Love Finds A Way (boxed set) by Margaret Ethridge, Holly Gilliatt, Karen Booth, Karen Stivali
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Amazon ♥ Book Depository
Four unconventional love stories, from popular and bestselling romance authors, each with sequels from Turquoise Morning Press.
BRING ME BACK by Karen Booth
Claire Abby was a starry-eyed teenager when she fantasized that British rock star Christopher Penman was her boyfriend. More than twenty years later, she's about to fall in love with him for real.
CONTENTMENT by Margaret Ethridge
Fifteen years after saying, “I do”, Tracy Sullivan feels lost in a tangle of marriage, family, home, and career. Poised on the verge of losing it all, she embarks on a quest to redefine her life. With the help of a few good friends and the enduring love of her husband, she discovers that while happiness is fleeting, contentment can last a lifetime.
MEANT TO BE by Karen Stivali
Sometimes you're already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one. Daniel and Marienne's friendship has helped them weather every hardship---now they're both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.
′TIL ST. PATRICK’S DAY by Holly Gilliatt
Over the course of one winter, three best friends encounter what happens when love doesn’t go according to plan.
“So, you think that will look nice?” Jayne asked her friends as they stopped on the sidewalk to look at the picture on her phone.
“You took a picture of your outfit to show us?” Karen asked, chuckling.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Claudia defended. “And I think the outfit is great. Maybe rethink the shoes, though.”
“You know, I was wondering about that myself,” Jayne said, deep in thought. “I’ve got a pair of high heeled black peep-toe ankle boots.”
“Yes—perfect.” Claudia smiled at Jayne in her warm, calming way. Her smile was by far her best feature, although for someone as beautiful as Claudia, it was hard to pick what’s best. Jayne always thought she looked classy and polished…like a modern-day, Midwestern Jackie O.
“Okay, good. Now I can relax.”
They continued down the cobblestone streets of historic old town in St. Charles, Missouri. It was brisk outside but mild for early November. Temperatures in the upper fifties were welcome as they sauntered down Main Street, window shopping and ducking into shops when something caught their eye.
The street was lined with buildings from the 1800s that were now converted into craft shops, bookstores, restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors, cafés, clothing stores, and boutiques. Walking down Main Street, they caught glimpses in between buildings of the Missouri River a couple of blocks east. Many stores were already decked out for Christmastime, making the district even more festive and fun than normal. The sidewalks teemed with shoppers and sightseers, many with their dogs tagging along on the sunny day.
“I am so full,” Karen groaned. “I can’t believe I ate that much at lunch. I do this every time we get together, and then have to work out twice as hard all week to get rid of it.”
“Yeah, because you’re grotesquely overweight,” Jayne said with a chuckle, looking at Karen’s super-slim frame. Just like everything else about Karen, her weight was definitely under control. Manicured nails—check. Pixie cut hair perfectly in place—check. Snarky attitude delightfully intact—check.
“If I start doing lunch with you girls more often, I’ll be headed in that direction.” They all laughed.
“Oh, let’s head in here,” Claudia said, opening the door of a shop. “This place is so fun.” They walked inside, and the usual Main Street smell of antiques and old wood in the historic buildings was intermingled with this shop’s burning incense. Crystals hung from the ceiling, meditation stones were gathered in bowls and New Age books and CDs lined the shelves.
“So I’ve jabbered enough about my date with the über-hunky Gray Brandt,” Jayne said. “What’s new with you guys?”
“Well,” Claudia said, “Sam is still working his butt off, trying to make partner. But if he gets this, it will bring so much security. The kids will easily have college paid for, and we can put more money into fixing up the house.” Jayne loved their century-old house that they had meticulously rehabbed in a revitalized, energetic area in St. Louis city.
Karen put her hand on Claudia’s shoulder. “I don’t want to burst your bubble here, but you don’t have any kids.”
Claudia laughed. “True, but we will, soon. Once he gets this partner thing nailed down, we’ll start trying. Not that we’re not already practicing.” She shared a devilish grin with her friends.
Jayne giggled. “Well of course we know Sam’s a stud. You two can never keep your hands off each other. Not that I blame you—your hubby’s so damn cute.”
“He is, isn’t he?” Claudia smiled. “And I picked out the most beautiful furniture for the dining room…I think he might buy it for Christmas.”
“Wow, a whole set of furniture for Christmas?” Karen said. “The Knight family is high-rollin’.”
“Well, we need a dining room set anyway, but it’s a little out of our price range. But as a gift…hopefully he’ll splurge for the extra. Oh, isn’t this pretty?” She held up a beautifully woven scarf. “This could be used as a sarong, or scarf, or a bunch of different ways.”
“Ooh, those are nice,” Jayne said, running her fingers across the silky fabric. “So what’s new with you, Ms. Karen?”
“Oh, same old, same old. Beating my head against the wall at work, trying to somehow build my client list in this shitty economy.”
“Oh…he’s Rick.” Karen browsed through a selection of chunky metal rings.
“What does that mean?” Jayne asked, eyeing her friend.
“You know…he’s nice and not bad on the eyes, but….”
“But what?” Jayne loved Rick. He was the anti-Karen. He was sweet and tender and light-hearted. He evened her out, balanced her in a way no other man had.
“He’s just rather dull, I think. No spark there, not terribly ambitious—”
“So what? He has a good job. And I think there’s plenty of spark there.”
“He’s settled for doing graphic art work for a little small brewery. He’s happy with that. Doesn’t want to move onward and upward.” She sighed. “He’s so talented, but content with his mediocre job.”
“Well, if it pays the bills and he likes it, what more is there? A lot of people hate their jobs.”
“Jayne’s right,” Claudia popped in. “That’s probably why he’s such a happy, easy guy. He’s not stressed about his job—he does what he enjoys.”
“Everything’s just so comfortable with him, though, nothing exciting there,” Karen said, trying on a ring.
“You do this every time.” Jayne sighed.
“Just when it’s time to consider actually getting vulnerable and sharing your life with someone, you call it quits.”
“I don’t do that.” Karen’s brows furrowed. “Do I?”
“Yes, you do,” Claudia confirmed. “And I think Rick is a really great guy and he really loves you. I don’t think you should let him go. I think you’ll regret it forever.”
“Me too,” Jayne said, nodding her head with enthusiasm.
“Hmmm… Well if you two think he’s so great, do you want him?” Karen said, rolling her eyes as she walked away.
“What are you so afraid of?” Claudia asked. “Actually needing someone? Getting too out of control with your emotions?”
“Oh Jesus, don’t give me any of your psych bullshit. You watched Oprah for too many years.”
“But Oprah’s always right.” Jayne chuckled. “Well, except for with James Frey. But besides that, she’s a pretty reliable source of information.”
“Well, you two can just chill out and calm down because I’m certainly not going to get rid of him at the moment. We’re safe, at least ‘til St. Patrick’s Day.”
“What are you talking about?” Claudia asked.
“Do you mean that John Mayer song, St. Patrick’s Day?” Jayne asked, deciding on a blue-green scarf.
“Yeah, you know, it talks about how if you’re in a relationship when the weather starts turning cold, you’re safe until St. Patrick’s Day. Nobody wants to be alone over the holidays, then the New Year seems so optimistic, even I’m not jaded enough to dump someone then. The next thing you know, it’s Valentine’s Day, and I don’t need to tell either of you how fucked up that can be when you’re alone.” They all nodded. “But who cares if you’re alone on St. Patty’s Day? It’s a holiday that practically celebrates public drunkenness. Perfect for a raw break up.”
Claudia chuckled. “I never heard that. It’s a pretty interesting concept, though. And actually pretty dead-on.” “Yep, so relax and know that you’ll be seeing Mister Happy Rick throughout the holiday season.”
Hmmm, Jane thought. Then maybe I’ll get at least a few months with Gray…and that should be enough time to convince him that I’m the absolute perfect woman for him. Yep, I can make this happen.
“Hey, we need to plan a date for our annual holiday night get together with our men,” Claudia said. Claudia and Sam hosted the couples every holiday season, and Jayne always looked forward to the festive gathering.
“Maybe I’ll get to bring Gray,” Jayne said, giddy with joy.
“Yes, maybe,” Karen said, putting her arm around her friend. “But let’s not look too far ahead. Tonight is only your second date.”
“True. But a girl can dream, can’t she?”
“I would expect nothing less from you.”
When she’s not busy daydreaming of someday spending her life writing from a cozy house in the woods, Holly Gilliatt has a hectic life in the suburbs as a wife and mom to three glorious—and crazy—kids.
Working full-time selling packaging supplies and equipment in St. Louis, Missouri pays the bills (most months). A hopeless romantic and music addict, she finds time to pursue her passion for writing by avoiding housework.
Her biggest ambition is to someday be caught up with the laundry.