Overworked tax attorney Penelope Sue fields never had time for romance—so she invented a phantom lover named Raoul to fill the gaping hole in her love life. But all it takes is one chance encounter with hunky undercover cop Tony Olano in a New Orleans elevator, and Penelope is ready to give her fantasy man the boot in favor of the flesh and blood, rippling muscled real thing. Now if only he would notice her.
Badboy-turned-cop Tony Olano can't help but notice the dreamy-eyed lawyer—she's not only desirable, she's a suspect in his ongoing criminal investigation! And that's where grandmotherly Mrs. Meableel Merlin comes in. A well-meaning meddler, Mrs. Merlin's prepared to use mystical arts to unite the "all-work-no-play" lady lawer and the sexy, sensitive lawman. Trouble is that her spell goes seriously awry, leaving Tony and Penelope to forge their own tumultuous path to good old-fashioned passion.
|Product dimensions:||4.18(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.96(d)|
About the Author
Hailey North is a USA Today bestselling author who began writing while employed as a “game show lawyer” for NBC Studios. Tired of hearing that lawyers aren’t creative, she quit her job and typed “Chapter One” (not the chapter, just the heading!).
Since that day, Hailey has authored eight romantic comedies set in her adopted hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana, and in her favorite imaginary town, Doolittle, Arkansas.
Read an Excerpt
Penelope ran the tip of her tongue over her lips.
The man with bedroom eyes cleared his throat.
Like an elevator car with a broken cable, Penelope snapped to earth. Her eyes flew open. To her chagrin, the black-haired man looked at her as if she were mildly, if not severely, retarded.
He pointed politely to the open door of the elevator. How long they'd been on the first floor of the office tower Penelope couldn't guess.
Didn't want to, either, or her embarrassment would mount. Gathering her dignity, she hurried forward, sparing neither a word nor a backward glance at the sexy stranger.
When would she learn to control her over active imagination? Flushed and irritated with herself, Penelope strode in her low-heeled pumps across the marble floor of the Oil Building. As usual, she'd worked late, later than she'd intended, and the crush of workers who staffed the building had long since departed.
She'd agreed to meet David Hinson for drinks at eight at the nearby Hotel Intercontinental, along with some Washington clients. Then they were all having dinner at David's Garden District home.
Her stomach fluttered slightly when she counted the number of times he'd asked her out in the past six weeks, but thoughts of the lawyer caused scarcely a ripple compared to the tumult the complete stranger in the elevator had raised within her.
Therefore, Penelope found it easier to keep her mind within check as she pushed open the glass door that led onto St. Charles Avenue.
The July heat beat at her with the intensity of a wood-burning oven and Penelope shrugged out of her suit jacket. She'd been in New Orleans less than six months, and she could see as clearly as the sky above theMississippi that she'd have to invest in a new wardrobe. Perhaps, she thought with a whimsical smile, she'd purchase one of the striped seersucker suits she'd seen sprouting like summer pansies in the office.
The suits weren't terribly attractive, especially on women, but Penelope dressed for business, not, she thought ruefully, to catch the eye of men like the guy in the elevator.
Shrugging off that somewhat dismal thought, Penelope slipped her jacket over her arm, then froze. Afraid to look, afraid of what she'd con firm, Penelope slid her gaze to the sidewalk by her feet, patted her shoulder for the familiar comfort of a heavily weighted shoulder strap.
What had happened to her briefcase? She would never leave it in the office.
Then she remembered.
"Puppies, kittens, and cats!" Penelope kicked the sidewalk, then executed an about-face. Her briefcase contained her life, her work, her purse, her
She gasped and pushed back into the building. Penelope Fields would just die if anyone pawed through her case and found Love Bites, her secret cookbook project, the discovery of which would, no doubt, make her the laughing stock of the august firm of LaCour, Richardson, Zeringue, Ray, Wellman and Klees.
Penelope headed straight for the elevator. "Please let it be there," she whispered. She'd give up chocolate for a month if the fates had left it sitting undisturbed. Who'd want a lawyer's briefcase anyway, stuffed with page upon page of paper that paid testimony to the turmoil of people's lives?
The doors to the express elevator stood open. Holding her breath, she peeked inside, picturing exactly the spot where she'd placed it as she'd escaped into her fantasy of the man with bed room eyes.
All that met her gaze was a coffee stain on the carpet.
If only that man hadn't distracted her. Unreasonably irritated with a man she didn't even know, irritated even more by the knowledge she had herself solely to blame, Penelope whirled around. Someone might have turned it in to Building Security.
Head down, berating herself, Penelope stepped forward.
She sensed someone in her path, too late to keep from barreling into a broad and sturdy chest that didn't even flinch as she hit it in full stride.
Penelope, however, caught off guard, wobbled and might have fallen backward if not for the hand that shot out to steady her, a hand that remained cupped against her lower back.
"Going or staying?" This time the question definitely carried a hint of amusement.
Penelope lifted her head from the wall of chest, clothed respectably in a gray wool suit, blue and white striped shirt, and a tie that
She squinted, trying to make out what the clearly naked figures on the man's tie were doing, then hastily raised her gaze to meet the stranger's eyes head on. This time she was fore warned. No matter how sensuous an expression she saw on his face, she'd keep her attention planted firmly on planet Earth.
Eyes like dark, loamy earth, a brown so rich it might be black, watched her, a glint in them Penelope interpreted as mirroring the amusement in his voice. Amusement at her expense.
"I am searching for my briefcase," she said, in a voice designed to remind opposing counsel just who they were up against.
A sweep of warmth, a pressure gentle yet hinting at something much stronger heated her lower back. A matching surge warmed her face. Penelope inched away from him. "Do you mind?"
He grinned, and his eyes glowed even darker.
She turned away. She needed to find Security.
"Don't you want to ask me something before you go?"
What would she ask a man like this? Penelope hesitated. Rough me up? Rip my clothes off and warm my skin with kisses? Tease me. Tickle me. Make me believe reality can be half as good as my fantasies?
She shook her head. Without another glance at him, she moved away.
Footsteps sounded behind her. In a quiet voice, the man said, "Here."
She heard the clunk.
She looked down at the floor, knowing this time she'd find more than a coffee stain.
Her case sat there, but the man had disappeared.
Copyright ) 1998 by Hailey North
What People are Saying About This
Charming and wonderfully entertaining!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
ARC requested through Edelweiss, and kindly provided by the Publisher, in exchange for a honest review. This was my first time reading a book by this author, and I must admit it left a good first impression. The story line pulled me in right away and continued to hold my attention the whole way through. I loved the characters, Penelope is funny, smart, and a bit quirky! I loved the the banter between her and Mrs. Merlin, they are hilarious! Overall I would say that this is a fun and highly entertaining contemporary romance story with a little paranormal twist!! Definitely a worthwhile read and great Edelweiss find!!
"Hi. You lookin for someone?" She asked.
She begins to play with the other girls ni.pple, making it rock hard. She slowly laened in, kissing her.
I’ve never read any titles from Hailey North, but this was a fun journey. A bit retro in feel and approach, the original release was in 1998, and much of the twists, turns and humor have an air of nostalgia about them. Penelope is a tax attorney, and a bit straight-laced. While she believes she wants, and should want a relationship, she honestly doesn’ t believe she has time for a man, so she invents one to keep questions and fix-ups at bay. I like Penelope – she’s funny and smart, and her interactions, particularly with the meddlesome Mrs. Merlin are cute. Mrs. Merlin is a bit of a hoot actually, and she’s not graciously accepting of Penelope’s fantasy man. Oh – and her name? HUGE giveaway. Tony is an investigator, and Penelope happens to be a suspect. But, he can’t deny the attraction. And with the help from Mrs. Merlin and her not so wonderful spell, he’ll have to work harder to prove his interest to Penelope. I’m on the fence about Tony – there’s just not as much fun in the relationship as I hoped for, and he’s not feeling possible to me. Not bad, just not enough to drive me forward to keep reading. Still, this was a fun story that felt nostalgic and had several moments of giggles – particularly with the twists brought in with Mrs. Merlin I received an eBook copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
If you've enjoyed Perfect Match, you might want to pick up Bedroom Eyes and meet Mrs. Merlin--before she swore off candle magick! Alistair Gotho is there to set things right, even though he has to wait until he meets Lauren Stevens in Perfect Match to right his own world.
Moans* He<_>ll yeah thats it
Quirky romance with paranormal and mystery elements. Penelope and Mrs. Merlin were really cute together. It was great to see Penelope come out of her shell the more time she spent with both Tony and Mrs. Merlin. Overall and enjoyable read with some funny and sexy moments. 3.5 stars Galley provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.