Hi Everyone! It's so great to be here on BELIEVE, my wonderful friend's fun and entertaining blog. Mimi and I--both Canadians from the beautiful west coast, Vancouver area--first met as co-authors for our TEN BRIDES FOR TEN HEROES collection, and then again for TEN CHRISTMAS BRIDES.
We loved working together, scratching our head occasionally as we wondered why in the world we'd ever signed up to do this in the first place, and then a second later agreeing to another big box set. Now, I'm sure both of us our addicted, and who wouldn't be? Imagine the excitement and chills and thrills we get on release day!
We work hard to get there--Mimi with securing us all the very best promo sites available, me as her backup man, and banker for the first two groups. After release day we get to sit back for a crazy week of twitter parties and Facebook events, and a million other things we never considered, all to make the hot best-selling lists! Which we did, thanks to all our fabulous readers! That's you. Your time to take a bow!!
So here we are --teamed up again for our exciting 12 book VALENTINE BOOK, HEART & KISSES!
Please let me introduce you to LOVE STRUCK, my full length story for this collection.
LOVE STRUCK is the third and final book in my the best selling SERENDIPITY FALLS Series. Each book stands alone, but builds on each other. I was so delighted to be able to offer this for our HEART & KISSES, 12 book Valentine collection.
Serendipity is a charming small town in the foothills of Mammoth, California. There's a wedding a month and divorces are non existent. When the series started, we had out-of-towners flocking in on weekends to visit and perhaps find love, speculating on whether it is the natural spring water or something in the air, causing the mad rush to the alter.
In Book Two, a news reporter is in town to do a story on the "Love Bug" theory and discovers gold behind the falls instead. Now, in LOVE STRUCK, we have busloads of people coming in weekly--some come searching for gold, others to snare themselves a husband by Valentine's Day. No man is safe, and the perfect, pristine town is destroyed.
Cupid has thrown up his hands in despair. Until people learn what love is, he will no longer meddle and unite couples in matrimonial bliss. With a heavy heart he watches the shenanigans, and trusts that common sense will prevail and true love will conquer.
I'm Cupid, and for those who don't know about me, I reside in what used to be a beautiful little town in the foothills of Mammoth, California, called Serendipity Falls. You have to forgive me for being less upbeat than usual, but my heart is broken. This once idyllic town has been overrun by people who have no concept of the true meaning of love. For the past several years I took great joy uniting couples in matrimonial bliss, and was very proud of the fact that while weddings abounded, divorces became extinct. Then my ego got the better of me, and I drew attention to myself. People flocked to Serendipity Falls to find love and the truth behind the so called 'love bug' in the spring water. Of course, you and I know that no such bug existed--it was just me up to my old tricks.
The news carried wide and far, and reporters came to our neck of the woods, eager to learn what the phenomenon was about--this wedding fever that drove strangers toward the altar. Oh, I had been so proud. Even won the National Cupid for Excellence three years running.
So what am I complaining about, you ask? Well, last year one of these reporters fell in love with one of our local girls. Yes, I had a little hand in that. I'm not sorry and make no apologies either. They were right for each other, and I never--not once--unite couples who are not a perfect match.
Well, this young buck didn't discover any 'love bug'--instead he discovered gold behind the falls. His story drew national attention and opened up an unsavory can of worms. People flocked to our little paradise, men seeking their fortune in gold--women seeking husbands.
This is where my ambling story takes an unfortunate turn. You see-the women are desperate and have resorted to the most unladylike behavior--fighting one another, setting traps for men. Hundreds arrive by busloads each month, and with Valentine's Day approaching, I fear a thousand more will get here soon.
The sad truth is that they have no idea what love is. The meaning of love has been forgotten, or perhaps in some cases, never learned.
With a heavy heart, I watch and pray that common sense will prevail and the crazy antics will stop. Until that day happens, I am going to retire my trusty bow and arrow. I want no part of this.
Love cannot be forced. It cannot be controlled. It cannot be tricked, or trapped. Love is setting someone free, and wanting that person's happiness more than their own. It is unselfish. It is considerate and caring. And it is the essence of joy.
When those lessons have been learned I will embrace my love making skills again, but until then silence will be my answer.
Kyle shrugged his shoulders, easing some of the tension. "I'm starting to hate it here. I never thought I would say that, but it's true. The place isn't the same anymore. It's become ugly, a town full of vultures."
"How can you say that? It's absolutely the most beautiful place on earth. With the exception of the men spray painting me, that is. Everyone else has been friendly."
"It's dangerous for a man like me. I know you don't get it, but even Devon finally saw it." He shuddered at the memory of Blondie and the lollipop.
"Women flanked me this morning at Costco, while I was buying supplies for the bar. They circled me like wolves."
She laughed, and then seeing he was serious, her smile faded. "How bad was it?"
"Pretty bad. One of them grabbed my ass and chased after us as we left the store."
"I have a Karate belt. Want me to be your protector? Since we're almost friends, I mean."
"I don't need a woman protecting me," he growled.
She glanced at him and then away. "You wouldn't need to worry. I don't want to drag your cute ass into bed, or tear your clothes off, or do you every which way but Sunday. I'm done with men for now. I have a young son to raise, and he's the only guy I need. You're perfectly safe with me." She wiped her hands on the front of her jeans, and said again, "Almost friends. And you're a man who needs a fake girlfriend. I could pretend to be if you wanted."
He frowned. Fake girlfriend? "Thanks for the offer, but I don't think it's such a hot idea."
"I get it." She put her hand on the door handle, ready to slide out of the jeep. "It’s too bad you're unhappy here, Kyle. Most people are bubbling over with happiness-even your own family. It must really be hard to see."
"It didn't use to be this way, but yeah, it's no fun anymore. I can't even date." A real pity party was starting to form. Her sweet compassion might be his undoing.
"Maybe you should stop fighting it and go with the flow. Fall madly in love. Get married. Be Serendipity happy."
He turned toward her, and held her gaze. Serendipity happy? What the hell did that mean? "Kiss me now."
"What did you say?" Sam gasped and brought her fingers to her lower lip. She had one hand on the car door.
"I said, ‘Kill me now.’" Kyle clenched and unclenched his grip on the steering wheel as tension rippled through him.
"No, you didn't." She didn’t move.
"What do you think I said?" His eyes narrowed as he looked at her. She was all big-eyed, her cheeks flushed; probably the prettiest girl he'd ever seen.
"You said, kiss me now. Not kill me. Kiss me." She dropped her hand to her lap. "Do you want me to?"
"No! That's the last thing I want. Especially since we're almost friends.” He swallowed, his mouth dry. “Besides, you're so beautiful that it would really be a crazy ass thing to do."
"Is that the only reason?" she asked in a soft voice. "You wouldn't be scared, would you?"
"Of what?" He scoffed, although his skin felt prickly and hot. "You don't want me in your bed, and you don't want to marry me, so I'm about as safe as I am with my sister."
"That's true. But I'm not your sister."
Big cornflower blue eyes gazed at him. Was that an invitation in her gaze? What happened to "almost friends?" He glowered at her. "What does that mean?"
"It means I wouldn't mind kissing you. Haven't kissed a man in a couple of years, and it's probably better than killing you. I think."
She smiled, inching closer, and he groaned, feeling his jeans get tight. The urge grew too strong to resist, even for a man like himself. Being mortal had its drawbacks.
"Come here," he growled, reaching a hand out and pulling her head toward him. "Just one. Only one. That's all you get."
"Okay." She closed her eyes and leaned in. "Make it good."
Patrice Wilton was born in Vancouver, Canada, and knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to be a writer. She became a flight attendant for 17 years, then moved to Australia, and England, before settling in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty books, including her successful romantic comedy, "Candy Bar series", and Serendipity Falls Series, and returning war heroes, published by Amazon Montlake.
When she's not writing, you might find her on the tennis court, or hitting golf balls with her PGA pro husband.
Website: http://patricewilton.com/Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806225.Patrice_Wilton/blog