Heartland Weddings

Posted at Oct 17, 2013 8:35 am

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A Wedding Homerun in Loveland, Ohio

Posted at Mar 6, 2012 9:50 am

Megan O’Donnell has everything under control.

Everything – including single motherhood, her job as a physical therapist, and anything else that life serves up. She has to, really, since her husband walked out on her and their son when Sammy was born with cerebral palsy – taking along with him her trust in men and most of her faith in God, too.

Productive and resilient, she’s even at the helm of All-Stars Sports Day, an end-of-the-summer event she’s organizing for special needs kids like Sammy. But her planning meeting is hijacked when MacNeill Hattaway, former mega-star pitcher for the Tri-state Hawks, shows up—with a news crew, no less! It seems Mac is out for the season recovering from an injury, and sure, his celebrity might help.  But it looks like a self-serving publicity stunt to Megan who is well aware of Mac’s reputation as a womanizer.

She’s forced to work with him. Then finds she likes him. And Mac loves her…and her son.  But what will happen when their pasts throw a curveball in their game of love?

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Coffee, Tea or Molly?

Posted at Dec 17, 2009 6:01 am

Things have been running hot and cold in Molly Katz’s life recently. When her new establishment, Corner Coffee Café, first opened in Somersby, it seemed to be an overnight success. But lately, her customer traffic has turned into a trickle. Her brothers and her one loyal customer, Mr. Mulligan, have offered to help. So has the new visitor in town, Drew Dawson, one-time customer and all-time alluring Brit. It’s too bad Molly has a real problem with accepting help.

An adventure seeker at heart, Drew hasn’t been known to stay in one place very long. Not till his brother, Blake, persuades Drew to come to Somersby under false pretenses. Suddenly Drew can’t seem to find his way out of the small town. Apparently his wanderlust heart has developed a one-track-path—straight to the heart of the green-eyed beauty, Molly.

Drew even has an easy solution to Molly’s business problem or so the thinks. It’s too bad Drew knows that if he tries to help Molly he may lose her in the process.

Read the Excerpt…

Chapter One

“Oops!”

Drew Dawson felt the heated splash of tea land on his gray T-shirt at just about the same time he experienced an unexpected rush of pleasure, eyeing the pretty strawberry-blond female who had sloshed it there.

“I’m so sorry…”  Her freckled nose crinkled apologetically, causing her sunglasses to slide.  Greenish eyes stared at him, appearing genuinely contrite.

Caught off guard by the flash of green, he barely noticed the stream of harried travelers pushing to make their way around them.  She had been shuffling in through the airport terminal door at precisely the same moment he had been exiting it.  Now the two of them were clogging the middle of the threshold, frozen there by the spill.

“And it’s Internationale’s Green-Black blend too,” she added, glaring at the styrofoam cup as if it were filled with criminal intent instead of an eye-opening brew.  “It will leave a terrible stain!”

She began searching through her oversized straw purse, he assumed for a tissue of sorts.  Meanwhile, he found himself doing a bit of searching of his own, perusing her face, taking in the scent of her hair.  So natural so…familiar.

Had he met her before?  But where?  When?  True, he’d been to Somersby, Ohio, before, but only for a quick visit in January for his brother Blake’s marriage to Samantha Stevenson.  This was only his second time here, and his plane had just landed.  He hadn’t even gotten out of the airport terminal yet where his brother would be waiting for him at the curb.

He was quite certain he’d never laid eyes on this striking woman before.  Still, her face had a familiar girl-next-door look – all grown up, of course.  It seemed he’d known her forever…

“Truly, it’s not a problem,” he said when she came up empty handed.  “It’s just an old rag.”  He tugged at the shirt.  “Got a dozen like it.  And,” he bent his head to peer at the stained area on his chest, “at least it’s the International Green-Black blend.  Has a rather distinct, robust sound to it.  Not some sissy tea at all, thankfully.”

He gave her the Dawson trademark grin, one side of his mouth curling up teasingly.

The sunny-looking lady laughed.  “You’re British?” she asked, acknowledging his accent.  “You came all the way from England, and I’ve spilled my drink on you first thing off the plane?”

As the words tumbled out of her mouth, a blustery, crimson-cheeked businessman blew past them, his oversized bulky suitcase nearly knocking the tea-drinking beauty over.  Swiftly, Drew caught her elbow and steadied her.  Then, his hand on her arm, he led her to the side of the entrance out of harm’s way.

His composure regained, he shook his head and answered her question.  “Actually, I just flew in from Boston.  So don’t fret, I won’t go complaining to the British embassy about you or anything.”

Again, he gave her the Dawson smile, attempting to charm her for some inexplicable reason.

It worked.  Her creamy cheeks flushed pink and she stammered slightly, “It’s not me exactly.  It’s – it’s these silly sandals.”  She glanced at her feet.  “I keep tripping in them.”

Glancing down her jean skirt, it took his eyes a moment to get past her lightly tan but noticeably shapely legs…past her soft-looking feet with coral-polished toes…before settling on her shoes.  Sandals that made a young woman’s calves look great, but weren’t so easy to walk in with their in-between-the-toe straps and high-wedged cork soles.

“Ah, yes.  I know them well.”

“You do?” She quirked a curious eyebrow at him.

Unfortunately for him, he did.  But only because in a matter of weeks his father Edward, owner of an upscale shoe boutique in Boston, was retiring from the family business.  The store had been inexistence since the four Dawson brothers were toddlers.  Soon Drew would have the heady responsibility of taking over the shop.

Not that it was Drew’s idea.  Not by a long shot.  In fact, his father began introducing the concept to him well over a year ago.  Drew had been skiing with his buddies at Whistler in British Columbia when his father’s first phone call came.  Talk about a downhill slide…

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Pitter Patter

Posted at Dec 17, 2009 6:00 am

Two events happen within days of each other to make Samantha Stevenson’s heart go pitter patter. The first is when Blake Dawson, a handsome lawyer with an irresistible British accent, drops unexpectedly into her life. The second is when a precious baby girl is abandoned on her doorstep.

Too bad Sam is already engaged to Prescott Sterling IV, a controlling man who has no time for unexpected things or unforeseen additions to his prestigious family. Too bad she doesn’t want to give up Emma, the new baby girl in her life.

Sam knows her heart is finally leading her to the right people to love; her makeshift family is opening her heart to the possibilities of love. Surely something that feels so right can’t be wrong?

As weeks go by, Sam discovers the one-of-akind joy of loving a child, as well as an unexpected passion for a certain handsome Brit. As that circle of love is tested by the return of the baby’s biological parents, and the wrath of her ex-fiancé’s mother, Sam learns that she must choose her future, and the one man who can make her heart go pitter patter.

Read the Excerpt…

Chapter One

“A guy as sweet as me could positively melt out there,” the dark-haired man in the billowy trench coat announced as he stepped into Chausseures Shoe Boutique.

At the commotion, Sam glanced up momentarily from the basic white pump she held.  She watched the man stomp his soaked Italian loafers on the floor mat, and heard the blustery, rain-swept wind blow the door to a clamorous close behind him.

His noisy entrance was startling.  His British accent staggering.  Its alluring effect was practically visible to the naked eye. Like sprinkles of golden fairy dust, it drifted from one female patron to the next, instantly charming them, one by one.  Some women tittered back at him.  One older woman batted her eyes demurely like a starlet from an old-time movie.  Some smiled sweetly…others languorously.

Shaking loose the raindrops from his collar, he was seemingly unaware that he had just cast a spell on every female shopper in the shoe boutique.  And all within two seconds flat.

Well, on every female except for Sam, who couldn’t help but muse to herself about the fate of the brassy Englishman.

Wonder how Uncle Dominic will handle this one? She stood back and looked on with amused curiosity.

After all, the Brit’s rumbling entrance had totally disrupted Chausseures’ typically quiet ambience.  Surely Uncle Dominic would politely admonish the man, take him aside and quietly speak to him.

She watched as her uncle, Dominic Barnaclo, looking every bit the debonair proprietor with his peppered moustache and perfectly knotted tie, approached the Brit.  But instead of squelching the Englishman, he thrust his arms wide open and welcomed him enthusiastically.

“B.D.!” Uncle Dom cried out, also raising his voice well past the normal “boutique decibel” range.  “It’s you!”

“D.B.!”  The man answered in kind.  “Indeed it is.”

Sam dropped her jaw and nearly the linen pump as well, watching as the two men hugged warmly, looking as familiar as father and son.  Delighting in their reunion, they performed a convoluted secret handshake of sorts, and laughed jovially when Uncle Dominic couldn’t get his part right.

“It’s been a long time,” she heard her uncle say.

“Truly, sir,” B.D. answered him, grinning openly.  “My father sends his very best, of course.  And my mother sends a kiss – though I’ll refrain from delivering that particular sentiment.”

Uncle Dom chuckled at that, clasped the young man on the shoulder and led him around the store, pointing out certain inventory while exchanging tidbits of news.

Funny…Sam thought…Uncle Dom never seems even a smidgen that pleased to see Prescott.

Prescott Sterling.  Her fiancé.  The man she’d hoped her Aunt Maria and Uncle Dom would embrace, being that they were childless and had no other nieces or nephews.  And if not for her aunt and uncle, Sam had hoped it for herself.  Ever since her mother and father had separated and relocated to opposites sides of the country, Aunt Maria and Uncle Dom had become like surrogate parents to her.

But her aunt – and especially her Uncle Dom – never seemed to warm to Prescott for some reason.  Sam tried to explain to them that it wasn’t Prescott’s fault he was a fourth generation Sterling and heir to a multi-million dollar fortune.  Anyone growing up with five-course meals, a butler, and a nanny might seem a little stiff, a little too formal, and unbending at times, right?

No.  Prescott certainly wasn’t like this B.D. fellow whom her uncle seemed so delighted to see.

Whereas Prescott was more quiet and reserved, the Englishman appeared full of life.  Totally animated, his hands moving, his eyes expressive as he talked with Uncle Dom.  And though his dark suit topped off by a khaki trench coat gave him the air of a gentleman with a crisp and cool demeanor, the way he sifted his fingers through his crop of thick, wavy hair had a casual, boyish sort of appeal to it.

At the thought, Prescott’s diamond-clustered engagement ring, a Sterling family heirloom, weighed heavy on her finger.  She felt guilty for making such comparisons between the two men.

But maybe that’s what jittery brides-to-be do, Sam thought, seeking to ease her conscience.  Anyway, it didn’t mean anything, did it?  It was normal.  A mere observation, she reassured herself as she turned her gaze from the boisterous Brit and attempted to concentrate on the white heel once again.  That is, until she caught the tail end of her uncle’s sentence.

“– must meet my niece.”

Her eyes shot open wide.  Her heart leaped in her chest as Uncle Dom guided “B.D.” over to where she standing at the display of traditional linen pumps.

Even from across the store, something about the Englishman put her survival instincts on high alert.  Probably the way he’d successfully disarmed every female in the store simply with a flash of his smile and an off-handed, witty comment.  But now he was coming within striking distance.  And even nearer still as her uncle urged the Englishman toward her with a gentle hand at his back.

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