I‘m delighted to turn the blog over to award-winning author Kimberley Ash, a British expat who has lived in and loved New Jersey for almost 30 years. She writes fish-out-of-water stories about people who find home where they least expect it. When not writing contemporary romance or romantic women’s fiction, she can usually be found cleaning up after her two big white furry dogs and slightly less furry children.
Kimberley, the floor is yours!
Hello everyone! And thanks so much to Nan for hosting me and my book! Hold is my love letter to single mothers. When we left Thea in Breathe, the first book in the Fieldings series, she was at the lowest point in her life: her husband had split just as she was about to give birth to her second son. I wanted to give her a happily-ever-after all of her own, but also to give her an independence; I wanted her never to have to rely on a man again—but to find one who gets that and just wants to make her life better, as far as she’ll let him. Enter Liam, my cinnamon roll teacher slash plumber, who’s been through a disastrous marriage of his own. Both these characters are scared to try love again… but we all know that love doesn’t always wait for you to be ready.
I hope you’ll love Thea and Liam as much as I do!
She’s fought for independence for herself and her boys. Can she ever rely on a man again?
Thea Fielding just wants to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, and to be a better single mom to her two boys. After his wife and coworker cheated on him, Liam McConnell had to leave the teaching job he loved, and is only just clawing back his career.
Neither want to get involved again after their disastrous marriages, but from the moment they meet at an evening class, they can’t take their eyes off each other. To make things worse, Thea begins hosting a study group and the other members invite Liam.
To cover their growing attraction, Thea and Liam are snarky to each other as often as possible. How long can they resist what everyone knows will happen? Can they get past their own histories to build a life together? And what happens when Thea’s ex shows up to take back his family?
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He unfolded his arms, and she thought for a second he really might put them around her. “How long have you been alone?” he asked, his voice rough.
She laughed. Since her mother had died? Since Sam had gone off the rails? Since she’d realized Gabe was all blarney and no substance? Since she’d thrown him out the first time, after Benji was born? Since he’d left them all? Since just before Liam had somehow made his way into her life?
“I’m not alone,” she said, “not really. Not like some single moms. My bosses are very understanding and give me all the flextime I ask for. I have a family who’d never let us starve. Most of my fights with Kane are me fending off his offers of help. My sister Cat would mother the crap out of all three of us if I let her—and she takes the boys once a month so I can have a weekend to myself. See,” she said, one corner of her mouth lifting, “I use my nearest and dearest for just as long as it suits me, and then I tell them I don’t need their help.”
When had he gotten closer to her? Another couple of inches and her chest would brush his. The refrigerator door was behind her back, and Liam’s body was no less unyielding in front of her. She struggled to keep focus. “Like you,” she said. “I should have been paying you.”
It didn’t come out strongly enough, and when he replied, his own voice was low and intimate. “I don’t mind,” he said.
Thea closed her eyes. He was going to kiss her, and she couldn’t drag herself out of the space he’d created for them. “Don’t, Liam,” she whispered. “I’m all out of trust.”
He opened his mouth, a breath from hers…
And the front screen door banged and a voice said, “Phew! Thank God for a/c! Hey, is it broken? It’s not making as much noise.”