Tuesday, February 28, 2012
My 1st Valentine by Stephanie Burkhart
Valentines Day used to be a cold, cold holiday for me. Well, let's face it, growing up in New Hampshire put Valentines smack in the dead of winter. Snow littered the ground. Cold chilled the bones. And I was too young to have a Valentine anyway.
Then I joined the Army. Valentines still proved to be a cold, lonely, snowy holiday. Sure, I had boyfriends, but I always seemed to be "in-between" them when Valentines Day showed up.
Why am I talking about Valentines instead of my 1st kiss? Because it's over 20 years and I can't remember. I'm sure it was sweet, filled with promise, but it's my 1st Valentines that really resonates with me.
Brent and I were stationed in Bad Hersfeld, Germany and yes, it was cold and snowy. We lived off the base in a small 1 room apartment we called "The Love Shack." The apartment was across town, about 10 minutes from the Kaserne and up on the hill, so you could look down onto the city.
The landlady was crazy, but that's another story for another blog.
My husband loved Oingo Boingo (being the California boy he is) so I bought him their latest disc and decorated the living room in pink and white crepe paper.
At the time, Valentines wasn't a big holiday where we were stationed at. (Germans really get into "Fashing" though, which generally occurs mid-to-end Feb right before Ash Wednesday) My husband hunted high and low until he found a small florist that had a dozen red roses. He paid 50 marks for the flowers. (approx. $30.00)
I so appreciated the hunt he undertook to find me flowers. That involved a lot of effort and thought on his part, especially since he was an American in Germany with limited knowledge of the language. My husband gives me flowers every year, but behind the gesture, I'm always reminded that he was the 1st guy to go out of his way for me and buy me flowers, and that means a lot – even 20 years later.
Enjoy this Excerpt, from "The Hungarian" where Matthias and Kate bond over flowers.
"What happened to you?" Katherine whispered. She needed to know more about him.
"It isn't easy for me to discuss." He dropped her hand. His eyes darkened as if a storm threatened the horizon.
She hesitated. Matthias's wound was still raw.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Was he trying to push an unpleasant memory away from him?
"Katherine--" he began.
"No, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought it up."
He grabbed her wrist again with his cat-like reflexes. "It is unpleasant, but I've come to terms with it."
"Yes. I'm just not prepared to talk about it right now. I want to focus on you. I find you intriguing, and I would like the opportunity to get to know you better."
"You find me intriguing? Boring old me and my books?"
"Don't talk about yourself like that. You are not boring. Your desire to own a bookstore is admirable. This is not an easy admission for me. Since my wife died, I vowed not to get involved with anyone else, but the stars guided me to you."
"The stars?" she questioned.
"You believe as I believe."
"I believe what precisely, Matthias?"
His eyes burned gold. He stepped into her personal space, his lips curving into a seductive smile. Her heart pounded like a horse on a track pursuing a reckless course to the finish line. The sunlight struck his face in such a manner that it cast gray shadows over his satyr-like cheekbones.
"In the stars," he finally said. "I live my life by them."
She drew in a breath. The stars had been her lifeline once. He leaned forward, his mouth trapping hers with his sweet lips. Warmth pooled inside her, unlocking unspoken desire. His kiss was gentle yet filled with hunger, teasing her with silent promises of more before he backed away. His eyes never left hers. She betrayed too much in that wicked kiss, for his lips curved into a feral smile full of delight. Did he want more? Confusion pooled next to desire. Was this what it was like when the heart and mind collided?
His eyes darted to a nearby lavender bush. He easily closed the distance between them and the bush. Gently, he picked a sprig. "For you."
Happily Ever After Reviews, 5 Cups
"This is an excellent book and I think fans of both the paranormal and historical romances will really, really enjoy it."
Hope Chest Reviews - 4 Hearts
Overall, The Hungarian was a pretty good read. Stephanie Burkhart is good at telling an interesting story that holds my attention.
You Gotta Read Reviews - You Need to Read, Lupa
I was so very happily surprised by this book. The characters are enchanting, the scenes are vividly written, and the story has a fantastic flow. I really enjoyed the warm love and fiery passion that seemed to leap off the page.
Sizzling Hot Book Reviews, 5 Hearts
"I highly recommend The Hungarian, even if you aren't that interested in the paranormal such as werewolves. The romantic tale of The Hungarian is enough to win over anyone."
Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars
"This book is extremely entertaining. The plot is sensual and romantic."
Coffee Time Romance, 3 Cups
"Ms. Burkhart tells this tale in such a voice that we can practically feel the waves of emotions both characters are feeling coming off the pages."
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