Kelli Maine reflects on writing Rachel & Merrick’s wedding vows:
Rachael’s Vows to Merrick
Rachael has become a part of me over this series. Like a child, I brought her into existence, held her hand and guided her through her story. I celebrated with her in triumph and saw her through the hard times. I stood, looking in on her wedding and knew exactly what she felt standing there at the altar. Writing her vows was a gift from me to her. Here’s how they begin:
“Merrick,” Rachael began, taking my hands, her voice soft but steady, “before I met you, I never believed there was one person for everyone. One true love. It was illogical to think that out of the entire population of the earth, a person was supposed to find this magical love like a needle in a haystack. Then you came along and I realized I’d never known anything about love, because I became one of the lucky ones who knew the truth—there really is only one person for each of us.
Merrick’s Vows to Rachael
Writing Merrick and Rachael’s wedding vows was my very favorite part of the Give & Take series. It was standing at the peak of the mountain I’d climbed and gazing out at the amazing landscape below. If there was one time for Merrick to get it right, this was it. I won’t give you his entire vow to Rachael, but here’s how he begins:
“Rachael,” I said, my voice coming out a bit hoarse around the welt of emotion in my throat, “I could say what many, many men have told the women they love over the centuries: you make me a better man. It’s true, but only scratches the surface, because you simply make me.
Title: Given by Kelli Maine
Give & Take Book Three
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 288 pages
For Merrick and Rachael, Turtle Tear Island has become their own private paradise with days of unimaginable bliss and sizzling nights in the bedroom—and beyond. But Rachael and Merrick’s happiness is shattered when his daughter, Nadia, suddenly becomes increasingly demanding of his time and devotion. It soon becomes clear that Merrick will have to make an agonizing choice: the woman whose love saved his tortured soul or the daughter he never knew existed…
Rachel can’t stand the thought of losing Merrick after everything she’s sacrificed to be with him. She had thought she and Merrick were done with secrets, that the passion that burned so brightly between them had forged an unbreakable connection, but she begins to wonder if she ever really knew the man at all. Now the love they’ve fought so desperately to protect may not be enough to save them…
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Although exhausted, I didn’t sleep. While Merrick napped, I got online and looked up as many apartments on Rue Lincoln that rented weekly as I could find. I called the phone numbers listed on the rentals, pretending to be Enzo’s daughter in-law, hoping to find Nadia, but wasn’t having any luck.
I was so focused on my search, I didn’t hear Merrick come up behind me. “You’ll never find them,” he whispered in my ear, making me jump and grasp the arms of the chair.
“God, you scared me.”
He swept my hair to the side and kissed my neck. “If Enzo doesn’t want to be found, he won’t be.”
I closed my laptop. “Then why are we here?”
He traced my earlobe with the tip of his nose. “Nadia will contact me. She’ll tell us where to find her.”
I wanted to believe that. I heard the desperation in his voice. He didn’t want to believe his daughter would betray him and be loyal to Enzo. I hoped for his sake—for all of their sakes—Nadia would get in touch.
Merrick took my hands and pulled me up out of my chair, wrapping his arms around me and holding me against him. “Let’s get out of here and go look around.”
He kissed me. I remembered our first kiss and how I’d been so hesitant, so nervous, but my raw lust for Merrick took over and I couldn’t hold myself back. Now my lust and desire pooled with comfort and love. His kisses made me feel cherished and treasured as well as physically wanted.
It was so clear to me, even though neither one of us had actually spoken the word marriage, that he was my husband. He would be—it was meant to be. I felt the white, hot truth of it in every cell of my body. We were one soul, torn in half and put on earth to find each other.
Title: Take This Man by Kelli Maine
Give & Take 3.5
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 60 pages (Novella)
It’s finally here. After many twists and turns and shocking revelations, it’s time for Merrick and Rocha to declare their love for one another in front of their family and friends. And what better place than the historic island where their love first began?
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He slowed to a stop beside the large, dangling frame. There was nothing fancy about it. It was black—and empty other than a white mat. From the right bottom corner of the matting, a black ink tree was sketched, jutting up with branches sprouting over the right top corner. On the tree trunk was drawn a heart, and inside that heart was written Merrick and Rachael Rocha, and the date.
The handwriting was familiar. I couldn’t believe he’d done this. “Merrick… you drew this?”
His dimples and the gleam in his eye couldn’t be contained. “I did. It’s the start of our family tree. We’ll put our wedding photo in it and eventually a family photo and then a photo with our grandkids.” He took me by the chin. “And in fifty years when we’re old and gray, we’ll renew our vows here on the island and have a new wedding photo to frame.”
Merrick kissed me then, a firm kiss, full of confidence, promises that would be kept, a lifetime of adventures to share and a family to love. My heart was on a precipice, ready to fall over the edge and burst with its fullness.
He took my face between his hands and nuzzled my nose with his. “Are you ready to get married now? To become my wife?”
USA Today bestselling author of TAKEN and its sequel, No Take Backs, Kelli Maine watches entirely too much reality TV, which led to her compulsion to write dramatic romance novels. Blessed with a unique ability to bond with difficult people, she’s convinced she could win Big Brother. Her deathly fear of heights would keep her from completing half of the detours on The Amazing Race, and she’s shocked nobody has ever penned The Survivor Diet Plan: Eat One Cup of Rice for Thirty-Nine Days and Lose Fifty Pounds! Kelli lives in northeast Ohio with her family and a crazy cat that broke into their attic and refused to leave.
Author Links: Facebook * Goodreads
A complete set of the Give and Takes series in a mix of eBook & print titles courtesy of Forever Publishing. Contest is open to US/Canadian addresses ONLY. To enter the contest, fill out the form below by 5 PM mountain time Friday March 14th:
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