Synopsis: Serena Bell makes her Loveswept debut with the captivating story of a woman living on the edge—and the man who’s destined to love her.
Ana Travares has been looking over her shoulder her whole life. Her U.S. visa expired when she was a young girl, and if her secret is discovered, she’ll be forced to return to the Dominican Republic. Ana allowed herself to get close to someone once before—and after he broke her heart, she swore never to make the same mistake again. But when a handsome doctor asks for her assistance, she fantasizes about breaking all her rules.
Even though pediatrician Ethan Hansen is a natural when it comes to little kids, as the single father of a teenage son he just can’t seem to get it right . . . except for the Spanish tutor he’s hired for his son, Theo. Ana has managed to crack Theo’s shell—and he isn’t the only one taken with her. The sexy tutor has fired up Ethan with a potent mix of lust and protectiveness. But as he starts to envision a future with Ana, Ethan is devastated to learn the truth about her citizenship. Somehow he’s got to find a way to help her—and hold on to the woman he’s falling hopelessly in love with.
Meet the Author: Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better.
Serena wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since--a skill that's particularly useful now that she's the mother of two school-aged children.
For a while, Serena took a break from penning love stories to explore the world as a journalist, where she spent time shadowing and writing about a cast of fascinating real-life characters.
When she's not writing or getting her butt kicked at Scrabble by a six-year-old, she's practicing modern dance improv in the kitchen, swimming laps, talking a long walk, or reading on one of her large collection of electronic devices.
Serena is a member of RWA National and the Seattle and Boston chapters, and blogs regularly about writing and reading romance at www.serenabell.com and www.wonkomance.com. She also tweets like a madwoman as @serenabellbooks.
Serena's debut novella, Ticket Home, releases from Samhain Publishing in April 2013 as part of Strangers on a Train, a series of stories about railroad encounters of the very hot kind.
SBN: Happy Thanksgiving, Serena! I am so happy to have you blog by!
Jill, thank you so much for having me here today! It’s a pleasure to visit Seaside Book Nook as part of my Yours to Keep Thanksgiving tour.
SBN: Did you plan on having Yours to Keep a holiday book?
I didn’t set out to make Yours to Keep a holiday book. It’s the story of an undocumented immigrant, Ana Travares, who has avoided intimacy for years out of fear that no man will be able to handle her truth—until she meets Ethan Hansen (Dr. Handsome!), the one man who can. But spending time with Ana and Ethan led me naturally to writing about Thanksgiving, and finally, to Christmas.
I think it’s because their own stories are so intertwined with their families’ stories, and the holidays reveal so much those relationships. Ana comes from a big, expressive Dominican family, while Ethan comes from a much more reserved upbringing. Ethan is raising his son Theo alone, after his wife’s death many years ago, something Theo has never complained about until he gets a chance to spend time at a friend’s house on Thanksgiving:
“Leah has a big family. Lots of cousins.”
That made Ethan’s chest ache. “I would have liked us to be a bigger family. Your mom and I wanted more kids. She had a couple of miscarriages, though, and then she was too sick to risk getting pregnant again.”
“You could still get married and have more kids.”
“It’s kind of late for that. You’re almost all grown up.”
“I bet Ana wants kids.” Theo stood up and took a few steps away from his father, facing into the far corner of the room so that Ethan couldn’t see his face.
Ethan’s throat tightened.
SBM: My mom opened her house to all our family and friends for Thanksgiving. There were at a minimum 25 people each Thanksgiving. It was my favorite time and we all had so much fun! What are/were your Thanksgivings like?
I grew up with medium-sized Thanksgivings that ranged from around nine people to as many as eighteen. But my closest friend was an only child, and she was always sad that she didn’t have more people around her at the holidays. My empathy for her was the inspiration for Theo’s experience.
Yours to Keep is at bottom a book about how love is rewarded with more love and how there’s always hope you’ll get what you want and what you need. And I promise you that by Christmas, Theo has nothing to complain about in the not-enough-people department.
SBN: Thanks again Serena and Happy Holidays!
Please join the conversation below by telling us about how big or small your holiday celebrations are, and whether you prefer them that way or crave a bigger (or more intimate) version. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to have a chance at winning books and/or a gift card!
Praise for Yours to Keep:
“Yours to Keep is a timely, richly written emotional romance with complex characters readers will fall in love with.”—New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross
“Serena Bell delivers a fully adult romance with authentic characters, genuine stakes, and the kind of sweet, hot yearning that turns pages and stops your breath.”—Mary Ann Rivers, author of Live
“I love this book on so many levels.”—Fab Fantasy Fiction
Tour Stops: Make sure you check out the other blogs on the Yours to Keep Tour!