Repelling the Shark: Date Shark book 5

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An excerpt from the upcoming contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author

DelSheree Gladden

“Look,” Katheryn said, “I’m happy to hang out with you any time, but I’m out for the kid parties and group picnics and whatever else involves sticky toddler hands and holding babies for hours on end.”

Leo huffed, understanding more than what she was saying. He was in no rush to settle down, but he’d been honest with Katheryn that it was something he wanted eventually. She didn’t. That had always been fine, because they both knew they weren’t anything more than friends in the long term. Her refusal to attend baby Moira’s first birthday party signaled and end to their friendship.

Katheryn had ordered her drink and muffin by the time Leo came out of his thoughts. He stepped up to the counter as she moved along to collect her iced coffee further down.

“Hey, Leo. You want your regular, or what? You’re holding up the line.”

He scowled at her, but there was no heat behind it. “Hey, Piper. Yeah, the usual.”

Her chuckle lifted his mood a little. He couldn’t remember exactly when she’d started working at the coffee shop, but it had been at least a few years and he always enjoyed her banter. She seemed at home in the shop and always knew just how to handle each customer.

“You and Legs,” Piper said, tilting her head toward Katheryn, “time to part ways, if you ask me.”

“I didn’t,” Leo said with a snort.

She winked. “Yeah, but you were going to.”

Chuckling, he shrugged before handing over his credit card. Leo wouldn’t call Piper a friend, seeing as he knew almost nothing about her outside the realm of the coffee shop, but he’d asked her opinion on women more than once. She’d never been wrong before, and he knew she’d assessed the demise of his relationship with Katheryn just as expertly.

Repelling the Shark

Leo Bailey is the only one in his circle of friends whose involvement with the date shark business has yet to see him tied down to marriage and family. Even if thoughts of one day creep into his mind occasionally, he’s not ready to give up the casual relationships or be expected to devote what little free time he has outside of the hospital to handling family emergencies.

When Piper Moretti witnesses the death of another friends-with-benefits situation between her favorite customer and the woman she refers to as Legs, she doesn’t think much of it. It isn’t the first of his relationships she’d seen fizzle, and she has a long list of more pressing responsibilities and stressors to occupy her mind. Friends, and the strings that go with them, are at the bottom of her priority list.

A date shark client who tops the list of bizarre behavior Leo has seen while helping out with the business drags Piper into the chaos and into Leo’s life. Neither one wants more than a simple, no-stress friendship. Secrets and surprises force them to admit neither one is nearly as in control as they think they are. Helping each other means getting involved, making promises, and opening themselves up to the hurt and hope they’re both terrified to face.

Coming to an e-tailer near you in July 2020. Watch for the announcement on BestSelling Reads and DelSheree Gladden’s website.

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing.

She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting and sewing.

Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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It’s Romance Month

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Image courtesy Creative Commons

February is usually the coldest month of the year on the northern side of the equator. Maybe that’s why Valentine’s Day is in the middle of it: to raise the temperature with thoughts of love, and plenty of books, too.

Why do authors write romance as scenes or themes, or sometimes, whole books? Some members who don’t typically write romance have some thoughts.

M.L. Doyle

When I read a book, whether it’s mystery, thriller, science fiction or fantasy, and there isn’t a little bit of romance in it, the lack of it seems off to me.

Aside from writing the occasional erotica story, I never set out to write romance. When I start a new project, I’m writing mystery or urban fantasy, and the romantic stuff is what happens when I put my characters in a room together. I honestly never feel as if I’m making them fall in love, or get naked with each other. They simply do it on their own and I’m just along to describe it as best I can. In other words, if the romance isn’t organic in the story, I’m not going to make it up.

Do I read romantic literature? Sure. I’ve read piles of romance, from the tame to the downright taboo. Some of it is really compelling.

I read a story about a couple who are about to get married, when one of the man’s old friends shows up. Long story short, they become this threesome. They love each other and they have to figure out how they are going to appear to the outside world. Are they married? Is one just a friend? What happens if she gets pregnant? How do they tell who the father is? And won’t the third guy just always feel like the outsider? It went way beyond the usual romantic elements and was really engaging and well written.

Other stories seem to try too hard.

I think all literature is supposed to move us in some way. If it doesn’t move you, why read it? Romance moves you in specific ways; maybe goes out of its way to manufacture those emotions, but so do horror and thriller and mystery. There’s a lot of bad, trite, trashy romance out there, but there are also gems that reel you in and don’t let go.

I laugh now at how many men are enjoying the show Outlander. When those books came out, they were considered romantic adventure. In any case, they were considered to be well into the romance category and therefore, not “real” literature. Now that they’re on the screen, maybe men won’t be so quick to turn their noses up at the other romantic works.

Alan McDermott

There’s no hard and fast recipe for a successful thriller, but most of the ingredients are the same: a capable, relatable protagonist; a believable villain; lots of action; plenty of intrigue.  One thing that wouldn’t have been high on my list was romance, but looking back, my heroes have had their fair share.

Tom Gray started out a married man, but that lasted one chapter.  Two books later, he had a new love interest, Vick.  Once again, fate intervened, and I must have subconsciously decided to leave him a single man for the duration.  He never found love again, but my new character made up for it.

Eva Driscoll first appears in Run and Hide.  She’s single, but when events conspire to reunite her with an old lover, she soon picks up where she left off. Fast forward to the next book, and the thriller gods have their own plans for the pair.

The last of my characters to get romantic is Simon “Sonny” Baines.  He’s painted as a ladies’ man throughout the series, but never actually got to know anyone.  That is, until my newest offering, Fight to Survive.  Will he get the girl of his dreams?  You’ll have to read it to find out.

Scott Bury

Love and some kind of romance are common to all people, in all cultures, through all time. So a romance can be a part of any kind of story.

I find that a lot of romance stories, especially the big-selling ones, are too predictable. I prefer a story where I don’t see the relationship budding before my eyes. At the same time, I don’t like stories where two personalities who would never be attracted to each other in the real world fall in love despite all the obstacles.

While I don’t set out to write romance (okay, that one time), when I start to write a story, I think about who the characters are, who they are or could be attracted to. Then I can have a lot of fun as I put challenges in front of them. Love or a relationship can grow as two people (or maybe more) work or fight through a challenge. On the other hand, difficulty can destroy a relationship, as we see all the time.

What do you say?

Do you read romance? Tell us why do you do, or why you avoid it, and tell us why in the Comments below. Every one who leaves a comment gets a free e-book from one of our members.

I see my job as a writer as bringing my readers into the story, and making them see what the characters see, feel what they feel, in a way they can believe and that resonates with their own experiences, fears and desires.

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