This is a sexy, steamy romance novel. You know how I love my steam, but this one…this one is mostly about the romance.
I mean, this is pure, straight-on romance. This is Mr. Darcy, touching your hand in a crowded ballroom. This is John Cusack standing outside your window with a boom box. This is Khal Drogo looking you in the eyes as you sit astride him.
You get what I mean. This story is a love story, set in the present day, with no gorgeous aliens or fantastical realms, like I usually like to escape to. This time, I escaped to Ireland, and oh, what a journey we go on with this one.
So here, for your reading pleasure, is a bit of Michael and Amy’s introduction. Enjoy!
He was looking over at her again.
Amy took another drink of her cider and self-consciously tucked her hair behind her ear as she glanced down at her journal. She was embarrassed as hell that he’d caught her eavesdropping on the table next to her, but she couldn’t help herself.
The old guy on the left, who – for whatever reason – went by the nickname of “Duke” was regaling his best mate with a story about his younger days in the army, a very drunken evening and a woman who was born without a thumb.
And she just missed the punchline because Mr. Tall-Dark-And-Wearing-A-Smirk was onto her. She strained to listen in without looking so obvious about it, leaning back slightly while holding the journal up, as though she were reading from it.
Duke’s friend was now explaining that certain types of alcohol give you very different hangovers, and generally expounding on the failure of younger men to heed the warnings of their drinking elders before they indulge and regret.
“Regret?” said Duke. “I’d not regret her. Thumb or no, she’s an experience I’ve never had the like of since. I think she felt she had to compensate for it somehow.”
“It was only a thumb,” his companion pointed out. “It’s not as though you found something standing up t’ greet you when you dropped her drawers.”
Duke smacked the table, joining his friend in a good laugh. Amy couldn’t help but smile as she set the journal down, and picked up her pen.
You would love these old men. Their laughter is contagious. And you know their stories will carry them through the night or at least a few more pints while the world spins on around them.
She chewed on her pen cap, rereading it and thinking it sounded stupid. Who was she kidding? She wasn’t a writer.
Mr. Staring Too Hard was throwing her completely off. She pushed her long brown hair back off her face, scratching through the sentence as she made a face. She reached for her drink, finishing the last of it, and glanced up again.
He was talking to the bartender and not looking at her now.
Wait, yes he was.
He’d just turned his head and he was looking right at her again. She hastily looked down, hoping he didn’t notice her noticing that he wasn’t noticing her when he finally noticed her again.
She flipped back a page in her journal, pulling out a stack of folded papers and laying them flat in front of her before making a check mark next to the an item on the first page.
Then she looked up again.
He was watching her over the lip of his glass, which he’d just tilted up to his mouth. His now smiling mouth.
Amy looked down at the table, determined this time to make a serious effort to ignore him. She opened up her journal again, and set her pen to it.
You would laugh out loud at me if you were sitting here, she wrote. He’s gorgeous, but as usual, I don’t have the balls to do much more than look like an idiot every time we lock eyes. I know what you’d say if you were here. I know what you’d say and I’m not going to do it.
Amy punched the button on her phone so she could check the time. She turned it back off again, then closed up her journal, folding and sliding the papers back between the pages.
She was just starting to reach for her coat when she realized he was standing in front of her.
“Running away, are you?” he asked. He had a glass in each hand, and he set one down on the table. “Well, it’s too late. I’ve brought your drink.”
“You’re drinking Bulmer’s – at least, that’s what Tom told me.” He inclined his head toward the bartender.
“Oh. Yeah. Yeah, I am,” she said, nodding. “Thanks.”
“So are you staying or are you leaving?” he pressed. “Because I had planned for us to be staring at each other for another thirty minutes, but if you’ve better things to do…” He cracked a sideways smile that made her feel a little flustered.
Maybe a lot flustered. He was handsome from across the room, but up close those eyes were too blue, that jawline was too strong under the close stubble covering it. His dark, silky hair was slightly mussed and he had a dimple on one side when he smiled.
“You’re staring again,” he pointed out, lifting his brows.
Amy flushed hot red. Okay, he was gorgeous, but he was also kind of a jerk. She didn’t have time for jerks. She had an agenda to keep.
“I was just thinking,” she said. “I was getting ready to leave because I have somewhere to be.”
He leaned back, grimacing in a pained way. “Just the luck I’m having,” he said. “You’re meeting a fella then?”
Amy couldn’t help but smile at the word “fella.” She shook her head.
“No. I’m on my own. I came here for dinner but –” she reached over, opening the journal and sliding one of the papers out. “Hey, maybe you can help me. I’m looking for a certain pub.”
“If it’s a pub you’re looking for, I’m your man,” he said, sliding into the chair across from her and setting his glass down on the table. He extended his hand.
She took it, shaking gently. “Amy.”
Michael and Amy get much better acquainted, I assure you – and then a secret that they each carry will change everything…Someday In Dublin!