- N. N. Light
On the Wings of Love by @alannalucas27 is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums Festival Pick #romance
Title: On the Wings of Love
Author: Alanna Lucas
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tessa Pearson had it all, but when a drunk driver killed all she held dear, she found herself alone in the world. Wanting nothing more than to escape the constant pain of the past two years, she starts a new life in a quiet seaside town, opening an all-romance bookstore. However, delays and challenges, not to mention the property owner’s suspicious—yet far too handsome—grandson, threaten to destroy her dream and the peace she’s been craving.
After three years of hiding the truth of his failed marriage, Rex Kingston decides it’s time to return to his hometown and to his grandmother—the only woman he’s ever trusted. However, when Rex arrives in Devlin, he discovers his grandmother has let a woman a fraction of her age live in her house and use the converted carriage house for a bookstore. He immediately suspects Tessa is taking advantage of his grandmother’s generosity. However, he soon realizes there is much more to the stubbornly sweet, determined woman than meets the eye.
But just as Tessa opens her heart to Rex, his ex-wife shows up with shocking news that threatens to destroy their newfound love.
It had been a tremendous amount of work, but the opportunity to see her dream of opening an all-romance bookstore come to fruition was worth it. But a week before the grand opening of On the Wings of Love, Tessa felt no closer than when she started this endeavor. If anything, the list of details to take care of had tripled in the past couple of days.
Tessa stepped up another rung on the ladder, stretching wide to clean the large front window of the newly renovated carriage house. The faint scent of ammonia tickled her nose as she scrubbed the window clean.
Tink, tink, tink. The heart-shaped bell on the door chimed.
“We’re not open…” Tessa’s words faded as one of the most handsome men—with the dirtiest hiking boots—she’d ever seen filled her doorway. He was the exact opposite of the frilly dainty space in every possible way.
The stranger’s rugged jeans seemed to accentuate every sinewy curve of his muscular legs. The crisp white t-shirt molded to his firm chest. His strong jaw and tousled blond hair gave him a devil may care sort of vibe. He was like Indiana Jones, Captain America, and Han Solo all rolled into one. The adventurous, all-American good guy, but really a scoundrel waiting to be redeemed kind of man.
A familiar, almost forgotten sort of excitement rushed through her. Oh, no, no, that could not be… not attraction. No. Absolutely not. No.
Tessa had been happily married and look how that turned out. Dating… men… love… it was all in the past and out of the question. Oh sure, she might still be on the pill but that was because of her horrible periods. It had been ages since she’d noticed the opposite sex and she would not start now. Anyway, this sort did not appeal to her.
Stop ogling the handsome man filling the doorway!
But no matter how hard she tried, she could not take her eyes off him. Why did the stranger have this effect on her? It was definitely not like her. Tessa stood speechless, grasping the ladder as if it was about to take flight.
He stood at the threshold just staring at her with bemused curiosity. When he finally did speak, the deep timbre of his voice reached all the way down to her toes. “Is Bernie around?”
The mention of her eighty-year-old friend brought Tessa out of her schoolgirl daze. What could he want with Bernie?
“I don’t usually loiter in doorways, but my boots—” He raised a brow as he glanced down at his mud-caked boots.
“Oh, I’m… yes. She just went up to the house. The curtains are in and she forgot them. We’re trying to get the shop ready and…” Tessa clamped her mouth shut and mentally shook her head. Why was she babbling like an insane idiot?
She started to ease down the ladder. “I’ll go get her.”
She’d just stepped off the last rung when the back door off the small kitchen opened and closed. Two seconds later, Bernie entered the main area of the shop. But before Tessa could say she had a visitor, Bernie shouted with excitement.
“Rex! I can’t believe it’s you!” She tossed the package she was carrying on the empty display table and scurried over to where the stranger named Rex continued to loiter at the entrance and hugged him.
“Good to see you too, Grams.”
Grams? As in grandmother? This Rex person was Bernie’s grandson? Tessa’s thoughts filtered through the past several months. Bernie had referred to her grandchildren and young great-grandchildren on several occasions, but the mere mention of children had sent Tessa running in the opposite direction.
Bernie pulled away from Rex. “Oh, where are my manners? Rex, this is Tessa Pearson. Tessa, this is my grandson Rex Kingston.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Kingston.” Tessa didn’t know if she should shake the handsome intruder’s hand or keep nervously to the shadows. She opted for the latter. Her insides were already a jumbled mess and for reasons she would not consider.
“Oh, stuff and nonsense, Tessa. Call him Rex. You know I dislike formalities.” Bernie looked up at Rex with all the love of a grandmother. “It’s been too long since you’ve been home.”
“I saw you a few months ago at Mary’s.”
“Your sister’s home in Florida doesn’t count.” Bernie reached up and tapped the side of her grandson’s cheek three times in rapid succession. Her eyes softened and glistened with love. “You haven’t been home to Devlin. I’ve missed not having you here.”
A sharp pang struck Tessa’s heart. Her mother used to look at little Ryan that way. Hot burning tears threatened the corners of her eyes. Tessa turned away, feigning interest in the cleaning supplies she’d left on the shelf of the ladder. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, she reminded herself. Since the accident, the simple exercise had helped to ease anxiety and keep unwanted tears at bay. Okay, you’re going to be okay.
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
I guess I should keep my answer PG ;-), so…Reading!
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
Besides being set in a quaint seaside town, there are friendships, romance, and second chances.
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
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Runs March 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on April 1.
Bestselling, award-winning author, Alanna Lucas pens Contemporary novels, and Regency-set historicals filled with romance, adventure, and of course, happily ever afters. When she is not daydreaming of her next travel destination Alanna can be found researching, spending time with family, volunteering, or going for long walks. She makes her home in California with her husband, children, one sweet dog, and hundreds of books.
Just for the record, you can never have too many handbags or books. And travel is a must.
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