Textbook Romance, a new contemporary sensual romance by Anne Holly
Available in ebook from Pink Petal Books and coming to paperback September 13, 2012!
Chase after love? As a single mother, Professor Liberty Sullivan knows better. Between her flighty mother and a disastrous history with men, she’s pretty much soured on the whole concept of romance. Personal freedom and self-reliance are her new guiding mantras. Raising her son and being a career star are the most important things now.
Then she meets Seth.
An ex-cop who’s making a new life for himself and his daughter, Seth Webster has every reason to play it safe. Then he meets Liberty. Prickly about love, following some crazy anti-romance curriculum, she still makes Seth’s heart pound. And a lifetime of cop instinct tells him he’s about to teach Liberty that this romance will be anything but by the book.
Libby watched him, as he watched her hand, which rested close to her mug on the table, and she knew he wanted to take it in his. If he did, would she let him, she wondered. Instead, he cleared his throat and sat back, and she felt a vague pang of disappointment that he didn’t try. It was a silly feeling, she knew, since she was the one who put up all the fences and made all the rules, and she should be grateful he was abiding by them. It was a good thing he was remembering her tenure quest, even if the schoolgirl in her kept forgetting it.
“So, what about you?” he asked. “Why Apollonia?”
Libby shrugged. “I got a job. In this business, you go where you’re hired, and my one year contract was up at Princeton, so I took the offer here. Plus, it seems like a nice place for Charlie to grow up – not too rural, not too urban.”
“Charlie looks like a great kid.”
“He really is,” Libby agreed, taking the last sip of coffee from her mug. “He’s doing excellent in school, healthy as a horse, cleans up when I ask him to, loves his mom… I can’t complain.”
“What about his dad?”
“I thought we weren’t talking about exes?” she asked, evading the question.
“Well, maybe the rule isn’t as firm as I heard,” he said with a grin.
After a pause, Libby answered simply, “He didn’t want to be a dad, so he isn’t.”
Seth nodded slowly. “I think…” he said, gravely, “I think we need to have a second date so we can talk about anything that comes up.”
“You are determined, aren’t you?”
“Yes,” he answered, immediately. “When something feels right, yes, I am. And, Libby, nothing has felt this right for me in a long time.”
“Seems we have a lot of reasons not to,” she observed.
“What reasons would those be?” he asked. “The class? Your tenure? All that’ll be over with shortly, right? And our kids? We’ll be careful there, but kids adjust fine to things. Better than adults. And this doesn’t have to have anything to do with them until we know what’s going on between us. But it’s no reason not to look into the situation, and see, is it?”
“I don’t… do this sort of thing,” Libby answered, weakly.
“No, I don’t.” Libby shook her head. “Never. Not since Carson left.”
“In eight years, there’s been nobody?” Seth asked with a tone of disbelief.
“There’s been Charlie,” she answered firmly, looking him in the eye. “There wasn’t anyone before my ex, and no one since. Charlie’s been enough for me. I just don’t see the point of other relationships, if it can all end in disaster.”
“But it didn’t,” he countered. “I mean, the romance may have ended badly, but it wasn’t a disaster, right? You have Charlie. I have Kelsey. Don’t they make it worth it?”
Libby had no answer for him, but she sat away from the table, slightly, breaking the intimacy of the conversation.
“All right, Libby,” Seth relented. “All right, I can wait. As long as you need me to. But as long as there’s hope, you can’t fault me for trying.”
“Why me? I mean, why go through this bother, when there are plenty of ready and willing women out there? You barely know me.”
“I told you,” Seth said. “Perhaps it is love at first sight.”
Libby muttered a very unladylike word in response.
“Honestly, that’s the closest I can describe it… I’m just compelled towards you.”
Libby would’ve argued, but Seth continued, “I think maybe we need each other. We both deserve a second chance, I think… Will you at least think about it?”
She likely had no choice, she realized. After a speech like that, she wouldn’t be able to not think about it. And that wasn’t good at all.
*Find out more about Textbook Romance at:
Anne Holly is a Canadian writer, mother and teacher, who currently lives in Ontario. She’s the author of two contemporary romance novels and numerous short works, and is working on two historical pieces at the moment. You can find her on Facebook, GoodReads, Twitter, and her blog, or check out her books on Amazon, B&N, and elsewhere.
Amazon profile: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004GR1CGY