No Sale is Ever Final
A few years ago, my husband and I went to the British Isles with our travel buddies. On our last day, in Scotland, my husband and I sat on a bench in a large, shady, treed park, a perfect place for gazing up at mighty Edinburgh Castle.
As our thoughts turned to going home, we shifted into souvenir and “thank you” gift mode. Jenners is the oldest department store in Edinburgh and is short walk from the park. My husband and I decided to explore the store and separated to look on our own.
An hour later, when we met outside Jenners, I’d bought nothing. My husband had a large shopping bag and seemed exceptionally pleased his purchase. Together, we walked back down to the park to immerse ourselves in a little more of Edinburgh and wait for our friends.
Beaming, my husband said, “This is for you. I told the sales lady in the china department that this is one purchase I knew I wouldn’t be returning.” He slid the bag over to me and I pulled out a large rectangular box with a color photograph on the side. It was Lladro, a woman with two bunnies. What are the odds? I must have sighed out loud.
“Don’t you like it?” He frowned.
“I love it.” That restored a smile to his face. Did I dare break his heart? I could lie, accept it graciously, and sell it on EBay once we got home, but that was too shabby.
With a sigh, I reached up to give him a kiss. “And I loved it when you gave it to me last year for my birthday.”
Maybe Too Good to Be True
After today, Gabrielle March’s quiet life in Georgia will never be the same. Modern day fairy godmother, matriarch Elizabeth Hastings, summons the young writer to her lavish estate to share two astounding revelations. Gabrielle’s late father was an impostor of sorts, a victim of a deviously executed fraud that stripped him of his wealth and business. As his only heir, Gabrielle is to receive compensation in the seven figures. Suddenly every dream she’s ever had becomes a possibility―and every insecurity she’s battled, bubbles to the surface.
Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactor, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings International in New York City. Spending time with her is a eye opener for the sophisticated divorced bachelor. Gabrielle’s unabashed pleasure in seeing and trying new things draws him in. Her complete lack of guile, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are like a drug to him―and he’s quickly becoming addicted. But conflict looms on the horizon because Gabrielle sees their vast differences as a mine field littered with disaster that no relationship could survive.
Blown away with Gabrielle’s talent in writing and producing videos, Pierce encourages her to buy into a production company partnership. When the deal is set, Gabrielle’s doubts and insecurities eat away at her confidence and threaten to sabotage not only her career but a future with Pierce. With his control issues firmly in hand, Pierce forces himself to the sidelines to let Gabrielle make her own choices and, hopefully, become the woman he knows she can be.
Maybe Too Good to Be True
“The fact is, Mr. Hastings, it is not a reporter’s job to be favorable. They are in the business of finding and reporting the truth.”
"Nobly put, Miss March.” The woman certainly didn’t pull any punches.
“I hope this will put you at ease, Mr. Hastings. I own the newspaper. It’s been several years since I single-handedly set out to ruin anyone.”
Sarcasm, even with a lovely Southern accent, was still sarcasm.
"I see.” Pierce sounded duly impressed. “That’s certainly an accomplishment for such a young …” He froze when her eyes narrowed. What the hell was wrong with him? He careened from one blunder to the next.
"Tell me, is it my age or the fact that I’m a woman that bothers you?” Her face was considerably more colorful than the rest of her and he knew it had nothing to do with the heat.
Pierce was no chauvinist and certainly had no prejudice against successful females. After all, he’d been married to a talented trial attorney. Hadn’t he put his wife through law school? Hadn’t he supported Glenna in every way until she made partner in her firm and then announced that she’d changed her mind about having children and, by the way, she didn’t want to be his wife anymore either.
"I didn't mean that you weren't responsible.” His eyes returned to the very entertaining Miss March who had just snapped up the ball and was ready to run with it.
"What would someone like you know about responsibility anyway? You've probably never put in an honest day’s work in your entire over-privileged life. Flying around the world trying to stay one step ahead of reality. One of these days you’re going to have to come down to earth and see what it’s like in the real world.”
Where did the woman get her information? She’d obviously pegged him as some sort of wealthy derelict. Fired up, she was something. Misinformed maybe, but she had balls of steel. "For a newspaper woman, you’re lacking in your facts, Miss...."
Frenzied barking drew Pierce's attention skyward. Just as he looked up a huge black creature soared through the air, plunging down on top of him, upending his float and catapulting him to the bottom of the pool.
Max exuberantly dog paddled to his mistress and was rewarded with an affectionate pat on his broad head. "Perfect timing Max," Gabrielle smiled and broke into laughter.
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