As a reader of romance, I love turning points. Don't you
just live for that moment when these two individuals leave their separate
selves behind and become one? Sometimes, one of them realizes the significance
of this new relationship before the other. That's what happens in my book, Love at First Flight
My characters, Michael Maguire and Juliana Gregorio, meet
at the Baltimore airport on a Friday evening when they are on their way to
visit their significant others in Florida. After they each endure a disastrous
weekend, they meet up again on the flight home, striking up an unlikely
friendship that leads to love. One of the things I love best about this book is
the way Michael and Juliana are friends first and lovers second. Their love
blossoms slowly and sweetly as they support each other through difficult breakups
and challenging work and family situations.
I thought I'd share an excerpt from one of Michael and
Juliana's turning points, when he puts his heart on the line to tell her how
he's feeling . . .
Michael kept an arm around her as
they went outside. Once they were in the car, he turned to her. "I'm not
looking for a rebound, Juliana. That's not what this is."
"Then what is it?" she asked
He ran a finger over her cheek to
brush away a lone tear. "It's not
"I don't want it, Michael. Whatever
it is. I love Jeremy."
"I know you do, but you see, the
thing is, I'm falling for you, Juliana."
" she asked, flabbergasted. She pushed his hand away from her
face. "You can't mean that!"
He kept his eyes locked on hers.
"In the five days I've known you, you've given me more, been there for me more,
done more for me than Paige did in four years. I knew I would care for you from
almost the first moment I saw you. When I found you crying in the airport on
Sunday, all I wanted to do was scoop you up and take you home with me."
New tears wet Juliana's cheeks.
"You don't know what you're saying."
He took her hand. "On Friday night
I tried to get Paige to marry me right away. Do you know why?"
Juliana shook her head.
"Because I was terrified after I met
you. I already knew everything was about to change, and I guess a part of me
thought I should try to stop it. But I was powerless to stop it. In those first
moments with you, I knew I wouldn't marry her."
"Michael," she sobbed. "Stop. Stop
saying these things."
"Juliana, any man who would let you
think, for even one minute
, that you
aren't enough for him doesn't deserve you."
"Please," she whimpered. "Please
With a hand to her chin, he turned
her to him. "I knew I was falling for you when you jumped right in with
Rachelle on Sunday night and did her hair. I knew it when I found you dancing
in the kitchen when you were making me dinner. I knew it because my heart
almost stopped when you told me someone hassled you on the street. I knew it
when I heard you talking to Rachelle about what she saw, and you said all the
right things--all the things she needed to hear." He ran his thumb along her
jaw. "And when I felt your fingers in my hair I knew I wanted them there
always. Don't tell me I don't know what I'm saying."
He leaned over to kiss her gently,
without demand, and for one breathless moment, she let him. Then she pulled
away. "Michael. My head is spinning. Please don't."
"I'm sorry. I know this isn't a
good time for you to be hearing this, but I couldn't let you think this was
about rebounds. I'm not going to pressure you or push you, so you don't have to
worry about that. I'm going to be so wrapped up in this trial for the next
month or two I won't have time for anything else. I just wanted you to know."
"I can't stay with you anymore. Not
"Why? I just said I'm not going to
do anything about it."
"Because everything's going to be
weird between us."
He took her hand again. "It won't
be weird because you'll hardly see me. I don't want you to go."
"I don't know... I'll only stay if
you promise not to mention any of this again. I can't deal with it on top of
"I promise I won't say another word
about it until you do."
She pulled her hand out of his
grasp. "That's not going to happen."
"We'll see," he said, starting the
car to drive them home. "We'll just see about that."