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About the author:
She is also an ardent and devoted student of personal development. Weaving the life changing principles that guided her to the love of her life and to a happy marriage is an important aspect of all of her books.
What inspired you to write your book?
“When a Man Loves a Woman” was inspired by my love of romance, and especially the idea of a man falling for not only a woman but her child as well. Often, it seems that the female lead is the first to succumb to love’s desires. Then she must use her wiles to woo the man she’s fallen for. However, when a man is the first to fall, his tactics tend to be much more bold and dramatic. Love was the last thing on Michael Adler’s mind when he first met Analese Martin, but, the reader will see as the story unfolds, that sometimes a man has no choice.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Even though he’d hoped to sit beside Analese, Michael was pleased to be seated next to Trevor at Millie Worthton’s formal dining room table. Michael silently rooted for Millie as she tried to get her grand-nephew to relinquish his spot to his mother, but Trevor would have no part of it. Apparently the boy was going to stick to Michael like glue for the remainder of the evening.
The conversation around the dinner table was lively and entertaining. Everyone was relaxed and comfortable. Trevor told the group how he’d tried to get his mother to bring a chocolate bunny as a hostess gift for Aunt Millie. There was lots of laughter when the boy said his mom wouldn’t do it because she thought her aunt might feel bad eating the chocolate treat after looking at her son’s sweatshirt.
“You didn’t have to worry about that, Analese,” Millie stated. “I’m a bit of a chocoholic. I can guarantee you, bunny or no bunny—ears, tail and every other morsel of his little bunny body would disappear. I love chocolate. Whatever shape it’s in makes absolutely no difference to me.”
Eventually, the discussion turned to architecture and home design. Aaron Adler was quick to praise his brother’s work.
“Mike and my dad did a fantastic job on my place. Unlike the Michael I grew up with, Michael, the architect really listens. Then he takes what he hears and turns it into exactly what you want. If you’re interested, Rachel, our brother Phillip’s wife, is a fabulous interior designer. She took over where Mike and Dad left off and made the décor of my house comfortable and inviting. But it wasn’t until Jane came along that my house really became a home.” Aaron put his arm around his fiancée and kissed her on the cheek.
“What did Jane do?” Michael asked.
“It’s not so much what she did as it is what she brought just by being who she is. Don’t get me wrong, the house is as perfect as a house could possibly be. It’s always been great, and I’ve always enjoyed living there. It’s structurally sound and aesthetically beautiful. There’s plenty of space, and the view of the mountains is incredible. I didn’t lack for any material things before Jane came along. All my basic needs were met, but now it’s our home. It’s more than just a house. It’s a place I totally look forward to being in. It’s full of happiness, and laughter … and love.” Aaron turned to Jane and gazed at her lovingly.
Michael’s glance moved toward Analese. She was looking at her son, and her eyes were filled with love as well. When she lifted her gaze, Michael’s eyes met with hers. Her smile was sweet—almost shy, and Michael did his best to let the tender feelings he was having for her and her son show in his own eyes. How he wished he was sitting closer to her. It was a perfect moment to give her hand a gentle squeeze and perhaps also claim a small piece of her heart. However, in only a twinkling, the moment slipped past.
“Mom and I have that,” Trevor announced. “Sure, I want Mike to design us a house with a pool, but the rest of that stuff Mr. Adler was just talking about … well, our house is already a home. Mom and I are always laughing and stuff. Sometimes she gets a little too mushy, but that’s okay. It’s probably because she doesn’t have a husband to do all those lovey-dovey things with.” He looked at Michael before continuing. “Anyway, our house will always feel like a home, no matter where we live.”
Analese smiled warmly. “It sure will, Trev.” She leaned over and kissed her son.
“Aw, Mom, there you go again,” he said as he wiped the spot on his face where her lips had touched.
Everyone in the room laughed uproariously.
Millie stood. “Let me clear the table real quick. Then, if it’s all right with you two,” she said nodding at Jane and Aaron, “we’ll all go over and take a peek at your lovely home.”
“Of course,” Jane responded. “Let me help you in the kitchen, Millie.”
“I’ll do it,” Analese said. “You’re a guest, Jane. I’ll help Aunt Millie.”
Millie spoke up. “You go ahead in the living room with the boys, Ana. Jane and I’ll be just fine. You and Trevor might have some questions for the Adler men.” Motioning with her hands, she shooed her niece and the three males out of the dining room.
Trevor was leading the way into the other room, and Michael dawdled a bit, making sure to take his time. When Analese stood, he helped slide her chair out for her.
“Thank you,” she said softly, “for being so kind to Trevor. He’s really taken to you.”
“You’re welcome, Ana. He’s a great kid,” Michael replied, “and he’s got a great mother.” The blush that crept over her cheeks made her even more attractive in his eyes. “And he’s pretty darn smart too.”
“In what way?” she asked.
“You and Trevor already have everything you really need. Sure, I can design a house with all the amenities you want, but the two of you will bring what’s most important with you.” An unfamiliar emotion welled up inside him. As crazy as it seemed, even to himself, he realized he’d fallen head over heels in love with this woman and her son. How was it possible to fall this hard, this fast? There was no way to explain it, but suddenly he didn’t care.
How could he tell her, tell Trevor? He didn’t want to design and build a house for them. He wanted them to come and live with him. Somehow he knew only then would his big, beautiful house become the home he’d always hoped it would be.
He knew exactly where he’d put Trevor’s pool. It was almost as if he’d built his house with the boy and his chair in mind. The modifications necessary to accommodate Trevor’s needs were fairly minimal. Michael knew he could accomplish them within a relatively short period of time and not too much effort. He didn’t care about the expense. Whatever it cost to bring the three of them together as a family would be totally worth it.
It didn’t matter what anyone else thought. It didn’t matter how quickly it had happened. Hopefully, Analese and Trevor would agree. The only thing that truly mattered was the three of them were meant to be together, and they would be … soon.
After the group moved into Millie Worthton’s living room, it was Trevor who carried the conversation. It was a good thing as far as Analese was concerned, because she was having a hard time dealing with the emotions she was feeling toward the architect sitting next to her. His smile and even the man’s smallest touch were causing crazy things to happen to her insides. They’d just finished dinner, yet there was a hunger in Analese no amount of food could possibly fill.
When Michael called her Ana for the first time earlier that day, her brain quickly jumped to a fantasy where he was whispering her name under completely different circumstances. In her imaginings, it was only the two of them and their clothes were minimal—soon to be discarded totally.
Shivers of desire shot through her and tingles of pleasure moved up her spine whenever he touched her. The connection between the two of them was so strong it felt as if she was being inexorably drawn to him. When it came to men, she’d put up very tall, very strong walls around her heart after Eric left her and Trevor. Suddenly it seemed as if Michael had caused those walls to develop some serious cracks.
She barely heard a syllable of the discussion between the Adler men and her son. When Michael looked at her and asked, “What do you think, Analese?” she had to confess to her wandering mind.
Feeling a bit self-conscious she said, “I’m sorry. I must have been daydreaming again.”
“What’s up with you, Mom?” Trevor asked. “You seem to be doing a lot of that lately.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Just a little distracted, I guess,” she replied. She kept her eyes on her son. She was afraid if she looked at Michael she’d turn a shade of crimson sure to clue him in as to the direction of her wayward thoughts. Although no one seemed to notice, she couldn’t hide her sigh of relief when Jane and Millie stepped into the room.
“Is everyone ready to go and take a look at our beautiful home?” Jane asked.
Aaron stood, took his fiancée’s hand and looked into her eyes. “Like I said before, sweetheart, only since you came into my life has the house Mike and Dad built for me actually become a real home.”
Analese watched as Jane and Aaron kissed each other tenderly. The love they had for each other was clear to see. What would it be like to love and be loved like that? she wondered.
Moments later the group walked across the lawn from Millie’s house to Jane and Aaron’s home. Luckily the ground was still quite solid so the wheels of Trevor’s chair rode fairly easily over the uneven surface. Once inside the Adler home next door to her aunt’s, Analese was immediately taken by the open expansiveness of the room. The high ceilings and large panes of glass across the back of the home allowed an abundance of the light remaining in the evening sky to filter in. The sliding glass doors provided access to a large patio across the rear of the house from both the living and dining areas.
“This view is spectacular,” Analese commented. “I know it’s not really much different from the view Aunt Millie has, but somehow it looks different from here. It’s just that there’s such an open feel to this room. The mountains look as if you could practically reach out and touch them.”
“I’m glad you like it,” Michael said. “I’m a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. He was one of the early advocates of open floor plans. The way I look at it, the kitchen is always the place where family and friends like to hang out. It only makes sense to have the most popular room in the house as open as possible to the rest of the public spaces in the home. Instead of the cook being stuck behind closed doors, she or he is totally included in everything that’s going on. Do you think you and Trevor could be happy in a home with this kind of a feel?”
“Oh, yes, this is wonderful. It makes it so much easier for Trevor to get around.” Turning to her son she asked, “What do you think, Trev?”
“This is great, Mom,” the boy said. “I always have to slow down in our house to get from one room to another because of all the doorways. Can our new house be more like this? I really like it.”
“I like it too, and it makes sense to have our place as easy to move around in as possible.” Looking from her son to the architect she continued. “I’m sure you could come up with an open floor plan for us, couldn’t you, Michael?”
“Of course. Where did you say your lot was?”
“Well …” She hesitated before continuing. “The thing is, we haven’t chosen a lot yet. I’m sorry. I suppose we’ve jumped the gun on meeting with you before we even have the land, haven’t we?”
“Not a problem,” he said easily. “In fact, my mother’s one of the best real estate agents in the area. You probably met her briefly at the party. If you’re not working with someone already, I’d love to re-introduce you and Trevor to her.”
Smiling broadly, Jane spoke up. “The better you get to know Juliette, the more you’re going to love her. She’s just one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known. I’m tickled pink she’s going to be my mother-in-law.”
Thinking back to the just barely cordial relationship she’d had with her former mother-in-law, Analese replied, “That speaks volumes. Mothers-in-law aren’t typically known for getting along all that well with their husband’s wives.
“Then Juliette Adler must be the exception to the rule,” Jane stated emphatically. “Maybe raising nine children has something to do with it. Seems to me with that many kids, she ought to be close to qualifying for sainthood.”
“You’ve got a point there. With that kind of a recommendation, I’d love to work with her,” Analese said with a grin.
“I’ll give her a call tomorrow, if you’d like,” Michael said. “I can ask her to call you, or would you rather call her yourself?”
“It would be great if she could call me. We’ll work something out and do what we need to do to get things rolling.”
After completing the tour of Jane and Aaron’s house, the group returned to Millie Worthton’s for dessert. When Trevor’s endless chatter slowed to barely a peep, Analese knew it was time to get him home.
“Aw, Mom, do I have to go? I’m not all that tired yet,” he protested. “Aunt Millie said I could spend the night and she’d take me out to the riding stable tomorrow. Can I stay, Mom? Please?”
“Not tonight, Trevor. Aunt Millie’s had enough to do today … with having all of us over for dinner and that delicious dessert. I think we should let her get a little rest.”
Millie Worthton spoke up. “I’m fine, Analese. I wouldn’t have invited Trevor to stay if I was too tired. Besides, this way you can get started looking for property tomorrow. Trevor would much rather go horseback riding than run all over the countryside looking at empty land. Wouldn’t you, Trev?”
“You bet. Come on, Mom. Aunt Millie says it’s okay. Can I stay? Please?”
“Saying no to the two of you is like trying to stop a runaway freight train,” Analese complained. “If you’re sure …”
“I’m sure,” Millie responded.
“Okay, then. I guess Trevor’s staying here. Just call me when you want me to come and get him tomorrow. All right?”
“Perfect,” Millie said.
Trevor whooped with delight.
Shortly after that Aaron and Jane thanked their neighbor profusely and said their good-byes.
“Well, I guess I should get going too,” Michael said.
“Me too,” Analese added.
Michael and Analese both thanked Millie for the lovely evening. Then Michael helped Analese on with her coat. Giving her son a hug and a good night kiss she said, “See you tomorrow, sweetheart.”
“G’night, Mom.” Trevor turned to Mike. “G’night, Mike.”
Michael squatted down and gave the boy a hug. “Good night, buddy,” he said and placed a soft kiss on the boy’s cheek.
Analese felt tears of joy threaten as she watched her son throw his arms around the man and hug him fiercely. Michael held the boy in his arms and gave him another kiss on the top of his head before releasing him. “We’ll see you soon. Okay, Trev?”
“Yeah, that’d be great.”
Minutes later Analese and Michael were standing in the driveway. In spite of her weak protests, he’d insisted on walking her out to her car.
“It was really nice to see you and Trevor again.”
“Trevor and I didn’t know for sure, but we were both hoping you’d be here tonight.”
Taking her hands in his, he looked into her eyes. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than spend time with you and that wonderful son of yours.”
There was nothing he could have said that would have pleased her more. “Really?”
“Absolutely,” he said as he leaned his head toward hers.
She hadn’t thought about it or planned it. She simply angled her head to meet his lips. Her body wanted to be closer to his so badly, and she stepped toward him without conscious thought. It was only natural for her hands to find their way around his neck and her fingers to thread themselves through his hair. Her own groan of pleasure mixed with his. She felt his hands splay across her back, and he pulled her even closer.
Their first kiss was more than she’d ever hoped for—better than even her active imagination could have possibly dreamed. She poured every ounce of her desire, her need for him into the kiss. She wanted to touch and experience every part of him. When she opened her lips, his tongue began to taste every inch of her mouth. He explored every curve, every contour. She could only hope he might read her mind and ask the question that was burning inside.
“I know it’s probably too soon to even be asking this, but would you come home with me, Ana? Please, Analese, who knows when we might have this chance again. Please, let me take you home.”
“Yes,” she said without hesitation.
He released a breath she hadn’t realized he was holding. He pressed his lips to hers once more before speaking. “I know you wouldn’t want to leave your car here, but I can leave my car at Aaron’s. He won’t care. I can get it tomorrow when we come back to pick up Trevor.” Then he crushed his lips to hers again, and it was almost as if the world just stopped. She felt every ounce of his desire and returned it in full measure.
When they finally managed to break apart, she was practically shaking with need. She handed him the keys to her car. “Would you mind driving? You know the way, and I’m not sure I’d be much good behind the wheel right now.”
Silently he took the keys. Walking toward her SUV, he opened her door and helped her in before rounding the vehicle. He quickly adjusted the driver’s seat and backed out.
Michael kept his eyes on the road, but he also somehow managed to keep physical contact with Analese during the drive whenever possible. He periodically glanced her way and then without losing focus on the road, reached over and either took her hand or touched her leg.
Analese wished she had a bench seat in her car instead of the comfortable bucket seats she usually preferred. Oh, how she wanted to snuggle up next to him—to be as close as possible. With every touch, the energy that passed between them was palpable. She drank it in. His kiss had sent her hormones racing into overdrive. When it was necessary for him to keep both hands on the wheel, she maintained their physical contact. Keeping her hands off him seemed impossible. She reached out to stroke his arm, his thigh. She caressed his cheek, his neck, his strong jawline.
The night had come. They were surrounded by darkness. Their conversation was sporadic, practically non-existent. There was only need—a desire for one another so strong it was impossible to resist. She was barely aware of their surroundings, although she did sense they were climbing, driving along a heavily forested mountain road. It didn’t matter to her where they were going. Her only wish was to get there soon.
Finally, he pulled her car in front of a stunning home. It was beautifully woven into its surroundings, as if nature itself had planted it there. They were in the mountains high above Boulder, and she could see the lights of the city in the distance. Michael quickly exited the car, came around and opened her door. She clasped his outstretched hand. Once again their bodies molded themselves against one another, and she found herself immersed in his arms and in his kiss.
When they broke off their kiss, he swept her up into his strong arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her head against his chest, taking in his masculine scent. His long strides took them quickly to the front door. He must’ve gotten his key out sometime during their drive. It appeared as if by magic. After opening the door, he used their bodies to push his way into the room.
She managed to look around and see open space and glass. Everything was beautifully arranged for comfort and luxury. “It’s lovely,” she murmured.
“We’ll look at it later,” he muttered. With her still in his arms, he strode across the space and mounted wide, sweeping stairs. The master bedroom was a spacious loft. Another wall of glass revealed a magnificent view similar to the one on the first floor, showcasing the winking lights of the city below.
Michael laid her down on the king sized bed and quickly slipped off his shoes, before sliding his masculine form next to her. Their hands and mouths immediately found one another. Their tongues tangled with unbridled passion. She threaded her fingers through his thick, dark hair. To her, the flecks of silver at the temples only added to his rugged good looks.
As much as she was thoroughly enjoying their passionate kisses, she wanted more. It almost seemed as if he had a sixth sense and could hear her unspoken thoughts. He held her head gently in his large hand and stroked the side of her face with his wide thumb. When she looked into his eyes, she saw something more than simply lust. There was a gentle tenderness that almost took her breath away.
“Analese Martin,” he whispered. “Where have you been all my life?”
She didn’t quite know how to respond. A part of her wanted to admit her growing feelings, but she was afraid. The short period of time she and Trevor had spent with him had begun to weaken the walls around her heart, but it was too soon to allow him complete access. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been intimate with anyone,” she confessed. “This isn’t like me. I’m not really sure what’s come over me.”
He kissed her gently. “This may be the first time for us, but it won’t be the last. We’ll go as slow as you need to. But I should let you know something about me before we go any further. I’m a man who makes decisions quickly, and once the decision’s been made, I rarely change my mind. I know what I want, and I usually get it.”
“I don’t know exactly what it is you want, Michael, but for me, this is the first time in a very long time I’ve been willing to give myself to a man. That alone, makes you pretty special, Mr. Adler.” She traced the lines of his face softly with her fingers. “I want you, Michael, but I’m not ready to promise anything beyond tonight right now. You’ve touched a place in me that’s been closed off for a very long time. I’m beginning to have feelings for you I never thought I’d have again, but …”
He pressed his finger to her lips. “Shh, you don’t have to say anything more. I want you—all of you. But for now, I’ll only ask for as much as you’re ready to give. Tonight, just feel.”
She clasped his hand and brought it to her breast. “Touch me, Michael,” she whispered.