Coming Together by Poppy Dunne
Release Date: April 12th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Candi Kane
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Aloha, romance. Aloha, big blue sea. Aloha, handsome husband.
It’s been fourteen years since Justin and I got married, promptly got pregnant and buried under bills and diapers and jobs and playdates. Although our love remains steady and strong, an avalanche of daily details have taken us farther away from each other. I’ve lost count of how many years it’s been since we were truly alone.
But here we are now, in idyllic Hawaii, on the dream honeymoon we’ve been–well–dreaming about for years. There’s a roast suckling pig, my husband in a lei, and a sunset over the ocean that would put Bob Ross to shame. Still, we seem to be missing each other, like two hula dancers passing in the night.
I’ve got four days to put the spark back in this marriage and I’m bringing out the big guns: sexy dress, strappy heels, grotto sex to scandalize the other guests. But when the outside world starts infringing on this intimate scene, my husband’s eyes move to a hot new business prospect instead of hot little me.
If a honeymoon in paradise can’t bring us back together, do we really have a shot at this thing? Can we say aloha to each other again?
What a great, still-sexy husband I have who is rocking a white polo shirt with relaxed-yet-not-slouchy cargo shorts and who turns around, whips his sunglasses off, and gives me a breathtaking, gleaming smile. I swear, if this was a John Woo movie, slow motion doves would fly through the background to accentuate Justin’s handsomeness before John Travolta jumped out of nowhere and threatened me with a gun.
“Thank you.” Justin tips the kid, who leaves us all alone. Here, in our elaborate honeymoon suite with the doors open to a sunshine-filled balcony, and the crash of waves in the background. The air smells like papayas, and our luxurious, king-sized bed is just waiting for a welcoming embrace.
Justin runs a hand through his shining blond hair and walks over to me. How is it that after all these years of being married, of being up with one of the kids at three in the morning, of car trips and fights over which mayonnaise to get, I’m still so awestruck by this man? You never know when your good luck is going to show. If Justin and I hadn’t been on the same meal plan in college, we probably wouldn’t be here right now.
Thank you, Sloppy Joe night. You gave me a life.
“Well. The bathroom’s clean,” I say at last, in what I hope is a sultry voice. Justin chuckles, and takes me into his arms.
“I can always count on you for the important details,” he murmurs, and then kisses me. The kiss is so spine tingling I don’t even beat myself up too hard about my killer opening line. You really know the way to a guy’s libido, Charlotte. “I think there’s a gorgeous view on the balcony.” Justin pulls away, sliding an arm around my waist. “Want to see?”
Since the balcony opens directly onto the bedroom, yes. I would like to see that. All the better to soak up some sun and then take a flying leap into bed. We stroll out and onto said balcony, still wrapped around each other. Good. Then I see that the thoughtful staff members have left us flutes of champagne and a bowl of oranges on the patio table. The drinks sparkle in the Hawaiian sunlight.
Everyone is getting a tip. Including me, hopefully. Well, more than the tip. A lot more.
I think this is what mental blather feels like.
“You’re awfully quiet.” Justin clinks glasses with me, his eyebrows lifting in surprise. “You okay, Char?”
“Oh, you know me. Ready and willing.” Whatever that means. My face heats up as I take a nice, stiff drink. Good, the magical alcohol is working.
Justin and I have always been the quieter, just-do-it members of the family. It’s why we work so well together. At least, I think we work together. But then again, we’ve been standing here for minutes and I’ve sucked down all of this champagne and I still haven’t spoken a word, have I? Why am I so nervous to be around my husband? How much time apart have we had, that I actually feel awkward around him?
“You drank that fast!” Justin plucks the flute from my hand, sets it back on the table. Maybe I should do us both a favor and accidentally tip myself over the balcony railing. I’ll probably land in the safety of a hammock or a field of coconuts, whichever comes first.
“I wonder if they have hammocks down by the beach,” I find myself saying aloud. Justin looks surprised, then laughs. Laughter breaks over his face like a ray of pure, heavenly sunlight…or a glass of champagne, whichever is more delicious.
“I want to know what on earth you’re thinking,” he says as he takes me into his arms. Mmm, that’s good. Then he kisses me, one quick brush of lips before deepening the kiss. He tilts my head back, cradling my neck. Then, slowly, his other hand leaves my waist and travels upward, to trace up the swell of my breast.
Hello. Aloha. Whatever, this feels good.
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