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A stab of jealousy knifed Meilin in the heart. Other people found grand passion, and here she was about to commit the rest of her days to a union with a man who failed to inspire the rush of heat she’d experienced by just shaking Drew’s hand. Insane. She didn’t know these people well enough to envy them so fiercely. And yet, that emotion was a thousand times stronger than any emotion she’d ever felt for Shan.
It confused her.
And when confused, she turned to small talk. “I detect more than a little pluminess in your accent, sir, but none in your sister’s. I’m guessing you were raised in England? Father and mother both British?”
“Good ear, not that it’s hard to decipher. I did the whole boarding school with proper elocution thing while Courtney was raised here in California as wild and free as a bird.”
“How very interesting. Are you to the manor born?” She did her best to say it in a British accent. Not that she’d had much practice, but who didn’t love a good BBC program from time to time?
Drew laughed. “No fancy titles in our branch, but we do have the biggest house in the district. My father likes to pretend he’s a lord of some sort at Christmas.”
The notion wasn’t foreign to Meilin.
Junlei arrived with the second round of drinks for her table and turned to Jack’s party to take their orders.
Her own father, directly descended from minor nobility turned laborer in California, liked to do the same. The reminders of how the family had started high born, fell to the lowest depths of society, then rose to the upper ranks were drummed into them all, chapter and verse at each large gathering. Come to think of it, at almost any gathering, large or small. The ancestors were well revered.
“Tell me about yourself,” Drew said. “Jack has told us nothing about you.”
Before she could open her mouth to politely turn the conversation again, Jack leaned across the table in order to be heard. “She’s an interior designer. One of the best in the city. Possibly in all California if not the west coast. Big time bigwig woman.”
Frowning at Jack did no good. She always let her work do her bragging for her, never did she need to toot her own horn. The wave of girls, fluttering like butterflies, returned to their table, relieving her from answering.
“Jack, what a surprise.”
“Jack, you mangy dog, what are you doing here? Spying on Meilin’s last night out? We should kick you out of here.”
“Not while he has friends here.” Sunchu, one of her few remaining single friends, leaned over from the far side of the table to extend her hand to Drew. “And who might you be, tall, golden, and handsome?” Drew stood and exchanged handshakes all around as the entire group of five women settled at the table. Sure, they included Courtney, but Drew had ninety-nine percent of their attention. And why not? Exactly as Sunchu had said, he was tall, golden, and very handsome. Not only did he have a perfect tan, but he smelled good too. Not one whiff of heavily scented aftershave teased Meilin’s nose. He was as fresh as a forest. Clean water and towering pines came to mind. Maybe a hint of citrus, possibly lime, but his scent was light and refreshing. She’d have to find out what he used.
What in the hell was she doing sniffing him up like that? No, she would not ask him what scent he wore. Especially because his proximity made her pulse thrum wildly in her veins. His thigh brushed against hers and she swallowed a gasp, as the contact acted like a raindrop landing on a smooth lake, sending ripples of goosebumps down her leg and up her body.
It took only a second to drain her first drink, set it down, and reach for the second. This was all she needed. A short, intense attraction to a foreigner on the eve of her engagement. Sort of like a very short-term foreign exchange. Surprised at her comparison to a semester abroad, she laughed to herself.
Not happening. Not now, not ever.
And then he had to ask, “Would you like to dance?”
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
This was a detour worth taking . . .
For as long as she can remember, Meilin Wu has had her life mapped out, and she’s well down her chosen path–which had no warning signs about a tall, golden Brit who would bowl her over the night before her arranged marriage . . .
Drew Robinson has nearly finished his formal education and is ready to face the world when he meets Meilin, an exquisite beauty with Chinese ancestry. He doesn’t mind she’s ten years older, and the fact she knows Mandarin only makes her that much more a perfect fit for his upcoming adventures in China. He just has to get her to dump her fiancé and convince her that a trip in
China will only enhance her established design business.
Easy for a guy who’s known for seeing sunshine wherever he goes. Right?
5***** – A journey into a new culture to find true love
Her Unexpected Affair (The Robinsons #2)
When I signed up for this blog tour, I knew I wouldn’t have time to read all books featured – which is a shame but I intend to do so eventually hehe. So I needed to choose one. They all seemed great and I just couldn’t make up my mind based on their blurbs only. So I decided to pick whichever one had the fewer reviews. I went online and found out Her Unexpected Affair had zero reviews and started reading it.
Boy am I glad I did so!
I loved it and couldn’t put it down. Literally. I had tons of homework and work to do and still couldn’t make myself stop reading Meilin and Drew’s story.
It was so refreshing to delve into a different culture than mine and such a great opportunity to know more about it. Their story and struggles are quite realistic and accurately depict the values and priorities of a culture that puts family first and above all else. Growing up in an individualistic society such as ours, it might sound farfetched for some people. But believe me when I say it is not. Meilin;s conduct was exactly what I expected it would be and I loved it. Sorry, guys. I’m against all kinds of spoilers so that is as much as I will say on the subject.
Just as the storyline is realistic, the characters are believable and multifaceted. That goes for both main and supporting characters. They seem to jump out of the pages right in front of you. Drew is so awesome and droolworthy you just want to hang out with him. Well, to be honest, the ladies will want a tad more than that, but back off – he’s taken. LOL Oh, I wasn’t talking about Meilin; I was talking about me! He’s my newest book boyfriend. Hehe Seriously, though, they make for such a great couple! Meilin is gorgeous, bright, and loyal. Drew is exactly the same! Birdie, Randi and Court are amazing and even pain-in-the-b… Jack is an interesting character. Despite his pain-in-the-b…ness, that is.
Finally, even though this is book 2 in a series, it is a standalone story. I haven’t read the first one and was perfectly able to follow the characters and their journey. However, Shea gives us enough glimpses into Randi and Court’s story to makes us want for more. Book 1 just made its way into my never ending TBR list. LOL And I’m so psyched to find out Book 3 is about Birdie’s story. I loved her so much! There… the list just grows bigger and bigger every day.
I recommend this book for anyone looking for something different to read this summer vacation. You’ll find romance, friendship, and family in Her Unexpected Affair. But most importantly, you will find an ‘against-all-odds’ kind of love story while learning something a different culture. Or revisiting your own, depending on the case. Either way, Meilin and Drew’s story will warm our heart.
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Digital copies of all four books featured
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Shea McMaster lives for traditional romance. Born in New Orleans, raised in California, Shea got moved to Alaska in 1977, where she attended high school before running back to California to get her English degree from Mills College. Alas, once back home she met and fell in love with her own forever true hero, a born and raised Alaska man. Since then she’s had a love-hate relationship with America’s largest state.
With her one and only son half way through college, and mostly out of the house, Shea is fortunate to spend her days engaged in daydreaming and turning those dreams into romantic novels and novellas featuring damsels in distress rescued by their own brains and hunky heroes. She also writes steamy romances under the name Morgan O’Reilly.