Sunday, May 9, 2010
Author: Nan D. Arnold
Author Website: http://nandarnold.com
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Champagne Books. Available June 1, 2010 from http://champagnebooks.com
Info: ISBN: 978-1-926681-44-3
Price: $6.00 Available as e-book
WHAT I LIKE
Maggie Duncan is a mid-life, recently widowed woman who caused her abusive husband’s death, and life in Florida’s heat has started to thwart happiness at every corner. Her cheap apartment is going expensive condo; her small meal prep business is going bust; her friend is hovering on the brink of adultery; and her sometimes boyfriend, Bruce Herring, returns to her life with a big secret. This time Maggie surprises him. She has a rival for her affections in a swarthy new neighbor.
A chance to make it big by cooking, bottling, and selling her special marinara and pesto sauces gets her involved with a gambling backer who absconds with her inventory and profits. But, not after two hired goons latch on to her, looking for the deadbeat.
Slashed tires, a trashed apartment, anonymous phone calls, and a friend’s heart attack sends her spiraling through one emergency after another. Fantastic Florida scenery, charming characters, and a very special feline named Lulu add to the sweet sexual tension. This is a sequel to “Hitting the High Notes”.
A new business venture, selling pasta sauces, lands fifty year old widow Maggie Duncan in hot water. Too bad she and heartthrob Bruce Herring are on the outs after his seventy year old deadbeat dad drops a baby brother in his lap. A baby underfoot at midlife? B-a-b-y is just a four letter word to the only woman to make Bruce think a second trip down the aisle might be worthwhile. Can love conquer all. Should it?
Bruce Herring’s flight from San Jose, Costa Rica, had been late the night before but he cleared customs in Charlotte without a hitch and changed planes with five minutes to spare. An army brat, he’d had all the travel he ever wanted. If he never boarded another international flight, he’d be happier than a judge at a wet T-shirt contest. Like it or not, another trip or two to Costa Rica was imperative.
He glanced at his bedside clock and sighed as the mental weight of a two-ton truck settled on his chest. There was now the real possibility he’d lose Maggie, the only woman to make him think marriage might be worth another try.
Marriage? The best were based on trust and what was he doing but sneaking off to Costa Rica without telling her. He yawned. All Bruce could think of was more sleep. He’d tried to nap on the plane, but his seat mate, an elderly lady who also boarded in Charlotte, chatted nervously from takeoff right up to the plane’s taxi into Miami International near dawn.
The economy airline required a departure and consequential return to Miami which meant Bruce then had to motor a good hour’s drive to the north end of Palm Beach County and his bed.
Thoughts of Maggie’s dark blue eyes in her heart-shaped face and those cute Clara Bow lips made him smile. He’d passed the half century mark himself a couple years back and though she’d never stated her age, he guessed Maggie flirted with fifty. Some silver strands mingled in her brown hair and deep lines about her chin line indicated it, and gravity, weren’t complete strangers.
A pleasant sensation teased his groin when he thought of the few pounds Maggie complained about. He liked them right where they were. Best of all, he loved her wry wit. If one of her searing eye rolls didn’t nail you, a spear-tipped quip would.
He thought about his Dad. Bruce hadn’t heard from him for three decades at least. That’s why the phone call was like a sucker punch. Bruce decided not to confide details of it to the women of his life, meaning his mother or Maggie.
Initially, this trip had nothing to do with Maggie. At least not until he got down there. The mere mention of Herring, Sr.’s name could set Mrs. Herring on a rampage.
The fact his father called unnerved Bruce enough. The urgency for it denied him the privilege of giving the guy the kiss-off. He could have, but this way, he proved something. He’d suspected he was a better man than his father, now they both knew it.
Turned out closure came at a high price.
Music from the clock radio gave way to the news. Reports of the usual murder and mayhem reminded him he was lucky not to have to face it head-on anymore. A love song followed on the easy-listening station.
It tripped his mind back to Maggie.
He’d call her in a minute and convince her to join him for dinner. Although she was a fine cook, he wanted to take her someplace public where he might tell her how in only a few weeks his life would forever change.
Bruce might not be up to it. Fatigue, mental and physical, squeezed him in a vise.
God, he was tired.
How would Maggie handle his news? If he summoned the courage to tell her. Divorced and childless, Bruce once envisioned a future with stepchildren but that was long ago. He’d never met the right divorcee with kids that would make him a defacto dad.
Until Maggie, he’d never hooked up with a widow of any kind.
Regardless, he’d never considered an infant under foot. Especially not now. The shock of a baby brother to bring up at his age strained credulity. Telling his mother would be bad enough. To Maggie, childless by choice, b-a-b-y was just a four-letter word.
Posted by Denise at 5:17 PM