Annie O'Malley's dream of owning a secondhand bookstore in tight-knit Audubon Springs is coming true. Still reeling from her parents' sudden deaths, she believes that signs or messages can be found within the pages of books. She loves her job and has made plenty of friends but longs for the acceptance only love and a family can provide.
Tony Iuliano is there to fix the wiring in her shop. He doesn't believe in fate, magic, or the power of a good book. All this combined with his sexy-as-sin presence and all-knowing attitude infuriates Annie. The quirky bookworm intrigues him enough to accept her bet to read a book from her shop. When he discovers a stack of fifty-year-old love letters in the book, he wants to leave the past alone, but seeing it as a sign, Annie challenges him to read the letters and search for the long-lost lovers or lose the bet.
While shaking the dust off several ill-fated romances and fighting their attraction at every turn, the pair soon become the town gossip daily special. If they can stop arguing long enough, they may just discover this particular sign was meant for them all along.
He glanced at the book she left on the counter and picked it up, weighing it in his big hand as if it were a foreign object. “I don’t get it. What is it about a book that so completely captures your attention?”
Annie’s eyes widened. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “Hmmm, no, I don’t think so.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means I’m not going to try to explain this to a non-reader.”
A dark expression flashed across his face. “I read.”
“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and Playboy do not count.”
“I said I can read!”
“Calm down there, big guy. I’m sure you can read, but I own the only bookstore in town, and I’ve never seen you in here to buy a book. To my way of thinking, that puts you in the category of a non-reader, as in someone who does not read for pleasure.”
“Okay, fine. You’ve got me. Humor me. What is it about a book that completely grabs your attention, leaving your store vulnerable to theft and you to bodily harm?”
Annie regarded him through narrowed eyes, not entirely sure if he was serious or seriously trying to provoke an argument. She found both options interesting. Up until now, they shared very little in the way of one-on-one dialogue. The nature of this question indicated a certain level of contemplation he’d already given on the subject. “You’re not going to let that go, are you?”
“No.” He revealed just the slightest crack of a smile.
RoseAnn DeFranco grew up in upstate NY with her nose in a book and a song in her heart. Following the pursuit of a musical theatre career in NYC, she turned her creative energy to writing romance. RoseAnn blogs about her writing experiences with her critique partners at www.the violetfemmes.com. A NJ shore transplant, she enjoys time spent at the beach with her family. She would love to one day live in a quaint shore town like the fictional town Audubon Springs from her BROTHERS OF AUDUBON SPRINGS series. More information about these Contemporary Romantic Comedies can be found at www.radefranco.com.
Web links: www.radefranco; www.thevioletfemmes.com; @radefranco; https://www.facebook.com/#!/roseanndefrancoauthor