THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE, a contemporary romance novella by Shawna Delacorte from The Wild Rose Press, part of their One Scoop Or Two series.
G-Excerpt #1: (opening)
Sarena Fallon entered the ice cream shop and set her purse on one of the chairs. A quick glance around told her everything appeared to be in order. She ran her hand across the counter, then rubbed her fingers together. She wrinkled her brow into a scowl. It definitely did not feel very clean. I have the uneasy feeling a more detailed inspection is going to discover—
“Hi. I hoped I’d find you here.”
She turned at the sound of the smooth, masculine voice. She couldn’t stop the smile that came to her lips as her gaze fell on Drew Braden, all six feet one inch of him. Her breath came a little quicker, and her heart beat a little faster. His blue eyes sparkled as he blatantly looked her up and down. He wore his medium brown hair longer than last summer, but it was a length that looked good on him. It gave him a sexy appearance—even more sexy than she remembered from last year. She liked it longer. She definitely liked it.
“Hi, yourself.” Her smile widened, conveying her pleasure at seeing him. “I just unlocked the door. If you had arrived five minute ago, you would have beaten me here.”
He looked even more desirable than he did at the end of last summer, right before she returned to her teaching job at the beginning of the school term, when he had suddenly pulled her into his arms and captured her mouth with the hottest kiss she had ever experienced. A kiss that curled her toes and confirmed how much she wanted more of him. But more apparently wasn’t to be, much to her disappointment.
Fall, winter, spring—not a word from him, as if he had totally forgotten she even existed. But now, here he stood, as if he had been waiting for her to show up. The situation left her slightly perplexed. She briefly touched her fingers to her lips. All these months later, his parting kiss still burned hot against her lips. “You’re looking well. I like your hair longer like that.”
“Thanks…I think it might be the result of a bit of mid-life crisis. Trying to recapture a little youth.” His teasing grin said far more than his words.
“Mid-life crisis? You can’t be old enough for that.”
“I’ll be that dreaded forty in a couple of months.”
“There’s nothing old about forty.” Especially considering that I’m thirty-five.
He winked. “How would a sweet young thing like you know anything about old?”
“You’re incorrigible.” Her laugh surrounded her words. “It looks like you managed to survive the winter without any mishaps. Your brittle old bones didn’t snap?”
His spontaneous laughter filled the air. “No broken bones from slipping on the ice or falling into any snow drifts if that’s what you meant. And no broken bones from being thrown off a bucking horse, either.” His smile slowly faded as he pulled her into his arms. “I’ve missed you. I’m so glad to see you back this summer.”
“I have a phone, you have the number, and I only live fifteen miles from here in Coltonville. It’s not like you need to drive for several hours to get there.” She teased, but her comment contained a lot of truth.
A hint of something darted across his features but disappeared before she could read it. He slowly released her without kissing her, almost reluctantly so. After the goodbye kiss from last summer, she had anticipated more than just a hug.
“I haven’t checked the shop to make sure it’s been properly cleaned.” She touched the counter again. “And from what I’ve found so far, I suspect it hasn’t been.” A scowl darted across her face. “At least not adequately. Do you want to help me with my inspection?”
“Sure, I can handle that.” Drew nodded, pleased with the opportunity to check out the management office’s efficiency without it appearing to be his objective.
Drew Braden—Andrew Braden Colton V, to be exact—was fifth generation of the wealthy and powerful Colton family and at thirty-nine years of age, the corporate head of all the family holdings. He went by his nickname and middle name to separate himself and his personal activities from the family name and business empire. He found he accomplished more if people didn’t know he was one of the Coltons, specifically president of Colton Enterprises, Chairman of the Board, primary share holder, and in control of all the family businesses and investments of the privately held corporation.
History teacher Sarena Fallon has leased the ice cream shop at the Colton Marina for the last three summers. And every year, she looked forward to spending time with her friend, Drew. Only this summer, she wants their relationship status to move beyond the friend zone he seems to prefer.
Drew Braden was taken with Sarena the first time he saw her. But a disastrous marriage to a scheming woman has left him seriously commitment phobic. Then there’s also the matter of his true identity. If she discovers who he really is, he could lose her forever.
THE ROCKY ROAD TO ROMANCE, a contemporary romance novella by Shawna Delacorte from The Wild Rose Press. www.thewildrosepress.com
Available in ebook at:
And other online vendors.
Excerpts and other information available on my website: www.shawnadelacorte.com