So, I’m back with a new contemporary romance novel, once again set in my backyard of Brisbane, Australia. For the most part, anyway.
Aside from writing about a location that I’m familiar with, I guess I chose South East Queensland as my main setting for the Jukebox Collection series because most Australian novels I’ve read have sort of skipped my little corner of the world.
And I get it. I do. Brisbane’s pretty much unheard of. Most people, when you say “Australia”, automatically imagine the outback or Sydney or Byron Bay. (Ugh. Byron. I’m not a fan. It’s overrated. This is the hill I will die on.)
But South East Queensland has so much to offer. We have beaches that are far superior to Bondi or Byron (fight me), rainforests to explore and mountains to climb, zoos, and theme parks, and a cultural centre in Brisbane which -while it is admittedly nowhere near as good as Melbourne- is steadily growing and improving over time. Hell, we even have movie studios on the Gold Coast. Oh, and the subtropical climate here is generally pretty awesome. (Let’s not consider the recent flooding and months of rain. That’s a once-or-twice-every-decade sort of deal.)
It seemed only natural to set a series of novels here. My little urban paradise.
I’m aware that I spend a bit more time describing the local setting in Handle With Care (Book 1 of the Jukebox Collection), but in You Can’t Hurry Love we venture a bit further north to explore Hervey Bay, and also take a short flight across the pond to visit Charlie in London.
And I love that. I love that novels can take us all over the world, without ever leaving our homes. That’s something I’ve relied heavily on since a certain pandemic happened. As much as I’m looking forward to travelling again, I’m glad I can do it from my armchair…and I like to hope that, through my writing, I can share the gift with other readers, too.
Sometimes love is worth the wait.
Sara Carlisle and Charlie Rhodes are complete opposites. Oil and water. Chalk and cheese.
Before Sara even meets Charlie, she hates him. He’s insulted her best friend -a woman Sara considers family- and that is unforgivable. In person he proves to be just as obnoxious and insufferable as she’d anticipated. And, as far as she’s concerned, the fact that he’s tall and muscular with an accent to die for is not enough to redeem him. Charlie Rhodes is an arrogant A–hole (with a capital A!) and that’s all there is to it!
For his part, Charlie thinks Sara is a conceited pain in the arse. A prissy princess to the nth degree. It becomes his prerogative to get under her skin for the sheer pleasure of riling her up. He feels genuine enjoyment in the face of her frustration, and he makes no secret of it. Besides, she gives as good as she gets!
Fundamentally opposed in every way, it’s obvious to those around them that they’re not going to get along.
But unfortunately, thanks to their respective families, they are stuck in each other’s lives for the foreseeable future. Being civil is as good as it is going to get…or is it?
When their relationship turns from reluctant acquaintances to red hot lovers, they find it’s good.
What could possibly go wrong?
In a slow-burn romance that follows hot on the heels of Handle With Care*, Sara and Charlie discover that you really can’t rush romance.
*Both Handle With Care and You Can’t Hurry Love can be read as standalone novels in the expanding Jukebox Collection series.
“So, tell me,” Charlie directed the question her way once she’d made her promise to Gemma, the glint in his eye seemingly payback for her smugness at his own telling off, “why doesn’t your boyfriend ever attend these family get-togethers?”
“Roger marches to the beat of his own drum,” she answered easily with a shrug. “Sometimes he comes along, other times he doesn’t. We don’t need to live in each other’s pockets.”
After a couple of years of doing the whole on-and-off/casual relationship thing, she was used to it. Besides, Roger didn’t pressure her to attend events with him, either. Which was a good thing, because his snobby parents couldn’t stand her, and vice versa.
Sara felt as though things were pretty equal in that way.
“I couldn’t imagine him in a low-key restaurant like this, to be honest,” Jeff chimed in, chuckling. He stuck his nose in the air and assumed a haughty tone as he looked down at his menu, “Sara, darling, I don’t see a single main here over twenty-five dollars. Outrageous! We’re truly dining with the commoners tonight.”
Balling up a purple paper napkin, she threw it at her friend, even while she smothered her own giggles. “Stop it,” she chastened, “he’s not that bad.”
Gemma snorted. Sara levelled her with a glare, but all Gemma did was raise her glass of water to her twitching lips and sip primly. “Sorry,” she said, sounding anything but apologetic, “but that impression was spot on.”
“You both suck,” Sara sighed, shaking her head.
“Sounds like you could do with a real man in your life,” Charlie was having far too much fun at her expense, and it ruffled her feathers the wrong way.
It was one thing for her friends –who also worked with Roger in the hospital– to playfully tease Sara about him, but altogether different for this random English wanker to do so.
“I hope you’re not suggesting you’re a viable option,” she sassed back, “because I don’t think you fall into that category either.”
Okay, so it was a bit flat and ridiculous as far as comebacks went, but he scowled back at her, so she took it as a win, nonetheless.
“Don’t flatter yourself, love.”
“Aww, diddums, did I hurt your feelings?”
They were interrupted by their names being snapped on either side of them. He was cowed by his mother’s frown, while Sara sighed and apologised to Gemma.
This really was going to be much more difficult than she’d initially thought.
Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09S35VNTL
Universal (International Amazon ebook & Wide Print): https://books2read.com/YouCantHurryLove
Prices (in USD):
E-Book: $2.99 (and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited)
Length: 240 Pages
Anita (A.N.) Verebes is a daydreamer and romance novelist. As a civil marriage celebrant, Anita makes a living telling other people’s love stories and celebrating real romance! Also armed with a Bachelor of Education (Secondary), Anita is a qualified -but not practising- High School English teacher who loves to read anything she can get her hands on, including fanfiction. (And, yes, she’s written her fair share of that, too.) Living directly between Queensland’s sunny Gold and Sunshine coasts, Anita spends her days exploring the Great South East with her husband and their two rambunctious sons. When at home, she’s also a slave to two cats and one very spoilt Great Dane X.
Social Media/Website Links:
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