To Make You Feel My Love (Valentine’s Day Gift Hop)

ValentinesDayGiftHopWelcome, Valentine’s Day Gift Hop hoppers! Thanks for dropping by — please excuse the mess. Crossing the Lines (Neighborly Affection #2) is releasing March 3, and we all know housework is the first thing to fall by the wayside when life gets busy.

I would’ve put the laundry basket away, but the dog likes to sleep in it, and I don’t know what I’d do if my clean clothes weren’t covered in dog hair. And okay, maybe last night’s dishes are still soaking in the sink and the recycling hasn’t gone out and I’ll never manage to contain the pile of shoes by the door.

The thing is, romance happens in chaos all the time. It doesn’t have to be a special Valentine’s Day dinner date with overpriced flowers . (Although I’m a little jealous of Alice, because Henry and Jay have a doozy of a Valentine’s surprise for her in Crossing the Lines.)

Neighborly Affection: Crossing the Lines by M.Q. Barber.

“Henry’s in charge of your pleasure. That’s how you know it’ll be good.” – Jay

But sometimes, the most romantic moments happen in quiet and unexpected ways, and they stay with us for years.

Eons ago, before my husband and I did the whole rings-and-vows thing, we were a couple of college students navigating relationship-land. He bought me a CD, apropos of nothing. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t my birthday or Christmas or some special anniversary for us.

By itself, no big deal, right? Not worth remembering more than a decade and a half later.

Except he, who cannot stand listening to country music, bought this country music album for me, a woman who cannot go anywhere in the car without blasting the music and singing along, knowing he’d have to listen to it daily, on repeat, for months – just because he knew I’d like it.

Love doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It shows itself in a lifetime of small gestures. And even now, when my CD collection has long since switched over to mp3 and my driving music is a playlist on shuffle – even now, when a song by that artist comes on, the first thought in my head?

My husband loves me.

Not bad mileage for an impulse purchase.

What reminds you of love?

Leave a comment below and you’ll be in the running to win a Valentine’s Day Gift Hop grand prize of a Kindle Paperwhite or a bundle of new adult romance ebooks.

Two commenters on this blog stop will win an ecopy of Playing the Game (Neighborly Affection #1) and a $5 Amazon gift card. The Rafflecopter below also offers extra chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the hop participants – every comment you make on any of the sites counts as an entry for the grand prizes!

M.Q. Barber

M.Q. Barber is the USA Today bestselling author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. She's also an inveterate, unrepentant scribbler of ideas on whatever's handy.


  1. My hubby is the same M.Q! In fact, he has boycotted V-day for as long as I can remember – he doesn’t like to do things because he’s been told to! LOL But he does all these little wonky things throughout the year that scream love and cherish. But you have to open your mind to them. If you are only thinking traditional romance, a woman may pass them by without a glance. Which would be a pity! Looking forward to Crossing the Lines – woohoo! xo

    • Great point, Cd! If a woman is looking for big gestures all the time, she might miss all the wonderful things her guy already does.

  2. Oooh MQ, I love the sweet story about your husband! The little stuff get’s me too. Last night, I was sitting among mountains of laundry, and my husband walked in, took one look at me and turned my favorite cd on for me and started putting the laundry away without me having to ask for help. To me, that kind of stuff screams love 🙂 Great post!

    • Ahhh, perfection, Tera! It’s the not having to ask that really shows how much he’s paying attention. Who can resist a guy who notices the small things? 🙂

  3. thanks for the wonderful giveaway

  4. I’m not one for cliches or forced displays of affection, but the little things make a big difference!


  5. Cute story! My 11 month old reminds me of love everyday.:)

  6. That’s is a lovely story, M.Q. I believe romance is in the simple gestures and something as small as a CD can make a huge difference. My husband once wrote me a poem on a heart cut out of a legal pad. I still have that poem, tucked away in a drawer. I bring it out every Valentine’s day to re-read it and rejoice that he picked me!

  7. It’s the little things that mean so much

  8. Elise-Maria Barton

    What a truly lovely anecdote! Thank you for sharing such a special memory.

  9. That’s such a sweet story, MQ! I hope your husband came to love that CD! Can’t wait for more Henry, Jay, and Alice!

    • Thanks, Jessi! 🙂 He warmed up to it, and now I mostly play the music when he’s not with me, because it reminds me that he still is, even when he’s not.

  10. Oooh, I love country music too. And of course the boy band One Direction, although that’s only because my 15-year-old daughter won’t let me play anything else in the car. LOL. Loved your story, M.Q.

    • LOL! I love that, Joanne. Our rule is the driver picks the music, but we don’t have to contend with teenagers commandeering the sound system entirely. 🙂

  11. Isn’t it amazing how those little things can mean so much more than jewelry or what the media wants us to spend our money on for Valentine’s Day? My husband and I have been together for 19 years this month, and he still reaches for my hand at night while sleeping. He used to try to cuddle, but I’m a burrower, and my feet are usually hanging off the foot of the bed by time I fall asleep, so he’s settled for my hand. It just makes me smile. And your CD story? Perfect. I love it.

  12. “To make you feel my love” and you mention being a Country fan- squee! It was a Garth Brooks CD, huh? Happy sigh. Lovely post, thank you for sharing. :O) My hubby and I have been together as a couple for a decade now; but I have to say, in this last year in particular, we’ve grown so much as a couple. I think that’s love, being with somebody for years, and yet, still learning new facets of who they are and what they are willing to become.

    • LOL, yup, you caught me, Sophia! And you’re absolutely right. Exploring the person beside you never gets old when you’re in love.

  13. Your story was so sweet. I would agree that it isn’t the thing they buy or give your on Valentines Day that counts. It is often the unexpected. On our first date I let my date know that I was unable to have children. He is quite a bit older than me and had two children from a previous marriage so I wanted to make sure that he was clear that there would be no more. He asked me to marry him anyway. Two weeks before our wedding he asked me to take a day off work to spend with him. He had made us an appointment with a very specialized reproduction doctor. We now have five children (his two from prior and three of our own). Going to this type of doctor is not exactly a walk in the park but he did it for me. He saw my heart and that is love. Thanks.

    • That’s a beautiful story, Renee. Congratulations on your big-hearted guy and the family you’ve made together!

  14. My husband reminds me of love because he tells me everyday he loves me.

  15. What a sweet story! And you are right it is the little things that we remember the most and know how much we are appreciated! I came home from work after having a bad day and my boyfriend had cleaned the house , done all the laundry (which I hate) and had dinner made! It was one of the sweetest things he has ever done! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thoughtfulness is such a huge part of love — that awareness that your partner could use a pick-me-up and the willingness to follow through. Sounds like you’ve got a real sweetheart, Amy!

  16. Family reminds me of love

    • There’s nothing quite like that mix of accepting who you are and challenging you to be your best. Family is a great reminder of love, Melissa. 🙂

  17. So many little things. Smells, many everyday things that contain memories that remind you of love, or being loved.

    dreammie_angel at yahoo dot com

  18. The way my hubby looks at me and the sweet smiles he gives.

    mary_reiss @

  19. Roses and chocolate. Thanks for sharing the hop and your giveaway. Happy V Day! evamillien at gmail dot com

  20. My family.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  21. The springtime, when everything is so fresh and new, like falling in love.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  22. heather eg kaufman

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ncprincess96 at yahoo dot com

  23. when i see an old couple who are holding hands (or one is pushing the other in a wheelchair). i hope to have that kind of lifelong love with my husband. he makes me feel so loved when he smiles at me or does something nice for me.

  24. thanks for sharing a lovely memory, it still gives me a chill to see my husband walk across the room toward me 41 years later

    • Congratulations on a long and loving marriage, Carolyn! I hope I’m lucky enough to follow that example. 🙂

  25. Hi! Happy Valentines! What a lovely post! I love the little things. Thank you for sharing and for ​the amazing giveaway!

  26. A home-cooked dish reminds me of love.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  27. Thanks for the giveaway.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  28. It’s the little things that count in a marriage. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the great giveaway!

  29. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  30. Valentine’s Day does

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  31. Shannon Blackwell-Williams

    Your books sound awesome!! Definitely checking into getting them!!

  32. I agree 🙂 The little things DO mean more! jjo7796 at hotmail dot com

Comments are closed