VIDEO Barbara Taylor Bradford talks about the release of her 30th title – The Cavendon Women

VIDEO Barbara Taylor Bradford talks about the release of her 30th title – The Cavendon Women

 

Barbara Taylor Bradford talks about the release of her 30th title – The Cavendon Women

Watch the video to see the legendary writer talk about her much anticipated new release

Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE is quite rightly known as the First Lady of Fiction as one of the best-selling authors of all time, with fans both here in the UK and across the globe devouring every word she writes.

Those same fans are sure to be counting down the days to the new release of her 30th book, The Cavendon Women, which hits the shelves on Thursday 26th March.

So how does the glamorous author manage to enthral her fans with every word she writes and what can we expect from her new release – which is her 30th blockbuster book?

To find out, watch the interview with Barbara Taylor Bradford.

 

www.barbarataylorbradford.co.uk

BLOG TOUR: Surviving The Rachel – Aven Ellis

BLOG TOUR: Surviving The Rachel – Aven Ellis

First of all I would like to take a moment to thank Aven for providing me with a copy of Surviving The Rachel to review. This was a book I was very excited to receive.

Surviving The Rachel follows Bree, whom after a disastrous summer, finds herself back living at home, without the dream job she had hoped for and a haircut from the 1990’s. But then a chance meeting with the boy next door, Jack leads to some unexpected changes in her life; proving that all things happen for a reason. Throw in to the mix Jack’s brother, and Bree and Jack’s Ex’s and you know things aren’t going to be plain sailing.

I am a massive fan of Aven and her writing, an Aven book is always quick and easy to read and never disappoints. Plus the covers are always stunning.

As I have come to expect from Aven, Surviving The Rachel is full of ups and downs which keep the plot interesting and exciting, I am never quite sure where things are headed, but I know I am always guaranteed a giggle. But what is always the winner for me is that it is pure chick lit. And that is something I LOVE! I love the way Aven weaves her tale, always providing us with loveable characters to fall in love with and that deep hope that everything will all work out in the end.

Surviving The Rachel has all of these elements, including the quirky laugh out loud moments which I really hope are based on real life experiences. Aven is an absolute master at making even the most mundane mishap hilarious. I could not help but fall in love with Bree and Jack, I loved their chemistry and how their friendship developed, there were so many moments where I found myself going “awww”. I also loved the use of german language throughout, it just added that little extra element which just seemed to make it all even more perfect.

I adore chick lit and an Aven novel epitomises everything a good chick lit book should be. This is definitely a book to include on your wish list, it is catchy and compelling, and is a gorgeous heart warming book. My only criticism is that I need more Jack and Bree.

 

Read an excerpt of Survivng The Rachel here

Surviving The Rachel Book Cover Surviving The Rachel
Aven Ellis
Soul Mate Publishing
19/12/2014
262

Life after college graduation is not at all what twenty-one-year-old Bree Logan expected. Unable to find a professional communications job, dumped by the guy who was THE ONE, and stuck with a pricey city apartment she can’t afford, Bree ends up moving back home with her parents in the suburbs and working as a cocktail server at a posh Chicago hotel.

In a desperate attempt to get a fresh start, Bree goes to a hip salon and requests that the first available stylist chop off her long dark hair. Alarmed when the stylist suggests “The Rachel,” after the famous haircut from the show Friends, Bree is hesitant, but decides to go for it when she is assured it will be a “fresh, modern adaptation” of the infamous 90’s cut. Unfortunately for Bree, it turns out to be exactly the same cut, but with horrific heavy bangs added to it. Hideous doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Bree is convinced nothing will ever go right when she meets neighbor Jack Chelten, a twenty-five-year-old German translator. Not that Bree is looking to date anyone, but there's something quirky and intriguing about his freckle-splashed face and blue eyes. And suddenly Bree finds herself seeking out different opportunities and challenges . . . as well as the boy next door.

In her new adult life, Bree learns that sometimes you have to go through crises to get to where you need to be. And if you can survive The Rachel, you can survive anything, right?

I’ll Take New York – Miranda Dickinson

I’ll Take New York – Miranda Dickinson

First of all I would like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. It was brilliant to be a part of #TeamBea.

I’ll Take New York follows Bea, a Brooklyn bookstore owner and Jake, a psychiatrist. Both are recently singled, Bea after being let down once to many times by her boyfriend Otis, and Jake when his wife announces she wants a divorce. Their lives cross paths at a mutual friends party where as the only two singletons, decide to make a pact to remain free of relationships and enjoy life.

Well what can I say? I absolutely adored this book, it was a truly heartwarming and magical read. I was drawn in to both Bea and Jake’s world from the first word and couldn’t get enough of their lives and relationships. I was compelled to keep reading to find out what would happen to what was fast becoming two of my favourite book characters of 2014. With plenty of plot twists and turns to keep me guessing, this book had me hooked and I just could not predict where the story would take me next. Miranda wove magic with this book, I can hand on heart say there is not a single part of this book that I didn’t love.

I loved how Bea and Jake met through a truly chance encounter, fated to meet by the interlinking relationships of their nearest and dearest. It was like a modern day Romeo and Juliet, fated to meet and so obviously perfect for each other but life has other ideas. I was desperately hoping through out for that perfect ending.

This book has truly won me over as a fan of Miranda Dickinson, she writes with ease, the words flowing flawlessly from page to page. I loved how the story developed and how I was able to see both Jake and Bea’s take on events and their budding friendship. This book flowed beautifully between the characters and events of their lives, keeping me hooked and often sat up late reading as I was desperate for more of my favourite characters. This of course has one set back, I finished this book far too soon. I really hope there is more to come soon from Bea and James.

If like me you love a good will they/won’t they book, this is most definitely one to include on your TBR pile this year. It sparkles with magic just like the cover 🙂

I'll Take New York Book Cover I'll Take New York
Miranda Dickinson
Avon
04/12/2014
416

The author of the Sunday Times bestselling Take a Look at Me Now, returns to New York with her most heart-warming, romantic story yet.

Have you ever given up on love?

When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.

Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there'll just be one love in his life: New York.

At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.

But the city has other plans . . .

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas: An I Heart Short Story – Lindsey Kelk

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas: An I Heart Short Story – Lindsey Kelk

When I saw this pop up on Amazon over Christmas, I knew I just had to read this novella. I have loved the I Heart Series and it was brilliant to be able to catch up with some of the much loved characters from the series. I can only apologise for the belated review.

In Jenny Lopez saves Christmas, Jenny tackles Christmas with her usual style and attention to detail. Determined to make this the best Christmas ever for her friends, they head up to snowy Vermont with the worlds largest Christmas tree, with Jenny hoping to fix her friendship with Angela. But as to be expected, things never go to plan and this Christmas looks as though it is heading for disaster.

This was a lovely festive read which was easily consumed in a single sitting. With the usual disasters I’ve come to expect from any tale involving Jenny, this novella had me doubled over laughing at times but also on the edge of tears. This had everything you could hope for in a festive tale, snow, Christmas trees, friendship and love. Not to mention our old favourites; Jenny, Angela and a brief glimpse of the dashing Alex, to name a few. Oh and a few gorgeous new faces 😉

I do not want to say too much as I think this is a novella to be enjoyed, don’t worry that Christmas is over, download it now and get caught up once again with some old favourites and see where their lives are heading now. You won’t be disappointed, I just hope we aren’t kept waiting too long to meet up with them again.

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas: An I Heart Short Story
I Heart
Lindsey Kelk
Harper
20/11/2014
ebook
90

I Heart short story: a new story starring Jenny Lopez. From the bestselling author of What a Girl Wants and I Heart Christmas.

Sleighbells ring, are you listening…

Who wouldn’t want to escape to a cabin in snowy Vermont for Christmas? Jenny Lopez’s year has gone wrong, and Vermont with champagne and a sparkly Christmas tree is going to mend everything, along with her best friend Angela.

She hits a few obstacles along the way, including a major work crisis and some unexpected Christmas companions. But this is Jenny Lopez. She’s determined to have the best Christmas known to man, even if it means dragging a turkey three miles in the snow. Single-handedly and in a Santa outfit Jenny Lopez is going to save Christmas - and have the best holiday season ever.

Favourite Books of 2014 & Our Reading List for 2015

Favourite Books of 2014 & Our Reading List for 2015

As we come to the end of our first year of Compelling Reads and the end of 2014 we wanted to mention again some of our favourite books from over the last 12 months. Believe us when we say this was no easy task. But here they are:

 

The house that we Grew up in – Lisa Jewell

http://compellingreads.co.uk/the-house-we-grew-up-in-lisa-jewell/

 

The House We Grew Up In – Lisa Jewell

 

Christmas with Billy & Me – Giovanna Fletcher

http://compellingreads.co.uk/?p=2108

Christmas with Billy & Me Book Cover

 

Before we Met – Lucie Whitehouse

http://compellingreads.co.uk/before-we-met-lucie-whitehouse/

Before We Met – Lucie Whitehouse

 

Pieces of You – Ella Harper

http://compellingreads.co.uk/pieces-of-you-ella-harper/

Pieces of You – Ella Harper

 

Hide and Seek – Amy Bird

http://compellingreads.co.uk/hide-seek-amy-bird/

Hide & Seek – Amy Bird

 

I’ll Take New York – Miranda Dickinson

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The Dead Wife’s Handbook – Hannah Beckerman

 http://compellingreads.co.uk/?p=664

deadwifeshandbook

 

 

The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy book 3) – Deborah Harkness

http://compellingreads.co.uk/?p=1424

BookOfLife_final

 

The Story of Us – Dani Atkins

http://compellingreads.co.uk/?p=1836

dani atkins

 

One Hundred Proposals – Holly Martin

http://compellingreads.co.uk/?p=1484

9781472097927_Cover

 

The Judas Scar – Amanda Jennings

http://compellingreads.co.uk/?p=1448

81wxAFbfEEL._SL1500_

 

 

 

 

Now on to 2015!  Which we hope to be filled with many more amazing books and lovely new authors to discover.  On our lists to read are:

 

One With you (Crossfire 5) – Sylvia Day – Not sure if this will be out in 2015 but here’s hoping that it is!

 

 A Beautiful Redemption – Jamie McGuire 27/01/2015

51nv93-fG2L__AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

The Liars Chair – Rebecca Whitney 15/01/2015

The Liar's Chair

Three Amazing Things About You – Jill Mansell 15/01/2015

51mrfQjDVeL__AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

 

A Second Life – S J Watson 12/02/2015

 2nd

The Two of Us – Andy Jones 12/02/2015

 41TSaClaxUL__AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-47,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_

Always The Bridesmaid – Lindsey Kelk 07/05/2015

 

The Sun in Her Eyes – Paige Toon 21/05/2015

 

Paris for One – Jojo Moyes (Quickreads) 05/02/2015

 

If we have missed a book you think should be included on our 2015 wish list, please comment and let us know 🙂

Chapter One exclusive: Surviving The Rachel – Aven Ellis

Chapter One exclusive: Surviving The Rachel – Aven Ellis

Drastic times call for drastic measures.
I wrinkle my nose as I stare at my reflection in my mirror. Okay, so that might be a wee bit dramatic on my part, but I do feel the need for a change.
Like a haircut.
A serious haircut.
I remove the rubber band holding my long, jet-black locks in place and shake out my hair, which I haven’t changed since college.
Nothing screams “I’m a woman ready for change” like an entirely new hairstyle.
And if anyone needs a change, it’s me, Bree Logan.
I study myself in the mirror. My green eyes stare back at me, and I think of how my summer can be recapped into three major events. First, I graduated with honors from the University of Arizona, but I can’t find an entry-level job in advertising. Next, my boyfriend Alex—who I thought was The One—dumped me after graduation and bailed on our apartment in Chicago. And due to lack of gainful employment and my stupid ex-boyfriend not giving me any money toward breaking the lease, I had to move back home with my mom and dad.
I bite my lip for a moment. Okay, yes, that’s my crappy summer. So if anyone needs a haircut to signal change, it’s me.
I’m ready to start over.
I’ll keep looking for a break in advertising while working as a cocktail server at the Bradley Scott Hotel downtown. I’ll pay off the money I borrowed from my best friend, Avery Andrews, to break the lease of the apartment in Lincoln Park. Then I’ll save up so I can move back to the city and have that post-graduate life I dreamed of and planned for.
Suddenly there’s a rap on my doorframe. I turn and see my mom standing there with a bottle of water.
“I thought you might need another one after unpacking these boxes,” Mom says, stepping around the boxes that I have piled in my room.
I turn and smile gratefully at her. “Thank you.”
Diva, my mom’s toy Pomeranian, is right on her heels and begins barking and growling at me.
“Now, Diva, Bree isn’t a guest, she’s home now,” Mom says soothingly, picking her dog up and cradling her to her chest. “You need to get used to that, Precious.”
I almost laugh. Leave it to the dog to remind me of my inability to pay rent and land a professional job.
“I’m thinking of cutting my hair,” I announce, unscrewing the cap on the bottle of water and taking a sip. “Maybe go into the city this afternoon and get it done by some cool professional.”
“Oh, Bree, are you sure, sweetheart? Maybe you should start with more layers or something? I don’t want you to do anything you’ll regret.”
“No, I’m ready for change in my life,” I say honestly. “I feel like this is symbolic of that change, you know?”
Mom sits down on my bed, next to a box of pictures. She puts Diva down and begins to sift through them.
“I can understand that,” Mom says. “Oh, I love this picture of you and your friends.”
I smile as Mom shows me a picture taken in July at Wrigley Field. It’s me and Avery, my best friend since middle school, our mutual friend, Emma Davenport, Avery’s boyfriend, Deacon Ryan, and his brother, Zach.
“That was a fun afternoon,” I say, smiling at the memory.
Mom sifts through a few more and then glances up at me. “I notice there are no pictures of Alex in here.”
I sit down on the other side of the box and frown. “I got rid of all of them,” I admit. “Looking at them was like being reminded how stupid I was to even think he could have been The One.”
“Sweetie, you were a young girl in love for the first time,” Mom says soothingly. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
I flop backward on my bed and groan. “Oh, but Mom, I was so blind. There were so many red flags. Like how he never wanted to do anything I wanted to do, we always did what Alex wanted to do. He was never interested in what I had to say. We always had to party when I wanted to go get a Starbucks some nights. And I was always driving him around because he got so drunk all the time. What did I see in him? How could I ignore all that?”
Mom drops the pictures back into the box. “You were in love with him. And sometimes that can make you blind, Bree. But you’ve learned from this, and that’s a good thing.”
I sit back up. “Oh, yes, I’ve learned all right. My next boyfriend isn’t going to be a selfish partying jerk.”
“So are you ready to date again?” Mom asks in a hopeful tone.
I see she’s grinning at the prospect, no doubt eager to start finding potential men for me.
“No. The last thing I need is to be dealing with dating when I’m trying to get my career off the ground.”
“Are you sure? Have you seen the Cheltens’ grandsons, Jack and Eric, yet? I keep telling you to go over next door and introduce yourself. They are such nice boys and they are your age, Jack is the older one, he’s twenty-five, and Eric is—”
“Oh no. No, no, no. I know what you’re thinking. No.”
“What am I thinking?”
“That I’ll end up dating one of them,” I say, giving my mom the suspicious eye.
“Well, Eric is very charming and available,” Mom declares.
I furrow my brow. “How do you know?”
“I asked.”
“Gah, Mom,” I wail, putting my hands over my face. “Please tell me you didn’t.”
“Of course I did,” she explains. “It’s called making conversation.”
No, it’s called scouting the field for your daughter.
“Well, I’m not interested. I’m not ready.”
“That’s too bad, because that Eric is so cute. Jack is, too, but Eric is just charming,” she says as she stands up. “Well, I’m going out to the garden. Lots of work to do. Oh, by the way, your father and I have plans for a movie and dinner tonight. If you are home by five, you can join us.”
Good lord. I thought being a third wheel with Avery and Deke was bad enough, but resorting to being a third wheel on my parents’ date?
That is a whole new level of hideousness I do not want to experience.
“Um, thanks, but I think I’ll just stay in tonight,” I say honestly. Which appeals to me. I haven’t had a Saturday night off in forever, and I want to order a pizza and have a movie marathon.
“All right,” Mom says. “Come on, Diva, let’s go outside.”
Diva barks happily and follows my mom out the door. I pick up my phone and do a search for some modern, hip, downtown Chicago salon. City chic, that’s what I want. I scroll through suggestions from Google until I see this:
Fringe Chic Spa & Salon—Modern Hair for Chicago’s Modern Woman
Perfect.
I call the salon, hoping against hope there might be a cancellation or opening today.
“Fringe Chic Spa & Salon, how can I help you?” says an utterly bored-sounding woman.
“Erm, yes, I’m calling to see if it is possible to get a haircut today?” I ask hopefully.
“Frederic is booked solid for months. So are Javier and Orlando,” she says as I hear keystrokes on her keyboard. “But you can have an appointment with Marcolo if you can get here in one hour.”
One hour? It takes about 45 minutes to drive there if traffic is awesome.
“Okay,” I say as if suddenly this haircut is the most important thing ever. “Um, how much is a haircut?” I ask as I realize I neglected to look at the prices on the website.
“$70.”
Wow? That’s not bad at all for a downtown salon.
“For the cut,” the receptionist says haughtily, interrupting my thoughts. “If you want it dried and styled, as I am sure you do, that will be an additional $120.”
Shit.
“Of course,” I say, mentally calculating cut + style + tip + parking downtown and the slim availability left on my MasterCard . . . and I’ll just make it.
By five dollars.
The receptionist takes my name, says they’ll see me at two o’clock, and hangs up. I frantically toss on a coral-colored maxi dress. I slide into my flip-flops and hesitate as I glance down at my toes. Crap, my pedicure looks like hell. I ditch those shoes and put on some espadrilles instead. Better.
I grab my purse and dash down the stairs. I slide the patio door open and pop my head out. As soon as I do, Diva begins barking and growling at me again.
“Mom,” I say over the barking, “I’m going into the city to get my hair cut.”
My mom glances up from the rose bush she’s pruning. “Okay, good luck.”
“All the way to the city for a haircut?” my dad asks. “That sounds extreme.”
“I want it to be chic,” I explain.
“They can’t cut chic hair in the suburbs?”
“Dad, I want it done in the city. So I’m going now,” I yell over Diva’s yip-yap-yip-yapping. “See you later.” And with those words, I bolt out the door.
Luckily traffic into the city isn’t bad, and I pull up to the valet stand with a few minutes to spare. After I hand over my keys, I step inside the posh salon. It’s all black and white and silver, with funky light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling. I see Chicago’s elite drinking champagne and being fussed over by stylists all dressed in black. The music is edgy sounding. Everything, in one word, is incredibly hip.
Hip. That is who the new Bree is going to be. Edgy and hip and ready to reclaim her life.
I approach the receptionist, who appears just as bored in person as she sounded on the phone. She is texting on her iPhone and only looks up after I clear my throat.
“Hello, I’m Bree. I have an appointment with Marcolo,” I say.
The girl nods. She punches a button on her headset and speaks into her mic. “Marcolo, your appointment is here.” She disconnects and shifts her attention back to her iPhone, not even glancing at me. “He will be right up.”
Alrighty then.
I take a seat in a sleek black and chrome chair and restlessly tap my foot. I’m excited about this. I haven’t deviated from my style much since college, and this will give me just the boost of confidence I need to go out and attack the advertising job front again.
I see a young man with a bright pink Mohawk approaching me. He’s very tall—about 6’4—and rail thin. He is wearing all black, of course, and has piercings in his nose. And tattoo sleeves.
Perfect, I think happily. He’s cool and young and will totally be able to give me an awesome new hairstyle.
“Bree?” he asks in a high-pitch feminine-sounding voice.
I stand up and smile. “I’m Bree.”
“Hello, I’m Marcolo,” he says, extending his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Bree. Come on back.”
I nod and follow Marcolo to his station. I slide into the chair, and he lifts up my hair. “What can I do for you today?”
“I need a change,” I say. In more ways than one. “I’m open to anything.”
“Ooooh, I love that,” Marcolo says excitedly. “Tell me about yourself. Your interests, what you do, so I can create a vision for you.”
Wow, Marcolo is going to create a vision? I totally lucked out getting in to see him today!
“Well, I recently graduated from the University of Arizona,” I start out, meeting Marcolo’s eyes in the mirror. “I want to work in advertising, as an account representative.”
“Mmmmmmm, what about your interests?” Marcolo says, playing with my hair.
“I like being outside,” I say. “I like taking nature walks. I love good conversations, whether over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. I love shopping. And I’m obsessed with the show Friends. I know every episode by heart.”
Marcolo stops playing with my hair. “Interesting. Who is your favorite Friends character?”
“Oh, easy. Rachel. I love Rachel Green.”
Marcolo spins the chair around, so I’m facing him. “I’m inspired. I have a brilliant idea.”
Yes! I’m going to look fabulous when he’s finished; I can just tell.
“Really?” I ask, smiling at him.
“Let’s give you a modified Rachel cut.”
I pause. “Do you mean The Rachel?” I say, referring to the haircut that exploded during the 90’s when Friends came on the scene.
“Yes. But with an edge.”
I bite my lip. “But . . . that cut was popular a long time ago. I’m not sure about all those layers.”
“This is not going to be that cut,” Marcolo explains excitedly. “Fewer layers, some bangs. It will be fresh and sexy.”
“I don’t know.”
“Bree, you said you wanted a change. I’m offering you something fresh and familiar at the same time. What do you think?
​Marcolo works at one of the best salons in Chicago. He wouldn’t lead me wrong, right?
I take a deep breath and nod excitedly. “Let’s do it. Give me the modern Rachel.”
And with those words, I put my faith in Marcolo’s vision—and his scissors.
***
I sit in my car and stare at my reflection in the mirror on the driver’s side visor.
My hair does not look like a fresh, modern, version of The Rachel.
It looks exactly like The Rachel.
Which might be awesome if it were 1994.
But it’s not.
Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! Oh, but I don’t just have The Rachel. I have one with heavy bangs cut in, Marcolo’s “modern” twist.
My beautiful black hair is now in that infamous, choppy cut. Looking incredibly old and dated. And the bangs make it extra hideous.
Why, why, why, did I agree to this? Why?
I slam my visor up. I hear a driver leaning on the horn behind me, so I need to focus and move.
Anger fills me as I think about my hideous new hair. New, hip, edgy woman, my ass! If I were to slap a denim vest on over a floral dress, I’d be a perfect specimen from the Central Perk set on Friends in the 90’s.
I groan aloud. Of course, I want to work in “Image is everything” advertising. Who the hell is going to hire me with this outdated haircut?
Hmmm, let’s see . . . Nobody!
I fume as I navigate my way toward the expressway. And not that I’m remotely ready to think about dating, but no guy is going to ask me out with this shitty hair either.
A bit of my anger dissipates with that thought. I guess that’s a bonus. Maybe by the time all these freaking layers have grown out, I’ll be ready to go on a date.
There is more traffic on the way back, but I don’t care. I have no plans for tonight, other than to sit around with hair clips and try to figure out if there is any way to fix Marcolo’s disaster of a haircut. Oh, yes. And maybe I’ll get a bottle of wine and down a few glasses. Along with a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies that my mother keeps stashed in the freezer. Crappy haircuts call for a crappy dinner.
I park in front of the garage, then I make my way up the front steps and thrust the key into the lock. Diva is already growling and yipping at the door. Ah, yes, the perfect ender to the evening. Diva will probably bark more now because I look scary with this stupid outdated hair, too.
I open the door, and before I know it, Diva shoots in between my legs and down the steps, and across the lawn to the Cheltens’ house.
“Diva!” I scream, taking off after her. “Diva, come back here!”
I watch in horror as she runs up to the neighbor’s porch. A young man is coming outside and stops when Diva moves straight toward him.
“Stop her,” I plead.
The guy goes to shut his door, but Diva shoots right past him—and into his house.
“Hey, hey, come back here,” he says, heading back inside after Diva.
I sprint up the steps and bound into his house after him, only to find Diva running around in circles around his living room.
“What is wrong with her?” he asks.
“She’s insane,” I cry. “Diva, stop!”
Diva jumps on a chintz couch to avoid me. I dive toward her, but she leaps down onto the floor and under a dark, cherry-wood table. Now the guy is trying to catch her, but he misses as she dodges around a white Queen Anne style chair to avoid his grasp. Finally, she stops. And pees all over his hardwood floor, narrowly avoiding the floral rug that is the centerpiece of the living room.
“Oh no,” I gasp, my hand flying over my mouth. “I’m so sorry!”
I turn to the guy, who is gazing back at me. For a brief second, I’m distracted from the disaster at hand. His dark-blue eyes flicker at me, and I stare back into his face, one filled with freckles. It’s an interesting combination—the reddish-brown hair, tousled with gel, the dark-blue eyes, and the freckled face . . .
Then I realize I need to clean up after Diva.
“Please, let me get some paper towels so I can blot it up,” I say in an embarrassed rush. “Then I’ll take Diva home, and I’ll come back to clean the floor for you.”
He’s silent for a moment. I’m waiting for him to explode, but then he simply clears his throat.
“So is this,” he says, sweeping his arm out toward Diva and her puddle, “how you planned to introduce yourself to me, Breanna Logan?”

Surviving The Rachel Book Cover Surviving The Rachel
Aven Ellis
Soul Mate Publishing
20/12/2014

Life after college graduation is not at all what twenty-one-year-old Bree Logan expected. Unable to find a professional communications job, dumped by the guy who was THE ONE, and stuck with a pricey city apartment she can’t afford, Bree ends up moving back home with her parents in the suburbs and working as a cocktail waitress at a posh Chicago hotel.

In a desperate attempt to get a fresh start, Bree goes to a hip salon and requests that the first available stylist chop off her long dark hair. Alarmed when the stylist suggests “The Rachel,” after the famous haircut from the show Friends, Bree is hesitant, but decides to go for it when she is assured it will be a “fresh, modern adaptation” of the infamous 90’s cut. Unfortunately for Bree, it turns out to be exactly the same cut, but with horrific heavy bangs added to it. Hideous doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Bree is convinced nothing will ever go right when she meets neighbor Jack Chelten, a twenty-five-year-old German translator. Not that Bree is looking to date anyone, but there's something quirky and intriguing about his freckle-splashed face and blue eyes. And suddenly Bree finds herself seeking out different opportunities and challenges . . . as well as the boy next door.

In her new adult life, Bree learns that sometimes you have to go through crises to get to where you need to be. And if you can survive The Rachel, you can survive anything, right?

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