Sunday Snippet for Perfectly Imperfect- coming September 16th!
I’ve been working on a new romantic comedy novella and decided to stretch my wings by writing in 1st person, which is harder than I expected! The present tense thing keeps tripping me up, along with the odd he/she where it should be my/I.
I’ve set the release date for my mom’s 75th birthday on September 16th. I hope you enjoy the following short excerpt (and if you catch any errors, let me know!)
What happens when Miss Perfection clashes with Mr. Casual? Chaos!
Georgina’s in trouble. The startup money she borrowed from her parents’ retirement fund is long gone and her dream of owning the next big thing in market-to-table cuisine disappeared with it.
Her only choice? Merge her company into the corporate giant, CLO, and hope she isn’t making a huge mistake.
Rhys Turner is his father’s progeny, born and raised to take over the empire when his dad deems him ready. Rhys doesn’t mind the fast-paced lifestyle, though he detests the coldblooded mantra of the corporation- Buy from the weak and sell at a profit.
It’s made his family millions. But now, just when CLO’s reins are within reach, he’s run into the one woman who could change everything.
This is lining up to be one of those days. The flight from Vancouver departed late, and the car service my PA hired got a flat tire on the freeway, leaving me stranded for forty minutes at the airport until another could be arranged. Serves me right for not grabbing a cab, but it doesn’t help my mood whatsoever.
I’d argued with my father and the board of directors over the wisdom of adding to our investment portfolio at a time when the market was so unstable. Their answer; “We must strike while the iron is hot. These companies are selling for a tenth of what they’re worth. If we don’t step in and scoop them up, someone else will.”
I’d heard that jargon or something close to it ever since I’d finished university with a masters in business administration and been persuaded—none too gently—to repay the debt I owed my father by putting my education to work—for him.
I couldn’t blame Dad, not really, but it annoyed the hell out of me when my recommendations were ignored, leaving me to wonder why I’d spent the last eight years busting my ass to get a degree I couldn’t even use.
My elevator companion is eyeballing my high tops with misgiving. I smirk, taking a selfish joy out of doing something my father would most certainly disapprove of—a style faux pas.
“Does your boss know you take time away from work to go on a coffee run?” I stare at her with disapproval. No wonder the company is failing if it’s run so shoddily.
Her mouth drops open, then snaps shut as though she’s biting back some creative language. She’s cute in a librarian-meets-fashionista kind of way with an upswept bun thingy in her thick brown hair, oversized glasses that makes her green eyes huge, and wide-leg white pants hugging curvy hips. But she is still on my dismissal list.
If Bloomin’ Right is going to have a second chance, it’s my job to get rid of the deadwood—case in point, Miss Sassy pants.
“My boss,” she emphasizes, “Doesn’t know his di… plomacy from a hole in the wall.” She lifts a brow as if to say, ‘so there.’
“Are you always so forthright?” I glance at the blinking numbers over our heads, five… six… seven… and try to slow my racing pulse. You’d think at thirty-six years old, I would have overcome my irrational fear of closed spaces, but, not so much. If I wasn’t already running late, I could have taken the stairs. Instead, I’m counting on a pint-sized walking, talking danger zone to keep my mind off the fact we’re in what basically amounts to a steel coffin.
“It’s called honesty. You can’t fire a person for that, can you?” With the umbrella hooked over her arm, wavy curls teasing flushed cheeks, and the tray of drinks in hand, she looks like a younger, sexier version of Mary Poppins.
My lips pull down at the corners. Great, now I feel like I’m here to get rid of the nanny. “Regardless,” I intone, sounding way too much like my father for peace of mind. “You can’t go around—”
The elevator jerks to a halt, causing a gasp of dismay from my companion as the coffee sloshes out of the air holes in little mocha-tinted bubbles, and a gusty sigh from me that we’re about to be released from our prison. Except…
The doors don’t open.
I look at Miss Sassy and she looks at me, and as one we both look up in awed disbelief at the frozen number nine mocking our fears.
“Great. This is just great,” Miss Sassy says. She backs into the opposite corner of the elevator and clunks her head a couple of times against the wall. “Did I mention I hate Mondays?”
I ignored her and jabbed my finger on the alarm button, working to stem my panic.
In. Out. In. Out.
“You need to call for help,” Miss Helpful suggests, nodding toward the phone box on the wall.
Easy for her to say—literally. My throat is so tight I see black dots.
“Here, hold this,” she mutters impatiently and shoves the coffee tray into my hands. She presses the call button, and after a blessedly short amount of time a male voice comes through the intercom.
“Stay calm,” he says. “We received your alarm and will have you out soon. How many are in the cabin, please?”
“Just two, Sam,” Miss Sassy replies, glancing over my face with something like concern. “Hurry, will you?”
“Georgina, is that you?” The voice crackles with static.
She smiles and I frown again. So, she and this Sam are friends, are they?
“It is, I’m having a day.” She laughs.
Laughs. I’m trying not to hyperventilate, and she’s flirting with the handyman.
“Do you think you could save this for later,” when she’s unemployed, “and get us out of here, please?” My voice squeaks at the end, startling Miss Sassy—Georgina.
She shoots me a glare. “How long, Sam?”
“Well, these things take time. You just relax and we’ll have you out of there as soon as we can. If you have any questions, feel free to call. And Georgina? Don’t worry.”
“Too late for that, I’m afraid. See you soon.”
The sudden silence is more nerve-wracking than the tête-à-tête I’d broken up. “Mind if I drink one of these?” I lift the coffee tray.
She shrugs. “Knock yourself out. They’re probably cold by now, anyway.”
With that endorsement ringing in my ears, I choose a cup and take a tentative sip. A bit more sugar than I normally use, and a shot of whiskey would have helped to steady my nerves, but beggars can’t complain. Actually, after the early morning flight and the hiccups I’d encountered so far, it tastes damn good.
“Want one?” I offer her the tray.
“Gee, thanks.” She rolls her eyes. “So, if we’re stuck in here together, we may as well exchange names—I’m Georgina Michaels, and you?” She takes an appreciative swallow of the lukewarm brew and sighs. “This, I needed.”
I set the last cup on the floor and lean against the wall, crossing my ankles and biting back a grin when her gaze seems to compulsively drop to my sneakers. I turn them so she can get a better look. “Nice, right? Limited edition Jordan’s, light as air.”
“Interesting choice with a business suit,” she replies, eyeing me appraisingly.
“What is it you do, Georgina Michaels?” I glance at the floor numbers, then raised a brow. “We seem to be heading to the same floor.”
Her gaze follows mine and her forehead furrows. “Bloomin’ Right? Are you a new client, then?” She straightens and throws a hank of wet hair over her shoulder.
I almost feel sorry for her. She’s probably a receptionist or secretary and needs the job, but I have something to prove to my father, so she’s about to become a casualty of war.
“Something like that,” I murmur, the coffee suddenly tasting bitter on my tongue.
Georgina wipes a hand on her slacks, then holds it out for me to shake. “Mr.… I didn’t catch your name?”
This is where things get interesting.
I take her hand, momentarily sidetracked by her soft skin. “I’m Rh—”
The elevator jerks, throwing us off-balance and Georgina into my arms. Shocked by the lush fullness of her breasts pressed against my chest, it takes a moment to realize something isn’t quite right. I lean back and look down to see Georgina’s wide eyes staring at the brown stain spreading over my favorite blue dress shirt.
“Oops,” she says.