ISBN: 9781452354415
ASIN: B00408B06G
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
IRISH PRIDE SERIES, book two.five
Cover artist: Amanda Stephanie

Please note: Constant Craving is the short story sequel to A Piece of My Heart. Do not read this book before reading the novel first. Major spoilers!

The perfect life Mick and Kate thought they had was slowly dissolving. With Mick obsessing about the farm and Kate thrown into a life of domesticity, both lose some of what they'd fought so hard to regain.

It all comes to a head when Kate suspects Mick of having an affair. Kate’s parents step in to give each of them advice from their own years of marriage.

Now, both Mick and Kate have set their own romantic plans in motion, but it could all fall through when Kate nearly blows up the kitchen.

“Mick, we need to talk.”

Those were definitely not the words he wanted to hear first thing through the door. He’d put in a full day on the farm, which included working on the new extension on the house and the fire-damaged barn. He was hungry, tired, and smelled worse than well-aged slurry on a hot day. The last thing he needed was to hear Kate needed to talk to him. By the tone of her voice, it wasn’t going to be a good talk.

“Can’t it wait, love? I’m only just in the door.”

“This is important.”

He made the mistake of meeting her emerald gaze. The look on her face pleaded with him to relent. He was already struggling to stay on his feet and her persistence pecked away at any energy he had left. Sheer will alone kept him upright—and the beckoning of a hot shower. It was like one of the Seven Deadly Sins he couldn’t deny. His knees almost gave out at the anticipation of the hot water sluicing over his body.

“At least let me shower first. It’ll wake me up and you’ll have my undivided attention. All right?”

Her shoulders slumped. She looked tired too. He wanted to gather her in his arms and stroke her hair while soothing away what had upset her. But his exhausted body cried out for soothing of its own. He wanted a shower so desperately he could almost feel it.

“I won’t be long, then I’m all yours.” He started up the stairs.

“Mick,” she called after him, but he took the stairs by twos to make a quick escape. It was an effort that nearly floored him when he gained the top step. Supporting himself with a hand on either wall, he made his way into the bathroom and shut the door behind him.
• • •
How could he do this to her again? This was the second time this week he'd dodged her.

Kate watched him disappear up the stairs. Within seconds she heard the shower switch on. Two thuds signaled his boots were off and a groan meant he was nude and in the shower.

She would have liked nothing better than to race up the stairs after him to soap him down, but the crying coming from the kitchen reminded her the days of sharing a shower with her husband were over. The sound of his boots hitting the floor must have awakened the twins.

The familiar pain of sadness twisted inside her. She couldn't cry now. Her babies needed her. She tried to push her feelings aside and went back to the kitchen.

Her kitchen. Her domain.

Her prison.

The entire house was her life now. She rarely stepped out of it unless the pounding of hammers and whining of electric saws drove her away. Even then, she only went as far as Conneelly Farm to see her mother.

Her lips twisted in a derisive grin. Visits to her mother had originally been to get away from construction noise. Her mother seemed to suspect something else was wrong, but Kate didn't want to air her dirty laundry, and not to her mother-she didn't care how close they were-yet she certainly wasn't going to refuse a few hours of child-minding so she could get a bit of sleep in her old room. If it weren't for this little bit of rest at home she was sure she would have gone insane by now.


Fairhill Farm was her home now, she reminded herself, not Conneelly Farm. But since the twins were born she felt anything but at home. She cooked, cleaned, looked after the babies. It was no different from caring for Mary and Donal during their illnesses while Mick was living in Dublin. Only this time, the infants were hers and this was her home now, not her late in-laws.


{Review for both A Piece of My Heart and Constant Craving}
This pair of books presents an adorable and realistically romantic story of two high school sweethearts who never lost love for each other. Ms. Shortland writes Mick as the kind of many that any woman would love to have the chance to have, hold, and heal. Kate is a powerful, independent but innocent woman with a firm grasp of what love means.

In A Piece of My Heart, Kate and Mick share a lot of commonalities: an inheritance, a need to reconcile the past, and a sense of lost connection. Their reactions to each other and to the situations in which they find themselves are delightfully realistic, and their passion for each other is steamily respectful; a line that most authors have trouble walking. Predictably (why else do we read romance novels?!?) Kate and Mick work through their problems and the story ends with something akin to “…and they all lived happily ever after.”

One of my biggest problems with most romance novels is that they only deal with the heat, the passion, the chase that leads up to the long-awaited (and extremely satisfying) coupling. Yet few novels dare to delve into what happens when the after-glow fades and the couple is forced to live together with normal trials and tribulations. This is where Kemberlee Shortland shines.

Constant Craving is a wonderful short story that takes place a year after Kate and Mick buried the hatchet and shook the standing stones. There is little classical romance to be found here; instead Kate is tired, has baby blues from a recent birth of twins, and finds herself bogged down by housework. Mick is sexually frustrated (gotta wait for a while after babies are born!), tired from working the farm, and spends all his free time working on repairing the house. How they manage to rekindle the romance, and reconnect as lovers is a beautiful story and is more than just icing on the cake; it’s a story of REAL love, and how it endures, perseveres, and grows. ~ Keri Stratton Alley, The Pagan and The Pen Reviews
To me, the nicest thing about a short story or novella is that there is no room for "filler". Every word of the story is needed and none are wasted or added. I, as the reader, am guaranteed a good tale in a small amount of time. And this author, Kemberlee Shortland, writes some fantastic stories!

Kemberlee Shortland has a creative writing style that easily communicates to readers all of the ardent feelings which Kathe and Mick feel for one another. Readers who have been married and then had kids will especially enjoy and empathize with the Fairhills' delimma. This story may be short, but it will linger in your mind for a long time. ~ Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews
"Constant Craving" reminds this reader a tad about "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry, a story also about miscommunication and placing one's preoccupations in places and things that belie the purpose behind them...This is definitely a different and intriguing plot of true love challenged anew! The story has a hot, surprising and lovely end that promises a different future for this engaging couple whose love can endure through all those moments, as long as they remember what's behind that flaming, delightful passion.

"Constant Craving" is a lovely addition to A Piece of My Heart, which in addition to being a huge success is definitely awaiting another novel or several stories, at the very least!! ~ Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews
This is the continuation of Mick and Kate's story from A Piece of My Heart and it so aptly describes what life after children is like that it should be a wakeup call for all young couples. The characters show how sticking through the rough parts gets you back to the great parts of your relationship. Just lovely to have read this and hope we get more Kate and Mick updates in the future. ~ Mary Gramlich, The Reading Reviewer
Constant Craving is a sequel to A Piece of My Heart. It was great to come back to Mick and Kate. I really wish it could have been longer. To see them after the twins are born and they are a bit more settled in marriage. I think the draw for this one is that Ms. Shortland takes a couple that we are familiar with and takes them down a hard road. It's hard to be newly married and have children, and as readers lots of times a story stops at the good times. Ms. Shortland goes one step farther and has Mick and Kate learn to come back to each other. Learn to be married with kids. She makes it a believable story and as a reader I was glad to see them come together at the end. ~ Jennifer, You Gotta Read Reviews
It’s been a long, hot summer, and Kemberlee Shortland is serving up a perfect little scoop of sweetness in “Constant Craving.” It’s too short to call a true sequel to “A Piece of My Heart.” Think of it more as a postscript, a satisfying answer to “I wonder whatever happened to…?” A must for readers who loved Mick and Kate’s original story. ~ Seanachie, I Read Romance
I must congratulate you Kemberlee. That was the most fascinating and intriguing story I have ever read. I love it . . . Mick and Kate were super fascinating characters. Your story portrayed a lot of emotions. Love, anger, distance, etc. It was quite amazing and it had me trying not to ball over with tears! I loved the scenery of Ireland . . . The legend of the stones was interesting too! . . . I loved Michael and Kathleen. Though stubborn they were headstrong and knew what they wanted! I am truly writing to you to congratulate you and ask that you keep up the good works! I'll be looking forward to purchasing your stories :D . . . I fell in love!
~ Danielle, a reader