Gelato Surprise by Sadira Stone — The Featured New Book Spotlight

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Let’s welcome Sadira Stone to West of Mars!

Sadira’s a new-to-me author, and I’m glad to meet her and host her here today. Let’s get right to business:
Sadira Stone, what song makes you think of your book?

Call me corny, but the song that comes to mind when thinking of my steamy older woman/younger man beach romance novella Gelato Surprise is “At Last” as sung by Etta James. This one’s popular at weddings, and for good reason.

Hubs and I are a late-in-life love story. Both divorced, we met while working at the same high school on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany—which makes him my high school sweetheart, I guess. 😊 At our wedding in 2014 my daughter, a gifted singer (proud mama much?), sang “At Last” for our first dance. Reader, there was not a dry eye in the house. I’m so grateful to have found my perfect partner, even if I had to wait 48 years to finally meet him.

Danielle Peters, the heroine of Gelato Surprise, goes through something similar. Forty-two and freshly divorced, Danielle is determined to keep her kids’ lives as normal as possible. But her ex spoils their annual beach vacation by whisking the kids away for a surprise Disney trip, leaving her stuck with a two-week rental. Her friends convince her to take the trip solo, time to think about her next chapter. Skeptical and glum, Danielle heads for the beach alone—until she meets Matteo, a gorgeous young Italian gelato vendor and furniture designer. She agrees to be his pretend date to the town’s Sons of Italy banquet in an effort to thwart the matchmaking nonna mafia, but their first kiss flares into something much hotter than make-believe.

Now she’s faced with an impossible situation: what she promised herself would be a no-strings vacation fling is quickly spinning into a deeper connection, but how can she reconcile that with her responsibilities to her kids?

Here’s a peek at Danielle’s dilemma.

Still holding her hands, Matteo drew her to a patch of shade beneath a cluster of anemic palm trees. He flashed an adorable, shy grin that crinkled the corners of his eyes. “Danielle, I really like you, but I don’t want you to feel like I’m pressuring you to do something you’re not ready for.”

I’m ready! Her id hollered and waved like an over-excited second grader.

He twined his fingers with hers and continued. “Unfortunately, Sal needs me this afternoon, and I’m driving him to Aberdeen tonight. How about tomorrow? We could do a picnic lunch on the beach. There’s a special spot I’d like to show you.” He dipped his head and nuzzled the sensitive crook of her neck. “Are you still up for it? Or have I scared you off with my grabby hands?”

The heat of his breath scrambled her brain. No doubt about it, he wanted her. And she wanted him so badly her teeth ached.

She sucked in a deep breath. “I’ll bet you get a lot of single women tourists throwing themselves at you.”

He shrugged. “A lot of women flirt. Doesn’t mean anything.” He rested his forehead against hers. “I collect drawer pulls, and doorknobs, and picture frames—not women.”

She pressed her lips together and dropped her gaze to their joined hands. This guy definitely earned an A-plus in handholding. Never had such a simple act felt so intimate, so sensual. The way his thumb traced arcs across her knuckles made her imagine what those hands could do on her bare body, stretched out on her king-size bed, the sea breeze lifting the curtains while his hands brushed over her breasts…

Her common sense made a last, futile stand. “Matteo, I’m old enough to be your—”

“No.” He squeezed her hand. “You’re not. Though you are old enough to be my sexy babysitter.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Every guy’s fantasy.”

I love a good May-December romance, and this one looks like sexy fun.

Ready for the description? Although after that intro, you may not. That was a GREAT answer.

She came to the beach to find herself—and found him.

Forty-two-year-old divorcée Danielle Peters ends up alone on her family’s annual beach vacation. Maybe time to herself is exactly what she needs. That and gelato from her favorite ice cream shop. But when the owner’s intoxicating young nephew offers more than sweet treats, she’s tempted to indulge in a hot summer fling before returning home.

Thirty-one-year-old Matteo Verducci craved a fresh start to mend his broken heart, and he’s found almost perfection in Ocean View, where he scoops gelato by day and crafts furniture by night. But when a sexy older woman stops to sample his wares—Mamma mia! He only has two weeks to convince her their passion is more than a delicious surprise.

Need a copy? I bet you do!
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And be sure to connect with Sadira Stone. It’s always fun to get to know the authors whose books you admire and appreciate.
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As always, if you’re a reader, remember that the best way to show appreciation for an author’s work — well, beyond buying copies to share with your friends — is to leave a review. If you’re stuck, struggling, or need help, drop me a line and I’m glad to do so. Remember: I am a former pro book reviewer! I know a few things about book reviews.

And if you’re an author or friends with an author, this spotlight is always open to you! The only requirement is that the book be new to my readers…

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