Free Chick Lit anthology to warm your winter!

‘Seasoned With Romance’ is a group of Aussie Chick Lit authors comprising:

Georgina Penney, moi, Carla Caruso, Laura Greaves, Belinda Williams, Samantha Stacey Bond and Vanessa Stubbs, and we’ve just released another FREE Chick Lit anthology!

Winter Heat cover [614266]

Six sizzling fun-size chick lit stories

Wish Upon a Star by Sarah Belle
Abby can’t wait to marry her gorgeous fiancé, Xander – until she realises they’ve never had an argument. How can she expect their marriage to weather life’s storms when their relationship has never truly been tested?

A Friend in Need by Laura Greaves
When her best friend announces that it’s not possible for people in committed relationships to have single friends of the opposite sex, Megan is determined to prove her wrong. But are her feelings for her boyfriend’s best mate, Rye, purely friendly – or is Megan playing with fire?

The Reject Club by Carla Caruso
Tired of being rejected in both her personal and professional lives, Maya has retreated to her grandmother’s seaside cottage to clear her head. The last thing she needs is a man to complicate matters – especially one as alluring as Garrett…

The Getaway by Vanessa Stubbs
When Dominique heads to the Tasmanian wilderness with husband Ricky, it’s a make-or-break weekend for their struggling marriage. Is Ricky the same man she fell in love with – or is rugged Cal what she really needs?

Bad Things Come in Threes by Belinda Williams
First her marriage collapsed. Then she lost her job. Wynter isn’t sure whether she can cope with another disaster. And when Marty enters her life, she doesn’t know whether he’s the best thing to happen to her – or the very worst.

Songbird by Samantha Bond
Washed-up pop star George would do anything for another crack at the big time, and when he discovers talented young singer Annabella he sees his chance. There’s just one problem: Annabella’s feisty mother, Catherine.

 

So, if you’re looking for some winter giggles, some warmth, some lurve you can download your free copy here:

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Guest Post and Cover Reveal: ‘And Then There Was You’ by Suzy Turner…

And Then There Was You SMALL

And Then There Was You

Three years ago, Eve Brooke had the most passionate, memorable night of her life. Unfortunately, it was with a man who wasn’t her husband.

Can infidelity be forgotten? Not when her one night stand moves in next door, it can’t.

Eve has a pretty good life. She’s married to Matt, her childhood sweetheart, has an interesting career and lives in a nice house in the suburbs. If life is so perfect why did Eve sleep with a complete stranger during a trip to London? And why, three years later did he have to move in next door with his beautiful wife? As the attraction between them flares up again, Eve begins to question her marriage and wonders if it is fate or coincidence that has brought them back together…

Available exclusively at Amazon

 

About the author

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart, Michael, two neurotic dogs and a cat who thinks she’s a princess.
Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy was offered the position of trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she moved on to become assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher. Since then she has also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve’s most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 however, Suzy began working as a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless and And Then There Was You.

Suzy August 2014 small

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Escape into Magic Realism Blog Tour…

After over a year of answering the question: ‘in what genre do you write?’ I now have a definitive answer.

Up until now I have only been able to answer that question in a very round about, confusing way, that leaves the asker sorry that she inquired whilst simultaneously reaching for a paracetamol and large glass of wine.

For example:

‘Well, it’s when extraordinary things happen to ordinary people, like a mum time travels 50 years into the past, or a woman buys a spell off the internet and ruins her life, or a mum is plagued by a matchmaking imaginary friend.  It’s not quite fantasy, because it happens in our world, and it’s not really paranormal because there are no vampires or were-imaginary friends. It’s not contemporary  either because it has magical elements, it’s a bit chick lit and romantic comedy…’

‘That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. What the hell do you write, Sarah?’

‘Hmmmm, well…..’

Yeah. This kind of answer is worthy of chewing bubble gum, twirling my blond hair and tilting my head on the side like an inquisitive golden retriever.  Throw fifteen or so ‘likes’ in that answer and I would be legally obliged to change my name to Paris.

But now, thanks to Escape Publishing, I – and others like me, namely Juliet Madison, Jacquie Underdown, Jennifer Brassel, Katherine Givens  and Robyn Neely– finally have a bookshelf to plant our virtual bottoms on and call home.

Magic Realism Romance.

Escape logo

Yeah, baby!

So, let’s take that disjointed and migraine inducing conversation from the top:

‘So, Sarah, in what genre do you write?’

‘Not quite paranormal, not quite fantasy, this genre believes that magic is a part of the every day, and that there’s more to our lives than can be explained. If you’re looking for a little mystical, a little miraculous, a little more, this is the romance for you.’

‘That sounds amazeballs! How clever of Escape Publishing to give you guys a subgenre.  Where can I learn more?’

My new Magicl Realism Romance  novel, Miss Spelled will be released on September 1, 2014 via Escape Publishing.

Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.  

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.  

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman,  and damns everyone to a lifetime of misery. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.

 

 

 

 9780857991836

 

and my debut Magical Realism Romance novel, Hindsight is currently available at all good etailers!

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before! 

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

 9780857990587_Hindsight

 

 

Old Love…

As a teenager I had a very naive, limited interpretation of romantic love. But despite my innocence, and experience gained only  from TV sitcoms, I still believed in the essence of love. I just didn’t know how to describe it, and often confused it with lust, obsession, or just a simple crush.

In my mid-twenties, I thought I understood love. After all, hadn’t I matured? Wasn’t I part of a long term relationship? But I didn’t understand it at all.  Not real love. Not the kind of love that would last a lifetime and beyond.

im all yours

Now, although I am still learning, I have a better understanding of love:

Love is quiet, sometimes unspoken.

It is an essence, an energy,  that exists between two people who not only acknowledge the imperfections in each other, but accept them.

It is the bond between two people who cherish partnership, whilst respecting  individuality.

It is aspiration and inspiration. It is unwavering friendship.

It is allowing the other to help you stand when you cannot get to your feet.

It is supporting and inspiring the other person to be the very best version of themselves, without expecting them to change.

It does not end. The passing of one does not leave the other any less in love.

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Above all else, it is unconditional.

Love is what grows out of challenge and adversity.  It’s what keeps you together during the hard times. It’s what makes you smile and laugh louder during the good ones.

It is for the young, the not-so young, and the young at heart.  Sometimes society gets so caught up in the romantic ideal of a young couple in love, that we undervalue the love shared between the elderly- love that has stood the test of time, the fading of youthful appearances, the triumphs and the tragedies, or simply love found later in life. To me, it is the most inspiring love of all.

And so today, I wish you all Old Love.  xxxx

hands old love

The Beauty of Love…

The question is asked, “Is there anything more beautiful in life than a boy and a girl clasping clean hands and pure hears in the  path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than  young love?”

And the answer is given. “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped; their faces seamed but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired, but still strong with love and devotion for one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.”

Anonymous.

old love

Author Limelight: Lily Malone, Contemporary Romance author…

Hello Lily Malone and welcome to Author’s Limelight! A huge congratulations to you on the release of ‘Fairway to Heaven’. I love that cover – very clever!

Thank you for having me Sarah. You have very interesting (and tricky to answer) questions!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

Oh please don’t remind me. I called it Fringe Benefits and it has been the bane of my life for three years. It was my first attempt at writing romance and I think I threw every possible trope into it except Secret Baby. For example, it was a reunion romance, between a boss and employee, that involved a marriage of convenience. Midway through this year I dubbed it: “The Book That Shall Never Be Written” and abandoned it. Then I started Fairway To Heaven, which is now finished. (I had SO much more fun writing that).

NewFinalFair#2

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

Hmm. Having just answered the question about the First Story I ever wrote (and the book that shall never be written), would you believe that the character who I think is my favourite, is Seth Lasrey from That Book? Seth was the epitomy of a stereotypical romance writer’s hero, Arrogant, Tall, Dark, Rich. In my mind he looks like Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, & Justified). This guy hits all my buttons. His character in Deadwood was even called Seth…

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

It hasn’t changed me, except I have more confidence about my writing prowess having gone through the credibility check of having a Publisher say: “We Want Your Book”. Thank you Kate Cuthbert & Escape Publishing for accepting my debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful (published March 2013).

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

Right now we are living in a rental house and I don’t have a bookshelf. We really culled our bookshelf when we moved interstate at the beginning of this year. The print books I return to again and again are: anything by John Sandford, particularly the ‘Prey’ novels. The Twilight Saga. The Earth’s Children books (Jean M Auel). And the books that have been with me longest are The Silver Brumby books by Elynne Mitchell.

On my Kindle right now are: Gather The Bones by Alison Stuart, and Fast Forward by Juliet Madison, and I recently finished your book Sarah, Hindsight, which (along with The Yearning by Kate Belle & House For All Seasons by Jenn J McLeod) is one of my favourite books of the year.

Awww, thanks so much Lily!

HBOB

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Unappealing?? Gosh. I love my food. I can’t really imagine I’ve ever eaten something that didn’t appeal. I enjoy cooking, but I’ve never been one of those women who can magically decorate a cake (for example) or garnish a meal so that it looks gorgeous. When it comes to food, presentation definitely comes second to me after taste. So I guess you could say that a fair degree of my cooking might ‘look’ unappealing, but usually it’s reasonably tasty. There. How’s that for a very long answer to what should have been a single word question!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?

 a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Consider me your slave for life. Please. Please. Please, can I be Princess Leia. I have been a Star Wars nut all my life. I think Star Wars was my first obsession. Or it may have been Harrison Ford who was my first obsession. But that didn’t matter, the two went hand in hand.

As for changing the ending. Lordy, pick me up off the floor. Why would I want to change an ending where I (as Princess Leia) get to live and love with Han Solo (Harrison Ford when he was young and extremely do-able… err… gorgeous) for the rest of my life??

The ending change? I would not. (Yoda-speak)

Goodbye_Ride

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

Kate Belle’s The Yearning. Such a gutsy, gritty book in my opinion. I have a lousy memory so even if you offer me all of history, I’ll tend to return to the most recent incredible thing I read.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Oh! I don’t know… just one superpower? I think I’d like to be able to use The Force… and a light saber.

My boys have light sabre night lights on their walls, Lily. Sooo cool! My husband even has one in his office, (big kid).

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the William Wallace period of Scottish/English history. Possibly I’d go back to that kind of era. Or maybe Robin Hood. What would I take with me? A toothbrush.

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

As I mentioned way back when you started asking me these incredibly brilliant questions, I said I’d just ditched The Book That Shall Never Be Written. What I then started doing was writing a new story, Fairway To Heaven, based on my entry for the 2013 Little Gems (Sapphire). It’s a golf romance about love on the greens and lust in the bunkers. It’s a very personal story about one woman’s struggle to regain her sexuality and her independence after the birth of her son, and it’s set in the beautiful coastal playgrounds of Busselton and Margaret River in South West WA.

Now that Fairway is finished, maybe, just maybe, I’ll turn my head back to writing The Book That Might One Day Be Written.

LilyM_lowres

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from Fairway To Heaven, please?

Excerpt:

Then Geographe Bay unfurls before us, curving sweet as a wine glass, mile on mile of sand the colour of white pepper, strewn with dry strands of brown seaweed as if the mermaids cut their hair.

Busselton Jetty straddles the water far to the right. Where the famous landmark meets the coast, pines jut from the foreshore.

“There’s a train that runs out the jetty now,” Brayden says. “You’ll have to take him out there.”

“Maybe. We’ll see.” I don’t like forking out cash on tourist things Seb won’t remember. “This is a good spot.”

Brayden spreads the towels to mark our territory and I rummage in my bag for sunscreen to squirt over Seb’s arms and legs.

My city brain struggles to comprehend all this space. We’re in prime school holiday time, yet it isn’t packed. Near the jetty—with its fun parks and cafes—there’ll be crowds, but here, there’s nobody in our pocket. I like that.

“Here.” I hand Seb’s cap to Brayden. “You see if you have the knack to get him to keep it on.”

Brayden bends low to pick the bulldozer out of my bag and carries it to where last night’s high tide has left its signature.

He gives the dozer to Seb, and Seb squats on the sand. As he starts ploughing, Brayden stoops to my son’s level, and fits the cap over his curls.

I wait for those little hands to send that hat cartwheeling toward the sea, and of course, he leaves it perfectly in place.

My sun-smart little angel.

I lay back on the towel, resting on my elbows. The sand is incredibly fine. I bury, and then lift my feet, making sand pour between my toes.

A hundred metres to our left a group of kids plays cricket, every thirty seconds or so I hear the whack of bat on ball and shouts of “catch it” and “run”.

Beyond them, at least three different sets of people are walking—two in pairs, one solitary—all with dogs. A jogger cuts through them, heading in our direction.

The bay is millpond quiet. Shallow waters stroke the shore. A boat noses along an imaginary line where the aqua waters merge with the darker depths. I think the guy in the front is pulling crab pots, but I can’t tell if he’s having any luck.

 

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Sarah – thank you so much. I loved these questions and it is a pleasure to be part of your blog!

Thanks so much for coming Lily,  and congratulations again on Fairway to Heaven. I can’t wait to read it!

Author Limelight: Erotic novelist, Kate Belle…

Kate’s novel, The Yearning has earned rave reviews since its release this year. Congratulations and hello Kate, welcome to Author’s Limelight!

Kate: Thanks for having me Sarah. Do you think we should explain that we are NOT related?

Sarah: Yes, very good point! Despite having the same surname, blonde hair and hailing from the same state, we are not related. Kate also has a chemistry degree which makes her much brainier than me with a business degree!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

The Only Survivor. It won the Benalla Ensign Bookweek short story award for under 15’s in 1978. It was a dramatic account of a person who survived an airplane crash – something I knew a lot about at 13 years old – given I’d never been in an airplane.

I still remember how proud I was to see my story in print.

Yearning lo res

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

I have strange, confusing relationships with my male characters. I kind of fall in love with them. I even get a bit obsessive. They occupy my mind in the same way a real lover might. I think about them while I hang out the washing, fantasise about them when sitting in traffic, wonder what they might be doing now. When I’m writing them I often imagine them standing behind me, their hands on my shoulders, whispering the action into my ear.

It’s kinda creepy. Lucky for me they’re fictional, otherwise I might get done for stalking.

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

Interesting question! I hope not, I wouldn’t want it to. If anything it’s given me more confidence. If a publisher is willing to publish my work it can’t be complete rubbish. And it’s made me more anxious. In making a job out of being an author I’ve found so many new things to worry about, especially money. I worry about it in a way I’ve never done before.

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

We have 7 (count them) bookshelves in our home and they are overflowing with eclectic collections of predominantly second hand books. I have shelves of fairytales, erotica, Aboriginal literature, self help books (refugees from my 20’s), cookbooks, poetry, classics, psychology, astrology, and loads of Australian fiction. I’ve probably only read about 20% of it. I will die buried under my books, I’m sure.

breakingtherules

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Oh God, I gag at the thought of it. Smoked tofu. I went to Yum Cha with a Filipino friend one day and was thinking of smoked salmon when I ordered it. I couldn’t even swallow it. It tasted like it had been soaked in old cigarette butts for a week. I spat it out into my napkin. It ruined the rest of the meal.

Sarah: Did you see the episode of ‘Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year’ where Hamish ate 10 year old tofu? He gagged, cried and nearly brought it back up numerous times. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?


a) Scarlett O’Hara
from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Definitely Thelma or Louise – I loved that movie. Of course, there’d be no driving off cliffs but a slow meandering down through Mexico where we would adventure with hot blooded male amigos. Sigh.

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

I hate choosing just one but if I must – Pride and Prejudice. Because it’s just about as perfect as a novel gets. Gorgeous, insightful writing; compelling love story; convincing characters. Otherwise one of Sonya Hartnett’s books. That woman is a freak, her writing – double sigh.

KateBelle-glamfronthires

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

If I was 12 I’d say flying, but at this stage of my life I have to say cleaning my home to sparkling without having to lift a solitary finger. That or writing perfect first drafts. If you’re going to grant me one, either will do.

Sarah: Oooooh yeah! Good ones, Kate. Love them both.

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

I’d go back to the Summer of Love – San Francisco 1968. I’d take a notebook and pen and write it all down. The passion, the discovery, the fight for freedom and human rights. I’d like to try the dope that was around then, live on a commune, march the streets with placards, talk to Gloria Steinhem, visit Woodstock, immerse in the zeitgeist. Actually I’d probably take condoms too – I wouldn’t want any nasty consequences from participating in the sexual revolution.

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

My second novel will be published mid-2014. Its working title is Saint but it’s unlikely to be published as that.

Fourteen year old Banjo falls in love with Jade the moment he sees her step through the school gate. Their close friendship evolves into marriage but Banjo is vastly unprepared for life with his self-determined, temperamental, damaged wife. After half a lifetime of struggling with Jade’s repeated infidelities he makes a stand and musters the courage to leave. Tragically Banjo is killed, but his spirit is still tied to the woman he loves and he returns to watch his family grieve. When their adult daughters discover Jade’s Book of Lovers Banjo embarks on a journey of discovery. Did Jade love him above all others? And who was the strange man he found Jade with the night he died?

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from ‘Saint’ please?

People argue about death. Some say it’s the end of everything. They believe life closes off, and who we are, everything we’ve ever been, disintegrates, sinking into the earth with our bodies. Others think life disappears from sight, like a mollusc retracting into its shell. It wasn’t like that for me. For me, death was a beginning, an unexpected roaring rebirth into a different kind of life.

Death dawned on me, cold and shrouded in fog. It was a shock, reaching out to feel nothing. I have no body, no physical presence. I know I exist because I can still think, see, feel, but it’s nothing like the reality of being three dimensional. I remember the feeling of a body, the gravity it gave me. I remember what it was to take up space, move among people, influence the world.

The only place I can’t go is the future. I’ve tried and it’s like slamming hard up against a locked door. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I want to go there. I might lose Jade altogether then. At least now I can still be close to her, hear her voice, let my eyes feast on the sight of her, send my love to her. On the other side of that locked door she might be lost to me forever. And I’m not ready for that. Even now, when I know I’m gone and I can’t have her anymore, I’m not ready to say goodbye to Jade.

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THANKS FOR HOSTING ME SARAH!! Xxx

Releasing your inner Fabio on Valentine’s day…

Today is Valentine’s day – the day for lovers.(Although every day should be a day for lovers). It’s usually a day some men fear because they think they aren’t any good at romance. Many are afraid they will get it wrong or not be as romantic as the heroes in chick-flicks. But do you know what? Those scripts are written by Hollywood professionals to appeal to the majority of women, in reality romance is just meant to be fun and enjoyable, something to lift you out of the regularity of the day and make the two of you feel special, bonded and to celebrate the feelings you have for one another.

The thing about romance is that it doesn’t need to cost you a lot of money – in fact, it doesn’t need to cost you anything at all.

Romance can be:

  • Holding hands,
  • Lots of cuddles,
  • Writing notes to one another and leaving them in odd places- such as the teabag cannister, under the pillow, under the sunvisor in the car. The notes don’t have to be huge declarations of love – just a simple ”I love you”, or a compliment.
  • Sending a steamy word text – just make sure you get the number correct!
  • Designing a treasure hunt around the house, leaving clues to a gift or handwritten note telling your beloved how you feel – or what you would like to do to them.

Romance can be sweet, sexy or downright steamy – whatever suits you and your lover.

Do you remember being a teenager and snogging someone for hours and hours? The thrill of seeing them again, the sensory pleasure in being around that person – their scent, the feel of their hair, their body pressed closely to yours, the feel of their hand wrapped in yours? Do you remember the sense that all you wanted to do was kiss and cuddle them, because if you didn’t, you thought you would just burst? It’s such a shame that, with maturity, we lose so many of those feelings. Imagine if we could recapture that with the partner we have been with for five, ten, twenty, fifty years?

Well, today you can. Have a snog fest, where you can only kiss for a certain period of time – no sex until after two hours of kissing like teenagers.

I really love that my husband holds hands with me in public as we walk down the street – even after nearly eleven years of marriage, he still loves the feel of my tiny hand in his big paw. We cuddle all the time, especially in front of our kids because it’s important for them to see the affection between their parents, so that it will be a natural instinct for them with their own wives in the years to come.

So men, romance is nothing to fear, you can’t get it wrong because as long as you are making an effort to show her that you are madly in love with her, you’re on a winner.

And finally, if you are in doubt, just buy chocolates or flowers. Book a table at a nice restaurant or bring home her favorite take away so she doesn’t have to cook. Light a candle and put it on the table. Spend the night holding her hand or twiddling with her fingers on the table top and tell her how beautiful she is. Romance is meant to be a bit of fun, so enjoy the night and let your inner Fabio come alive