Jane thinks nothing can make her lose her cool But the princess of propriety blows a gasket the night she meets the contractor restoring the Wolcott mansion. Devlin Kavanagh's rugged sex appeal may buckle her knees, but the man is out of control! Jane had to deal with theatrics growing up--she won't tolerate them in someone hired to work on the house she and her two best friends have just inherited. Dev could renovate the mansion in his sleep. But ever since the prissy owner spotted him jet-lagged, exhausted and hit hard by a couple of welcome-home drinks, she's been on his case. Yet there's something about her. Jane hides behind conservative clothes and a frosty manner, but her seductive blue eyes and leopard-print heels hint at a woman just dying to cut loose!
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
July 31, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Cutting Loose by Susan Andersen
I am so never wearing a thong again. Poppy swears they're comfortable--which probably should've been my first clue.
"OMIGAWD, JANE," Ava screeched. "Oh, my, gawd. It's official!"
Jane pulled the phone away from her ear. Her friend's voice had gone so high she was surprised the leashed dachshund sniffing the light standard down on First Avenue didn't start barking. But she clapped the receiver back to her ear as excitement danced a fast jitterbug in her stomach. "Probate finally closed, then?"
"Yes, two minutes ago!" Ava laughed like an escapee from a lunatic asylum. "The Wolcott mansion is officially ours. Can you believe it? I sure miss Miss Agnes, but this is just too thrilling. Omigawd, I can barely breathe, I'm so excited. I have to call Poppy and tell her the news, too." She laughed again. "We've gotta celebrate! Do you mind coming to West Seattle?"
"Lemme see." Stretching the telephone cord as far as it would reach, she stepped out of her cramped sixth-floor office at the Seattle Metropolitan Museum to peer through the director's open door two doors down. The coveted corner office showcased a panoramic view from Magnolia Bluff to Mount Rainier, with the Olympic Mountains rising dramatically across Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. Not that she could see more than a fraction of it from her angle, but she wasn't trying to scope out the scenery, anyway. Traffic flow was her objective. "No, that oughtta work. The freeway looks pretty clear your way."
"Good. Let's meet at the Matador in an hour. Overpriced drinks are on me."
She found herself grinning as she changed into her walking shoes and threw her heels into her tote in preparation to leaving. Swinging her butt to the happy dance song playing in her head, she freshened her lipstick, tossed the tube back in her purse and stuffed it into the tote as well.
"You look jazzed."
Jane let out a scream. "Good God!" She slapped a hand to her racing heart and whirled to face the man in her doorway.
"Sorry." Gordon Ives, her fellow junior curator, stepped into the room. "Didn't mean to startle you. What was the little dance for?"
Ordinarily she wouldn't consider telling him. She had a strict policy of keeping her private business out of the office that had worked well for her over the course of her career and saw no reason to change it now.
Part of the inheritance was going to impact the museum, so it wasn't as if he wouldn't soon find out anyhow. And the plain truth was, she was excited. "I'm getting the Wolcott collections."
He stared at her, his pale blue eyes incredulous. "As in Agnes Bell Wolcott's collections? The Agnes Wolcott, who traveled the world wearing trousers when her generation's women stayed at home to raise the kids and didn't dream of stepping outside the house attired in less than dresses, gloves and hats?"
"Yeah. She didn't wear only trousers, though. She wore her share of dresses and gowns, as well."
"I've heard about her collections forever. But I thought she died."
"She did, last March." And grief stabbed deep for the second time today at the reminder. There was an unoccupied space in her soul that Miss Agnes used to fill and she had to draw a steadying breath. Then, perhaps because she was still off balance, she heard herself admitting, "She left them to me and two of my friends." Along with the mansion, but Gordon didn't need to know that as well.
"You're kidding me! Why would she do that?"
"Because we were friends. More than that, actu-ally--Poppy and Ava and I were probably the closest thing Miss Wolcott had to family." Their original visit eighteen years ago had led to monthly teas and a friendship that had deepened as the fascinating, wonderful old lady took a hands-on personal interest in their lives and accomplishments, treating the three of them as if they were somehow equally as fascinating. She'd always gone the extra mile for them, making a fuss over their accomplishments in a way no one else had ever done--well, at least in her and Ava's lives. Like the celebratory dinner she'd thrown at Canlis the evening Jane had landed her job here.
She rubbed a hand over her mouth to disguise its sudden tremble--then sternly pulled herself together again. This wasn't the place or person in front of whom she wanted to indulge her emotions. "Anyhow," she said briskly, "I'll only be around in the mornings for the next two months. A couple of the collections are being donated to the museum and Marjorie's letting me work afternoons at the Wolcott mansion to catalog them."
"The director knew about this?"
"I'm surprised no one else here heard, then."
She looked at him in surprise. "Why would they?"
"Well, it's just--you know. Nothing ever seems to stay a secret in this place."
"True. But this was a private inheritance that came as a complete surprise to me and my friends. Then there were months of probate before it was finalized. It's been all we've been able to do ourselves to figure out how this all works, and I only told Marjorie because one of Miss Agnes's bequests directly affects the museum. I saw no reason to talk about it with people not involved in the matter."
Sensing her curious co-worker was about to ask what the bequest was and perhaps even who else had received one, she looked at her utilitarian leather-banded, large-faced watch. "Oops, gotta go. I've got a bus to catch." She grabbed up her tote and ushered him out of her office, closing the door behind her.
Emerging onto the street a few minutes later, she pulled on her little black cashmere sweater against the brisk wind and her sunglasses against the bright October sun. She'd only mentioned the bus to get Gordon out of her office, but after a quick mental debate she decided against going home for her car and hiked up to Marion Street to catch the 55 instead.
As the bus approached the Alaska Junction a short while later she changed back into her heels, smiling down at the leopard-skin, open-toed construction. She loved these shoes and knew this would probably be one of the last times she'd get to wear them this season. According to the KIRO weatherman on the news this morning, their sunny days were numbered.