Hello, I'm Fiona McGier, and I write steamy romance novels. For the Love of His Life is book one of the Minnesota Romances. 5 facts about this book--
1--This book was first published many years ago, but that publisher went out of business, so I've just self-published it on Smashwords--which means it's only available as an ebook. but from lots of outlets. I haven't put it on Amazon. (Long story, no need to bore you.)
2--The year this book first appeared, a prolific romance reviewer called it "the best book of the year" in two separate blogs on her site. She still tells me that Raul, the hero, is among her top book boyfriends.
3--My husband designed the cover for this book, since I only create with words-- he's more visual. He's a computer engineer who enjoys tapping into his inner creativity. I wasn't happy with the first cover he gave me, so I strongly encouraged him to create this new one. (If I nag him, it will never get done. LOL!)
4--All 4 Minnesota Romances are set in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. We've been avid campers for many years, and Grand Marais is one of our favorite places. My love for the area makes the setting almost another character. Read them, and you'll feel like you've been to north-eastern Minnesota, where if you spit the right way while in a lake, you'll hit Canada, eh?
5--Raul is an action movie star--also a self-absorbed, coke-addicted womanizer, in the beginning of the book. Even male reviewers have told me they don't think he should get a HEA. But the book shows him growing in self-awareness, as he discovers his inner self, and for the first time ever, falls in love--with a feisty local woman from Grand Marais. And since I've written 3 more books in the series (so far), let me tell you, he stays on that wagon and becomes a great husband and father, because falling in love with Veronica literally saved his life.
Bonus fact: Veronica bakes pies all through the book, so I've got a Pies page on my website, that gives you my never-fail pie crust, as well as many of my family's favorite pies. Everyone loves pie, right?
When a famous action movie star known for indulging in his addictions to excess, needs to clean-up for a major role that even he doubts he can deliver, the indie director sends him up to a resort owned by his grandmother in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of upper Minnesota, to learn to commune with nature. His guide is Veronica, the director's cousin, a tall, athletic woman who has the relaxed, sensible nature of someone who has the self-confidence that comes from having family around to love and support her. Raul's initial clumsy attempt to seduce her makes her laugh--so he calls her fat. Is there any hope for a relationship after that rocky start? Can Raul overcome his hard-partying nature to discover what is really important in life? And will Veronica ever believe him, when she says he "lies for a living?"
Raul has fallen in love, but he knows Veronica will never believe him, so he's never acted on his desires. When he says he's never been on a picnic, she takes him to a favorite trail and they stop to have lunch. They're done eating...
Raul tried to pay attention to her, but kept getting distracted watching the sun shine off of her long curls, as he imagined being able to bury his nose in her hair and breathe in her smell.
His eyes must have looked unfocused, or Veronica noticed his lack of response to her words. "Hey! Are you bored? I get the feeling you're not listening to me at all."
"I'm listening. I hear words--but I'm not paying attention to what you're saying."
"Because all I can think of is how much I want to kiss you again. Your lips were so soft and warm. I want to taste them."
Veronica leaned back away from him slightly. "Why?"
"Because you're all I think about. You are the first thing I think about when I wake up, and the last thing I think about when I'm going to sleep. I dream about you all night. But in my dreams I call you Nee-ca."
"Everyone else calls me Ronnie."
"I don't want to use a name that everyone else uses. I want to have a name for you that's just mine. To show you how special I think you are."
Veronica shook her head, smiling sadly. "That's just because I'm the only woman you've been seeing lately. You're going through withdrawals since you don't have your usual legion of female groupies throwing themselves at you. You'll get over it when the rest of the crew gets here, and people start treating you like the important movie star that you are."
"I don't want to get over it. I've never felt anything real for any other woman except my mom. But what I feel for you is growing stronger every day that I see you, and spend time with you--and learn from you how to be a better man. I don't want that to stop."
Veronica stared at him. "Really?"
Raul felt his pulse racing at the thought that she was sitting still next to him, so it was only a matter of him leaning forward just a little bit and their lips would touch. So he did.
Veronica leaned into the kiss and closed her eyes. Raul closed his also, enjoying the soft, warm caress of her lips. He lingered over that first kiss, and she opened her mouth slightly to sigh. He covered her lips with his again, and boldly licked at her mouth. She opened it even more, to allow him to explore her mouth, and her tongue met his and caressed him back.
Raul groaned. He balanced himself with one hand on the ground, and raised the other one to caress the side of Veronica's face, his fingers moving back into her hair to feel the silky strands that really were as soft as they looked. Their kiss grew in intensity, the passion of the moment possessing them both. One kiss became many, as Raul unleashed a tiny portion of his passion for this woman, afraid to let loose lest he scare her from responding. She met him at every increase, her breathing speeding up as much as his was, her face beginning to have a slight flush. She reached up both of her hands to hold his shoulders, one hand moving into his hair on the back of his neck, in a sensuous, familiar gesture, as if she knew it would ramp up his excitement--and it did.
Raul pushed gently, and Veronica obliged by lowering herself onto her back, still holding onto him, their lips beginning to crush each others', their tongues beginning a duel of passion. The hand that had been in her hair now moved slowly down her neck to her shoulder, as if it had a mind of its own and knew where it wanted to be. Veronica made no move to stop him, so he began to massage her skin, heading towards the breasts that had been tantalizing him for so long.
"Mommy, what are those people doing?" The almost-lisping quality of the high-pitched voice let them know there was a very young child watching them.
Raul and Veronica both opened their eyes wide, to stare in alarm into each others' faces. They swallowed and attempted to regain control over themselves.
A woman's voice was heard saying, "Oh look, honey. Come and look at this flower I found over here. It's that same bright red as those other ones you liked so much back there. Let's go pick a couple for you to take home with you."
Raul and Veronica sat up and tried not to look as if they had just been doing what they knew was obvious to other adults. They looked up into the amused eyes of a young man with a mustache.
"I'm sorry," Raul began.
"Yes, we're so sorry," Veronica added.
The man grinned. "No problem. She's probably forgotten about it already, since she loves to collect flowers. But just a word of warning. There was a van of Boy Scouts that pulled up and started pulling on backpacks as we were beginning on the trail. So they won't be far behind us. You may want to find a more private place."
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