COMING HOME: A Mirabelle Harbor Duet by: Marilyn Brant

COMING HOME: A Mirabelle Harbor Duet by: Marilyn Brant

COMING HOME: A Mirabelle Harbor Duet by: Marilyn BrantComing Home by Marilyn Brant
Also by this author: The One That I Want, Take a Chance on Me, You Give Love a Bad Name
on Septbember 10, 2017
Genres: Austenesque, Mr. Darcy Romance, Mr. Darcy Type Characters, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Women' Fiction, Women's Literature
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COMING HOME: A Mirabelle Harbor Duet is Book 6 in Marilyn Brant’s Mirabelle Harbor series, and it features two novellas—ROCKET MAN and SOMEONE LIKE YOU—but these books and all of the contemporary romances in this completed series can be enjoyed as standalone stories.

There’s double the trouble in this romantic story pairing when ex-lovers, Abby Solinski and Chandler Michaelsen, both return to their hometown of Mirabelle Harbor, only to find that the happily ever after they thought they’d given up may, in fact, still be a possibility…just not with the person they’d expected!

Abby had a crush on “Rocket Rick” Zimmerman way back in high school, but he was her brother’s best friend and graduated a couple of years ahead of her, leaving town for an international life of top-secret, science-nerd intrigue. She didn’t understand a fraction of what he did professionally, and he wasn’t allowed to tell her anyway. Abby, meanwhile, meandered around the country with her then-boyfriend, Chandler, eventually winding up alone and working at a couple of part-time jobs in Florida. She’d resigned herself to being single forever and living on the sunny Gulf Coast, a thousand miles away from her Midwestern origins.

But when her parents need her help back in Mirabelle Harbor, she flies home for a week and runs into Rick again, who’s back in the Chicago area for a big physics convention. Immediately, she’s caught up in a surprising game of “Booster Ignition and Liftoff,” where the object seems to be an answer to this scientific question: Just how fast can things heat up between them without somebody getting burned?

As for Chandler, he had no intention whatsoever of coming back to Mirabelle Harbor. When he and Abby broke up, he headed north on his motorcycle from Sarasota to Atlanta, and a life on the road was how he wanted to roll. But then his twin brother, Chance, goes and gets himself engaged, and the groom insists that Chandler needs to be the best man. Fine. He’ll drive back for a few days, for the sake of his twin, but no one had better expect him to stay in town. Of course, that’s before he knows his dream woman—beautiful bookstore owner, Jaleina Longoria—is going to be at the wedding.

Jaleina is not only eight and a half years his senior, she’s also the ex-fiancée of his eldest brother, who’d broken up with her to marry someone else years earlier. That never stopped Chandler from considering Jaleina to be his Ultimate Fantasy. Getting her to stop thinking of him as the restless teen boy he’d once been, however, is going to prove quite a challenge. Especially since the restlessness is still there, even though he’s now a very passionate—and very determined—full-grown man.

Sometimes what you think you’re returning to isn’t what you’d really left behind. COMING HOME, a pair of Mirabelle Harbor stories.

**NOTE: All of the romances in the Mirabelle Harbor series take place over roughly a two-year time frame, and every book listed below can be read as a standalone story. Details on each book and links to excerpts & extras can be found on Marilyn’s website HERE.

I love coming home to Mirabelle Harbor! This duet is my favorite of the whole series, truly the best for last. I have enjoyed my time in this cute little seaside cove and I am a little sad it has come to an end. I adore everyone in town, including Rick and Abby from Rocket Man but Chandler and Jaleina’s story was just so different than all the others. I feel Marilyn outdid herself in Someone Like You. She was able to capture the passion of Jaleina’s culture and the determination of a man who knew what his heart always wanted. Sweet and sexy, a romance so passionate, it had me blushing!

Year One:
Take a Chance on Me (Chance & Nia) – April/May
The One That I Want (Julia & Dane) – June/July/August
Stranger on the Shore (Marianna & Gil) – June/July/August
You Give Love a Bad Name (Blake & Vicky) – September/October

Year Two:
Going for It – Kindle World Bonus Story (Trevor & Tina Marie) – June
One Night Love Affair (Sharlene & Declan) – July
Rocket Man – Coming Home (Abby & Rick) – October
Someone Like You – Coming Home (Chandler & Jaleina) – December

**This is from Chandler & Jaleina’s story, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, a sexy contemporary romance and a modern nod to Austen’s PERSUASION. This scene is from Jaleina’s point of view and takes place in mid-December at the bookstore she owns, a few days before the wedding of Chandler’s twin brother (Chance) and Jaleina’s friend (Nia), the romantic couple featured in the first Mirabelle Harbor book, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek!!**

In my defense, no one who hadn’t known Chandler Michaelsen for nearly a decade and a half, the way I had, would have thought he was anything like the scrawny teen of years’ past. His twin hadn’t left town and had grown into a sexy and confident man, too, but Chance was wholesome, for want of a better word. Absolutely perfect for Nia and an all-around sweetheart to the residents of Mirabelle Harbor, if somewhat serious.

Chandler was many things, but wholesome and sweet weren’t two of them. A person could read the difference in the expression in his eyes. The firm brackets around his lips. The posture he used when he strode into a room. He had a way of claiming every step he took, like a predator.

And heaven help me, while in his company, it was strangely difficult to think of myself as a lecherous older woman out to corrupt him. Not when he was staring at me like a wolf.

As Chandler and I continued to chat, one customer came up to the front register, arms full of books. She wanted to buy a six-volume set of Jane Austen novels, along with a pair of bookmarks with literary quotes.

“I hope you’ll enjoy these,” I told her as I bagged her purchases.

“Oh, I already love Austen,” the older woman gushed. “These novels are for my granddaughter. I want to get her hooked while she’s still easy to influence.”

“How old is she?” I asked, expecting her to say a teenager or, maybe, a young woman in her twenties.

“Just turned four,” the woman replied. “Can’t start too early introducing her to Jane.” Then she winked and all but waltzed out the door.

Chandler and I laughed.

“A super fan,” he noted.

I agreed. “Then again, it’s really romantic that Chance and Nia are getting married on Jane Austen’s birthday, December sixteenth. From what Nia told me, that was her first choice for the wedding date.”

“I’m not surprised. Nia, Shar, Vicky, and Olivia are all period drama freaks.”

I crossed my arms and mock-glared at him.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he added quickly, raising his palms in a sign of surrender. “But Blake and Declan were complaining about all the Regency costumes and literary shit their girlfriends are into. Chance and Derek know better than to say anything. But there’s some Pride and Prejudice marathon on PBS this week, and the ladies have been going crazy over it. Blake starts to gag every time the subject comes up.”

This made me grin just thinking about it. I knew what an extensive reader Blake Michaelsen was, despite his tough-guy image. He’d been an outstanding customer of mine for years. So I also knew he had to be putting on an act for his family. The guy had read nearly all of the classics, including several novels by Austen, and not a single soul had made him do it.

Persuasion is my favorite of the stories, but I’ve been watching the Pride and Prejudice marathon on TV, too,” I informed Chandler. “It’s excellent.”

“Well, you’d fit right in with the rest of my family then,” he said, stopped abruptly, and then grimaced at the awkwardness that followed. “Sorry, Jaleina. I didn’t mean—”

“It’s okay,” I tried to reassure him. “That’s water under the bridge. Really.”

He muttered something I couldn’t catch. Something about “Derek” and “fool.” I might have been flattered if I’d heard the whole thing, but it didn’t matter in any case. I wasn’t a Michaelsen woman, and I never would be. Chandler’s big brother, Derek, had made sure of that…

Honestly, after seeing him and Olivia together, it was all for the best. There was something that hadn’t fully meshed with Derek and me. At the time, I’d blamed our differences in ethnicity, which was easier than thinking we just weren’t soul mates. The Michaelsens had always been a tight-knit bunch, and though I would have loved to have been a part of that camaraderie, it might have been worse if I’d married into the family and never quite fit in.

As my Mexican grandparents used to say, “No podemos escapar de nuestra herencia.” We cannot escape our heritage.

And, anyway, I didn’t want to.

But it was likely my family’s cultural background or my more modest upbringing would never have been an issue. After all, Nia was a first-generation Greek-American, and she’d slid right in with the Michaelsens, in spite of their old money and their WASPishness. Maybe I would’ve been marginalized for no other reason than because I was me.

Chandler seemed to be reading something in my expression that I thought I’d done better at hiding. He immediately asked me about my family. About my parents and my brother, who lived in Southern California. About my abuela, Clarita, who’d immigrated to Texas when she was fourteen and married my grandfather, Lorenzo Longoria. They’d moved to California, too, where he’d passed away a few years ago.

“Must’ve been hard to lose your abuelo,” he said. “I remember that you were really close to your grandparents.”

I nodded. I’d come to Illinois on a college scholarship and stayed, but Chandler knew I flew back often to see my family and talked with them frequently on the phone. “Every so often, I’ll make sopapillas in his honor. Or, when I’m too lazy to actually fix his favorite pastry by hand, I go out to La Vida Feliz and order it.”

“Oh, man, that sounds good.” He licked his lips in a way that shouldn’t have been nearly as sensual as it was. “Is this a new restaurant?”

“Not so new. It’s been around for about five years, but it must have opened after you left town. It’s about fifteen or twenty minutes away. In Glen Forest.”

“Spent a few months in San Antonio a few years back, and I ate like a king. Soy como un rey,” he said with a self-deprecating laugh, pointing to his chest as if he really were royalty.

I laughed, too. It always thrilled me to hear someone speak Spanish, even if it was just a few words. I wondered if he still spoke the language sometimes. “Sigues usando el español?”

“Nah, not really. I wish I were better, but I’ve forgotten a lot since high school. And I haven’t had an authentic Mexican meal in ages.” He paused. “We should go to La Vida Feliz for dinner this week.”

“W-We?” I sputtered before I could stop myself.

“Hell, yeah. How am I supposed to know the best dishes to order without guidance?” He sent me that knowing, captivating grin again that was pure sexiness. I knew better than to fall for it and, yet, he tempted me.

This was so like Chandler.

Impulsive and charming. Reckless and seductive.

He was too much of everything—not the least of which was too young. I couldn’t let myself forget that.

I shook my head. “I don’t think that’s the best idea. You’re going to be so busy with pre-wedding activities and—”

“No.” He took a few steps closer until I could feel his body heat radiating toward me. Enough to warm up even this chilly December morning. “Friday night, yes. There’s the rehearsal at the church and then the rehearsal dinner. But there’s nothing I really have to do tonight or tomorrow. So, which will it be?”

He looked at me so steadily, so suddenly somber that I was forced to make a decision. If I went with him, we’d be out of Mirabelle Harbor at least. It would be less like a date, I reasoned, and more like an outing. With a friend. Right?

Well, sort of.

“Please, Jaleina,” he whispered. “I’d really like to spend some time with you. Only with you. Solamente contigo. Just catching up.”

I felt myself giving in. He was utterly enchanting and persuasive. More so now than he was when I was dating his big brother. Or maybe he’d always been this way and I just hadn’t wanted to acknowledge it. “I’ve got a book club meeting to attend tonight. But tomorrow, I’m free after the bookstore closes,” I admitted.

He shot a cursory glance at the store hours posted in white type on the window. “Six p.m. then,” he said. “Tomorrow night. I’ll pick you up here. And, uh—” He scanned my body, paying special attention to my legs, which, despite my long skirt, burned hotter under his gaze. “You’ll want to dress warm and wear slacks. Maybe jeans.”


He flashed a smile at me that was disarmingly polite, but the mischievous glint in his eye gave him away. “Just trust me.” Then, with a parting wave, he added, “Thanks for saying yes. I’m looking forward to our evening together.”

Before I could reply, he was gone.

A customer asked me a question about the latest psychological thriller at the top of this week’s USA Today Bestseller List, and as I moved to answer her, I saw a motorcycle speed by my bookstore, Chandler riding it.

Ah. Dress warm. Wear slacks. Trust him. I understood now, and I could handle two out of three. But as powerful and alluring as those guys might be, I’d vowed to never fully trust a Michaelsen man again.

Especially not one who looked so dangerously hot in his black leather jacket and jeans.

I had a sneaking suspicion that a ride on his sleek motorcycle wasn’t the only kind of ride the clever and ever-charismatic Chandler had in mind.

Sneaky, sexy boy. Too sneaky and too sexy for his own damn good.

Or for mine.

For a sexier excerpt, please visit my sister blog Best Sellers and Best Stellars of Romance 

If you’re interested in reading more from COMING HOME: A Mirabelle Harbor Duet, I’ve got 2 additional excerpts (one from each of the novellas) on my website HERE.  The ebooks are available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo—they’ll be released September 10th—and the paperbacks are out now: Here!

Two winners (open internationally) will have their choice of an ebook copy of one of the earlier books in Marilyn’s Mirabelle Harbor series! The winners may select an epub, mobi, or pdf edition of Take a Chance on Me, The One That I Want, You Give Love a Bad Name, Stranger on the Shore, or One Night Love Affair. 

Thank you so much to Margie for inviting me here and to all of you for taking time to visit!! xo

***Please comment on this post with your favrotie Jane Austen book and why!! We will pick a winner on September 10! The prize will come from the author so please give her a little time to get it to you. 🙂 🙂

Marilyn Brant is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction, romantic comedy, and mystery. In 2013, she was named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She loves Sherlock Holmes, travel, music, chocolate, and all things Jane Austen. Her Austen-inspired debut novel, ACCORDING TO JANE, won RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award, and named it one of the 100 Best Romance Novels of All Time. She’s also written several light comedies, like PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH and its sequel, PERFECT BET. Her latest releases are the sexy contemporary romances in her “Mirabelle Harbor” series, set on the shores of Lake Michigan near her home in the Chicago suburbs. She also has a short story included in RWA’s newest anthology, SECOND CHANCES, just out this month! For updates, please visit her website: