Charmed Against All Odds by Betty Bolté

Loving her brings out the magic in him…

Wedding bells are ringing, but not for Roxie Golden. If she can survive another round of wedding plans, then her life can return to normal. She’s perfectly happy running the bookstore and weaving helpful magical spells. Then one stormy day, her ex-fiancé strolls back into her life with a gift neither of them wants.

Leo King wants to flee the small town for the big city. Forget about the shame he brought upon himself when he abused his magical powers. First, to satisfy his warlock father’s final wish, he must deliver the mysterious box to Roxie’s bookstore.

But when Roxie opens the box, revealing an enchanted bracelet and a quest spell, their plans and their lives are changed forever. Trapped in a reluctant partnership with the woman he once loved, he risks everything—including his heart—for a second chance.

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Excerpt

“What do you think you’re doing?” His deep, gravelly voice grated on Leo’s nerves.

“Nothing. Just looking around.” Leo matched the man’s smile with one of his own. No way would he share their true purpose for returning to the nostalgic old theater.

“Do you have tickets?” The manager raised one brow as he stared at Leo.

“No, sir.” Leo’s smile withered and fell away. “Like I said, we simply wanted to see the lobby again.”

“We haven’t been here in a very long time.” Roxie smiled, a much more sincere and thus believable friendly expression than either of the two men had attempted. “Nothing’s changed.”

“One thing has for certain.” The man’s pale blue eyes glinted in the light shining from the bright chandeliers. “You have to buy a movie ticket before you come into the lobby. This isn’t a sightseeing stop on some tour.”

“We only need a few minutes and we’ll be out of here.” Leo cut a glance at Roxie, who nodded.

“Absolutely.”

“Either buy tickets to watch a movie or leave. Those are your options.” The manager crossed his arms over his narrow, self-righteous chest, his Adam’s apple prominently sliding up and down his scrawny throat. “No exceptions.”

“But—” Leo objected with his entire being. He couldn’t do it. Even if his libido wanted him to.

Sit in a darkened theater with Roxie at his side. Within reach of draping his arm around her, her head resting on his shoulder. Or playing thumb wars while they watched the movie. Sharing buttered popcorn out of a large tub between them, their fingers brushing when they both reached in at the same time. Like all the previous times they’d enjoyed being together.

“No exceptions.” The manager shook his head. “Your choice.”

The charm hid somewhere within the walls of the theater. He sensed they were close, a niggling in his core like he hadn’t felt in a long time. He couldn’t leave without the charm. Leo clenched his jaw as he noticed Roxie’s curt nod indicating they should do as the manager insisted. If she could do it, then he’d have to man up. Be a true gentleman and keep his hands to himself. No matter what. If possible…

“Very well. I’ll go buy them.” He dragged in a long breath and then met Roxie’s questioning gaze. “Only You or the horror flick?”

He hoped she wouldn’t choose the classic film they’d watched together years before. A romantic comedy about fortune telling, fate, deceit, and finding true love. Too much like the twisting turns of their own relationship. Better to watch anything else than to sit through echoes of the mistakes and the memories they’d made.

“Horror.” Roxie grinned at him, her luscious lips calling to him.

He blew out his held breath and inwardly rejoiced at her selection. No touching sentiment to wade through. Nothing to make him think more deeply or, worse, feel more deeply about who they might have been together as a couple.

With a nod, he spun around and hurried back outside to the ticket booth. Away from her alluring lips. He could do it. Without succumbing to the tantalizing woman who exemplified his ideal mate. His perfect woman.

Then she smiled her come-hither smile at him when he approached her in the lobby, waiting with the young ticket taker guy and the pleased manager. An invitation as comfortable as the memories flooding through the now unlocked, wide open door in his mind.

He braced himself mentally as he carried the tub of popcorn in one arm and walked with her toward the theater door. She carried both cups of soda. Leo glanced over his shoulder to see the manager watching him with a smile of triumph. Leo turned back around, met Roxie’s guarded gaze, and pulled open the door to the theater. He could do this. He must.

Maybe.

About the Author

Award-winning author Betty Bolté is known for authentic and accurately researched historical fiction with heart and supernatural romance novels. A lifetime reader and writer, she’s worked as a secretary, freelance word processor, technical writer/editor, and author. She’s been published in essays, newspaper articles/columns, magazine articles, and nonfiction books but now enjoys crafting entertaining and informative fiction, especially stories that bring American history to life. She earned a Master’s Degree in English in 2008, emphasizing the study of literature and storytelling, and has judged numerous writing contests for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northern Alabama with her loving husband of more than 30 years. Her cat, Calliope, serves as her muse and writing partner, and her dog, Zola, makes sure she goes outside frequently. She loves to cook, travel, read, crochet and take long walks. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Historical Novel Society, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Alabama Writers Conclave, and Authors Guild. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com.

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