It Had to be You
Mainstream Romance: Contemporary, Interracial/Multicultural, Inspirational
Cover Artist: Shirley Burnett
Release Date: March18, 2010
Emotional sparks fly the moment Annalise Lewis and Reed Phillips meet. However, neither is in a position to take advantage of their immediate attraction. Reed is on the verge of proposing to Taylor, the woman he's chosen as step-mom to his two precocious children. Annalise has spent the previous twenty months struggling to recover from a serious religious stumble which shook her faith.
Nevertheless, their attraction strengthens with each meeting. Reed soon finds himself fighting to justify his relationship with Taylor while Annalise fears her feelings for Reed will endanger her still fragile faith. Caught in the middle are the two kids determined to prevent their father from marrying the wrong woman.
He glanced down at the roses he carried. Maybe they would suffice as a peace offering. About to push open the door, he stiffened as the opening strains of one of Maria's favorite songs began.
He pushed the door open and walked into the kitchen. "Deb, I'm sorry about—"
A strange woman stood in the middle of the kitchen floor. She held a wooden spoon up to her mouth like a microphone as she belted out Down The Aisle in a low, sultry voice that sent chills through him. She definitely was not Deb, nor was she shy. Anyone else would have halted in mid–verse, looking embarrassed or surprised. Looking directly into his eyes, she calmly continued to sing of years of living in bliss with the man by whose hand she promised to be lead before putting down the spoon.
She wasn't pretty in the conventional way. But the ponytail hanging nearly to her shoulders seemed to hold mounds of thick, glossy dark hair. Her eyes were dark brown; her smooth clear skin the color of warm, rich coco. The oversized tee shirt and baggy jeans she wore didn't hide her rather generous curves. Without makeup, she looked about twenty. And totally captivating.
A warm, infectious smile curved her full lips upward.
He felt his own lips curving into an answering smile. "Hello."
"I didn't hear you come in." Her voice was warm and light.
He glanced at the counter where a portable Mp3 player with mini speakers boomed away. "Can't say I'm surprised you didn't."
Grinning, she reached over and turned off the music. "I like my music golden and a little on the loud side."
He pretended to rub his ear. "Ah, yeah. I kind of figured that out."
"Down The Aisle is one of my favorite's songs."
"What do you like about it?"
She shrugged. "I know it's old–fashioned these days, but it's so romantic. I like the idea of giving my hand to the man I fall in love with and having him hold and cherish me. Who wouldn't like the idea of years of bliss?"
Her smile widened. "So. With all that wavy blond hair, those to die for blue eyes, and that gorgeous mug, you must be RP Senior." She came around the counter and offered him a hand. "I'm Annalise Lewis."
Trying not to look as surprised as he felt by her frank assessment of him, he took her hand in his. He knew women generally found him attractive, but they weren't often so forthright about it.
"You're Deb's friend? The artist?"
She nodded. "Guilty."
That explained the swollen hand. Deb had mentioned something about some type of repetitive motion injury that had required surgery.
He glanced around the kitchen, amazed that he could see the bottom of the sink. The floor shone. "This is your doing? You're a miracle worker," he said.
She curtsied. "Glad you noticed."
He glanced past her through the open kitchen door, surprised that Ria and RP hadn't lurched themselves at him by now. If they were out back, they weren't in his direct line of vision. "Where are Deb and the kids?"
"We needed bread and a few other things for dinner; which won't be ready for another twenty minutes, by the way. Deb took them with her to the market." She glanced at the roses in his hand. "Are they for Deb?"
He nodded. "They're sort of a peace offering."
She nodded and he realized that she probably knew about the argument. And she probably thought he was a first class jerk. He laid the roses on the counter. "Well, I guess I'll go shower and change."
You can find Red Rose Publishing ebooks available at....