Something About Cecily

Something About Cecily

4.2 4
by Karen Kendall
     
 

When Cecily Scatterton literally falls into Chas Buchanan's lap,he thinks his problems are over — or have they just begun? He desperately needs someone to fill in for his vacationing secretary, Cecy's as good at causing chaos in his well-ordered life as she is typing. Yet there's just something about her that pulls at his heart. Is it her surprising sweetness,

Overview

When Cecily Scatterton literally falls into Chas Buchanan's lap,he thinks his problems are over — or have they just begun? He desperately needs someone to fill in for his vacationing secretary, Cecy's as good at causing chaos in his well-ordered life as she is typing. Yet there's just something about her that pulls at his heart. Is it her surprising sweetness, or her stubborn pride? Or maybe the non-stop fantasies that make it so hard to keep his mind on business...Though Chas Buchanan is tall dark, and handsome, he's also much too bossy and buttoned-down. Cecy doesn't need his help getting back on her feet — wellmaybe just a little — but he clearly does need hers. Why, he even organizes his"spontaneous" time! Something about him just gives her an uncontrollable urge to shake up his life — and if she can't do it, no one can!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380818525
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/2001
Series:
Avon Romance Ser.
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Cecy Scatterton tried not to let the curled lip of the Neiman Marcus manager bother her. Why had she ever splurged and bought a dress here? Tears wiggled their way under her lashes, and she blinked furiously, trying to keep them at bay. She produced her most genteel Southern smile.

"I'm afraid that store credit just won't do," she told the manager. "I'd like a cash refund."

"Store credit is more than generous under the circumstances, Ms. Scatterton. The only thing identifying this dress as ours is the brand name. You have no receipt, no attached tags." The manager folded her arms and stared Cecy down. "Our return policy is clearly posted throughout the store."

"But --" Cecy began. But what? You see, Ms. Ice Queen, I've been hopelessly irresponsible with money and my life in general, but today I'm turning over a new leaf ?

"Ms. Scatterton, do you really want to push this? I could point out that this dress smells of perfume and hair spray. There are deodorant marks inside it. And the bag you've chosen to bring it back in is of last year's design."

Cecy thought about her entirely empty refrigerator, the one last packet of dried soup in her pan" and Barney, her orange cat. His breakfast had consisted of an unlucky cricket and some crumbled saltines. She thought, about her rent bill, which had been racking up ten-dollar-perdiem late charges since last Friday. Her tears loomed closer.

store credit, Ms. Scatterton?" The manager was saying.

"Yes," Cecy said quickly. "'I'll take it. Thanks." She signed the bottom of the required form. ""Where is your gourmet section, please?"

Barney licked his crooked littlechops and twitched his tail in gratitude. Imported foie gras and chutney were evidently more to his liking than crispy cricket h la saltine.

Cecy dunked the last chunk of a chocolate dipped biscotti into black French coffee she had flavored with honey. It tasted wonderful, and she savored the food down to the last crumb.

Then she picked Barney up and snuggled him under her chin. As she kissed him he protested amiably and wriggled up over her shoulder, hanging his paws down her back. The snooty gourmet section of Neiman's had filled their growling stomachs, if not their nutritional needs. And, Cecy thought, trying to look on the bright side, it hadn't cost anything, strictly speaking. She'd gotten them imported food of the finest quality without passing so much as a nickel over the counter. Of course, there was that silly matter of the twenty-two percent interest on her store charge card, but what did it signify? If she couldn't pay her rent, she had no hope of paying her charge cards. She had to eat, however, until she found a way out of debt.

She walked with Barney into the living room and sat on the sofa, scratching his belly. As he writhed with pleasure, she looked about her.

Knickknacks sprouted from every available table, shelf, and crevice. Seven Lladro figurines fought for air across the mantel. The china cabinet bulged with small crystal animals. The left wall crawled with costly porcelain plates, fiftysix of them. The right wall stood awash in a sea of small but original watercolors and oil paintings. A series of vases lined the hearth. Cushions and throws smothered her furniture. The room, Cecy reflected honestly, was way too small for all this stuff.

And then there was The Box. The Box lurked under her fancy scrolled coffee table, covered with a heavy brocade cloth. She shuddered at the thought of its contents.

But just as her thoughts began to turn gloomy again, Cecy's doorbell rang. It had to be Leo, her UPS man! What had he brought her today? Was it her order from Bloomingdale's, or the nightie from Victoria's Secret? She shivered with excitement and sprinted for the door. The familiar consumer's high warmed her cheeks and upped her heartbeat. She loved opening packages. Adored it. Lived for it, in the six months since her brother Brock had passed away.

As she reached for the doorknob, her feet slid and flew out from under her. Cecy's thoughts were suspended for a moment, then knocked out of her along with her breath as her nose, pelvis, and knees connected with the tiled floor. She'd tripped over a stack of glossy catalogues.

With a howl of pain, she let her tears flow. When she opened the door holding one hand over her bloodied nose, even the sight of Leo's friendly face wasn't much comfort. Nor was the lovely satin nightie in Passionate Peach -- she had no one but herself to wear it for.

Cecy sat in the emergency room, stoned on a handful of Midols and a minibottle of champagne from the Neiman's gift basket. It was all the painkiller she'd had in the apartment, and her nose still throbbed.

Across from her sat a man -- actually two of him -- with coal black hair, almond-shaped dark eyes, and lips that curved to trigger a woman's darkest fantasies. His long, rangy body was giftwrapped in cowboy boots, denim, and a pressed cotton shirt. One of his large hands was bandaged, the middle fingers taped to a makeshift splint.

Cecy was holding a bag of ice to her nose and wondering muzzily what he'd look like in only the boots when the nurse on duty stepped out and called her name.

"Cecily Scatterton?"

Cecy stood up, wobbly, and said, "Tha's me." She took two steps, then stopped-she'd forgotten her pocketbook. Turning to get it, she swayed and stumbled over the toe of a cowboy boot. For the second time that day, the floor rushed toward her, but this time it stopped. A steel-like arm encircled her waist and set her firmly back on her own feet.

"Watch it, sweetheart. You okay?" His voice was deep, lazy, without accent. It made her liver quiver. It made her heart stop.

"Mmmmm," she managed. Her blood began pulsing again after its momentary hiatus, and she stared into those depthless dark eyes. Her rescuer had a wildly sexy five o'clock shadow on the lower half of his face, and she desperately wanted to burn her own skin on it. Everywhere.

"Ms. Scatterton?" the nurse repeated.

Something About Cecily. Copyright � by Karen Kendall. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

I grew up in Austin, Texas, and have been writing since the age of four, but did not complete my first "masterpiece" until the age of eleven: a Regency spy thriller version of Orwell's Animal Farm. For some strange reason, this proved to be unmarketable. I began my first romance novel at the age of twelve but noticed after fifty-three handwritten pages that the story didn't seem to have a plot. Many years later, while at Smith College, I began to understand why plot was an important element of a book.

I now live in Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband and a menagerie of animals. I'd love to hear from my readers at P.O. Box 70185, Marietta, GA 30007-0185, or at kkauthor@aol.com

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Something About Cecily 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Island_Reader_Tina More than 1 year ago
More like 3.75 stars. I had such a hard time rating this book because my feelings on it and the characters were all over the place. It started off amazing with great humor and pacing. I read almost the first half of the book in one sitting. Which is super rare for me. But then the middle started to drag and get kind of boring. Very unfortunate. Even the humorous stuff hit a lull and it just seemed overly forced and awkward. It was during the middle that the characters—who started out wonderfully—began to get rather annoying. Cecy became immature and childish and naive and irrational/unstable/irresponsible. Then we have Chas who is constantly referring to Cecy as a fluffball or bimbo. And implying that she is dimwitted. (Which in my opinion she sort of is.) Plus he's a Gamma Hero with a feminine streak, which I'm not much a fan of. And, even at the end, I just never got the "love vibes" from their romance. Lust I'll believe, but they could barely stand each other. The animosity was more prevalent than the romance. That's not to say the smexy times weren't explosive, because they were pretty darn hot! The ending was a ton better though. Pacing picked back up, the hilarity returned and there was the added bonus of one or two tear-jerker moments. Overall, it was a cute story. I enjoyed it a lot despite the issues I had with it, and I was thoroughly entertained. This would make for a great lighthearted and fun beach/vacation/snuggled-under-the-blankets-on-a-cold-night read. I'd recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was enchanted by this delectable book. I picked this book by chance and I loved it. The characters are exiting and audacious. I could not put the book down. I can hardly wait for Ms. Kendall's next book, 'To Catch a Kiss'.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Used to having a golden spoon, Cecily Scatterton finds herself without a penny, any food in her home for her or her cat, and the rent and car payments are past due. When she slips and injures her nose, Cecy goes to the nearby hospital for treatment after mixing painkillers with alcohol. However, when she is unable to pay her $210 ER tab, a sexy hunk offers to pay her tab if she provides him with typing assistance. Desperate Cecy agrees to fill in for financial planner Chas Buchanan while his assistant is away.

Cecy and her cat move into Chas¿ office to live unbeknownst to the boss. Meanwhile Chas lusts after his new assistant, but she does not fit into own life plan. Still, he finds himself falling in love and Cecy does too, but she is irresponsible nouveau poor and he is ultra responsible leaving little commonality at least on the surface for a relationship.

SOMETHING ABOUT CECILY is an amusing contemporary romance with a serious undertone involving terrible financial management. The story line is humorous as Cecy struggles with the lack of cash and any hope out of her debacle yet still provides a lesson on fiscal responsibility. The lead couple is a charming delight though Chas¿ consistent adherence to his in cement plan seems out of character for someone who understands strategic goals. The author shows talent, as her debut will have the audience say that there is something about Karen Kendall.

Harriet Klausner