One of the great things about romance is the wonderful spectrum of heroes to love: alphas, betas, omegas, bad boys, wounded, and the boy next door. From drop-dead gorgeous to battered by life, from loner to larger than life, we love them all.

In my contemporary romances, I love writing characters you could actually meet and be friends with, and who have familiar faults, problems, and joys. My hero, Christopher Gordon from Summertime Dream, isn’t a bad-boy at all, although he sometimes wishes he could be, maybe just a little. I fell for Christopher when he and Margie were just secondary characters in my first novel, Clear As Day, and had a blast learning more about him in his own story. He was the quiet friend of Nate and Kay and so sweetly besotted with Margie. He’s solid and kind, and has a good sense of humor. He’s tough and dogged when he must be, and gentle enough to be the man Margie needs in her life. He appreciates a smart woman and the quiet everyday pleasures in life. He believes in love, and yearns for it in his own life. He’d been in like, but never in love. His biggest strength is also his weakness, and it has left him lonely. He’s very task focused. Great when working on a project, and it’s made him highly successful in his consulting business, but not so good when he gets targeted on a task and forgets to stop until he’s done, at a cost to his personal life and happiness.

Christopher comes to Falk’s Bend to unload an inherited house he doesn’t need and doesn’t want. He was curious about his unknown relatives, but only had a week to spare from his schedule. The first complication was Margie. He took one look at her and didn’t know what hit him. Then there was the house! What a mess. Then there’s Margie’s overprotective big brother. Margie turns his tidy, well-planned hectic life on end. If someone had told him he’d meet the love of his life in a place like Falk’s Bend he would have said they were nuts. He thought he wanted a cosmopolitan woman in tune with his face-paced business world. He thought he could settle for like. He learns he needs a woman who’d be his home and ground his life. He needed love.

Here’s a little glimpse at Christopher:

He stared at the laptop. Only one day left. The house. The mess. Grandma Loretta’s mysterious split from her family. He hadn’t even begun to seek answers about her. The ruined pictures and clothing. Maybe he didn’t want to know. His flight on Sunday. Margie.

The numbers on the screen blurred. His stomach grumbled, despite the sandwich half, and a dull headache stomped over his eyes.

How was Margie’s evening going? Saying go ahead, no problem, had been the right thing to do. She deserved a relaxing break after all her hard work.

And how about you? Another Friday night, and you’re working. Again.

Dave’s voice filtered through his brain. “You gotta get a life outside of work, man. Two weeks out of the year aren’t going to cut it.”

Dave, you just might be right.

He threw on some clothes and headed out, meaning to walk off some stress and get some air to clear his head, but he ended up on Main Street. The liquor store across from the Olsson’s restaurant also had a small bar in the rear. Baseball games filled the two flat screen televisions, and the place was standing room only, with rowdy, cheerful folks debating calls and rooting for both teams, loud enough he could barely hear himself think. Perfect.

He lucked out and grabbed a stool at the bar as a couple left.

Too much remained unresolved. He hadn’t even sat down with a real estate agent to list the place. He’d have to squeeze that in tomorrow on top of everything else, losing more time with Margie. So much for his usual efficiency.

He pulled out his phone and studied his lengthy to-do list. Way too much left to leave undone. He needed more time, but with the Mohave trip bearing down on him he couldn’t stay.

Do you absolutely have to leave? Think about it. Be honest.

He opened his calendar. The only critical items were the meetings with Everett in New York on the twenty-ninth and Arthur in Atlanta on August sixth.

Your schedule is your own. Is Mohave really unmovable?

Being with his friends was the best part of his year. He’d been camping with Lloyd, Dave, and Nate every summer since their freshman year in college. He couldn’t cancel his vacation.

But…if he changed his flight to the twentieth, he’d gain the additional time needed here, still catch a week at Mohave with his friends, and leave time to pack and prep at his apartment for New York as planned. Even so, with the work remaining, taking just one week more was still cutting it tight.

A week ago, he never would have considered his other option: completely give up his one true vacation of the year to finish mucking out the old house. Choose dust, sweat, and frustration over fishing and fun with his friends?

No, admit the truth. That’s not why you’d give up your vacation. Not even close.

He’d never been this indecisive. Or, depending how you viewed the situation, so impetuous.

SummerTimeDream 300x450Blurb for Summertime Dream

The Fourth of July is over, but for these summer lovers the fireworks have just begun.

An unexpected inheritance brings business consultant Christopher Gordon from Los Angeles to quaint Falk’s Bend. He’s carved a week from his demanding schedule to list his great-grandparents’ house for sale and explore his roots. However, disturbing family secrets and the sweet temptation of writer Margie Olsson derail his plans, challenging him to seize the elusive dream missing from his hectic life— love.

A recent brush with death shook Margie’s life, but not her dreams and she’s ready to move forward. Only, standing up to her loving, over-protective family isn’t easy. Helping Christopher explore the derelict mansion and unravel his grandmother’s mysterious past should be a harmless fun taste of independence. But when her experimental summer fling ignites into unexpected love, how can her small town dreams work with his big city life?

Come fall in love at the river:

Summertime Dream is available at: (Print and Kindle):

The Wild Rose Press (Print and ebook):

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About the Author:

Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

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