Thursday, February 4, 2010
Enjoy an excerpt: CLASSICAL ROMANCE REVIVAL AUTHOR'S ANTHOLOGY: THE CUPID DIARIES
My short story, A FISH OUT OF WATER appears in the The Cupid Diaries!
Jenny opened the door and crossed the large expanse of soft, pale grey carpet. A tall man stood with his hands behind his back, gazing out at the impressive view through the floor to ceiling windows. The sweeping vista of blue-grey waters spread out below, bordered on the south by the pearly white sails of the Opera House, and the gleaming wet metal of the bridge to the north. The view normally took her breath away. But today, she barely glanced at it. Mr. Darrien swiveled and held out his hand. She stepped forward and took it. The brief hand shake sent an electric current running through her and she almost gasped. She felt as if time had stood still.
Libby had suggested he was attractive, but Jenny had not been prepared for someone with looks of a younger George Clooney. Dark hair brushed back from a widow’s peak, a smile of welcome on his long mobile mouth. She swallowed and fought to understand what he was saying. He spoke quickly with a faint French accent from his years spent in Paris. The formalities already over, he discussed the work to be done. He perched on the edge of the huge desk with one lanky leg dangling, and flicked through a file with graceful fingers.
Jenny pealed her gaze away from studying his broad shoulders. Get a grip!
Mr Darrien, his dark head bent over the papers, fired comments in her direction. She flipped open her pad and made notes with her new gold pen. A birthday gift from her brother, Alex, at least he understood her dreams. Her mind raced ahead of her, already sorting the tasks into order.
Joss Darrien raised his eyes to hers and she noticed what an unusual color they were. Not brown exactly, but a warm topaz, fringed with thick black lashes. His photo, downloaded from the Paris website, had already done the rounds of the female staff in the lunch room. Determined to be loyal to her new boss, Jenny had refused to be drawn in. But the normally quiet office was alive with gossip. They couldn’t learn enough about Joss Darrien.
“He’s been going out with Paula Huntingdon, you know, the model turned actress. She’s returned to Australia to do that new series, 'Waterfront Police'. She’s tall and blonde and very thin. Do you know her?” Libby asked everyone at morning coffee break. They all did, of course. Even Jenny watched the show and thought Paula beautiful.
“Got that?” Joss looked up. He had strong dark brows, which gave his face the look of someone not to be messed with, and she admitted to herself that he unnerved her a little. She wasn’t nervous about her ability to handle the new position, but he seemed so urbane. Despite the years spent in the city, the simple country girl in her remained.
“So I can leave you with these matters then?” His voice penetrated her thoughts making her almost jump and feel unaccountably guilty