I knew something was wrong the second I walked up to my front door.Call it intuition. Call it a sixth sense. But I just knew.I blame the shoes. The shoes were undoubtedly the cause of all theproblems that day. It was the shoes’ fault that I came home early, andthe shoes’ fault I was fired.I suppose I can’t blame the shoes for making me late, though—that was the alarm clock’s fault for rudely deciding not to do its job.And when I finally realized, through the thick haze of sleepiness,that it hadn’t gone off, it was too late. I was already late for work.And when I say work, I mean my brand-new job—job of mydreams—as a fashion assistant at Glamorous Girl mag. I’d just made a total career change, leaving behind a successful jobas a stylist in advertising to pursue a job in the magazine industry. Itwas early days, so I was still desperately trying to impress by beingperfect, polite, and oh so obliging. Whether it was the request forthe latte to be served at 97.7 degrees with no sugar, soy milk froth,and a sprinkling of organic cocoa powder flown in directly fromthe foothills of the Andes. Or whether it was for the jasmine-and-lavender-scented candles to be burned in the office for exactly tenminutes before my boss arrived—that was me.Little Miss Annie Obliging.Because let’s face it, the word assistant is just a glammed-up euphemismfor slave. But I was ambitious and determined, so when Irealized I wouldn’t be able to attend to the scented candles, or fetchthe latte, I panicked. So much so, that I left the house without thesaid troublemaking, life-ruining, world-annihilating shoes.Let’s take a moment to talk about the shoes. They weren’tordinary shoes, oh no, they were none other than the just-off-the-Paris-catwalk-and-not-for-sale-to-mere-mortals-yet Christian Louboutins.They also happened to be the centerpieces for that day’sshoot.The same rushed panic that had caused me to forget the shoes inthe first place had also left me with barely enough time to scrape myhair back into a casual bun and slip on a creased T-shirt and pair ofjeans from my floor.The latter is a bigger sin than you think. Because where Iwork, wearing anything other than the most fashionable apparelis sacrilege. People practically throw holy water at you and startwailing in Latin for fear that you’ve been possessed by the demonof bad fashion. In fact, a real demon possession, complete with abackward-rolling head and the ability to speak in tongues, wouldbe preferable to the demon of last season’s handbag and Crocssandals.So when I finally got to work, underdressed, out of breath, withoutthe shoes, and over an hour late, I was in serious trouble.My boss was throwing a hissy fit, due to lack of flowery scents inher office, and her personal assistant Cedric was in the throes of anoverly dramatic caffeine withdrawal, due to lack of latte.And it kept getting worse.Two hours later the panicky fashion director summoned theLouboutins. Those shoes had been troublemakers from the start. Ithad been an absolute trauma getting them in the first place. They’dbeen flown into South Africa late the previous night, and I’d beentasked with collecting them. Everyone was holding their collectivebreath for the grand arrival. So when I was forced to confess to theirabsence…well, you can only imagine.When lunch finally arrived, I jumped into my car and sped home.I had exactly one hour to get in and out before the photo shoot, morethan enough time.I pulled into my driveway at breakneck speed, ran for the frontdoor, slipped my house keys into the lock, and turned—But…Something made me stop.Something told me not to go inside.Something was very wrong.I looked around nervously. Everything seemed normal. Peteracross the road was blasting his TV as usual, the ratbag Chihuahuafrom number 45 was running up and down the garden perimeteryapping at an unseen force, and Mildred, my neighbor, was outsidewatering her hydrangeas.So why was I hesitating?I took a deep breath and inched the door open.Nothing looked out of place.Everything was exactly the way I’d left it.Yet everything felt wrong.I slunk down the hallway toward the kitchen, where I knew I’dfind the shoes perched next to the coffeepot. But once inside, I washit by a terribly eerie sensation…someone was in the house. A shiverlicked the length of my spine when my suspicions were confirmed.Creeeeaaakkk…A noise was coming from my bedroom directlyabove me.Shit, shit, shit, there was an intruder in the house!I launched myself at the cutlery drawer, grabbing the largest knifeI could find while simultaneously dialing the police and still managingto hold on to the shoes for dear life.“Police! Help, there’s an intruder in my house. Forty-Seven MendelssohnRoad, Oaklands. Quick.”Now what? I’d never been in a situation like this before. Whatwas the correct protocol? Should I hide, evacuate the house, attackthe intruder, scream loudly? Or perhaps a combination of the above?I thought for a second before deciding to get the fuck out of there!But just as I had one foot safely installed outside the front door, Iheard another noise. This time it was different. It was…It sounded like…My blood ran cold.But it couldn’t be. Trevv was at work. Trevv had a very importantday in court, he told me. His client’s final hearing was today. Rightnow, in fact. I’d called him from my office about an hour ago andhe’d told me he was in court.He was in court, dammit!I started climbing the stairs.More noises.Two voices?But that was impossible…wasn’t it?The noises grew louder and louder the farther up the stairs Iwent. I’m not really sure at what point I knew what the noises wereor knew what I was going to see when I opened the door. But I justknew.It’s one thing walking in on your boyfriend having sex with anotherwoman, but it’s another thing entirely walking in on him thesecond the other woman is coming. She was facing the door but wasbouncing up and down so vigorously that her face was a blur. Andthen suddenly her body stiffened, she threw her head back, openedher mouth, and let out a high-pitched wail. As if that wasn’t self explanatoryenough, she decided to toss in a few words for goodmeasure.“Yes, Trevvy, yes. Oh my God, oh my God, oh Trevvy. Harder!Ah, ah, ah.” *Pant, pant, pant* “I’m coming!” *Long high-pitchedscream*Now…there were several things wrong with this picture, asidefrom the obvious. Firstly, who the hell screams like that in bed? Noone does! Sex is not so good that you have to break the sound barrierwith your squealing dolphin sounds. Secondly, what the hell wasshe wearing? She was clad in some kind of leathery studded numberthat looked like it had been worn by one of the Village People. Andto make matters worse, Trevv was blindfolded with the tie that I hadbought him two Christmases ago and…OH MY GOD…were those,were those…nipple clamps?I felt sick to my stomach.And thirdly, who was this mystery woman without an ounce of cellulite,without the slightest smidge of fat, and with boobs that seemedto defy all known natural laws of gravity and motion? Whichwoman can be that damn perfect……and then her features came into focus and the answer dawnedon me.Tess.Tess Blackman.My boyfriend’s “coworker.” The woman I’d invited intomy home on several occasions for dinner. The woman that I alwaysphoned when I couldn’t get hold of Trevv, because I knew theywere probably together working on a case, tired and exhausted andburning the midnight oil when they’d rather be at home with theirsignificant others. She had a fiancé after all.Poor overworked Trevv and Tess.God, I was naive.But the show didn’t end there. Tess’s eyes were still closed whenTrevv started making some delightful grunting-moaning-squeakingsounds. He’d never made sounds like that with me before. His sweatyhands reached up and grabbed at her hungrily.Faster.Harder.Loud, long moan.I was frozen. It’s hard to know what to do when you watch yourpartner of two years with his penis somewhere you wouldn’t evenlike to imagine, let alone witness in full blinding daylight.Once all their postcoital panting had tapered off, Tess opened hereyes and saw me standing in the doorway. The look on her face wasindescribable. Shock and horror and fear all at the same time. Andthen she opened her mouth and screamed.Trevv then turned his head toward the door and whipped off hisblindfold. Our eyes locked and then he did something truly bizarre.Unexpected. He grabbed Tess by the hand and dragged her to theother side of the bed.“Anne, please…you don’t want to do this.” Trevv threw his handsin the air defensively. He looked terrified. She was bleating hystericallyby this stage.What was going on? Wasn’t I the jilted one? Wasn’t I the onethat was supposed to be upset? I started walking toward them, whichseemed to only make matters worse.“Anne, please. Please.” He seemed to be begging now. “Thinkabout what you’re doing. I know this is bad, but this isn’t the way tohandle it. Please don’t do this.”Things happened pretty quickly after that. Suddenly, the roomwas filled with armed police officers. I was about to tell them theycould all go home, when Trevv cut me off.“She has a knife. She’s going to kill us!” he shouted, pointing at me.What knife? I glanced at my hands, and that’s when I realized Iwas still holding the large knife, and it was pointed in their direction.I quickly turned to explain. “I wasn’t going to—”“Ma’am…” One of the police officers cut me off and started creepingtoward me as if I was a feral pit bull that hadn’t eaten in a week.“Put down your weapon.”“I swear, this isn’t what you think, I was just trying to—”BAM! Face on floor, handcuffs around wrists.Three really painful things happened at that point: One, the knifeslipped and cut the entire length of my palm. Two, some of mynewly acquired, gorgeous nails snapped off. And three, the crystal-encrusted,six-inch heel of the priceless Louboutin snapped off,rolled across the floor lifelessly, and disappeared under the bed.
Blurb: Annie knows life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you get mistaken for a crazed intruder when you come home early and find your boyfriend wearing nipple clamps with a co-worker on the night you thought he was going to propose to you.
The important thing is to move on, and for Annie, that means treating herself to a tropical vacation. But when she runs into her ex and his new woman staying at the same resort, reason is washed out to sea. Caught off guard, Annie pretends she’s with Chris, a cute screenwriter she meets on the beach. With his own writing blocked, Chris is happy to help Annie craft a story to save face. Soon Annie isn’t just getting over her ex, she’s getting under Chris. As her fictional feelings grow increasingly real, Annie has to decide if she’s ready to risk her heart on a new relationship.
Review: Absolutely a fun read. I’m not gonna lie, I had to Google a few things because the story takes place in South Africa and I didn’t understand some of the references. Other than that I truly enjoyed this light, loving, romantic comedy. It started off with a bang (literally) and I was in tears laughing. The story is all over the map from there and in a good way. Some of the situations Annie finds herself in I felt were a bit much, but hey it’s fiction right?!? Chris is just as fun as Annie and the back and forth between the two of them is enjoyable. I love that by the end of the book you can see the growth between the two characters individually and as a couple. I definitely plan to read the other novels in this series but don’t be alarmed, they can be read as stand-alones. So 4 stars for this fun-loving romantic comedy.
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THE DESTINATION LOVE SERIES
BURNING MOON, #1
ALMOST A BRIDE, #2
FINDING YOU, #3
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo Watson is an award-winning writer of romantic comedies. Burning Moon won a Watty Award in 2014. Jo is an Adidas addict and a Depeche Mode devotee.
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