Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Christmas Melody by Roberta Capizzi ♥ Release Blast & GIVEAWAY (Sweet Contemporary Romance)

A Christmas Melody (Melody, #2)
Valerie and Ryan have been living the American dream in Boston for more than ten years. Best friends since adolescence, their feelings changed when Ryan nearly lost his life. Now they're engaged and can't wait to break the news to their families and get married.

Valerie has been dreaming of getting married on Christmas Eve since she was a child, and a Christmas wedding back home in Dublin seems like a very romantic way of celebrating the most important day of their lives.

Back on home soil Valerie and Ryan are surrounded by the love of their families and things start to change as homesickness creeps into their hearts. Can seven days erase a decade of hard work and life-long dreams? Or is it only a little nostalgia caused by the festive season?
Doubts fill their minds as they start questioning their choices, until an unexpected complication, only days before the wedding, makes Valerie and Ryan realize it's time they decided where they really belong.

A sweet Christmas romance that will warm your heart this yuletide season and all year long, A Christmas Melody is a novella and a short sequel to The Melody In Our Hearts, but can also be read as a standalone.
“Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments we will be starting our descent into Dublin Airport…”
Valerie closed the book she had been reading for the past six hours as the voice coming from the speaker asked all passengers to make sure their seats were in the upright position and the tables in front of them were clipped.
This had been her home for eighteen years, before she’d left it all behind to chase a dream and follow her best friend to Boston. Dublin didn’t feel like home anymore, though. Twelve years had passed, and she was still just as sure as she’d been back then that she’d done the right thing, in spite of her fights with her parents and all the hard times that had followed.
Through the blanket of white and grey clouds the fields surrounding Dublin city came into view, and she felt something stir inside her.
The word rang loudly in her brain and, for the first time in years, she felt a little homesick. Since she’d left, she hadn’t been able to come home much but she didn’t recall feeling her heart swell at the sight of her homeland the last time she’d flown over the green fields. Maybe she was simply older and more emotional. Or maybe it was because this time she wasn’t simply going to visit with her parents: in a week, she’d be celebrating her wedding to the love of her life, the man who’d been by her side for seventeen years, the best friend who’d supported her through thick and thin. The one person she’d be willing to follow to hell and back, and who’d do the same for her.
She couldn’t wait to see her parents’ faces when they met the groom. She’d been purposely cryptic about who she was getting married to, and to say they hadn’t been pleased about having to meet their future son-in-law only days before the wedding was putting it mildly.
Ryan stirred in the seat next to her and blinked a couple of times, before turning and giving her one of his gorgeous smiles.
“Morning, love.”
Her heart melted like butter as his hazel eyes locked with hers, silently communicating all the love he felt for her. Valerie smiled.
“Good morning, Sleeping Beauty,” she said, ruffling his dark hair. “You’ve been such great company to fly with; I’ve almost managed to finish my 300-page book while you were sleeping.”
Ryan chuckled and stretched, before wrapping an arm around her shoulder and pulling her in for a kiss, which she playfully dodged. He kissed the top of her head instead, and rested his chin there.
“Sorry, love,” he said, rubbing her shoulder. “My manager wasn’t much fun to travel with, so I always slept during our flights around the world. I guess I haven’t shed the habit.”
“Yeah, being stuck on a plane for eight hours with Gordon wouldn’t be much fun,” she said, remembering just how awful Ryan’s manager had been to her, especially after Ryan decided to leave the music business so that he wouldn’t have to be away from her again. She still got the creeps at the thought of it.
Ryan laughed and looked over her head through the oval window. He hadn’t been home in almost two years, now; he’d barely managed to pay his parents a visit when he’d played at The O2 in Dublin before he’d had to rush to the airport and go to London. No, he wasn’t sorry about his decision to leave the music business. He didn’t miss the hectic schedule, the planes, the interviews, or the sleepless nights. His job as a teacher at Berklee College made him happy, especially since he was around Valerie every day of the week.
“Are you happy about coming home?” he asked, noticing she was gazing out the window with a pensive look. “You haven’t been back in a long time, have you?”
“Five years,” she said, and he thought he heard her sigh. “I’m a little nervous, if I have to be honest.”
Ryan chuckled and rubbed her shoulder protectively. “I can’t wait to see your parents’ faces,” he said, with a grin, and Valerie giggled. “I still think they’ll want to rip my head off; they’ve never really forgiven me for stealing you away.”
“You didn’t steal me away from anyone; I followed you, of my own volition.”
“Still, if I’d stayed in Dublin you wouldn’t have left, and now you’d probably spend your days at the golf club with your husband and your kids, just like your mother wanted you to.”
Valerie laughed, shaking her head. “That was the life she wanted for me, but it’s not necessarily the life I wanted.” She pushed back from his chest a little to look into his eyes. “I’ve got everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’m being held in his arms right now.”
Ryan’s eyes turned to liquid caramel and she could see just how deep his feelings for her were. He’d always been an open book to her, just like she knew she was to him, and this was the best thing about their relationship, the one thing she’d always wanted in a husband.

Her husband.

She could barely believe that, in less than a week, Ryan would become her husband.
“I love you,” Ryan said, before placing a soft kiss on her lips. She was just about to deepen it when the wheels hit the runway, and he pulled back. “Now, behave, Doctor Fogarty. We’ve plenty of time for that later on tonight.”
“With you staying at your parents’ and me staying at mine?” she asked, quirking an eyebrow, and he chuckled.
“Fair enough. I’d forgotten the accommodation arrangements. No sex before the wedding; we’ve gotta follow traditions, my love.” Valerie laughed, shaking her head. “But I can always try to sneak inside your bedroom when your parents are asleep.”
The mischievous grin on his face made Valerie laugh even harder, causing the person sitting in front of them to turn around. Valerie blushed and looked down, punching Ryan in the ribs when he started chuckling.
“Eejit,” she said through gritted teeth, and he took her hand in response, kissing her palm.
“Don’t worry; I’ll find a way to overcome all obstacles and kiss you goodnight.”
At that, he stood up and got out of the seat, pulling out their duffel bags from the overhead lockers and getting ready to disembark.

***

Ryan directed her around the airport with ease, causing Valerie to make a mental estimation of how many airports he’d visited over the last five years. After collecting their luggage, they went to the car rental and retrieved their car, a silver sedan that made Ryan scrunch up his nose. He’d always had a thing for sporty cars, like most men she knew, but Valerie had managed to make him see that driving around Dublin in December in a convertible wouldn’t really be a smart choice. In the end, he’d given in, and gotten behind the wheel of the sedan.
Valerie stared at the busy Dublin streets—the Christmas decorations and people overloaded with shopping bags—and butterflies flew all around in her stomach as excitement built inside her. In a week she’d have the Christmas wedding she’d dreamed of all her life.
When the car stopped in front of Ryan’s parents’ house, Valerie’s heart thudded fast and loud, while her hands started to sweat. Okay, now she wasn’t sure she was ready for this.
She stood before Ryan’s childhood house in the nice neighborhood of Ballsbridge while they waited for his parents to answer the door. When she heard a shuffling of feet coming toward them, she inhaled deeply, and held the cold air in for a few seconds, before releasing it in a puffy breath. Ryan noticed her tension and squeezed her hand reassuringly.
“Don’t worry, they’ll love ya,” he teased, winking at her, and she smiled in spite of her crazy heart rate.
“Ryan!”
His mother threw herself at him as soon as she opened the door. Ryan let go of Valerie’s hand and hugged his mother. Valerie felt almost vulnerable now that his hand wasn’t holding hers anymore, and she shrank back, stuffing both her hands in the pockets of her woolen coat.
“It’s so good to see you, son. I can’t believe how long it’s been,” Ryan’s mother said, with her head against his chest, still buried in his coat.
“I know, I’m sorry, Mom,” he said, rubbing his mother’s back in a loving way that made Valerie’s heart swell with pride. He was the most caring man in the world, and she was going to marry him in a week. Now, she was a lucky woman.
“Oh, well, look who’s here. Valerie!” his mother said, pulling back and holding out her arms toward Valerie, pulling her in for a hug. “It’s been ages since we last saw you, my dear. You’ve turned into a beautiful young woman; and a great doctor, from what Ryan’s told us. We know you saved him after that terrible accident.”
Valerie nodded, then smiled sheepishly. “It’s good to see you, too, Patricia.”
“So, I guess you’ve come for Ryan’s wedding? I should’ve known you would never miss it, not with the way you two have always been so close.”
Ryan let out a chuckle, unable to contain it any longer. Valerie glared at him.
“Mom, actually…” He cleared his throat, and his mother turned back, releasing Valerie from the hug. “Valerie’s getting married, too. That’s why she’s here.” He flashed Valerie a cheeky grin, and she elbowed him in the ribs when his mother wasn’t looking at her.
Patricia’s eyes widened and she gasped, bringing a hand to her mouth. “Now, isn’t that wonderful? When are you getting married?”
“Christmas Eve,” Ryan said with a smile, knowing this time his clever mother would get the clue.
“Oh, but that’s the day you’re…” Patricia’s face fell for a second, until she connected all the dots and her eyes lit up. “Wait a minute. Are you two getting married? To each other?”
Ryan’s face cracked into a huge smile, and his mother squealed like a little girl, looking from one to the other, trying to decide who to hug first. Since Valerie was closer, she threw her arms around her again and squeezed her in a bear hug, causing Valerie to cough as her airways temporarily constricted.
“Oh my God, oh my God, this is the best Christmas present you could give me, kids!”
Ryan laughed and stepped closer, patting a hand on his mother’s back.
“When did this happen? Why didn’t you say anything when we spoke on the phone? How long have you two been together? Oh my God, your father is going to be ecstatic when he hears this.”
“Mom, calm down, now. Although Val’s a great cardiac surgeon, we don’t really want you to have a heart attack.”
Patricia giggled and smacked her son’s shoulder playfully, taking his hand and Valerie’s at the same time.
“You two. Married. Your grandfather would be jumping with joy,” she said, sniffling. “He always warned us about it; he always said one day you’d open your eyes and realize what he’d known all along. He was never wrong, that one.”
“How about you invite us in for a cup of tea, so we don’t die of hypothermia here on the steps?” Ryan said and his mother nodded, pulling them both inside. He managed to sneak a look at Valerie just before his mother started calling for his father, and he gave her his most loving and reassuring smile, hoping she’d be able to relax now that they had his mother’s blessing.
Ryan woke up to the soft weight of Valerie’s head on his chest, her left arm draped across his waist and her left leg tangled with his. Although it had happened a few times over the last ten months, this time it felt different. They were married, now; they were officially and legally bound to each other for the rest of their lives—not that he would need a piece of paper to remind him, but it felt good to know he could now introduce her as ‘his wife’ to everyone they met.
He smiled and gave her a gentle squeeze, placing a soft kiss on the top of her head. Valerie stirred and mumbled something unintelligible, while her arm wrapped tighter around his waist. When she pinched his hip, he let out a chuckle and her eyes fluttered open. The smile she gave him was unlike any other smile he’d ever seen on her face in seventeen years; his heart swelled with all the love he felt for this amazing woman.
“Good morning, wife,” he whispered, looking at her. Her aquamarine eyes twinkled with amusement.
“Good morning, husband.” She giggled and pushed herself up to straddle him. “God, it feels so good to say it out loud. I love you so much, Ryan.” She bent down to kiss him but stopped just before her lips brushed his. “Oh, and happy Christmas.”
Ryan smiled and brushed the back of her neck. “Happy Christmas, love,” he whispered before pulling her face down to his. He kissed her slowly, savoring each second, his tongue brushing hers gently until the heat between them started to slowly build and they lost control all over again.
As they lay wrapped in each other’s arms afterwards, their chests rising in unison as they recovered their breath, Ryan wished they didn’t have to go to the family Christmas lunch, so they could spend the rest of the day snuggled up in that very comfortable bed, order room service and feed each other between kisses. Obviously they’d have time for that during their two weeks in Bali, but he wouldn’t mind starting their honeymoon now.
“Ryan?” Valerie asked, as she traced lazy circles on his chest. He turned his head to look at her and kissed the tip of her nose. “Do we have to go to your parents’? I really don’t want to leave this wonderful room: it’s cozy and warm here.” She said the last sentence in a husky tone, and wiggled her eyebrows. Ryan chuckled and gave her a squeeze, pulling her back on top of him.
“I don’t want to go either; I’m actually quite enjoying having you all to myself after a whole week of sharing you with everyone else.” She bent down and kissed his lips. “But I think at some point we’d better get out of this bed, if you still want to be able to walk.”
Valerie giggled and nodded. “Makes sense.”
She moved off him and sat on the side of the bed, fidgeting with the belt of the soft towel robe she’d used sometime during the night when she’d come out of the bathroom.
“I think I’ll have a shower now. Can you order breakfast?” She stared at him over her shoulder and batted her eyelashes. “I don’t really want to go downstairs in my wedding dress, and I think breakfast in bed sounds way more inviting right now.”
Ryan rolled on his side and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Your wish is my command, Mrs. Wyler.”
Valerie giggled and pushed to her feet, but he pulled her back down onto the mattress.
“Ryan!” she scolded and he laughed in response, placing a trail of soft kisses all along her spine. She shivered and let out a sigh. “At this rate, we’ll never have breakfast and never get out of bed.”
“I can do without breakfast; I’m not so sure I can do without you.”
She grunted. “Let go of me and call room service now, or I’m gonna file for divorce.”
Ryan laughed and released his grip, placed one last kiss on the side of her neck and playfully pushed her off the bed.
“Okay. You win.”
Valerie giggled, and grabbed the white robe off the armchair. He stared at her as she ran toward the bathroom, then picked up the phone and lay flat on his back, staring at the ceiling. God, he loved her so much he would never get enough of her. Ever.

      


♥ Click on the cover for more info ♥
An avid reader since her childhood years and being an only child, Roberta always enjoyed the company of her fictional friends from the children’s books she loved reading, while she dreamed of writing her own stories one day.
It was when she discovered novels by authors Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy in her teenage years that she realized it was time she put down in words the stories she had kept well hidden in her mind until then.
What started as a hobby, soon turned into a real passion and a way of life, until she could no longer keep the stories to herself, and decided to get over her fears and share them with the world.
Roberta lives in Italy, but her dream is to move out of her country and live either in a thatched cottage in the Irish countryside or in a country house with a swing on the back porch, somewhere in the United States, where she would love to spend her days writing novels as a full-time job, and maybe one day even get as far as writing a screenplay for a movie.
        
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