June is considered the premier bridal month. And I still remember ours. For us it was a snowy October day. My mother blamed me for snow, because I always said it’d be a cold day in hell if I got married. This year my husband and I celebrate thirty-seven years of marriage. That’s a long time, yet most days it seems like yesterday when we met, and fell in love. I’d definitely marry him again. He’s my one true love. Though we are opposites it has worked out well. I was the glam girl-disco, always dressed up. He was and still is the jeans’ guy. He had dress jeans, work jeans and just hanging around jeans. Even in our wedding album we have a picture of me in my bridal gown and him in his jeans wearing a navy tee shirt. The photographer added a blue clip on tie to his shirt. He set my left hand on top of my honey’s right hand, his arm extended. It reminded of me of the stance photographers used in the eighteen hundreds. To this day it’s one of my favorite pictures from our pre-bridal shots.
How do you make a relationship last? I say compromise, respect and true love. A love so deep, no matter what, you’ll be there for each other. Yes, there are times you want to brain him. Times you want to hug him. And times you want to jump him, even now. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Love is nothing if not ups and downs. Remember intimacy comes in all forms, like a smile, a simple touch, the birth of a child, sharing a great moment and of course making love.
At each decade we are confronted by a different set of problems and obstacles that need to be overcome. A set of problems you can’t see beyond in that moment. It is during this time that you need to step back and look at your partner with the eyes and heart you fell in love with him with. Love isn’t blind, but it’s darn forgiving at times. Except for that ultimate sin, that Meatloaf sings about in ‘No I Won’t Do That’. Big grin here, as I amuse myself. Boy, did I get off track.
Can you keep the magic alive?
Most definitely—if you look at the recent posts here, several authors have given great ways to keep it exciting. I’ll add a few of my favorites:
Taking a simple walk together gives you alone time and lets you converse. Sometimes we work out in a gym, but really, you’re on machines so no talking, as you huff and puff with that bar over your head.
Dinner with another like-minded couple can relax you both for later when you’re home alone with each other.
Simple things like grocery shopping—though it can be frustrating—most times, it’s great and you have someone there who carries the packages—it also makes him feel needed. Don’t forget, need, want and love are all tied together.
And my favorite is packing a lunch and hanging out on the beach with him. I see the stress fall away as the ocean air clears his head and the rhythmic sounds of the waves hitting the shores lulls him into complete bliss. Also the touch of his hand as he applies my sunscreen to places I can’t reach…well, you know where I’m going here.
For all these reasons I love to read and write romance at all stages for a couple’s life.
I’m sure you have your places and things you like to do with your special someone. I’d love to hear what you do to keep the magic alive. Share below and enjoy your summer.
MORE THAN I WISHED FOR By Merry Holly
From a whirlwind holiday romance, to a rushed wedding, to the heated life on the tropical Island, Chase and Noelle adjust to each other and life as a couple. For the first time in one book, Chase and Noelle’s trilogy comes together.
Included in this trilogy are Noel Noel Noel, A Wedding and a Promise, and Noelle’s Surprise. All stories previously appeared in the Season of Series…
Noel Noel Noel by Merry Holly
Season of Magic
Dumped and lonely, Noelle finds love at the most surprising place, her local mall. A chance encounter with Chase Clayborne while Christmas shopping has her rethinking her rigid set of rules as sparks flare between them.
A Wedding and a Promise by Merry Holly
Season of Love
After a whirlwind romance, pressure from the groom to marry immediately has Noelle’s questioning her decision. Deep inside her heart she knows Chase is the one, but why rush the wedding?
Chase never intended to get engaged on his trip home for the holidays, but chance didn't give him a choice. One he laid eyes on Noelle his heart was gone forever. But he has a secret. One he's afraid to tell Noel for fear she'll break the engagement.
Noelle’s Surprise by Merry Holly
Season of Surprises
Noelle has a secret of her own. One she doesn’t quite know how to tell Chase. It will ruin all the plans they’ve made for the future. Married and isolated on the tropical island they now call home, it’s not what Noelle imagined their life would be. To complicate matters, one of the client’s he’s introduced her to has made her intentions toward Chase public. Noelle believes Chase wouldn’t cheat, yet the doubt has been planted. Added to her worries the women from that very same group have elected her to the Christmas in July committee.
Frustrated at Noelle’s unhappiness, Chase has tried everything to combat it. But her mood swings are driving him crazy. When he finds a brochure on plastic surgery, he flips out. His beautiful wife doesn’t need it, nor does he want her to look like the “plastic wives,” of his clients. How can he finish the job and keep her on the island until its completion?
Setup and Excerpt from the first novella in More Than I Wished For: Noel Noel Noel
Sitting at a small round table inside the mall food court, Noelle sipped her latte and watched as people hustled and rustled by. This was a mean indulgence on her part. The first week of November she’d finished all her Christmas shopping. To keep in the spirit of the holiday, she visited the mall twice a week, gloating at all the stressed-out shoppers. Yes, her life was pathetic.
Dumped on Thanksgiving night, she'd yet to return Ken's gifts. The bastard cheated on her with his secretary—his married secretary, for crumpet's sake. She’d thought he was the one. She had their lives all planned out. Two-point-five kids, a house in the ‘burbs', and romance to last a lifetime. It only lasted nine months. What was wrong with her that men didn't hang around? Was she too boring? Was it her clothes, her job, her dog? If it was her dog, there'd be no discussion. The dog stayed, the men left. Heidi was the best dog ever. A blond German Shepherd who stood guard over her and loved her unconditionally. Yep, Heidi stayed no matter what.
"Is this seat taken?"
Looking up through her lashes, she spied the most wonderful present a girl could receive. Down girl. Just because the gift is wrapped nicely doesn't mean what’s inside is what you want. His deep, emerald green eyes and chiseled face weren't a bad start. The grin dancing on his full sensuous lips spelled trouble with a capital T. Suddenly, she was in the mood for a large dose of trouble. She opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. "No," she finally answered.
Glancing around the food court, she noticed for the first time that all the tables had filled up since she’d sat down. But there were a few seats scattered around the court. So why mine? Didn't she just hear on the news that she should be careful of pickpockets and scam artists this time of year?
"Chase," he said, extending his hand.
Staring down at his hand like it might burst into flames, she debated whether to take it or not. Darn, she'd lost the moment to touch him as he pulled his hand back and shrugged. Hot, burning fire shot from him to her across the gap. Soon she'd have to call nine-one-one if her body didn't cool down. For lack of anything to say, she sipped her latte and watched him over the rim of her cup.
"I can leave if I make you uncomfortable."
How cute is that? His brow furrowed, giving her the sudden urge to trace the lines with her fingertip. Whoa, Earth to Noelle, this isn't one of your romance books and you're not the heroine. But he could definitely be the hero. He placed a large strong hand over hers. She was right. It was hot.
"No, I'm sorry. I get tongue-tied sometimes." Oh, great, why'd I have to bring my tongue into this?
"You like that sweet stuff?" He pointed to her cup.
"I do. You?"
"No, I like mine strong and straight up." Pointing to his bags, her lip tugged up at the corner. "Let me guess. Shopping for your wife?"
Ah, he's going to make me work for this. "A girlfriend?"
Now he had her curiosity piqued. The purple bag was definitely from Lynn's Lingerie Shoppe. Noelle’s sense of humor got the better of her. "A cross-dresser?"
A deep, loud bellow had her laughing with him. He was a good sport. Some men would have been insulted. Most didn't understand her humor.
"Now there's an idea, but no." A rakish grin had her heart pounding. "Would you still love me if I was?"
Love him. Lordy, who is this guy? "Maybe."
"Would you like to know what's in the little purple bag?"
He shook it to entice her. Now she needed to know what was inside. Hmmm! Methinks he's played this game before…
"I do. I thought it was obvious," Noelle smiled.
"Lynn's signature perfume for my mother. It's her favorite."
Oh yeah, who's the dummy now, Noelle? He’d bought his mother a personal gift, not a toaster. Why is this guy single? Heat cooked her cheeks. Where was the extinguisher when you needed one?
"I don't see any bags for you."
"That's because I'm an early shopper and it's all done."
"Cripes, that’s not fair. I bet you even have them all wrapped?"
"Where's the fun in that?"
Chase reached over, wiped her lip with his thumb. A million bolts of electricity raced through every nerve ending in her body causing sparks to ignite and jump in the air. Her nether region reached five-alarm status.
"What?" She jerked back.
"You had some froth on your lip. It was kind of cute." He winked. Down girl. The man's only flirting.
She picked up her napkin and wiped her lip. "Is it all gone?"
"Yes. You haven't told me your name. Is it a secret?" His head tilted to the side, his eyes narrowed. "Let me guess... Peyton…no. How about Paige? Nope, I'd say Charlie. You look like a Charlie."
"All wrong. Give up?"
"Nope. Lizzy, Loretta, Georgie?"
"Okay, I give up."
"Noelle. Noelle Barnes."
"Ah, a Christmas baby?"
"A special gift. I bet your parents were thrilled." She'd been waiting for his next question. "Are you married?"
"No." Grinning, she said, "I'm saving myself for Santa." She picked up her cup and sipped, hoping he ignored her last statement. Not able to help herself, she giggled. This was fun.
"So… if I show up at your house tonight in a full Santa suit you’re mine?" He started humming the Christmas carol, “No-el, No-el, No-el."
Marian Lanouette/Merry Holly is the creator and one of the authors of the bestselling Season Of anthologies. It’s a series that shares her love of the holidays, romance and special moments with family and friends. Marian also penned the Jake Carrington Mysteries.
In her past life she was an accountant by day writer by night. Now she’s thrilled to write full-time. Until recent years she was an avid snowboarder and boater. She lives in New England with her husband.