The Thrill of It All

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Overview

With a sweet, funny voice and stories that readers love, USA Today bestselling author Christie Ridgway is poised for great things. Let's grow Christie the way we've grown Rachel Gibson!

Felicity Charm went from dirt-poor desert rat to the "America's Shopping Sweetheart" when she single-handedly broke out television's hottest new shopping channel, GetTV, to a whole new audience of young, hip consumers. But try as she might to reinvent her background, the truth is bound to come ...

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Overview

With a sweet, funny voice and stories that readers love, USA Today bestselling author Christie Ridgway is poised for great things. Let's grow Christie the way we've grown Rachel Gibson!

Felicity Charm went from dirt-poor desert rat to the "America's Shopping Sweetheart" when she single-handedly broke out television's hottest new shopping channel, GetTV, to a whole new audience of young, hip consumers. But try as she might to reinvent her background, the truth is bound to come calling-in the form of crazy Aunt Vi, who needs Felicity's reliability to help sort out the latest family crisis. So she puts her 'perfect' boyfriend and 'perfect' life on hold, and strikes out in her Miata to Half Palm, CA, hoping to make fast work of her nutsoid relatives and get back to LA as quickly as possible.

But before she manages that, she'll meet Luke Nilsson, an extreme rock climbing star who's just as caught up in the antics of the Charm family as Felicity is. He's wrong for Felicity in every single way imaginable, but get the two of the together and things seem so right. Perhaps Aunt Vi isn't so nutsoid after all . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060502904
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/26/2004
  • Series: Avon Romance Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Christie Ridgway has never lived east of the Pacific Ocean, north of San Francisco, or south of San Diego. To put it simply, she's a California native who loves to travel but is happy to make the Golden State her home. She began her writing career in fifth grade when she penned a volume of love stories featuring herself and a teen idol who will probably be thrilled to remain nameless. Later, though, after marrying her college sweetheart, Christie again took up writing romances, this time with imaginary heroes and heroines. In a house full of males—one terrific husband, two school-age sons, a yellow dog, and tankfuls of fish, reptiles, and amphibians—Christie makes her own place (and peace) writing the kinds of stories she loves best.

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First Chapter

The Thrill of It All

Chapter One

There was more dazzle in the Las Vegas ballroom than a convention of Crest White Strippers on a glitter factory tour. Ultraviolet smiles snapped on and off like flashbulbs, their beams catching in the diamonddrop chandeliers overhead and in the facets of the cutcrystal stemware on the snowy tablecloths. Celine's show at Caesar's Palace was dark that night, but Celine herself was still at work, her silver sequins winking as she slinked forward to double-airkiss the cheeks of the Home Shopping Network's CEO. Nearby, the canary-yellow jewel in J-Lo's cocktail ring -- a simulated "Jem" from her own signature line -- caught the light and bounced off the glasses of the QVC executive sitting beside her.

At the table reserved for GetTV -- front and center, as GetTV had received the most nominations for the awards that honored the best in the shopping network and infomercial industry -- no high-powered executive or high-salaried celebrity could distract Felicity Charm from the single most important figure in the room. Elegant, serene, and standing alone on a satinskirted table atop the stage, the fourteen-inch statuette, nicknamed the "Joanie," commanded all Felicity's attention.

Her hand curled, as if already wrapping around the trophy's slick surface. The Joanie's gleaming fourteen-karat finish would pick up the matching threads in the white chiffon of her simple strapless evening dress, Felicity thought. Perfect. The crowning touch to the image she'd been shaping and polishing for the past sixteen years.

A silky southern accent snaked through the buzz of the crowd. "Don't you feel like a big ol' fake?"

"No." Felicity's gaze whipped left, clashing with the cool, calculating one of Andrea Rice, the coworker seated next to her at the banquet table.To cover for her knee-jerk outburst, Felicity tempered her voice and worked up a half-smile. "I mean, uh ... what?"

Andrea shrugged. "Oh, it's just me and my jitters. About now I start thinkin' how undeservin' I am or I start worryin' about givin' my acceptance speech while somethin' leafy green and the size of south Texas is stuck between my teeth."

Felicity hung on to her noncommittal smile. Not only wouldn't she let that four-letter word "fake" into her head, but she'd start cashiering at K mart before she imagined herself standing up in front of three thousand industry professionals -- not to mention the TV viewers watching the awards ceremony live at home -- with a Popeye-worthy portion of spinach wedged in the seam of her two front incisors.

Andrea waved a hand. "I can't imagine why I'm givin' it a li'l ol' thought. This might be my seventh nomination for Host of the Year and the only time you've been mentioned, but I'm just sure you'll win."

It wasn't lost on Felicity that the moment demanded she reciprocate, but it was all she could do to respond with another smile. Her stage crew had let her know that in the weeks since Advertising Age magazine had named her "America's Sweetheart of Sales," the other woman had been tirelessly campaigning the members of the Electronic Retail Association to vote for anyone but "Felicity Full-of-Herself," as Andrea liked to call her behind her back.

The chandeliers briefly flickered, signaling that the commercial break was almost over and sending Felicity's pulse rate soaring. As live close-ups of herself and the four other Host of the Year nominees popped onto the huge screens hanging over the stage, the man on her right, her producer, Drew Hartnett, leaned down to murmur into her ear.

"This is it," he said.

She smiled for the umpteenth time, as anxious to hide her nerves from him as she was to conceal them from everyone else. Drew always looked like her ideal man -- but tonight! He wore a tuxedo like other men wore jeans and sweatsocks and his cultured bearing only made her more determined that any cracks in her poised, self-assured shell wouldn't show.

Drew deserved no less. They'd worked together the past two years with the tacit agreement that they were too busy with the transformation of GetTV to allow a romantic relationship to steal their focus, but with this year's success, she knew the time was ripe for that to change.

Winning the Joanie would prove Felicity good enough to win Drew, too.

The chandeliers dimmed, and then the emcee bounded back onto the stage. During the next few minutes, while the cameras retained live, tight shots on the others, the fifth screen displayed a canned segment about each nominee, complete with gushing voice-over and clips from their respective shows.

Felicity sat frozen, trying to look bright-eyed and attentive through the others' spotlights. Then it was her turn.

"In the past year at GetTV, Felicity Charm has turned our industry on its ear. Not content with the demographic targeted by QVC, HSN, Worldwide Shopping, and the infomercial retailers, Felicity speaks to—and more importantly sells to -- her generation. InStyle magazine calls her the 'It Girl of Electronic Retail.'

"Maybe it's the products she presents -- many that she selects herself -- or the celebrities she convinces to appear with her, from Sarah Michelle Geller demonstrating moves from her Buffed-Up series of exercise DVDs to the rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers offering up their special Red Hot Chili Pepper pasta sauce. Whatever the reason, there's an undeniable magic about Felicity that has twenty- and thirty-somethings tuning in."

Then they ran a clip from a recent show. Felic-ity saw herself admiring a more run-of-the-mill product -- a set of 250-threadcount Egyptian cotton bedwear -- "Boyfriends don't leave beds dressed in these sheets!" -- and then she suggested to the at-home audience that the product also made great gifts for older relatives. Her Aunt Vi's book group -- Classic Ladies Read the Classics -- used them on every bed in their first and second homes, she told the audience, and her Uncle Billy's golf foursome swore sleeping on the smooth cotton had taken an average of six strokes off their golf score.

The Thrill of It All. Copyright © by Christie Ridgway. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 24, 2012

    One of my favorite books

    One of my favorite books

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    3 1/2 stars. Writing fell a little short compared to her others.

    The story started out well, but then it was choppy for me. I felt like the author was trying to throw in the love scenes while building the characters and their issues. It just didn't flow well. I ended up liking Magee's character best, wanted to know more about rock climbing, and felt for his personal issues and conflicts; while with Felicity, her character was enjoyable but I wasn't as involved with her issues. Her cousin Ben's disappearance served to push the plot forward with no other meaning, and when she had her epiphany, it seemed forced and unreal. The ending felt rushed. There were characters from An Offer You Can't Refuse where I thought it would have been better to leave them out or talk more about them; the supporting characters and subplots weren't doing anything for me like in her other books. Overall, I thought the author tried to deal with too many issues and too many characters that it didn't flow well and ditracted from the main characters and their romance. Nevertheless, it was still a good fun read, just not one of her best.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Fun and Sexy

    Another great book by Christie Ridgway. Fast paced fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2005

    Its a winner

    Nicely written, storyline keeps you wanting more and the steamy scence are well...steamy! Som references to 'An Offer He Can't Refuse' but not really connected. Very much enjoyed this book.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A moving romance

    In Vegas, GetTV host Felicity Charm is thrilled when she wins the ¿Joanie¿ for her selling of electronic items. However, she has no time to bask in her glory as her California based family of nuts and con artists intercede. Aunt Vi asks Felicity to come home to Half Moon to solve the problem of her cousin vanishing. Although she prefers to avoid her family of rascals at all cost, Felicity is the troubleshooter so she drives across the desert..................... However, Felicity¿s hits a car sitting on the side of the road in an isolated area. The other driver Michael Magee insures she is okay by taking her to his nearby abode. That night they fall into each other¿s arms, but not long afterward she learns his secret. He promised his deceased best friend that he would take care of his widow and daughter who happen to be first and second cousins to his ¿Lissie¿ as he calls the woman who crashed into his heart................................ Though her family comes out of You Can¿t Take It With You without the charm as they use and abuse the serious minded Felicity, fans will enjoy this lighthearted romp because of the two likable protagonists. The contrast between Felicity and her family has made her feel as if she was adopted as they could never share the same DNA as she takes life seriously while they go from one caper to another. Michael becomes the equal sign between everyone, but he has made a death bed pledge that makes it unlikely that he and his beloved will forge a permanent relationship..................... Harriet Klausner

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