So I’m taking a leap of faith here because this book is currently with my editor and has not been contracted yet. If all goes well ( and pray to Jesus it does) I’ll know by the end of this month. I’m hoping for a contact. I mean, it’s book 2!! I have to let you know how the people in book 1 are doing! Hee hee
So, Book 2 gives us oldest O’Dowd sister Cathleen and historical biographer, McLachlyn Frayne. This is another of those opposites attracting romances I love so well. The heat from these two jumps off the page so I figured I’d give you a little example of it. We start the scene with Nanny Fee and end it with our two would be lovers entering a pizza parlor.
“That lovely man took Fiona to the solarium,” one of the residents told me.
I found them huddled together on a day sofa in the sunroom. They were both laughing and Nanny had a hand flirtatiously placed over Frayne’s forearm. His laughter, rich, deep, and husky was a sound I could have listened to all day long. Hell, all year long. A tingling sensation tripped up my spine when his eyes narrowed, practically disappearing from his face as he smiled. He threw back his head and howled at whatever my grandmother was saying.
It was delightful to see him relaxed and happy and I have to admit, my heart stuttered a bit when he brought Nanny’s gnarled hand to his lips and pressed a sweet kiss against her knuckles.
“Number One, all done are ya?” Nanny asked.
I came into the room, a grin tugging on my lips.
“Nanny, what tall tales have you been telling Mr. Frayne? I could hear the both of you laughing from the hallway.”
“Ah, lass, nothing bad, to be sure. Merely sharin’ a few simple stories about me time touring.”
“Oh, good Lord.” I knew exactly what she’d told him. Nanny’s days as a concert pianist were legendary in our family. Legendary and naughty. She’d had affairs with at least two dukes, one baron, and a small smattering of lesser-titled men throughout the royal houses of Europe before coming back to Heaven and marrying her second husband. And then her third. And fourth, who was, thankfully, the last.
“Your grandmother has led an extraordinary life,” Frayne said, the light in his eyes bright and clear. “Her life touring would make for a terrific book.”
“Salacious, more than anything,” I said.
“Don’t be gettin’ any notions to write about me escapades, young man.” She swatted his arm with a grandmotherly thwack. “If I ever decide to write about me life, I’ll be doing the tellin’, not someone else.”
“I’d be thrilled and honored to be your scribe,” Frayne said. “Anytime. Simply say the word.”
“Ah, go on with ya.” She swatted his arm again. “Well, now I expect the two of ya will be off to dinner. Seldrine okay?” she asked me.
“She’s fine. Lucas is with her, taking her through everything she needs to be prepared for.”
“She’s a strong lass. Well,” she sighed deep and, because this was Nanny, theatrically. “Off with ya both now. Go enjoy a good meal and you,” she pointed at Frayne, “don’t be forgetting I want a full report on Robert when you’re all done with your research.”
“That’s a promise,” he told her.
“Good. Now, give us a kiss and run along.”
I wasn’t surprised when Frayne bent and bussed her cheek.
“And you,” she said when I bent to do the same. “I want to hear all about this event Olivia told me you’re signed up for. I want all the deets, as the kids say.”
I nodded, my cheeks scorching.
“You’re grandmother is a remarkable woman,” Frayne said once we were back in my car.
“That’s one word for her,” I said, slanting him a side eye. The grin on his face was equal parts heart stopping, sexy, and adorable.
“Pathetic.” I said, my own grin tugging at my lips.
“You and your whole gender.”
He turned in his seat to look at me. “What have I, and my entire gender, done to be labeled pathetic?”
I cocked my head his way then turned my attention back to the road.
“A little wink, a few arm taps, and a girlish giggle and you fall like a ton of bricks.”
The sigh I exhaled was almost Nanny-worthy in its theatricality. “You have a crush on my ninety-three year old grandmother.”
Complete bafflement filled his face. A half second later his eyes widened and he tossed out another of those deep, throaty laughs. The lower half of my body turned molten-lava hot.
“Tell me I’m wrong.” I turned the car onto Glory Road and spotted a parking spot on the street right outside the place where I wanted to eat. This is another one of those reasons I love living in a small town: you never have to search for parking.
“You’re not. God. You’re not.” His head shook back and forth while his smile turned into a wicked grin.
I put the car in park and got out. Over the hood I said, “See? Pathetic. Every man I’ve ever known falls for her the moment she shines those twinkling blue eyes at him. I swear she casts a spell with a glance.” I shook my head. “I hope you like pizza because I’ve been craving it for days.”
I walked toward the front door of Paradise Pizza but Frayne stopped me in my tracks. With his hand circling my arm he turned me around to face him. Gone was the playful expression, the laugh a mere memory.
Talk about casting a spell. I’d never really liked my name, thinking my parents had chosen one plain and common and not exotic or fancy because they wanted it to be easy to remember. Although, it was way better than being called Number One any day of the week.
He shifted and moved in closer, his hand still gripping my arm. Through my coat, and the even the suit jacket underneath it, the heat from his hand singed my flesh. Standing on Glory Road during a frigid January evening with a brisk wind kicking around in the air, a tiny trickle of sweat beaded down my spine.
Frayne took another step closer.
The back of my throat suddenly clogged, my tongue turning the consistency of sand paper when I rubbed it against the roof of my mouth.
“What…what were you going to say?”
His pale eyes did that little tilting thing down to my lips again before coming back up to settle on my own. The hint of a grin kicked up one side of his gorgeous mouth.
“Oh. Okay. Well, good.” I reached to push the door open, but he beat me to it. “Then you’re gonna love this place. Best pizza in the state.”
And if you want to see how I envision Cathy and Mac, have a gander at my Pinterest board: Cathleen and Mac ( what else?? Hee hee) This is an actual scene in the book.
Say a prayer for me, peeps, that this book gets contracted. I’m working on book 3 even as we speak ( or, I’m speaking…you’re reading, but you get what I mean. I need some caffeine….)
As always, look for me here when I’m not writing: