March Book Club Biz
And The Writer Gal Novella
I’m writing this edition of The Writer Gal Letter listening to The National’s About Today, which is so a Nashit song since you know by now, that he’s hopelessly in love with Pehel but unwilling to do a fucking thing about it. Talk about a dumdum!
But that’s what I love about this particular story and couple. What can keep two people who are desperately in love apart? Especially when they have no OBVIOUS reason to not be together. For the answer? Read Tempt as it comes on…
Now, I won’t go on about Tempt in this edition of The Writer Gal Letter. Since this one is all about No Other Love and the Book Club bizzies.
Stick around and get to reading, will you? :)
No Other Love - Chapter 10
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
I dream about you too.
Vikrant cursed himself blue the next morning as he recalled the pathetic way he’d said those words to her. They still ricocheted inside him with all the force of a gunshot wound tearing through human skin. Damaging organs. Realigning them.
Confession was supposed to be good for the soul but he felt like crap.
As it was, waking up to a sleeping Anika, sheets tangled around her legs so half her sexy and familiar body was completely visible was hard. Emphasis on the hard. But to know that now she knew some of the stuff he’d been bottling up inside, the secrets he’d held onto because he couldn’t hold her was a little humiliating.
It gave her all the power.
And he was a little scared of what she would do with all the information.
Anika wasn’t careless or callous, but she wasn’t raised like him – to always put others before self. Not that that was a healthy way to live, with the guilt and the desire to please everyone always choking on his own ambition, his own desires. Hell, sometimes his own existence.
The counsellor had talked about Vibrant needing stronger emotional boundaries in order to maintain his sense of self, and he’d dismissed it like it was a load of bullshit. Stuff the counsellor had to tell him to justify their hourly price tag.
But, today morning was the first time in a year that he felt he’d enforced his boundary. Not by that admission in the end, but the calm and non-judgmental way he’d had that conversation with Ani.
He finished quickly with the bathroom, wanting to slip out before she woke up. The alarm was supposed to go off at six am and there was still forty minutes to go.
Unfortunately, she was wide awake when he opened the bathroom door, fully dressed, down to the comfy thongs he wore at home. He wasn’t sure he could trust himself around her when they were both half-naked.
It was like tempting fate and fate was never on his side.
‘Good morning,’ she said quickly, before he could say anything.
Not that he could. She was…sleep-flushed, her hair sticking out of the cute ponytail she’d put it in before bed. The faded blue tee shirt slid off her shoulder, revealing a creamy curve that he wanted to caress before moving down.
Best of all, she was here. In his bed. The one place he ached for her to be. And always would.
His tongue stuck to the roof off his mouth.
‘I was thinking…’ Anika trailed off. Hesitating.
‘If you wouldn’t mind, we could go to the cli- hospital together. For rounds.’ She looked at him warily.
As if she expected him to refuse her. As if the idea was preposterous. And maybe it was. She was leaving in five days. But, she was here now and he wanted it to last…this fragile peace between them. He’d deal with her leaving when he had to.
He had the rest of his life to mourn her leaving.
‘Sure. Of course. We can wrap up the morning pooja, the rituals, by eight and then spend the afternoon working. Is that okay?’
She blinked slowly and desire hit him like a sledgehammer. He took a deep breath that expanded and contracted his chest... which felt tons lighter than it had felt in months.
‘Yes, that’s fine. That works.’
‘You get ready and come down when you’re done. I’ll bring your coffee up in fifteen.’
Anika blinked again and he scolded himself for sounding too eager and autocratic. She might not even take coffee anymore. People changed.
‘That sounds like heaven.’ She slid out of bed and he stifled a groan at the amount of leg revealed in the tee shirt. ‘But make that ten minutes instead of fifteen, okay?’
Then she walked to him, leaned up and kissed him on his freshly shaved cheek. ‘You’re a good guy, Vikrant Pandit. I don’t know how I forgot that in all our drama.’
Vikrant blinked at her, stuck back in the moment when the woman he loved voluntarily came up to him and kissed him. Even if it was the fucking cheek. Then her words registered in his Anika-starved brain and he mustered up a smile for her.
‘I’m not that good a guy, Ani. I screwed things up with you.’
Then he left before he did something that only very bad guys would do – plant her against the wall, rip that tee shirt off and eat her up whole. Even if she didn’t want to.
Vikrant hated covering the Jeep up but the rain hadn’t given up so he had to Velcro the oilskin while Anika patiently held an umbrella over both their heads. Finally, they were off to the hospital he’d chosen to make the rest of his career.
The Aronda Town Hospital was optimistically called so.
In reality, it was a small house in the middle of Market Road with two examination rooms, two in-house hospital beds and a storage room which also coupled as the staff’s lunch room. His office was stacked end-to-end with old case files that he despaired of digitizing and the X-ray machine stuttered ever so often.
He gave Anika a sidelong glance as she took in the contents of his dingy office, hands in the pockets of her jeans. She wore a tasteful, loose tunic over the jeans as befit a female doctor at a clinic. But which only emphasized her femininity,
And he couldn’t forget how she’d looked in the purple and red Paithani sari, his first anniversary gift to her, as she sang along with the rest of the family during the morning song rituals.
She didn’t know the words and was basically tuneless but the effort touched him.
In fact, everything about her touched him. And not just sexually. She was …softer, more vulnerable and giving, the sharp edges that had formed in her during her MD exams dulled with attrition and time.
If it was possible, he was in danger of falling even more hopelessly in love with her than he already was.
No Other Love will return next month.
The Kissing 💋 Books Club March Offering
This month’s TKBC book is a swoony second-chance romance by Cynthia Terelst. It’s called In The Doghouse and it is full of forced proximity and all the feels! That incredible six-pack on the cover doesn’t hurt either, does it?
So smash that pink button and get this month’s freebie, yeah?
Could you survive 10 days in a car with the person who destroyed your faith in love?
Chloe has nothing good to say about Alex. Not since the day he deserted her, leaving their future in tatters.
Alex’s heart has remained true to Chloe during their five years apart. All he needs to do is convince her to give him a second chance.
Much to Chloe’s dismay, a simple promise finds her driving Alex across the outback to his sister’s wedding. Will they make it to the end together or will their fractured past destroy their chance at love?
In The Doghouse is an introduction to the Love Down Under series. This short story was previously published as Back To You in the Steamy anthology. It is a stand alone romance with medium heat.
The Romantic Suspense Co-op March Offering
This month’s offering from the Romantic Suspense Co-op is the sweetly hot Ember by Emma Renshaw. It’s all kinds of action-y thrills but HONEST TO GOD check that cover out. Holy smokes is all I have to say for it.
Check it out. Then hit the shiny pink button and grab the book, kay?
One night changed an entire town.
Ten years ago, I left Hawk Valley.
I never planned to return. Not to the regrets. The bitter memories. The guilt.
My baseball career gave me both the excuse and the money I needed to start over. Then my mom called, and I found myself headed back to the one place I swore I wouldn’t step foot again.
Meeting Delilah wasn’t part of the plan. Falling in love with her adorable son was even less so. And yet, what’s brewing between us is too intense to be denied. The unexpected passion is almost enough to distract us from the crumbling of both our worlds.
But even as the sparks fly, someone is waiting in the shadows to burn it all down.
That is all for this edition of The Writer Gal Letter, Postmate. I’ll be back super soon with Tempt and sale news that I was asked about back in November!
Till then stay chill and hydrated.