Kissing Games of the World by Sandi Kahn Shelton
Jamie McClintock, an artist who already has a precarious life caring for her asthmatic little son and struggling to pay the bills, doesn’t have time for love or romance. She and her son live in an old farmhouse with an elderly widow who is raising his grandson—but when her beloved elderly landlord dies of a sudden heart attack, her life is thrown into chaos.
When the late landlord’s estranged son Nate arrives in town to settle his father’s affairs and claim his son, Jamie discovers that the spirited old gentleman devoted to raising his young grandson was actually a philandering, deadbeat dad in his day. At least, according to Nate, a widower whose late wife’s accident left him bereft and entirely incapable of caring for the boy.
Jamie and Nate can’t stand each other from the beginning. He’s a self-absorbed, charismatic, world-traveling salesman who thinks being a dad means just letting his five-year-old son come along with him on his many business trips until he can convince his business partner girlfriend to marry him. He’s sure Jamie is just the latest of his dad’s girlfriends, and he’s only too happy to kick her and her son out of the house so he can sell it and get back to his life.
But then he discovers that being an instant dad isn’t so easy after all, especially when he’s blindsided by feelings of grief over the death of his father whose transgressions he never forgave. And even while he and Jamie are fighting over everything from children’s nicknames to Jamie’s odd-ball fashion choices to Nate’s home renovation methods, they discover that they have two little boys looking to them to ease their grief and loss.
It’s not long before Jamie’s defensive self-preservation and Nate’s blustery bravado crumble under the laws of attraction.
In a story that is as much a humorous, poignant contemporary romance as it is the tale of a man coming to terms with his father’s desertion, readers will discover new twists to the modern-day mating dance. Sometimes, Jamie and Nate discover, the person you can’t stand is also person you also can’t stand to live without.
About the Author
Sandi Kahn Shelton is the author of three novels, all contemporary novels about relationships and family, including What Comes After Crazy, A Piece of Normal, and the latest, Kissing Games of the World. She’s also the author of three nonfiction humor books about parenting, and is a feature reporter for the New Haven Register. For years she wrote the “Wit’s End” column for Working Mother magazine, and she has been a contributor to Redbook, Salon, Reader’s Digest, and Woman’s Day.
She’s been a writer for longer than she can actually remember—but she does remember her first sale. When she was 6 years old, her mother wouldn’t give her money for the ice cream truck, so she ran home and wrote a story and sold it to the neighbors for 20 cents. It was called “The King Who Slept For Three Hours and Forty-five Seconds” and she saw this as the beginning of a promising career path that would keep her in frozen desserts for the rest of her life.