Love Least Expected
Nine stories, one happy ending.
A Valentine’s Anthology of romance, love and magic
Under the Mango Tree
Lakshmi is a good 18th century Indian girl who should not be avoiding her chores and enjoying a mango while hidden amongst the high branches of the mango tree in her mother’s garden. She truly should not be seen by a man who is not a member of her family—an Englishman, no less. And she absolutely should not even contemplate speaking with this man. But Lakshmi has never been one to follow the rules. This time, though, it could ruin—or make—the rest of her life.
Baron Rolf Arbrec, the royal wizard for King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, is burdened with a centuries-old quest to break the spell cast on his descendant, Merlin. To lift the enchantment, he must find true love without the use of magic or deceit, something that has eluded the men generations before him.
Finding genuine love is no easy task, even for a wizard, and time is running out not only to complete his Quest, but to give future generations a chance at happiness. When Melissa steps from his dreams and into his arms, he realizes his need for her love runs deeper than just a way to free Merlin.
Lady Melissa Garrick travels to London to meet her betrothed. Along the way, she encounters a man who haunts her dreams and makes her reconsider her destiny. Torn between loyalty to her family and her intense attraction to Rolf, she struggles to remain an obedient daughter. Though she desires him, will she defy her family and turn her back on her betrothed? Or will time run out and Rolf be doomed to a life of discontent and bitterness like his ancestors before him?
Fall Into Darkness
Eli lives by his own rules and bows to no one, even when summoned before the Tribunal Seven. They deem the hunter has lost his humanity and sentence the angel to earth with one mission: find some compassion or be condemned to hell.
Ashley considers herself a freak. With one glance into a person’s eyes, she foresees their death. When an attack brings a handsome stranger to her rescue, she can’t help but be drawn to his steel-blue gaze.
Fate will bring them together but desire could bond them for eternity.
Roses are Wrong, Violets Taboo
On the night before Valentine’s Day, floral and greenhouse owner, Alexander Chase Tabeau should be preparing for the biggest day of his family’s business. Instead he’s drowning his sorrows at the Voodoo bar after burying the only real parent he’s ever known – his grandfather, Pops. The rugged and handsome man promised Pops he would get his life together, leaving behind a string of undesirable women and focusing on what was most important – family.
Rose Westwood has always known what she wanted and planned her life down to the tiniest detail. She’s packed up her belongings and is ready to take a new and challenging position with her company as their first female vice president. Not wanting to be alone on her last night in Tampa, she stumbles into what she never planned on – the best night of her life.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Rose and Chase spend one night confessing their hopes for the future and their failures of the past. After opening their hearts to one another, the morning after sheds new light on their destiny. Can one night together change them both forever?
Everyone in Mason’s Circus understands and respects the powers of the resident gypsies—the Romani tribe—and most steer clear of any involvement. But when Susie gets caught in a web of prophecy and magic that brings danger to the troupe, her non-Rom interpretation turns out to be flawed. She pushes aside the man of her dreams to date alphabetically, in the hopes of saving her circus family.
Sam has had his eye on Susie since she joined the company. He’s puzzled by her actions, but not blind to the way she responds to him. A patient man by nature, he battles his need to claim her immediately or allow her game to continue. When disaster strikes, they join forces with their Romani friends to stop the curse before it destroys the circus.
Love’s Not Viral
Twenty-four-year-old bartender Aster Sanderson’s life is turned upside down when drunken Hollywood actor Bradley Stone snaps a picture of her…and tweets to his 12.8 million followers that she’s his fiancee. As the internet blows up with the news and gossip flies out of control, she’s left feeling helpless. This has to be a misunderstanding, right? But when the actor in question shows up on her doorstep, it’s clear he’s unhinged and she soon becomes a prisoner in her own home (literally).
Her savior? Bradley’s handsome—and seemingly normal—older brother, James, who quickly stirs up feelings she never expected. Can they disarm the ticking time-bomb that Bradley Stone has become before any more damage is done? And is their mutual attraction the result of these unusual circumstances…or could it become something more?
Taking the Plunge
Since graduating high school, Eve Cambridge has dropped ten dress sizes, became an RN, and dumped her jerk of a boyfriend – all on her own. So when her high school crush shows up in her life, she does what any normal self-reliant woman would do — pepper spray him.
Since inheriting the family plumbing business, Peter Russo has tried to make the best of a career he never planned for. He’s made his share of mistakes, but he’s worked hard to learn from them. Now that he’s run into Eve, he’s not so sure he isn’t making another one. After all, she did almost blind him.
When logic and emotion don’t agree, which path should they follow?
The Trouble With Never
Summer McKenzie is starting fresh. With her soon to be ex-husband in another state, she’s ready to start over in her small Texas town. That is, until she runs into the one person that has never gone too far from her memories, or her heart.
Since graduating college, Caleb Davis has planted roots in the form of a thriving BBQ business. He’s got everything he’s ever wanted, except the one woman that he could never have. It’s clear she’s had a painful past, but he wants nothing more than to create a promising future.
Will she let love heal old wounds, or will she let her fears push him away?
Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate
Eleanor Carrara is angry. At the world, at the people who had her committed to the institution, and at the people holding her captive in it. When the sexy, but calm and stoic Chris becomes a fellow resident of the facility, things begin to change. He taunts her, challenges her, and even makes her cry. But her anger dissolves as she realises he’s the one person who may be able to break through the armour built around her heart.
Christopher Tailor feels nothing. Haunted by the memories of his awful past, he is institutionalised, and utterly alone in the world. Meeting Elle changes everything. She’s conceited, rude, and completely unaware that in some ways she’s just as broken as he is. But something about her gets under his skin. He takes a chance and shares his secret with her.
About the Authors
Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published historical paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart”, Meredith’s romance novels include her new Medieval Fantasy series, the Children of Avalon, her Regency-set paranormal romances in the Storm series and traditional Regencies (without magic) in The Merry Men Quartet originally published with Kensington Publishers, of which three have been re-released and the last one will be coming out early in 2015. Meredith also teaches writing and publishing at her local community college. If you want a taste of her class in book form, Chapter One is available at your favorite e-retailer.
Aubrey Wynne’s first love is historical romance. Her current story, Rolf’s Quest, is set in the chivalrous 12th century court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane. Though she is an avid reader of historical fiction, her own works usually involve some level of fantasy.
Aubrey resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. She is a proud member of the Coffee Talk Writers. Her debut story, Merry Christmas, Henry, was published in November 2013 by Melange Books, LLC and received Best Short Romance in the Editors and Predators Reader’s Choice of 2013. Her humorous shorts, Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies (Goodreads Top 100 Laugh Out Loud List) and To Cast A Cliché are published with AlfieFiction.com
Hook up with Aubrey
As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.
Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked.
Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL.
Valerie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Writers.
Kris Calvert is a former copywriter and PR mercenary who after some coaxing, began writing romance novels. She loves alliteration, pearls and post-it notes. She’s married to the man of her dreams and lives in Lexington, Kentucky. She’s Momma to two kids, now in college – one at the University of Kentucky, and one at New York University -Tisch. She is also responsible for one very needy dog. When she’s not writing, she’s baking cupcakes.
If you discovered a sealed box with “Katie’s memories” scribbled on the side, you’d find a lifetime of partially completed stories, plays and musicals. A retired music teacher and curriculum writer, Katie Stephens has opened that box and switched her need to create from music to literature. She writes both non-fiction and fiction, where she happily experiments with all genres.
When her muse takes a break, Katie is a staff reader for freeze frame fiction and a grant writer for the Empire & Great Jones Creative Arts Foundation. Although her grown children are scattered east and west across the country, she lives solidly in mid-America with three kitties and a husband who keeps asking when she’s really going to retire.
Nessie is a Massachusetts native and mother of two who has dabbled in everything from abstract painting to freelance sports reporting. She also loves a good story, whether it’s reading or writing one. Living Dead Girl and Reaper Madness, the first two novels in her urban fantasy Living Dead World series, were published by Etopia press in 2014.
From daring escapes by tough women to chivalrous men swooping in to save the day, the creativity switch to Kishan Paul’s brain is always in the ‘on’ position. If daydreaming stories were a college course, Kish would graduate with honors.
Mother of two beautiful children, she has been married to her best friend for over 16 years. With the help of supportive family and friends, she balances her family, a thriving counseling practice, and writing without sinking into insanity.
Isabella Harper has been putting her imagination to good use since she was a child. Throughout school, she would get caught reading or creating a story of her own instead of doing whatever it was that she was supposed to.
For now, she is fulfilling her life with her husband and being a stay at home to her two young children, at home in Texas. When she’s not working on obtaining fitness certifications, writing a new contemporary Southern romance, or spending time with family, she’s probably enjoying a weekend in the countryside.
Michaela Miles writes. By day she is a mild-mannered copywriter and web designer, but by night she is consumed by the characters in her head and writes to set them free.
In her spare time, she is primary carer and chief wrangler for a husband and three children, the big boss at her web design company and photography studio, and is completing a Bachelor of English Literature.
Michaela is very active on social media and has an eclectic posting style—humorous writing memes, hump day hunks, quotes, inspirations, interviews, book reviews, and anything that takes her fancy!
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