The third Arcadia Valley Romance novel released this week! I’m thrilled to watch each author’s series begin to take shape. Lee Tobin McClain jumped into the project months after the rest of us had begun brainstorming and working on our novellas in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley, but when she joined, she went from zero to sixty in just a few weeks flat.
Sheltered Hearts, Lee’s novella in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley, introduced the Quintana siblings who inherited El Corazon, a tired Mexican restaurant, from their parents. In Sheltered Hearts, former baseball star Alex Quintana rescues a jilted bride in the middle of a freak spring snowstorm, and the two of them cook up his abuela’s birthday dinner together. And fall in love, of course!
In Secrets of the Heart, Javier Quintana takes center stage as the manager of El Corazon. He’s struggling to keep the doors open, but he doesn’t like his siblings’ decision to hire a consultant to make over the restaurant. He’s already vetoed two consultants when they bring in his high school sweetheart, Molly, who left town pregnant years before. Javier is not amused… but, of course, all is not as it seems.
Here’s the official description of Secrets of the Heart:
Javier Quintana knows his family’s struggling restaurant, El Corazon, needs help. But when his interfering siblings hire Molly Abbott, a successful food entrepreneur and his high-school sweetheart, he’s livid. The way their relationship ended wasn’t pretty. And although Molly never married, she’s the single mom of an eleven-year-old daughter conceived right about the time of the breakup.
Molly’s ideas about farm-to-table, health-conscious Mexican food conflict with Javier’s strong sense of tradition, even as her joyous faith convicts him about his own lapse from the church of his youth. Can a reunion romance bring happiness to two lonely souls who never forgot each other… or will their relationship be derailed by the secrets they both carry in their hearts?
Here’s an excerpt:
“Plus, you turned down the other two consultants we brought in…” Veronica went on.
It was true; he had. They’d been idiots. “Get to the point,” he ordered his siblings.
“We kind of decided something on our own,” Veronica said.
“Took it to a vote,” Alex said, “and all three of us agreed, so… ”
“We went ahead and hired Molly.” Daniel said, his voice firm. He put an arm around Molly’s shoulders.
A flush of angry heat rose in Javier’s face and neck, whether because of the idea that they’d hired her, or because of Daniel touching her, he couldn’t say for sure.
“She’s a food entrepreneur,” Veronica explained, “who knows all about the fresh food movement.”
“She turned around three restaurants in Cleveland.”
“And one of them’s a traditional Mexican place.”
“And she knows El Corazon, because she practically spent high school here.”
Which was exactly the problem. She’d humiliated him in front of the entire town.