To have someone understand your mind is a different kind of intimacy.
I was divorced, almost forty, and weathering the pandemic in isolation. But things were starting to look up. Two years ago I had become a bestselling debut romance novelist under the pen name Vivica von Valentine, and had a three-book deal with a major publisher. Preorders for the second book in my series promised sales that would eclipse book one. There was only one thing standing in the way of my career success—I had severe writer’s block. And with my manuscript due in four months and zero words written, I didn’t think the situation could get more dire. I was wrong.
I never dreamed I’d look into those eyes again—the stormcloud, full-moon eyes of Greyson Jameson, my beloved writing professor from twenty years ago. He’d been the toughest professor I’d had, who’d accepted nothing less than exceptional work. I recalled all too vividly how I had never been able to rise to meet his expectations. But when those eyes appeared unexpectedly in my Zoom meeting with the press, and Greyson personally took over as the editor of my book, I wasn’t sure which emotion I felt more strongly: anticipation or fear.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Paramnesia Press, and single father of two teenagers, I was accustomed to responsibility and being in control. When my father—who founded the press in 1979—passed away, I had transitioned from writing professor to CEO. Teaching and running a press proved more similar than I’d imagined, and with a lineup of new releases expected to top the charts throughout summer and fall, it seemed I had nothing but smooth sailing ahead.
But then I realized it was her. The bestselling romance author at my press, Vivica von Valentine, was Elena di Marco, my student from twenty years ago. She was the unrequited object of obsession that had haunted my dreams for two decades. I knew I had to take action now where I hadn’t back then. But I also knew the livelihood of the press hung in the balance. But then I looked into her cerulean-blue eyes again, and all my control went out the window.
Greyson and Elena’s involvement seems like destiny at play, despite the distance that separates them. But will their undeniable desire for one another be the bond that holds their unlikely alliance together, or the crack in the foundation that brings it all tumbling down?
Desire and Social Distance will be released in 2022. For updates, subscribe to my mailing list, Vixens & Vice!xoxo, Sophia Thorne