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Future Perfect Mass Market Paperback – November 22, 2011

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345528948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345528940
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The award-winning author of fifty books, Suzanne Brockmann is widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year and two RITA Awards. Brockmann divides her time between Siesta Key, Florida, New York City, and Boston. Find her on Facebook by searching for Suz Brockmann’s Troubleshooters World.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

The early morning air was biting, and the ground was white with frost. But Juliana Anderson opened the kitchen door and stood at the screen, welcoming the cold. She closed her eyes for a moment, feeling the chill air sweep over her flushed face, feeling the perspiration on her forehead grow icy.

The smell of the pancakes cooking on the huge old griddle made her turn back to the work at hand.

It was breakfast time at 31 Farmer’s Hill Road, the most illustrious bed and breakfast in all of Benton, Massachusetts.

The only bed and breakfast in all of Benton, thought Juliana wryly as she plucked the sticky buns from the hot depths of the ancient oven with one mittened hand even as she flipped the pancakes with the other.

She smoothed her apron, tucking away a stray wisp of her willful red-­gold curls before hoisting up the heavy platter of warm buns and a pitcher of foaming milk. She opened the swinging door into the dining room with her back, smiling gently, always the gracious Victorian hostess, as she placed the food on the huge oak table.

Five of last night’s six guests were already at the table. With any luck, the sixth would arrive shortly, and Saturday’s breakfast would soon be history.

She smiled to herself at the expression. Life at 31 Farmer’s Hill Road tended to be mostly history all of the time.

Juliana and her aunt Alicia ran the huge old Victorian house as if it were a guest house of the early 1900s, even to the point of dressing in period outfits when guests were in residence.

This morning, Juliana wore a stiffly starched white blouse with a high, standing collar and leg-­of-­mutton sleeves that were puffy at the shoulder but formfitting from the forearm to the wrist. The blouse was carefully tucked into a pale-­gray, high-­waisted, full skirt that trailed behind her as she walked.

“Will you be joining us this morning, Miss Anderson?” one of the guests asked as Juliana picked the large glass bowl of fresh fruit salad off the table.

“Of course, Mr. Edgewood.” Juliana smiled. “After one more trip into the kitchen, I think.”

Many of her guests stayed with her regularly as they traveled the Massachusetts Turnpike from Boston to points west. The Edgewoods had relatives in Ohio and booked a room whenever they passed through. She could count on seeing them at least four times a year. It was like a visit from friends. In fact, the Edgewoods had been among her very first customers when the bed and breakfast had opened nearly five years ago.

She enjoyed their company and looked forward to seeing them.

But not all her guests were like the Edgewoods.

Juliana piled the pancakes onto a plate and put them into the oven, pouring more circles of batter onto the griddle.

Some of her guests came and went without a word, without even a greeting. She shrugged. Products of modern times. Most people had forgotten how to be friendly these days. Or even polite.

She crossed to the old-­fashioned, rounded refrigerator, pulling a huge plastic container of cut fresh fruit from its chilly interior.

Take, for example, last night’s mystery guest, one Webster Donovan. Mr. Donovan had been due to arrive yesterday evening. Juliana had waited up ’til long past midnight, but the man didn’t even bother to telephone. Bad manners. Very bad manners.

Filling the ornate glass fruit bowl, she covered the plastic container and put it back in the fridge.

Yet Mr. Donovan had booked a room for six consecutive weeks, she mused as she crossed to the stove and turned the pancakes. He was bound to turn up sooner or later. He was a writer—­that much Alicia had told her after he’d called to make his reservation. Juliana had been hoping he was a little elderly man, someone friendly, someone who could entertain her with the stories of his life during the next six weeks of breakfasts.

Please, she thought with a flash of desperation, let me like him. Don’t make me have to endure a silent, surly, unpleasant, modern guest. But if his failure to call last night was any indication of his manners, she was in for a long six weeks.

Juliana crossed back to the glass bowl, peeled several bananas, and quickly cut them into the already huge mound of fresh fruit. With a quick stir, she mixed the fruit, then went back to the stove for the pancakes.

Juliana picked up the plate heaped with steaming, aromatic pancakes and the huge bowl of fruit and backed toward the dining room door. But instead of the giving swing of the door, she slammed into something hard and unyielding.

No, someone, she realized, as a large hand, attached to a strong arm, encircled her waist to keep her from falling. Another hand snaked out and grabbed the plate of pancakes, leaving her to concentrate on the bowl of fruit, which, much to her relief, she didn’t drop.

“Sweet heavens,” she breathed, closing her eyes in relief. That bowl was an antique, a work of art, valued at over five hundred dollars. Alicia had been suggesting for months now that they stop using it as common dishware, and it would have been too awful for Juliana to have to explain that she’d dropped it.

Juliana opened her eyes slowly, suddenly aware that whoever was holding her hadn’t let go. In fact, he had put the plate of pancakes down on the sideboard and now wrapped his other arm around her.

She tried to pull free, but couldn’t. She turned her head to find the roughness of a several-­days-­old growth of beard against her cheek. She took a deep breath, prepared to order him sharply to release her. But she was stopped by the most intoxicating mixture of male scents she’d ever come across.

He smelled like the outdoors, like the pine trees on the top of Sleeping Giant Mountain, like sun block, baby shampoo, and clean sweat. There was a touch of city about him, too. She could smell a trace of gasoline, or maybe it was oil, and an echo of stale cigarette smoke, as if he’d recently spent time with a heavy smoker. He didn’t smoke himself. Juliana knew that without a doubt. His mouth was inches from hers and smelled only sweet. Like apple cider.

He must’ve stopped at Greene’s Orchards just a few moments ago, Juliana realized, feeling oddly off balance.

Large fingers gently took the bowl from her hands, and still she couldn’t find the words or the will to protest.

She turned her head to look up at him, and time seemed to stand still. It was only a few seconds, but it seemed like hours, days, centuries that she stood there, gazing into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. They were an unreal shade of pure, deep crystal-­blue, framed by sinfully long, dark lashes. Those eyes dominated his face. And his wasn’t a face easily dominated. High cheekbones gave him an exotic cast. Thick, wavy black hair tumbled over a broad forehead. He had a straight nose, a strong chin, and a mouth . . . His lips were sensuous and beautifully shaped. Fascinated, she watched as he slowly moistened his lips with his tongue.

And still he held her tightly. She’d turned so that she faced him, and she could feel his thighs pressing against her. Long thighs, lean thighs . . . This man was tall. Juliana couldn’t remember the last time she’d met a man that she couldn’t stare down nose to nose. But judging from the crick in her neck, this man had to be at least six and a half feet tall.

His grip on her tightened, and she looked up into his eyes again. The sharp, crystal blue had somehow become softer, gentler, and she knew without a doubt that unless she moved quickly, he was going to kiss her.

She pulled away, eyes wide, feeling a flush creep into her cheeks.

“God almighty,” he said, his voice a rich, husky baritone. “You’re so beautiful.”

She felt her color deepen. Unable to speak, she snatched the plate of pancakes and the bowl of fruit from the sideboard and disappeared into the dining room.

Catching a glimpse of herself in the gilt-­framed mirror that hung on one wall of the dining room, Juliana was amazed at how calm and composed she appeared. Her face was slightly flushed, but the heat from cooking often did that. Redness in her cheeks didn’t necessarily mean that a rough, handsome stranger had waltzed into her kitchen and grabbed her.

“More coffee?” she murmured, filling Mrs. Edgewood’s cup with decaf.

How dare he come into her kitchen like that.

“Do sit down, dear,” Mrs. Edgewood urged.

“One more trip to the kitchen,” Juliana said, years of practice keeping her smile serene. “And this one will be the last. I promise.”

She put the coffee pot back on the sideboard and pushed the kitchen door open. When the door swung shut behind her, the man was still standing in the same spot.

He was wearing a worn pair of jeans, stained and grimy with grease—­that was where the oil smell came from, Juliana realized. Over a dark T-­shirt, he wore an unbuttoned plaid flannel shirt. The sleeves were rolled halfway up his forearms, and veins and tendons stood out against long, sinewy muscles. His hair was too short to pull back at the nape of his neck, but too long to be called short. It curled wildly about his head as if he hadn’t bothered to comb it after waking up. And he looked as if he hadn’t shaved in at least three days.

More About the Author

Suz Brockmann is the award-winning author of over fifty books, and is widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America's #1 Favorite Book of the Year and two RITA awards.

Married to author Ed Gaffney, Suz divides her time between Sarasota, Florida; Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. They have two grown children, Melanie, who is a personal trainer and a writer, and Jason, who is an actor and tap dancer, and two miniature schnauzers, C.K. Dexter-Haven and Little Joe, both of whom (unlike Mel and Jason) still live at home.

Suz is a proud member of PFLAG -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She is also a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, and MassEquality. A firm believer in civil rights for all people, she has fought hard to bring equal marriage rights to all citizens of her home state, Massachusetts.

Suz also recently produced her first independent feature-length movie, a romantic comedy called THE PERFECT WEDDING, that she co-wrote with her husband Ed and her son Jason. The Perfect Wedding will be released on DVD from Wolfe Releasing in December 2013 (and is available here on Amazon). (Find out more at www.ThePerfectWeddingMovie.com)

Suz has also co-written a YA novel called NIGHT SKY--set in the world of her paranormal Fighting Destiny series--with her daughter, Melanie, set to be released by Sourcebooks Fire in October 2014.

Visit Suz's Website at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com
Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SuzanneBrockmannBooks
Follow her on Twitter @SuzBrockmann

Customer Reviews

This story is sweet and fun.
V. R. MacMillan
The side characters are also interesting and well-rounded.
K. M. Martin
Don't waste your time or money on this stinker.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 104 people found the following review helpful By JMG on November 27, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It is soooo frustrating that authors re-run their books without being honest about it.ICK on every level- it's so easy to tell.
WORSE is that Amazon, especially via Kindle, does not allow a sort order of ORIGINAL/first in any format publish date. NOBODY cares about the arbitrary kindle publish date (this is a completely nonsensical date).
Consumers MUST demand that ORIGINAL(first time ever) publish date be a data field for any and all online book sales and that the user can sort by this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on December 26, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great, winter day romance. It was warm and cozy. Juliana owns and operates a Victorian bed and breakfast; Webster is an author suffering from writer's block. He comes to stay and falls for her. She is hiding a deep secret. She is dyslexic and has never learned to read.

Neither of them is looking for love. Juliana has been hurt before and Web doesn't even believe in love. At first the attraction is physical but soon they come to love each other because of who they both are. But the course of their romance can't run smoothly. First there is Web's bout of the flu and then an ice storm comes just when Juliana's best friend is ready to have her third child. And along the way Juliana is worried about an upcoming visit from a reviewer from a major newspaper (which leads to still another misunderstanding) and Web has to deal with his writer's block.

Juliana is a strong, independent woman who has set the course of her life and doesn't want to change it. Web is the cynical but lonely man with a bad childhood. It was great seeing them finally decide to risk their hearts with each other. The side characters are also interesting and well-rounded. I really enjoyed this romance.

Truth in advertising is that this is a reprint of a 1993 romance. I didn't read it when it was out the first time. I didn't find it very dated. The only thing I really noticed was the use of a CB radio in an emergency situation instead of the cell phone that would be used today. Even though it is an earlier book by the author it has the hallmarks I have come to expect - well-drawn characters with strengths and flaws and a heart-warming romance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Linda Morgan on January 28, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love Suzanne Brockmann's hero books, and I have enjoyed all of her older romance stories. This is no exception. The characters are very likeable, even if they are too good looking (hey, this is fiction!). It's a feel-good romantic story, and in a perfect world I would have had Webster. I think the book's worth reading just for him. He is kind of perfect, even when he is a jerk (in Juliana's opinion, not mine). I even got teary during a power outtage with Liz, Webster, Juliana and a boom box.

I agree with other reviewers that reprint books are confusing. It seems everyone is doing it. I'm a senior with less-than-stellar memory these days, and I have always read a lot. I read the back cover (not possible online) and check the publication (and reprint) dates, and if it's new, I hope it's not sitting at home in my recently purchased book pile. I will scan a few pages of reprints to see if I can remember reading it when it was originally published, and if it isn't familiar, I buy it. Occasionally, once I get into the story, I realize I have already read it, but usually I don't remember enough so I read it again...especially if it's one I just bought new. The good thing about reprints is being able to read older books by favorite authors I hadn't been able to find or didn't know existed.

I recommend Future Perfect if you want an old-fashioned romance. It kept my interest, and I was sorry to come to the happy ending.

I wonder if there's a Sam and Liz book floating around somewhere..I'd like to read their story!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on December 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is only the third book by this author I've read, so I can't comment on whether or not it's a re-release of an older book. In any case, I enjoyed it. There were a few things about the writing that irritated me, like excessive and unnecessary dialogue tags (he said, she said) and some over-the-top emphasis on the leads' attraction to one another in the beginning, but once the story got going, it flowed well and seemed more realistic. The hero was a nice mix of masculine and tender, but I would have liked a love scene that was more languid and focused on the heroine at some point - Web came across a little like a hair-trigger, hormonal teenager. This is not an edge of your seat suspense, but it is a nice romance with likable characters. Four stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian's Mom on November 27, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book yesterday at the grocery store. Most people will stone me but I don't follow her military romantic suspense books. I do, however, read her earlier contemporaries. I haven't read this one until today. I was not disappointed.

This book is near perfect. This book was original released in 1993 and for all intensive purposes was not updated with the modern tech toys that we have now and frankly, it doesn't need it. Its a love story between two people that don't trust love but end up trusting the love that they have for each other.

Juliana and Webster are perfect for each other. Webster fell in love from the moment that he saw her in her costume that she wore for her bed & breakfast that she owned. He is suffering from severe writer's block and decides to stay at the B&B for six weeks hoping that he can write his book. What he finds is his muse in Juliana.

Juliana has come from the school of hard knocks. When her grant aunt Alicia took her in at 16, she found someone that loved her, gave her a home and a purpose in life. She vowed to never fall in love and never marry. From the moment that Webster arrived at her B&B, she never knew what hit her.

The raw emotions that are between Webster and Juliana are real and heartfelt. Some harsh words are said between them but it is not neatly wrapped up in a few paragraphs in the end. They still have hurdles and hurt feelings to sort through. The bedroom door is open considering the book was published in the early 1990's and are emotional and raw.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a contemporary romance with a few surprises about both of them that make you say WOW in the end. (spoilers if I told you and I HATE spoilers in a review)
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