Breakfast at Bethany's

Breakfast at Bethany's

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by Kathleen O'Reilly

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"Directionally challenged" Beth Von Meeter has had it up to here with watching her friends saunter down the aisle. But when she turns to an online matchmaking service, Beth finds herself sitting across the table from Spencer James, the blunt but sexy newspaper journalist, who has an offer she can't refuse. Be the subject for his story on computer dating


"Directionally challenged" Beth Von Meeter has had it up to here with watching her friends saunter down the aisle. But when she turns to an online matchmaking service, Beth finds herself sitting across the table from Spencer James, the blunt but sexy newspaper journalist, who has an offer she can't refuse. Be the subject for his story on computer dating and he'll help her snag a marriage-minded guy…pronto.

Unlike Beth, Spencer can't imagine actually looking for love. His own heart is burned to a crisp and he's determined to live by one rule— don't get involved with anyone unless it's just sex… nothing more. But when an accidental touch erupts into a sizzling night of white-hot desire, Spencer can't help but think he's finally met his match—but that can't be right, can it?

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Bachelorette Pact , #975
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Breakfast At Bethany's

By Kathleen O'Reilly

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-69175-0

Chapter One

SWF looking to meet good man. Must like romantic walks, fine wine and old movies. Geeks need not apply.

BETH VON MEETER WAS THE last one to leave the chapel. Weddings did that to her. For some people it was sloppy puppies, for her it was the magic of the whole bridal extravaganza.

Wistfully, she trailed her fingers over the cute little nosegays that were tied to the pews. She would have chosen daisies rather than roses if it were her day.

But it wasn't.

Beth would have opted for a storybook June wedding rather than a cold November day, but then Mickey had no patience for social obligations, and well, to be frank, she and Dominic were in a hurry.

Mickey's wedding ceremony had been small - pitifully small. The reception at the church afterward had been almost nonexistent. Of course, that was the best you could do when the groom had to keep his name under wraps. Top secret, hush-hush. I Married a Mafia Don: My Love Affair with the Mob.

A gorgeous, sensitive, undercover cop wiseguy. It was enough to make a girl fall on her knees, rail and shake a fist at the sky. "As God is my witness, I'll never be single again." Unfortunately, imaginary drama wouldn't do diddly to conjure up the perfect life.

Carefully she smoothed out the pale pink material of her bridesmaid dress. That made two bridesmaid dresses that were flying in her closet at half-mast. Oh, yeah, the Bachelorette Pact. Single forever! Long live the infinite torture of the dating ritual! Beth blew a raspberry, which she hoped wasn't sacrilegious, but she figured God would understand. God wasn't married, either.

Now Mickey was. And Jessica was. Beth wasn't.

"Forget something?" asked Cassandra, gliding into the chapel. Amazing. The woman oozed sexuality even on holy ground.

Beth took in one last sniff of the roses. "Not a thing." Then she bundled up in her coat and slung her bag over her shoulder in what she thought was a sassy move. "Are Jessica and Adam still here? We could get a drink," she suggested, hoping no one would actually take her up on it. She felt like the worst sort of party squasher. Possibly it was her sinuses. She was grasping at straws, but tonight she just wasn't feeling perky.

Cassandra picked up one of the nosegays and lightly traced a rose petal with her forefinger. "We could if you want. I thought you had a date."

"I have one scheduled for 9:45 p.m." Beth checked her watch. Two hours to liftoff. So far, she'd been on eleven dates with her Internet dating service. Yes, you heard that right folks, eleven. It was demoralizing, dehumanizing and downright depressing.

"Have you met your match?" asked Cassandra, sitting down on an old oak bench and looking as if she were actually interested.

That made Beth sit down, too. "I've been on eleven dates and I think I've found the dregs of the dating pool."

"That bad?"

"I've met Viktor the eccentric - read 'mad' - Russian. Kyle, who's exploring his more feminine side. That man is going to need luck with cross-gender dating, because his feminine side is pretty pronounced."

"Poor baby," murmured Cassandra.

Beth waved her hand. "Oh, that's not all. We have Bob, who likes to eat - a lot, not that there's anything wrong with that. The painfully, and I do mean painfully, shy Ted. Bob II, whose favorite topic of conversation is himself. Blah, blah, blah, Bob this. Blah, blah, blah, Bob that." She wrapped her head in her hands. "It's a nightmare."

"Maybe you'll find more promising candidates."

"Those are the most promising candidates."

She was spared further depression when an elderly janitor opened the creaky door into the chapel, the cold wind cutting through the last of the heat. "I'm locking up for the night. You girls need to clear out of here."

Beth stood and looked at the remaining flowers, then shot a what-the-hell? glance at Cassandra. "Are you going to throw these out?"

The janitor winked at Beth and stuffed his hands into his coat pockets. For a moment she wished he were about fifty years younger, or even forty. "You're welcome to take some home. I used to bring the leftovers to my wife when she was alive."

Quickly Beth tucked a nosegay inside her purse. "Thank you. I'll give them a good home."

Cassandra was already walking out the door ahead of her, but just before the janitor shut them out, she whisked back in, wrinkling her nose. "Maybe just one."

Beth just smiled. For all her big talk, Cassandra looked to be just as jealous as the rest of single America. Even a great sex life didn't remove the lonely truth when you went home alone. Vindication was sweet.

SPENCER JAMES WASN'T USED to being kept waiting. He liked punctuality, he liked schedules, he liked organization. His ex-wife had called him anal. Thoughts of his ex sent his fingers tapping impatiently on the linen tablecloth. He preferred the term "driven," which was more precise. A reporter lived and died by his adjectives.

The waiter came by, and Spencer shook his head. Annoying toady. Then he checked his watch, but it'd only been thirty seconds since the last time he'd looked.

Finally he took out his notebook and began to jot down some ideas for his piece. Humiliating. Soft news. As the result of a misguided bet - Spencer had said the Cubs would win the pennant - he was now working in Tempo, that is, the lifestyle section. Fashion, gossip and food. Fluff.

It wouldn't earn him a Scripps-Howard Award like the article he'd done on corruption in the Chicago unions, but his editor seemed to think the feature profile on the age of Internet dating would be picked up by the AP.


Excerpted from Breakfast At Bethany's by Kathleen O'Reilly Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Breakfast at Bethany's (Bachelorette Pact Series) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I want to get the first 2 now (this is the third in a series of four). O'Reilly's writing is sassy, highlarious, tight and fast-paced--my favorite kind. I laughed many times while reading this book. I love that she created a hero, Spencer, who had a lot of flaws--who was recognizable as a real man, not just a picture-perfect, two- dimensional romance hero. And yet O'Reilly was able to make him sexy as all get-out and truly appealing. Bethany, the heroine, was great too. I loved watching her grow more confident and directed through the course of the book. I can't wait to read the others in the Bachelorette Pact series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not long after the four young women made their bachelorette pact, two of them have since walked down the aisle (see IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU and PILLOW TALK). The third young lady, Bethany 'Beth' Von Meeter wants to join her pals Jessica and Mickey in happy matrimony, but refuses to wed for anything less than love..................................... Not feeling positive vibes with any of the men in her life, Beth places an ad on the internet. Reporter Spencer James, on assignment, responds. He wants to follow her exploits in on line dating as she seeks a mate through cyberspace. Beth agrees in exchange for Spencer providing her an improved personal advertisement. However, neither one expected love to blossom between the subject and the journalist, who is becoming jealous of the dates that the ad brings..................................... Like the stars of the first two tales, this is a top quality contemporary romance starring two likable protagonists. The story line is quite enjoyable as Spencer does not know what he wants except that he does not want anyone but him kissing Beth. In turn she knows exactly what she wants and that is love if only the reporter would open his eyes beyond the story. The return of the other three females adds to the overall pleasure and gets readers ready for the finale in which Cassandra runs the anchor of what so far have been three fine stories........................... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bethany 'Beth' Von Meeter had seen two of her girlfriends recently married. Beth wanted nothing more than to fall in love and marry also. But thus far all the men she had met were lacking. She began placing ads on the internet. That was how she met Spencer James. ........................ Spencer was not really dating. The only reason he answered Beth's ad and met her in a restaurant was for work. He was a journalist. His current assignment was 'to follow a subject (Beth) through the bits and bytes of finding a mate via computer.' Beth agreed, in exchange for Spencer making her ad much better and getting her some great dates! Neither expected to fall in love, especially Spencer! .......................... ***** Author Kathleen O'Reilly and her talented pen have created four ladies that captured my heart. ......................... This is the story of the third girlfriend, Beth. The author placed cameos of Jessica and Mickey. In addition, a very small part gives an idea of who Cassandra will be with in the final leg of this astounding little series. As a reader, I am having a BALL watching these four ladies do their stuff. Men don't have a chance. As I said, 'ASTOUNDING!' *****