In my new romantic suspense HOUR OF NEED, Major Grant Barrett returns home from
Afghanistan after the murders of his brother and sister-in-law to find that his
infant niece and young nephew have been placed in foster care. Grant is thrust
into parenting with no preparation for the role. Thankfully, he has a sexy
neighbor and her family to help him. But when romance begins to form between
Grant and Ellie, they find themselves juggling the chaos and demands that come
with family life.
How do they manage to find a second alone? To begin, they embrace the help of
family. Ellieís teen daughter loves to spend time with Grantís nephew, and her
grandmother bakes a mean casserole. Even Grantís sister, a corporate attorney
with less experience than Grant with kids, can learn to feed a baby, even if the
learning process is comical.
I have a houseful of kids and pets and chaos, and letís face it: The most
difficult thing about raising kids is finding the time to keep your relationship
Here are my tips for finding time for romance, learned over twenty years of
marriage, kids, and chaos.
1. Teenagers are often great with young children and make great babysitters. On
the outside edge of childhood, teens often have more patience than adults, and
they still remember how to play. Hire one today!
2. Take help wherever you can get it and donít be too fussy. Who cares if
Grandma puts the kids to bed an hour late or lets them have an extra cookie? Let
go of your inner control freak and get out of the house.
3. Embrace casseroles and slow cooker recipes. Meals donít have to be gourmet to
be tasty. Sometimes edible is all you can hope for.
4. Keep your sense of humor. Youíre going to need it, and laughter is sexy.
5. Donít let romance be sidetracked by household chores. No one ever died from
wearing wrinkled or mismatched clothes. Kids are often healthier when raised
with some dirt and germs. (Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it.) A messy
house is a sign that fun happened.
6. Master the quickie. Ten minutes of sex is better than none, and frankly,
sometimes youíll be lucky to get ten minutes.
7. Stress is the opposite of romance. Donít sweat the small stuff. Perfection is
boring. I promise, if little Johnny doesnít finish his coloring homework for
kindergarten, it wonít go on his permanent record.
8. Romantic gestures can be small. A kiss or hug only takes a few seconds.
Strive for some physical contact every day.
9. Intimacy doesnít have to lead to sex. Babies and young children are
exhausting. Itís OK to crave a nap more than sex. Take that nap together.
10. Donít forget to say, ďI love you.Ē Sure, your spouse might know you do, but
saying the words is important.
About HOUR OF NEED
While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news:
his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy
suburb of Grantís youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier
returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and
niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter,
Grant knows itís not a random act . . . and neither were the murders.
Already devastated by her neighborsí violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by
the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to
Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle
with growing feelings for each other and Grantís impending return to deployment.
But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and
Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.
About Melinda Leigh
Melinda Leigh abandoned her career in banking to raise her children. She started
writing as a hobby, but soon found her true calling creating characters and
stories. She has won numerous writing awards for her paranormal romance and
romantic suspense fiction. Her debut novel, SHE CAN
RUN, was a #1 bestseller in Kindle Romantic Suspense, a 2011 Best Book
Finalist in The Romance Reviews, and a nominee for the 2012 International
Thriller Award for Best First Book. A 2013 and 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award
finalist, Melinda holds a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate and teaches
womenís self-defense. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of
dogs, and two rescued cats.
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