Alice Gunning thinks she has a perfect life. She loves her job and her swanky city apartment, and she's about to get engaged. Until one day her boyfriend leaves her, she's fired--and her lottery numbers come up!
Alice heads for a tropical paradise to work out her future. On a sun-drenched beach she encounters Will Paxman--her gorgeous old flame!
When Alice is offered the job of a lifetime back in the city, it's time to choose between her old life...or a future with Will!
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March 13, 2007
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Excerpt from Barefoot Bride by Jessica Hart
"GUESS who I bumped into in town?"
Beth bounced down the steps into the garden and plonked herself onto the lounger next to Alice.
Alice had spent a blissful morning by the pool, feeling the tension slowly unwinding as the tropical heat seeped into her bones, and guiltily enjoying some time on her own. There was a puppyish enthusiasm about Roger's wife that could be quite exhausting at times, and, ever since she had arrived two days ago, Alice had been con-scious of how hard Beth was trying to distract her from the fact that Tony was getting married tomorrow.
No one could be kinder or sunnier-natured than Beth, though, and Alice would have been very fond of her even if she wasn't married to Roger. And this was, after all, Beth's pool that she had been lying beside all morning. A good guest would be opening her eyes and sitting up to take an interest in her hostess's morning.
On the other hand, Beth had told her to relax before she'd gone out.Alice had done as she was told, and was now so relaxed she honestly couldn't summon the energy to open her eyes, let alone care which of Beth's many acquaintances she had met in town.
"Umm, Elvis?" she suggested lazily, enjoying the faint stir of warm breeze that ruffled the parasol above her.
"No!" Beth tsk-tsked at Alice's failure to take her exciting news more seriously, but she was much too nice to take offence. "Someone we know, At least, I think you know him,'she added, suddenly dubious. "I'm pretty sure that you do, anyway."
failingly sociable, and gathered lame ducks under her wing wherever she went. When Roger and Beth had lived in London, Alice had often been summoned to parties where Beth fondly imagined her disparate friends would all bond and find each other as interesting as she did.
Sadly, Alice was by nature as critical and prickly as Beth was sweet and kind. She settled herself more comfortably on her lounger, resting an arm over her eyes and resigning herself to one of her friend's breathless accounts of someone Alice had met for five minutes several years ago, and who she had most likely hoped never to see again. "I give up," she said.
At least she wouldn't have to pay much atten-tion for the next few minutes. Beth's stories tended to be long, and were often so muddled that she would get lost in the middle of them. All Alice would be required to do was to interject an occa-sional "Really?" or the odd "Oh?" between encour-aging murmurs. "Who did you meet?" she asked dutifully.
It was the cue Beth had been waiting for. "Will Paxman," she said.