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Muse by Melanie Snow

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  • January Morgan is a talented reporter. Her tenacity and drive have helped her land impactful stories that have caught the eye of the New York-based networks. She is moving closer and closer to making her career dreams come true, but her love life seems to slipping through her hands.

    When she needs to be comforted, she turns to the encouraging and loving words of Alexander Lane, who is just as driven as January. He is a world-traveling professor, but no matter how far his journeys take him, January is never far from his mind.

    After fifteen years, their strong connection has not diminished with time; instead, it has grown stronger. The dear friends believe they have a handle on their feelings until Alexander is offered his dream job in the same city where January lives.

    Will their love only ever exist on paper? Now that fate has placed them in the same place at the same time, will they run away from or toward each other?
     
    Rating: Hot
    Page Count: 332
    Word Count: 90490
    978-1-5092-2203-2 Paperback
    978-1-5092-2204-9 Digital

    Excerpt

    “I’m going to have to find a different way to love you,” he said flatly. His eyes darting away as he forced himself to look at anything else but her. He could feel those steel gray eyes penetrating him, regardless of his attempt to avoid them.

    January agreed. “You’re right. I know you’re right.” She ran her long fingers through her hair and sank deeper into the worn leather chair. “I just never imagined it would come to this. We’ve had something so special for so long, for so many years, Alexander. How do you suppose we are going to just pretend we are regular people who once knew each other in college?”

    Alexander did not have a plan. For more than fifteen years, they had known each other. January was only seventeen the first time he had noticed her standing in a line to sign up for classes on campus. She was a freshman. He could never shake that day from his memory. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, just another first day back on campus after summer break. Being a senior, it was only natural to peek at the new blood. There she had been. Standing in line as the rain began to fall, oblivious to it as she refused to take her nose out of the book she was reading. Proust, it had been. Students were jumping out of line, giving up because of the falling rain, and there she stood like a stone. Later she would tell him it was because she absolutely would not miss out on taking the infamous literature class called Stories. It was tough to get into, and every English major wanted in. This was before signing up for classes on the Internet, so waiting in line was how it was done. January described the rain as “good fortune.” She later counted the number of people who had been before her in line and concluded the class would have been filled by the time it was her turn had all those people not run away from the rain. Alexander remembered her signing the papers, dripping from the rain, and smiling at the highly-irritated school advisor. She walked, no, glided, away, beaming into the light as it filtered through the clouds. He did not know who she was or where she was going, but at that moment, he only knew he had to meet her.

    That was 1995.

    It was now 2010. Much had changed. One thing had not gone away in all those years, and that was his intense connection to her. They had shared letters. Phone calls. Text messages. Emails. Thoughts intertwined in the dead of night.

    For fifteen years.

    They had married other people.

    Lived on opposite sides of the earth.

    Held down careers.

    They had watched each other grow and change through ink on paper and blinking letters on a computer screen.

    A few brief meetings in person.

    Not nearly enough.

    Yet they still felt something for each other. Regardless of the separation, regardless of the vast differences in their lives, they could not escape each other. They never cheated on their spouses. They never fulfilled the desires which burned within them. They didn’t even know what those desires were exactly. What they had was something beyond words. It was a thought in the middle of the night which shuddered one of them awake and the other, thousands of miles away, woke up to feel it, too, and lay awake for hours confused and unable to return to sleep.

    For Alexander, it was that moment in the rain in 1995. Always that same moment, repeating in his head, like a record on repeat, scratching only as it started over. For January, it was a slow torture. It was also bliss. Alexander was her muse, her secret. She had always believed a woman should have, at least, one secret she kept just for herself. Alexander was hers. The thoughts of him were hers. The words he wrote belonged to her. Her moments with him inside her head were hers and hers alone.

    Now it had come to this. Something unexpected and completely unplanned. Alexander had been offered a job in the city where January lived. January did not believe in coincidences. She knew everything in their strange parallel lives had been building up to this for years.

    “Love me differently?” she asked, amused. “How have you loved me at all?”

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