A Troublemaking Charm Bracelet Fork in Romance By Design

charm bracelet with forkA noisy charm bracelet plays an intricate part in my newest release, Romance By Design, a story with quirky humor and romance that pits two interior designers head to head as one fights to keep his top designer reputation and another only wants to bring a splash of Americana and charm to the well-respected company…and yes, make a name for herself.

How does a charm bracelet  play havoc in a romance? Here’s the opening of Romance By Design, where you can read the first time this bracelet stirs up problems.

But this is only one time that naughty charm bracelet causes trouble.

Chapter One Romance by Design Final

“Chandler, how did you get me into this?”

Hunter Evans grimaced, hearing the hoedown music long before he arrived. The thrumming racket barreled down the wide hallway as he headed for Harrison Interior’s Grand Arena. Though he enjoyed a good, classical violinist, tonight the electric violin sent its strident caterwauling scratching through the air—horsehair sawing catgut—which was about the way he felt tonight.

After a seven hour flight from London and arriving at his desk the next morning, he faced Chandler’s fund-raiser memo. “All employees are required to participate in the charity hoedown.”

Hoedown? He’d cringed. Whose harebrained idea had that been? He studied the memo and found the answer. Morgan Branigan, a new employee. That’s all he needed.  More competition from a new interior designer with a goodwill bent. He’d struggled too long and hard the past years to lose his position now when he’d finally reached the top.

The memo faded from his mind, but not the pandemonium as he reached the arena doorway. He winced at his feeble attempt to escape this evening’s madhouse. He’d thought Chandler owed him one for his success in London, but all he got in return was, “Oh, come now, Hunter. Be a sport. We need everyone’s full support. It’s invaluable for public relations. Anyway, I’m anxious for you to meet Morgan.”

Morgan. He shook his head. Morgan, the new competition, a back-woods designer . . . while he was a real designer, not a foot-stomping yokel. This was Boston, not Skunk Hollow.

Still, he could beat Chandler at this own game. The man could make him attend, but, like leading a horse to water, Chandler couldn’t make him drink, nor could he make him wear a cowboy shirt. He would rather be strung up on a tree.

As he stepped through the large doorway, he gaped at the crowd, business associates dressed in jeans and tight satin shirts with stitched yokes, their heads covered with Stetsons, straw planters, or ten-gallon hats, and their tooled-leather boots. Women twirled past in full skirts that looked like farmhouse curtains—ruffles and bows—and boots. They’d all gone boot-crazy.

Dressed in a pair of Dockers and a cashmere sweater, he straggled on the sidelines, gawking at the phenomenon. Hay wagons piled with straw stood against each wall. Two flatbed wagons offered a spread of hors d’oeuvres and two chuck wagons served liquid refreshments. Watching the dancers with faces beaming, sweat rolling from hairlines, cheeks glowing with exertion, he shook his head.

“What’s up, pardner?” A hand grabbed his arm. “Why aren’t you out there kickin’ up yer heels?”

Hunter swung around and stared at a creamy-skinned, freckle-faced woman crowned by a mass of long red curls. Her green eyes glinted with mischief.

“We’ll have no gloomy looks around here, you know. Let’s shake a leg.” The stunning woman twirled her petite body toward the dance floor, her white ruffled blouse high around her neck, and a blue gingham skirt billowing around her slender legs. She reached back and grabbed his arm, but halted and gawked. “Oh my. Look what I’ve done.”

He tore his gaze from her green eyes to his expensive cashmere sweater. Her tinkling, charm-filled bracelet had snagged the soft wool. The bracelet and his sweater were bound by a thread—a very expensive thread.

Peering at his shoulder, he attempted to unhook the snag while she manipulated the strand caught on a miniature sewing machine. Her slender fingers looked fragile next to his larger ones. The charm bracelet jangled as they manipulated the hook and verged on snagging another thread with a minuscule fork charm.

Brilliant. He watched her struggle to unloosen herself. She seemed a battlefield of household weaponry while he worked to extricate her charm bracelet from his shoulder.

With one final twist, the woman beamed with a triumphant sigh. “There, it’s unhooked. And no damage.” She gave his sleeve a pat, then eyed the spot with more care. “Well, the snag is so small no one will ever see it.”

When she patted his sweater again, he jerked away, fearing to get wounded by her dangerous wrist. “Sorry. Instinct. I don’t want you hooked to me permanently.” But as he eyed her warm smile, the possibility didn’t seem totally bad—except for the bracelet.

To read the back cover blurb and a link to read more of the scene or puchase this book click on: Romance By Design

Now available as a Kindle eBook or in paperback.


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  1. Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books October 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    Such a pretty bracelet! The book sounds interesting!

  2. Shelli December 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is available
    on web?

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