Every July 4th, my small town library does a book sale on the front lawn. There’s always a pretty good collection of romances, though they’re almost all older releases (10-20 years, and some even older than that!). Which isn’t a problem, mind you, though I do wish I could go there and find some newer ones, too. Oh well!
And yes, every year there’s at least a dozen people who make the usual “Oh, look, they’re getting rid of a ton of THOSEbooks. Clearly no one wants them except the lonely old cat ladies” (<–That was actually a direct quote from an asshole talking to his wife/GF one year – while I was sorting through them 3 feet away. I might have picked up the next book with my birdie finger standing up on the spine, facing him. *shrugs*). Plus a ton of people walking around, picking them up, giggling/laughing at them, and then tossing them aside before moving on to the “real books”, aka general fiction and whatnot.
Does it piss me off? Sure. But I’m confident enough in what I love that I’ll stand there and give them my best Fuck You Glare as I happily pick up even more of THOSE books. Fuckers.
Ahem. Anyway! So this year I walked away with a box of romances. Literally, a box, which I had to carry home (I walked there, about a mile, in 90F weather because I am a crazy mofo, clearly, who will let nothing keep her from her beloved romance novels).
Birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is one of Britain’s finest stately homes. It’s surrounded by landscaped parkland, the handiwork of Capability Brown, and elegant formal gardens which make it an ideal place to explore on a sunny day. A triumph of romantic architecture, the palace is a World Heritage Site.
King Henry II gifted Château de Chenonceau to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. After his death in 1559, his queen, Catherine de Medici, took it back for herself. Love triangles are so complicated! - Harry #Chenonceau #LoireValley #France
For the first time in hours, Cinder could relax. She sagged limply
against Kai’s side, half out of her chair and into his, and sighed heavily,
stifling a yawn in the back of her throat.
vows had been said, the rice had been thrown, the cake had been eaten, and here
they were. Married. Sitting at the
head table at the reception hall as the last few guests danced the last waltz
of the night under the fading light of a thousand paper lanterns and trying
desperately to keep their eyes open until the hover meant to bear them away on
their honeymoon arrived. Weddings were exhausting…especially when they were as
absolutely disastrous as this one had
suit pants had mysteriously disappeared when he went to change for the
ceremony, resulting in a frantic search that upturned half the palace’s guest
wing, but yielded no trace of the elusive pants. Luckily for all involved, Wolf
had an extra pair in his luggage, and Thorne somehow managed to saunter through
the day despite the rolled-up hems and carefully belted waistline that came
with wearing pants much too big for
him. Cinder snickered at the thought, making a mental note to catch the royal
photographer before Thorne did; she had
to have a copy of those photos before Thorne wheedled Cress into destroying
skies above New Beijing had opened up and poured barely an hour before the
wedding was to begin, soaking weeks’ worth of elegant decorations in minutes
and dashing all hopes of a romantic gathering in the palace gardens. Cinder had
declared it was a sign they should elope, but Iko had thrown together a hasty
replacement venue in the grand hall. A few flower garlands quickly woven by
android hands, a simple stage, and a healthy dose of ambient lighting from
leftover festival lanterns, and all was well.
herself had started to overheat as she walked up the aisle, her heart pounding
and her temperature spiking at the very thought of the step she and Kai were
about to take. A million nasty what-ifs swirling through her brain had threatened
to send her system into panic mode. Thorne, however, had noticed first and—in front
of the cameras broadcasting the event live to two entire planets—took off his boutonniere and flicked it at her. It
had been enough of a shock to jerk her out of the downward spiral of a system
overload, but Cinder would bet any amount of univs that the footage was already
viral online. She’d have to thank him for that, later. After she’d properly
yelled at him for throwing things during her wedding, of course.
who hadn’t stuttered over a speech in
years, had stumbled through the vows like a second grader giving his first
book report. He kept staring at Cinder in her wedding dress and trailing off in
the middle of his sentence, grinning like a fool until the officiant gently
reminded him to stop gawking at his bride and continue.
all, it had been a train wreck of a royal wedding.
here they were, curled up together in the uncomfortable portable chairs common
to reception halls of any quality, exhausted, but happy. Cinder smiled to
herself as Kai’s arm slid tighter around her shoulders. Somehow, it fit. Their
relationship had never been about perfect dates and immaculate events; dirty
mechanic booths and ruined ball gowns had always been more their speed.
Apparently, a trivial little thing like a marriage didn’t change that. All it
did was prove a point Cinder had come to realize a long time ago.
ever afters don’t have to be perfect to be happy.
Quiet domestic dinner with Nora’s visiting sister, Judy. Max and Nora are confortable with each other, but Judy’s presence has Nora on edge (perhaps because she is afraid of being judged).
Judy: “Well, I wonder how you two met”.
(embarassed silence on Nora’s side, until she decides to brazen the question out)
Nora: “I picked him up in a bar, how’s that?”
Max intervenes: “I was drunk and she was drunk, I liked her looks so I convinced her to bring her home and I seduced her on the sofa bed. And it was magic and I keep coming back for more.”
The way he delivers these few lines, rewriting the beginning of their story together in a more romantic light, is extremely touching and shows tremendous depth of feeling and tenderness.
He is at the same time sweet, protective, sensual, manly, loving and very matter of fact.