Read An Excerpt

by Sheila Roberts

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

 | Read Book Review

Jonathan drank the last of his coffee and went to throw the cup in a nearby garbage can. He passed a table with a woman sitting alone, nursing a drink and reading a paperback. He glanced down and saw a couple on the cover, this pair dressed in contemporary Western attire. Another romance novel. The woman smiled and turned a page.

What was it about these books that had women so hooked? He reviewed the conversation he’d heard in the library. There’s a hero to die for…. James Noble is the perfect man…perfect man.

Women wrote those novels and they wrote about perfect men. So if a guy wanted to learn what a woman wanted in a man… Who was that author Juliet and Hildy had been talking about? Vanessa Valentine. Someone with a name like that had to know her stuff when it came to love.

Jonathan tossed his cup, then retraced his steps to the library, hoping the women hadn’t cleared every romance novel off the shelves.

Most of the library patrons were gone by the time he slipped back into the musty room on the lower level, either back to their homes to wash cars or mow lawns, or off to go hiking the mountain trails. A few late ar­rivals browsed the health and finance sections, and one woman was leafing through a cookbook.

Just his luck, the only other section that was oc­cupied was the romance section, where two teenage girls stood, perusing the books. They were cute and skinny, probably cheerleaders. Darn. He’d hoped not to have an audience.

He hovered over by the magazines and CDs, wish­ing they’d leave. They didn’t. In fact, it looked like they were going to camp out over there all day, read­ing and filling their paper grocery bags, emptying the shelves.

What do you care if they see you looking through a romance? They’re only high school kids, he re­minded himself. Kids who’d go home and tell their moms about the dork who’d come in looking for love between the covers of a book.

“Oh, my, gosh, here’s a Vanessa Valentine,” said one.

No, don’t take that.

She handed it to her friend.

“I haven’t read this,” the other girl said, and dropped it in her bag.

So much for that book. So much for all the books if he didn’t make his move soon. He sauntered casually over. A forty-something woman he’d seen around town had joined them now, and he was aware of both her and the girls staring at him like he was some kind of freak as he studied the titles. He could feel himself be­ginning to sweat. Just take a book and get out of here.

He snagged a book about a vampire and another with a cowboy on the cover and was about to leave when, suddenly, he saw it. What was this? Two shelves down in the corner, a few inches past the woman’s thighs… Yes! One last Vanessa Valentine.