Short Work: 5 Quick Romantic Reads
This omnibus edition includes a collection of five fun, frothy novellas otherwise available individually. At a reduced price!
In "Just Desserts," pastry chef Claire Reidling has lost the heirloom engagement ring given to her by a man she's not even sure she wants to marry, and it's in one of five hundred single serving chocolate desserts she's just sent to a high society fund-raiser. Only one person can help her now: her best friend since first grade, Gus Brody. Gus isn't all keen on helping Claire, since he doesn't think she should be engaged to her jerk boss anyway. Still, the good deed does involve the consumption of chocolate, something he loves almost as much as he loves Claire. Now if he could just get her to see how much she means to him.
In "The Short Hot Summer," urbane New Yorker Preston Atherton heads to sleepy Butternut, Alabama to acquire a new industry, only to discover they sure do things differently below the Mason-Dixon Line. Simple pleasures loving Mamie Calhoun is at first amused by the Northerner who doesn't know goobers from Gucci. But it isn't long before she realizes he might have a thing or two to to teach her about other kids of pleasure. If only it wasn't so daggone hot. But that's the thing about summer. It can always get hotter.
In "Ever True," advertising executive Miranda Avery seems to be leading a charmed life. Possibly because she really does lead a charmed life. Literally. Like charmed by fairies. And not just any fairies. Shakespearean fairies. She's a descendant of one set of lovers from "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the issue of whom was blessed by Oberon himself. So it comes as a surprise when she meets up with a challenge like Sam Armado, known more affectionately around the office as "the guy who waters the plants on Tuesdays." Throw in a Midsummer Night's frolic on the Upper East Side, a little twist of fate, and a sprinkle of fairy dust, and the two might just lead a charmed life together...
In "Top Cat and Tales," after a teenaged Cupid runs afoul of his mother, Aphrodite, he is cast down from Mt. Olympus to modern-day America in the guise of a cat to perform a good deed. But his matchmaking work is cut out for him. Shy professor Abby Walden may lust after her upstairs neighbor in secret, but confronting him in person is another thing entirely. What would she even say to a man who dresses in black leather and takes off for who knows where on his big ol' Harley hog during the darkest hours of the night? It may be too much for even a god of love to handle.
And finally, in "Only 15 Shopping Days Left," Sophie Gift is spending her first Christmas alone after a broken marriage left her with nothing. And working in a department store this time of year, as one of Santa's elves, no less, isn't exactly putting any cheer into the holiday. Mitchell Lauderdale comes from a long line of retailers and doesn't see much to celebrate, either, other than the piles of cash that find their way into the registers of Lauderdale's Department Store. It's going to take a special kind of spirit to bring together these two souls who have lost (or never known) the meaning of Christmas. But then, everyone in Chicago knows that Lauderdale's is haunted by the ghost of one of its long ago Santas. And that the ghost has a thing for matchmaking.
- Elizabeth Bevarly, January 2012
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