Thursday, 29 October 2015

Spotlight: English Ivy by Betsy Talbot

 Finally, contemporary romance for women over forty!

After a solid career as an economist working at the US Embassy in London, forty-two-year-old American Ivy Cross is ready to jump to the bigger paycheck of the private sector and finally make time for a relationship.

Madrid-based tech superstar Ruben Alegre both infuriates and intoxicates her, and if he only lived closer she'd consider risking her heart.

When the opportunity for an incredible new job in Berlin arrives in the form of sexy Christof Brandt, she wonders if the offer is too good to be true. Her Late Bloomer friends are split down the middle, offering support but no clear decision.

Will she find a future with Ruben? Start a new life in hip and gritty Berlin?

There are no easy answers, but Ivy can't deny that her life is about to change in a very big way.

Cambio!” Orange Pants gave the signal to change partners, hand in the air making a circle. A curvy blonde in a tight dress shimmied her way into Ivy’s spot, delighted to pair with a handsome man like Ruben.
I’ve got this, luv,” she said to Ivy, barely even glancing at her. Ruben embraced her like a pro, dismissing Ivy with a slight shrug.

Ivy looked right and saw her next partner was a balding man who was hopping from side to side, out of rhythm to the music. He held out his hand expectantly, waiting for her. Ivy plastered a smile on her face and joined him, wincing every time he stepped on her feet. Front and back, side to side, twirling in his arms, Ivy felt the lack of heat between them, their mechanical movements a mockery of the sensual music. When Orange Pants signaled another change, Ivy was glad to move on, wishing the curvy blonde woman behind her a broken toe from dancing with the rhythm killer.
She circled the dance floor for almost an hour, changing partners and never finding the rhythm she had with Ruben. Tall men, short men, fat men, skinny men, young men, old men–no one fit her like Ruben. She looked around the dance floor to see how many more changes until she got back to him. Ten, nine, eight. He was smiling too much with a raven-haired woman in a red dress. Seven, six, five. A short-haired woman with an impossibly small waist and wide, curvy hips looked like a professional dancer, moving in tune with Ruben in a way that made Ivy green with envy. This woman looked how Ivy felt when dancing with him though there was no way Ivy was that coordinated.
Ivy didn’t do jealousy, or at least she hadn’t until tonight. And she did not like the way it made her feel. Her current dance partner was a young guy, probably barely in his twenties, with a thin, hipster-looking build. She stared at his oversized black glasses and close-cropped hair and forced herself to be into him, to feel the rhythm in the same way she felt it with Ruben. To make Ruben jealous, too.
Hipster Guy was into it. He was a superb dancer, and Ivy could barely keep up. But his was a technical precision, a dance instructor way of moving that felt less sensual on the inside than it probably looked from the outside. Ivy wondered if Ruben was watching, irritated that she even cared.
Four, three, two. Next to him now, she could see the sparkle in his eyes. He was having a good time—without her! A woman with curly brown hair was in his arms, laughing at whatever he’d just whispered in her ear. Ivy’s partner was a tall, thin man with an unkempt beard, a professor type loosening up outside of class. He was surprisingly light on his feet, a fun partner with soulful eyes who probably wrote poetry in his spare time. Men like that were perfect for Ivy’s flighty friend Daisy, maybe even her artistic friend Vi, but not for the hard-charging and slightly abrasive personality of Ivy Cross.
Cambio!” Orange Pants called, finally delivering Ivy back to Ruben. She’d make him pay for his wandering eye, show him exactly how much fire she had in her belly. Ivy put on her best lusty look and moved toward him, vindicated when he took her hand and pulled her close to him. She was ready to show him what she’d learned, to make him forget about those other women. Ivy felt her full sexual power humming through her body, ready to pounce on her prey.

Let’s get a drink,” he said, oblivious to her powers of seduction. Without waiting for a response, he grabbed her hand and dragged her off the dance floor toward the bar. 

Betsy Talbot is a forty-something traveler and author. When she’s not on the road or penning books about love, adventure, and self-discovery, she is hiking, learning flamenco dancing, and drinking wine in a tiny whitewashed village in Spain with her handsome, long-haired husband Warren. (Watch out, Fabio!)
She is the host of The Quickie Romance Podcast, a weekly show highlighting excerpts from the best romance books in every genre. She’s been told she gives good audio.
Her latest project is The Late Bloomers Series, a five-book romance series about women in their forties. Because women with experience make the best characters—in life and on the page. Download a free Late Bloomers adventure right now at


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