Enjoy the “Marry Me” scene from—
By Dana Taylor
Welcome to the mystical town of Beaver Cove, Arkansas where country ghosts offer homey advice and the moon makes lovers of total strangers! Maddie Harris left Boston in humiliation. She hopes the job as assistant principal in a small Arkansas town will keep her too busy to notice the hole where her heart used to be. Phil Wilcox, divorced former NFL star, returns to his hometown as the new football coach. He hopes to repair the tattered relationship with his eleven-year-old daughter, despite his thorny ex-wife. Maddie is neat and color coordinated; Phil takes “casual” to its limits. Neither is seeking romance, but a mischievous moon and a friendly spirit have other ideas. “Round Table Review” says “Devil Moon is a lovely romance full of whimsy, comedy and bittersweet twists.”
The set up: This scene is toward the end of the book. Maddie has been warned off Phil by his ex-wife who has threatened to take Phil’s daughter out of his life unless Maddie gives him up. (Maddie occasionally gets advice from her dead Grandmother.)
Setting: Maddie’s kitchen
Maddie sat up straight. She’d been wishing the interminable breakfast would simply end. And now he appeared on the verge of proposing marriage.
She put a hand on his arm. “Don’t say it, Phil.”
“Now you don’t even know what I’m going to say. See, we’re good for each other.” He covered her hand and looked at her with the innocence of a puppy. “I love you. I’ve known it for a good little while. You make me happy and I think we’d make a great team. We need each other. We’re right together. Oh, hell, Maddie, either shoot me and put me out of my misery or marry me.” He released a deep breath. “There, I said it. I think we should get married. What do you say?”
He looked so happy, she wanted to throw up. Her voice came out hoarse. “I can’t marry you, Phil. It just wouldn’t work.”
An expression of shocked pain flashed across his face before it quickly changed to anger. “Oh, I get it. It’s one thing to have a roll in the sheets with the football jock, but you wouldn’t want to marry him.”
“No, no, it’s not like that.”
“Then what is it? Explain it to me.”
Oh God, she wasn’t ready for this. She hadn’t rehearsed a speech. She crossed her legs and tried to assume an elegant air. “Well, you’re from one world and I’m from another and I don’t think we’re compatible. You’re much too messy. I wouldn’t want to be picking up your socks and picking out your clothes.” Oh yes she would, she really would.
Phil stood up. “Okay, sweetheart, you’re too good for me. I get it. An alcoholic, has-been football player isn’t your idea of husband material. Well, let me tell you something, babe. You’re passing up a good deal.”
She knew that. She knew he was the best thing that had ever come along in her whole life. “It wouldn’t be a suitable match, that’s all. I think you have many fine qualities, but you’re just not my type. I hope we can be friends, for the baby’s sake.”
He grabbed her chin and forced her to look in his face. “This is so much baloney. You came onto me the other night like it was for keeps. You didn’t say it, but I could feel it in your body, see it on your face. You love me, goddamn it! You look me straight in the eye and deny it. Say it. Say ‘Phil, I don’t love you.’ I don’t think you can.”
Maddie swallowed and dug deep down to a well of strength she didn’t know she possessed. She had to make the lie seem true. In a calm and measured voice she said, “Phil…I…don’t… love you.”
He released her as if he’d been burned, turned on his heel and rushed for the door. She flinched at the slam and closed her eyes. Taking a breath, she opened them again and surveyed the incredible mess he’d made making one small meal.
Standing before the sink was the see-through figure of Grammy Harris. “Pitiful, simply pitiful. You’ve set the Harris womenfolk back ’bout a hundred years.”
February 2012 Amazon Customer review from Dafna Yee–
Devil Moon is a charming love story with well-rounded characters (even Grammy’s ghost has a great personality!). The dialogue is terrific and the banter between stuck-up Maddie and laid-back Phil gave me lots of smiles. Randy makes a wonderful secondary character as Maddie’s best friend while Pam makes a classic villain. I especially loved the sub-plot of the relationship between Phil and his daughter, Melissa, who ended up saving the day. The complex issues of single motherhood, abortion, homosexuality, and alcohol/drug abuse were dealt with sensitively and really added to the story line. This book is a cut above your usual romance and I definitely recommend it.
Get caught in the spell of Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance