I AM THANKFUL FOR…
I am thankful that my 89 year old mom is still in my life. She has always been my cheerleader and one of my biggest supporters. She is especially fabulous as my unpaid public relations spokesperson. She carries my bookmarks around and gives them out to anyone willing to listen to her about her daughter’s wonderful books. No place is off limits including Macy’s, the grocery store, Barnes & Noble, and church meetings. She’s the best!
An accomplished dance major in New York City, Ava Harrington is pursuing her dream of becoming a professional in a national dance company. But a celebratory weekend in Newport, where she meets the man of her fantasies, has devastating consequences that change her life forever.
Brian Stanhope, a Harvard graduate, poised to join his father’s company, suffers a brain injury in a horseback riding accident, which affects his memory. He has no recollection of his graduation party weekend or the beautiful dancer who turned his head and stole his heart.
When they reunite eight years later, the magic of their powerful attraction binds them together, but the past holds a secret that even love may not be able to overcome.
Approaching his sister’s dance studio to the right, he heard a pounding beat, not at all similar to the classical music that fueled Carrie’s usual dance practices. He stopped to watch through a small square window off to the side. Ava, dressed in a black leotard and tights, leaped and twirled through the air like a spinning top, set on its course around the circumference of the room while Carrie spun in a more confined area in the center of the room.
Brian’s eyes sought Ava as her tight body coiled and released, coiled and released. Her arms were at once fragile and muscled, highlighting biceps and long, graceful fingers, sweeping through the air to mirror her legs. Her leaps were huge, with powerful extension and maximum air between her and the floor. No sooner would she land than she’d pull her limbs into herself and pirouette on her toes, spinning fast enough to make him question the physics of it all. This was no prissy ballet. This was fast and furious modern dance where you could feel the beat in your throat. Okay, maybe he’d experienced a little too much dance in his life, but this was definitely as good as anything he’d seen on the New York stage. Ava was even better than his sister.
What happened to the shy, vulnerable girl he’d just met? On the dance floor, she was a powerhouse. Full of confidence, energy, and magnetism.
When the music ended, he stood rooted to the floor, and his hands came up in a spontaneous clap.
“Who’s out there?” Carrie flung open the door to reveal their intruder. “Brian, what are you
doing here? I thought you were playing tennis.”
“I am. I was. I-I had to come in for more balls.”
He stared at Ava, with her dark brown hair pulled tight in a bun at the nape of her neck, drops of sweat beading on her chest just above the scoop of her leotard and above her full upper lip. Hot and sexy. He swallowed, fantasizing about licking the moisture from her mouth, her neck, molding that cute little powerful body into his.
“Then why are you just standing there?” Carrie placed her hands on her hips, challenging him to stop staring at her friend and walk away.
“I’m going.” He backed away from the door, but couldn’t seem to make his body turn and move down the hall.
Until Carrie slammed the door in his face.
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Maria Imbalzano is a matrimonial lawyer in central New Jersey where she not only uses her law degree to navigate her clients through the court system, but her psychology degree to guide them through their personal struggles. While writing motions, legal memoranda, and briefs is fascinating, it pales in comparison to creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys.
In addition to practicing law and writing fiction, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters either at home or at the Jersey Shore.
Visit Maria at www.mariaimbalzano.com
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