Happy Saturday Readers,
Join me in helping to celebrate J.Arlene Culiner's release of her newest book...
A Swan’s Sweet Song
(Contemporary Romance from The Wild Rose Press)
The air sizzles when a country music star and renowned playwright meet, but can opposites fall in love?
The instant Sherry Valentine and Carston Hewlett meet, there’s desire and fascination in the air…but they’re complete opposites.
Smart-talking Sherry fought her way up from poverty to stardom as a country music singer. Now, she’s ever in the limelight, ever surrounded by clamoring fans, male admirers and paparazzi, and her spangled cowboy boots carry her all across the country, from one brightly lit stage to the next.
A renowned but reclusive playwright, Carston cherishes his freedom, the silence of his home in the woods and his solitary country walks.
Any long-term commitment is obviously out of the question: how about a quick and passionate fling?
But when their names are linked in the scandal press, Sherry’s plans to become an actress are revealed. And the budding relationship seems doomed.
Perhaps she could avoid meeting Carston Hewlett again and circumvent disaster. And why worry? She had a concert to do, interviews to give, and contacts to make so her name stayed in the forefront. And when this festival was over, she’d climb back into the bus with Charlie and her boys and ride away. Perhaps head for the new career she’d been dreaming about—because, according to Charlie, there was serious talk of a role in a television series...
Yes, she had enough on her agenda. No room for a temporary fling. A fling at a conference like this? That had become so commonplace, it was positively banal. And, at this stage of her life, it would also be undignified.
“There he is now,” said Charlie, ripping into her thoughts. “Right over there. On the left. You see?”
Of course, she saw. How could she miss him? Tall, mighty easy on the eye, he leaned, glass in hand, against a plaster pillar, listening to the dozen people surrounding him.
“Don’t make plans,” she warned Charlie. Yet she couldn’t avoid looking in Carston’s direction again and noticed he didn’t seem to be enjoying himself. Oh, he nodded politely at what was being said, but his eyes had that vague glazed look that comes just before sinking to the floor with boredom. But didn’t he look delicious in that brown silk shirt and elegant tweed jacket; look how those jeans hugged his long legs. He was just the way she’d always imagined a successful playwright should be: cool, intelligent, strong, and sexy.
As if aware she’d been watching him, Carston turned slightly, caught her eye. She tried forcing herself to look away. And failed. For an eternity, their gaze held over the space separating them. Then detaching himself from the surrounding group, he headed in her direction.
She commanded herself to pretend indifference, but her pulse accelerated, and her heart thumped a sensual jungle beat. Was this supposed to be pleasure? Something closer to pure panic. She swallowed, tried to summon up some zen-like calm…then realized she didn’t have any available. She needed help. Fast.
“Charlie?” she gasped. Looked around. Damn! Where had that man gone now that she needed him? The only thing left to do was run. Except she was incapable of movement. Fool. The reprimand didn’t get escape muscles into moving order.
Why come over here anyway? What would they talk about? They had nothing, absolutely nothing, in common. She had to stop staring at him like this.
Here he was now, tiny inches away, his jaw a hard definite line, his body that tight, sinewy stretch she’d thought about too many times during the night. But it was the expression in his eyes, warm eyes, humorous eyes, that confirmed her instinct: the immediate, deep reaction was mutual. Try as hard as they could to avoid it, something would happen. It was inevitable.
And for once, she, Sherry Valentine, a woman with a smart answer, a flippant remark for everything, everyone, and every occasion, was tongue-tied.
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Born in New York, raised in Toronto, J. Arlene Culiner has spent most of her life in England, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Hungary and the Sahara. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no real interest. Much to everyone's dismay, she protects all living creatures -- especially spiders and snakes -- and her wild (or wildlife) garden is a classified butterfly and bird reserve.