Shannon here: Jennifer Slattery shares a romantic excerpt from her latest Contemporary Romance, Building a Family. Comment or answer the question in any post dated June 12th – 16th to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: June 27th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jennifer:
The path in front of them forked, one way winding through more lavender fields, likely looping back to the farmhouse, the other to the trees.
“This way.” Hand to her back, he guided her through the trees to a cluster of tables covered with white linen and purple runners. Lavender springs in mason jars adorned with lace centered the tables, and tulle decorated the white folding chairs.
“Noah.” She stopped, hand to her chest. When she turned toward him, the look of adoration, of—of…love? It just about buckled his knees. “This is beautiful.”
“Welcome.” A woman dressed similar to the gal at the farmhouse greeted them and led them to a table for two. “Would you care for a glass of lavender lemonade?”
He held out Kayla’s chair for her. “That’d be great, thanks.”
Others, primarily couples and two young families with girls wearing ruffled dresses, joined them. But Noah hardly noticed them. His focus zeroed in on the captivating woman sitting across from him. She spoke of her business, of her love for scrapbooking—who knew? And mostly, of all the hilarious and cute things Timber and Sophia did while he was at work. And for a moment, he let himself imagine what it might be like to be married to this woman, for the four of them to form a family.
If only he could convince her to stay.
For the next couple of hours, they ate a variety of foods that one might see on the cover of magazines. Appetizers that looked too pretty to eat, salad with weed-looking leafs and candied nuts, pork medallions. They finished their meal with white cookies drizzled in almond icing and garnished with dried lavender.
Kayla took a sip of her drink. “This has been amazing. Thank you.”
Music played from somewhere behind them, and midway through the second song, one of the couples stood and ambled to a grassy area beneath the branches of a towering oak. Soon, another couple joined them.
“Will you do me the honor?” He held out his hand, and she placed hers, soft and feather-light, in his. Her shy smile returned as she let him lead her onto the make-shift “dance floor.”
At first their steps were formal, almost as if she felt self-conscious. But by the next song, she leaned in closer and rested her cheek on his chest. He closed his eyes, arm circled around her back, and breathed in her sweet strawberry-jasmine scent.
Giggles drew his attention to a family on his left. A dad and very pregnant mom were dancing with a wiggly, giggly little one who looked maybe eighteen months old sandwiched between them. The dad whispered something to the mom, and she laughed. Then he kissed her cheek, then his daughter’s, before spinning them both around.
Noah turned his attention back to Kayla, who was still watching the family. He cupped her chin in his hand and titled her face so that her gaze met his. “That could be us, you know.”
Her eyes searched his, and her mouth parted slightly as if she wanted to say something. But then she leaned her cheek on his chest, letting him hold her for the remainder of the dance.
And for now, that was enough.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and national speaker who has addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast and maintains devotional blogs Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud, Faith Over Fear and on Crosswalk . As the founder of Wholly Love Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Contact her through her website to book her for your next women’s event. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Building a Family:
Can love for two little matchmakers unite their reluctant hearts?
Worried that Noah Williams is still the reckless bull rider she remembers, Kayla Fisher is convinced he isn’t the right person to care for their orphaned niece and nephew. Now she’s back home, determined to fight for custody. But Noah is a changed man, and he intends to prove it. When Noah and Kayla start falling for each other, could raising the children together be the perfect solution?
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: What is your favorite flower?
Come back June 19th for Kimberly Rose Johnson!