Monthly Feature – Second Chance Romance

This month, I’m featuring second chance romances. This is probably my favorite trope and one I return to often in my books. There’s something so seductive about lovers having another chance to get it right. Here are a few of my favorites.

Third Time Lucky, book #1 of the Coxwell series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke (writing as Claire Cross)

Third Time Lucky was the first contemporary romance I wrote, and it’s a second chance romance. Philippa had a crush on Nick in high school, but thought he was too cool to take her seriously (even though they shared a very special moment once). He comes back to town and asks for her help—but Phil’s not the same shy starry-eyed girl she used to be and isn’t interested in just being useful, even for Nick. I love how these two unravel their tangled past and build a future together. Third Time Lucky is also book one of the Coxwell Series – the other three books tell the stories of Phil’s brothers.

Just One More Time, book two of the Flatiron Five Fitness series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

Just One More Time is book two of the Flatiron Five Fitness series. Kyle and Lauren had a fling years ago, before Kyle realized that Lauren was Tyler’s sister—and before Tyler warned Kyle never to get involved with any of his sisters. When Lauren’s husband messes around, it’s Kyle who brings her the bad news—because her husband has been caught in the act on a security video at the fitness club. She turns to Kyle for consolation. She knows he can’t commit to more than pleasure, but that’s exactly what Lauren thinks she needs. I love how well she understands Kyle, and how she refuses to demand more of him that she thinks he can give. But Kyle has grown since their fling and Lauren’s presence in his life makes him realize what he’s been missing—I love that this time, he’s willing to fight for her love and their shared future.

Double Trouble, book #2 in the Coxwell Series of contemporary romances, by Deborah Cooke

Double Trouble is the second book in the Coxwell Series and a second chance romance with a bit of a twist: Maralys and James met years before, but he eventually married her twin sister. Maralys always thought that was because love triumphed over lust, but when her sister walks out on James, she learns the truth. There’s a lot of hostility and emotion between these two, but once they start to sort out what actually happened in the past, it’s not long before they have to acknowledge their true feelings—and recognize how good they are together. There are plenty of obstacles to the course of true love in this book but I like that James doesn’t let Maralys just slip away again.

Just One Second Chance, book six of the Flatiron Five Fitness series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

No surprise that Theo’s book, Just One Second Chance, is a second chance romance! This is book #6 of the Flatiron Five Fitness series and an interracial romance. No one is more surprised than Theo when Lyssa appears in his life again, just as suddenly as she disappeared years before. Turns out that Lyssa has a secret, one that she was afraid to share, but she knows she has to finally tell Theo the truth. How can he forgive the woman he loved and lost, when he discovers that she’s hidden his son from him? These two have a lot of work to do to rebuild the trust they’ve lost, but Theo isn’t going to let Lyssa’s past choice stand in the path of their future.

Second chance romances tend to be emotional reads with high stakes, with secrets that have to be revealed and old wounds that need to be healed. Maybe that’s why I like them so much—I feel like the characters really have to work for their HEA. Do you love second chance romances? If so, tell me why.

Monthly Feature – Holiday Romance

This month, my feature is on holiday romances. I have a few to share with you.

A Berry Merry Christmas, a holiday romance novella by Deborah Cooke

A Berry Merry Christmas is a standalone contemporary romance and a novella, with a touch of magic. Natalie has been orphaned and lives with her Uncle Drew, who works too much to have time for romance. She writes to Santa, asking for a new mommy, and an elf who needs to find her niche is assigned to the job. Holly thinks she’ll be matchmaking in the mortal realm, but finds herself falling in love instead. This is a sweet fun romance that one of my readers said would make a great Hallmark movie.

Just One Second Chance, book six of the Flatiron Five Fitness series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

Just One Second Chance is a contemporary romance and part of my Flatiron Five Fitness series. Theo fell hard for Lyssa years ago, but she broke up with him. He thought it was to pursue her ambition of becoming a super-model. He’s in the middle of a holiday promotion for F5F when Lyssa turns up again, wanting to talk. There’s something she didn’t tell him—he should be furious with her, but the magic is still there. Can they trust each other enough to build a new future together?

Just One Christmas Night, book four of the Flatiron Five Tattoo series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

Just One Christmas Night is the fourth and final book in my Flatiron Five Tattoo series. (It happens at the same time as Theo’s book, Just One Second Chance.) Chynna’s tattoo played a role in Lexi and Gabe finding their HEA in Just One Unforgettable Night—now they’re having a Christmas wedding in Honey Hill and Chynna is invited. She’s reluctant to attend, since Christmas is a hard time of year for her, but finds unexpected romance and love. This is a story of healing and new beginnings that’s a perfect holiday read.

Just Home for the Holidays, a Christmas romance novella and #7 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

Just Home for the Holidays is a Christmas romance and #7 in the Flatiron Five Fitness series. Chloe hates surprises and plans every detail in her life, so she needs a plus-one for her mom’s annual party—when Hunter volunteers, she knows there’s no chance of her falling for a bad boy like Hunter who lives in the moment. But when Chloe learns that Hunter hates Christmas, she wants to know why—and learning Hunter’s secrets puts her heart in danger after all. Can she convince Hunter to take a chance on the future together?

Pre-order available at some portals.
Coming December 10!

Monthly Feature – Small Town Romance

This month, I’m starting a new monthly column here (and also on the Delacroix blog) spotlighting books of a certain trope. I’ll pick a trope or theme each month, then tell you about a few of my books that fit. I’m also going to experiment with discounting those titles for newsletter subscribers when they buy directly from me.

Just One More Time, book two of the Flatiron Five Fitness series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

This month, let’s talk about small town romance. I’m thinking about small towns right now because I’m planning Aidan’s book, which will begin a series set in Harte’s Harbor, a fictional small town on the east coast. I’ve got a map done and a few landmarks—because Tyler and Shannyn were married in Harte’s Harbor in Just One More Time—but am building out the town even more. I love doing this! And yes, I’ve done it before. Let’s have a look:

Third Time Lucky, book #1 of the Coxwell series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke (writing as Claire Cross)

My fictional town of Rosemount, MA turns up in my Coxwell series, which is where the Coxwell siblings grew up. We first visit to Rosemount in Third Time Lucky: Phil has mixed feelings about her hometown, and Nick was always considered to be from the wrong side of the tracks. These two carry a lot of emotional baggage from their high school years, and I like that they both find roots in the town where they grew up. (Spoiler: they end up living there together.)

All or Nothing, book #4 of the Coxwell series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

I think All or Nothing shows Rosemount with the most affection, since Zach and Jen buy a building downtown at the end of the story. Jen opens a yarn shop in that building on the main street and they live upstairs. I love the scene in All or Nothing where Zach takes Jen to his hometown on the way to a holiday dinner at the family home: she’s enchanted by Rosemount, decorated for Christmas, and he sees the familiar with new eyes.

My fictional small town of Honey Hill, ME, has a cameo role in my Flatiron Five Tattoo series: the three friends who get tattoos from Chynna at Flatiron Five are on a girls’ weekend in New York City, then return to this small town. Spencer, the hero of Just One Snowbound Night, grew up in Honey Hill and has opened a lodge there—Wolfe Lodge—with his partner, Gabe, who is the hero of Just One Unforgettable Night. (Spencer’s sister, Lexi, is the heroine of that one.)

Just One Vacation Night, book two of the Flatiron Five Tattoo series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke

My favorite depiction of the quiet little town of Honey Hill is in Reyna’s story, Just One Vacation Night. She’s deliberately chosen a sleepy location to hide from her past, and runs a cupcake bakery in town. The hero, Kade, is a cop from Portland on leave who comes up to Honey Hill to help his retired aunt and uncle with some renovations on their house in town. Reyna just wants a fling, but once with Kade just isn’t enough. 🙂

There’s going to be a sale on Flatiron Five Tattoo this month, available at all portals, and I’ll put a special on the Coxwells in my Heroes & Happy Endings newsletter. (Click the link if you haven’t subscribed yet!) As usual, when you buy ebooks directly from me, I’ll provide a link that will take you first to Paypal, then will redirect to BookFunnel once you’ve paid for your book. The people at BookFunnel are awesome at making sure you get your ebook onto your reading device of choice, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help.

What do you like best about small town romance?