Friday, March 16, 2018

Read an Excerpt From Kinsale Kisses: An Irish Romance by Elizabeth Maddrey


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She wants stability. He wants spontaneity. What they need is each other.

Colin O’Bryan cashed out of the software company he founded and started a new life in Ireland. Content to wander from town to town as a traveling musician, he had no goals beyond healing from the betrayals that led to his career change, and finding his next gig.

After the death of her parents, Rachel Sullivan hoped her aunt’s B&B on the Southern coast of Ireland would be a place for her to settle and start a new life. Though she can’t deny the sparks in Colin’s touch, his lack of concern for hearth and home leave her torn. Can this free-spirited minstrel win her heart or will Rachel choose roots and stability over love?

This gentle inspirational romance will take you on a journey to Cork County, Ireland and give you a glimpse of Kinsale, Charles Fort, Blarney Castle, and Cobh as Rachel and Colin undergo their own journey of self-discovery as they learn that God's plans are bigger than their own and that waiting on Him is worth the insecurity it brings.


The musician set his guitar aside before he hopped down from the raised platform wedged in the corner of the room and strode after the server. He tapped her on the shoulder and, after a brief conversation, nodded in Rachel’s direction. The server smiled and disappeared behind a swinging door.
The man paced back across the pub and paused by Rachel’s table, offering an impish smile, a dimple forming in his right cheek. “Hi there. Can I join you? It’s a bit crowded now and I’m due for a break.”
Rachel cleared her throat and glanced around. It had filled up. “Um. Sure.” She gestured to the space across from her. “Have a seat. I’m Rachel.”
His smile broadened and he lowered himself to the bench. “Colin O’Bryan. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Have you been in Ireland long?”
She shook her head. “Just arrived today. I’m visiting my aunt for a bit. What about you?”
“I landed in Dublin about a month ago, but got to Kinsale just yesterday. I’ve been making my way from town to town, singing for my supper and a place to lay my head.”
Rachel blinked. “You mean you’ve booked a tour, right? Have dates and locations lined up where they’re expecting you? Obviously you do this for a living back home as well.”
His deep laugh rose above the hum of conversation in the room. “Oh no. This is just a hobby in the States. But most towns have a pub or two looking for a musician for one evening or, if you’re lucky, a few in a row. And now I’ve a few references as well that help pave the way. If I can’t find a spot, then I find a room for the night and still get to see whatever sights there are to be had.”
The server appeared with two steaming bowls of soup and a plate piled with thick slices of brown bread. She set them down, added a dish of butter and a small teapot, and scooted away before Rachel could murmur her thanks.
“Mind if I say grace?”
Rachel pulled her attention back to Colin. He wanted to pray? With a complete stranger? “No. Of course not.”
She bowed her head then glanced up hastily as his fingers closed around hers. His touch sent tingles flying up her arm.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing Rachel safely to Ireland today and for providing me with a place to sing and rest this evening. Bless this food and the hands that prepared it. Amen.”
“Amen.” Rachel gave her hand a little tug, unwinding her fingers from his. She stirred her soup, inhaling the earthy aroma as it spiraled up from the bowl. “For how long?”
Colin broke a piece off a slice of bread and dunked it in his soup. “How long what?”
“How long will you do the traveling musician thing? If you’ve been here a month, you must be nearing the end of your vacation time.”
He grinned and dunked another chunk of bread. “Let’s just say I’m currently unencumbered with trivial details like vacation and sick days.”
“Ah.” Great. He was unemployed. She was too, but at least she wasn’t content with the situation. She was working on a solution. He was wandering around a foreign country like a nineteen-year-old backpacker with no cares in the world. A killer smile and electric tingles only went so far—there were boys at home who could provide those. If she wanted anyone at all, he had to, at least, be a man. It was all moot anyway, she hadn’t come here looking for a husband and Colin was probably on the first bus out of town in the morning.
“What about you? How long will you stay?”
Rachel savored the rich flavors of potato, leek, and cream before she swallowed. “Through July. Maybe longer, depending on how things go.”
Humor danced in his eyes. “What about your own vacation days?”
Heat flooded her face. She sipped her Coke, grateful for the ice. “How did you put it? I’m currently unencumbered by such things. But I’m looking to see that’s not the case for long.”
He arched a brow but said nothing.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I just buried my father and sold our family business. My aunt is the only living relative I have and, as you can see, she’s in her early seventies.” Rachel nodded across the room to where Siobhan knitted with her friend. “Her B&B can barely keep afloat and she’s not able to handle the workload anyway. I have a degree in hospitality and grew up in the business. So I’m going to help, and, I hope, make a new home for myself here, in the town my father left as soon as he was of age. So keep your little superior smile to yourself. I may not have a job now, but I’m working on it, not kicking back, singing tra-la-la as if bills don’t have to be paid.”
Colin scraped the last bite of soup from his bowl and stood. “I’m sorry to hear about your dad. Thanks for letting me share your table.”
Mouth agape, Rachel watched as he resumed his place by his instruments. He cast a long look in her direction and then, with a slight smile, picked up his concertina and launched into The Wild Rover.

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