When reading a great book, I find that I want to read it quickly to discover what happens and how it ends, but when I finish, I’m sad it’s over, and I miss hanging out with the characters.
Um, ahem, ok…mostly with the male ones. 😉
If you’d like to re-visit or spend some extra time with your favorite characters – you’re in luck.
Six of my favorite authors wrote Valentine bonus scenes for my book blog last year, and they’re too amazing not to share again.
Prepare to fall in love (again), with a half dozen swoony book boyfriends from authors Julie Richman, Max Monroe, and Helena Hunting.
Double Date: A Moore Valentine’s Tale
“Just a little more in the back and then we’re done.” Mia lifted a thick section of her daughter’s hair, carefully gliding the flat iron paddles repeatedly over the curls, until they were rendered silky smooth. “Po, I cannot believe how long your hair has gotten.” With her arm now tired from the repetitive motion, Mia continued to straighten her daughter’s hair, all the while thinking, Advil is in my future, and maybe some wine, too.
Admiring herself in the mirror, Portia agreed. “I didn’t know it was this long. I really like it straight like this, Mommy.”
“It looks very pretty, sweetie. You look very sophisticated.” Mia smiled at her in the mirror.
“Do you think he’ll like it?” Her dark brown eyes appeared very serious, her question of the utmost importance.
“I think he’ll love it. And with that red dress, you are totally going to bowl him over,” she reassured her.
“Both Emily and Kaitlyn told me they want to dance with him. They think he’s really cute.”
Smirking to herself, Mia parted another section of Portia’s hair, gathering it up to straighten. “They want to dance with him, huh? Wow, that’s pretty, umm,” she searched for the right word, knowing the one she really wanted to use was not appropriate, “bold. That’s pretty bold. How do you feel about that?”
“I don’t know if I want to share him with them. It’s Valentine’s Day and he is my valentine.” Meeting her mother’s eyes in the mirror, there was no doubt how serious this was to Portia, as witnessed by her territoriality. “And I don’t want to dance with their dates,” she added emphatically.
“Well, it is your Valentine’s dance, sweetie, and you don’t have to share your date with anyone, if you don’t want to. I’m sure he’d be much happier just dancing with you all night.” And probably a whole lot more comfortable, too, she couldn’t help but think.
“Then I’m not being selfish because I don’t want to share him?” The little girl’s expression was dead serious.
“Not selfish at all.” Although wanting to laugh because the questions were so adorable, Mia understood how real Portia’s stress was about her friends wanting to dance with her date.
Although Po seemed pleased with her mother’s response, the continued troubled look in her eyes revealed so much more, and Mia sensed they were just about to get to the heart of the matter.
“I’m kind of afraid they won’t want to be my friends anymore if I don’t let them dance with him.”
And there it was, the real issue at hand.
Mia could see her daughter’s angst and understood the little girl’s fear. Upsetting her friends might result in being ostracized from the group, cast aside, in a way only little girls can do to one another.
While Portia’s sunny disposition and quick wit had helped stave off some of the burden of being different, of being the adopted African child of American parents, it was in moments like this, that Mia could see her little one was already learning to master a balancing act. Her heart hurt knowing that these issues had already cropped up in her daughter’s young life.
Being a little girl was rarely all sugar and spice.
“If they are going to be that way, Po, then they are not true friends.”
“But Mommy, they are the coolest girls I know.”
“Sometimes cool doesn’t mean they are either a nice person or a good friend.” Taking a deep breath before speaking, Mia thought carefully about the next words of advice she imparted. “Never feel that you have to do something you don’t want to do, or something that doesn’t feel right to you, just to gain or keep someone’s friendship. I can assure you this, Po, that person is not worthy of having a friend as wonderful as you.”
They sat quietly for a moment and Mia hoped her words were not only of comfort to her young daughter now, but that they remained something she carried with her over the course of her life. All she could do, as a parent, was repeat the advice to not worry about fitting in, but rather to embrace expanding out, until Portia found out who she was, and what made her happy.
“I know he’s going to be the most handsome date there.” Portia was back to thinking about the Valentine’s dance and showing off her date to all her friends.
“No doubt about that,” concurred Mia. No doubt about that at all. “Okay, we are done here. Now let’s get your dress on.”
Helping her daughter into the red satin popover dress, Mia felt her eyes mist. Her little girl was growing up too fast. The toddler she had brought back from Zambia was now worrying about acceptance and peer pressure, and as much as Mia wanted to shield her, and keep her world stress-free, she knew that those days were rapidly retreating and would soon be forever lost. Tonight was a moment to hold onto.
Opening the shoe box, Mia pulled out the red sparkly ballet flats, handing them to her daughter.
“I love these,” Po responded enthusiastically, slipping on her new blingy shoes. “I just love these.”
“They match your nails perfectly.” Mia had taken her daughter for a manicure earlier in the day, sharing some perfect Mommy/Daughter girl-time.
Holding out her hands and examining her iridescent red nails, she exclaimed, “They do!” as if making a significant discovery. “They totally match.”
Startled by a knock on the door, Mia asked “Are you ready? Shall I get the door?”
With a nod and a squaring of her shoulders, Portia gave her mother the okay.
“Here we go.” Incapable of containing her smile, Mia slowly opened the door, making a show of it and relishing the moment.
His sharp intake of breath was immediately audible the moment his gaze fell on Portia. When he remained silent, Mia could see by the smile in his eyes that he was just too overwhelmed for words as he walked slowly toward the little girl. In his hands, he held a small box containing a wristlet of miniature crimson rose buds and baby’s breath.
“You look beautiful, sweetheart,” his voice was thick with emotion when he finally spoke.
Dipping her shoulder, Portia gazed up at him through her long, dark lashes, a motion and a look she had shared with him, and only him, from the very first moment they met. “Thank you, Daddy. You look really handsome, too, and the best part is, your tie matches my dress.”
Yes, it does, thought Mia, who had shopped a half dozen men’s departments with their daughter’s dress in tow to ensure his tie was the perfect color match.
“This is for you.” As he opened the box, Portia simultaneously gasped and outstretched her arm, ready for him to slide on the corsage. “That looks perfect.” He straightened it on her wrist. “You look absolutely amazing.” Schooner leaned down to kiss his daughter’s cheek.
“Thank you, Daddy.” She beamed for a moment, soaking in the compliment, before excitedly running from the room, calling over her shoulder, “I’m going to get my coat. Hurry up.”
Turning to Schooner, Mia took a moment to enjoy just taking in the image of her husband all dressed up. No one rocked a suit like this man. No one.
He just gets better and better.
She wondered, how this man, after nearly three decades, could still spark that take-your-breath-away reaction in her? Standing there in his dark gray suit, white shirt, and crimson tie, Mia knew exactly why Po couldn’t wait to show him off to her friends. Even these little girls knew a handsome man when they saw one.
Gathering her into his arms, Schooner smiled down at his wife. “You’re okay with me dating another woman on Valentine’s Day?”
“No, biggie. I have a date myself tonight with a really handsome guy.”
“Oh yeah. Where is he taking you?”
“Shake Shack.” Mia couldn’t repress her grin.
“Classy. A Danny Meyer’s joint for Valentine’s Day.” Schooner, too, was unable to hide his smile. “So, are you up for two dates in one night?”
“Oh, are you asking me out?”
“Hmm, a late-night date? That sounds like a booty call to me.” Mia’s grin was infectious.
“Well, yeah.” Pulling her in tighter, he revealed, “With a few surprises thrown in.”
“Mmm, surprises? What kind of surprises?” Her grin was growing devilishly wider.
“Check the shower.” His smile had now turned dangerous.
“Mango Butter?” Her eyes widened, as memories flooded in, again taking her breath away.
Shaking his head, Schooner lowered his lips to Mia’s ear, letting them graze her lobe softly. “Mangos are out of season,” he whispered.
“Pretty Boy, mangos are never out of season in this house.”
“You’re killing me, Baby Girl.” He gave her ear a not-so-soft nip and laughed.
“I’m killing you?” She moaned softly.
In the great room, an impatient Portia stood waiting, her dress coat on, while her brother, Nathaniel, lie curled up on the couch, eyes transfixed on the television, and oblivious to everyone else in the room.
Leaning over the couch, Schooner quietly palmed his son two twenty-dollar bills. “Natie, put that in your pocket and treat your mom to dinner, okay?”
Looking at the money in his hand, the little boy’s eyes grew wide. “Oh boy, I’m getting cheese on my fries and the biggest shake in the whole wide world.”
Ruffling his hair, Schooner straightened up and pointed a finger at Mia, as he crossed the room to her. “You and I have a date later.”
“Promises, promises,” she kidded back.
“You have no idea.” And leaning down to kiss her, he whispered, “Be ready for me.”
And there it was again. That smile, that dangerous smile that melted her.
Extending an arm to his young daughter, he asked, “Are you ready to go?”
Reaching up with a gloved hand, she took his arm, smiling confidently at her handsome father. “Daddy, you know I was born ready to go. Let’s do this!”
“You are such a Moore.” He looked at her proudly.
Turning back to smile at his wife, Schooner shook his head, still laughing at his precocious little girl’s comment.
“Later, Baby Girl,” he mouthed to Mia as he entered the loft’s elevator. His look was incendiary, filled with promises she knew he would keep.
Wondering what surprise Schooner had left for her, Mia headed toward the master bedroom, but stopped herself halfway down the long hall, realizing that waiting until he was home, and the kids were asleep, and discovering it together would be the greatest part of the gift.
“Go get your coat, Natie.” Mia swatted his bottom playfully, getting him to move off the couch. “We have a date to go on. And I need a double cheeseburger with bacon.”
Double cheeseburger, she laughed to herself. I’m definitely going to need all the energy I can muster for later on tonight and whatever that man has in store for me.
If there was one thing Mia knew about her husband, Schooner Moore never offered empty promises.
Characters from Banking the Billionaire:
(Also, Dear Cassie’s tits. I don’t want you guys to feel left out.)
You are the most beautiful, first thing in the morning—right before you wake up. After that you start to give me hell. But, even then, you’re still hot enough to make me want to fluffing fluff you all the time.
I’d do it every second of the day if you didn’t talk me into doing it without a condom, or pill, or protection of any kind, and making me end up with more and more kids.
I mean, our kids are cool and shit, but they interrupt the fluffing.
Now, get ready, here is the part of this note where I go all swoony like Kline…
Happy Valentine’s Day, honey.
You are my world, my best friend, my favorite brand of crazy.
And because I love you more than you could ever imagine, I’ve arranged for my dick to send you flowers, just for old times sake.
Now, come upstairs and fluff me?
All my love,
(And lots of boob squeezes)
Your man, Thatch
Characters from Pucked
MILF in Training
After I pee on the stick and discover that Alex’s super sperm have succeeded in impregnating me with what I’m expecting will be his superior athletic offspring, I spend the afternoon doing pretty much anything except work. I’d feel baddish, but I’m on salary and what I don’t finish here I’ll take care of at home.
Instead of managing my accounts I look up creative ways to tell Alex he’s going to be a dad. I find the perfect set of couples shirts and order them express so I have them for when he arrives home tomorrow afternoon. I follow that up by ordering several throw pillows, a cake with a special inscription and a personalized bottle of sparkling white grape juice.
At the end of the workday, in which I’ve completed little to no actual work, I head home with the intention of decorating the house for his arrival. I should have loads of time to accomplish this since his flight doesn’t land until early afternoon tomorrow.
Except I’m super tired after a long day of being excited and a little terrified that a human life is growing inside my body. So instead of decorating, Charlene and I order takeout and look at cute baby stuff online until I pass out on her shoulder. She’s kind enough to wake me up and forces me to go upstairs to my bed so I don’t wake up with a crick in my neck. Charlene is a great bestie. If I have a girl, I hope she has a bestie who’s as awesome as Char.
I sleep until noon the next day. I would’ve slept longer but the doorbell keeps ringing. I grab the sleeve of soda crackers from the nightstand—apparently it helps with morning sickness, which I don’t have yet, but is supposed to hit around the eight week mark—and get my ass out of bed so I can answer it.
It isn’t until I open the door that I remember I have a whole bunch of stuff arriving today and it appears as though I’ve slept through several deliveries based on the number of boxes at my front door. The current delivery is the cake.
The delivery guy has a hard time making eye contact, which is my fault since I’m wearing a t-shirt with no bra that says HANDS GO HERE over my chest. I sign for the cake, send delivery guy on his way and carry the box carefully into the kitchen. I cry when I open it, because it’s absolutely perfect. Also, I’m pregnant and everything makes me cry.
Aside from the text that reads “Super Sperm Gets the Job Done” it’s also decorated with a sperm wearing a cape. He’s swimming toward an egg with her arms outstretched and heart eyes. I’m aware eggs don’t have arms or eyes, but for the sake of the cake they do.
Once I get myself together I bring in all the other items from the front porch. Then I sit down and drink half a gallon of orange juice because I’m thirsty and eat most of a sleeve of soda crackers because they taste okay and I’m too lazy to make anything else. While I eat I open the rest of the boxes. The fake champagne label is inscribed with: “Congratulations Alex! You knocked me up!”
Once I’m done with breakfast I bring the throw pillows upstairs and arrange them on our bed, which really means I toss them in with the other seventy-five million pillows I’ve purchased since we got married. The new ones say We Made a Baby Here and MOMMA to be and DADDY to be.
It’s already one in the afternoon and Alex will be home soon, so I get in the shower, clean all the sleep off my body and prepare it for Alex’s arrival. If I’d had time I would’ve gotten my beaver bedazzled, but my new underpants will have to do. I did manage to get my nails done, though. They’re yellow with little tiny diapers and bottles drawn on them.
By the time I’m done in the shower I’m already wishing I could lie down and take a nap. I guess the whole pregnancy thing explains why I’m so tired all the time and why I’ve been falling asleep at eight o’clock every night.
I pull on a pair of leggings that Alex thinks are particularly flattering on my butt. Then I carefully wrangle my sensitive boobs into my new bra, I’m up another cup size, which sucks because now I’m at the point where I’ll have to get them all custom made and I’ve been told they’ll only get bigger as pregnancy goes on.
I pull the shirt over my head and frown at how tight it is across my chest. Also, there’s an insane amount of cleavage since it’s a V-neck. Hmm. I guess I should’ve gone up a size. Oh well, it’ll serve its purpose and I assume it won’t stay on long since Alex will likely want to celebrate his knocking me up with sexy times.
The sound of the alarm beeping downstairs signals that Alex is home. I cup my boobs and look at my reflection in the mirror. “Look alive, girls, we’re about to drop the baby bomb!” I do a shimmy shake, then cringe, because that hurts.
I rush downstairs—carefully though, because I’m not known for my coordination and the last thing I need is to fall. I grab my purse from the bottom of the stairs and root around until I find the pregnancy test, which I quickly stick a bow on and set on top of the cake box in the kitchen.
I take a deep breath and head down the hall with the goal of intercepting Alex. The door connected to the garage swings open and Alex steps into the front foyer. He drops his bag and scoops me up in his arms, lifting me off the floor and crushing me to his chest. “God, it’s so good to be home.”
He nuzzles into my neck, lips moving along my jaw to my mouth. I don’t even get a chance to tell him I missed him before his tongue is in my mouth and he’s wrapping my legs around his waist. I indulge in the mouth fucking, because Alex is a fantastic kisser. He kneads my ass as he carries me across the foyer. I realize he’s headed for the stairs, which will totally mess up my plan so I cup his cheeks and disengage our mouths long enough to say, rather breathlessly, “Kitchen.”
Alex smirks. “Feel like a little counter fucking, eh, baby? Does that mean you bedazzled your beaver for me again? Wait. Don’t tell me. I want it to be a surprise.” Annnndddd . . . we’re back to the mouth fucking.
Alex is so focused on making out that he doesn’t notice the elaborate set up as he drops me on the counter. He yanks his shirt over his head and tosses it on the floor. Then he cups my boobs, covering the majority of the lettering decorating them and lowers his head. “Fuck, I missed you,” his voice is muffled by my cleavage.
“Alex.” It’s part moan, part protest. My nipples are super sensitive these days.
“Is it just me or are your boobs bigger?” He backs up a little and gives them a gentle squeeze. “Is this a new bra? What does your shirt say?”
“You’ll have to let go of my boobs so you can read it.” I grab hold of his wrists and encourage him to release them. He’s understandably reluctant.
He reads the words stamped across my chest, brow pulling together as his lips turn down. “MILF in Training?” He drags his eyes away from my chest and arches a brow.
Usually my husband is smart, but it’s obvious his hormones are in control right now and the head below the belt is doing all the thinking for him. I reach behind me, which happens to make my chest jut out, and feel around for the pregnancy test. I hold it up in front of his face and say, “Tada!”
“What do I need a pen for right now?”
I check to make sure that’s not what I’m holding. “It’s not a pen, Alex.” I shove it between my boobs since that’s where he’s looking.
He plucks it aggressively from my cleavage, slightly annoyed, and pries the bow off. It takes about two and a half seconds before he reacts. His eyes go wide and his mouth drops open when it finally registers that he’s holding a pregnancy test. With a blue plus sign. He brings it closer to his face, inspecting the little box where those lines intersect each other.
“Baby?” His gaze flips up to mine and then back down to the pregnancy test, then to my boobs and back to my face. “Vi? Does this mean what I think it means?”
“If you think it means that your super sperm have managed to swim the mighty beaver channel and you managed to knock me up, then the answer is yes.” I really wish I had my phone on me, because his expression is priceless and getting a video of this moment would’ve been epic. Too bad I’m already suffering from baby brain and all my best ideas happen when it’s too late to do anything about it.
“According to that test I am.”
“This isn’t a joke, right? This isn’t like one of Sunny’s old tests and you’re just doing this to get me all excited?”
I make a face. “Uh, no Alex, I’m not touching something your sister has peed on.”
“How accurate are these?” He waves the pee stick around in the air.
“A hundred percent.”
“So you’re really pregnant?” He blinks four thousand times in a row, like he’s halfway between crying and freaking out with excitement.
“I’m really pregnant.” I watch his expression shift as the news finally, truly sets in.
Alex’s grin lights up the entire world. Man my husband is pretty. “We’re having a baby!”
I return his smile. “How do you feel about that, Alex?”
“I feel fuckin’ awesome! This is better than winning The Cup!” He fist pumps and follows it with, “Fuck yeah!”
He places a palm over my still mostly flat belly, eyes alight with excitement usually reserved for my bare boobs. “I’m gonna be a dad!”
“You are, and you’re going to be amazing.”
And I know without a doubt that’s true, because he puts a hundred and ten percent into everything he loves.