Funny, the summer vacations that stand out most in my mind. My parents went to significant effort to give my sister and me great memories. I fondly recall swimming lessons, art classes, and road trips. I remember visiting family in Southern California with side excursions to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. In the backseat of an old station wagon, my sister and I chatted and fought and laughed our way to the Oregon Caves, the Grand Canyon, and New Orleans. But the summer that stands out as a favorite is my fourteenth year.
Fourteen is a wonderful age—a time of freedom with very little responsibility. My family had taken an extensive vacation the summer before. In addition, my sister went off to college. No doubt it was for those reasons that there was no family trip that year. At fourteen, the days of dating angst were at least a year off, and I was too young to be expected to get a summer job. Sure, I helped around the house by doing dishes, taking out the garbage and dusting, but mostly, I was free to do as I pleased.
And what pleased me was reading. Given a chance to do whatever I wished, I read. Every Wednesday, I’d go to the library and come home with stacks of books. Mysteries were a favorite. I read so many Agatha Christie novels that summer that I started a list to keep track. My mom got me started on Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason Mysteries with the clever attorney, the ever-efficient Della Street and investigator Paul Drake. Not one for censorship, she also suggested I read Forever Amber, which had been the naughty book of her day.
I spent hours poring over the house layouts of the Mary Roberts Rinehart novels, because if I didn’t, the mystery solutions didn’t make sense. I read fantasy, too, discovering J.R.R. Tolkien. I fell in love with the elaborate plots of Daphne Du Maurier. I’d about fall over whenever she’d kill off a character I’d deemed essential to the story moving forward. I loved her twists and turns.
But my favorites were the ones with a bit of romance. Those included Mary Stewart, Phyllis A. Whitney and Victoria Holt. I didn’t need a list to keep track of those. Oh no, I knew exactly which ones I’d read because those stories transformed me.
That one free and easy summer shaped who I would become—a reader first, certainly, who craves story with conflict and resolution, who hungers for the printed word where I can lose myself in tales crafted by others. But most of all, that summer shaped me into an author who writes her own brand of dark, sexy, funny romance.
Here’s to a summer with the freedom to read!
Steal My Heart
When a fantasy turns into a cold reality
Lexanne Harris had a plan down to the last sexy detail. Never did she think her attempt to spice up her love life with her boyfriend would involve her in a burglary with a sexier than sin thief whose emerald eyes and serious between the sheets skills are impossible to forget. As a police detective she is expected to stand on the side of the law and fight for justice. But what happens when the lines of justice blur and what’s wrong becomes way too tempting?
The situation might be challenging but Lexanne is determined to get assigned to the case, recover the jewels and catch the culprit.
The question is: What will she do with her sexy cat burglar when she catches him?
More About Aimee
Having lived in both California and Texas, Aimee O’Brian now resides in the beautiful wine country. With her three children grown and experiencing their own adventures, she and her husband are free to explore the world. When she’s not reading, writing, or planting even more perennials in her garden, she can be found stomping through ancient ruins and getting lost in museums.