Monday, July 15, 2013

Along the Way to Love

Congratulations to "Loretta", the winner in Leslie's giveaway. Thank you to everyone who participated!

We all go down such different roads to get to love, and sometimes stops or turns along the way seem important, and then fade.  If we’re asked today what ‘romantic’ is, our answers might have changed over the years, months—maybe even days, if someone reached out and touched our hearts suddenly in a way we hadn’t imagined.

My road seems very different from many.  When my husband asked me to marry him, he pulled out a handful of money and proposed, saying something about the money.

At that moment, I was horrified and offended.  Thirty odd years, I look back and understand.  My husband, at the time, was working as an undocumented alien and sending virtually every penny back to his father to help support his family.  He also was trying to assure me that he could afford to support my Coke (a-Cola) habit, and that he loved me enough to buy me those deadly sodas every day.  Plus, I didn’t really speak Spanish at that time, and he didn’t speak English.  So a gesture he made to endear me almost made me slap him in the face.

We managed to escape the clutches of our overzealous employer to watch Secretariat win the Belmont—our first television program together, and incredibly romantic, because I am and always have been a horse freak.

We spent our wedding day in an arroyo in the Texas hill country, because my father had sent Immigration to the ranch.

If you had asked me, I would have said the cultural stories he told me that day, knowing I wrote stories, and the song he made up and played on his old guitar, were romantic.  

Others might not see it that way.

A colleague has a husband that often amazes us.  Filling her bedroom with rose petals, taking her to Hawaii, surprise luaus in the backyard—those are more traditionally romantic than spending wedding days in arroyo.  But my friend and her husband have already found love, so perhaps to be true to the definition that romance is a journey—those are love tokens, rather than an invitation (or inducement) for my friend to find love.

Either way, obviously the stops along the path to love or those heart-stopping, sometimes tiny pauses to appreciate love and reinforce it, are the magic that keep us all going on.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the journey towards love in Unattainable and the other romances you read, you’ll feel that tingle, that glow—that magic—you look for, in life and in literature.

Below are the blurb and an excerpt for Unattainable.  Please comment on the post for your chance to win a copy.  And happy travels along all those many roads to love!


Everything stacked against them...

Dell Rosales—a woman used and discarded by a wealthy family, used and betrayed by her fiancé.  A woman ready to create a life on her own—and then, a life-long friend asks her to assume the role of mentor to seriously troubled girls.

Throw-away kids.  Four teenagers, three disowned by families, the fourth a prostitute at sixteen, trying to reclaim her life.  A toddler whose mother wanted drugs more than she wanted the child she brought into a sometimes tawdry world.  

Ex-DEA Jovi Treviño walked away from an unwinnable war, tired of the slaughter and blood-shed of the illegal drug trade.  When he accepted one last undercover job as a favor, he never expected to fall for the beautiful, distant woman who runs a horse ranch and shelters delinquent teens.  

Her friends call Dell “inalcanzable”—unreachable.  He very much wants to not only reach, but have Dell Rosales.  Forever.

But is their love unattainable?

Excerpt from Unattainable

Minutes later, the couple drove off, with a weary Snow munching hay from a net
inside the trailer. Pete returned to his duties, and Dell stood silently by, watching the car
and trailer disappear. The sadness on her face hurt. Without thinking, he draped an arm
across her shoulders and hugged her gently.

“She’ll be fine,” he said gently. “They really wanted her.”

Dell sighed. He was right, and she understood that. But the sadness lingered. Piece by
piece, her past was disappearing. The De Cordova past had gone long ago; now she was
losing the part of her life that had mattered most. The horses had been freedom,
triumph—her mother had watched her win her earliest ribbons. When her mother’s
interest faded, then vanished, the wind in her face dried the tears when loneliness taunted
her. On a horse, she had outrun everything. For just a moment, she sagged against Jovi’s
arm, still wrapped protectively around her. The strength and warmth isolated her
momentarily from the sense of loss.

So she let him hold her. But only for a moment. Then she straightened within the
warm grasp and stepped away. “She will be fine,” she said, reassuring herself as she
agreed with him. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of her babies in the show ring.”
She managed a slight smile that almost wasn’t grim. “So…Mist is gone now. And most
of the others you thought we should sell, too. What now?”

Jovi regarded her thoughtfully even as he wiped the back of his hand across his sweaty
forehead. “Well, the next logical step would be…” He paused, wondering how she would
react to what he’d decided to say. “Going to South Padre Island.”

Her reaction didn’t disappoint. Shock widened her eyes, and her mouth opened. Then
a frown drew her brows together before she regained her usual pleasant but unreadable
expression. When she spoke, her voice was tinged with puzzlement, but not with alarm.

Or angry denial.

“Excuse me?”

He shrugged, then fished his handkerchief from a pocket and wiped his face. “You
need to get away,” he said sincerely. “I always find the beach soothing. You’d enjoy
being there. We could fish…or swim.” His lips twitched slightly as he visualized her in a
bikini, wading into the warm gulf waters. Or just lying on the warm, white sand. Of
course, she’d undoubtedly turn him down flat. Still, the idea was tantalizing.
To his absolute amazement, a slow smile spread across her face, turning her lips up at
the corners. The dark brown eyes danced with sudden excitement. “South Padre,” she
repeated softly. “How long has it been since I’ve even considered…” Just for a second,
the smile faded. “But I don’t know…”

The unspoken worries came and went, and he was surprised how easily he could read
them—Becky, the ranch, and the girls. Guilty because he had ulterior motives for luring
her away from the ranch, he ticked off reassurances.

“The girls and Becky will be fine. Pete and Danny have taken care of the horses for
years. We could drive down just for the day—”

“We?” She frowned at him. “You’re including yourself?”

Her tone was teasing, though, and he lifted a shoulder. “Well, why wouldn’t I? It was
my idea.”

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST July 15th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. Beatiful love story, Leslie! I'm bawling my eyes out.

  2. Thanks, D'Ann! I appreciate you dropping in!

  3. Loved the excerpt. Such a moving story... sounds fantastic:)

  4. Thank you, tfwalsh! So glad you enjoyed! :)

  5. What a wonderful story of the beginning of your wonderful life with your husband, Leslie.

  6. What an amazing story! Tan feliz que encontraste entre sí!

  7. Thank you Nicole, Jonetta, and Melinda. I'll have to share the escape from Corpus Christi and San Antonio sometime! I truly appreciate you all coming by and commenting! Melinda--your Spanish is embarassingly better than mine! :)

  8. Your story has a terrific romantic plot with Dell saddened because things around her are changing. De Cordova ranch was a place where she felt needed and safe and secure. With her beloved horses are leaving, the biggest part of her life is being taken away, even though the homeless girls are still there on the ranch.

    I hope she takes Jovi up on his invitation to South Padre Island.

    Somehow, I feel that Jovi will take a step into her life, and become a romantic interest, rescue her from her derailed experience, and happiness will be hers once more.

    This looks like a very interesting good read!

    Loretta Moore, author of The Color of Murder

  9. Loretta, what kind and insightful words! Thanks!

  10. Maureen, I hope this doesn't double up--I wanted to thank you for letting me post a guest blog. And I thank each of you who dropped by today--I hope you'll continue visiting Just Contemporary Romance to meet authors and find great books. Good luck to all who stopped by and entered for a chance to win Unattainable.


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