All I’ll Ever Need by Mildred Riley

All I’ll Ever Need
by Mildred Riley

Genesis Press
Available 05/01/09

Newly married, both Elyse and her husband Barry want to have a child. But before this hope can be realized, Barry is called to active duty in Iraq. Due home just before Christmas, he is killed by a roadside bomb. Six months after his death, Elyse is summoned to their lawyer’s office, where she learns that he made a deposit in a sperm bank before shipping out. Despite objections from her family and friends, she decides to undergo in-vitro fertilization and gives birth to a baby girl. What she doesn’t know is that her husband had a daughter as a result of a teenage relationship. Complicating her life still further, she is beginning to have feelings for Ace Brimmer, owner of a local art store. Ace truly loves her, but what will it take for her to realize that he is all she will ever need to live a happy and fulfilling life?

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  1. Los Angeles Times article on Mildred Riley:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-romance4-2009jul04,1,6154819.story

    Black novelist romances readers with characters they can relate to

    Mildred Riley, 91, stumbled into a growing sub-category of romance fiction when she began churning out stories centered around African American characters and history.
    By Elizabeth Mehren
    July 4, 2009
    Reporting from South Easton, Mass. — It was the height of the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s in New York City. The couple had found a beautiful apartment, filled with Art Deco trappings, right down to the frosted swans etched into the shower door.

    You’ve worked so hard all day, Roy told Maddie: Why don’t you just take a shower and I’ll make us some dinner? Then, as she stood beneath the pulsing spray, Maddie saw him in his bathrobe, through the frosted swans. When Roy offered to soap her back, Maddie protested that his bathrobe would get wet. Oh no, Roy replied. The robe fell to the floor and he stepped in to join her.

    When Mildred Riley read that scene from her book “No Regrets” at her over-55 apartment complex here, a woman in the audience gasped. Riley stopped, worried she had offended her neighbor.

    But Riley’s fan said it was envy she was expressing, not shock. “She said, ‘I wish it had been me,’ ” Riley recalled.

    In taking up romance writing about 20 years ago, Riley, now 91, tapped into a booming genre. Romance fiction boasts more than 51 million readers in the United States and generates more than $1 billion in sales each year because “things end well for the hero and heroine, despite everything they have to overcome,” said Allison Kelley, executive director of the Romance Writers of America.

    Over broiled scallops at her favorite restaurant in this community southeast of Boston, Riley said she had no grand plan to make a political, social or literary statement when she began churning out stories centered around black characters and significant periods in African American history. Nor did she realize she was venturing into a growing sub-category of romance fiction.

    Rather, she said, “I wanted to write about people who look like me.”

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