New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at www.SusanMallery.com.
Excerpt from book:
The sound of eight tiny reindeer had nothing on a half-dozen eight-year-olds clog dancing, Dante Jefferson thought as he held the phone more closely to his ear.
"You'll have to repeat that," he yelled in to the receiver. "I'm having trouble hearing you."
The steady thudding above his head paused briefly, then started up again.
"What's going on there?" Franklin asked, his voice barely audible over the banging that nearly kept time with the damned piano music. "Construction?"
"I wish," Dante muttered. "Look, I'll call you back in a couple of hours." The stupid dance class would be over by then. At least he hoped so.
"Sure. I'll be here." Franklin hung up.
Dante glanced at the bottom right of his computer screen. The ever-present clock told him it was seven-fifteen. In the evening. Which meant it was eleven-fifteen in the morning in Shanghai. He'd stayed late specifically to speak to Franklin about an international business deal that had developed a few glitches. The clog dancers had made the conversation impossible.
He saved the spreadsheet and went to work on his email. He and his business partner had plenty of other projects that needed his attention.
Just before eight, he heard the clog dancers going down the stairs. They laughed and shrieked, obviously not worn out by an hour of misstepping practice. He, on the other hand, had a pounding pain right behind his eyes and the thought that he would cheerfully strangle Rafe first thing in the morning. His business partner had been the one to rent the temporary space. Either Rafe hadn't noticed or didn't care about the dance school parked directly above. The offices were in an older part of Fool's Gold and had been built long before the invention of soundproofing. Rafe didn't seem to mind the noise that started promptly at three every single afternoon and went well into the evening. Dante, on the other hand, was ready to beg the nearest judge for an injunction.
Now he got out of his chair and headed for the stairs. He made his way to the studio. He and whoever was in charge were going to have to come to terms. He had to spend the next couple of weeks working out the problems of the Shanghai deal.
Which meant needing access to his computer, contracts and blueprints. Some of which he couldn't take home. He needed to able to use his phone, in his office, while speaking in a normal voice.
He paused outside the door that led to the studio. It was as old-fashioned as the rest of the building, with frosted glass and the name of the businessDominique's School of Dancepainted in fancy gold script. He pushed open the door and entered.
The reception area was utilitarian at best. There was a low desk, a computer that had been old a decade ago, backless benches by the wall and several coatracks. He could see through into the studio itselfa square room with mirrors, a barre that was attached to the wall and, of course, hardwood floors. There wasn't a piano, and he realized the endless, repetitive song that had driven him insane had come from a compact stereo.
He rubbed his temples and wished the pounding would stop, then walked purposefully into the studio. He was a coldhearted bastard lawyer, or so he'd been told endlessly by those he
The wildly popular and prolific Mallery can always be counted on to tell an engaging story of modern romance." -Booklist on Summer Nights