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The One: A romantic comedy (A Holiday With Love Romance) Kindle Edition
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From the Inside Flap
For years, Addie had tolerated her mother Clara's matchmaking. Momma only wanted the best for her. In a family filled with happily ever afters, the best included a husband.
Every Thanksgiving the entire family gathered to share their tales of romantic bliss. Addie was happy for them knowing her time would come just like it had for everyone else in the family. It had come all right and she was still working through the pain. With only twelve days left before that most family of family holidays, she'd devised a plan to prevent a repeat of last year's fiasco. Only one thing left to do: tell Momma.
Early that morning, she'd arrived at her parents' house to break the news, but then lost her nerve. Instead of putting her cards on the proverbial table, she sat at the kitchen table dicing mountains of onions for the Thanksgiving dressing. Over-sized protective goggles kept the onions from making her cry but made her look like a bug. If Momma took the news like Addie suspected, she'd wind up splattered on her momma's windshield.
For the third time, Addie presented a full bowl of diced onions for inspection. If they passed, Momma would mix them with celery and green peppers and then add them to one of the four pots of turkey stock simmering on the stove.
Momma scooped onions from the bowl and spread them on a plate. "They're still too big. Do it right or don't do it at all."
The food processor, which could do it righter than Addie ever could, sat abandoned after only one use. According to Momma, it messed up her dressing's texture. Readjusting her goggles, Addie poured a layer of onions on the cutting board. Like a Ginsu master, she diced the onions even smaller.
Momma turned on the television. The opening strains of Loving You, by Minnie Ripperton, played. It couldn't be, not on a Saturday. With any luck it was just a commercial. A giant red heart filled the screen. Written across the heart in flowing script: The Love Doctor, Momma's favorite show. So much for couldn't be.
"There's a marathon today," Momma said.
Of course, there was. Momma would watch every minute condemning Addie to watch it too.
The opening credits dissolved. Dressed in a pale blue evening gown, a wannabe actress or trying to be model stood on a beach. In front of her knelt a tuxedoed man holding a single red rose, his declaration to the world that she was the one.
How could people watch this show? They did the same thing every episode. As the music swelled, her trembling hands would take his offered rose and press it to her bosom. She'd fan her face to keep from crying. Overhead, doves would take flight, his signal to sweep her into his arms and seal their love with a kiss.
Except that wasn't what happened which compelled Addie to look much longer than the nanosecond she'd intended. The image on the screen froze. Him on bended knee, her gazing down, the couple's faces were so blurred you couldn't tell who they were or what they looked like. Odd for a show that built its success on beautiful people and their bogus love connections.
The scene changed to a doctor's office. Behind a desk, in silhouette, sat the show's creator. Addie didn't know his real name. No one did. Embroidered in red above the breast pocket of his white lab coat was the name the world knew him by: Love Doctor. No one had ever seen his face. They'd only heard his voice.
"Still searching for your prince? This Thanksgiving, let me prescribe the man to cure your romantic ills on our special holiday episode: The Ugly Duckling and the Frog Prince. If you're ready for your forever after love, contact me today." A web address and eight-hundred number scrolled across the screen. Mercifully, a commercial for hemorrhoid cream stopped the sappiness.
"You should go on that show," Momma said. "I bet the Love Doctor could find you the one."
Momma had lost her mind. How could the woman who'd seen through every lie Addie had ever tried to tell not see through this mess?
"There's no way the Love Doctor could find the one for anybody, especially not me. I want the kind of love you and Daddy and everybody else in the family has, not some made-for-television version of it."
Ugh, she was doing it again. Tracing the outline of a ring long gone. At least she wasn't crying. Sixty-one tear free days. To make it to sixty-two, focus on the onions, or the show, or anything except what happened.
Calling all ugly ducklings flashed across the screen. Who came up with that? "The show's whole premise is insulting," she said. "Ugly duckling, really? Granted, I may not be the most beautiful woman in the world, but I'm not ugly, am I?" Her voice trailed off. She'd never asked the question, at least not out loud.
Momma sprang from her chair and pulled Addie close. "Of course, you're not ugly, baby." What else would Momma say? No momma, especially not hers, would call their child ugly.
Maybe she'd finally hit on why she hadn't. All of her female cousins were drop dead gorgeous. Compared to them, she not only wasn't in the same ballpark, she wasn't even in the same state. Why hadn't she noticed that before?
"Don't let what happened make you stop believing in love," Momma said.
Addie pulled away and switched off the television. "I believe in love. Love just doesn't believe in me. I'm through pretending that it does. We need to talk."
Momma dumped the onions in the pot and pulled her chair next to Addie's. "I was wondering when you were going to get around to your real reason for stopping by."
Why did this remind Addie of being back in high school asking permission to go to a college party? Permission Momma never gave by the way. Addie was grown and didn't need Momma's permission or blessing. Snatching off her goggles, Addie intended to set them on the table. Instead they clattered to the hardwood floor.
Momma stared at her. "It's not like you to go around dropping things. What if you'd dropped that knife? You might have cut your foot off."
Better to lose a foot than break Momma's heart. That could neither be helped nor avoided any longer. "I'm not coming to Thanksgiving dinner this year."
"Of course, you're coming. Do you have a date yet?" Momma beamed like a kid opening their first present on Christmas morning. Since she'd been good all year, surely Addie would bring her a son-in-law.
"I won't need a date because I won't be here."
Momma's smile evaporated. Her eyes glistened and probably not because of the onions. "Where will you be?" she asked in a small voice.
Good question. "Away," Addie said.
Momma sat back. "Away? With who?"
"Myself. I need time alone to think. People do it all the time."
"People do. You don't."
No argument there. Just because she never had was all the more reason why she should. Living in Fort Lauderdale gave her a lot of options to get out of town: plane, train, even a cruise. Naw, not a cruise. All those people crammed together, carrying who knows what, on a ship registered who knows where, anything could happen.
Anything beat spending Thanksgiving here. She still teared up just looking at the dining-room table. Worse would be all the hugs and the "poor Addies." As if last year weren't enough, she'd look pathetic in front of the whole family, again.
She wasn't poor Addie. By any standard she had a great life. Promoted to accounting director. A beautiful condo in Colee Hammock. Loyal friends. Being surrounded by her parents and aunts and uncles and cousins while they celebrated their love would make her the object of their pity, a throwback to another era: the old maid.
From the Back Cover
The lead in Homer's mechanical pencil snapped. He shoved aside the yellow legal pad, its pages filled with notes for XM-14's field tests. "Can't you see I'm--"
Staring at the XM-14. In the flesh. Standing on the other side of his drafting table. He blinked. Confused by what couldn't possibly be, yet was.
This woman had the same chocolate brown skin. Same shoulder-length black hair. Same almond eyes he'd programmed to flash when she was angry. In this real version-was she real?-there was a virtual electrical storm.
Impossible. He'd locked XM-14 in the vault under armed guard and a fail-safe security system he'd designed himself.
In one smooth motion, she removed her heavy wool coat and draped it over her arm. Although ambulatory, XM-14 didn't have access to that curve-hugging red dress or the jasmine perfume drawing him to her like a drug.
Unstoppable force meets immovable object in the person of Ric Hudson, Christian leader of the opposition. Armed with handmade posters and mimeographed fliers, Ric seems powerless to combat Galaxy.
But so did David against Goliath. Although Keziah grew up in a Christian home, she trusts in herself, not God. Her plan: go to Hearts Landing, infiltrate the opposition and destroy it from within.
Keziah left the Lord in her past. Secrets from Ric's past threaten to destroy his future. Can the hearts of this unlikely couple land in a love only God can give?
Excerpt: Hearts Landing
Every time Keziah walked through the doors of Galaxy Casino's corporate offices, she could almost taste the money. The lobby recreated the interior of the Sistine Chapel, right down to the fresco paintings on its twelve thousand square foot vaulted ceiling, with one major difference. Where Michelangelo honored God, Galaxy honored money.
Instead of a literal reproduction of Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Nathanial Radner III, president and CEO of Galaxy, expelled his two lowest performers.
Christ and his disciples at the Last Supper became Nate seated with his top twelve revenue producers for the year. Known collectively as the wall of shame and the wall of fame, employees vied all year to avoid the former and earn their seat at the latter's most exclusive of tables.
In two weeks, at the company's New Year's Eve party, Nate would unveil the wall's newest members. From her first day at Galaxy, Keziah dreamed of being immortalized as one of Nate's disciples. After ten years, it looked like her dream might finally come true. That she'd become the first African-American and one of only a handful of women who'd made the wall was a bonus.
- Publication Date : October 18, 2017
- ASIN : B0759H6KW9
- File Size : 617 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 183 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,105,262 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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