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Life in Small Towns by Shelley Munro

It’s not every day a girl inherits a condom company, and to say accountant Alice Beasley is astonished and out of her depth is putting it mildly. For an almost virgin, she needs a quick education in all things condom because her inheritance is in danger. Someone is intent on sabotage and playing nasty, trying to destroy her new company.

Alice is suddenly getting down and dirty with charismatic James, the factory manager, all in the name of business, testing new condom designs. The sex is hot. Mind-blowing. It’s a dark thrill and an erotic journey. Yeah, it’s a hard job, but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s gotta do.

The testing turns personal. Alice wants James. She craves his talented touch and sultry kisses, she desires passion and physical pleasure on a permanent basis but first she must convince bad-boy James to give up his fancy-free ways…

Thanks so much for having me to visit again to tell you about Fancy Free.

Fancy Free takes place in a small fictional town called Sloan. In fact, those of you who have read any of the books in my Talking Dogs series might recognize the town. Although, rest assured, the world of Fancy Free is a contemporary one with not a single alien in sight.

I grew up in the country, a small community with close ties. To this day, I enjoy reading romances and watching movies etc that are set in small towns because it reminds me of my childhood–I can relate. The Gilmore Girls was recently on one of the channels down here in NZ. I never saw it the first time, but I enjoyed the quirky humor and the goings on in Stars Hollow very much.

In the book world I’m enjoying Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series about the life of a midwife and a pub owner and all their friends–the trials and tribulations and the special moments of love and laughter. Lauren Dane’s Chase Brothers series, set in a town called Petal is also a lot of fun and recently I’ve read Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl. This book chronicles the adventures of Molly Jennings and her relocation to Tumble Creek in Colorado. Kristan Higgins is also another favorite with her first person romances set in small towns.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to living in a small community, both of which can be used to great effect in romantic fiction or movies.


    People know each other and family histories.
    When times get tough, friends and neighbors step in and help.
    There’s generally less trouble in small towns and less need for tight personal security.
    Usually less graffiti and litter.
    Cheaper cost of living.
    Great place to bring up children.
    There are some great local traditions and celebrations.
    Plenty of parking spaces.


    People know each other and family histories.
    Some services are lacking, although the advent of the Internet counteracts this.
    Small town gossip – it’s hard to misbehave without everyone knowing.
    It’s hard to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right because the choices are limited.
    People never forget your mistakes or your parents’ mistakes.
    If you do something wrong or want to keep a secret, it will get back to the people you don’t want to hear. i.e. that sex toy you ordered via the Internet and the packaging broke – the postmistress will tell everyone!
    Sometimes it feels like living in a fishbowl because people are nosy!

In Fancy Free Alice, the heroine inherits a condom factory and in order to keep her inheritance she must move to the small town of Sloan where everyone has an opinion about her business. She finds small town life both trying and interesting. At first, Alice feels a bit like Alice in Wonderland because the town of Sloan is very strange and it feels like a strange and weird rabbit hole. But gradually things change and she starts to feel right at home.

What you think about living in a small community? If you live in a small town, do you like it? Do you have any advantages or disadvantages to add to my list? Is there a book or a movie set in a small town that you’d like to recommend?

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes contemporary and paranormal romance for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can visit Shelley at www.shelleymunro.com or check out her daily blog post at www.shelleymunro.com/blog.

Excerpt from Fancy Free

They were in the wrong place.

Alice Beasley stared around the crowded town hall feeling a little like her namesake Alice in Wonderland–lost and confused in a strange, foreign world. This bedlam reminded her of a storybook rabbit hole, not a small New Zealand country town called Sloan. She gaped at a woman dressed in a bright orange turban and a long, voluminous, hunter green gown. Another woman in a smart black suit teetered her way to the front of the hall, a small grubby boy in tow. His red, tear-stained face confirmed coercion and he looked just as uncomfortable as Alice felt. The fish-out-of-water sensation persisted while she perused the many colorful characters assembled in the town hall. Oh no! This certainly couldn’t be the reading of her godmother Alicia’s will.

Alice leaned over to rifle through the black leather handbag at her feet and pulled out the sheet of paper on which she’d written the date, time and address the lawyer had rattled off at the termination of a hurried phone call the previous evening. She scanned the details. Frowning, she stuffed the paper back inside her bag and straightened, her hands tucked demurely in her lap.

It was the right place.

A prickle of awareness jerked her upright. Alice glanced up from her folded hands, peeking through lowered lashes. A man. She hunched forward again so she didn’t appear so obvious but continued to spy on him. A gorgeous man surrounded by flirtatious females of all ages. Tall. A rangy build. Dark shaggy hair and bright blue eyes that focused on her and bore distinct interest. Alice wondered what it would be like to have a man like that at her side, touching her like a lover, then guilt assailed her and she glanced away.

Definitely not her sort.

He appeared too dashing, and his wicked grin indicated a man too daring for her. No, despite this man’s obvious attractions–her fascinated gaze darted back to scan his broad chest, his overlong hair and his…

Awareness pulled at Alice, her skin suddenly overly warm and her mind uneasy with her wayward thoughts. She squirmed on her wooden chair and tugged furtively at her white cotton cardigan. A quick jerk of her wrist pulled it away from her breasts but did little to cool the swelter of her body. She barely resisted fanning her face, smoothing the wayward strands of her hair away from her forehead instead. Oh my goodness. She’d stared right at his…

Purchase link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-5289-127-fancy-free.aspx

***Leave a comment answering Shelley’s question to be entered for a chance to win a digital download from Shelley’s backlist at Ellora’s Cave or Cerridwen Press.