We are very happy to welcome back to Book Lovers Inc. Christi Barth, who is celebrating the release of A Fine Romance, the second book in her wonderfully romantic Aisle Bound series! Besides being a romance author Christi has also worked as a wedding planner so she really knows the ins and outs of weddings and romance, let’s hear what she has to share, and you could even win a copy of A Fine Romance! 😉
Romance – It Isn’t Just Hearts and Flowers
Not only do I write romances—where the hero and heroine have sexy times and fall in love (not always in that order)—but I’ve got to inject romance into each story. And no, I’m not talking about just the fabulous, melted chocolate sex scene you’ll find in A Fine Romance. Even the dictionary has a hard time pinning down romance. Some definitions whittle it down to a love affair, while others harken back to the original medieval term, to treat with ardor or chivalrousness. Wikipedia says it is “the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person associated with love.”
The way I look at it is that romance is a thoughtful effort. Thoughtful being the key word. Now, I love getting flowers from my husband as much as anyone. There’s definitely something to be said for the classics—jewelry, flowers, etc. But sometimes a gift like that is more automatic than thoughtful. True romance is about connecting with the other person.
For example, in book one of the Aisle Bound series, Planning for Love, Ben doesn’t believe in romance in general. To him, buying flowers for a woman is just a lazy way of asking her to bed—he’d rather be upfront about it. But as he starts falling for Ivy, he learns about her. Notices her routine and her favorite things. And, most importantly, he wants to make her happy.
Ben whistled as he added two more bottles to his iced tea pyramid. It took up the entire coffee table and didn’t look anywhere close to stable. But it would surprise the pants off Ivy and her whole team. And a pants-less Ivy, any way he could get her, was exactly what he had in mind.
Six different flavors of bottled iced tea—her favorites, that she drinks all day long. He might not recognize it, but it was a thoroughly thoughtful and romantic gesture. (Doesn’t get him into bed, though…not yet, anyway).
In book two, A Fine Romance, Sam the baker goes the traditional heart route to impress the heroine—but with a personal twist. And that is what makes all the difference.
“Remember, you told me to stake my claim. I just followed directions.” Either she’d go nuts for it, or think he was the cheesiest idiot ever born. In which case she’d probably make a nervous excuse and avoid him like the plague from here on out. Sam held his breath and pushed open the door.
Candles flickered on every surface. On the low coffee table, he’d created a heart out of his white meringue cookies. In the middle, the cookies spelled out M + S. At least, he remembered doing it. Sam couldn’t take his eyes off Mira, naked next to him. How did he get so lucky?
“I guess, to prevent any misunderstanding, you had to spell it out for me?” She shot him a sly, sassy look from beneath her lashes.
He barked out a laugh. “Yep.”
Whether traditional or wholly original, romance matters. In books, and even more so in real life. Yesterday my husband, unasked, cleaned all the snow off my car. I ask you, does it get more romantic than that?
Book #2 in the Aisle Bound series
They say you form your first impression of someone within thirty seconds of meeting them. Or, in Mira Parrish’s case, within thirty minutes of not meeting them, when said person is supposed to pick you up from the airport and never shows. This is not a perfect start to her new life. Her friend Ivy is depending on her to run a new romance store, and Mira can’t afford to let her down.
Sam Lyons should probably apologize. But every time he sees Mira—which is often, since his family owns the bakery next to her shop—he can’t resist antagonizing her. There’s something about the sexy, straitlaced woman that drives him crazy. He can’t get involved, though. He has too much baggage to be any good in a serious relationship.
Despite his teasing attitude, Mira finds Sam too sweet to resist. (His hot body may be a factor.) But if there’s going to be anything permanent between them, they’ll need to let go of their pasts and look to the future…
Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is President of the Maryland Romance Writers and lives in Maryland with her husband. A Fine Romance is book 2 in her 4 book Aisle Bound series.
Christi has generously offered an ebook copy of A Fine Romance to one lucky commenter!
All you have to do is tell us: What’s the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for you?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to everyone!
Giveaway ends on 6 April 2013 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.