Adrienne Basso's A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Adrienne Basso's A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Cinderella for a weekend—happily ever after for a lifetime!
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
Publisher: Zebra Books
Publication Date: September 5, 2013
Reasons why Joshua Barton could never be interested in Eleanor Graham:
He is brilliant, gorgeous, wealthy, sophisticated, and managing partner at the financial firm of Hamilton, Barton, and Jones.
Eleanor, a mere cog at HB&J, is none of the above. However, she is sensible, logical, and knows better than to indulge in romantic dreams. She's also pretty sure Joshua doesn't even know her name.
Reasons why Eleanor is totally wrong—except for the part about her name:
She is unlike any woman Joshua has ever met—in a good way. She has a great laugh. And intriguingly, she happens to know a lot more about Joshua's new stepmother than he does.
As for the rest, all will be revealed when she agrees to be something sort of like Joshua's date for a long weekend at the Barton family estate. . ..and Joshua finds himself doing his very best to persuade the very skeptical Eleanor to believe in happily ever afters. . .
"Ms. Graham, may we have a word, please? I'm on a rather tight schedule this afternoon."
The deep, dark tones of Joshua's husky voice sent a delicious shimmer down Eleanor's back. He must think I'm some sort of lunatic, she reasoned as a small bubble of nervous laughter escaped her clenched lips. Hiding inside a copy machine. That was almost as good as falling into a pond. Talk about making a memorable impression!
Eleanor glanced down at herself and groaned softly. Her skirt was rumple, her blouse untucked, the rips of her fingers were coated with black toner, and her suit jacket was back at her desk. She pressed her hands to her hot face, wishing she could crawl completely inside the machine and shut the door behind her. But retreat wasn't an option.
Eleanor pulled her head out of the machine, squared her shoulders, and stood on her feet, vowing not to make a total fool of herself. Somehow.
"Hello, Mrs. Jackson, Mr. Barton." Eleanor nodded her head politely, deliberately keeping her ink-stained fingers behind her back. "How may I help you?"
Staring at her, neither Mrs. Jackson nor Joshua could completely hide their shocked reactions to her sudden materialization. Eleanor swallowed hard and moved an unruly clump of dark curly hair off her face. I must look a lot worse than I thought.
Eleanor glanced nervously about the room, noting that Jeanne had vanished. Coward.
The seconds ticked away and the silence created a knot of tension in Eleanor's empty stomach. Just when Eleanor was beginning to doubt she would ever be able to breathe normally again, Joshua spoke.
"Don't we have repair people to handle this sort of problem?"
Eleanor bit her tongue, scarcely believing she had just uttered that inane sound. Striving for a quick recovery, she launched into a hasty explanation. "Actually, we do have a service contact with the coy machine's manufacturer and for the most part the individuals they send to work on the machines are very competent. Not always punctual, however. I mean, we'll call the company and explain that our machine isn't functioning and that we need service ASAP but that doesn't always guarantee that a repair person will be here on the same day.
"Once we waited nearly two full business days before someone finally appeared. So when the machine jammed today, I decided instead of wasting more time waiting for a repair person that might or might show up, I'd try to remove the paper jam myself. And I have. Almost."
Eleanor drew in a deep breath and stared triumphantly across the room. Mrs. Jackson's eyes widened in astonishment while Joshua's eyes narrowed in confusion. Terrific. Now she was babbling like an incoherent idiot. She should have stopped talking after her eloquent, opening huh.
"We have not come here to discuss copy machines, Ms. Graham," Mrs. Jackson said in a frosty tone. "Mr. Barton has a very delicate situation that I thought you would be able to help him with, however, I'm not sure my assumption was correct.
"I'll handle this, Edna," Joshua interrupted.
Mrs. Jackson bristled, but quickly deferred to her boss. Joshua flashed an utterly devastating smile at Eleanor, and she fought hard to keep her excessive eagerness to please from showing in her expression. After all, she did possess some pride.
"This is actually a personal matter, not a business situation," Joshua began. "I want it understood from the beginning, Mrs. Graham, that you are under no obligation to help me. Okay?"
"O—okay," Eleanor stammered.
"My father has recently remarried. Mrs. Jackson thought you might be familiar with his new wife. Rosemary Phillips?"
"The children's author?"
"Yes." A faint suggestion of color brushed Joshua's strong cheekbones. "Apparently she is quite famous. Unfortunately, I've never heard of her, nor have I read any of her books."
"They're wonderful!" Eleanor exclaimed. Her mind unfroze as she spoke on a subject near and dear to her heart: children's literature. "Rosemary is so gifted. I'm constantly amazed by her talent. She's written over fifty books and she illustrates as well as writes the text for each of her stories. Her characters are enchanting. They're funny and endearing and utterly charming. She's brought hours of reading enjoyment to children and adults all over the world. I adore her books."
"It's nice to know that Rosemary has such loyal fans," Joshua said diplomatically. "Do your children enjoy her stories as much as you?"
"I don't have any children," Eleanor said quietly, hoping the color of her face was merely beet and not fire-engine red. "I'm single."
"Single?" A muscle ticked in Joshua's cheek. "Actually that might make things a bit easier."
Eleanor's heart gave a thud that shook her entire body. She stared intently at Joshua, somehow managing to hold his gaze for one breathless moment before looking away. Unbelievably she felt his eyes still on her face, so she glanced back. He sent her an encouraging smile.
It suddenly became difficult to breathe. Maybe it was the fumes from the copier ink she had inhaled earlier? Eleanor told herself it was ridiculous for a twenty-eight year old woman to have such intense adolescent feelings for a man who had never and would never look at her as anything more than an employee.
Yet somehow that didn't matter. Apparently her heart didn't possess any common sense when it came to Joshua Barton.