Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations. A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.
Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan. It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.
Nik is in New York on business. He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet-lag. On his way to yet another business dinner, he meets Petey.
The mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical. Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?
Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary. What will happen when she finds out the truth?
Chasing Ordinary is my current work in progress. I had hoped to have it ready for release by now, but it won’t be much longer. This week’s excerpt gives you a little glimpse.
Howard had been talking nonstop for twenty minutes. Each time Petey thought she’d found the opportunity to extricate herself, he continued his rambling, while edging ever closer, invading her personal space, and chatting about his work and his home in New Jersey. He seemed to be one of those individuals who was completely inept at picking up on social cues.
She’d just worked up the gumption to simply excuse herself the next time he came up for air, when she heard a familiar voice.
“There you are, darling!” Nik swooped in, handing her a glass of wine. “I’m so sorry I’m late. Will you ever forgive me?” He wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed her cheek.
Stunned, Petey stammered a bit. “Um, yes. Well…darling, yes, you certainly are late. What’s up with that? I’ve been waiting for you.”
“I know. But traffic was a nightmare, what with the rain. You just wouldn’t believe it.” Nik turned to Howard. “Who’s your friend?” He smiled pleasantly at the confused man.
“Oh, sorry. Nik, this is Howard. Howard, meet Nik.”
Howard worked his mouth, but was blissfully silent.
Nik reached to shake his hand. “So nice to meet you. If you’ll excuse us, I need to make up for lost time. Come, darling.”
He grasped Petey’s hand and led her to the opposite side of the gallery. When they reached a quiet corner, he turned and smiled at her.
She gave a relieved laugh. “Oh, my God, for the second time tonight, you saved my bacon.”
Nik laughed, too. “The exasperation on your face said that you needed rescuing. Who was he anyway?”
“Some guy that my friend Jules thought I should meet. I mean, he’s nice enough, but he had absolutely no sense of personal space. And he would not stop talking. Sheesh!”
“He’s probably just shy in the presence of such a pretty woman.” Nik’s blue eyes sparkled.
Petey rolled her eyes. “Yes, I’m sure that’s it,” she said sarcastically. “I guess you ditched your business dinner?”
Nik nodded. “I did.”
She eyed him curiously. “What kind of business are you in?”
He paused a beat. “I’m in international finance and development.”
Warmth flooded her face, and she knew she was blushing. A sheepish smile curled her lips. “I have no idea what that means.”
He smiled, too. “I travel and meet with business people, mostly, occasionally politicians, and we discuss ways to improve our national economies, and ways to assist developing economies as well.”
“Oh. I’m sure Jules would understand completely. She has a sharp business mind. I’m just so,” she gave a self-deprecating chuckle, “right-brained.”
She fanned herself lightly with her hand. “So, you’d had enough of finances and development for one night?”
Nik nodded agreeably. “I’ve worked all day. As I sat listening to more business conversation, all I could think was that I’d like to attend the gallery opening of a promising young sculptor.”
Petey’s eyes sparkled mischievously. “Well, if I hear of any, I’ll let you know.” They both laughed together.
“I just watched your video. Such an interesting way to introduce yourself to patrons.”
“Oh, that.” Petey blushed. “Jules flew out to Montana a couple of months ago. She hired a film crew to follow me for a day, do interviews and stuff. Then they just put it together.”
He regarded her curiously, eyes sparkling. “What are the chances you’d give me a guided tour of this incredible exhibit?”
She pretended to consider his request. “Well, you did see to it that I was put back together after being blasted by that tidal wave. And, you rescued me from being talked to death by a close-talking dentist. I’d say your odds are pretty good.” She laughed. “I think bringing me a glass of wine put you over the top, though.”
Nik laughed, too. “Lucky for me, then.”
“Lucky for you. Okay, let’s take a tour.”
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