-fact appreciation. “Exercise clears my head.”

“And I’m sure it has nothing to do with your vanity.”

His eyes narrowed. “I’m not vain.” Yes, he liked looking good. He liked when a woman gave him a double take or blushed just from meeting his eyes. It was satisfying, knowing he could have that effect. But he wasn’t vain.

“Oh, come on. You love being a specimen. Admit it.”

He raised his left eyebrow. “So I’m a specimen?”

Deenie rolled her eyes so hard her entire face moved in a circle. “You’re obviously sexy. Don’t get a big head. You’re still a dick.”

“Thank God. For a second there I thought you’d been abducted by aliens and replaced with a clone.”


Her tone was dry as dust—and he had to fight a grin. He kind of liked exchanging barbs with her. It made him feel sharp, alive—and a million miles removed from the guy Monica had walked out on.

On impulse, he asked, “You wanna hide out here for a while? Maybe order a pizza and stream some super-gory horror movie?”

“You don’t have big Valentine’s plans with any of your harem?”

He groaned. “God, no. Valentine’s is way too romantically loaded for a first date. Why do you think I’m ignoring my phone? Total communication blackout. That’s my policy.”

Deenie’s brows pulled down into an angry V that looked out of place on her cute little pixie face. “Wait, so you’re just not going to respond to anyone? You’re going to ignore all those single women who are just trying to give themselves the hope of a future connection on one of the most romantically obnoxious days of the year?”

“That’s why I’m not responding. Everything is blown out of proportion on Valentine’s Day. I need to manage expectations so no one reads too much into a simple hello.”

“Because women are all bunny-boiling crazies who will latch on to you with our desperation tentacles if you come into range on February fourteenth?”

“Because I’m only going to be marrying one of them, and I want to minimize the emotional collateral damage with all the others. “

Deenie’s eyebrows flew out of their V into high arches. “You’re getting married now?”

His cheeks burned. “Eventually. That’s the goal.” He couldn’t believe he’d blurted that out. “The whole point of dating is so I never have to do it again. If I’d been thinking, I would have waited to set up my profile until after Valentine’s, but I’m kind of on a deadline.”

And if he was honest with himself, some of Ben’s sappy romantic BS had rubbed off on him because he’d thought there was a chance one of the profiles would jump out at him and he’d know and he’d want to spend Valentine’s with the One.

Only there hadn’t been a One. There had been seventy maybes. And the more times he matched, the more overwhelming the idea of finding his One became.

“Do you have to marry by a certain date in order to inherit a massive estate from an eccentric uncle?”

Connor blinked, bringing himself back to the present with a frown. “What?”

ONCE UPON A PUPPY by Lizzie Shane (Coming May 2021)

To meet Connor & Deenie, and to see how grouchy Ben became a sappy romantic, check out THE TWELVE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS, out now from Grand Central/Forever.  

Find Lizzie:
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Marie Lipscomb


by Marie Lipscomb
Publisher: Violet Gaze Press
Publication Date: November 18th 2020
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

A Bear’s Devotion

© Marie Lipscomb, 2021

Brandon had faced insurmountable battles before. He had been struck by lances and blades, knocked from his horse more times than he cared to count, and had broken bones which never healed quite right. Yet the frilly, fragile thing on the writing desk would prove to be his undoing, he was certain.

For five nights he had worked on it by the golden glow of candlelight while his beloved Natalie slept, unaware of his struggle. His back ached, his eyes stung, and the fire blazing in the castle’s hearth had long since faded to embers and ash. But he stole glances of her to keep himself going, to remind him why he had begun such a monumental and finicky undertaking in the first place. 

He was so close, so agonizingly close to finishing. He had not wanted to wake her by dressing, so he perched, bare from the hips down, on a chair built for a person half his size, hunched over a writing desk he could barely fit his knees beneath. 

Glancing over his shoulder for perhaps the hundredth time, his heart filled. Despite his frustrated huffs and muttered curses, Natalie remained asleep, her face serene as her auburn waves tumbled over the pillows. 

The urge to climb back into bed with her, to pull her warm, sleepy body against him and breathe in the scent of her he craved was painfully persistent. But no, he had a mission, one he would not fail.

Carefully, with his tongue pressed to his lower lip, he made another incision in the heart-shaped parchment with the tip of his dagger, and plucked out a miniscule speck in the shape of a flower. A snowdrop. It fluttered away, carried on a relieved huff of breath. Such a tiny thing to cause so much trouble.

As he sat back on the creaking wooden chair, the bones in his neck clicked back into place. A combination of sitting hunched every night for almost a week, not to mention a life spent competing as a champion, having seven shades of snot beaten out of him on a near daily basis had left him often stiff and aching.

But it would all be worth it when she awoke.

The dawn would bring with it the fourteenth day of the second month. It was Devotion Day, a day when lovers all around Aldland celebrated their relationships and declared their commitment to one another through the exchange of love letters. 

It was an occasion he had never celebrated before, but now he was in love. No matter how many times he blinked or turned around to make sure she was real, she remained solid. Constant. His. 

He had her and he was free to love her despite everything they had endured, despite every obstacle which had tried to drive them apart. In fact, he had everything he could ever wish for. 

Everything except the ability to write how he felt.

But he was Brandon the Bear, and what he lacked in finesse with words, he made up for with his skill with a blade and absolute devotion to his lady. That, and sheer bull-headedness.

Eyes aching from the long hours spent at his task, he fought back a yawn as he stroked the soft, hairy curve of his stomach. The sky through the narrow castle windows had faded from black to hazy purple. Dawn would break in a few hours and he desperately needed sleep, but he had a little more work to do for it to be perfect. 

Picking up the dagger, he began to carve a final shape in the parchment. It would be a sunflower. Natalie had once told him they were her favorite and he had not forgotten. He never would.

His eyelids hung low and heavy as he worked, slicing out each narrow petal as the warmth of the candle lulled him to sleep—


No, he would not succumb until the final cut was finished. He blinked hard, trying to regain focus. One moment’s falter is all it would take for the blade to slip. But he was so tired, so sore, his head so heavy and the light so soothing…

“My love?”

The sudden sound of Natalie’s voice jolted him and the scathing hiss of his blade tearing through the parchment shattered his heart. Devastated, he let the dagger fall to the desk with a clatter and pressed his cramping fingers over his mouth. The paper heart was ruined beyond repair. 

At the silken warmth of Natalie’s hand on the back of his neck, the torrent of frustration coursing through his veins ebbed, giving way to embarrassment. 

“My lady,” he whispered, leaning back into her touch, desperate to draw comfort from her. “I’m sorry I woke you.”

“Why aren’t you in bed?” She leaned over his shoulder and picked up the two halves of the heart, pressing a tender kiss to his temple. “What happened?”

He twisted in his seat to look at her. The heart seemed so ridiculous as she held it, so clumsily made in her perfect hands. With every beat, Brandon’s own heart dropped further. “I wanted to make you something for Devotion Day, but it tore.”

“Oh, my love.” The wonder in her voice, and the glossiness of her eyes almost choked him. She reached out a hand to brush the silver hair at his temple. “It must’ve taken you forever.”

“I couldn’t write a letter to tell you how I feel so I tried to make something to show you…”

“It’s beautiful.” She smiled and his heart lifted. “Brandon…”

His body tingled as she whispered his name. She spoke to him as though he was a miracle, as though she could not believe he was real any more than he could her. On her lips, his name was warmth and love, comfort, a thing of beauty—not a brute only good for the arena or to keep a bed warm for one night. 

He stood and turned to face her, stroking back her hair which had been rumpled by the pillow. 

“You deserve better. I’ll make you a new one,” he said as she put together the two halves again, admiring the design in the candlelight. “I’ll—”

“Is this a sunflower?”

“What? Aye. Well, I remembered you said they were your favorite.”

No sooner did the words leave his lips than she raised onto her tiptoes, her hands firm on his shoulders, pulling him down towards her. He bowed to meet her, and when she kissed him, he knew he had been right. It had been worth it.

She was worth it.

“I love it,” she told him. “And I love you. Don’t change a thing.”

He could have swept her off her feet with one arm, but he was helpless as she fixed him in a look filled with promise and led him back to their bed. “I love you too.”

“I wrote you a letter too, but I much prefer your idea of showing you how much I love you, rather than putting it into words.” She sank her teeth into her bottom lip suggestively before pressing a kiss to his scarred knuckles. “And I intend to show you all day tomorrow.”

“Oh, you do?”

“Aye, but only after you get some sleep.”

A flutter rolled through his belly as he climbed into bed with her, lying on his side as she nestled in behind him. The softness of her body against him was at once a comfort and delicious torment. “Well now, how am I supposed to sleep knowing what’s to come?”

But no sooner did his head touch the pillow than his body began to relax. He smiled to himself as she draped her arm around him, holding him to her as she fell back to sleep. His Natalie, his love. 

Their first Devotion Day was already a disaster, and yet it was perfect. It was theirs. 


Find Marie:
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Rosie Danan


by Rosie Danan
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: September 15th 2020
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

I tried to think a little outside the box, and my sweet boyfriend very generously helped me (with minimal bribery). He did a little cartoon bringing to life a tweet I shared about how Clara and Josh from THE ROOMMATE would spend their first V-day together. Hopefully Josh trying to cook something ridiculous like a goose and then having them completely forget to eat dinner, counts as “gone wrong”. 

Find Rosie:
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Sarah Hogle


by Sarah Hogle
Publication Date: November 18th 2020
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound


© Sarah Hogle, 2021

When I, Naomi Rosefield, newly inducted member of wifedom and general domestic bliss expert, served Nicholas a stack of French toast in bed this morning (slightly burned just the way he says he likes it because he has no choice), he’d hugged me and said, “Aw thanks, honey. What’s the occasion?” Then I’d laughed, because obviously he was joking. I flounced off to spread Valentine’s Day excellence all over the place. I put new batteries in all of his gaming controllers. I dug through the laundry basket of unfolded clothes and found a matching pair of his socks, in case he might need them. I sprayed his computer tower with canned air because it’s something useful I’ve seen him do before, then started boiling water for his tea. I don’t do anything else with it, I just get out a great big pot and heat water in it on the stove because I don’t know anything about tea. Am I a hero? Yes.

Anyway, now it’s one in the afternoon and Nicholas has just gotten out of the shower. Hooray! Except no! What is he wearing? Nicholas regards my puzzled expression, mimics it, and kisses the top of my head as he strolls past.

I sigh.

When I hinted two weeks ago that I would like to go to an exciting brunch special at Blue Tulip Café (unlimited waffles! Unlimited poached eggs! I’ve never had a poached egg before and that ends now!) on Valentine’s Day, he’d nodded and said, “You got it.” But here it is, the holy day of poached eggs and waffles that I’ve been waiting for with bated breath, and it seems my new husband intends to spend all day in his pajamas. Nicholas doesn’t ever wear pajamas; he sleeps in his boxers, so putting on the extra layer feels like a deliberate message.

I refuse to ask him about it again, since I’m working on not being a pest. Nicholas is a responsible man with a long memory. Therefore, he must have remembered.

Unless he’s forgotten.

“Have you looked at the calendar lately?” I ask in an impressively casual tone.

“I see you’ve drawn speech bubbles over all the puppies and made them say foul things to each other.”

“I gave them famous lines from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. This one’s Teresa Giudice.” I point at a Pekingese screaming Don’t ever tell me to pay attention!!! “Oh, would you look at that! Is it Sunday already?”

Nicholas is quiet for a moment, and I think, A-ha, I knew it! He forgot. But then I turn and he’s biting his cheek, smiling at the newspaper. Probably the advice column.

“Sunday,” I repeat.

“Mmhmm,” he replies distractedly. “Seems like only yesterday it was Saturday.”

I frown, but, not to be deterred, yank my shirt down to expose an extra inch of skin, and saunter over. I drape myself across Nicholas’s lap, right over his newspaper, and gust a loud sigh.

Nicholas’s lips twitch, eyes flicking to my face in amusement. “When did we get a cat?”


He pulls his arms free (I’ve pinned them to his legs beneath me) and taps my nose. “You act like a cat. You absolute weirdo.”

“February is such a gloomy month,” I tell him, and he blinks at the non-sequitur. Or at least I think that’s using “non-sequitur” correctly in a sentence, I don’t know, I just saw it in Nicholas’s newspaper and maybe using complicated words will turn him on or something. “Oh, February. The worst month of the year, second to March. Okay, maybe third worst. January is also balls. But this month! Agh. So cold, so dull. With only one holiday to brighten it up.”

“President’s Day.” He nods solemnly. “This year it won’t be as embarrassing, at least.” I stare at him, but he simply rises to his feet and deposits me on the couch. “About time for lunch. You getting hungry?”

Hooray again! “Yes!”

“Great, I’ll fix us sandwiches.”


A knock at the door interrupts before I can open my mouth, and from the kitchen, he calls, “Can you sign for that? It’s my flashlight.” 

“On a Sunday?”

Nicholas is very excited about this flashlight. He has no practical purpose for it, but this thing can illuminate half a mile and melt your corneas, so he’s been glued to his USPS tracker all week. The things he’s going to be able to see in the woods at night will haunt him.

I answer the door, but instead of someone with a little box that contains a flashlight Nicholas is going to use one time and then forget in a drawer, it’s someone holding a large bouquet of flowers. “Thanks, but I’m married,” I tell the delivery lady, and she chuckles, handing them to me. They’re white, the petals slightly pinwheeled. My heart squeezes because they smell exactly like the white jasmine perfume I’ve been spritzing on myself lately. 

I turn around and there’s Nicholas, fully dressed, shoes on, keys and wallet in hand. He flashes a devilish grin.

“Naomi, you’re still barefoot! Do you want to go to brunch or not? I’ve been waiting on you all day.”

“You’re awful.” I hug my flowers to my chest and bounce a little. “Absolutely awful. I think I’ll keep you.”

“Careful there, don’t get too close. It’s oleander.”

“Oh, you troll.” I stick my entire face into the blooms, and he laughs. “I love you.”

“Couldn’t resist. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Find Sarah:
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