Contract For Marriage
September 14, 2012
Pregnant and alone after her ex-lover’s death, magazine editor Ruby Fleming’s not about to give up her home to the man who broke her heart—until she discovers her mother left half of the estate to somebody else, and she realizes she’s trapped.
Property tycoon Christo Mantazis wants the one thing his riches can’t buy—the villa where his mother has lived and worked as housekeeper for forty years. That it’s the same house he was banished from after being caught making love to the owner’s irresistible daughter stirs up old memories and now he wants her more than ever.
When Christo offers a marriage of convenience, Ruby knows it’s the only way for them to get what they want. Ruby needs her baby to have the link to its past, Christo needs his mother to retain her home, and for him to have the child he could never father.
But it’s another need—to have Christo again—that Ruby must resist at all costs.
Are you a cider making, tropical fish keeping harpist?
I’ve always wanted to have a really fascinating hobby, something I could do when I wanted a bit of down time—something that wasn’t work or doing things for other people. I quite fancy being good at making cheese, or playing the harp or breeding tropical fish. Sadly, I seem to be deeply untalented (and impatient) when it comes to maintaining interesting hobbies. I’ve tried developing my own photos, furniture restoration, and I even had a go at making cider a few years in a row—but each of my newfound hobbies have fallen by the wayside.
I guess writing began as a hobby but because I loved it so much, it quickly grew into something that consumed all my time and I’m still looking for that interesting little past time to round out my day.
When I start creating characters I try to make them as three dimensional as possible. Of course I want my readers to feel as though they can see the people who inhabit my stories, so I thread physical description throughout. I also want my readers to hear the way my characters speak and to understand a little bit more about them by the jobs they do and the friends they have. And I like my characters to have hobbies too.
In Contract for Marriage, Christo’s hobby, is fitness. As an ex-gym instructor and someone who’s faced a health crisis, he’s not only conscious of keeping fit, he also finds a sense of peace when he takes time out from wheeling and dealing to exercise. He loves the challenge of pushing himself physically too. For Stella, Christo’s mother, cooking is her love. Whether it’s egg/lemon soup when someone’s unwell, or the Greek lamb and potatoes she made for Ruby’s mother every Sunday, cooking equals love for Stella and it’s her way of showing those around her what they mean to her.
Ruby’s hobby is jewelry making. She loves the creativity, the feeling of building something of her own in a quiet and private space. She did it as a teenager when she first began a relationship with Christo but has only turned to it again now she’s back in the familiar environment of the home she’s loved so much.
Throughout the book Ruby wears necklaces, bracelets and earrings she’s created and slowly Christo starts to notice….
I’d love to know more about your hobbies and/or if you look out for characters who enjoy them too.
~ Barbara DeLeo ~
Read Chapter One of Contract for Marriage free!
About the Author:
Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and now lives her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
Degrees in English and Psychology, and a career as an English teacher, fuelled Barbara’s passion for people and stories, and a number of years living in Europe gave her a love for romantic settings.
Discovering she was having her second set of twins in two years, Barbara knew she must be paying penance for being disorganized in a previous life and was determined to get it right this time. It’s amazing what being housebound with four preschoolers will do for the imagination and she decided it was time to follow her writing dream. Funnily enough, those first manuscripts had not a single child in them.
Married to her winemaker hero, Barbara’s happiest when she’s getting to know her latest cast of characters. She still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, but now without a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.