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Welcome Guest Blogger Leah Braemel!

*WINNERS! Tracy and Dawn, you were randomly drawn to win Leah’s books! She’ll be in touch next week, after she returns from vacation.*

Note: Leah is out of town this week, and planned to find Internet access yesterday to join in the comments/discussion. It looks like that didn’t pan out, but we appreciate all your stories and comments!

Thanks to Natalie for inviting me to do a post here at Everybody Needs a little Romance. I love the title of this blog, because it’s so true. Everybody does need a little romance. For me, romance can take lots of forms – it doesn’t have to be the big “I’m head over heels in love with my soul mate” type of romance. It can also be the little gestures from your best girlfriend, or a neighbour or even your kids. It’s those little moments when they do something that to them may be insignificant but it touches your heart and makes you go all gooey inside and breathe “awww.” For me, it can be something simple like one of my sons taking the time to sit down on the couch and ask me about my day. Or when a friend sends me a funny joke because they sensed from an email or a tweet that maybe something’s getting me down. It’s the little things. Things you don’t expect or ask for.

Then yes, there’s the romance between two people who are in that grand and slightly scary dating/mating dance. I’m married, so I’m not waiting for a prince to fly into town and sweep me off my feet. No, for me, it’s not the grand gestures that make me all gooey inside. It’s the unexpected thoughtful gestures that come out of the blue. Like when I was in NY last month, my husband of 33 years would position himself in front of the elevator door with his back to me. He told me the other night that he worried others might think he was being rude, but I knew better. You see, I am terrified of heights. And the Marriott’s elevators were glass. So he tried to form a physical block so when the doors opened I wouldn’t panic from seeing through the glass walls and into the abyss 18 floors straight down. Yes, to me that was romantic.

But then Gizmo Guy has always been romantic – I knew that a couple weeks after first meeting him. We’d had our first date (with a chaperone yet, which is a story in its own) two weeks before. We’d had our second date (sans chaperone) the week before. Then on our third date, we’ve stopped at a restaurant. Before we get out of the car, he grins at me and asks if I’d looked in the glove compartment. Actually his words were “So have you looked in the glove compartment lately, lady?”

I’m not sure, but I might have rolled my eyes at him. I mean, it was his car. Why would I have looked in his glove compartment? But I did and in it I find a small box wrapped in fancy foil paper with a fancy foil bow (professionally wrapped, he admits he didn’t do it himself) containing some Chanel perfume. Now we were both college students at the time and Chanel was expensive back then. But what shocked me was that the week before we’d been talking about when our birthdays were and I’d mentioned mine was July 26th, the day of our third date and he’d not only remembered, he’d gone to a perfume department in a store and tried out various perfumes until he found one he liked. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but we’re talking about a nineteen-year-old college student. A guy. Who voluntarily went to a store and bought perfume. And you also have to understand that my own family was not big on presents – not for birthdays or Christmas or any time. I’d never in my life ever had someone give me something because they wanted to, not because they had to or felt obligated to. I nearly broke down in tears that night. I saved the wrapping paper and bow, along with the card. Not because it was a fancy perfume but because he went out of his way and bought something for someone he barely knew. I’d never known anyone like that before.

He’s done that to me over and over again. Not just in finding the presents and ways to give them to me – like surprising me with a weekend in a fancy hotel in Toronto with tickets to a show at the Royal Alex that I’d mentioned I wanted to see. But also in things like shielding me in the elevators in New York. In knowing that I had to get away this week and even though he’s still working every day, and it’s taking him out of his way to drive from the cottage we’ve rented to to his office, he found us a place beside a lake so I could unplug and relax.

I didn’t realize it when he asked me to look in the glove compartment that day 35 years ago that the real present wasn’t in the glove compartment. He was sitting in the driver’s seat right beside me, grinning.

So to celebrate my birthday, I’m sharing the joy he taught me  – that it’s more fun to give presents than to receive them. I’m giving away a set of my Hauberk books – Private Property, Personal Protection and Deliberate Deceptions – to one lucky commenter. And I’m giving away a set of my Tangle books – Texas Tangle and Tangled Past – to another lucky commenter too. Yup, that’s two prizes. But you have to tell me something you think is romantic – something someone’s done for you, or you’ve done for someone, or something you’ve always dreamed of someone doing for you.

(If you want to know more about my books you can read about them on my website. You can also follow me on Twitter, on Facebook or Google+)


Thank you, Leah, for guest blogging with us today! Commenters who post by midnight Pacific time will be included in the drawing.

Note: Book links above lead you to reviews by ENALR member Heather Brewer. For excerpts, reviews, and buy links, go to Leah’s Books page.


30 Responses

  1. First off let me say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Leah and welcome to the blog. I’m excited that you are here. I love your books and can’t wait to read the other 2 in the Hauberk Protection Agency series – especially Sam’s book 🙂

    something romantic – One valentine’s day hubby had been hinting around about my office addy. I kinda figured i was getting flowers but for him this was huge because he doensn’t do flowers. The card simply said Um…Surprise, Love Jeff. I have it on my wall still.

    Hugs from Lilly (2 1/2 year old granddaughter) are also special – her eyes lighting up when you walk in the door – makes everything bad from the day just disappear.

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes, Heather. I would love flowers — my hubby rarely does them either, even though I mention them all the time. (Same with my boys — they groan and say it’s too cliche, but they’re not cliche to me)

  2. Oh, wow. Now that was romantic!

    Happy birthday, and thanks for visiting today.

    Romantic…hmmm? I agree it’s the little things that matter. When my husband and I first moved into our new house, we were ragged, just plain worn out. We were super happy that our bathroom had a big bathtub with jets. Each night after moving and unpacking, my husband would run a big tub ful of hot water and we’d both jump in, settle in at opposite ends and relax. There was nothing sexual in it, more communal. But he’d always rub my feet and sometimes wash my hair. It was just the most comforting of feelings and I always thought that even though it wasn’t really romantic, it was very caring. No sex. Just taking care of me. In my book, that’s pretty darn romantic.

  3. Happy birthday!


    That simple touch at the small of your back… the one that means I care for you, I’ll protect you, I support you. It gives me goosebumps.

  4. Happy birthday, Leah! And thanks again for being here today. 🙂

    One year, my husband asked what I wanted for an anniversary gift. This was pretty early in both our marriage and my writing career, but I was actively submitting (long before electronic submissions were even a possibility, never mind common), and said I wanted Tyvek envelopes.

    He was appalled. “That’s not romantic!” But he got ’em, and he’s supported everything I ever wanted to do for my career.

    And Tyvek envelopes are still a running joke between us! 🙂

  5. Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday, Leah!! You got me all teary eyed…sniff, sniff. 🙂 What a special guy you have! Thanks for joining us today!

  6. Wishing you a Very Happy Birthday, Leah!! You got me all teary eyed…sniff, sniff. What a special guy you have! Thanks for joining us today!

  7. Liz–I love when DH washes my hair! he doesn’t do it often and most of the time he did it while I was pregant (OMG, it was a nightmare to try sitting up and down in the bathtub).

    romantic…I’m going way back too. DH and I had been dating about 2 or 3 weeks. We were watching a movie in his room at his parents house and he whispered, asking if I would be with him. I was so shocked and he’d whispered it so low, I wasn’t sure if I heard him right and said “what? I couldn’t hear you.” I yes, I made my poor SHY boyfriend say it again. but he did 🙂

  8. Happy Birthday, Leah.

    Romance. The hubby and I have been together for almost 30 years now and all he has to do is run his hand ever so softly over mine and that touch still makes me tingle. It’s the little things he does that means so much!

  9. Aw, Gizmo Guy sounds like such a sweetheart! That was really adorable. Thanks for sharing those moments with us.

    I think it’s romantic when Hubs offers a back rub out of the blue, without me having to beg. (Hey. I’m simple. I admit it.)

  10. Ah,romance. Just the other day, my husband and I were talking about my latest book and he asked what it was about and I said it was a straight romance, a first in a long time for me. And he looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Romance? Are you sure? You don’t know much about that kind of stuff.”

    Just makes your heart go pitter patter, doesn’t it?

  11. Happy Birthday Leah and thanks for the giveaway!! I love your Hauberk Series and haven’t gotten to the Texas ones yet. Now onto Romantic … my hubby isn’t the biggest romantic but this was huge for him – I came home from being away to find house cleaned, a dinner made with candles & flowers, and laundry done, then I got a massage 🙂 As far as what I’ve done I filled a room full of heart balloons over 400! made little come find me quiz notes and had hubby find me for our anniversary 😀 it was a great day.

  12. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! So glad you shared it with us.

    Romantic? When I was dating my husband, he was fulled of romantic gestures. Once he dragged my mattress of the bed to the living room and put it in front of the fireplace. It’s not the big gestures (in real life) that say love, sometimes it’s the small ones. I am envious of Liz’s foot rubs! What I couldn’t give for that.

  13. Im too late for contest but I like it when someone does something out I’df the blue for me when they don’t have to. Like you my dear. Also I rub my friend’s head for him when he asks for it. 🙂

    • head rubs! I love them — I swear I could go to the hair dressers just for that alone. I just about slide out of the chair in bliss by the time she’s done. Now to suggest it to GG 😉

  14. *WINNERS! Tracy and Dawn, you were randomly drawn to win Leah’s books! She’ll be in touch next week, after she returns from vacation.*

    Note: Leah is out of town this week, and planned to find Internet access yesterday to join in the comments/discussion. It looks like that didn’t pan out, but we appreciate all your stories and comments!

  15. Ugh, sorry I couldn’t get online on Tuesday to reply in a more timely fashion.

    My hubby was checking the comments from his work — he got a big kick out of how people were mentioning the head rubs and foot rubs and how you find little things like that romantic. (He is taking notes, he tells me)

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