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Clutch: A Friends to Lovers Romantic Comedy Kindle Edition
She’s looking for the perfect match. He shrugs off commitment. Will these best friends figure out they’ve got love in the bag?
Recently named a “40 under 40” by a prominent fashion magazine, Southern charmer and Harvard-educated Caroline Johnson spends her days building a successful handbag business and nights lamenting her nonexistent love life. Her intelligence and professional acumen are often disregarded because of her good looks, thick accent, and overly accommodating style. When Caroline’s Aunt Mimi points out that the “under 40” part won’t last forever, Caroline recognizes it’s time to start designing her personal life.
Mike (aka Michael Frederick Barnsworth III) was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and can trace his lineage to the founders of America’s first bank. Much to his family’s dismay, he refuses a corner office at the Barnsworth Brokerage Firm, instead using his Harvard education to open a bar. Irreverent and flirtatious, Mike seems content to engage in one-night stands while listening to Caroline’s dating woes.
Much like the right accessory, Caroline knows her partner needs to be perfectly matched, so she endures a series of disastrous relationships she compares to styles of handbags: the “Hobo” or starving artist; the “Diaper Bag” or single dad; the “Briefcase” or intense businessman, etc. while searching for the “Clutch.” And Mike starts to wonder if having a different woman hanging off his arm every weekend is really a fulfilling lifestyle.
Will Caroline heed her Aunt Mimi’s advice to “find something you love and hold onto it” and will Mike recognize he’s worthy of being clutched?
Low on angst and high on humor, Clutch will have readers rooting for Caroline to find someone to hold onto. If you love friends-to-lovers romances, laugh-inducing dating disasters, sizzling chemistry, and happily ever afters, scroll up now to buy or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.
"If you liked WhenHarry Met Sally, you'll love this book." Storeybook Reviews
"5 STARS Clutch is one ofthe most amusing and clever stories I have read in ages. I adored everythingabout this book - the plot, characters, humor, and witty banter. The writingstyle was crisp, engaging, highly enjoyable, consistently entertaining, and lushlydescriptive. I think I have a girl crush." Books and Bindings
"Clutch is the perfectbook to sit back, relax and simply have a good time. I wasn't ready for thebook to end. I wanted more! It makes you laugh, it makes you smile and you mayeven shed a few tears. Either way, you'll have a good time with this book and abrand new chick lit heroine in Caroline. This is my first Lisa Becker book andit definitely won't be my last." Socrates Book Review
"It was total fun reading about her dating blunders :)" Know Your Books
"This book was arefreshing new twist on a romance novel. The scenarios and differentscenes were hilarious...the one-liners and comebacks that the characters use inthe book will have you doubled over in laughter." Can't Quit Books
"This was a fun read... This was chick-lit, women's fiction, and a bit ofromance on the side." Book Junkie Reads
"This book was plain fun!I found myself giggling the whole way through. Their banter made for anentertaining audiobook and their chemistry had me rooting for their HEA." RedHatter Book Blog
"Clutch is an amusingjourney through, friendship, life, dating and handbags." Bookworms Corner
From the Inside Flap
·The Subway Girl- amazon.com/gp/product/B085G5WZTB
·Starfish: A Rock StarRomance - amazon.com/gp/product/B07NY9TTFG
·Dear Future Self(Starfish Book #2) - amazon.com/gp/product/B0813ZDRY1
·Click: An Online LoveStory - amazon.com/gp/product/B004UI6IJ0
·Double Click- amazon.com/gp/product/B00C1RIZHU
·Right Click- amazon.com/gp/product/B00KE6H90O
·The Click Trilogy(bundle) - amazon.com/gp/product/B01A6B5MHS
And to get up to date information on future releases, followme here on Amazon. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B015P09CBW
- Publication date : October 15, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 3330 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 268 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #772,504 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2019
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Yes, this is a playful, light humoured story of a young love, testing types, and trying partners in the dating game. We see a variety of connections, some worth a diamond and others not worth a dime.
Caroline was there to know to pursue her passion. Then, right out of college, she spent three years working in the design and marketing departments of two of the world’s leading high-end handbag designers. She saw an untapped market of designing beautiful and affordable bags, but she just wasn’t sure she was start-up potential. Again, it was Mimi who nudged her to learn the business side of things and apply to MBA programs. When Caroline was accepted to Harvard Business School, Mimi of course encouraged her. “You’ve got this, sweetie. <cough, cough>,” she said. “It’s in the bag.”
”Looks like we’ll be seatmates,” Mike said, grinning at Caroline on their first day at Harvard.
Caroline listened as she took in just how old money his family really was. Mike’s great, great, great, great – actually it was hard to keep track of how many “greats” it went back – grandfather ran the first Bank of the United States, which Congress chartered in the early 1800s. His family had advised presidents, dined with royalty, and amassed a fortune that continued today through the Barnsworth Brokerage Firm. “I’m the seventh person in my family to attend Harvard including my father, uncle, three cousins, and grandfather, who was a classmate of Professor Moss,” he continued.
Surprised by this unexpected news, she joked, “So you’re just slummin’ with a simple Southern girl like me – and makin’ me pay for drinks, mind you – until you go join the family business and marry someone named Muffy…”“That’s my family’s plan.” Mike laughed.
“The purse thing” – that was Caroline’s future. “I aim to start a line called Clutch, because it’s one of my favourite handbag styles, and in honour of my aunt Mimi. She always says ‘Find somethin’ you love and just hold onto it.”
Playfully navigating through the supposedly created language barriers, Mike took aim and fired: “Ms. Johnson,” he started, his voice calm and deliberate, “let me put this in terms a blonde Southern debutante like you will understand. Continuing that line of argument would be like perfuming a pig.” This shows their natural tendency and flow of original conversation, that bathes the reader in amusing moments between true friends. Can I ask why?” Mike asked kindly, looking into her eyes with concern. “I grew up in a small town where your history and people’s perceptions of you stick like white on rice,” she explained. Mike let out a small laugh at her use of the Southern expression.
We see brightened eyes, while jokes deliver the punch line. Mike flashed a winning smile at her. Caroline burst out laughing – a laugh that resonated deep in her belly coming down from their moment of bliss. It was a tension breaker that just had to be done.
Caroline realized that life was more fun when Mike was around. She knew that girls were drawn to him because he was devilishly handsome, quick witted, and charming as hell. Guys hung out with him because he knew how to pick up girls. But she adored being with him because she never had to worry about what she said or how she acted, and he was the perfect, carefree foil to her overly-accommodating personality.
It was more than two years ago when Caroline packed her bags – duffels, totes, shoulder bags, and purses – and ventured back to L.A. alongside her best friend Mike. Caroline started her handbag line, Clutch. And business was growing. But it was time she started to accessorize her own life now. Much like a handbag, she believed a man was an accessory that needed to be perfectly matched. This is the true story of how she had to try out a number of different handbags to find the one to clutch to.
Dating Jason, Caroline saw the unmistakable hunger in his eyes. Nothin’. I’m just not… attracted to him in that way,” she responded. “You know, you just can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
Craig didn’t light a fire in her belly, or challenge her in any way. No attraction. Is it because he’s wee?” Mike asked. “No!” said Caroline, interrupting him. “Don’t get short with me,” Mike retorted, flashing her a dazzling smile. Caroline started to giggle before straightening herself up and looking at him seriously. “It has nothin’ to do with the fact he is short-statured.” “It was a perfectly platonic date,” she said, shocked. “You are…” and her voice trailed off as she tried to find the perfect word. Mike, seizing the opportunity to lighten the mood, yet again responded. Hilarious? Clever? Devilishly handsome, that is what he is.
At the bar: The Last Drop Mike owned: “Still breakin’ hearts, I see,” Caroline said disapprovingly. “I told her from the start not to get attached,” Mike replied, shaking his head and again running his fingers through his hair. “Boy, am I glad I never got involved with you,” Caroline said, playfully tapping him on the arm and rolling her eyes. “Well, you did sleep with me once,” he said, flashing her a smile. “Once,” she repeated, rolling her eyes again. “Yeah, but you’re a smart girl. You don’t get into Harvard without being one. Sweet playful and clever,” finding humour in her choice of words.
Caroline sat at the end of the bar, sipping on a glass of Chardonnay. She watched with amusement as Mike flirted with a group of women seated at a nearby table. Mike walked back to the bar and lined up five shot glasses. She watched Mike as he chatted, seemingly breezily.
Mike, in an effort to compete with the good doctor Sam, one of her dates, he name-dropped Harvard because he was feeling subconsciously insecure, and wanted to diffuse a potentially tense situation, Caroline piped in, “Mike walked into the lecture hall and plopped right down next to me with a tall latte. He’s been servin’ me coffee and Chardonnay ever since. “ Harvard? “She’s very modest,” said Mike. “But you’re not?” replied Sam with a hint of annoyance in his voice: “ If you went to Harvard Business School, what are you doing running a bar?” “ I get that question a lot… especially from my dad. We only have one chance in this life. So we should do what makes us happy and be with the people that make us happy”. Playfully Mike told Caroline: “Come over Monday night unless you’re going out with God,” , using pantomime quotation marks and a mocking tone.” And Lydia, despite knowing all she knew about Mike, was flirting back with equal enthusiasm, laughing seductively and gently touching his arm.
Chooses to do somethin’ he loves,” she huffed. “So listen when I say, it’s just not what he wants.” man. His family is worth billions.
The next hour or two was a blur of laughing, drinking, and flirting among the group of attractive men and women crowded around two bar tables pushed together.
Another encounter: Damien turned to Caroline, “Listen, before I drink too much and either embarrass myself or forget, I was hoping I could call you sometime,” Caroline found his shyness charming. Damien had selected a traditional Italian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles for their date. Confusion and conflict engulfed her. First he didn’t want her to know he had kids and now all of the sudden he wants her to meet them. And his little girl is fragile? He’s afraid another woman is going to come and break her heart. That’s a lot of pressure. Honestly and openness with your partner is the cornerstone to any solid relationship,” he said. Later that evening, now back in her own hotel room, Caroline sat on the bed replaying her unexpected afternoon with Damien in her mind. He was just so sexual… intense… aggressive. She thought back to their recent tryst. His skillful hands were an abrupt and his personality intense and wasn’t quite sure she liked.
Mike could have easily been that guy, making deals and trading favours with powerful people. But he chose not to be him. He is quite happy just that way he is. Mike’s in love with you,” Loren, one of the staff members at the bar continued. “No,” said Caroline incredulously, pushing her head back and to the side. “Yes,” said Loren with an affirming nod of her head. Caroline clarifies, “He’s in love with himself and his freedom. He is definitely not in love with anyone, except himself. Both seduction and humour is evident in his voice. - True, and after yet another date of her dates went sour, Caroline found herself attacking Mike: While he is fine with hoppin’ from bed to bed with waitresses and slutty bar girls doesn’t mean that’s what she wants.
“I want a real relationship. I want someone who is gonna love me.” At 4:00 in the afternoon the next day, Caroline walked in the bar sheepishly, wearing loose fitting jeans and an oversized hoodie. Her hair was piled up into a messy bun and her eyelids were heavy and red-rimmed. She didn’t even have a purse with her, instead carrying her phone, wallet, and keys in her hand. She was feeling “purse lost” not having someone to hold on.
Caroline sounds as if she has really become a success and naturally her parents would be proud of her accomplishments,” said Mr. Barnsworth. “And you should be proud of Mike too. He has become a highly-successful entrepreneur.” “Well, I was born in a small town in South Georgia, but left when I was eighteen to go to design school in Los Angeles,” she began. “After a few years of workin’ in my field, my Aunt Mimi, bless her heart,” she continued, holding her hand gently over her heart, encouraged me to get my MBA and start her own business.
Mike knew what she needed – someone to make her laugh, put her at ease, and push the envelope. How he knew she wanted someone that “gets” her. The myriad of kind and encouraging words: “Don’t let Caroline here undersell herself. She’s quite remarkable,” and, “You’re an amazing woman, Caroline Johnson. Don’t let anyone tell you differently,” among others.
When Sam dumped her, Mike admitted that there’s never anything wrong with being with someone that makes you happy. His advice that being able to talk honestly and openly with your partner was the cornerstone to any solid relationship.
Caroline has not forgotten the afterglow of their passionate tryst and how he had made her body feel. “How sated she felt in his arms. Did she love Mike? Could she love Mike? She wondered. Promiscuous Mike? Scoundrel Mike? A small “v” formed between her eyes. No. Inconceivable. Her mind continued to think. Bawdy Mike? Hilarious Mike? Fun-to-argue-with Mike? She smiled, considering the possibility. Easy-to-talk-to Mike? Thoughtful Mike? Kind-hearted Mike? Holy hell, she thought, her heart pounding. I’m in love with Mike! It was a revelation.”
How had she not seen it before? She couldn’t help but run through all of the scenarios in her head. Does he feel the same way about me? Should I tell him how I feel? What if he doesn’t feel the same? How will my unrequited love alter our friendship? Then she laughed a quiet laugh at herself as she realized the person she would ask for advice in this situation was Mike. What would he say? She has never held back my feelings from him before. Never cared how he would react, she thought. He would tell me to do what feels right – consequences be damned.
What?” he said. “I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. It’s always been you. There’s no one else that makes me feel so comfortable and safe. I never have to think about what I’m gonna say or how you’re gonna react. I can totally be myself. There’s no one that makes me laugh – full-on belly laughs – every day like you do. And there’s no one that I have more fun hangin’ out with or arguin’ with.” Mike blinked rapidly a few more times and then stared at her. Caroline wrung her hands in her lap and wondered what was going through his mind. “You’re saying that you want to be with me, after all of this time?” he questioned, his chin down, squinting his green eyes at her. “Yes,” she said, pulling her shoulders back and straightening herself up. “I’m sorry,” she repeated, biting her lip nervously, staring longingly into his eyes, tears beginning to well. “I forgive you,” he said, smiling and nodding his head. His thumb brushed a falling tear away from her check. Caroline exhaled, not realizing she had been holding her breath. She leaned in and kissed him on the lips before pulling back, searching his eyes for a reaction. He reached his hand up and gently grasped her chin, lifting her head up. He returned her kiss with an intensity and force that resonated deep within her. “You don’t know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that. I’m the best version of myself when I’m with you,” he said, stroking her cheek with his fingers.
And they lived happily ever after. A southern expression: “Well, you seem as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.”
28 January 2015
The art of writing fine Chick Lit is becoming a goal for many authors today – the books are popular, they sell well, and they satisfy women’s too often discarded need for their own funky view of the world and how to cope with it. Lisa Becker has found that niche and while her novel ‘clutch’ is an hilarious romp it also has some valuable insights into the feminine psyche – something men should explore!
Lisa introduces her main character Caroline when she is a child accepting gifts and advice from her funky Aunt Mimi. ‘ “Find something you love and hold onto it.” Mimi’s words ever-present in her mind, Caroline headed to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and spent four years in Los Angeles learning everything there was to know to pursue her passion. Then, right out of college, she spent three years working in the design and marketing departments of two of the world’s leading high-end handbag designers. She was schooled in beauty and how to accessorize the perfectly-coiffed women on the way to their Botox appointments.’ That is her zingy style of writing.
Lisa offers a brief synopsis of the content of her newest book – ‘clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.’
Read it, giggle, laugh out loud and remark ‘hmmm’. Lisa Becker is a fine mistress of her genre. Grady Harp, December 15
Clutch is one of her older releases that is hilarious! It compares men to handbags! I laughed so many times just thinking… yep I dated that guy. I mean from the Hobo to the Diaper Bag to the Clutch, this was a great romance of finding not only love, but the right love. If you like a good romantic comedy check this one out!
She also wrote Starfish which is a Rock Star Romance with the follow-up Dear Future Self- both are so good! And her latest book The Subway Girl comes out this month! Don’t worry I will post about it!
Top reviews from other countries
Suzanne Barbetta is an outstanding narrator! She brings every character to life, speaks clearly and at a great pace for the listener. I will be searching for more of her work. Anyone who can tell me a story so well is a treasure!
Caroline e Mike se tornam amigos desde o primeiro dia em Harvard. Os dois se tornam inseparáveis mesmo depois de seguirem suas respectivas carreiras. Caroline, designer de bolsas é a esperança em pessoa: quer muito encontrar alguém que a ame pra sempre e com isto pula de relacionamento em relacionamento. Mike, dono de um famoso bar em Los Angeles não quer nada com ninguém e tem no máximo 3 encontros com suas escolhidas. Sempre juntos e separados até Caroline perceber que o que ela tanto quer pode estar bem pertinho dela, tipo uma "Clutch" !