Author: Mari Mancusi
Publication Date: April 24, 2013
Synopsis: When Maddy graduated from Columbia University, she was ready to change the world. She'd get a job at Newsline, meet a nice guy, and live happily ever after with a real designer handbag on her arm. Two years later, she's stuck producing puff pieces for News 9 San Diego--where "if it bleeds, it leads." She's still single, her family's falling apart, and so is her knock-off Kate Spade.
Then Jamie Hayes walks through her newsroom door. The former filmmaker is now her cameraman and everything Maddy has ever dreamed of. Creative, smart, and sweet—with eyes that could make a girl melt. The perfect guy…but perfectly unavailable. And the more Maddy tries to stay away—the further she starts to fall.
Now a secret scoop from her favorite knock-off purse guy has Maddy chasing a lead that could make her career. Or destroy it forever. How far is she willing to go to broadcast the truth? And will this breaking news lead to more broken dreams…or an exclusive on Jamie's heart? Stay tuned… it's the story of a lifetime.
“So, got any fun plans for the weekend?” Jamie asked, interrupting my musings.
Well, I had planned on painting my bedroom forest green, but suddenly that sounded overwhelmingly lame. After all, he was a filmmaker. He probably spent his weekends going to trendy parties with movie stars and complicated cocktails. I couldn’t possibly tell him I had no plans and was going to stay home and paint.
“Actually, I’ve got a hot date.”
Oh, Maddy? Why did you say that? Once again, my mouth had blurted before my brain could rationalize that the impulsive idea to tell Jamie I had a hot date was an extremely bad one on many, many levels. The most basic being because it was a complete and utter lie.
“Oh yeah?” Jamie turned to look at me. “Who’s the lucky guy?”
He said it so casually it made my stomach ache. Not a hint of jealousy in his voice. He’d obviously moved on from last night’s encounter already. Couldn’t care less that I had a potential new lover. And why would he? He had his fiancée, after all. I was nothing to him.
Get a grip, Maddy. Forget about last night. Or you’re in for a world of hurt.
I realized Jamie was waiting for me to describe imaginary-date man. “Um, well, he’s this surfer guy.” Yeah, surfers were cool. “With blond hair, blue eyes. About six foot.” If I were going to have an imaginary date, he might as well be a hottie. “He’s sponsored, actually. Does all these competitions.”
“Really? What’s his name? I did a documentary on surfing in So-Cal. I know most of the guys.”
Argh. Maddy, why? Why not just say he was some normal guy Jamie would have never heard of?
“Oh, you probably wouldn’t have heard of him . . .”
“. . . because he’s from, um, Czechoslovakia, ” I said, naming the country farthest away from So-Cal that I could think of. “Just moved here last month.”
“A Czech surfer?” Jamie asked, sounding intrigued. “Interesting, since the country’s so far inland. How’d he become so good at surfing?”
Oh yeah, I’d conveniently forgotten the Czech Republic wasn’t exactly beachfront property. Duh.
“His father sent him to, um, Ibiza every summer as a kid. He learned there.” Ibiza was an island, right? I was saved.
“The Spanish Island with all the nightclubs? I didn’t realize it was a kid-friendly place.”
Darn. “Um, no, no. Ibiza, Florida. It’s near, um, Fort Lauderdale.” I laughed nervously.
“Hmm. Never heard of it.” Jamie shrugged. “I spent a few months in Miami last year, too. Must be a small town.”
“Yeah. Real tiny, evidently.” Please don’t press me on it, I begged silently. I was running out of lies.
Luckily at that moment, we turned in to the doctor’s office. I breathed a sigh of relief. Jamie parked the SUV and turned to me. “Well, I hope you have fun on your date. You just let me know if this blond-haired, blue-eyed Czech surfer who grew up in a tiny town in Florida gives you a hard time, okay?”
I felt my face heat. Was he teasing me? Did he know I made the whole thing up? I narrowed my eyes in anger. I wanted to protest, tell him I did have a real date. But problem was, I didn’t.
I know! I’ll find one!
Jodi had been trying to get me to sign up for that online dating service for months. She said it had tons of cute guys. From all over. I was sure out of the thousands available I could find a blond-haired, blue-eyed Czech surfer who summered in Florida, right?
Yup, that’s what I’d do. I’d go home from the shoot, find myself a surfer and go out on a date. Then I’d take pictures with my camera phone and casually show them to Jamie on Monday to prove that I wasn’t some pathetic lying girl who made up a whole person because she was too embarrassed to admit she planned to stay home and paint her bedroom.
“What are you up to this weekend?” I asked as I waited for him to unload his gear from the back of the Expedition.
He groaned. “Nothing as exciting as your weekend. I’ve got to paint the bedroom of my new place.”
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