Marie Astor's This Tangled Thing Called Love is smart, clever, moving, and surprising at every turn. Funny and wise, this is a tale of looking for that perfect partner in the modern-day world.
This Tangled Thing Called Love is full of passion, excitement, despair, lies, painful choices, and glorious new beginnings that will make you smile as the characters realize that love always triumphs if you allow it to!
This Tangled Thing Called Love has all the components of the contemporary romance genre - thrilling characters, whirlwind romance, and intrigue - prepare to be swept off your feet!
From the Inside Flap
The music grew even louder once Claire had reached the next floor. Now it was a milonga waltz: a slow, sensual melody that made her shiver right down to her slippers. This music lover must be quite a connoisseur of tangos, Claire thought, about to ring the doorbell. She stopped halfway, remembering that in her fury she had forgotten to brush her teeth and comb her hair. Her hesitation was brief, as she decided that this grooming lapse was irrelevant at the moment. In fact, she thought that it might serve the purpose of her visit - her disheveled state should be enough of a deterrent to stop the culprit from further misconduct. She pressed the bell and waited.
Several minutes passed. The music continued, but nothing else happened. Frowning, Claire rang the doorbell again. Her lips drawn and her hands crisscrossed on her chest, she geared herself up for the speech she planned to deliver to the offender, but she was disappointed yet again as the door remained closed.
This time her finger nearly sank into the rickety doorbell as she kept the button pressed for almost a minute. Whoever was inside had to hear that, but apparently, she was mistaken again. Exasperated, Claire clenched her fingers into a fist and pounded on the door, but to her surprise the door creaked open under the impact. The blasting music seeping through the opening enveloped her, and under its spell, Claire made her way inside the apartment.
What she saw next defeated all of her expectations as she froze in place, mouth agape. The apartment consisted of one giant room. It must have been a one-bedroom at some point, but the dividing wall had been knocked down, leaving a vast loft. The room was empty save for a frumpy couch in the corner, a scant table and two chairs. Several large bags, presumably with clothes and other possessions, were planted on the floor sporadically.
But this disarray had nothing to do with Claire's paralyzed state as she stared at the back of the man who was too absorbed by his task to notice her presence. He was shirtless, and his muscles rippled as he moved with feline grace to the sound of the mesmerizing melody. His feet were engaged in complicated dance moves, but his hands were busy with a paint roller as he coated the wall in front of him in red paint. His longish hair touched the nape of his neck, and Claire found herself swallowing uneasily as she stared on, hypnotized.
The music lover - that was how she mentally called him - lowered his paint roller into the paint bin, and Claire caught his striking Roman profile. He was about to go on with his task, but he must have spotted her from the corner of his eye, because he abruptly turned around and stared right at her. Claire blinked and began rattling off the cause of her visit, at which the music lover signaled for her to stop and glided over to the iPod speakers on the table, which were the source of Claire's initial indignation. Gliding was the only word Claire could think to describe his graceful way of moving.
The music stopped, and Claire shivered uncomfortably, terrified by her current predicament. What had she been thinking, wandering into some stranger's apartment? He could have her arrested for trespassing, and that was the least alarming of the possibilities. Handsome or not, he could be a serial killer for all she knew, and now she was stuck there at his mercy.
"I'm Alec, Alec Brunell." The music lover smiled at her as he held her gaze with his dark brown eyes.
Claire made a mental effort to stop calling the man before her the music lover. His name was Alec, and she knew absolutely nothing about him except the fact that he was inconsiderate enough to blast tango music at eight in the morning on a Saturday, which was why she found herself in his apartment in the first place. That's right, her visit had a purpose, and now she would make it known.
"I'm Claire Chatfield. I live in the apartment below yours..."
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Claire. Thank you for coming over to welcome me to the building." Alec reached for her hand, and Claire felt his warm fingers encircle her palm. "Would you like some coffee, Claire? I was about to have mine..." He half-turned to the tiny kitchen.
"No!" Claire heard herself shouting.
"Well, if you don't like coffee, I have some orange juice..." Alec went on, clearly taken aback by her reaction.
Get yourself together, Claire thought as she folded her arms on her chest, pinching her forearm. "Actually, the reason I stopped by is the music."
"You love tango, huh?" Alec's gaze travelled along her bathrobe. "It is beautiful..."
"No, I don't love tango," Claire snapped. This Alec character sure had his act down pat. Granted, he was a looker, but in Claire's book that did not give him the right to be so blatant about it. Sure, there must be plenty of women hungering for his mouthwatering flesh, but she sure as hell was not one of them. She had a boyfriend, and she had come there for a reason.
"You don't like tango?" Alec stared at her in frank bewilderment.
"I don't like any music blasting through my ceiling at eight a.m. on a Saturday. The building rules say no noise until ten a.m." Claire glared at him. She was in control now.
"Oh, I'm so very sorry." To her surprise, Alec blushed. "I used to rent a loft in a warehouse, and I forgot how thin building walls can be." He grinned apologetically. "I promise you that it will not happen again. Now, may I offer you a cup of coffee as a peace offering?" He winked at her, catching her irate gaze.
"No, thank you. I think I'll head back to bed and try to catch up on some sleep." Claire turned to leave. "And by the way, you need to have a building permit to do any kind of handiwork," she blurted over her shoulder as she shut the door behind her.