A perfect small town read that will appeal to fans of Candis Terry’s Sweet, Texas, Brenda Novak’s Whiskey Creek, Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor, and Marie Force’s Gansett Island.
The best things happen while you’re acting…
The historic Madrigal theater, in the heart of downtown Wishful, is about to close its doors forever. A last ditch fund-raising effort, a production of White Christmas, is probably the only thing that could bring Tyler Edison out of retirement. She fell in love on that stage, but when Brody Jensen abandoned her, she lost the heart to sing and dance for the crowd. Maybe it’s time to take that back…
It seems like pure chance when Brody’s job, which has taken him all over the world, brings him back to his little hometown to oversee his boss’s latest secret project. Brody’s looking for closure, planning to sell the house his parents left him and finally put his past, and his memories of Tyler, behind him. What better way than to be a part of this last show? Even though his leading lady is surely long gone…
Put on your dancing shoes, auditions start at six o’clock.
Be Careful, It’s My Heart is a novella of approximately 39k words. It is the first story in the Wishful series, the best of Southern contemporary romance. It is available at Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Scribd, and Barnes and Noble (more coming).
Check out my Be Careful, It’s My Heart Playlist on Spotify!
“Okay, let’s see where you are, Brody,” called Nate. “‘The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing’, from the top.”
Tyler lifted a finger for them to wait and put her head together with Mitch Campbell over some plans for their inn backdrop. Brody knew the architect from way back. He was Cam’s cousin, a few years older than him, Tucker, and Cam. Mitch had volunteered to head up set construction for the show, which meant wrangling all the untrained help.
More power to him, Brody thought. He didn’t envy the man that job. He did envy the easy smile Tyler shot Mitch before clapping him on the back and moving to take up her position on stage. She’d smiled at him like that once upon a time.
She didn’t smile now as he crossed the stage. Her face was set in a carefully neutral expression. Fine. He could be every bit as professional as she could. Brody reached for her, curving one hand around her waist, the other taking her free hand. They fit. They’d always fit.
Somebody queued up the music. Tyler glanced down as if checking the position of their feet, which was ridiculous since she knew exactly where her feet were in the pitch black dark. The faint trace of color high in her cheeks gave her away. So she wasn’t as unaffected as she wanted him to believe. Brody could see the thrum of her pulse at the base of her throat, felt the answering echo of his own as she lifted her head again, focusing on his eyes.
She was stiff at first, resisting his lead. They stumbled a few times. He missed several steps. Then she did. And then the song was over, and she was frowning, knowing they botched the number.
“Okay, try it again, and this time, Tyler, remember you aren’t doing an impression of a fence post. Loosen up,” ordered Nate.
She took a moment, closed her eyes as if to center herself, then nodded. With a roll of her neck, she shook out all her limbs. Brody felt the difference in her posture as soon as she took position again. The music swelled, and they locked eyes. On cue, they began to move, and at last, at long last, he felt like he was home. Everyone and everything faded except the music and the woman in his arms.
He led, spun, dipped, and by the time she broke away into a quick shuffle tap, her eyes were sparking with fun and her cheeks were flushed with exertion. Brody found himself grinning, improvising in response, as he couldn’t remember this section of choreography to save his soul. He watched her, starting to follow her lead, mimicking, mirroring as they came back together and whirled around the stage. And at last they ended, Tyler in a deep dip over his knee, her face flushed and smiling, her chest heaving.
“Excellent!” called Nate. “You’re remembering how to move together.”
Something hot and dark flashed in Tyler’s eyes. Brody tugged her up, into his arms, and held her a moment too long, letting the awareness, the heat sink in. No, he hadn’t forgotten what it was to move with her—on stage or in the dark. Neither had she.
Her breathing faltered and she tugged away like he’d shocked her. She looked flustered and wary, which she’d never been at any point in their courtship. It was kind of adorable. Brody was wise enough to repress a smile.
Eight years had done nothing to dim the chemistry between them. She clearly hadn’t expected that and didn’t know what to do with it, so the default response was retreat. But before her brain had kicked back in, she’d been smiling, having fun, just like they used to. He could work with that.