His and Hers [NOOK Book]

Overview

TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT.

Sitting in her favorite coffee shop, Jane Ellingson realizes a frappucino can't fix a broken heart. She used to have a cool job, a best friend, and a fianc‚-and she lost them all in one really bad day. Hey, can she have a do-over? How about a whole new life?

WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT

But Jane is about to get a second chance when she finds a stone that comes with a wish. With nothing ...

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His and Hers

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Overview

TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT.

Sitting in her favorite coffee shop, Jane Ellingson realizes a frappucino can't fix a broken heart. She used to have a cool job, a best friend, and a fianc‚-and she lost them all in one really bad day. Hey, can she have a do-over? How about a whole new life?

WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT

But Jane is about to get a second chance when she finds a stone that comes with a wish. With nothing to lose, Jane figures she'll go for it-and suddenly she finds herself in Victorian England, meeting the dashing Curran Dempsey. Before long she's smitten-and completely unable to stay in her corset. In fact, she feels just like the heroine in a romance novel, madly in love with a man who's too fabulous to be real.and too sexy to give up.

Praise for Dawn Calvert and her novels.

"A delightful story."—Romantic Times, four and a half stars

"Unique.an imaginative premise."—USA Today bestselling author Amanda Scott

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420105025
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 769,197
  • File size: 388 KB

Meet the Author

Dawn Calvert, a public relations exec and ad copywriter, graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in English and now lives and works in Washington state.
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Read an Excerpt

His and Hers


By Dawn Calvert

ZEBRA BOOKS

Copyright © 2008 Dawn Calvert
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8217-8060-2


Chapter One

Jane Ellingson, Woman Wonder with a shredded cape flapping in the virtual breeze, watched as the barista poured a bag of beans into the espresso machine. You knew your life was up to no good when you could seriously relate to beans being chewed up and spit out in a high-pitched whine.

Some days you're the machine, some days you're the bean.

Jane buried her head in her hands, pressing her fists to her ears to dim the sounds of conversation, chairs scraping across the wooden floor and bursts of steam. The voice of a cheerful employee sailed above the din. Normally, she loved Starbucks, craved Starbucks. Not today. She stared at the cup in front of her, holding a White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino with a shot of peppermint, no whip. Hadn't even yet lifted it to her lips. Maybe wouldn't at all, given the stomach crawling over itself in agony and the headache pressing at the edges of her temple.

Unbelievable. One pretty great life, destroyed in a matter of days. Twenty-six years to get to this point and less than a week to chuck it all down the drain.

She didn't want to think about it. Unfortunately, all she could do was think about it. Run it over and over in her mind. The face of her boss, Senator Alice Tate's chief assistant, open-mouthed in disbelief as he stared at his screen. Jane had included a paragraph on the senator's stint in alcohol rehab in a news release on the bill that would assist struggling apple growers. The same news release Jane had so efficiently distributed to the media list. It was her job, after all. She did it so well she'd been given the "Woman Wonder" nickname after only a few months on the job. But this time, it turned out she had a challenge with the cut and paste functions.

"You knew," Chase had said, between lips pulled so tight, they had turned white, "that was something we were working on in case of a news leak." He had clutched his thick brown hair so hard, Jane was sure he was going to pull it out in clumps. "We weren't intending to announce it."

And she could only stammer, "I-I-"

Because she had no comeback. No excuse. She'd been in a hurry to get home, and have time to change for her date with Byron. He of the brilliant, white-toothed smile and deep blue eyes. He, who it seemed, she'd waited all her life to meet.

The news release had been a last-minute task, like most in the senator's office. A hasty, pull-this-bit-from-this draft and this-from-that one. She hadn't proofread, for the first time in as long as she could remember, or she would have seen what she'd accidentally included.

A politician who championed tough legislation on drunk driving could not have it hit the press that she struggled with her own alcohol issues. Especially if an enterprising member of the press dug deep enough to find what else was there.

Jane rubbed one pink manicured finger hard into her forehead, as though physical pain could help obliterate the memory.

Byron, when he'd arrived at her apartment, found her shattered from her day and the realization she could be out of a job. She'd sunk into his familiar arms, heard him murmur in her ear and somehow believed everything would be all right. If only she had him around permanently, she'd thought, to soothe her every night, instead of seeing him just a couple of times a week.

They could have a life, the two of them. In a house with a white picket fence in the suburbs. Maybe kids, eventually, on a swing set in the backyard, under the watchful eye of Mother of the Year candidate Jane and a protective, but playful, collie named Shep. Or Bob. Something. One of those names people gave to dogs.

Jane, the kids and the dog would wait patiently for a smiling Byron to come home from his job at the investment firm. Where he would have skyrocketed through the ranks fast enough to be able to afford that house in the suburbs and all the Pottery Barn furniture that would go inside it. She knew just what colors she'd paint the walls.

The picture had its appeal. Didn't matter that Jane didn't have much experience with kids. Or dogs. Or even like the suburbs, when you compared that sort of life to the excitement of the city.

What mattered was that it was a life. One she'd been sure she'd grow used to. Even like. Better yet ... love.

In a burst of spontaneity that at the time had seemed so romantic, she'd whispered the idea in Byron's ear. "Let's get married." And felt his entire body freeze.

"What?" he'd choked.

That had been her chance. She could have, just that fast, turned it into a joke. But instead, she'd repeated the words, with a desperation even she heard in her voice.

He'd ruffled her hair, a little more firmly than usual, and broken from their embrace to bolt for the bottle of wine he'd brought, banging the cupboards open and shut in a search for glasses. She'd stood in the middle of her Persian lookalike rug, surrounded by generic off-white walls, feeling more alone than she ever had. With her boyfriend no more than six feet away, turning a visible shade of pale beneath the tan he'd acquired on a sales-reward trip to Mexico. Tiny arrows of hurt stabbed at Jane's heart until it felt like a sieve, raining tears she couldn't shed.

They'd put on music and drunk wine. Lots of wine. Just as her eyelids had begun to flutter between open and shut, she'd seen Byron, shoes in hand, tiptoe from the couch to the door. And, she'd been sure, out of her life.

She highly suspected that, once terrified, boyfriends rarely returned to the scene of the terrification.

Just because she'd asked him to marry her. How ... sixties of him. She'd be offended, angry, glad to be rid of him. If only she didn't love him. How sixties of her.

As if it wasn't enough for her to delete her own chance at ever-after happiness, the very next day, she'd had to try and wreck Holly's, too. Holly, who'd been her loyal friend since the ninth grade. Jane stifled a groan as she relived spilling an entire glass of red wine down the back of Holly's wedding dress as it hung on display for the bridesmaids to admire.

It had been an accident. An accident. One minute Jane was talking to redheaded Brianna Brisbee about the groomsmen they'd be matched with and the next, wine was spreading like blood in a horror film.

Holly wasn't speaking to Jane at the moment. Wouldn't let her FedEx a replacement or find a dry cleaner who worked stain miracles. Nothing. "Just stay away from me," her friend had said. The wedding was in two days.

Stay away. What did that mean when you were supposed to be a bridesmaid?

Jane pressed the small of her back into the stuffing of the coffee shop chair, letting her head rest against the top, and stared up at the ceiling. It wasn't the first time she'd screwed things up in her life, but it could be the first time the screwups had all converged at once.

Maybe she could write a book. A memoir. Call it, Jane: A Life in Chaos. Only one problem with that. If you're going to have chaos, you pretty much have to pull it out with a happy ending or no one will buy the book.

Hmmm. All things considered, she'd put her chances of a happy ending at about fifty million to one.

Her finger brushed against something on the windowsill. Something that made a clinking sound on the aluminum. Jane let her head flop to that side and looked down to see a small stone, with a piece of paper tucked under it. She pulled both upward for a better look. The paper appeared old and fragile and the stone unnaturally heavy for its size.

The sport of wishing. A guide for those so disposed.

So disposed. Hah! Was she ever. A strangled laugh made its way out of her throat. Like she hadn't done enough wishing in her life, for all the good it had ever done.

"You okay?" Jane's head whipped upward to see a freckled face crinkling in concern. "Something wrong with your drink? We can make you a new one."

More frappuccino can take care of a lot. But not this. Jane shook her head.

"What's that?" The green-aproned woman pointed to the paper and the stone in Jane's hand.

As if she knew. "Nothing." Jane grabbed for her purse, hurriedly tucking both into it. "Just a-doesn't matter." She pushed herself up. "And my drink is fine. I'm taking it with me." She stood, waiting for the woman to move aside. "Nothing wrong. Nothing at all."

Thank God she could still lie. Sort of.

She left the place, pushing so hard against the door that it banged into a metal chair outside and she found herself apologizing. To a chair.

Then she walked the seven blocks home, past mild-mannered houses with neatly trimmed lawns, past the Italian restaurant that had started cooking for the day, sending its spicy aromas into the air, past the row of storefronts that offered everything from fresh bagels to stationery, and two more coffee shops.

Her shoes beat out a steady rhythm on the sidewalk, where she carefully avoided cracks, in order not to break her mother's back. Her mother. Who had moved to Florida last year and even now was soaking up the sun, oblivious to her only daughter's most recent debacles. The response would be kind but baffled. Why did this sort of thing always happen to Jane, her mother would wonder aloud, and not to Troy?

Jane's older brother Troy led a predictable, organized life, working as a tax attorney in Seattle. Things didn't happen to Troy that he hadn't first "penciled out" and made a conscious decision on. The siblings couldn't be more different.

She glanced to her left before stepping into the street. A car slowed and came to a stop, the driver waving her across. After raising her hand, Jane crossed the street to her apartment building, recently converted from an old elementary school into highly desirable units with hardwood floors and lots of windows. Her apartment had been a seventh-grade classroom, once upon a time. MARY LOVES JIMMY was still scratched into the old wood in a corner of her bedroom closet, apparently missed by the remodeling crew. She loved the place. Hoped she would be able to keep paying the rent on it, now that she was likely not employed.

Home, on a Thursday. When she should have been at the office, preparing press releases and on-the-road-in-the-home-state schedules and answering the phone with a brisk, "Senator Tate's office, Jane Ellingson speaking." The day off had been her boss's idea and not a bad one since the senator had a reputation for tantrums. At least Jane would get paid for this day, if not for any that followed.

She turned her key in the lock and stepped inside her apartment, taking off her jacket and laying it on a chair. She avoided looking at the couch, where she'd been curled up, half-asleep, when Byron made his escape. And she stayed away from the bedroom, where her dress for Holly's wedding hung on the front of the closet, practically shouting the fact that it, if not the bride's gown, remained stain-free.

If only ... she could turn the clock back. Make it all go away. Start over again.

Wish all you want. Won't make it-

Hold on. The sport of wishing. She'd almost forgotten what she'd tucked in her purse. The crazy thing from the windowsill. Somebody's idea of a joke.

She reached into her purse to pull it out, dropped into an overstuffed chair and lifted her legs up and onto the ottoman. Absently, she rubbed the stone between her fingers. It felt smooth, except for one rough spot. Then she looked at the paper, which listed instructions for wishing. Who knew you needed a manual? She'd been doing it all of her life, without any directions. Could be part of the problem.

Head to one side, she reflected on how much easier life would be if it came with instructions. Graduate from high school, the checklist would say, without riding in the car of Amber Wycliff, who, it turned out, earned money to buy her designer purses by selling drugs on the side, and without downing spiked punch at prom and accidentally knocking down one date and one chaperone, who ended up with a broken nose and a minor concussion, respectively. In the official photo with its background of fake clouds, Jamie Wheeler's puffy red nose had matched the corsage she'd been so proud to pin on him, stabbing herself with the pin only once. But at least he'd been willing to have a photo taken. To remember the night.

Like either of them, or old Mrs. Delbert, could forget it.

Moving on. Graduate from college without ... Oh, forget it. Life didn't come with a checklist. Back to the instructions. She placed the stone in the palm of her right hand, just as the paper said. Next, it told her, form a wish.

No. Problem. What-so-ever.

She began to rub the stone in a circular motion, repeating the words a posse ad esse over and over. The part of her that thought it a silly thing to do was quickly replaced by the part disposed to wishing. Really disposed.

Next, it said, she should wait for the stone to heat, and then voice the wish aloud. It was, actually, getting warm. The wish bubbled on the edge of her tongue, frantic to make itself known. "Please," she said, in a voice surprisingly strong, "take me away from here. Let me start all over. Someplace where no one knows me." Wouldn't it be great to wipe out all the mistakes of the past and start from scratch? No one ever got a chance like that. They had to carry baggage around until it had them hunched over and leaning to one side. She repeated the Latin words again, in case they hadn't been heard the first time by ... whoever. "A posse ad esse."

Might be good to know what the words meant but, on the other hand, when playing with something that probably came out of a cereal box, it didn't matter. They had a certain lyrical quality, she thought while fighting disappointment that nothing had happened. And never would happen. Because she was stuck with this life she had created, the one that resembled a stock car race, where she crashed and burned at every turn. Not because she barreled into other cars, but just because she was there, riding around the track. Unlike Troy, her steady, practical brother, who stuck to the back roads-one lane, no traffic, no roadblocks.

She should try it his way, sometime.

Her hand dropped to one side, fingers barely holding on to the stone. Just how low had she sunk, thinking this cereal prize could actually-

A loud boom on her right jarred the thought from her mind. Then a rushing, deafening sound of air, whirling and spinning all around her, and her body knocked straight out of the chair and into darkness, where she tumbled head over heels. Slivers of light appeared in vivid shades of red, green, white, until her eyes squeezed shut in self-defense. Panic shot through every inch of her, rendering her limbs useless.

Don't play with matches, her mother had told her. Not ... Don't play with wishing instructions. Oh, God. Really. This was. Bad. She tried to move an arm. It remained glued to her side. The thing couldn't have taken her seriously. No one started again. Ever.

She tried a new wish. Okay. I didn't mean it. Please stop-

And it did. The rushing noise disappeared, replaced by a steady clip-clopping sound and a movement that jerked her back and forth until she put a hand down on each side to keep her balance, petrified to open her eyes. She felt smooth, supple leather beneath her fingers and heard a horse whinny.

A horse? Not only the sound, but the smell of a horse and ... leather. The feel of clothing. Lots of it, weighing her down and cinching her in tight. More clothing than she'd had on a minute ago, that much was for sure.

Jane pried open one eye and then the other. Snapped them shut and opened them again. She was in some sort of moving carriage. The seat squeaked beneath her as she looked down at the clothing that felt soft, and unfamiliar against her skin. Blue silk, covering her from neck to ankles. The skirts were voluminous, with rows of fabric edged in lace. She was wearing some sort of long jacket over the dress. The jacket had tight upper sleeves that were bell shaped at the end, with more lace. Lots of it. What the-? She'd been wearing her favorite jeans, the ones that fit perfectly, with a pink tank top under her white gauze shirt. And flip-flops. Not an explosion of silk.

She put a hand up to touch her hair and realized that a hat sat firmly on top, with long ribbons tied in a bow under her chin. How bizarre. Had she wished herself right into a theatre piece?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from His and Hers by Dawn Calvert Copyright © 2008 by Dawn Calvert. 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2008

    Great Read

    This was such a wonderfully romantic tale. It's one of those stories that completely warms your heart and reminds you of a time when you truly believed in fairy tales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    A sweet read!

    Jane Ellingson is about to take the trip of a lifetime. Sitting in the local Starbucks reflecting on the past misshapes in her life, she finds a wishing stone sitting on the window ledge with a note attached. Now, what could one little wish hurt? Would it be so bad to be whisked away to another place and time where no one knows you and you could just start all over? A modern day girl, transported back in time to the Victorian era, how will she adjust to the much ¿simpler¿ times? James Dempsey is the man that Jane is destined by the author (in the beginning) writing the story to be with. Confused? Jane is transported back in time and is the heroine of a romance novel, written by Mary Bellingham. As the author takes breaks, it gives the characters time to explore the grounds, feelings and emotions, but as soon as Ms. Bellingham has the pen in hand, she begins to narrate the lives of everyone once again. James is constantly telling Jane she must put forth more effort to make Mary¿s story come to life. Jane knows that Mary wants her to marry James, but it is the other Dempsey brother, Curran that intrigues her. Now wouldn¿t that be an interesting plot twist? Curran and James are not on the best of terms, it is rumored that Curran has the devil in him. Could Jane be the Angel to his saving grace? Will the author approve of the match making¿or will there even be a match? If the opportunity were to arise, would Jane stay in the historical realm in which she now resides or will she leave everything including love behind? Dawn Calvert¿s historical time travel romance is such a sweet read. The characters are loveable as well as lively and opinionated. It does get a little slow at times, but all in all it was very enjoyable. 4 Hearts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2008

    Unique and Amazing!

    Dawn Calvert mesmerized romance fans with her debut romance Hero Worship, an extremely unique storyline of time-travel back to the Regency era. If you are a true romance fan, her style is thrilling and many a romance lovers dream. How many times has a reader been so absorbed in a story they wish they could be in it? Ms. Calvert transports a contemporary character from modern times in a unique time-travel storyline, but then literally transforms them into a current story being written by a romance author! The characters from the previous book tuck away the 'magic stone' (that allows time-travel and wishes to come true) in a local Starbucks, hoping true love as they have found, finds another. At the Starbucks walks in Jane Ellingson. As she sits in her favorite local coffee shop contemplating all that has been going wrong in her life she happens upon the stone tucked on the window ledge with a note saying 'The sport of wishing. A guide for those so disposed.' She figures what has she got to lose with a wishing stone, no matter how strange the idea seems? After all, how could her life get anymore awful than it seems at this time? She has messed up big time in her job as chief assistant to a senator when she releases a scandalous story to the press by accident, her live-in boyfriend freaks after she makes a bigger mistake by announcing 'why don't we get married?, and she adds frosting to her disaster cake by spilling red wine on her best friend's wedding dress at the final fitting party, and no matter how she attempts to make it better, she is told to 'just go away.' So what could be better than going away by rubbing the wishing stone? Little does Jane realize that she would end up in the Victorian era in a Victorian romance novel! First it's the darn corset, long dresses, horses, no modern conveniences, and strict society rules, but then she meets the knock out handsome Curran Dempsey and suddenly all of the things she missed in modern times don't seem so difficult to miss (even though her corset is still too tight), but then she comes to realize she is not only controlled by the Victorian era itself, but the whims of the author writing the novel Jane is in! As Jane becomes involved in her new life and then takes on the other characters and eventually the author herself, this story will not only leave you smiling, but also laughing out loud, as well as mumbling in frustration at both the characters and the author of Jane's story -- not Ms. Calvert :) Will Jane stay in the Victorian era story and win the handsome hero Curran Dempsey or be wiped out of the story with the mere slash of a pen or torn out page that is put in the trash bin? This book is just too much fun to give too much away!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2010

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