Excerpt from book:
"Do THEY KNOW THEY LOOK like pumpkins?"
Madeline Krug appreciated that Rosalind asked the question very softly. One of the first rules of running a successful wedding gown store was to not insult the bride or her wedding party. And while she normally would have mentioned that to her assistant, in this case the question was kind of legitimate.
It wasn't just the very full skirt on the bridesmaids' dresses. A billowing that was oddly, well, pumpkin shaped. It wasn't the colors, which ranged from tangerine to coral to, um, pumpkin. But when those two elements were put together with a pale green crown of leaves and tiny flowers on each of their six heads, the overall effect was just a little
"The bride told me this is exactly what she wanted," Madeline murmured. "That she's been dreaming about her wedding since she was a little girl and these are the dresses she pictured. She was thrilled we could find them."
Madeline smiled at her assistant. "Every bride has a perfect dress and a vision for what she wants her wedding party to look like. Our job is to find out what that dream is and make it come true."
Rosalind looked doubtful, but nodded, as if taking mental notes.
The fortysomething brunette had been working at Paper Moon for about a month now. With her kids all in middle and high school, she'd wanted to return to the workforce. Madeline needed someone she could depend on and Rosalind came with good references. So far, they were doing well as a team, although Rosalind still found the various bridal idiosyncrasies surprising.
Madeline returned her attention to the wedding party. She double-checked the fit of each dress, confirmed the bride was giddy with happiness, then promised a final pressing before the dresses were picked up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Because the, um, pumpkin wedding was the Saturday after the holiday.
By three o'clock the bridal party had left. Madeline retreated to her office to finish up some paperwork. After processing invoices, confirming a couple of deliveries and noting when her favorite bridal designer's new summer collection would be available, she leaned back in her chair and allowed herself a rare moment of contentment.
She loved her job. She wasn't saving the world or finding a new source of renewable energybut in her own small way, she helped people be happy. Brides came in all shapes, sizes and temperaments, but for the most part, she loved each one of them. She loved the look on their faces when they found the right dress. The happy tears were so satisfying.
Sure there was drama, but she could handle a little drama. It kept things interesting. And when the drama was over and the bride emailed her a picture of herself on the big day, well, nothing was sweeter.
She was just plain lucky, she thought. If not in love, then certainly in every other part of her life. Because
Two simple words spoken in a kind voice. That should have been fine. Or even nice. Instead, Madeline stared at the well-dressed woman standing in the doorway of her office and knew that her life was about to change. She couldn't say how or why, but as surely as the sun would rise in the east, when Mayor Marsha Tilson showed up looking slightly expectant, things happened.
"Ma'am," Madeline said, instantly coming to her feet.
Because that was how she'd been raised. You stood when an older person came in the room.
Mayor Marsha had been the mayor of Fool's Gold for longer than Madeline had been alive. She was, in fact, California's longest serving mayor. She was much loved, warm, caring and had a way of knowing things that no one had ever been able to explain. Madeline h"With strong characters, a vivid sense of place and intricate relational dynamics Barefoot Season will hold its own against best-selling women's fiction titles and please fans of mainstream romance as well."-USA TODAY on Barefoot Season