Flirting with Destiny [NOOK Book]

Overview



Special events planner Jacqueline Murphy's love life is a disaster. Her low point? Being dumped by her fiancé on Friday the thirteenth. So why should her luck change when she accidentally rear-ends the car of her next-door neighbor…who turns out to be her new boss! Tall, dark, irresistibly attractive Greg Armstrong oozes potent masculine charm. Is he just another romantic disaster waiting to happen?

Greg left his career as a high-powered ...
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Flirting with Destiny

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Overview



Special events planner Jacqueline Murphy's love life is a disaster. Her low point? Being dumped by her fiancé on Friday the thirteenth. So why should her luck change when she accidentally rear-ends the car of her next-door neighbor…who turns out to be her new boss! Tall, dark, irresistibly attractive Greg Armstrong oozes potent masculine charm. Is he just another romantic disaster waiting to happen?

Greg left his career as a high-powered attorney in Washington for the slower, serene pace of Paradise Cove, Arizona. But his stunning new employee has his pulse racing and his hormones in overdrive! Kiss by sensual kiss, Greg's falling under Jacqueline's seductive spell…and starting to believe in fate.

Will flirting with passion lead to falling in love?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426876165
  • Publisher: Kimani Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Series: Harlequin Kimani Romance Series, #12
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 514,762
  • File size: 470 KB

Meet the Author

An award winning and national best-selling author of over thirty critically acclaimed novels, Celeste O. Norfleet is a prolific writer of both romance and young adult novels. Her young adult novels are realistic with a touch of humor. They depict strong characters with unpredictable plots and have exciting storylines that delve into dramatic fiction reflecting current issues facing American teens. Celeste currently enjoys a quiet life in Virginia with her family.

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Read an Excerpt

When you look for trouble, you usually find it. Jacqueline Murphy saw trouble. She spotted him as soon as he walked into the reception. He was tall, well over six feet. He had a smooth, honey-kissed complexion and a strong, powerful build. His facial features were classic: firm, set jaw with just a trace of a mustache and goatee, bedroom eyes that hinted at more than his obvious African-American ancestry, and luscious, full lips that were setting her body on fire.

Yeah, he looked like trouble—the best kind. Tall, dark and handsome, he was what midnight fantasies were made of. Slow sex on a hot sultry night. However with her run of luck lately, this fantasy would turn into a nightmare. Still, there was a connection as soon as he noticed her. A quiver of nervous energy shot through her body. It had been a long time—too long, her sister would say. But she kept her focus, and it wasn't going to be on him. She'd been putting out fires all evening. This was one fire she'd just have to let burn itself out.

She looked around the room. The list of near disasters was long, but she still decided to chalk the evening up as a success. The private birthday reception she'd organized was going extremely well. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. She'd even gotten a much-coveted "two thumbs up" from the newly reelected Mayor Newbury himself. Of course no one had a clue that the fresh flowers arrived ten minutes before the doors opened, the caterer completely changed the menu at the last minute, the band's truck ran out of gas on the highway and two bartenders called in sick. But she handled it. It was her job. As the special-events planner for the city, she took chaos and created perfect order. She sometimes even got involved with city planning and management policy. She did it all.

All this was exactly what she intended to remind the mayor. She needed—no, she deserved—a raise and a full-time assistant. Using his aide, Bethany, during crunch time was no longer enough. She was running herself ragged. Her commitment was great and she, more than most, worked tirelessly to make the city she loved shine through each event.

So, tonight she planned to talk to the mayor about it. She took a deep breath. This was her time. She'd always taken care of others. It was time to step up and do something for herself. Now, with the mayor's birthday reception behind her, she could focus on her career. All she had to do was get through today, Friday the thirteenth.

Patience, Jacqueline reminded herself silently, as she looked around the festivities for any sign of looming disaster. It's almost over. She glanced at her watch and noted that she had just a few more hours, and the day would be done. She could get through this. After all, she was a smart, capable, well-adjusted woman, and at twenty-nine years old, she was in complete control of all aspects of her life. Mostly.

She prided herself on being levelheaded and practical. Intellectually, rationally, logically, she knew today was just like any other day in the year. The number assigned to it was merely a label of necessary pragmatism. It was irrelevant. It was inconsequential, and she was being irrational to even give credence to the superstitions she knew all too well, but then again—

"Okay," she muttered to herself, as she looked around again, "what could possibly go wrong now?" She froze as soon as the words left her mouth. Talk about jinxing herself with bad luck on today of all days. What was she thinking?

"Jacqueline."

Her name was called. She didn't want to turn around, but she knew she had to. She recognized the boisterous voice, of course. It was the mayor of Paradise Cove, Leland Newbury. This was it, her time. She turned. He smiled as he walked toward her with his wife on his arm.

His wife, Peggy Newbury, grinned dizzily. But with a nose job, eyelid lifts, chin implants, cheek implants, lip implants, a forehead lift, Botox injections, skin peels and various other cosmetic surgeries, she couldn't do much of anything else.

As they approached, Jacqueline glanced slightly over the mayor's shoulder and saw the man she'd spotted earlier—trouble. He seemed to be following the mayor and looking directly at her. He smiled; she didn't. Then someone got his attention. He stopped and turned. Two women stepped up to him from either side. They engaged in conversation. Perhaps he wasn't following the mayor after all. She exhaled, not even realizing she had been holding her breath.

"Jacqueline, Jacqueline, Jacqueline, what can I say?"

"Mr. Mayor, happy birthday," Jacqueline said.

Leland laughed, loud and joyous. "Thank you, thank you. I came over to congratulate you. This is another fantastic event you've planned. You've outdone yourself on this one, truly outdone yourself."

"Thank you, sir," she said graciously.

"Excellent party, excellent party," Leland reiterated. "The city of Paradise Cove has been damn lucky to have you in the position of special-events manager, damn lucky."

Her heart started racing and her nerves tingled yet she began. "Thank you, sir. Speaking of job positions, I'd like to speak with you about my job and my future with the city."

"Ah, yes," Leland said, then turned and started looking around. "Now where is he?"

"Where is who, sir?" she asked.

"The state sent us a management consultant," he said nonchalantly.

"A what?" Jacqueline asked.

"A management consultant. He's going to decide about all that."

"Do you mean someone who makes changes in the guise of making generalized improvements where none are needed?" Jacqueline said, unable to keep the sarcasm from her tone.

"I wouldn't put it quite like that. He's here to help. He's been working in Phoenix for the past few weeks going through our budget and expenses. He'll be working throughout our system of operations, implementing new and improved strategy developments to optimize our operational methods."

Jacqueline was used to political double-talk. Still, her stomach quivered. She had no idea any of this was going on. She'd been too busy putting together the mayor's Scholarship Awards Program, the city's Thanksgiving Celebration and the birthday reception, to talk to him about wanting a raise previously. Now it was too late; the decision was up to someone else. Suddenly the fear of possibly losing her job shot through her. "He's here to make changes, right?"

"Yes, changes. We have to move with the times, get with the program and, yes, even tighten our belt. Budgets are being cut all over the state. City planning and management are going to take on a different look. A lot of things are going to be restructured and outsourced. But Greg will explain all that when he meets with everyone on Monday."

"Greg?"

"He has excellent credentials. Did I mention he's a lawyer and a business management specialist, too? He worked for the Justice Department, before he became a city-management consultant."

Jacqueline felt as if her brain had fried and been scrambled. She didn't know which way to turn or what to think. Then her breath caught and her nerve endings sizzled when trouble appeared again. He walked right over to stand with them. He smiled and nodded politely. She was too stunned to do anything but stand there speechless.

"Ah, here he is now," Leland said. "Jacqueline, I want you to meet Gregory Armstrong. Greg will be reporting directly to me and the city council. He'll be supervising all day-to-day operations. Right now we're in crunch time. He'll be closely monitoring your current and proposed budgets.

"Greg, this is your right-hand woman, Jacqueline Murphy. You'll be working side by side. She's a wonder with events and city planning, makes me look like I actually know what I'm doing," Leland said, then laughed riotously. "I don't know what we'd do without her. She's going to be invaluable to you."

Greg nodded. "Yes, I can definitely see that," he said, staring at her the whole time. Jacqueline looked at him blankly.

"She's a true gem. You'll see." The mayor shifted his focus again. "Jacqueline, I introduced Greg this afternoon to the staff, but you were here putting all this together. Fabulous event. Did I mention that Greg here is a lawyer, as well?"

"Yes, you did," she said, swallowing her disappointment like a bitter pill.

Greg grimaced slightly, seeing the distress in Jacqueline's eyes. She was definitely disturbed about something. "Jacqueline," he said, "it's a pleasure. I've heard wonderful things about you. I'm looking forward to working with you."

"Welcome to Paradise Cove, Gregory," she said as nicely as she could. She tried to be pleasant. After all, it wasn't his fault his main goal in life was to disrupt her future.

"Please, call me Greg. You've done an incredible job. This is a wonderful event," Greg added. She nodded.

"Indeed it is. Jacqueline is brilliant when it comes to these events. Did I tell you that she single-handedly brought two very large businesses to the area? Her city promotion ideas are exceptional. I can see you two working closely together as an unstoppable team."

"An unstoppable team. That sounds promising," Greg said.

"It is. It is. Truth be told, if it wasn't for this little lady right here, I might not have been reelected. Her ideas have put our little city on the map. People come from miles away to visit us. Tourism is soaring and we love it. Visitors are spending money and we love that, too. The 'Welcome to Paradise' campaign was her idea. We've been drawing businesses here ever since. Now that's a place where I'd really like to step up the focus. You two should get started on that. Bringing new business here means more jobs. More jobs mean happy constituents, and happy constituents means a third-term reelection. You see my point."

Everyone nodded. The mayor then began a four-minute minispeech citing the benefits of everyone working together on a common goal. He was just finding his stride when Jacqueline interrupted. "Sir, it looks like the senator is about to leave. Perhaps you should go over and speak with him before he goes."

Leland turned quickly. "Ah, yes. See what I mean, excellent ideas, carry on." With that, he cupped his wife's elbow and steered her toward the front entrance.

Greg smiled and half laughed. "You handle him very well."

"Leland's a good man and a good mayor. He's smart and cares a lot for the city and the people here. He's good for the city."

"I can certainly see that and he speaks very highly of you. I look forward to us working together very closely, Jacqueline. Perhaps we should get together this weekend and discuss…"

She nodded, then glanced over his shoulder. "Excuse me."

"Jacqueline," he said, stopping her before she walked off. "Are you okay? You seem disturbed." "Disturbed?" she asked. "Angry," he substituted. "Angry?" she repeated.

"Okay, I get it. I say a word and you repeat it," he joked.

She half smiled. "Gregory, I'm not disturbed or angry. What I am is busy because I'm working. My job is to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible."

"And you've done an exceptional job."

"Thank you." Suddenly her mouth felt dry. She licked her lips and took a deep breath. She needed to get some air. "I need to get back to work now. I have things to check on, places to be. Excuse me." She moved to breeze past him. A second later she felt him briefly touch her hand.

"Jacqueline," he said softly, stepping back and giving her more space between them. She turned back to him questioningly. "Is there anything I can do to help?" he asked.

She looked at him, seeing his sincerity. "No, but thank you for asking." "Anytime," he said.

She nodded. "Enjoy your evening," she said quietly.

He smiled. "Thank you. You, too."

She nodded again, and then hurried off. She was just about to burst through the catering doors when she heard her name called again. She stopped.

"Hey, Jac," Bethany said, hurrying to follow. Jacqueline turned. Bethany took one look at Jacqueline's expression and shook her head. "Whoa, what happened to you? It looks like you just stuck your finger in a light socket. I guess I don't have to ask if you're having a good time and enjoying yourself."

Jacqueline turned as the mayor's young assistant walked up to her side. Bethany Allen was talented and eager to learn. She was also Jacqueline's younger sister Tasha's best friend since grade school. She was a part-time employee that the mayor had kept on after a college summer internship two years ago.

Bethany had excellent skills and would one day make a great city planner. What she didn't have was business skills. She was impatient, easily frustrated and at times lost focus, three things that didn't help in a career. What she did have was a great-uncle who was the newly reelected mayor of the city. "Sorry, hi, Bethany," Jacqueline said, calming down and composing herself. "Everything okay? Any problems?"

Bethany shook her head, and then smiled playfully as always. Like her sister, Bethany saw the world as one big, rose-colored adventure. "No problems to solve, everything's fine. Why don't you just relax and enjoy the party?"

"Yeah, maybe later," Jacqueline said.

"You say that all the time. You know, you never just let go and enjoy the moment and do something wild and unexpected, do you? Everybody's smiling, laughing and having a great time except you."

"That's because I'm working."

"Jac, you're always working. You've been working ever since I've known you. That means you've been working for over a decade. Come on, it's time to chill and have some fun. There are, like, a couple dozen single, attractive men here. Why don't you go dance with one of them? Who knows, your Prince Charming could be walking around here just waiting for you to look up and smile."

"No thanks. I've done the Prince Charming thing. It's highly overrated."

"All right, fine, so your love life is a major disaster."

Jacqueline frowned. "My love life is not a disaster."

"You got dumped via email by a pinhead jerk on Friday the thirteenth. I call that a disaster. You haven't had a date or even a one-night stand since then. I call that a major disaster."

"Can we not talk about my love life, please?"

"Why not grab a Mr. Right Now, drag him to a dark corner and kiss him until your knees buckle and your toes curl?" Bethany said excitedly.

Jacqueline chuckled. "I don't think so."

"Would you consider grabbing Mr. One Night Only, ripping his clothes off and having wild, passionate, butt-naked sex in the coatroom?" Jacqueline looked at her.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    I didn't read the book but all I want to say is. Dame!!! Where c

    I didn't read the book but all I want to say is. Dame!!! Where can I get one of him from.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Kinda funny

    She is superstitious and he is falling for her...it had funny moments but not something memorable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    wow

    wow

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    flirty with destiny

    it was a very good book short but real good loved it

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  • Posted November 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Destiny!

    I was not impressed with what I was reading. I skipped pages just to see if I was going to be blown away with Jacqueline and Gregory somewhere in their love story and I was not. These main characters were so bland and boring that I could not get into this story. I just knew from the very beginning while reading the first pages that I was going to skip through. I hope you all getting something out of this book even if I did not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2011

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    Posted July 5, 2011

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    Posted March 24, 2011

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    Posted December 4, 2010

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    Posted July 27, 2011

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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    Posted January 18, 2011

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    Posted December 10, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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    Posted May 6, 2011

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    Posted December 11, 2010

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    Posted May 30, 2012

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    Posted July 10, 2011

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    Posted December 19, 2010

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    Posted December 23, 2010

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