Hello and welcome!
Today my guest is somebody I met recently and oh boy did he leave an impression.
Please welcome Michael!
What is your full name?
Michael Zorn. Come to think of it, my parents never gave me a middle name. he chuckles I guess I was destined from the start to appreciate efficiency.
Do you have a nickname?
My younger brothers Eli and Nick have tried to give me certain nicknames over the years. he clears his throat Most of them have started with the word, “ass.” You know, asshole, asswipe, that sort of thing.
What are brothers for, right? LOL
What is one word best describes you?
Focused. *grins* I like to give all my projects my, um, undivided attention.
Describe what you are wearing now to our readers.
Pretty much what I wear most days. Faded jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and my favorite Timberland work boots. Does my tool belt count? My girlfriend Emily says it’s the sexiest thing in my wardrobe but I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Michael frowns I think Ms. Leo spent too much time talking about my muscles. Emily told me that’s the best part of the book. Personally, I think the author should have spent more time talking about our tile installation in Emily’s kitchen. Did you see the placement of the grout? Those lines were pristine. I would have dedicated a whole chapter to that grout.
I can barely hold my grin back I think Ms. Leo did it right, muscles are yum, grout not so much I wink
What makes you laugh out loud?
Two words: Property Brothers. I hate that show.
What is your favourite dessert?
Oh, man. Emily is known for her soups but she’s got a talent with sweets as well. She makes these Nanaimo bars that are so delicious my eyes roll back in my head just thinking of them. he has this dreamy smile… sigh One of these days, I might just ask her to wear that chocolate for me.
What is your favourite drink?
I’m a man of simple tastes. Give me a cold beer on a hot day and I’m happy.
What is your greatest fear?
A shadow crosses Michael’s face Since you read A Good Man, you know about the incident I was involved in last year. It was a bad moment in my life and it’s taken me a long time to deal with my feelings. Luckily, because of Emily, I can now. What happened that day … well, let’s just say my greatest fear would be something like that happening to Em. I don’t think I’d ever recover from that.
What is your favourite colour?
Michael’s eyebrow arches Eniko, do I look like the sort of man who has a favorite color?
I arch my eyebrow at him I have to pick one? Okay, green. Em’s eyes are green.
What do you wear when you go to sleep?
And again, I ask, Eniko, do I look like the sort of man who wears anything to bed? winks
I had to ask, readers want to know this kind of stuff 😀
What is the perfect romantic date?
I’m not much of a fine dining kind of guy. The best day I ever had with Emily was a day she planned at the Toronto Islands. We went on the ferry boat, toured the islands on a tandem bike and ate burgers. It was an awesome day and it ended in the best possible way, with her in my bed.
Oh I haven’t been there in more than 20 years, I should plan a visit with my son next summer.
How ticklish are you? Where are you ticklish?
I’m not telling. No, seriously, Eniko. Back up. Put that finger away! Do not tickle me under my arm! Do not. manly giggles as I tickle him Stop, woman. Please, you’re killing me. Oh, my God. Do you want to see a grown man cry?
OK OK I’ll stop, just don’t cry 😛
What’s your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Emily makes this one soup that is so delicious. It’s her Spicy Thai Soup. She served it to me when we were, um, just starting to flirt with each other. It smelled so good, full of lime and lemongrass. Every time I smell it now, I think of that night and how we almost kissed.
When you look at a woman what catches your interest?
I know it might sound dumb but I think I fell a little bit in love with Em even before I met her. We had been trading emails about her appearance on Handymen. Her enthusiasm and warmth just made me feel so good and so happy. Don’t get me wrong. I love a curvy figure as much as the next guy but if there’s no substance behind it, I lose interest.
I know what it is since I already read the book, but can you elaborate more on Handymen for our readers?
Well, that’s the DIY TV show that I host with my two brothers on the Inspiration Network. We help families realize their home renovation dreams. Emily was one of our guests, her and her douchebag fiancé. Sorry… did I say that out loud? What I meant to say was … never mind. I meant “douchebag.”
You can say it, and yes he was… what an ass…
Do you have somebody in your life now?
Bashful smile I guess I’ve mentioned Emily a lot, huh? She’s awesome. I love her. We’re getting married, you know? She said, “yes.” I’m the luckiest man in the world.
I heard and congrats to both of you!
What is one word that best describes her?
Persistent. I love that about her. She never gave up on me, even when I pushed her away. Oh, and she has the best smile. It lights up a room. he laughs I guess that’s way more than one word, huh?
Is your book part of a series? What does the future hold for the readers of the series?
You bet! My book, A Good Man, is book 1 of the Handymen series. From what I understand, Ms. Rosanna Leo has been snooping around my brother Eli lately. I hear she has some adventures in store for him. Oh, and you know we can’t leave our youngest brother Nick out of the fun. I can’t wait to see him get what’s coming to him! And I hear there might even be a surprise hero in this series. I guess you’ll all just have to read and follow Ms. Leo for details! I won’t give her secrets away … not even if you tickle me.
No more tickling, crying men are just not something I can handle LOL I am looking forward to reading their stories too and I hope we get news on you two also.
Thank you Michael for taking the time to chat with me, sending hugs to Em!
Thanks for joining us today and I hope you enjoyed the chat.
As Michael mentioned, he hails from A Good Man, book 1 of Handymen series by one of my fave authors, Rosanna Leo.
Today is release day! Congrats Ms. Leo!!!
Not only is Michael a star on a successful home improvement show, he’s also seen as a local hero. But no one knows about the demons he carries inside him ever since the day he risked his life to save others. All the accolades and honors only make the memories stronger and the pain unbearable. He would do anything to be able to forget, to put his past behind him and move on. Michael takes on a new home improvement project, convinced it’s the perfect distraction. Little did he know that Emily, the woman who’s supposed to be nothing more than a client, would turn out to be a huge distraction…and engaged. While Emily battles with her own personal problems, Michael is determined to keep his distance. The last thing he needs is woman trouble. But when it becomes clear that the attraction is mutual, he realizes staying away from her is not an option. Now Michael needs to decide if he’s willing to risk exposing his weakness, and his heart…by giving in to temptation.
Here is a taste… and you will see why it was so easy to fall in love with him 😉
“Come with me. I want to show you something.”
“I will admit I was keeping this a secret, but I’ve made an executive decision to break with Handymen tradition.”
“What will Lacey think?”
“Let’s not go there.” He brought her upstairs, to the room that used to be the master bedroom, the one where several crew members stowed their belongings most days. Michael opened the door. At the far end of the empty room sat a large object, covered in a long tarp. “I’ve been working on something for you.”
“You mean other than renovating my house?”
He grinned. “Remember those old family photos Lacey borrowed from you?”
“Yeah. She said they wanted to include a montage of old pictures in the show introduction.”
“That might have been a slight fabrication. I just needed a way to get some photos from you. Anyway, I was saving this for the big reveal, but I think I want to show you now.” He grabbed the edge of the tarp and pulled, revealing the object hidden beneath it.
It was an old wooden ladder, one he’d found months ago at a salvage yard. He’d decided to repurpose it, turning it into a set of frames for the old photos they’d borrowed. Faces now smiled out from the six gaps between the rungs. Nonna Olivia hugging two blond children, Emily and her brother. Nonna Olivia and her husband on their wedding day. Six photos in total, all part of the heritage Emily so treasured. He hoped she’d like the rustic look of the ladder. Rather than sanding and painting it, he’d left it rough and worn, so that it looked as if it might have been sitting in Nonna Olivia’s toolshed, just waiting to be used. All Michael had done was affix the appropriate hooks and backings and had blown all the photos up to sizes that would fit the spaces.
Emily gazed upon her grandmother’s face. Her chest heaved. She blinked once, then twice. All at once, big, fat tears began to roll down her cheeks. “Michael, it’s…”
“I hope you don’t mind I used the photos. I thought it might be nice for you to have mementos of your grandmother in the finished store.”
“Oh.” Her hand covered her mouth but it shook so much she was unsuccessful at covering her open mouth.
“I hope you like it. You’ve had a shitty week and I thought you could use a pick-me-up. I was supposed to keep quiet about it, so maybe you could keep it under your hat until—”
Emily threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his torso, cutting off his words and his breath. Only when he hugged her back did he realize how hard she was quivering.
She wasn’t just crying about the old photos.
“It’s okay, Em. Let it out, sweetheart.”
The collar of his shirt grew wet but he didn’t care. Wardrobe had tons of shirts. Besides, she felt good in his arms, all soft and warm. He rubbed her shoulders and the back of her waist, exploring and familiarizing himself with her luscious body. He breathed, drinking in her scent. His nasal cavities had never known such bliss. It was like that first clear breath after a long period of congestion. His fingers were pretty happy too, enjoying the give of her womanly body. It was all he could do not to slide them down, cup her sweet ass, and pull her up against him.
Just not while she was crying over another man.
She lingered in his arms and he did nothing to push her away. In fact, it surprised him how badly he wanted to keep her there, so much so that when Emily finally extricated herself, he wanted to pull her back into his embrace. Instead, he wiped her cheeks of the remaining tears.
“The makeup ladies are going to kill me for making you cry.”
It might have been his imagination, but her tears made her eyes appear even greener. In fact, her entire face seemed a riot of tempting color. Each shade called to him. The crushed roses in her cheeks. Her strawberry lips, so plump and moist. Even the doeskin brown of her freckles fascinated him to no end. He wanted to count them, to kiss and mark them all.
Kissing her made a whole lot of sense right now. Kissing her senseless seemed even better.
Emily’s eyes widened. Her lips parted in invitation. Michael paused, knowing it was wrong, even though every raised hair on his arms told him it was right.
As he debated with himself for a split second, she brushed her lips against his. It was quick and soft, hunger masquerading as something platonic. Even though a spectator might have called it a friendly kiss, he knew the truth. As brief as it may have been, he felt her yield to him, even if just a little.
From the startled look in her eye, Emily knew it too.
She took a step back. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“You’re right. I should have been the one to do it.” Michael licked his lips. “Your lips really do taste like strawberries.”
“Michael, I can’t.”
“I think you just did.”
“You know what I mean.” She waved her hand between their two torsos. “This. I can’t do this.”
“What? Point at my chest?”
“You’re teasing me.”
“Maybe a little. Listen, Em, I understand. As unexpected as that kiss was, as much as I want to taste your lips again, I know it’s too soon.”
“It’s too much, too soon.”
He reached for her hand. “I get it. It’s okay.”
“But that doesn’t mean I won’t be spending all my waking hours waiting for the moment I can make it happen again.”
“Don’t worry. I’d never force the matter. Besides, I enjoyed having you thrust yourself at me.”
“Are you ever going to let me live it down?”
“Not in this century, sweetheart.”
Heartfelt and realistic, this story is compelling in many ways. It deals with heartbreak, loss, consequences to actions in life, but most of all… HOPE… that it will be ok and also LOVE… a powerful force that can conquer and heal.
It is hard not to fall in love with Michael, strong yet vulnerable, humble and loyal, protective to the core. No wonder Emily falls for him, and she is a strong woman, loyal, warm. Ms. Leo made a perfect match, he helps heal her broken heart, she helps heal his spirit.
I am looking forward to the next stories, especially Eli’s, who caught my attention in this book.
I hope you give this book a chance, I promise, you will enjoy it. I can’t wait to add the paperback to my treasure shelf, check out that cover 😉
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