Always Miss April
M.E.: Finally! Macy Beck from the Hot Nights in St. Blaise Series is back to tell us what she meant when she said this month’s romance was a long time coming. Welcome back, Macy. Now tell us everything!
Macy: It’s great to be back. I’ve been anxious to talk to you too, because this story is a very special love story. You ever known one of those couples who isn’t a couple but should be a couple? Sounds crazy, I know, but that’s the best way I can describe the relationship between our local Sheriff, Del Cormack, and Marilyn Keyes Dumbrowski. Del and Mari have been best friends since they were knee-high to a niblet. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize they were in love with each other until Marilyn went and married someone else.
M.E.: Oh no!
Macy: Oh, yes. Trust me, it was painful for all of us. But as hard as it was to watch Del pine for the girl he let get away, it was harder to swallow the heaping helping of heartache Mari’s ex-husband left in his wake when he finally took off. But it all ended well. Really well, if you ask Del.
Here’s the setup:
The tender feelings Sheriff Delavan Cormack has for his lifelong best friend, Marilyn Dumbrowski, are the worst kept secret in a tiny town where everyone knows everyone else’s business.
When Marilyn’s teenage son starts acting out,
uses his badge and their friendship to force the marriage he has wanted for too
damn long. What Del
didn’t know was the cool, competent ER nurse and hardworking single mom has
been keeping a secret that has her burning red hot day and night. Del
With everything he dreamed of having in the palm of his hand and so much more than he bargained for happening in the bedroom,
is faced with figuring out exactly how
far he’s willing and able to go when he discovers that the power of his love
may not be enough to satisfy the woman he adores. Del
And here is a snapshot:
“I think we should get married, Mari.”
“Married.” She inhaled the word and held it for a moment. Then, her head snapped back and her gaze flew to his. “Married?”
“I love you. I love you, and I love Justin. You know I do,” he said, charging straight for his most compelling argument. He figured raw emotion would have to be good enough for the opening salvo. He could always fall back on reason and logic if the truth wasn’t good enough for her. “He’s acting out because he needs stability. He needs me.”
“You need me too.”
The statement came out more like an accusation and he saw the wheels turning in her head as she fell back. “You know I do,” she said in a rush. “But I don’t know if... We’ve never,” she stammered to a stop then blinked up at him owlishly. Almost thirty years of friendship paid off the moment her dismay gave way to annoyance. “Cripes, Del, we kissed once over fifteen years ago, and you think we should get married?”
“Yes.” The answer came too quick and too cocky, adding fuel to the fire in her eyes. He couldn’t help it. He was going to win. There was no doubt about it in his mind. She’d come around to his way of thinking and soon he’d have her. At last. “I want you.”
“Are you nuts?”
Fury flashed in her gaze. If he pushed her a little more, he might score a snort or even a growl. Biting back a smile he dipped his head so his lips grazed the pink tip of her ear. Heat wafted off her skin, setting his blood to simmer.
“I could kiss you now...you know, if you want to test drive before you buy.”
“You’ve lost your mind,” she whispered.
The caress of her warm, damp breath against his throat had him picturing her under him, over him, all around him. As usual, the mere thought of them together at last ratcheted his hard-on from half-hearted to whole-hearted in two-point-three seconds. The self-control he’d clung to for too many years to remember finally snapped.
“I can’t take it anymore, Mari.” He slid his hands up to cradle her neck, his thumbs tracing the stubborn line of her jaw. “First, I had to deal with the fact that I was too slow and too dumb to grab you when I had the chance. Then, I had to stand by and watch....”
He wet his lips as he tipped her face up. His heart stumbled as he stared into wide green eyes. Steeling his nerve, he plucked it from his chest and handed it over to her, knowing he wouldn’t need the damn thing anymore if she didn’t want it.
“No one will ever love you more than me—” She raised one hand and her soft palm pressed against his stubbly cheek. He leaned into the caress and plowed ahead, backing reason and logic with the promises he only dreamed of giving her. “No one will ever be a better father to Justin, and he needs one now. Now more than ever.”
“Oh God, Del,” she murmured. “I know that. Don’t you think I know that?”
“Then say you’ll marry me,” he urged.
A shimmer of tears brightened her eyes. “I can’t.”
“I don’t...I don’t want to get married again. Ever,” she added.
She wound her arms around his neck, her brilliant gaze silently screaming a plea for understanding. He understood all right, but he didn’t agree. He couldn’t. Clearing a hot knot of fear from his throat, he fixed her with a steady stare.
“You don’t seem to understand. This is a plea bargain, Mari.” Releasing his hold on her, he reached for her hands and pulled them from his nape. Holding tight, he carried her clenched fists to his mouth and brushed a tender kiss across bone-white knuckles. “Those are my terms, and they’re non-negotiable.”
M.E.: I think I love him.
Macy: I know, right? Del Cormack is as straight-shootin’ and upstanding as a man can be. It would take a pretty hardened heart to elude that man for long, and trust me. Mari’s just as soft as any woman when it comes to loving a strong man.
M.E.: They sound perfect for each other.
Macy: They are...But just wait for next month. I swear, the chemistry between Chief Pathologist Marc Mayhew and Melanie Curtis, one of his lab technicians, is enough to set the whole hospital on fire!
M.E.: I’ll be on the edge of my seat! Meanwhile, Always Miss April by Maggie Wells is available in all ebook formats at the Turquoise Morning Press bookstore or your favorite online retailer. For more information on the Hot Nights in St. Blaise series, readers can visit www.maggie-wells.com