I’ve Been Reincarnated
Don’t ask me how I know this, but it’s obvious I wasn’t always a white female baby boomer. What was I in a previous life? A Latina. Probably from the Caribbean or Central America, and very passionate about her culture. And her men. Oh yeah.
I don’t even believe in reincarnation, but the facts are very clear:
- All but one of my published stories contains a Latin character. I didn’t realize this until I counted.
- Even when I don’t intend it, a Latin character sneaks into my work. Always. Not saying they’re sneaky on the whole, just saying MY Latin characters are. The men especially. Obviously, they know they’re welcome.
- I took four languages in high school, including several years of French and Russian. One year of español…and it’s the only language I remember and can still read and understand. If that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. Nobody remembers high school languages. Seriously, don’t lie, you know I’m right.
- I used to get teased at work for eating pickled jalapenos and other hot peppers for lunch (my mouth just started watering as I typed that).
- I think any food that ends in –ito or –illa should be part of the Food Pyramid.
- I made Mexican Lasagna last night for dinner. Ate leftovers for lunch. With a lovely hot sauce on the side.
- The list goes on and on…
I don’t know why I have this unusual fascination with all things Hispanic. But I’m chalking it up to a past life. It makes sense. Of course I also get choked up when I see pictures of the Scottish Highlands, I make a mean shortbread, and when I smell heather, I swoon. But I don’t write about men in kilts or clansmen, now do I?? More proof I have salsa, not haggis, running through my veins.
In my latest book, First Comes Marriage, I brought two new Latinos to the 1Night Stand series at Decadent Publishing. Alex showed up first, because he’s self-centered and likes face time (and he’s so darn cute, I couldn’t say no), but the story is about his brother, Christian Ramos and the lovely Anglo, Beth Malone. While culturally and ethnically quite different, they both have the same wants and goals, and when they reach a crossroad in life at the same time, Madame Eve steps in and offers more than a one-night stand date. She offers marriage! An arranged marriage. What might have sent Beth and Chris running and screaming in opposite directions not so long ago, now seems like something that just might work. Did it work?
Read for yourself.
“We need to get this over with.”
Her eyes widened in shock. “Get what over with?” But she knew.
He dropped his hand and gave her a rueful smile. “We’re married. I want to make love to my wife.” He waited for her to respond again and when she didn’t, he added, “Now.”
Beth blinked. Her heart started beating again. She liked a man who knew what he wanted. Especially when he wanted her. Stretching up, she gave him a light kiss. He clasped her waist with both hands and pulled her against him, fusing his mouth to hers, nothing like he had during their wedding. He invaded her, tasting and exploring with his tongue, forcing her to open for him.
She wound her arms around his neck and gave in, letting the invasion happen. Every fear disappeared and the only trembling happening was from desire. Her breasts swelled, aching to be touched. She wanted him. How wonderful he was hers.
Chris eased away but didn’t let go, wearing the same dazed look she must have had after their wedding kiss. He stepped back a few paces, bringing her with him, until he reached the bed.
Beth narrowed her eyes but obeyed. The zipper on the back of her dress descended and the silky garment puddled at her feet as he turned her back to face him. His hungry gaze swept over her, and she shivered with anticipation. Leaning in, he kissed the space between her breasts, his face tight with desire. No man had ever looked at her body that way…so appreciative.
Reaching behind her, he unhooked her bra, and tossed it on the floor to join the dress. Her nipples stood at attention, swollen and needy. She shivered again.
He tilted his head back. “Am I going too fast?”
She cupped his face and gave him a hard kiss. “Hurry,” she whispered.
Who agrees to an arranged marriage in the 21st century? Beth Malone can’t believe a date request with the 1Night Stand service morphed into an arranged marriage offer. But after a heartbreaking divorce and no knight in shining armor coming to sweep her off her feet, her desire to find that knight and have a family is looking more like a dream than a reality.
After filling out a 1Night Stand questionnaire worthy of the CIA, Christian Ramos is stunned when Madame Eve offers to arrange more than a date for one night: she suggests a wife! What the hell? After his best friend Jackson Castillo stops laughing, he advises him to consider the offer. Between the fortieth birthday looming on the horizon and his Latino upbringing, Chris is forced to take a hard look at his life. Reality check—time is running out for what he wants—a family and a woman to share his life.
First comes love, then comes marriage isn’t part of their matrimonial situation, but neither Beth nor Christian anticipated the immediate attraction and contentment that comes with saying, “I do.”
Valerie Mann has lived from sea to shining sea and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has her own romance hero husband, five children, and two lazy cats. She started writing when she figured out her school chums would listen to her stories, with “The Stolen Ring”, a riveting tale about a ring stolen from a museum gumball machine, being her first critical success. Between family, authorly stuff, managing and editing for an electronic publisher and whatever else she can cram into a day, she’s having way too much fun. She loves to hear from her readers! ValerieMann09@yahoo.com
COMMENT TO WIN!
To win a copy of Valerie’s first 1Night Stand book, To Feel Again, and a $5 Amazon gift card, just leave a comment about who you think you’d like to be if you were reincarnated. Make sure to leave your email address in the body of the comment, so Valerie can choose the winner on the 8th December. Good luck!