Publication date: July 22nd 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Maybe friends really do make the best lovers…
Barista Maddie Stalwart-Jones has known Todd Kaihanga all her life, but no matter where her brain wanders when she’s not vigilant, she refuses to consider her brother’s best mate as anything other than off limits. It would be all wrong, right? The self-proclaimed pessimist is intent on ignoring the fact her cafe manager is the only guy she can relax and be herself around, and the only person she’s comfortable talking about her dead brother with.
Intent on escaping Wānaka, where everyone seems to have an opinion on her intimate business and family history, falling for Todd would be highly inconvenient.
Todd’s a patient guy, but he’s over waiting around for Maddie to notice he could be so much more than a shoulder to lean on. When Maddie’s mother finally agrees to accept some much needed help with her run down property, it’s a perfect catalyst for Todd to prove to his high school crush that his optimistic streak isn’t a curse, it’s the perfect yin to her yang. The wedding of the year is about to kick off, and there’s only one woman he wants to be dancing with.
A mid-summer Valentine’s Day novella, TANIWHA CREEK joins Stephanie Ruth’s award winning Otago Waters series, set in the beautiful South Island of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Each book stands alone, but reading them in order provides a deeper experience. Intended for readers who enjoy their slow-burn, feel-good romance on the steamy side, with the promise of a happily ever after.
Reader discretion advised, this novella deals with the trauma of a past road accident, and hoarding.
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He Falls First:
“Your mother thinks the sun shines out of your every orifice. You’d think you really were born a cherub.”
“Are you harassing my hair again?
“No. I thought I was harassing your dimples.” He turned his head to look at her, but she was gazing directly up at the night sky, profile framed by vines.
He touched one forefinger lightly to the crease in her left cheek, then leaned across so his mouth could follow suit, whispering a kiss.
Maddie didn’t pull away.
“I love it when your dimples flicker like that…” he murmured against her skin. “When you’re not really smiling yet, but I know you’re happy. I know you’re content.”
“Why does it mean so much to you that I’m content?”
He leaned back. “I told you. You’re a part of me.”
Award winning New Zealand contemporary romance novelist and short story writer, Stephanie Ruth lives in the South Island, Te Waipounamu, with her husband, three children, and an ever expanding array of animals. If it doesn’t have a happy ending in some form or other, Stephanie’s not writing it.
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