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Book, Reviews, Excerpt


A Valley Ridge Wedding:
April Showers
ISBN #978-0373718528
Harlequin SuperRomance,
5/13

Rainbows don't come without rain 


The world you want isn't always how the world is. Former marine Sebastian Bennington discovers that upon his return to Valley Ridge for a friend's wedding. Even his grandfather's health isn't what he's expecting. Nor is the interference from his grandfather's young business partner, Lily Paul. 

Even more aggravating, Lily seems to know everything about Sebastian, thanks to his grandfather. But Sebastian can't get her to open up about anything. Is she using all that merry sunshine to hide something deeper and darker? He's determined to find out, as long as their crazy attraction for each other doesn't get in the way....

Valley Ridge Series:
1. You Are Invited
2. April Showers
3. A Walked Down the Aisle
4. A Valley Ridge Christmas

Book, Reviews, Excerpt




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Reviews:

"Filled with interesting characters, this sweet enjoyable read is at its core a story of family and friendship." 4 1/2 Stars, RT Book Reviews

"Holly Jacobs has written another touching love story... If you enjoy clean romance with a ending worthy of happy tears, I definitely recommend reading this book." Harlequin Junkie

"Award winning author Holly Jacobs delights us with her witty and compassionate writing in APRIL SHOWERS." ~Donna at CataRomance

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

April Showers
Holly Jacobs

 COPYRIGHT 2013


Sebastian Bennington was home.

He waited for a wave of nostalgic happiness to sweep over him as he turned off I-90 and headed towards his hometown—towards Valley Ridge, New York.

The wave never came. 

No warm glow telling him that all was right in the world again because he was here.  No feeling that he should never have left.  No feeling that it was good that he was coming back.

No feeling at all.  Nothing.  Nada. 

That pretty much summed up his emotions since he’d received his separation orders from the Marines.  Hearing that he was unfit for service hurt, but after that, it was as if everything froze and became a blank greyness.

He reached over and turned up the volume of the car’s stereo, thinking maybe the music would inspire some feeling.  “93.9, The Wolf,” a female DJ’s voice announced.  Sebastian flinched when his left hand tried to grip the wheel, as Lady Antebellum’s plaintive song soon filled the car.  Sebastian had always loved country music, and this song seemed nice enough, but it was new and evoked no particular emotion or memory.

Grey.

Sebastian had planned on driving immediately to his grandfather’s diner once he arrived in town.  He’d talked to Hank often on the phone, glossing over why he was delayed.  He didn’t share anything about the surgeries, or much at all about the injury.  He’d simply said that he hurt his hand and was having trouble getting leave.  He’d explain the discharge in person.

But instead of taking Park Street to the Valley Ridge Diner, where his grandfather would be this time of day, Sebastian went north toward the lake.  Without thinking about it, he found himself standing at the edge of a rocky cliff, looking out over Lake Erie.

He breathed deep and took comfort in the expanse of greydeep-blue water below. 

When they were young, Sebastian and his best friends, Finn and Colton, came here often.  There was a small path that led to the spit of rocky beach sandwiched between the lake and the cliff wall.  His grandfather had hollered when he’d found out the boys had gone down there, but Sebastian only grinned as Hank lectured him about the dangers of that stretch of shore.  Back then, he’d thought he was invincible.  Back then, he’d thought that there was nothing he couldn’t do if he tried.  There was no cliff he couldn’t scale, no situation he couldn’t get out of.

Sebastian Bennington knew better than that now. 

He knew that even if he wanted to climb down that cliff today he probably couldn’t.

He flexed his damned-near useless left hand and winced at the sharp stab of pain.  April in Western New York was still chilly, especially at the lakeshore.  However, he wasn’t wearing a jacket because he was particularly cold.  He wore it because he was home and he’d be seeing his grandfather and friends soon.  His jacket’s pocket was a great place to disguise how damaged his hand was.

You should be thankful you’re right handed, a therapist had joked.

You should be thankful you’re alive, his doctor had informed him.

Maybe he should be thankful to be alive, to be right handed, to be back in Valley Ridge, New York.

But thankfulness was an emotion he couldn’t manage.

Sebastian knew he should get back in his car and drive into town now.  Instead, he continued to stand on the cliff’s edge.  He didn’t ponder anything special.  He didn’t think any great thoughts.  He just stared at the lake; his thoughts and emotions as flat and monotone as the water.

“Sebastian Bennington?” a woman asked, pulling him from his non-distinct mental foray. 

He searched her features, waiting for the click of recognition, but still nothing.  Valley Ridge was filled with friends and acquaintances.  It was a small enough town that even if he didn’t know someone, they at least looked familiar.  But the woman didn’t. 

A stranger. 

She had to be because she had the kind of look that a man would never forget.  She had on some kind of flowy skirt, with a blousy top and big, chunky jewelry around her neck and wrists.  And she had on dangling earrings that brushed her shoulders.  But it was her hair that got him.  Dark brown on the border of being black.  It was long—way longer than most women wore their hair—--and hanging down her back in soft waves that hinted at curls.

“Sebastian?” she repeated, staring at him with very blue eyes.  Those eyes were even more memorable than her hair.

He realized he’d been staring and nodded.  “Yes?  Do we know each other?” 

“No, not exactly, although I know you in a way I’ve known very few people.” 

He must have looked puzzled because she laughed.  The expression seemed at home on her face, as if that upturned curve of her lips and the crinkling of her eyes were their default positions.

“Sorry, how do you know me?” 

She struck a pose similar to that statue his grandfather liked.  The Thinker.  Her hand was under her chin and she was serious for a split second, then smiled again, as if whatever thought she’d had was a pleasant one.  “Well, I know that your grandfather served you brussels sprouts when you were young and you dropped them on the floor in hopes your dog would eat them for you.  Problem was, Chance didn’t like brussels sprouts either.  Of course, I’ve had Hank’s brussels sprouts and there’s really nothing to recommend the vegetable the way he prepares them.  I mean, he’s a good cook, but he’s never really had to perfect vegetables at the diner, has he?”  She punctuated each question with more laughter and he was sure he was right...this was a woman who laughed a lot.

“Who are you?” Sebastian asked.

This didn’t invoke any laughter, but her smile lingered.  The crinkling around her very blue eyes wasn’t quite as pronounced, though it was still there.  Laugh lines.  He’d never understood why they were called that until this minute.  They weren’t a sign of aging, as he’d always imagined, at least, not on this woman.  On her, they were a sign of a happy disposition.

He wished he could work his way up to feeling happy...to feeling something.

On the back of that thought came the awareness that if he mentioned those laugh lines the woman wouldn’t thank him for it.  Not that he would mention it.  He might not know a lot about the female gender, but he was pretty sure most women didn’t want to hear they had lines of any type.

The woman extended her hand.  There was a zing of awareness as they touched and he realized it had been a long time since he’d been this attracted to a woman.  And that little zing sent a ripple through the blandness he’d been living with for a long time.

“Sorry,” she said as she shook his hand.  “I’m Lily.  Lily Paul.  Hank’s tenant and—”

He pulled his hand away, disregarding any attraction that he imagined he’d felt.  He knew who this was, and he was absolutely not attracted to her.  As a matter of fact, he felt an immediate surge of another emotion.  Annoyance.  Not that he’d thank her for that either.

“You’re her,” he said.

“I am.” 

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

From the book: April Showers
By: Holly Jacobs
Imprint and Series: Harlequin SuperRomance
Publication Date: 5/13
ISBN: 978-0373718528
Copyright © 2013
By: Harlequin Enterprises
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

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