The Keys to Romance – Anthology

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Love Stories by Julian Keys

The art of romance is that of a locksmith, carefully crafting the perfect key that will fill the unique hole in each individual’s heart, opening them to a world of intimacy that fills the imagination and speeds the pulse. A tightly closed opening unfolds itself at the touch of the right shaft. Secret feelings are locked deep within, just waiting to be released. Revealed here are some of life’s most treasured moments, crafted into stories of men and women finding themselves – and each other – in love.

In this volume, award-winning author Julian Keys gives us seven love stories where sharing is caring, truth is daring, and a one night stand might last forever. Witness the evolution of the human heart, students on the market for romance, lovers cooking up something special, and a beautiful photographer realizing his big dreams. Take up the Keys to Romance, and unlock worlds of love.

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‘Til Dawn

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“Want to go on a date?” Those were the words that tumbled out of Cal when he saw the young lady on the bridge. The one about to throw herself into rushing river below. It was the strangest thing he’d ever uttered and not just because it was so wildly inappropriate. A victim of chronic shyness, Cal found it impossible to talk to women, let alone date them. The black-haired beauty on the bridge, however, brought something out of him he didn’t even know existed: an intense need to share himself, all of himself, with someone.

“Want to go on a date?”

What followed was a typical date that was anything but typical. During it, two closed souls, one secretive, one introverted, would find in each other what they never imagined they’d find in this life. There was one stipulation to the date, however: come morning it would be over. Meaning Cal had till dawn to change her mind. Could he give her enough of himself to do that? (F/M)

A Special Occasion

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Regina Marshall had it all: a devoted and passionate husband, a luxurious home, a life that most people wanted. Yet there was one small part of her left unsatisfied; a sexual fantasy she’d always wanted to indulge in but never had for fear it might hurt her marriage. When she shyly revealed this dream to her doting husband, however, he insisted on making her fantasy a reality.

Clayton Marshall was fiercely in love with his wife and determined to give her anything she might desire. The trouble was, he wasn’t sure whose fantasy he was fulfilling when he arranged to have another man pleasure her while he watched. One thing was certain, the young man who entered their lives that evening was going to change everything; not only everything the knew about each other, but everything they thought they knew about themselves. (M/F/M)

Down to the Bone

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Jarrett “Jet” Evans had always followed a particular evolutionary path, one that revolved around his prowess for football. So far, his time in college had been filled with games, parties, cheerleaders and easy-to-pass classes. He’d never questioned his place at the top of the food chain, not until the day he went to the rare books section of the library and ran into a geeky girl with an unusual skull tattoo on her shoulder. Now he found himself enthralled by a bespectacled anthropologist with a disdain for jocks. But did he really want to leave his primrose path for a woman intent on challenging not just his mind, but his future?

Lidia “Liddy” Marchum knew she and Jarrett weren’t of the same “species.” She was all geek and he was all jock. Yet she couldn’t deny the magnetic attraction she felt for him, nor the allure of the deep intelligence she was discovering in the fine skull of his. Even as she allowed herself to fall for him, however, she feared she wasn’t going to be the sort of woman he really wanted, or needed. And then came a crises that required they both learn to adapt.

Could love evolve them both beyond their differences? (F/M)

Exchange of Heart

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Waitress Michelle Medena was used to the attention she got from men. They were always hitting on her, but none seemed interested in anything but her good looks. Then one night Zak Tover, the teaching assistant in her economics class, sat at her table. With his socialist-themed t-shirts and tendency to leave extravagant tips he was like no one she’d ever met. He seemed to find her beauty of little value.

Zak Tover was completely intimidated by beautiful women and knew better than to try to hit on them. Michelle, however, was particularly difficult to ignore, especially when her class papers revealed a clever mind behind all that loveliness. Still, they come from very different socio-economic backgrounds and Zak knew better than to expect that there could never be a fair trade between them…that was, until Michelle’s wayward brother stepped in with his own radical economic theory and completely altered the exchange rate. (F/M)

Full Disclosure

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Janet wasn’t about to let the bitter man at the bar get away with ranting about lying women. Not when her duplicitous boyfriend had so recently dumped her. She came right back at him, “And you guys are so up front?” Points and counterpoints were exchanged, and it turned out that he, too, had an ex who’d cheated on him. Maybe that’s why, when he proposed a crazy idea to her, she accepted. To her surprise, it was liberating to exchange truths with him. Until, that is, the confessions grew darker, and Janet found herself falling for her anti-date… (F/M)

Pretty as a Picture

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Former male model and fashion photographer Simon McCallan had a jaded view of women, especially the slender beauties he photographed. But then, Simon had a secret: he wasn’t attracted to thin women. Being in the fashion industry, however, he’d never dated or had any real interaction with women larger than a size six. Then, one stormy afternoon, his new assistant arrived. She was the Rubenesque lady of his dreams, and his one thought from the moment she stepped in was that he had to have her. But Adrienne Parks was no push-over; handsome as Simon was, she wasn’t going to bed him just for his looks. Could he prove to her there was more to him than a pretty face? (F/M)

Savory and Sweet

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When Rosemary Davis inherited Earthly Delights from her mother, chef Daphne Davis, her aim was to sell the California restaurant as fast as she could and return to Manhattan. Then she met the restaurant’s passionate and sexy sous chef, Jake Cosgrove.

To Jake Cosgrove, Earthly Delights isn’t just a job; it’s his life and his home. Learning that Rosemary has baking skills, and hoping to soften her resolve to sell, he offers to cook up three savory dishes using fresh produce from the garden, if she’ll bake up three sweets using the same.

It’s a challenge Rosemary can’t resist. The question is, will she succumb to Jake’s savory dishes, or will her delectable pastries win him over instead?

Anthology (88,900 Words)
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
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