Title: Addicted to Love
Author: Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah. Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans. As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.
“Bubbe?” Hannah led Tess and Dan inside her apartment. “We have apples!”
Her grandmother greeted them, hands clasped. “Oh, wonderful!”
She tried to take the bag from Hannah, but Dan intervened. “Here, let me.” He looped the bag on his arm and gave Hannah her pumpkin.
Bubbe beamed. “Thank you so much. Here, you can put them on the counter. You all must be hungry and thirsty after spending time at the farm. Can I get anyone anything? Tess?”
Tess shot an uncertain look toward her father. Putting down the pumpkin and the bag of gourds, Hannah walked over to her. She put her arm around her shoulders. “My grandmother loves to feed people. Don’t be shy.” She brought her into the kitchen with her grandmother, who offered her a soda.
With a smile, Tess took it and leaned against the counter. “Hannah says you make amazing apple pie.”
Bubbe nodded. “It’s one of my specialties. Do you like it?”
“I’ve never had homemade.”
Bubbe arched a brow at Tess and turned to Hannah. “Well, we’ll have to fix that right away. Want to help me make it?”
With a shy nod, Tess joined Bubbe.
Seeing Tess happily occupied, Hannah sidled up to Dan. “The living room is free, if you’d like to sit.”
As he sank into the sofa, Hannah couldn’t help notice his flicker of pain. “I’ll be right back.” She returned a moment later with a heat pack in one hand and an ice pack in another. “Pick one.”
He clenched the hand into a fist that had massaged his knee.
“It’s fine, Hannah. I’m fine.”
“Really? I could swear we’ve done this before. Okay, take both then.”
With a quick glance toward the kitchen to make sure her grandmother wouldn’t see her sitting on the table—a pet peeve of hers—she perched on the coffee table across from Dan and held both options, like Lady Justice balancing the scales. She waited. Emotions played across his face: stubbornness, pain, annoyance and embarrassment.
Still she waited.
Finally, as she was about to give up, he reached for the heat pack. Their fingers touched, and heat zinged up her arm. His pupils widened and narrowed. Their arms remained frozen, the heat pack suspended over his knee, fingers touching, until she lowered her hand. When she touched his knee, he flinched, but she didn’t know if it was from pain or surprise. With utmost gentleness, she slid her hand out from beneath the pack, but rather than move her hand toward his knee again and maybe cause more pain, she brushed her hand up his thigh. His jeans were soft, the muscles beneath them hard. He inhaled and his free hand covered hers, holding it in place. Heat from his skin warmed her, like her own private furnace. After a moment, he let go.
Dropping the ice pack onto the table, she turned and joined him on the sofa. When she’d gotten herself settled, he reached for her hand. She squeezed and he rested against the sofa.
She sat there, quiet, and listened to the noises from the kitchen. Her grandmother’s voice was gentle as she instructed Tess on how to make the perfect piecrust. Hannah smiled.
“My memories of Jewish holidays are all tied to food. I remember arriving at my grandmother’s house early on Rosh Hashanah and rushing into the kitchen to help cook. No matter how much food she’d already prepared, she always left something for me to make with her. And my brothers and I would crowd around the table as she passed around hamentaschen on Purim. Those were Jeff’s favorite cookies. I don’t know if they still are.” She swallowed at the idea of not knowing her own brother anymore. Maybe tomorrow would change her understanding of him.
Dan’s body relaxed next to her. She leaned against his shoulder, and she continued, “And whenever I spent a weekend at her house, I’d always arrive early enough on Friday to help her braid challah for Shabbat.”
“My grandfather used to make a big deal over our Passover seder,” Dan said. “As the only grandchild, he asked me to read the Four Questions in Hebrew every year during our celebration and his chest would puff up with pride as I chanted them.” He nodded toward the kitchen. “Sounds like they’re enjoying themselves in there.”
“I think I might be a little jealous.”
He chuckled. “Your grandmother is great. Tess doesn’t get this kind of extended family attention with me.”
“No, but she gets other things.”
“Like stubbornness.” The sheepish look on his face was endearing.
“There is a familial resemblance. Hold on.” Hannah ran into the kitchen and returned a moment later with her phone. “Here.”
His face widened into a grin. “How did you get Tess to let you take a photo of her?”
“I just took it. I thought you two might like it. If you keep scrolling, there are a few I took today while she picked fruit too.”
He swiped the screen a few times, swallowing and almost caressing the screen, before handing the phone to her. “Can you send them to me?” His voice was hoarse, and Hannah saw a faint wetness in his eyes. He blinked, and it was gone.
“Sure,” she said.
“Guess you’re able to work your magic with both of us.”
“I don’t know if I’d call it magic, but whatever it is, I hope it helps me when I check out my brother’s place of employment tomorrow.”
Dan turned her face toward him, his fingers gentle along her jaw. “So you’re really doing this?”
“I need to know if I can trust him, and this is the first step.”
“Do you want me to go with you?”
Every fiber of her being screamed, Yes! “No, I need to do this on my own.”
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If you like romance with deep emotion and multi-generational characters, along with snappy dialogue and some good Jewish humor, Addicted to Love is the book for you.
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Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.
She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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