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Valentine's Gift: Holiday Interludes, #3

Valentine's Gift: Holiday Interludes, #3

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Valentine's Gift: Holiday Interludes, #3

51 pages
29 minutes
Jan 28, 2012


Valentine's Day isn't looking too promising for romance writer and former supermodel Nikki Prentice Devereaux. Max, her husband of ten years, has recently grown distant. Even though she doesn't want to, she comes to the unhappy conclusion that he's having an affair.

It's Fashion Week in New York City, and the ever-busy Max is planning a big surprise for Nikki. But unfortunately he has more than one, and this one could affect the their relationship. Will Max's secret give them more of their happily ever after, or will their marriage end in D-I-V-O-R-C-E?

Jan 28, 2012

About the author

Marie-Nicole Ryan was born in a small western Kentucky town, but after college and marriage, she said "Good bye" to small town life. After spending three years as an army wife, she landed in Nashville, TN, where she spent several decades working as an R.N. and case manager. Finally in 2002, she achieved her dream of becoming a published author. She loves all lawmen and detectives and writes erotic historical western romance and contemporary romantic suspense.  TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, won a 2008 EPPIE for erotic romantic suspense. One of her early books, SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, won the Golden Wings award from the publisher for excellence in romantic suspense. In addition, her mystery/suspense novel, ONE TOO MANY, was a 2009 EPPIE Finalist. She's a formerly active member of RWA® and Music City Romance Writers. Recently, she returned to her old hometown in western Kentucky. When she's not slaving away at her current work in progress, you might find her walking her dog Kelsea, a sheltie rescue, or at the Y. But you won't ever find her in an airplane. No, not ever.

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Valentine's Gift - Marie-Nicole Ryan

Valentine’s Gift

Holiday Interludes 3

Women’s Fiction Novelette


Marie-Nicole Ryan

R Y A N D A L E  P U B L I S H I N G










This story takes place approximately ten years after SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS ended with Max and Nikki’s happily ever after. I hope you enjoy a glimpse of one of their rockier marital bumps in the road and how they find their way back to true love. And yes, once again the antique French mask will play its magical part, this time by giving Nikki a glimpse of their future.

Chapter One

Nikki stared at the laptop screen. The words danced and blurred before her teary eyes. She sniffed and rubbed away the tears. The strains of a Bach concerto played softly, while a lavender-scented candle flickered, sending its fragrance throughout the room. No matter—they weren’t doing their usual job...getting her in the zone. How the hell was she supposed to write a happy ending for Jenna and Clay when her up-until-now devoted husband was having an affair? Did she have any real proof? No. Not any that would stand up in a court of law. Not yet.

But the evidence was certainly starting to mount against him.

How could he do this? How could he give up what they had for someone else? Married ten years and he’d never given Nikki cause to believe in anything except his steadfast love.

Until now.

For two weeks he’d been distant. Forgetful. Late for dinner. Worst of all, too busy, to so much as respond to her texts. Always pleading work as his excuse.

Face it. At thirty-seven, she no longer looked like the supermodel he married. Every day he was surrounded by much younger models at his agency. And in spite of being nearly fifty-two, he was as trim and handsome as the day they married. Oh, add a few lines to the corners of his eyes. While his hair had turned a silvery gray at the temples, the result was obvious. He only looked more handsome and distinguished. After all, wasn’t he was at that age where some men looked around for a trophy wife?

She never would’ve believed Max could be that kind of man. He wasn’t insecure about his manhood. My God. Their very private New Year’s Eve celebration on St. Croix was even more romantic and sensual than their honeymoon in Paris. He hadn’t gotten older...she held back a sob...he’d gotten better. Good grief, she was thinking in clichés. Cliché or not, it didn’t alter the fact that someone else was likely reaping the benefits of his sexual prowess.

Sniffing, she wiped the tears from her eyes. Jenna and Clay’s HEA would have to wait.


She had a deadline looming, and she’d never missed one. With renewed resolution, she poised her fingers over the keyboard.

Damned if she would be less than professional just because her husband found another woman. A fling was one thing, but what if he’d fallen in love?

Her throat closed. Her eyes stung. She bit her lips to stop the trembling. She hadn’t been able to give him a child, in spite of several rounds of in vitro. Maybe he’d found someone younger. He’d always told her it didn’t matter. After all, he had Alexa by his late wife Solange. Alexa was very dear to Nikki, a rare combination of little sister and step-daughter. The twenty-three-year-old was an interior designer and most assuredly not interested in running an international

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