Ella Braeme is my guest today and she's talking about her recent release, ANYONE AT HAND. I love the idea of a modern marriage of convenience story, especially with a grumpy hero! Thanks for visiting, Ella!
She needed a husband to get rid of her boyfriend. The grump obliged.
Sometimes the only way to end a relationship is to jump right into a new one. But when Shanae married Bo for just that reason, she found herself trapped with the town grump. Will she ever get on his good side?
This novella is a warning to all those who like small towns for a romantic weekend trip only. Don't marry the local guy. The one who makes you want to stay.
Anyone At Hand is the second book in Ella Braeme’s Married in Windfall series. It has all the charms of a small town romance, with a marriage of convenience and a delicious grump. If you like the small town vibe with a little heat, then you’ll love Anyone At Hand.
“We need to get married.”
Shanae’s head whipped up, and she banged her head on the hatch. “Ow!” She jerked her purse from that pathetic excuse of a trunk. Deliberately slowly, she turned to face Jordan. “Nuh-uh. Do you actually want to give me whiplash? Or is that just a natural gift of yours? May I remind you that less than an hour ago we’ve had a discussion about our relationship?”
Jordan stepped back, waving his hands in front of him. “No, listen, Babe, it’s not like that.”
“That’s what you keep telling me.” Shanae touched her afro. For some reason, that always calmed her. “You surprise me with a romantic weekend trip. Then you give me the impression to be more interested in your car’s horsepower than in me.” She kicked the tire. Although that had been more of a symbolic act, Jordan bent down to inspect the damage her sandals might have inflicted. But Shanae wasn’t having it. She got into his face and forced him to stand upright again. “We go over one hundred miles an hour, and I ask you to slow down, and you wouldn’t. Some time along the way you tell me that indeed we are driving to your hometown. I might have gotten a bit excited to meet your parents, but you say, ‘We’re not like that’ and kind of break off with me. At one hundred miles an hour!” Shanae glared at him. “And once here, your pal shows up,” she shot a glance at Wyatt, “and it turns out it never had been a couple’s trip in the first place, but you’ve got some speaking engagement. You want to marry me? Boy, get your act together. Think about what you really want and then stick to it. I’m off to the bathroom.”
She pulled her purse’s strap tight and strutted towards the diner’s entrance. Her eyes filled with tears. This morning had been a roller-coaster, and she needed a moment to compose herself. She reached for the door’s handle, but—blinded by her tears—didn’t see it was held open for her. Instead of gripping that bar, her hand connected with a stranger’s body. Instinctively, her fingers closed around the stranger’s shirt.
“Hey!” he snarled. “Watch it!”
Shanae jolted back. “I’m so sorry. I was reaching for the door.”
He glared at her and growled. And then the most fascinating transformation took place. His scowl turned into an expression of bewilderment. Scoffing, he turned and walked past her into the store. Did he just growl at her? Shanae stared after him. He was one of those super-white guys, pale and red hair, just a bit too short to be alluring. He filled his jeans nicely, but he had growled at her. Shanae refused to find his bum attractive. But she could not help wondering about his puzzled expression.
Anyone at Hand is my second novella, and everything about writing and publishing still feels very new to me. Of course, I wouldn't know how it will feel once I launch my twentieth book, but I don't assume it will remain as exciting. It's quite nerve-wracking, really.
I do have a writing companion, who is by my side virtually all the time. I call her my CCO, my chief canine officer. Her name is Phoebe. She keeps track of the hours spent at my desk and will insist on regular breaks. Of course, she knows that writers will not jump up when somebody calls, “You need a break!” So instead, she pretends the breaks are all about her. Works like magic. And when things get rough, she is the cuddliest companion ever. Her favorite rewards are walks at the beach, yummy treats, and an afternoon without that little brother of hers.
There is a next book in the making, but I promised not to tell anything about it yet. If you want to know as soon as there is something to say about it, please join my email list or follow me on Instagram.
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