by Zuri Day
When artist Anise Cartier leaves Nebraska for L.A., she’s finally ready to put the past and its losses behind her. She’s even taken a new name to match her new future. And she soon finds a welcoming committee in the form of one very handsome doctor, Gregory Morgan. Their attraction is instant. So is their animosity.
Anise’s goal is to start an art gallery, while Gregory is in a fierce competition for a multimillion-dollar medical research grant . His opponent for the coveted funding is not Gregory’s only problem. The beloved artist community where Anise plans to set up shop is the same location slated to be demolished to make way for the new research center. Soon, it’s a battle between art and science—one that neither Anise nor Gregory intend to lose. Their passion is intense, but can this heated war of wills lead to a lifetime of red hot love?
Almost six weeks to the day from when she received her acceptance letter from The Creative Space, Anise landed at Los Angeles International Airport. Her aunt, Aretha, met her curbside, just outside baggage claim. “Hello, Shirley,” she said, giving her niece a heartfelt hug.
Anise hugged her back, and after they’d placed her luggage in the trunk and settled into the car, she said, “Aunt Ree, please call me Anise.” At her aunt’s questioning look, she continued. “Mommy named me after my grandmother, and while I loved her dearly, I always hated that name. Shirley never fit me. I’ve done a lot of soul searching since my mother’s death. Her passing taught me how short life is and caused me to think a lot about how I want to live the rest of it … on my terms. It’s time to mark a brand new chapter, to live my life a whole different way. That began with changing my name. It has legally been changed to Anise, Anise Cartier.”
“Cartier?” Aretha asked with raised brow. “Like the watch?”
“You could say that,” Anise replied with a laugh. “But when the idea came to me to change my first name, it’s not what I had in mind. Carter sounded too plain to go with Anise so I just spiced it up a bit.”
“No pun intended, huh?”
“Ha! That’s right, auntie. No pun intended.”
“Hmm.” Aretha looked at Anise with an unreadable expression. After turning from Sepulveda Boulevard and merging into the parking lot otherwise known as the 405 Freeway, she shrugged and gave her niece’s leg an affectionate pat. “I think Shirley is a pretty name. Changing it sounds extreme to me. But I’m happy that you’re taking control of your destiny, baby, so make no mistake, I’ll support you every step of the way.” There was a sparkle in Aretha’s eye as she continued.
“Welcome to Los Angeles, Anise Cartier.” She pronounced the last name with a haughty accent and elaborate sweep of her arm, causing them both to break into laughter. Anise’s heartbeat increased as she took in the sights whizzing past her. I’m in frickin’ Los Angeles, California, baby! Just as she thought this, a warm breeze swept across her face and settled around her shoulders. This had happened several times in the past few weeks. Mommy. Anise batted away tears at the knowledge that her mother was indeed with her, and seemed to approve of this journey to a new life.
( Continues… )
Copyright © 2013 by Zuri Day. All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author’s website if you really like this promotional excerpt.
About the Author
Zuri Day is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. An EMMA and African-American Literary Awards winner, two of her novels were also finalists in the Romantic Times Best Multicultural Romance category. Along with titillating the sensual senses, Zuri loves to stimulate provocative thought on timely, relevant topics that will benefit her community of readers. She believes in true love, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. Along with writing, hearing from readers is one of her favorite things to have happen, so she’d love to hear from you! Connect via her website, ZuriDay.com or on Facebook @ haveazuriday.
A Good Dose of Pleasure by Zuri Day
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