When Valentines Collide (Kimani Romance)

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9780373860050: When Valentines Collide (Kimani Romance)

Second chance for romance

When it came to revitalizing relationships, Dr. Chante Valentine and Dr. Michael Valentine knew all the right moves -- except when it came to mending their own volatile vows. Since divorce would jeopardize their respective careers, the love gurus reluctantly agreed to a two-week "sex-therapy" retreat.

Getting more from the seminar than they bargained for, Chante suddenly found herself appreciating her husband's strong, lean physique for the first time in years, and Michael couldn't deny his more than platonic interest in sexy Chante. But when a devastating secret is revealed, will the love doctors lose their second chance at love . . . or add a new little Valentine to their family?

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"He's an egotistical, self-righteous son of a bitch," Chante Valentine spat, storming through her best friend and publishing editor, Edie Hathaway's front door. "The man thinks he's God's gift to psychology."

"Please, come in," Edie mumbled in the wake of her trail, sighed, and then closed the door. Shaking her head and tightening her belt around her curvy, plus-size figure, she followed her friend back into the dining room.

"I can't do this any longer," Chante announced as she marched straight toward the bar.

"It's eight in the morning."

"What can I say? I like vodka with my eggs." Edie patiently watched her bestselling author splash out a glass of her expensive liquor. "You could add a dash of orange juice so I'd feel better about you getting something nutritional out of that drink."

Chante smirked, but complied. "I want a divorce."

"Absolutely not." Edie crossed her arms. "It would ruin both of your careers."

Chante downed a deep gulp and then came up for air. "I don't care."

"Sure you do." Edie shuffled over to the table where her breakfast grew cold. "Besides, you still love him…or you would've left him a long time ago."

"Ha! I've been trying to leave Matthew for the last two years, but it's always wait until after contract negotiations, wait until after you write your book, wait until after the book is published."

Now the blasted thing has been number one on the New York Times bestseller list for ten weeks running and you're still telling me to wait."

"You should wait." Edie shook her head as she slathered butter onto a biscuit. "How would it look if America's two top relationship gurus divorced each other? Don't you think we would have a credibility issue here?"

"Oh, give me a break." Chante downed a second gulp. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you, Seth and Matthew have all teamed up to drive me nuts."

"All right." Edie lowered her biscuit without taking a bite. "I know I'm going to regret asking, but what did Matthew do this time?"

One of Chante's brows rose quizzically. "I take it you didn't watch Letterman last night?"

"Tivo. I'd planned to watch it this morning," Edie said, sounding concerned. "Why? What happened?"

Chante's eyes narrowed as she simmered. "Letterman snidely pointed out the differences in our approaches in relationship counseling and then asked how people should choose whose advice to follow."

Edie leaned back in her chair and brushed back her thick straw curls from her face. "And…what did he say?"

"That people should follow the advice from the one who graduated from a real school."

Edie's mouth rounded silently. "You should have seen him sitting there as proud as a peacock, cramming his overpriced education down everyone's throat." Chante sloshed her drink down onto the breakfast bar and flailed her hands in the air. "Oh, look at me. I'm a Princeton graduate while my wife."

"Graduated from Kissessme College in Karankawa, Texas," Edie finished.

"Which is a damn good school," Chante snapped. "I busted my butt with two waitressing jobs to get my degree. I didn't have a rich daddy to write me a blank check."

Edie frowned. "I know you two are going through a rough patch."

"This is more than a rough patch."

"But sometimes I wonder how the hell you two got together in the first place."

"Oh, that's easy." Chante strode to the table and pulled out a chair. "Ten years ago, Matthew Valentine was handsome."

"He still is."

"Charming."

"Check."

"Successful."

"Double-check." Chante's lips curled wickedly. "And great in bed."

Edie's eyebrows rose with surprise and interest. "Oh?"

"Now he seems to think all he has to do is get his groove on and wait for a baby.A baby. That's all he ever talks about.After nine miscarriages you'd think he would give it a rest." Chante drew a deep breath.

"So I take it you haven't told him you're"?"

"How can I?" She sloshed down another gulp, exhaled, and then finally slumped her shoulders in defeat. "Nine miscarriages. Five years. I should have started trying to have a family earlier."

"Come on. You wanted a career first. That's understandable."

"Yeah, but now I'm pushing forty and my body attacks every fertilized egg like I've caught a disease or something." She shook her head. "I can't help but wonder if I'd tried sooner I'd already have our baby as opposed to being on this wild race against my biological clock"a race Matthew is determined to win." Chante shook her head during another sigh.

"I just need a break"physically and emotionally."

"Is that why you kicked him out of your bedroom?"

"How did you"?"

"Seth." Edie filled in the blanks. "He'll never admit it, but those two gossip more than we do. If I remember correctly it's been…what"five months?"

Chante took another gulp. "Something like that." Her friend shook her head as she folded her arms and leaned back in her chair. "You know you're playing with fire when you let too much testosterone pile up. Not to mention, you seem a little wound tight yourself."

"If I'm wound too tight it's because I'm frustrated that Matthew and I can fix everyone's marriage problems but our own."

"That's because it always boils down to the battle of the wills with you guys." Edie shrugged and then returned her attention to her breakfast.

"Both of you always have to be right."

Chante grew indignant. "That's not true…entirely."

Edie continued eating. "The problem is that two perfectionists should never marry each other."

"Or two stubborn people."

"Edie! You're supposed to be on my side."

"I'm on reality's side." Her friend finally cast her a long look. "It's not going to kill you to bend a little."

"If I bend any further you may as well remove my spine," Chante snipped.

"Better flexibility can only improve one's sex life." Edie winked. "I can testify to that."

"I just bet you can."

* * *

Once a month, Dr. Matthew Valentine and his agent, Seth Hathaway, met at the International House of Pancakes for their favorite selection of Rooty Tuitty Fresh and Fruity pancakes.

"It was a joke," Matthew laughed, and then leaned toward Seth. "It was Letterman, for Pete's sake."

Seth leaned his six-foot-five frame over the table and settled his serene ocean-blue eyes on him. "Let me guess, Chante didn't think it was funny?"

"Blew a damn gasket is more like it," Matthew rolled his eyes. "For punishment, I endured a fourhour rant about how I was undermining her authority and poking holes in her credibility"not the first time I heard that crap by the way." He stabbed his pancakes and twirled it absently in its strawberry syrup. "There's no pleasing her anymore."

Seth kept his face blank as he bridged his hands above his plate. "Far be it for me to give America's top relationship guru advice."

Matthew glanced up wearily. "But something tells me I'm not going to be able to stop you."

"Hey, I don't have a fancy degree, but twentyfive years of marriage"an interracial marriage at that"says I'm qualified."

Matthew flashed his million-dollar smile and forced a casual shrug. "All right. Shoot."

Seth waited until he'd captured Matthew's full attention. "Apologize."

Matthew waited for more, but concluded none was forthcoming when his agent returned his attention to his breakfast.

"That's it?"

"Yep." Seth shoveled food into his mouth. Matthew rolled his eyes. "Good thing I didn't call you for help during the writing of my last book."

Seth smiled and dabbed the corners of his mouth. "C'mon. It's not rocket science. A man is just fooling himself if he thinks he could ever win an argument with a woman. Everything is always our fault. I don't care what it is. So apologize and move on."

Review:

"Byrd proves again that she's a wonderful storyteller." -- Romantic Times BOOKclub on The Beautiful Ones

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