While shopping in the grocery store, have you ever tried to avoid an unwanted conversation with someone you know by diving behind a display of potato chips? You attempt to shrink down to half your size while hoping your acquaintance keeps walking and doesn’t notice the quivering display of salty goodness concealing your location. You hold your breath. Have they had time to round the end of the isle and disappear into the frozen food department? The seconds tick past as your hands begin to sweat beneath your white-knuckled grasp on the shopping cart. You finally stand and peer around the tower of chips only to see your acquaintance stopped to investigate a table of seasonal cookies from the bakery. They turn, somehow aware of your gaze on their back. Their eyes widen with surprise. There’s nowhere to run. It’s too late to slip away unnoticed. Then comes the drawn out, “Hi—iii. What are you doing here?” There’s no escape, you’re in an uncomfortable conversation.
At one point or another, most people have been there. Maybe not there, hiding behind a stack of potato chips, but there in life in some fashion. From the long-winded lady who will talk for an hour or more on an afternoon when you’re in a hurry, to the former not-so-nice boss at a nearby table in the restaurant, there are people in life we’d prefer to avoid. Perhaps your reason doesn’t even have to do with the other person so much as the fact that you haven’t washed your hair in 4 days, are wearing baggy sweatpants, a shirt you spilled coffee on earlier that morning, and you just slipped down to the store to grab some ice cream. I’m pretty sure most of us have had that moment as well—bad days happen. We can’t look glamorous all the time. *grins*
Unforeseen and unwanted public meetings are so awkward. But, they are also so delightfully filled with humor, aren’t they? I must admit, I love these horrific moments. Maybe not in real life, but I’m a sucker for them in fiction. In my debut novel, Must Love Dukes, Lily finds herself in this same situation. As she looks across the first London ballroom she’s ever entered, she sees the man with whom she shared an unforgettable evening last year, just before she stole from him and slipped away into the night. He’s walking toward her, and, of course, there are no displays of potato chips to hide behind. What’s a girl to do, but dance with him, be blackmailed by him, and turn the ton upside down as she’s forced to assist the Mad Duke with his schemes? Did I mention he’s known as the Mad Duke? She should have found that display of chips.
I hope you enjoy MUST LOVE DUKES, the first in the Tricks of the Ton series. (The second book, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUZANNA, comes out next week!) Thank you for hosting me on Fresh Fiction today! Have you ever had an awkward encounter in the store?
MUST LOVE DUKES BY ELIZABETH MICHELS – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2014
The Mad Duke leaned in closer, his lips gently brushing her ear, and whispered, “I dare you.”
She Can’t Resist the Dare…
Lillian Phillips could not imagine how her quiet, simple life had come to this. Blackmailed by the Mad Duke of Thornwood into accepting one wild dare after another…all because of a pocket watch. Desperate to recover her beloved father’s pawned timepiece, Lily did something reckless and dangerous and delicious—something that led to a night she’d never forget.
He has a Reputation for Scandal…
When Devon Grey, Duke of Thornwood, runs into a mesmerizing, intoxicating, thieving woman who literally stole from his bedchamber—with his new pocket watch—Devon plots his revenge. If the daring wench likes to play games, he’s happy to oblige. After all, what’s the ruse of being the Mad Duke if you can’t have some fun? But the last laugh might just be on him…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elizabeth Michels grew up on a Christmas tree farm in rural South Carolina. After tip-toeing her way through school with her focus on ballet steps and her nose in a book, she met a boy and followed him a thousand miles away from home to Kansas City, Missouri, before settling down in North Carolina. She attended Park University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Interior Design. Elizabeth is a lover of happily-ever-afters; she invites you to read her stories, get lost, and enjoy. For more information, please visit http://www.elizabethmichels.com/ and http://www.badgirlzwrite.com/.
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