A Real Life Update, The May Book Club Biz
And The Writer Gal Novella
I haven’t written to you last week, Postmate, thanking you for the absolutely warm welcome Tempt has received from you. Firstly because I’m a bit in shock at the love, secondly, it’s hot AF over here and I am not wordsing right now, and thirdly because….a really close friend of mine has passed away extremely suddenly and with zero warning.
And I just…Life is so harsh and uncertain sometimes that I wonder about the disaster of opening up my heart over and over again.
That being said, I promise you - as a writer and a business owner - that Crave is very much on schedule and will be available way before September 30 for you to read. This time around, work is going to save and heal me as I grieve.
In the meantime, if you’d like to buy the Tempt ebook, it is only 2.99 or its currency equivalent for 1 more day. I’ll be changing the price tomorrow to 4.99 :)
Let me jump into The Writer Gal Novella as well as this month’s book club offerings for you, Postmate.
No Other Love - Chapter 12
Now, without any more fuss, let me share the next chapter of my sweetly angsty, second chance, marriage in trouble, small-town romance novella starring a desperately nerdy doctor and his feisty surgeon wife!
Author’s Note: I’ll be writing down the English translations of the Indian words to this story, as I introduce you to Indian culture :) If you’d like to read the previous chapter, click here.
Fun fact: This novella is actually set in a town founded by one of my oldest friends. I’ve been fascinated with Aronda since I heard her talk about it back when we studied together and wanted to set a story here forever! Vikrant and Anika’s is the one finally. :D
Anika, you idiot, why couldn’t you keep your stupid mouth shut!
She thought to herself for the hundredth time as she snuck a glance at Vikrant, resplendent and so masculine in the traditional dhoti pants, his janoi ceremonial thread gleaming unholy white against his fit, brown chest.
He clapped the bells for the evening aarti while the thaali, the ritual plate she held went slack in her hold.
When he saw her looking at him he tipped his head, as if to ask, what? She gave him a small smile and shook her head.
All around them, the family sang the songs for the aarti along with the visitors who’d arrived in steady streams throughout the day.
Luckily, Vikrant had planned ahead for this and ordered sweet-and-sour chivda - crunchy snack mix - and store-bought sweet modaks, a coconut dessert made especially for Ganesh Chathurthi, by the kilo to give as prasad, the host’s offering. It was just her job to hand the trays of food to the guests; Vikrant’s mom and aunt were manning the kitchen with military efficiency.
And zero complaint from Vikrant’s mom.
If this had been the case three years ago, Abika thought with bitter regret that she would have willingly pitched in and helped out loads more when his parents came to Mumbai to stay with them.
Since thinking about the sad past bummed her out, she focused on that wonderful, sexy kiss... that Vikrant had begun. He’d touched her with surety, with abandon. And his afternoon scruff had scraped deliciously against her skin.
Everything was familiar yet new…making it ten times hotter than it usually was.
Then she’d opened her stupid mouth and ruined the most sexual contact she’d had in months. And pushed away the only man she wanted sexual contact with.
Vikrant nudged her with his elbow and she dragged her wandering mind back to the present. Rotated the aarti thaali in the eco-friendly Bappa’s direction. He winked at her, or so it seemed to Anika in the blinking tea lights Vikrant had strung around the mud idol.
Help me, Bappa, she prayed. Because that kiss had done something more than resurrected her desire.
It had resurrected her hope.
‘One day done, four more to go,’ Vikrant announced as he flopped down on his sofa bed. Dinner had gone smoothly again, with the added cushion of more cousins and uncles and aunts. And everyone had finally dispersed to go to bed after chatting for an hour after dinner.
‘Yep. It went well, na?’ Anika idly checked her phone and was surprised to see three missed calls from her dad. Her dad never called her, if he could help it. Someone had to die for him to make this effort.
Or she had to screw up cataclysmically bad.
The bed compressed as Vikrant sat next to her; touched her thigh in a friendly gesture.
He was smiling, no shadows, no hurt in his eyes. He looked like the man who’d loved her enough to fix a carriage horse ride at Mumbai’s picturesque Marine Drive at midnight for her twenty-fifth birthday. Then, not use it when she’d said it was animal cruelty.
‘Thank you,’ he said simply. ‘You’ve been…great. And Aai, my mom, won’t admit it but you’re the perfect bahu, daughter-in-law, now. Thank you, Anika.’
‘I didn’t do it for your mom.’
He squeezed her thigh, his fingers warm and so male against the cotton fabric of her pajamas. ‘I know. You’re selfless and amazing and I should have appreciated you more when I had the chance.’
‘You’re flexible.’ Anika chuckled. ‘Who knew?’
‘Yes, I am, ma’am.’ He flexed one of his biceps and her mouth instantly watered with visions of biting at the exact point, where his bicep melted into his tricep.
She dropped her eyes.
‘Anika,’ Vikrant’s voice was a husky whisper.
Anika swallowed, squashing the desire rising in her. ‘Bed,’ she said. ‘Sleep.’
He took his hand away immediately.
She couldn’t help it, she made a tiny protesting sound. The afternoon’s hot interlude had just driven home to her, how much she missed him. Wanted him. Desire for him was specific hunger for her. But it was also the kindest thing she’d ever done to herself.
Vikrant was the missing half of all her desires. And she’d finally understood that today.
‘Look at me, Ani.’
His order was husky. Undeniable.
She glanced at him, wondering how on earth she could hide the way she felt from him. Wondering if she even wanted to.
Vikrant looked at her like she was a life raft in the middle of a stormy ocean. All salvation and need.
Anika tossed her phone on the night table. Deliberately, giving him time to protest, to stop her, she reached out and touched his tee shirt. Fisted it in one trembling hand and tugged him closer.
He had to bend halfway over but he came closer, his own hands gripping the bed.
‘We can sleep after,’ Anika whispered.
‘Thank god.’ Vikrant leaned in that last crucial inch and covered her mouth and body with his.
No Other Love will be back next month.
The Kissing 💋 Books Club May Offering
This month’s TKBC book is a lovely hot curvy romance called Firefighter Love by Kelsie Calloway. Starring a hot firefighter alpha and the curvalicious woman he won’t stop getting at. Because our curves deserve all the love they can get. And will you see that
So smash that pink button and get this month’s freebie, yeah?
I'm a firefighter. Or I was, until an accident sent me packing my bags and returning home. It's time I settle down anyway. Madison is my best friend's older sister and now that I'm back, I'm going to make that curvy goddess mine. I will worship every inch of her beauty, no matter what it takes.
Firefighter Love is an alpha male high-heat BBW romance featuring second chance romance and a steamy climax. This is a standalone short where the young, muscular firefighter gets the older, curvy girl he's always fantasized about. Happily ever after guaranteed! ♥
The Romantic Suspense Co-op May Offering
This month’s offering from the Romantic Suspense Co-op is Uncovering Lily by Renee Webb. It’s a virgin romance with high action and higher heat and a CEO with a hero complex :P And with that hot cover beginning this journey, yes please.
Check it out. Then hit the shiny pink button and grab the book, kay?
A Kidnapped College Student
While studying abroad, I was drugged, kidnapped, and imprisoned . . . in a Hong Kong brothel. After several failed attempts to escape, I know my time is running out. My innocence is about to be sold to the highest bidder.
A Billionaire CEO
My plan was to meet an investor at the upscale brothel, and immediately return to Boston. That was until I uncovered Lily. I recognized her instantly, but she had no memory of me.
Now I only have one night to claim her and rescue her from her captors.
Will one night be enough for him to win her trust, to rescue her?