6 IR/MC love stories to read to get your heart racing for Valentine’s Day

shutterstock_152210192I’m not one of those women who usually get so worked up over Valentine’s Day. Hard to believe, right? Especially since I write romantic fiction. But I’ve never been a big fan of the commercial aspect of a day dedicated to love. It could also do with having had a high school boyfriend who’d break up with me just before Valentine’s Day and Christmas so he wouldn’t have to spend money on presents. Good thing I wised up and left him behind. But I do love reading (and writing) love stories, so I thought I’d give you some suggestions for IR/MC novels to get you in the mood for love. Are you ready?

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5: Again for the First Time by Raven St. Pierre

Again for the First Time Cover

What would you do if a stranger approached you and, instead of asking  you for directions, he asked you to marry him? That’s exactly what happens to Lissette when the very handsome Luke proposes to her on a very emotional afternoon when she’s just found out that her ex is now engaged and moving on with someone new.

What neither Lissette nor Luke expect is that she says yes. Suddenly she and Luke are embarking on a journey that has them married within two weeks of meeting.  Jumping into the unknown with nothing but blind faith and a burgeoning attraction for one another, their unconventional relationship leaves their friends and families wondering if they know what they’re doing. And the two must learn to get to know (and trust) one another–even when the odds are stacked against them.

It’s a quirky love story that–even with its improbable scenario–has you falling in love with Lissy and Luke and hoping their newfound love will stand the test of time. Raven St. Pierre does a great job of carrying the reader along the bumpy road of Lissy and Luke’s marriage. A great love story–sexy without being overly graphic, with two well-drawn characters whose flaws make you love them.

4: The Sweetest Taboo by Harper Miller

HarperMillercoverNow I am usually not very interested in BDSM novels, but Harper Miller has done something very interesting here by creating two characters who go into the relationship on equal footing–despite Rick being the dom and Micah being the sub. From the moment they meet in a New York City fetish club, it’s obvious that fate will pull strings and make sure these two will cross paths again.

Like I said, I don’t usually find BDSM novels very appealing, but Miller succeeds in creating two very intriguing characters in Rick and Micah. Also, she takes us into the heart of what has brought them into this world of submission and domination without making the reader lose sight of the fact that this is a love story–a very erotic love story, but a love story from beginning to end.

The Kiss

3: Yours by Tia Kelly

Yours CoverIf you’re more in the mood for a quick read that’s smart, sexy and unputdownable, then this is the novella for you. A chance encounter between two people in need of a second chance at love, Yours chronicles how a one-night stand leads to something more for good girl Theresa Clarke and the very sexy, brooding Spaniard, Javier Fernandez.

After spending a very passionate night together, neither expects to see the other again, but–as is always the case with a good love story–fate decides to bring them together again. There’s off-the-chart chemistry between Theresa and Javier–and even when she tries to deny it, Theresa knows she cannot ignore the feelings she has for him. The same is true for Javier–the desire he feels for Theresa pushes him to pursue her, even when she initially says they cannot see one another or when she assumes all he wants from her is a glorified booty call. Sexy and smartly written, this is one must-read novella.

2: Addicted Allison by Noelle Black

Addicted AllisonI thought I was the only black woman writing sexy stories featuring black women and Nordic men, but Noelle Black has joined me. 😉 Her novella, Addicted Allison, is set in world of luxury hotels and the heroine, Allison, blows off steam after long work days as the creative director for a hospitality design firm by meeting men online for one reason alone–sex.

Enter Mattias, a Swede with a big personality and a love of curvy black women. Mattias is enthralled with Allison and all too soon he makes it clear he doesn’t want to share her with anyone else. Her sexy encounter with him has her questioning what she really wants…and could have her going down a very different path than she initially intended.

This is a cleverly written erotic romance that’s more than a just sexy story. It also goes into the expat experience from a black woman’s perspective and gives us an open-ended but satisfying ending that leaves room to explore more of Allison’s adventures.

1: Maybe BabyMaybe Tonight by me

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Maybe Tonight Cover for WPYes, yes, I know, this smacks of blatant self-promotion but Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight fit the bill. I’m not going to review my own books, but I will tell you that you get to read both Laney and Mad’s sides of their love story–which definitely had an unusual start seeing as they met when she looking into finding a sperm donor to be the potential father of her future children. If you haven’t read Maybe Baby and Maybe Tonight, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to get to know their stories and maybe even get hooked on their different sort of love story.

Happy reading!

Post-Nanowrimo Update: Last three chapters online

That's me! :)

That’s me! 🙂

Now that Nanowrimo is over, I can do useless things like watch TV and do laundry (actually, I managed to do both of these things while I was doing my Nanowriting). It also means I can start my Christmas Movie Bonanza–the annual event when Tord and I overload on our favorite Christmas movies like Elf, the Holiday, Surviving Christmas, the Preacher’s Wife and Love, Actually. And we drink glögg (Swedish for mulled wine).

Now, for those of you who’ve been following Laney, Mads & Niklas’s story, you can now read the last three chapters of Maybe Baby. Please remember it’s still really, really rough. And there are still plot holes–already thinking of ways to correct them. Hope you enjoy the rest of the story. It’ll  be online until the end of the month. After that, I’ll start a new page to keep you updated on the revision status of Maybe Baby and when I hope to make it available.

Also, this month, I’m trying to raise money to donate to Stockholms Stadsmision, an organization here in Stockholm that helps women and children in need, the homeless, and substance abusers who are trying to recover. If you buy a copy of  The Melanie Chronicles (ebook or print version) or Linger: a short story (Kindle-only), all the profits for the month of December will be donated to the mission.

Happy First Advent! 🙂

Nanowrimo Day 28 Update: Closing in on the end & Chapter 9 online

So this is it–I have until Friday night to complete Nanowrimo and I am nearly done. I only have to write 2700 more words.  I could probably finish tonight if I have the energy, but I don’t want to stress myself.  I’ll just let the words come out in their usual fits and starts until they flow more easily.

I won’t say this has been an easy Nanowrimo experience. There have been mornings when I wake up and I am still too tired to write (and it definitely shows) but I force myself to do it anyway. And then I wonder why I can’t keep this same momentum all year. I used to be a more disciplined writer. When I was working on my MFA, I always made sure I had an hour or two to write. When I first moved to Sweden, I made sure I wrote everyday. I think I went through a period of trying to adjust to a new culture, a new language and the crazy winter darkness here–takes some getting used, I assure you–and the next thing I knew months had gone by and I hadn’t written a single word on the first novel I tried to write. I joined a writers group, started 3 novels, finished one. Still felt like I wasn’t getting anything done.

And then Rebecca Foreman told me about Nanowrimo. The first year, I finished one day late. The second year, I faltered. Ditto all the other years I tried…until 2011, when I finished a day ahead of schedule. Now it’s 2012, and it looks like I’ll be a day ahead of schedule again.

By the way, Chapter 9 is online in all its unedited glory.

Happy reading (and writing)!

Nanowrimo Update Day 25: 41.5K words and Chapter 8 online now

Last night while making a turkey for my belated Thanksgiving dinner, I worked on Maybe Baby. After we finished eating and then watching an episode of Big Bang Theory, I continued working on my NaNoNovel. And now, I have crossed into the home stretch: I have written 41,500 of the 50,000 words necessary to complete Nanowrimo. If I can stay on track, I will finish on 28 November. That is my goal this year–to finish slightly ahead of schedule.

I am pleased that I’ve managed to be so disciplined. I am usually a lazy writer in that I write in fits and spurts. I force myself to get up at 6 AM every weekday morning and sometimes I manage to write, other mornings I edit or try to revise. There are those mornings when I am just too tired and I end up reading celebrity gossip on TMZ.com or I stare at the screen as I try to read Huffington Post through sandy eyes. I don’t get much done. Some mornings only 200 words emerge. On a good morning I will have written close to 1000 words before it’s time to take a shower and head to work. But then it’s time for Nanowrimo and I always get at least 500 words written before it’s time to go to work. And then I come home after work and write (and don’t stop writing) until I reach my daily goal of 1600+ words.

And…before I forget…Chapter Eight is now online! Go to my Nanowrimo 2012 page and you can continue following Laney’s story.

Nanowrimo Update Day 20 & Chapter 6 is online

Yesterday, I crossed the 35,000-word threshold! I can hardly believe it myself. When I first began writing Maybe Baby, there were days when I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to cross the 10,000 or 15,000-word mark because I was exhausted from putting in a full day at work and my brain just felt mushy. Yes, there were days when my brain was more akin to a bowl of polenta. And it wasn’t pretty.

This is when I should coast into the final 15,000 words. Technically, I could take it easy and not really care about tying up loose ends. I could leave Laney in limbo and just shelve this until the spring or summer, but I won’t do that at all. I want resolution for Laney. I want her to make her decision. I also want Eddy to figure out how to solve her romantic problems. Besides, you’re probably wondering if Niklas is going to be a little more proactive about trying to get Laney to choose him. Or if Mads will do or say something that makes Laney decide he really is the one. Or maybe she chooses neither,  suddenly decides to alter her plan and  get artificially inseminated and be a single mother? Well, how would we ever find out if I coasted? So no coasting and no shelving. I will write this to completion and then revise.

By the way, Chapter Six is online now. Chapters 1-5 are also still available.

Happy reading (and writing)!

Nanowrimo 2012 Update: Chapter Four Online and My Nano Progress

So it’s Day 15 of Nanowrimo and I am closing in on my daily word count target. When I reach it I will have written 25,000 words. That’s right–I will be halfway through Nanowrimo! Am I excited? Damn straight! I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I am on par every day. I love watching my story unfold without being hindered by my evil inner critic–and my inner critic is really bitchy and mean. I love it when–just before I fall asleep–I figure out where I want the next day’s writing to go. Ah…Nanowrimo is wonderful. That’s all I can say.

Now, if you want to follow my progress, go to my Nanowrimo 2012 page. You can read Chapter Four in all its unedited and unrevised glory. Laney’s getting herself into trouble…:)

Happy reading (and writing)!

 

 

Nanowrimo Update: Chapter Three online

So here I am, chugging towards the halfway point of Nanowrimo (I’m closing in on 21k and halfway point if 25k). I’m also halfway through Chapter Six. Things are heating up! Laney is in Skåne with Niklas, and she’s already promised Mads she’s going to come to Copenhagen ASAP.

For those of you who are interested, Chapter Three (unedited/unrevised/very rough) is online. Go to the Nanowrimo 2012 page to read it.

And now it’s time for me to get back to writing.

Happy reading (and writing)!