Three Rivers by Chloe Barlow
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date – March 25th 2014
“A heartbreaking tale of letting go and learning to love again. A jaw-dropping debut novel you have to read.” – Helena Newbury, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author.
A self-contained bittersweet romance (no cliffhanger ending!) 87,000 words.
How do you start over when you gave everything to one life, one plan, and lost it all?
Althea refuses to allow herself to love again. Imprisoned in grief at twenty-four after her husband’s sudden death, she’s convinced her heart died along with him. She spends her days honoring his memory by clinging to the legal career he helped her to build and to the remaining pieces linking them together.
Griffen’s been running from his past. Despite success as an author and investigative journalist, he’s been traveling through life on autopilot. For a decade, he’s chosen perilous adventures and meaningless sex over the danger of any attachments. When he finally returns home to Pittsburgh, he’s slammed by the awakened memories and regret he’s spent years trying to escape.
A chance encounter brings them together. Their instant desire for each other – and the bond they discover between them – shocks them both. Despite her best efforts, Althea can’t resist Griffen’s charm or his intriguing proposition – if she agrees to a no-strings affair with him for the two weeks he’s in town, he swears he’ll walk away when their time is up. Assured she can test the waters of a new life while keeping her vow never to betray her husband’s memory by opening her heart to another, Althea throws herself into the escape Griffen provides her.
Their perfect plans go awry when the intensity of their connection overwhelms them. Will they risk it all on the chance of something great together…or will the power of their secrets and guilt tear them apart?
“Come over here. Room service won’t be here for a while. Let’s dance,” he said. Griffen backed away and fiddled with his laptop until the soft tones of David Gray started to fill the room. He then reached for Althea, pulling her softly against him.
“Um, I’m pretty klutzy, I hope you aren’t terribly attached to your toes.”
“I’m tough. Besides, we can go old school.” He placed her hands around his neck and hugged his arms around her waist, swaying them gently back and forth.
“So, when you said ‘old school,’ you meant middle school,” she said with a laugh.
“Yeah. You can sway, right?” he asked, dipping his head into the crook of her neck, reveling in how fresh and warm she smelled. It was something like jasmine and cherries, but very clean and all Althea. “We can pretend I have a crush on you and finally got the nerve to ask you to dance.”
“Oh boy, the jock asks the nerd to dance. That really was my 8th grade fantasy.”
“I don’t like you fantasizing about other jocks.”
“Oh, don’t worry, I was dreaming of you the whole time. Even though I hadn’t met you yet, you were already a glimmer in my eye. Is that better?”
“Much better,” he smiled. “Now, if we want to be authentic to me in 8th grade, I would be trying to do this.” Griffen gently crept his hands up, curling them under the swells of her beautiful breasts.
She playfully squirmed and nudged his hands down. “Do you want to get me put in detention?”
“I can punish you if that’s what you’re into, but I was more hoping to get to feel these a bit more,” he answered lifting his hands again, this time caressing her breasts.
“If we were really being true to my early teen years — or most of high school for that matter — you’d still be searching for something to cop a feel of.”
“Hmm?” he said leaning forward and pulling the V-neck of her jersey dress down until it revealed her breasts encased in a lacy, pink bra. He licked a nipple through the sheer material and she gasped. “Were you a late bloomer, gorgeous?”
“Well, good things come to those who wait. You’re amazing,” he murmured as he licked over to her other breast, yanking down her bra and using the straps to hold her arms in place. He pulled her dress further down, kissing and licking her stomach. She expelled a frustrated moan, “Gri-iffen?”
“Need something gorgeous?”
“More,” was all he heard her squeeze out.
“Patience, baby. You ran out on me this morning. Then I had to watch your cute ass scurrying away from me for hours. Made me wait all day to taste, tease and touch you. To make your body mine again. So, I want to take my time.”
“Please,” she begged.
“We’ve already moved well into high school, gorgeous. Are you trying to graduate already?” His strong hands were kneading the cheeks of her ass while his lips kept moving further down her stomach.
“Yes. Please. More.”
“My three favorite words.”
About the Author
Chloe is a contemporary romance novelist and practicing attorney living in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and their sweet puppy. She is a native Washingtonian that graduated Duke University with a degree in English and Chinese language. She met her husband at Duke and he brought her to Pittsburgh over a decade ago, which she has loved ever since and made her adopted hometown. She also attended University of Pittsburgh Law School where she continued to be an overachieving nerd.
Chloe has always loved writing and although she does do it professionally as a lawyer, she cherishes the opportunity to craft her contemporary romances and share them with the world.
She is an avid romance fan and wrote her debut novel Three Rivers in her spare time. She continues her tireless legal style of research in her fiction work as well. For example, in an effort to bring authenticity to Three River’s treatment of grief and loss, she consulted with a psychologist and grief counselor during its preparation.
Connect with Chole
Random Question about Chole:
1) What has been your worst haircut/style? I have crazy thick hair and lots of it (I mean, we’re talking use-a-quart-of-conditioner-without-blinking amount of hair). It really only works as a super short or really long. In high school I chopped it off in this cute edgy pixie I loved! Then I spent a semester of my senior year in high school in China and couldn’t get it cut right. It grew out like some sort of bizarre mullet version of the three stooges hair. I have pretty exclusively just done long hair ever since.
2) In O’s and X’s which do you normally pick? X’s all the way
3) Bottle beer or draft? Draft
4) If you could learn any language fluently what would it be? French. Studying Chinese and living there twice was great, but I love France and wish I could speak more than just the basics I know.
5) What is your favorite board game? I love Clue! I so want to do a grown up Clue dinner party where people have to dress up like the characters. I want to dress up as Miss Scarlet. She has the best outfit and what woman doesn’t want to be a femme fatale for a night?
6) What is your favorite movie? Lady and the Tramp. I named our springer spaniel Lady, now I just need to rescue Tramp! Second place is The Thin Man.
7) Which song do you hate the most? Tied between Celebration and YMCA. For our wedding I put those on the DO NOT PLAY list. I think some guests wanted to rebel against my tyrannical refual to abide by wedding music protocol, but, damn, those are awful!
8) Who is your celebrity crush? I have been in love with Ewan McGregor since I was 15. I swear my husband looks like him. He tells me he doesn’t see it. Good thing, mine is the opinion that matters on that issue.
9) Can you do 10 revolutions of a hula hoop? Oh dear Lord, no. I can barely do one, and its not a sight anyone wants to see. I am beyond uncoordinated. My friends, family and husband lovingly refer to me as “The Spaz.”
10) What’s the worst pick up line ever used on you? I was a waitress at the main hangout restaurant my senior year at Duke. We had “big beer night” on Thursdays. It was great for tips but terrible for pick up lines. One guy said to me 4 times: “I’ll have a beer . . . and your number.” He would have asked more times I think, but he couldn’t handle any more big beers after that.