Title: The Wonder of You
Author: Claire Marti
Genre: Contemporary Romance
One lifelong friendship. One snowy night. And one kiss that changes everything.
Renowned photographer Grant Michaels travels the world covering the international sports scene, but after a bitter divorce he returns home to Pacific Vista Ranch. Tired of life on the road, he wants stability and a fresh start.
Archivist librarian Olivia Hanlon spent the last decade stuck in her hometown. Now she has a chance at adventure: a dream job in Greece for one year.
Childhood best friends Grant and Olivia share a forever bond, always there for each other through thick and thin. When they get snowed in together at a snowboarding event, one steamy New Year’s Eve kiss quickly spirals into an explosive chemistry neither can deny. Except he’s ready to settle down just as she wants to spread her wings.
Will their friendship survive this newly discovered passion… or did they ruin the one relationship they each count on?
He’d had an old camera his stepdad gave him and a knack for creating extraordinary images from commonplace objects. When he’d gone to Rochester Institute of Technology and truly gotten into winter sports, he’d struck gold. She wondered if he’d be able to pivot from the adrenaline rush of extreme sports and transition to using his talents in a new way. She hoped so—he had a rare gift.
Gift or not, he was taking too long and her butt was already going numb through her multiple layers of clothing. So, she’d encourage him to pick up the pace. She gave the snowball another pat and admired her handiwork before launching it at his head.
She bit her lip to stifle the laughter bubbling up in her throat when the snowball splatted against the back of his charcoal gray beanie with a satisfying thunk.
He stood still for a moment and slowly pivoted to face her. His brows were drawn into a straight line, his eyes narrowed. “Oh no you didn’t.”
She snickered. “Hurry up. It’s freezing out here. We’ve got a snowman to build.”
He strode toward her, snow adorning his hat and dripping down his face. “You asked for it now.”
She turned to run and avoid his retaliation. He grabbed her around her middle and tugged her close against him. She started laughing again. “Come on, it was just in fun. Let’s build the snowman. You need to take some photos, right?”
He turned her toward him and lowered his mouth to hers in a quick peck. “Lucky for you I need you as a model. But, when you least expect it, expect it.”
The powdery snow that had run down his face tickled her cheeks. She wrapped her arms around him. “That would be so immature of you. Especially since you want to take photos of me with this red lipstick.”
“Okay brat. Camera’s ready. Let’s make a snowman. I’ll do the base and you start on the mid-section, okay? I’ll take some shots while you’re building, so it looks spontaneous.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Her cheeks hurt from laughing.
They got to work in companionable silence, rolling and packing the snow. As they each created their portions, Olivia peeked over at Grant. He whistled and his expression reflected his contentment. Whether it was all the recent orgasms or simply being happy, she wasn’t sure.
Playing outside was relegating them to familiar territory: the friend zone. Fortunately, his smoking hot body was buried beneath layers of bulky clothing, his broad long-fingered hands concealed by black gloves. He worked efficiently and quickly, which showcased another one of his admirable traits. She blew out a breath–– in her current haze of supreme sexual satisfaction anything and everything he did was admirable.
Regardless, they could still slip into friendship mode and it didn’t feel weird. Once they returned to San Diego tomorrow, hopefully they could easily access this camaraderie and their friendship wouldn’t suffer even a slight dent.
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If money were no object and we weren’t in a pandemic, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
The tiny village of L’Ile Rousse, Corsica. It’s where my family is from and where I was lucky enough to spend my summers as a child. I’d sit on the sugar sand beach, float in the azure Mediterranean, and drink Pernod.
Why is your featured book a must-read this spring?
It is a sexy friends-to-lovers romance that will give you all the feels!
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Claire Marti is an award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author of swoon-worthy Contemporary Romance novels set in Southern California, including the Pacific Vista Ranch series and the Finding Forever in Laguna series. She lives in San Diego with her husband, silly dog and two clever cats. Claire started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.
Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.
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