Weekend Excerpt–BROKEN HARTS

Two weddings.
One Valentine’s Day.
And hearts will be broken.

A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s beyond cliché.
But it’s what Ali Hart’s niece Shannon wants. So Ali will wear the pink tulle bridesmaid’s dress, carry the rose and eucalyptus bouquet down the aisle, and keep her opinion to herself.

Ali is back in New York to get ready for the wedding, but her older sister and brother seize on her visit as the perfect time for Ali to make arrangements for their elderly father, who can no longer independently care for himself.

A navigational error puts Ali on a collision course with destiny. Now what?

***
A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s perfect.
Unless you’re not positive that she’s the one for you.

In the dark recesses of his heart, Logan Pryce knows that Catherine von Hollen isn’t the love of his life. The daughter of his father’s business partner, they’ve known each other for years. She’s blonde, gorgeous, and everyone loves her. On paper, it’s perfect. On paper.

A chance encounter with a nameless redhead on a crowded subway platform causes Logan to question everything he thought his life was going to be. Will he stay with the safe bet, or will he take a chance on something more?

If you love your romance with a little heat and plenty of heart, you’re going to love Broken Harts!

In this teaser, Ali has left New York looking for a little advice from her mother.

Shivering against the chilling sea breeze, Ali gathered her jacket more tightly around herself and stared out over the sparkling blue Mediterranean. She heard the scuff of shoes on the stone terrace but didn’t bother to turn around.

“If you’re going to insist on being out here, you should at least bundle up. It’s January, for God’s sake.”

Wordlessly, Ali accepted the grey wool throw blanket her mother draped around her shoulders. She blinked when the woman stepped in front of her, blocking her view.

“Alison Renee Hart, look at me.”

Hands on her hips and her jaw set with determination, Michelle Schaeffer Hart Renaud radiated a toughness that belied her petite frame. Her jaw-length coif, once as brilliantly red as Ali’s, had morphed into a shade more golden than ginger, and it ruffled in the breeze.

Reluctantly, Ali met her mother’s eyes.

“Come inside.” Michelle’s voice was soft. “Let’s get some wine, sit by the fire, and you can tell me what this is all about.”

Back in the house and still wrapped in the throw, Ali sank into the deep grey sofa cushions and curled her feet under herself. She stared into the fire, grudgingly appreciating its warmth.

“Here.” Her mother thrust a glass of white wine into her hand. Then she turned with her own glass and settled in a crisp white overstuffed chair. “So spill. You’ve been sulking since you got here three days ago. Enough’s enough. Tell me what’s going on.”

Ali sighed deeply and looked at her wine glass, for the first time realizing that it was exceptionally full. Frowning, she glanced up at her mother, who raised her equally full glass and nodded.

“Talk to me, Ali.”

Ali opened her mouth to say something, then, not knowing where to start, closed it again, shifting her gaze back to the orange and red flames licking at the ash logs stacked in the fireplace.

“I’ll get you started,” she heard her mother say. “There was this boy…”

“He’s not a boy; he’s thirty,” Ali corrected softly.

“Ah-hah! Now we’re getting somewhere.”

Shaking her head miserably, Ali set down her glass and pulled the blanket more tightly around herself, more to keep herself from flying apart than to stay warm.

“I’ve always thought that the whole idea of love at first sight was a crock of shit,” Ali began. “But when I met Logan right before Thanksgiving, I just…” She waved expansively. “I just couldn’t think of anything else. The more time we spent together, the harder I fell for him. And he fell for me, too. Or so I thought.”

Michelle frowned slightly. “So, what happened?”

“We spent hours together, talking about all kinds of things, sharing some of the most personal stories of our lives. But it turns out, Logan neglected to tell me one minor detail–the fact that he was engaged.”

“Oh, boy.”

“Oh, boy, is right!” Pushing off the sofa, Ali clung to the throw around her shoulders and paced in front of the fireplace. “We met for lunch, for dinner, we called and texted all the time,” she glanced at her mother. “We slept together, for God’s sake, and the whole time he was engaged.”

She frowned slightly. “Part of the time, anyway. The whole thing has my head spinning. His wedding was supposed to be on Valentine’s Day, the same day as Shannon’s wedding, if you can believe it.”

“His wedding was supposed to be on Valentine’s Day? As in, it’s not anymore?”

Ali waved dismissively and stalked toward the enormous windows overlooking the sea. “He broke off the engagement on Christmas Eve. Which, at the risk of repeating myself, was after we’d already slept together.”

“The little shit! I’ll castrate him myself.”

Ali looked up to see her mother’s lips were pursed, her eyes sparkling with humor.

“I’m serious, Mother! I had no idea! Even after he broke it off, he didn’t tell me about his fiancée. I only found out about her when she tracked us down on New Years’. We’d just had the most fantastic time, and all of a sudden, this crazy woman was screaming in my face.”

“What did Logan do?” Michelle wondered.

Ali returned to stand in front of the fire again. “Well, at that point, he couldn’t exactly deny it.”

Michelle frowned again. “So… He was engaged when you met, but he ended his engagement when things started getting serious between the two of you. Do I have it straight?”

Flouncing back to the sofa, Ali sat down with a huff. “And he wasn’t honest with me from the beginning. And I ended up being the other woman without having a choice in the matter. Which if I’d been given a choice, I’d have said, No, thank you, because that’s not who I am.”

Feeling suddenly out of air, Ali sank back into the sofa again. Her mother watched her wordlessly for several minutes.

“So?” Ali finally demanded.

Michelle smiled softly. “So, what does Logan say?”

“What does Logan say? He admitted that she was his fiancée.” She frowned. “I think his actual words were former fiancée, but still. The fact remains that he lied to me by omission. I loved him, and he broke my heart.” Her last word was barely a squeak. Unbidden tears rolled down her face.

BROKEN HARTS by Pandora Spocks

BROKEN HARTS is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/BrokenHarts

Weekend Excerpt–BROKEN HARTS

Two weddings.
One Valentine’s Day.
And hearts will be broken.

A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s beyond cliché.
But it’s what Ali Hart’s niece Shannon wants. So Ali will wear the pink tulle bridesmaid’s dress, carry the rose and eucalyptus bouquet down the aisle, and keep her opinion to herself.

Ali is back in New York to get ready for the wedding, but her older sister and brother seize on her visit as the perfect time for Ali to make arrangements for their elderly father, who can no longer independently care for himself.

A navigational error puts Ali on a collision course with destiny. Now what?

***
A wedding on Valentine’s Day? It’s perfect.
Unless you’re not positive that she’s the one for you.

In the dark recesses of his heart, Logan Pryce knows that Catherine von Hollen isn’t the love of his life. The daughter of his father’s business partner, they’ve known each other for years. She’s blonde, gorgeous, and everyone loves her. On paper, it’s perfect. On paper.

A chance encounter with a nameless redhead on a crowded subway platform causes Logan to question everything he thought his life was going to be. Will he stay with the safe bet, or will he take a chance on something more?

If you love your romance with a little heat and plenty of heart, you’re going to love Broken Harts!

Originally part of the Forever Yours Holiday Collection, BROKEN HARTS is a stand-alone holiday romance with plenty of heat and lots of heart. Here’s a little teaser.

From her perch on the 30th floor of the Intercontinental, Ali peered down at the masses of New Year’s Eve revelers packing the streets below. On the television that played quietly in the corner, a current top-ten pop artist gyrated through a lip-synched version of her most popular song. According to the tiny clock in the corner of the screen, the old year had about twenty minutes left before it faded with the new one’s arrival.

Ali glanced back over her shoulder to see Logan and Greg deeply engaged in a conversation about their picks for the NFL playoffs. She smiled to herself. She had been right when she’d told Logan that he’d hit it off with Shannon and her fiancé. When Ali had called her niece from Florida to suggest that the two couples hang out together for New Year’s Eve, Shannon had enthusiastically agreed.

They had started the evening with a casual dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant before adjourning to Logan’s corner room overlooking Times Square. For the past couple of hours, they had spent their time alternating between playing raucous hands of Cards Against Humanity and watching the New Year’s Eve crowd assembled outside. From Logan’s room, they would have a perfect view of the giant crystal ball as it dropped at midnight.

The bathroom door opened, and Shannon crossed to Ali at the window as the men continued to outline the virtues of this team over that team. She slipped an arm around her aunt, who was barely two years older than herself.

“I like Logan, Ali, I really do. Greg does, too, you can tell.” Shannon rested her head on Ali’s shoulder and gazed out the window.

“I like him, too. Maybe even more than like,” Ali confessed.

Shannon gave a soft, gleeful giggle. “I knew it! Anyone can see how you feel about him. Did you tell him yet?”

Ali shook her head. “No, I mean, I don’t know. I thought about it once or twice while we were in Florida. But that’s a big step. I’m not sure I’m ready to take that risk just yet.”

Another thought struck her, and her stomach sank. “What if Logan’s not ready? Maybe he doesn’t feel the same way.” It was a miserable thought, one that in her own private moments, Ali was able to push away.

“You’re out of your mind,” Shannon whispered. “That man is nuts about you. He has already agreed to be your plus one at the wedding. Which is fantastic. Weddings always seem to give a guy notions. My friend Jillian’s wedding is where Greg says he decided to propose.”

Ali risked a glance over her shoulder, and Logan gave her a wink. She couldn’t stop her smile.

A knock announced the arrival of the champagne they had ordered earlier. Logan headed to the door.

“Oh, good!” Shannon exclaimed. “It’s almost time, you guys!”

They gathered around as Logan popped the cork and poured the golden sparkling wine into four sparkling glass flutes. As the lighted crystal ball began its descent on television, they carried their champagne to the giant windows and watched the spectacle in real-time.

“Three, Two, One! Happy New Year!” they chorused, toasting each other and sipping the champagne.

Greg twirled Shannon away from the window as they improvised a slow dance in front of the television. Blue eyes shining, Logan took Ali’s glass and set it down beside his. Then he pulled her to himself, lowering his face to hers. “Happy New Year, babe,” he murmured just before their lips touched.

Closing her eyes, Ali gave herself over to his kiss, losing herself in his strong embrace. There was no maybe about it. She was in love. She knew it as surely as she knew her own name.

Logan gently moved away from her lips, instead applying soft kisses along her jawline and down the side of her neck, leaving goosebumps trailing across her body in the process.

“Happy New Year,” he murmured again, his lips just below her ear. “Ali Hart, I love you.”

Her eyes had been closed as she enjoyed his attentions. Now, they flew open, and she took a slight step back. He stood smiling that lop-sided grin she found beyond endearing, and he nodded.

“It’s true. I love you,” he repeated softly.

“But I,” she began, her voice barely a squeak. “I love you, too.”

Now, he grinned broadly. “Then it’s perfect. You and me, Ali. We’re perfect together.”

She nodded, too. “Perfect.”

Pulling her to himself, Logan once again captured her lips with his own, and Ali reveled in their relationship’s new status. They had done it. They’d each said the l-word. If that wasn’t taking things to the next level, she didn’t know what was.

“Hey,” called Shannon, reminding Ali that she and Logan weren’t alone. “Do you know what would be amazing right now? Chocolate cream pie from Hudson’s Diner around the corner from Granddad’s.”

Her face flushing red, Ali rested her forehead against Logan’s chin. “Sorry about that,” she whispered. “I almost forgot they were here.”

He pressed a kiss to her temple and chuckled. “Chocolate cream pie? You are definitely speaking my language. What do you say, we head uptown and enjoy a little New Years’ dessert before we go our separate ways?”

“Deal,” Shannon agreed. “Greg, call an Uber. We’re getting New Year’s pie.”

Arm around Ali’s waist, Logan whispered in her ear as they headed to the elevator. “Not actually the pie I was most looking forward to tonight,” he laughed, “but the New Year is young.”

Ali felt the heat go straight to her core. She suddenly couldn’t wait to be alone with Logan.

Uptown traffic was heavier than usual, especially for that late at night, and Ali assumed it was due to the holiday. As the Uber approached the block before her father’s apartment, she suggested that the driver drop them off and that they walk from there.

With Shannon and Greg leading the way, Ali and Logan walked hand in hand across the street. Instinctively, she glanced up at the windows of Jackson Hart’s home. Her thoughts strayed back to the day he had been lost, the day that Logan had helped her find him, and her stomach sank a bit. But she shook it off, knowing that beginning the day after Christmas, the home nursing agency had been sending potential candidates for her father’s permanent caregivers.

As if he knew what she was thinking, Logan looked down at her and gave her hand a squeeze.

“It’s just down the block and around the corner,” Shannon said over her shoulder.

As they passed the front awning of the apartment building, someone stepped out of the shadows.

“Well, well, this must be the infamous Alison Hart.” The tall blonde woman glared at Ali, a malicious gleam in her eye.

Frowning, Ali stopped. Ahead, Shannon and Greg turned around and walked back to where she and Logan stood.

“Catherine.” Logan’s voice was low.

The woman shifted her gaze to him. “Happy New Year, Logan. Have you missed me?”

“No, as a matter of fact. I haven’t missed you in the least.”

Glancing up at Logan, Ali saw an unfamiliar hard look on his face.

“Logan, who is this woman?” Ali asked softly.

“I’m his fiancée,” the blonde spat. “I’m shocked he hasn’t told you about me.”

Ex-fiancée,” Logan corrected. “What do you want, Catherine?”

“Wouldn’t you rather know how I found you? This isn’t actually your neighborhood, is it, Logan? You’d be amazed at how easy it is for a private investigator to track down a fiancé gone rogue.”

Ex-fiancé,” Logan growled. “I don’t answer to you anymore, Catherine. You have no business stalking me.”

Feeling panic rising, Ali tugged on Logan’s arm. “Logan, what’s going on. Is she really your fiancée?”

Tearing his eyes away from the blonde, Logan looked down at Ali. “She’s my ex-fiancée. I broke off the engagement.”

“Yes, you certainly did that,” the woman agreed calmly. “On Christmas Eve, no less, barely a week ago. Can you imagine? And with our wedding already planned for Valentine’s Day, too.”

“Dude,” Greg interjected, “You were getting married on Valentine’s Day? That’s our wedding day.”

Ali pulled her hand out of Logan’s and backed up a few steps, scrubbing a palm across her lips. “Christmas Eve?

Logan, we met before Thanksgiving. You were engaged then?”

“Ali, I swear, I can explain everything.” He stepped toward her, the look in his eyes pleading.

The blonde crossed her arms in front of herself. “Well, please do that! I’m all ears. Please explain how you called off our wedding when you were apparently already fucking little Miss Redhead.”

Logan angrily whirled around. “Catherine, I swear to God–“

Ali’s pulse pounded in her ears, and she felt like she couldn’t breathe. “I have to go,” she blurted, darting toward the front door of her father’s apartment building.

“Ali, wait!” Logan called after her, but she ducked inside the lobby and bounded to the open elevator, jamming the button before anyone else could follow.

BROKEN HARTS by Pandora Spocks

BROKEN HARTS is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/BrokenHarts