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Welcome Cate to Pimpin' Reads. I am so delighted to have you.
Welcome Cate to Pimpin' Reads. I am so delighted to have you.
Cate is the author of the new Release Lucky Girl.
Blog Title: Love That’s Meant to Be
Thanks so much for Pimpin’ Reads for inviting me to guest blog today! It’s wonderful to be here.
Do you believe in fate? I do. Too many things have just “lined up” in my life to be pure coincidence.
Let me explain.
In the last semester of my Bachelor of Arts Degree (a double major in English and History) I was agonizing over what to do with the rest of my life. Did I want to become a teacher, like both of my parents? Or perhaps a journalist, since I loved to write? Or maybe I wanted to pursue my interest in Art History?
One of my close friends happened to mention post graduate programs run by Sotheby’s and Christies, the two major auction houses in London, England. I was intrigued. On a whim, I applied. A few weeks later, I received letters inviting me to interview for both companies. In the middle of my crazy busy final term, I flew to London for those interviews (and yes, I was very nervous!), and was offered a place in both courses. I accepted with Sotheby’s.
For a full year, I lived and studied in England. I stayed with my uncle and aunt in Hertfordshire and on weekdays, I traveled by train down to London to take classes on paintings, sculpture, silver, furniture, tapestries, jewelry, porcelain, and more, from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. I visited museums and galleries, ate lunch with friends at trendy cafes, traveled beneath London on the Tube, shopped in stores offering the latest fashions, and walked miles of London’s crowded streets. On weekends, I partied with a great group of friends I’d met through my British cousins (and discovered gin and tonics and sweet cider. Yum!). In so many ways, it was one of the best years of my life. If my university friend hadn’t told me about the post graduate courses, I’d never have gone to London to study, and would never have had those amazing experiences.
But there’s more.
During that year, my cousins and I were invited to a Christmas party. That particular evening, I was introduced to a tall, dark-haired, charming Brit who teased me that my cousins and I were actually sisters. Ha! That chance meeting led to dates with the Brit. He later became my husband, and this past July, we celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary. Our daughter will be turning sixteen this October.
I believe, to this day, that meeting at the Christmas party was meant to be. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without The Brit or our daughter—two of the most cherished people in my life.
Since fate has been so influential in my life, I knew I had to work it into a book. My contemporary romantic comedy Lucky Girl is loosely based on my amazing year in England and is the story of Jessica Devlin, beauty editor for Orlando’s O Tart magazine, who flies to England to be maid-of-honor in her cousin’s wedding. There, Jess runs into marketing exec Nick Mondinello, a gorgeous Brit she met briefly in an embarrassing incident two years ago, and whom she never expected to see again. She’s convinced Nick is completely wrong for plain Jane her. She does her best to fight her growing attraction to him, but fate has its own designs for them.
I hope readers will enjoy Jess and Nick’s fun, flirty, sexy romance in Lucky Girl that proves true love is meant to be.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Two, when Jess sees Nick again after two years:
A boisterous rendition of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring started up inside the church. I glanced in. The pews were almost filled. I recognized Aunt Prim. She was impossible to miss, even from behind, her curly gray hair poking out from beneath her enormous white hat spattered with fuchsia, yellow, and pink flowers.
The groom, Andrew Castleton, a handsome guy with wavy blond hair, stood with his best man near the altar. Andrew clasped and unclasped his hands as if he couldn’t keep them still. Yup, I’d say he was nervous.
Anna and Charlotte moved to my side. When Andrew saw them, relief softened his features. He grinned, and I knew exactly what he was thinking: “Tilly, the woman I love, is here.”
My cousins giggled and nodded.
My attention shifted to the best man. Mmm. Tall, broad-shouldered—
Oh. My. God!
My heart jolted like I’d just stuck my pinkie into an electrical outlet.
Nick Mondinello. The man my cousins had whispered about years ago. Sex God. Playboy. Heartbreaker.
He still looked like a younger version of Pierce Brosnan, the actor who’d starred in a couple of James Bond movies. Nick wore his dark hair shorter now and spiked with gel. He filled out his tailored gray suit very, very nicely.
Memories whooshed through my mind. The day after Grandpa George’s funeral. The Creaky Wicket Pub. The potted plant. Heat flooded my face, hotter than if I had yanked open an oven set to ‘broil.’
Aaahhh! How could my mind torture me at a time like this?
Nick glanced at me. Vines seemed to have snaked up from the carpet and locked around my ankles. The heels of my sandals felt rooted to the floor. The murmurs and music around me faded into a weird, Twilight-Zone buzz.
I forced my lips into a stiff, polite smile and adjusted my sweaty-handed hold on my bouquet. It would be just my luck to drop the pretty arrangement on the floor and turn it into a mangled hodgepodge.
Nick looked at someone on the other side of the church, and I exhaled noisily.
Then he looked at me again. He squinted, as though he was trying to place me. Maybe he was wondering why I was blushing so fiercely.
Severe sunburn. Hot flushes. Woman’s stuff.
I hadn’t blushed like this on my first date.
I held the roses tighter to my chest. Thank goodness the big bouquet would draw attention away from my boobs.
My face burned. Scorched, more like it. Embarrassing now, but not quite as mortifying as what I’d done two years ago.
Glancing away from Nick, I watched one of the ushers escort Aunt Cleo to a front pew, where she sat beside Aunt Prim.
I felt acutely alert, as if I was a taut spring, about to uncoil with a loud poing like a Jack-In-The-Box.
Was Nick still looking at me?
I struggled to quiet the desperate squeak rising in my throat. Maybe I was worrying for nothing. Maybe Nick didn’t even remember what had happened.
He’d been drinking that night. We all had. Some of us—specifically moi—a lot more than others.
I dared a glance. Nick nodded in response to something Andrew said. A smile curved Nick’s mouth.
Hushed voices along with the whisper of silk came from behind me. Valerie, Tilly, and my uncle had entered the church.
My belly squeezed tight. Any moment now, the ceremony would begin.
Dread shivered through me.
A countdown began ticking in my head.
Ten. . . nine. . .
Oh no. In the recessional, I would have to walk arm in arm with Nick. Help!
Seven. . . six. . .
Butterflies swooped in my stomach. My hands felt coated in olive oil. The ushers led the last of the guests to their pews.
Three. . . two. . .
When the guys returned, the organist paused for a moment then struck up a vibrant march.
The Wedding March.
Ping. The moment of truth was upon me.
I hadn’t prayed in months. But as the ushers began a slow walk up the aisle, I prayed I didn’t trip, stumble, or make a fool of myself.
Not in front of Tilly and my relatives.
Not in front of gorgeous Nick Mondinello.
Anna, Charlotte, and Valerie lined up ahead of me to begin their graceful stroll up the aisle. As I drew a deep breath, Nick’s gaze locked with mine.
He was still smiling.
In that moment, I knew without the teeniest bit of doubt.
Cate Lord is the contemporary pen name of multi‐award‐winning historical romance author Catherine Kean. Her novels have garnered numerous accolades, including two Reviewer’s Choice Awards and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her books also finaled in the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the 2008 National Readers’ Choice Awards.
Grateful for her wildly active imagination and plenty of story ideas, Cate is busy working on her next book. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, daughter, and a very spoiled cat.
Jessica Devlin isn’t looking for love. Heartbroken after being dumped by her unfaithful ex‐fiancé, she’s determined to have a fabulous time during her vacation in England where she’ll be maid‐of‐honor at her cousin’s wedding. After working overtime as beauty editor of Orlando’s O Tart magazine, avoiding dating, and putting on ten pounds, Jess is ready to toss her past like an empty lipstick tube and party like a single gal.
But when she steps into the church on her cousin’s wedding day, she sees the one man who could sabotage her plan—James‐Bond‐gorgeous Nick Mondinello. She’s never forgotten the London marketing exec who held her in his arms after her beloved grandfather’s funeral two years ago. Ambitious, and lusted after by women everywhere, Nick is completely wrong for guarded, Plain Jane Jess.
Could Spy Man Nick ever fall for her? Nope. Not unless Jess is one lucky girl.
Thanks to Entangled Publishing we are giving an E-Copy of Lucky Girl. Open Internationally.
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