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• This Time for Keeps ~ Isabelle and Luca
What inspired you to write your book?
As in real life, Pursued by the Playboy offers no easy answers. But what it does offer is the optimistic promise of a happy—if imperfect—ever after.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Kate Warner tugged up the low-cut bodice of her black gown. In a closet full of functional clothes, it was the only item that fit tonight’s dress code. If only she didn’t feel so exposed wearing it. She glanced around at the clusters of guests in glittering evening couture. Jewels that cost more than her annual salary winked beneath the chandeliers of Philadelphia’s Four Seasons ballroom. Her own neck and hands felt conspicuously bare.
“Stop fidgeting,” Jake murmured at her side. “You look fine.”
She sighed. “Right. This from the man who wears cowboy boots for every occasion.”
“Don’t get snippy,” he said. “They’re Luchesse Classics. Hand-tooled leather, custom made.”
“Of course.” She glanced down. The boots were black and polished to a high sheen. But here, at a fundraising gala for ovarian cancer research, thirty-plus miles from the nearest horse ranch, they were as out of place as Kate herself.
He flashed a grin. “Come on, let’s find our table. Looks like the festivities are about to begin.”
Kate’s palms started sweating again, the satin clutch in one hand nearly slipping as she followed Jake through the crowd. She’d rather spend Saturday night getting a Brazilian wax. Or filling out budget justification forms in triplicate. But as one of tonight’s honorees, she didn’t have the option of not showing.
It could have been worse. Instead of Jake at her side, she could have braved the crowd alone. A faint shudder rippled through her. Or she could have been back at her parents’ house, shrinking into the corner of the living room sofa, trying to shut out the perpetually raised voices that raged around her. They were still arguing when she’d phoned Jake earlier that evening in a panic. By the time he pulled up to the curb where she was waiting, her stomach burned from the three ibuprofen she had dug up from her overnight bag and swallowed dry.
“Thanks for rescuing me,” she said now, as they took their seats. “I could’ve called a taxi, but…”
“No worries. Besides, I love rubbery chicken and overcooked peas. I hear that’s what they’re serving tonight.”
“Seriously, Jake, I appreciate it.”
“Enough to foot dinner for two at Vetri?”
She draped her silk shawl over the back of her chair. “I don’t do haute cuisine.”
“Not you. Jennifer. I bailed tonight, told her it was a family emergency.”
“Oh, no—I’m so sorry, you should have told me. I wouldn’t have asked you to come if I’d known.” She hesitated. “So is it serious?”
“You know me, I don’t do serious. Besides, I’ll make it up to her later.” He wagged his brows, Groucho Marx style. “And it’s not like I lied. You are family. My parents still hope we’ll eventually get together.”
She rolled her eyes. “Please, they’d disown you if you ever brought home a shiksa.”
“Not if that shiksa were you.” He paused. When she didn’t respond, he sighed and changed the subject. “So, what set off the fireworks tonight?”