Fortuity, an all-new inspirational and moving standalone contemporary romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jewel E. Ann, is available now!
He’s not supposed to take root in my mind.
His touch isn’t allowed to linger on my skin.
Yet, here he is … making a mark that I fear will be difficult, if not impossible, to erase.
If you’re like me and have read the Transcend duet you probably fell in love with Professor Nathaniel Hunt and were just itching to see him find his own happiness. Well, Jewel E. Ann listened to her readers and graciously gave us the gift of Nate’s story and it was perfection! I couldn’t have asked for a better story for him, I loved everything about it. The story takes place several years after the Transcend duet, Nate and his daughter Morgan have been traveling the world for the past 8 years fulfilling the promise he made to his deceased wife to show their daughter the world. Now they’re on the final stretch of their journey – a few months at a beach house in San Diego – before returning to Wisconsin and resuming a “normal” life. Never in a million years did Nate expect the impact his new neighbor, Gracelyn Glock, would have on his life. They’re both navigating unfamiliar scenarios and were not looking for a relationship but it seems fate had other plans for them. But can their new relationship last, given their reality that she’s staying and he’s leaving at the end of the summer?
This was such a beautiful journey for both characters. In the blink of an eye, Gracelyn’s life was forever changed when she assumed responsibility for her young nephew, Gabe. I loved the friendship between Gabe and Nate’s daughter, Morgan. She was a spitfire and not your average 10-year-old. As a reader having “known” her from when she was a baby (in Transcend), it was great seeing the little lady she’s grown up to be. While Gracelyn was figuring out how to be a parent to a little boy who suddenly lost both of his parents, Nate was also trying to navigate raising a daughter who hasn’t had a conventional upbringing and who’s now trying to fit in with other kids her age while also trying to assert more of her independence. I loved how Gracelyn and Nate made it sort of a team effort when it came to figuring out how to do best by the kids.
Then there was the incredible relationship that blossomed between Gracelyn and Nate. I loved how awkward their first few meetings were. Gracelyn was a bit of a hot mess but she’ll have you laughing out loud at the predicaments she finds herself in. She hasn’t had the best luck when it came to love so she instituted a man-ban. Of course, that quickly went out the window the first time Nate stole a kiss. Nate’s love life has also been pretty non-existent since his wife died but there’s something about Gracelyn that makes him want to try again. I loved how playful and easy things became between them but all the while there’s this looming expiration date on their time together that makes things bittersweet. I will say, when the time came, I was nearly sobbing and just as I was pulling myself together there was another scene that was so beautiful that it made me cry all over again. I wasn’t sure how things would all play out after that but I was so pleased with the turn of events and how things ended, it was the perfect ending to such a wonderful story. I highly recommend reading the Transcend duet, because it’s amazing, and then jump right into this one – you’ll be glad you did! Professor Nathaniel Hunt does not disappoint!
Forty-something Gracelyn Glock is living the dream.
No retirement plan.
And since her self-imposed man-ban—no need to shave above her knees.
After a tragic accident, Gracelyn inherits her ten-year-old nephew. She signs a lease on a San Diego beach house and learns their neighbors for the summer are a sexy anatomy professor and his young daughter.
Professor Nathaniel Hunt has spent the last decade being a single dad . . . and not having sex.
So when he discovers Gracelyn has a peculiar outdoor stripping ritual, a million inappropriate thoughts fill his responsible mind.
When kisses are stolen, man-bans are broken, and summer comes to an end, will hearts stay in one piece and hope stay alive? Or will saying goodbye destroy everything?
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“What took you two so long? Don’t worry, we saved you some cake.” Mr. Hans smiles from his recliner with Hunter on the sofa, her thumbs dancing along her phone screen. Gabe will get along well with her.
My steps falter when I hear Nate’s voice from the kitchen.
Mr. Hans winks at me. “I invited Nate for cake too.”
I nod slowly. “I see. Whose birthday is it?”
“Life is a celebration. Cake needs no excuse.”
So much for having some time to digest what Nate said to me and my flirty reaction to his kiss comment. I put on a neutral face and drag my timid ass into the kitchen.
“Cake, Gracelyn?” Nate glances up from the counter, a knife in one hand and a plate in his other hand.
“Mmm … yes, Gracelyn. You want cake.” Morgan rolls her eyes back in her head as she slowly chews a bite, standing next to Nate.
How am I supposed to look at him when I saw him barely an hour ago and he said he wanted to kiss me, and I returned the desire without the actual kiss? I guess we’re going to be two people who want to kiss but know that it will never happen.
“Thank you.” I take the cake, giving Nate a two-second glance. It’s all I can give him without completely self-combusting into a pile of ashes.
“Mr. Hans … this is so good.” Morgan traipses out of the kitchen.
“It is good. I haven’t had cake in a long time.” I slowly lick the frosting from the fork.
Nate glances at the floor, eyes narrowed, and hunches down. After a few seconds, I move around to his side of the island.
“Did you drop something?”
Hunched like a baseball catcher, gaze still to the floor, he crooks a finger at me.
I set my plate on the counter. “Did you lose a contact lens?” I squat next to him behind the counter.
He lifts his gaze to meet my squinted eyes. The corner of his mouth bends just as his hand slides behind my head and his lips press to mine.
What the hell?
My lungs freeze while my heart pauses and my mind explodes. There’s no tongue to this kiss, just hungry lips. It knocks me off balance, and I fall to my knees, resting my hands on his shoulders.
Nate pulls back half an inch, letting his lips hover next to mine, the warmth of his breath covering my stunned mouth. “I’m not even sorry.” He shrugs.
My mouth opens as if it wants to speak, but I have no idea what to say.
Nate bolts up, leaving me on my knees. “Yes?”
“Can Hunter use—” Morgan’s eyes narrow at me, my head barely peeking over the counter. “Gracelyn, what are you doing?”
“I’m …” I give her a tight smile.
Nate says, “Picking up a few crumbs.”
At the same time, I say, “Tying your dad’s shoe.”
His explanation is much better.
Morgan laughs. “Um … okay. You’re both acting weird.”
I climb to my feet.
“Can Hunter use what?” Nate asks.
“Your bike so we can go for a bike ride.”
“Are you going to stay around here?”
Morgan nods. “Pinky swear. We won’t go too far.”
“I’ll need to put the seat down for her.”
“Yes! Thanks, Dad. I’ll go tell her.” Morgan runs out of the kitchen.
Nate covers the cake with plastic wrap and nods to my plate with the half-eaten piece of cake. “Are you going to finish that?”
Cake. He wants to talk about the cake?
My head inches side to side.
“Too good to let it go to waste.” He picks up the plate and finishes my cake.
YOU KISSED ME!
“By the way …” His gaze remains on the plate as he scoops up the last bite. “Morgan knows I know how to tie my own shoes.”
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.
With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.
After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.
When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.
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