by Marie Astor
Twenty-eight-year old Annabel Green is about to tie the knot with her college love, an aspiring author Jeremy Blake, but her plans for an ideal wedding are rudely interrupted when she catches Jeremy kissing his gorgeous book agent.
Shell-shocked by Jeremy’s betrayal, Annabel retreats into the quiet routine of TV dinners and solitary evenings. It is then that Annabel’s best friend, fashion designer Lilly Clayton, sets herself on a mission to draw Annabel out of her shell. In an attempt to persuade Annabel to keep an open mind on dating, Lilly takes Annabel for a stunning makeover, but after Annabel passes on a date with a dashing entrepreneur, Lilly decides that more drastic measures are needed. Lilly invites Annabel to see a palm reader who gives Annabel a lucky charm that is supposed to help her find true love.
A few weeks later, Annabel meets a new love interest, and as the two embark on a whirlwind romance, she starts to believe in the power of the talisman the palm reader has given her. But what Annabel doesn’t know is that Lilly is hiding a secret that could unravel her faith in her newly found luck in love.
The next morning, Annabel woke up alone. At first she almost panicked when she saw the canopied bed and the tapestried walls, but then she remembered everything. With a groan, she leaned back into the soft mattress and burrowed her head in the pillow. What was she thinking, jumping into bed with a man she barely knew? Which led her to another question – where was Etienne? She jumped up on the bed, looking for signs of her companion from last night, but neither Etienne nor his clothes were anywhere to be seen. Oh, no, she thought, her pulse quickening with alarm. He left me here all alone! What if someone walks in on me? I could get arrested for indecent exposure. Is it even legal to have sex in historic landmarks? she wondered, her mind racing feverishly. And what sex it had been, Annabel thought dreamily. The intense memory was powerful enough to distract her from her current predicament: wild, passionate, all-consuming sex. Her lips curved into a smile of satisfaction as she remembered the heedless, fiery abandon that had consumed her last night. It was the same abandon that now caused her to wake up naked in an unknown bed in an unknown house. The sobering thought quickly brought her back to grim reality.
Where were her clothes? She had to get dressed and get out of there as soon as possible, hopefully before someone walked in on her and asked her what she was doing there, lying on a thirteenth century bed, albeit with a very modern, comfortable mattress. With relief, Annabel saw her clothes on the bench by the end of the bed. She was just about to grab her dress when she heard the door squeak open and, seized with panic, could not think of anything better to do than jump under the covers.
“Annabel? Are you under there?”
The sound of Etienne’s bemused voice filled her with relief. As usual, she had overreacted.
“Annabel, what are you doing under there?” Etienne pulled the corner of the coverlet.
“Hiding.” She blushed. “I didn’t know it was you. I was afraid of getting caught.”
“So you hid under the covers?”
“At the time it seemed like a good idea.” She shrugged. “Why didn’t you wake me up?”
“I’m sorry, I wanted to surprise you with breakfast.” Etienne motioned at the breakfast tray that he had put on the bed table.
Remembering her earlier panic attack, Annabel felt her face color.
Etienne poured two cups of hot chocolate and handed Annabel her cup. “I’m sorry I scared you. I hope this makes up for it.”
Annabel took a sip and felt the rich liquid warm her body. “It’s delicious. Thank you. I’m sorry for being such a scaredy cat.”
“It’s my fault entirely. I should have woken you up.” He offered her a plate of croissants.
Realizing how hungry she was, Annabel bit into the flaky croissant, savoring its buttery flavor. She took another sip of the hot chocolate, her mind struggling to process everything that was happening to her. Last night she had the best sex of her life with an incredibly handsome man who was now serving her breakfast in bed. This sounded too good to be true. Something would have to go wrong eventually, but then maybe it would not. Maybe, just maybe, her streak of bad luck was over. Annabel patted the golden heart pendant around her neck. She was not superstitious, but a little magic never hurt anybody.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, romantic suspense, To Catch a Bad Guy, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window. Marie is also the author of young adult fantasy adventure novel, Over the Mountain and Back.
If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by her website: www.marieastor.com or visit her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marieastorcollection
Books by Marie Astor:
This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.
Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.
On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.
A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.
Over the Mountain and Back – young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes his snowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knew existed.
Social Media Links:
Marie will be awarding to five randomly drawn commenters at the end of the tour (US ONLY), one of the following five custom-designed jewelry prizes:
Prize 1: Smoky quartz necklace with sterling silver flower clasp
Prize 2: Lapis and labradorite necklace with sterling silver clasp
Prize 3: Kayanite and turquoise sterling silver necklace
Prize 4: Onyx and red agate sterling silver bracelet
Prize 5: Jade, amber and red agate necklace
I encourage you to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: