I am happy to share Marissa Garner’s debut release – The Marriage Trap – published through The Wild Rose Press. I have known Marissa for years, and I am thrilled that her fabulous story is finally out for the world to enjoy. I was fortunate enough to be Marissa’s editor on this novel. It was great working with her.
Without further ado…
The Marriage Trap by Marissa Garner – Contemporary romance novel
She dreams of marriage; he thinks the institution is a trap
My favorite Hawaiian island is Maui, so it seemed only natural to make it the setting for my Hawaiian Heat series. Maui is magical. From the lush rainforest of the Iao Valley to the “moonscape” of the Haleakala volcano, from the rushing Hana Waterfalls to the windy Kaanapali beaches, the island offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. Balmy tropical breezes, sun-drenched white sand, and pounding teal surf provide the perfect relief from everyday stress and rev up a couple’s libido. That’s why I decided Maui was the ideal place for my characters to fall in love.
Ginny Fitzgerald has always dreamed of marriage and motherhood. But when she escapes her domineering former fiancé to attend a two-month writing seminar, she discovers more about herself than about fiction. Sparks fly and then ignite when she meets enigmatic Drew Morgan. He melts her reserved façade and unleashes her repressed passions. Sadly, Ginny believes she can never achieve her goals with Drew and fears the only happily-ever-after in her future is the one she’s writing for her romance novel.
Drew thinks marriage is a trap, and he’s made a pact with his brother to remain bachelors forever. Even when the Hawaiian Heat welds love and lust into his dream soul mate, he can’t marry Ginny. After she declines his invitation to live with him, he must choose between his opposition to the chains of marriage and the possibility of a lifetime of happiness.
Ginny Fitzgerald whipped her head around. “Excuse me?”
“Virgin?” the man repeated. “Not you, sweetheart, your drink. You told your boyfriend no, but he ordered for you anyway before going to the john.” The bartender smiled and leaned closer. “I thought maybe you’d like to go virgin on this drink without him knowing.”
“Thanks, but I don’t want the drink at all,” she said. “And he’s not my boyfriend.”
“Just kidding.” He winked. “But whoever the guy is, he’s working damn hard to get lucky tonight.”
Ginny shrugged. “I know that. I’m not a moron. I’ve been trying to politely discourage him.”
“No, thanks. I’m handling it.”
“Good to know. I hate to see slime sneak up on nice girls.”
He wiped a small towel across the bar in front of her, but still held her gaze. Even in the dim lighting, his eyes twinkled an amazing teal blue like the water over the coral reefs.
“How do you know I’m a ‘nice girl’?”
He stroked his chin. “Let me count the ways. One, you don’t let someone push you into drinking more than you want. Two, you flinch every time that guy touches you, which means you recognize the jerk for the player he is. Three, and most important, if that type appealed to you, you would’ve left with him already.” A cocky grin lit the man’s face. “Definitely a nice girl.” With another wink, he moved down the bar to take a couple’s order.
Sneaking a discreet peek, Ginny watched the bartender’s efficient, fluid movements as he mixed drinks and chatted with the customers. And there was a lot more about him to admire. The sun had woven wheat-colored streaks through his wavy, chestnut hair and bronzed his face and arms, giving him a healthy, outdoorsman appearance. The short sleeves of his Hawaiian print shirt revealed taut muscles, and his khaki cargo shorts hugged narrow hips and a sweet ass.
Hot, hot, hot…
After a mental shake, she swiveled on the barstool, her gaze sweeping around the buzzing bar and reaching the crowded dance floor. Friday night was cranking up. The brilliant colors of the tropical motif added another layer of sensual heat to the already sizzling scene. Temperatures and decibels were on the rise. Upscale Club Lahaina vibrated with pulsing music. Uninhibited dancers pumped and gyrated, performing erotic mating rituals. Their wild abandon mesmerized Ginny and tugged at a longing she was reluctant to acknowledge.
With a heavy sigh, she swung back toward the bar, determined to keep the sadness swelling in her chest at bay. Hoping to boost her spirits, she’d stopped at the popular club in the charming little tourist town of Lahaina to toast her newfound freedom only because she didn’t want to face her silent, empty condo. Even though she’d chosen an inconspicuous seat at the end of the bar, a jerk had still managed to intrude on her private celebration.
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