HOPING FOR MORE, contemporary romance novella by Shawna Delacorte, is part of the Deerbourne Inn series from The Wild Rose Press. Available December 16, 2020 in ebook atAmazon and other online vendors.

Dr. Daniel Eugene Stevenson, Jr., professor of history at the University of Vermont, is a popular guest speaker at the Willow Springs Community Center. But that's not the only reason he keeps returning to the small town. He's strongly attracted to the assistant librarian who coordinates the programs. So far, they've been good friends, but his upcoming scheduled talk provides the perfect opportunity to take their friendship to a serious commitment. He's just not sure if the other man he's seen her with is only a friend or someone special in her life.

Wynne Buchanan is looking forward to a certain shy professor's community center presentation about a murder committed in Willow Springs almost a century ago. Their friendship these past four years has meant the world to her, but every time she thinks they're moving toward a serious relationship, he pulls away. She's determined to find out why during his upcoming visit, because she's hoping for more…so much more.



Read G-Excerpt #1
Read G-Excerpt #2
Read G-Excerpt #3
Read G-Excerpt #4
Read G-Excerpt #5
Read G-Excerpt #6


G-Excerpt #1:

Wynne Buchanan hurried across the hall to the head librarian's office. Looking up from the papers scattered across his desk, Don Flanagan motioned her in. "What can I do for you?" He extended a teasing grin. "Is my assistant librarian having a problem she can't handle?"

A soft chuckle escaped her throat. "No problems here. I just wanted to go over a couple of things with you before I entered everything into the computer." She gestured toward the stack of papers in front of him. "Is this a bad time?"

"No. I need a break from this headache. I'm working on our requirements for the upcoming budget meeting." He moved several file folders aside. "What's up?"

"I just talked to Gene Stevenson. He emailed me the information for his talk at the community center, along with the handout he'll be using. It's scheduled for Friday evening before the Mad River Garden Party on Saturday."

Don perked up at the mention of Gene Stevenson's name. "What's Dr. Stevenson have in store for us this time? I always enjoy his presentations. Since he's a history professor, he always chooses some historical event for his talks, usually something that happened right here in Vermont or at least in New England. It makes for an interesting topic. People have a connection to the area where the event took place. You can always count on his presentations being well researched. And, to his credit, he also manages to make them both interesting and entertaining."

"This time his topic is very local. It's about a murder that happened right here in Willow Springs in 1931 -- a young woman named Martha Cotter. That should bring in a good crowd." Wynne's excitement bubbled inside her, sending an emotional warmth flowing through her veins. "He really is fascinating." A tender smile turned the corners of her mouth, but she quickly hid it. "Uh, I mean he's a fascinating speaker. People enjoy his talks."

"Yes, people enjoy his talks." Don nodded as he shot her a knowing look. "And some people more than others?"


G-Excerpt #2

As soon as Gene entered the library, he came to an abrupt halt. His anticipation crashed. Sitting next to Wynne's desk, engaged in animated conversation…Rand Kincaid. She had introduced him to Rand nearly a year ago. He had driven to Willow Springs on a Saturday morning to surprise her, but the surprise turned out to be on him. She had claimed Rand was a longtime friend who periodically came to Willow Springs on business. Rand had left town a couple of hours later, but she had mentioned him on several occasions since then. Another time, when he had casually asked her about Rand and what he did for a living, she became vague and quickly changed the subject.

Gene tried to convince himself that Randall Kincaid was none of his business. He didn't have the right to pursue the subject or pry into her personal life. But that didn't keep him from speculating about the true nature of her relationship with Rand, if they actually had a connection other than friends, and how that related to his own association with her, an association he had finally realized he wanted to seriously pursue and explore to the fullest.

Rand leaned forward and placed a quick kiss on Wynne's cheek, then headed toward the door. Resentment rippled through Gene. He quickly shoved it away as inappropriate, but the feeling refused to totally disappear.


G-Excerpt #3

Gene left the library and drove to the Deerbourne Inn. He needed to register and get settled into his room. After getting his key, he carried his suitcases to the third floor. His room had an outside porch with a beautiful view of the countryside. It was his favorite room, and he always requested it when making his reservation. After unpacking, he walked outside and sat on one of the porch chairs.

What in the world had prompted him to say he wanted to get a bicycle so he and Wynne could go riding together? Everything he said to her was true. It was an activity they could share. But why had he blurted it out? Then his thoughts turned to what she had said about Rand Kincaid. He enjoyed skiing, both downhill and cross-country. Wynne enjoyed those activities, too.

Did she have so much more in common with Rand than she did with him? As far as a compatibility of interests were concerned, she had a keen interest in history, both American and European. They often discussed various periods of history in different countries. Her conversation was always intelligent and her views were interesting. They often talked about travel, the few places she had been and all the places she wanted to see. Most of those places were on her list because of their history, places he would like to share with her. But riding a bicycle on the forest trails around Willow Springs? Well, Wynne enjoyed it, and that was a good enough reason for him to give it a try.


G-Excerpt #4

Wynne opened the door in response to the doorbell. "Hi, Gene. Right on time." She greeted him warmly as she stepped aside and motioned him into the living room. He handed her the bottle of wine, which she set on the dining room table. He hesitated for just an instant, then brushed a tender kiss across her lips. That innocent kiss quickly turned into a heated intensity as he pulled her into his embrace.

Her surprise instantly turned to excitement. Whereas they had kissed on numerous occasions over the last four years, even the full-on kisses had always felt more platonic than passionate. But this kiss was far removed from just friends -- very far removed.

She circled her arms around his neck and returned the eagerness of his kiss. A kiss that deepened with each passing moment.

The delicious kiss seemed to last forever before he finally pulled back, just enough for her to be able to see the glow that turned his gray eyes to a shimmering silver. They mirrored all the desire coursing through her veins.

"I... I'm sorry." His words came out haltingly, as if he hadn't known what to say but felt obligated to say something.

"Don't be." She couldn't stop the pleasure from tugging at the corners of her lips. "I'm not." She reached her mouth to his.

A second kiss, more intense than the first one -- she wasn't sure what to think or do. She did know one thing. She liked this aggressive new side of Gene, liked it very much. Then, as before, he broke off the kiss. He didn't completely release her from his embrace, but did physically take a step back while keeping hold of her hand.

"Forgive me. I don't know what came over me. I, uh, couldn't help myself. I've been wanting to do that for a long time. I know we've kissed on several occasions, but they were such…innocent kisses. I wasn't sure you'd allow--" He released her hand, then grabbed the bottle of wine from the table. "I'll open this."

He carried it into the kitchen and retrieved the cork screw. He definitely seemed rattled, but she wasn't sure exactly why. The kiss? As he said, they had kissed before. True, this kiss definitely had more passion -- more emotion -- connected to it than the others. But what did it mean?


G-Excerpt #5

They remained at their table, talking quietly, until the café closed at ten o'clock. Gene walked Wynne to her car. "You said you had tomorrow afternoon and all day Monday off? That's three and a half days. Perhaps..." He awkwardly shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "Uh, perhaps we could go somewhere?"

"Go somewhere? You mean somewhere out of town?" A little tremor of hopefulness sparked inside her. Did she dare hope he was talking about a long weekend out of town in some romantic place?

Wynne's question caught Gene by surprise. The two of them going away together for a long weekend wasn't what he had in mind when he made his tentative suggestion, but it was definitely something he very much wanted to do. To approach her with that type of an invitation had crossed his mind on numerous occasions. It had also occurred to him that she could easily be offended by the presumption that they would be sharing a room in a motel together, especially considering they had never made love.

"What I had in mind was a day trip." He nervously cleared his throat. "I had another historical event in mind for a future presentation at the community center, something else that happened here in Vermont. I thought maybe we could do a day trip there to gather additional information. Would you…would you be interested in doing something like that? We'd leave early morning and return shortly after dinner time?"

He carefully observed her initial reaction to his question. She showed some hesitation but not displeasure. It was a good sign. But what was she really thinking?


A quick ripple of anxiety shot through him. He realized he had been holding his breath, waiting for her response. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have -- "

She touched her fingers to his lips to still his words. "I was going to ask if you were talking about doing a research trip. I would like that. It sounds like fun. Where are we going on this day trip?"

He literally expelled an audible sigh of relief as he pulled her into his arms. "Are you sure? I don't want you to feel like you need to do this just to be polite. I can do it some other time. I just thought it would be fun if we did it together."

"When do you want to go?"

He couldn't stop the big smile from spreading across his face. "Since you have Monday off from work, I thought we could go then and avoid the weekend tourists. Could you be ready to leave first thing Monday morning?"

"No problem." She opened her car door. "I should head for home now. Having a three and a half day weekend starting tomorrow afternoon doesn't change the fact that I still have to be at work first thing tomorrow morning."

He pulled her tighter into his embrace. She slipped her arms around his neck as he captured her mouth with a kiss, one that clearly revealed all the passion stored inside him. A kiss that defined what he had long wanted to say but had been unable to put into words. The moment was tender, warm, and very meaningful. Full of feelings he had never before experienced, emotions he had not been able to define or express. And even though he had now started to define them, he still couldn't find the words to say to Wynne, to express what he truly and deeply felt.

She broke the kiss, but only moved her head enough to be able to talk. "As delightful as this is, I need to be at work first thing in the morning." She brushed her fingertip against his cheek. "And I still don't know where we're going on our day trip, where your research is taking us."

"St. Albans, Vermont, less than a three hour drive from here -- about twelve miles south of the Canadian border."


G-Excerpt #6

They ate dinner while engaging in casual conversation. After dinner, they sat on the sofa. Soft music played in the background. "I'm sorry I can't get any more time off this week. Don did say I could leave at two o'clock on Friday afternoon, but that's to handle things at the community center for your presentation that evening. It looks like you're on your own Wednesday and Thursday during the day. Do you have any plans to occupy your time?"

"Actually, I... uh, I need to return to Burlington tonight."

Wynne leaned back as shock momentarily claimed her. "What? What are you saying?"

"I had some phone conversations this afternoon, things I need to handle in person, a situation that just came up."

"When will you be back?"

"I should be back Thursday morning or possibly Thursday afternoon. Definitely Friday morning at the very latest but most likely late Thursday morning."

"Your talk is Friday evening. Is there any danger of you not being here?"

"Absolutely no danger at all. I will definitely be here."

"This is so sudden, especially you needing to leave this evening rather than in the morning." A touch of panic crept into her thoughts. "Is... is something wrong?"

"No, nothing like that."

"Is there anything I can do to help?"

"No. It's...it's a sudden situation at the university." He awkwardly shifted his weight as his gaze quickly traveled around the room. "Something that requires my immediate attention. It won't take long, but it can't wait. I need to attend a meeting at eight o'clock in the morning. I have to handle the situation in person."

Regardless of his denial, the air surrounding them screamed that something was very wrong. Everything had been fine at lunch, then by dinner, he suddenly needed to return home right away. An uncomfortable feeling settled in the pit of her stomach. He avoided eye contact, looking everywhere except at her, and she didn't know why. Had she done something that upset him? Said something she shouldn't?