Love Me Sweet
Bell Harbor 3
January 20, 2015
Delaney Masterson isn’t looking for fame.Yes, she has famous parents and a reality TV show, but she’s not the wild-child celebrity the paparazzi have painted her to be. Until…The Scandal. When an old boyfriend releases a private video, Delaney’s name becomes every comedian’s favorite punch line. To escape the media, she sneaks away to Bell Harbor, Michigan—during the worst winter in fifty years.Adventure show cameraman Grant Connelly has stayed away from Bell Harbor—mostly by choice—but when a family obligation converges with a spontaneous career decision, it’s time to return home.When bad weather, missing money, honky-tonk musicians, and Elvis impersonators throw Grant and Delaney together on an unexpected road trip, emotions get all shook up. They know only fools fall in love, but they can’t help falling. Still, Delaney has a secret that could tear them apart forever.Can they weather the storm? Or will this romantic ride end at the Heartbreak Hotel?
Valentine's Day. Flowers. Candies. Love!
Here's Tracy to tell us more about this "holiday".
Here's Tracy to tell us more about this "holiday".
by Tracy Brogan
Ahhh, February 14th. The most romantic day of the year! The day men everywhere are judged for their ability (or lack of ability) to properly cherish their personal valentine. As a writer of romantic comedies, I’m always on the lookout for fun story ideas, new plot twists with which to torment my hero and heroine before they reach their happily ever after. And this holiday, more than any other, is primed for big love, high drama, and quite often, hilarious mishaps.
My own Valentine’s Day history is checkered with bad dates, or no dates, but once I was married, February 14th took on epic meaning as my husband tried his best to dazzle unsentimental me with loving gestures. Here’s how it went that year we were newlyweds. Picture us as sweet young things, snuggling on the couch and watching TV in our tiny apartment. The Kay Jeweler commercial comes on.
I say, “Ick! Promise you will never buy me any cheesy heart-shaped jewelry. Especially if it comes with a stuffed animal.”
What he heard?
“Please always buy me cheesy heart-shaped jewelry. And I’d like a pink, stuffed bear, too.”
I got heart-shaped necklaces for the next four years. Good try, honey.
Now we are oldy-weds and Valentine’s Day has more of a hit-or-miss feel to it. My husband still wants to dazzle me with loving gestures. But if it’s a weekday? And the kids have homework? And Survivor is on? Well, we can celebrate on the weekend.
Being pretty far removed from the this-must-be-the-most-romantic-evening-ever mentality, I started to wonder how other couples celebrated (or rejected) the Hallmarkiest of Hallmark holidays. So I conducted a highly scientific survey (meaning I posted a question on Facebook) to see what Valentine’s Day stories my readers had. I wanted the good, the bad, the ugly. The funny.
There were plenty of couples who claimed to ignore the obligatory hoopla. They might have a quiet dinner at home, maybe order a pizza so no one had to cook, and perhaps top off the evening with a nice foot rub and a little extra nookie. Your basic romance package for any given Tuesday. But several readers had memories of special Valentine’s Days in their past. Like my friend whose significant other set up a scavenger hunt for her with the grand prize being an engagement ring. (Cue the “awwww.”) Or the woman who has been married for nineteen years and met her husband on a blind date on Valentine’s Day. That’s a winner!
One of my favorite comments was from a woman who made her husband watch the zombie movie, Warm Bodies. Romantic? No. But the fact that he hates zombies and watched it with her anyway? That’s romance. There is also the couple who plans, this year, to take their kids to see the SpongeBob movie. They had their lovey-dovey time. Now they’re paying the price for it.
Some of the less-than-stellar memories included a husband who forgot Valentine’s Day, then followed that up three days later by forgetting his wife’s birthday. I have to think that error is still haunting him. And the woman whose boyfriend kinda, sorta tried to be romantic. He wanted to send her yellow roses but was too cheap to have them delivered. So he had his sister leave them at his girlfriend’s office. Only there was no water. And his girlfriend didn’t get to work until hours later. So what she found on her desk was a wilted bouquet. Dude, spring for the delivery.
After my extensive on-line research, I determined that Valentine’s Day is very much like romance in general. Sometimes it’s not that great, sometimes it’s average, but sometimes it’s magical. A first date that leads to nineteen years of wedded bliss. A zombie movie. How you spend the day doesn’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations, as long as it’s meaningful to the two of you. There are as many ways to celebrate as there are lovers to enjoy it.
And if you don’t have a special someone to spend the evening with? Enjoy the time doing whatever the heck you want to! You are fiercely independent and awesome. Maybe you would enjoy reading a good book! Like mine. LOVE ME SWEET is full of big laughs, reality TV stars, adventure show cameramen, honky-tonk musicians, Elvis impersonators, and just a touch of romance. It is Valentine’s Day, after all. So snuggle under a warm blanket and read. And hey, at least you’re not at the SpongeBob movie.
Tracy Brogan is an award-winning, bestselling novelist who writes fun and funny stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and also lush historical romance full of royal intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt. She has been nominated by Romance Writers of America for a prestigious RITA® Award for her debut novel, Crazy Little Thing, and was nominated by RWA for two Golden Heart Awards. She’s a Booksellers Best Award recipient, along with two Golden Quill Awards in both contemporary and historical romance. Unapologetically devoted to romance, Tracy lives in Michigan with her often-bemused husband, their gloriously above-average children, and their two intellectually challenged dogs. Tracy loves to hear from readers, so please visit her website at tracybrogan.com.
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