Life’s highway is littered with stumbling blocks with some being bigger than others. LOL. That sounds like the beginning of a high school graduation speech, but never mind; it’s true anyway. When I encounter stumbling blocks, my first reaction is panic. Oh no! Why did this happen to me? The blood pressure rises, and if my husband is nearby he gets a play by play recap. Then, I take a deep breath and start to strategize. Usually the stumbling blocks aren’t as horrible and big as I thought they were. Nine times out of ten I can find a way around them with minimal disruption to my life. Still, that being said, some stumbling blocks are so big you have no choice but to go through them since you can’t go around them.
Sometimes the stumbling blocks can get in the way of a great romance too. Let me share some stumbling blocks that trip up my hero and heroine in Return Engagement, my new release from Whiskey Creek Press.
The first stumbling block is the heroine’s age.
is five years older than Richard, and since they meet when he’s only seventeen this is a pretty big stumbling block. Elizabeth is an up and coming actress in Elizabeth so naturally her romance with a minor makes the headlines. Hollywood
The second stumbling block is my hero’s family. Richard is the son of Senator Henry Lovinggood who plans to make him the president one day. He’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side, not an actress whom the senator suspects of being a gold digger.
The third stumbling block is my heroine’s family.
comes from a less than stellar background. Her family consists of unwed mothers, alcoholics, and welfare recipients. If being an actress isn’t enough to damn her in Senator Lovinggood’s eyes, this will. Elizabeth
The fourth stumbling block is the fact that
is engaged to another man. Alex is a wonderful person, and Elizabeth ’s mother sees him as a son. Elizabeth
And lastly… I can’t tell you about the last one without giving away too much, but it’s HUGE. It makes all the others look insignificant by comparison.
Here’s a blurb and excerpt from Return Engagement.
This excerpt takes place after Richard and Elizabeth meet on a
beach after a ten year separation. They went to a beach front carnival, and now they’re on the way back to their cars. California
“Look at the moon, Richard. Have you ever seen anything so big and beautiful? Isn’t it lovely the way it’s reflecting off the water?”
“Yes, but not as lovely as you are.” Richard made a sound of disgust. “That is so trite. You’d think I could do better, but all evening I’ve had trouble saying what I mean.”
“Maybe it’s because you’re trying too hard, but for the record, I think you’re doing just fine.” She shivered and hunched her shoulders as she hugged herself. “That wind is cold.”
Richard immediately removed his jacket and handed it to her. “Here, put this on.”
“Won’t you be cold?”
“I’m fine. I’ve got on long sleeves and that’s enough.” His eyes twinkled in the moonlight. “In fact, I kind of like the idea of you wearing my clothes. Sounds like high school, huh?”
The chilly wind that blew across the moon-drenched water snatched
’s laughter away. “Who cares? Sometimes it’s nice to be as irresponsible as a teenager.” Elizabeth
“Let’s sit down and watch the moon awhile.”
“Richard, about this evening….”
, about Alex….” Elizabeth
“You go first,”
urged, glad to put off telling him she couldn’t see him again. Elizabeth
“All right, I will.” He turned slightly, an almost angry look on his face. “What the hell do you think you’re doing getting yourself engaged to Alex Crawford? It’s obvious to a blind man that you don’t love him. You’ve been teasing me and flirting with me all evening. You’ve even kissed me. Right now your body language makes me think if I wanted to take this snuggling any further you’d be willing.”
“You don’t strike me as the type of woman who’d pick a man for a night of sex and then go back to her fiancé like nothing had happened. If that’s true I don’t think you love Alex as much as you think you do. The question is: what are you going to do about it?”
She tried to jump up, but Richard grabbed her and held her close. “The wind is cold, and you can think just as well, no better, in my arms.”
“I know I shouldn’t have flirted with you and kissed you, but I couldn’t help myself.” Her eyes misted with tears. “I didn’t want to help myself. It’s like it was ten years ago only better because now nobody can accuse me of corrupting a minor. You asked me what I’m going to do, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know. The only thing I’m sure of is that I don’t think I can stand it if you walk away again.”
Richard jerked her hand away from her face and kissed it. “From my point of view things have finally taken a turn for the better.” Satisfaction oozed from his voice.
“You’re willing to admit you don’t want to lose me. It’s taken ten years, but we’re back where we belong-together. Everything I ever felt for you came back the minute you spoke to me. Don’t tell me you didn’t feel it too.”
fell silent. After all; what could she say? Elizabeth
“Let me help you make up your mind about what to do.” Richard pushed her back into