eBook Details

Holding On

Series: After Happily Ever , Book 3.0
By: Karen Stivali | Other books by Karen Stivali
Published By: Turquoise Morning Press
Published: Nov 25, 2012
ISBN # 9781622370795
Word Count: 86,000
Heat Index    
Eligible Price: $3.99

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc), Mobipocket (.mobi), Rocket, Epub

Categories: Romance>Contemporary Fiction


Holding On (After Happily Ever) by Karen Stivali - Romance>Contemporary

When you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of, the hard part is Holding On.

British NYU professor Daniel Gardner thinks life can’t get better than the day his three-year-old stepdaughter, Ella, calls him Daddy for the first time. Then his wife Marienne tells him she’s pregnant. Daniel is thrilled, but worried about Marienne’s health. Not wanting to cause her stress, he turns to writing to calm his nerves. He pens a screenplay, thinking it’s nothing more than a mental health exercise, but when a colleague reads it and hands it to a producer, it turns into a production contract. Daniel accepts the offer and transfers to a teaching position at Dartmouth, hoping that small town living and a shorter commute will simplify his life.

As he attempts to juggle his new responsibilities, he gets an unexpected letter from Roger, the father he never knew. For the first time since they met, Daniel and Marienne are at odds; she wants him to give Roger a chance, but Daniel wants nothing to do with the man he thinks abandoned his mother. As Daniel and Marienne struggle, they must contend with interference from Daniel’s sexy ex-wife, who appears to want him back, and a handsome, all-too-helpful single dad who desires Marienne as more than a play-date pal. They must both confront deep-seated issues with trust and acceptance if they’re going to find a way to make their marriage work and hold on to the love they share.
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Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
“What’s wrong?” Marienne asked, crawling into bed, loving that her husband, Daniel, was already there, waiting for her. He sat propped against the pillows, a book open in front of him. His dark hair dipped down almost to his eyes. She watched as he took his new reading glasses out of their case. A look of annoyance flickered across his face as he placed them on his nose.

“I can’t believe I need glasses now.” His British accent was always more prominent when he was bothered, and Marienne couldn’t help but smile. Ever since she’d met him, years ago, she’d loved the sound of his voice. She sat up and turned toward him, noting how the glasses accented his high cheekbones.

“What?” He furrowed his brow. “You think I look old and ridiculous?”
She giggled and his face scrunched further. “You’re only thirty.” She slid toward him. “And you don’t look at all ridiculous.”

A smile tugged at his lips. He peered at her from above the dark frames and closed his book.

She took it from his hands and placed it behind her. “In fact, I think they make you look kinda sexy.”

“You do, eh?” He reached his arm around her, drawing her closer. His long fingers pressed into her lower back.

“I do.”

“I love it when you say those words.” He ran his thumb along her hip.
Kiss me. As if he heard her thoughts, his mouth descended onto hers. He always managed to hold off until the moment when she couldn’t wait a second longer, and then he’d give her sweet release. His velvety tongue coaxed her mouth open, though she needed no encouragement. She never tired of kissing him, and kissing was never enough. Her hands slipped beneath his shirt, along the ridges of his back. He rocked against her and she melted.


They’d been married for six months, the happiest six months of Daniel’s life. Except for the seven months prior to that when they were engaged. And the four years prior to that when she was his best friend. He still couldn’t believe it sometimes. That fate had allowed them to find one another, had brought them together and led them to such joy.

He moaned as her arms curled around him. He could never get over how warm she was, how soft and inviting. Her sweetness dissolved on his tongue, making him crave more. He braced one hand on the headboard to keep it from squeaking and waking the sleeping three-year-old in the next room.

He slipped between her legs, sighing as he brushed against her wetness. “Perhaps I should wear these glasses all the time.”
The vibration of her laughter trilled through him. “Perhaps you should.” She raised her hips beneath him and he sank into her. Her breath came in hot puffs against his neck. He inhaled the vanilla scent of her hair then kissed his way back to her lovely mouth.
Her ankles locked behind him and he felt her liquefying. He pulled back to look at her, eyes shut, lips parted, breath catching in her beautifully arched throat. He loved to watch her come.

“Daniel,” she gasped, pulsating around him. He’d never told her, but the sound of her calling his name was his favorite part. He slowed his pace, hoping to take her for round two. Marienne seemed to have other ideas, changing position, tilting her hips so he plunged even deeper. She quickened their rhythm, straining against him, her fingers clasping at his back and he was powerless against her. He pressed his lips together, trying not to groan too loudly, as he throbbed inside her.

Marienne snuggled alongside him. He stroked her arm, half asleep and wholly content.

“You like the glasses better now?” she whispered.

“Very much so.” He laughed. He’d forgotten he was still wearing them. “Though they’re a bit smudged.” He closed one eye, then the other, trying to see which lens was clearer.

“Here.” She took them off his face, opened her mouth and puffed her breath onto one lens.

“Well now I like them even better,” he said. “Though I’m a bit jealous.” He nuzzled her with his nose.

“Do you want these clean, or not?”

“Will it involve more of the puffing?”


“Then by all means continue.”

She raised an eyebrow at him, feigning annoyance, then puffed again.
“Ooo, baby,” he said.

She shook her head as she polished the lenses with the edge of her tank top.

“A little to the left,” he said. That did it. She giggled.

“Here.” She placed them on his nose. “Better?”

“Much. But you’ve made me too tired to read.”

She swatted at him but he caught her arm, pulling her closer. “I love you,” he said, kissing her, wanting more of the sweetness.

Holding On

By: Karen Stivali