Guest Post: Love Letter to Dear Old Duke & Durham, NC (Julie Tetel)
I’ve taught at Duke University and lived in Durham, NC for over twenty years. Durham is one of the points on the Research Triangle, with Chapel Hill and Raleigh being the other two. For years and years, Durham was the ugly stepsister of the Triangle, with a nearly abandoned downtown and lots of ratty corners with boarded up buildings.
That was then. Now Durham is the place to be. In the past five years downtown has come alive. The ratty corners have shiny new apartment complexes. There are even – amazingly! – mini-traffic jams at some intersections. The New York Times recognizes Durham as a true foodie town. And where did the 2015 season of HGTV’s Love It or List It chose for their first location outside of Canada? Raleigh-Durham.
Where does Love After All fit into the mix? Gino and Laurel are both mid-50s Manhattanites. He’s a widower, and she’s divorced. They’re at the top of their professional games, but they’re both rusty on dating chops. In spite of the rust – because of it – they agree to trade favors: if Laurel goes to his cancer benefit events and runs interference on the socialites chasing after him, Gino will go with her to her 35th college reunion at Duke.
The reunion at Duke is where the magic happens. They stay at the charming King’s Daughter’s Inn off East Campus:
It was also a pleasure to write about places I know so well. Duke has always had cachet. Now Durham does, too. In the stodgy old days, it made itself known as The City of Medicine. More recently, its slogan is Find Your Cool.
Love After All is Gino’s and Laurel’s story of second chances. It’s Durham’s story, too.
It just came out on the Kindle library – I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed telling it..
Footnote: I only recently learned that the origin of the term bullpen came from a Bull Durham Tobacco poster that once hung over the player’s pit at Yankee Stadium. Durham is still known as The Bull City.
About the Book
Gino Milano is one of New York's most successful restaurateurs. Family-oriented, generous, kind, and hospitable, the death of his beloved wife of thirty-five years has left Gino wandering from fling to fling, without the intention of finding that kind of relationship again.
On the eve of college reunion season, this reserved divorcee and passionate widower cross paths in the lobby of their building. Faced with the prospect of being the only one of her friends to attend their thirty-fifth college reunion alone, Laurel impulsively asks the first man she sees. Gino, intrigued by her candor, agrees to help -- but dismisses any possibility of romantic interest.
In need of help of his own, Gino offers Laurel a deal: he will accompany her to her reunion at Duke if she helps him fend off the advances of women at his own weekend of fundraising events. Initial doubts give way to playful moments and personal revelations as matters come to a head on a beautiful April weekend at Duke University. Can both of them find love after all they have been through?
Amazon Buy Link
About the Author
Julie loves to travel, and has lived for extended periods in Germany, France, Romania, Vietnam, and Mongolia. As a child, Julie had a passion for playing the piano, and transferred that passion as an adult into writing romance novels and scholarly books about language. For Julie, writing essays in foreign languages is like playing scales and arpeggios as a warm-up exercise for writing in English.