One of my favorite things to do as a reviewer is to bring attention to new authors. Abigail Sharpe is a new to me author who has written an awesome book that will keep you glued to your e-reader, at least in my opinion. So I’m excited to share a snippet of the book with you.
“You want me to do what?” Ainsley Fairfax asked, nearly choking on her tea. She had known her parents’ invitation to visit was not for a pleasant chat, but she had no idea they would stoop to this.
“It’s simple, Ainsley,” her mother said, tapping her Montblanc pen against her leather planner. ” Time alone with Edward will help you realize that the two of you are perfect for each other. On the cruise you won’t have distractions to take your attention away from him. There’ll be dancing, romantic dinners, beautiful scenery. You’ll love it.”
Sophia tossed Ainsley a small white envelope addressed with a swirling script. Ainsley narrowed her eyes at her mother’s pointed stare, catching the envelope before she thumbed it open. She removed tickets and colorful brochures and held back a groan. Pictures of burning sunsets reflecting on water and happy people in bathing suits mocked her predicament.
She fought the familiar paired emotions of fury and resignation as she clutched the pamphlets. ” How can you send me on a honeymoon cruise when you know I have no intention of ever marrying him?”
Sophia ignored her and flipped forward a couple of pages in her planner. “You have a meeting scheduled with the wedding coordinator the day after you come home.”
“Because if it’s written in you calendar, it must be true,” Ainsley muttered. Light reflected the delicate patterns of her cup and she entertained the idea of hurling it at the wall. Meetings like this occurred at least every three months. Marry Edward or some other rich, eligible bachelor of good breeding. Promote your social standing by attending this event or that. Keep the Fairfax name in affluent society and stop working like a common laborer. Blah blah blah blah blah. She tightened her grip on the arm of the maroon Victorian chair, her knuckles turning white while she tried to control the adrenaline that threatened to take over. “I’m not dating Edward. I’m not engaged to Edward, and I’m certainly not in love with Edward. Let me live my own life and stop using me to make up for the mistakes you made with Cece.” Ainsley knew her spirited older sister was a source of embarrassment to their appearances-are-everything mother.
Her mother’s cheeks reddened slightly, the only emotion she’d show when discussing her other daughter.
” This isn’t about Cecelia,” Sophia said. “Your sister is going to ruin her life when she to Wyoming to flirt with cowboys.”
That couldn’t be true. Cecelia had finals this week. And she’d surely mention to Ainsley that she was planning a vacation. But even flirting with cowboys sounded better than being trapped in whatever luxury accommodations Sophia had set up this time.
“Daddy…” Ainsley’s gaze swept to her father, hoping for his support but knowing it was futile. He shifted uncomfortably in the high-backed chair.
“I’m with your mother on this one.” He avoided his daughter’s glare by fixing the cuff on his white pants. Ainsley bet he was going to be late for his tee time because of this meeting.
She started planning her escape-a quick dash out of the sitting room and down the stairs, zigzag through the dining room and bolt outside. She could do it. The sitting room door was only a few feet away.
” What is that on your arm?” Sophia asked, her tone sharper than it had been even two seconds ago.
Damn. Some dirt from her earlier shipment must have gotten on her. She scanned her skin and found a smudge peeking out beneath the sleeve of her green Blooms polo shirt. Too late now to rub it away.
” You can’t even keep yourself clean.”
” So I got a little dirty, Mother. It’s not like I was playing in mud puddles.”
“And you care so little about family that you didn’t even bother to groom yourself before coming over.”
A sudden pain flared behind Ainsley’s eye and she took a deep, calming breath. Of course Sophia would turn the reasoning against her.
“Ainsley, you need someone to take care of you. Give Edward another chance,” Sophia insisted.
” Edward thinks my flower shop is a hobby to keep me busy until we get married. He calls it my ‘little store’ and smiles at me like I’m a pet doing tricks. I’m sure he;s great husband material, Mother. Just not for me.”
There’s nothing florist Ainsley Fairfax won’t do to help her sister get the love of her life-even if it means taking her place on a bachelorette weekend at a Wyoming ranch so Cecelia can sail off with the man of her dreams. Ainsley is determined to spend the time keeping her head down and her heart safely tucked away-until an encounter with the ranch’s hunky owner gets her heart-and steamy desires-to bloom . . .
Riley Pommer doesn’t want to be lassoed into any relationship. But with the family ranch in dire straits, Riley knows his sisters’ crazy plan to turn the ranch into the setting for a dating competition-and using Riley as the bait-is the only thing standing between them and foreclosure. But the rules of the game change the instant Riley lays eyes on the spirited Ainsley. Now, as others try to stampede over their love, can Riley prove to Ainsley that true love is a prize worth fighting for?