In the second warm, funny and romantic novel in the Girls' Weekend Away series, four best friends embark on the ultimate girls' getaway filled with hijinks and a sprinkling of romance. For any fan of Bridesmaids and Sex and the City and readers of Jo Watson, Lauren Layne, Joanna Bolouri and Cate Woods.
The single mom...
When Celia Fox's ex-husband serves her with custody papers during the same weekend he's getting remarried, she expects things to go downhill from there. So when her best friends show up to whisk her away for a girls' getaway to San Francisco, it's just what the doctor ordered. Add in the chance to see Landon Bryant again, and she can't wait for the weekend to begin.
And the playboy millionaire...
Landon and Celia shared stolen moments of passion in Vegas, and Landon hasn't been able to stop thinking about her since. He knows she's under pressure to hold her family together, but he's determined to prove he's there for her - and that she deserves some fun of her own.
Are about to get wild.
As Celia rediscovers who she used to be and her relationship with Landon deepens, she begins to believe he's someone she can rely on. But Celia has been keeping a secret from everyone - if the truth comes out, will they play it safe or take a leap of faith?
Each book in the Girls Weekend Away series is STANDALONE:
* What Happens in Vegas
* Meet Me In San Francisco
* The Nashville Bet
* A Match Made in Monaco
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
March 11, 2018 23:49
L: Hey, sexy.
C: Hey, hot stuff. Sorry for not saying goodbye. Had to rush to catch my flight.
L: No worries ;) I'll always have the family size stall in Vibe to remember you by.
C: And the panties you refused to give me back.
L: Darling, I framed those.
C: You're joking, right?
April 2, 2018 18:17
L: In the meeting from hell. Save me.
C: Sorry, also in hell. I love my kid, but her soccer games get loooooonnggggg.
L: Soccer, nice. I played lacrosse as a kid.
C: I bet you had all the cheerleaders swooning for your sexy ass in high school.
L: I stopped playing much in middle school. Dad felt I should focus on other things. What position does your daughter play?
C: Jilly's a striker. She gets her athletic talent from my ex.
C: I prefer bedroom sports. *kissy face emoji*
L: You're a MVP in my book.
April 5, 2018 22:04
C: I can't believe you just sent my daughter all this expensive sports stuff without asking me first.
C: I really want to pack everything up and send it back to you.
C: But Jilly is over the moon.
C: So I'll swallow my pride for her sake. But don't do it again.
L: That's not all you swallow.
L: Shit, no, sorry.
L: I'm drunk.
April 11, 2018 9:46
C: You can't just throw money at a problem to make it go away.
L: You got the flowers?
L: Did you also get the card that said I am an utter git who should never drink and text and that you are an amazing, sexy, caring and, hopefully, a very, very, very forgiving woman?
C: Anything to do with my kids goes through me first, got it?
L: Yes, ma'am.
C: If we ever hook up again, you have to call me that.
L: YES, MA'AM.
April 22, 2018 14:37
L: Been a while since I heard from you.
L: Everything ok?
C: Yup. ;)
C: Just been working on a project.
L: Oh, wanna share a bit of your first draft?
C: Nah, still a work in progress
May 1, 2018 7:15
L: Quinn says hi.
L: He peeled himself away from Bonni long enough to visit.
C: Still night-time here.
L: Whoops, sorry. Forgot about the time difference.
L: Want me to have coffee delivered?
L: Yes, ma'am!
May 9, 2018 22:11
L: So did Colin get a part in the play?
C: I can't believe you remembered he auditioned. His father certainly didn't.
C: And yes, he did. One of the older kids got Peter Pan, but Colin's playing Michael.
L: When is it? Maybe I can use the jet to come see it.
C: You're gonna fly across the country to see an elementary school play?
L: If you ever get around to telling me when it is.
C: May 12th & 13th.
L: Shit, I can't. Dad found some Asian investors he wants me to meet with.
C: No worries.
C: It was a nice thought, tho.
June 2, 2018 17:03
L: Just checking in.
L: Ready for summer vacation?
L: I bet the kids are looking forward to no more school.
L: Everything ok? You seem a little off.
L: What's going on?
C: Can't talk about it.
L: I'm here for you.
L: Are you ghosting me?CHAPTER 2
"Whoever said being a single mom was easy can kiss my ass."
Still in cotton sleeping pants and a tank top, with her hair piled up in a messy bun, Celia wasn't sure she'd be able to get the house in order fast enough so she could escape into her writing, accompanied by a nice cup of Earl Grey and a shortbread cookie.
She hated a messy house. It drove her nuts, but lately she couldn't stay on top of it. So now she found herself in the kids' bathroom, picking up their jammies, scraping dried toothpaste out of the sink and cleaning a toilet used by a little boy who still hadn't quite figured out how to aim.
God, she loved her kids. More than anything. But damn, they could create a disaster zone out of nothing.
"I shouldn't be so hard on them. They're just kids, after all." She was talking to herself. Was that a sign of insanity? No, that was when you kept doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Celia didn't want to be one of those moms who insisted on having an immaculate home, one where you could barely tell children lived there. She didn't. But she also didn't think it was too much to ask that towels were hung back up on the bar rather dumped into a pile on the floor.
She swept up the musty-smelling towels and pajamas into a laundry basket and started to tackle the toilet. Wielding the toilet brush, she scrubbed viciously, taking out her anger at her ex-husband on the porcelain. Today — today of all days — he pulled this shit. The past few months had been excruciating. He'd been a complete asshole and her bank account was running low. And, now, being served with court papers before she'd even had her first cup of coffee was the icing on the cake.
The only thing she had to be grateful for was that the kids were at day camp and would be picked up by their dad later. She didn't have to hide how incredibly pissed she was. Celia gritted her teeth at the frustration welling inside her and flushed the toilet with a slap of the handle. Today should've been a good day.
Celia pushed some hair out of her face with the back of her hand. Okay, yes, Jilly and Colin were spending the weekend with her ex because Dickhead was getting remarried. He hadn't even waited until the ink was dry on their divorce decree before he was shacking up with the floozy he cheated on her with. But she wasn't going to be bitter. She wasn't going to be angry that he was showing his true colors. It wasn't her nature to hold grudges or to wallow in self-pity. No matter how much she deserved to.
She sighed and stretched her back. Dropping the toilet brush into her cleaning pail, she began to spray the shower with bleach and thought about her original plans for a kid-free weekend. She'd been determined to get at least another five thousand words in on her new book, and then she was going to treat herself to the latest superhero movie. Watching buff men throw punches in tight clothing was a sure- fire mood-lifter.
Coughing a little from the bleach fumes, she pushed open the window, allowing the dry heat of the California air to come wafting into the room. Beginning to scrub the tiles of the shower, she snorted. Some of her author friends would post things like this on Facebook or Instagram. The glamorous life of a New York Times bestselling author.
Celia's heart jumped, remembering the thrill that had raced through her last night when she found out that her first book was now a bestseller. After she and Frank separated, Celia had begun supporting herself by taking whatever freelance writing gigs she could get. It was mainly magazine articles, a few blog posts, and poetry for greeting- card companies. But after a wild night in Vegas she'd been inspired to write an erotica novel. Sales had been slow at first but, as word of mouth spread, it began climbing the charts.
And she couldn't tell a soul because Dickhead would be a dick about it. Of that, she was sure. She wrote, and did all her social media, under a pseudonym, to keep her author life under wraps. Not even her best friends knew. Still, having a bestselling novel was worthy of celebration, so she had planned to splurge on Chinese for dinner. But those plans were before she'd been served with those court papers.
She couldn't believe he was taking her back to court to reduce her child support and alimony, as well as to increase his visitation rights. It just boggled her mind.
Stepping out of the shower, Celia looked around the bathroom. Toilet, sink, shower, check. Floor ... not so much. It had rained before Jilly's last soccer game, and her darling eldest child must've worn her uniform into the bathroom before taking a shower. When she was still married, they'd had a housekeeper, and Celia missed her more than she ever missed Frank. Her fantasies these days consisted of being able to hire someone else to clean up after her children, but every penny she had went to bills, which now apparently included paying a lawyer. The latest money from her book sales wouldn't come in for a while and in the meantime ... well, in the meantime ... she'd make do.
Feeling sad and depressed as her plans of a movie and Chinese food faded away, she made quick work of scrubbing the floor. Grabbing her cleaning pail and the laundry basket, she dropped them in the hallway outside the kids' rooms and decided to shower the bleach smell away.
A few minutes later, wrapped in a towel, she left her clothes on the floor (she'd pick them up before the kids got home) and padded down to the kitchen. Her little townhouse was just enough for the three of them. Money was tight, but she could make ends meet. Things would be so much easier if the asshole would just pay up his fair share of child support, though. The man was a highly respected cardiac surgeon, but God forbid he give a crap that Jilly needed new cleats. He was such a cheapskate. If it hadn't been for Landon ...
She shook the thought away. Letting the days slip by and not replying to his texting had probably sealed the fate on them. It wasn't like she'd intended it to happen. She liked him soooo much — still did — and memories of their fling warmed her on lonely nights, but she was just getting so damn depressed about things and trying to be happy was coming awful hard these days. Celia plugged in the kettle and stared out the window into her little backyard, elbow propped on her hip as she chewed her middle finger, imagining that she was flipping the bird at her ex.
The doorbell rang and she jumped. She clutched the top of the towel and spun around with her legs spread wide, and her other hand reached out as if to ward off the devil himself.
"Who the hell is that?"
Gone were the days when, as a kid, everybody loved it when the doorbell rang. It meant visitors. Mom always had a cake ready, Dad had beer in the fridge and the coffee pot was ready to perk up some liquid goodness.
Not anymore. No one expected or wanted doorbells. They were the most dreaded sound going.
Celia tiptoed out of the kitchen and down the hall, out of sight of any windows. She knew where all the blind spots were in her house. She made a point of knowing them, in case of situations just like these. As a single mom with two kids under ten, you could never be too careful.
The doorbell ringing switched to pounding, like fists were thumping on her door. Her heart jumped into her throat. Could it be the police? Only police banged like that. What if something had happened to her kids?
"Celia, for crying out loud, open the fricking door!" Celia relaxed. She knew that voice. Running to the door, she unlocked it and flung it wide.
Celia could barely believe her eyes. Her best friends, the sisters of her heart, were standing on her front porch. "Oh my God, guys! What the hell are you doing here?"
"Girl, what's with the towel? Always running around in a towel." Fredi elbowed her way past Ava and Bonni and took Celia into a big bear hug. Fredi was not the sentimental type so Celia hugged her back fiercely, appreciating the support.
"I just got out of the shower. I was cleaning the little monsters' bathroom and felt all gross myself," Celia replied.
"Yeah, and that's disgusting," Fredi said, making an eww face and stepping back.
Bonni nudged Ava inside and pushed the door closed, locking it behind them, ever the cop. Ava laughed, tugging on Celia's wet hair. "You're going to get me all damp, but I don't care. I need a Celia hug."
Celia found herself swept up into another hug, and then Bonni joined in. Celia just let herself hang in their arms as they squeezed the breath out of her. "Oh guys, you have no idea how good it is to see you." She was close to tears.
Fredi patted her on the shoulder before going to investigate the kitchen. "Mmm, I need coffee."
Ava took Celia's hand and they congregated in the kitchen. Celia found herself sitting in a chair at her battered kitchen table while her friends bustled around the room. Fredi found her Keurig and picked through her remaining pods to make coffee for her and Bonni. Ava went right to the cabinet holding the mugs, taking out four before grabbing two tea bags. Bonni poured hot water from the kettle into two of the mugs and then went to the fridge and pulled out the milk and the half and half.
Celia felt her chin tremble. "What are you guys doing here?"
Ava carried over the mugs of tea and placed them on the table for her and Celia. She pulled out a chair but, before sitting in it, she rested her palm on Celia's face for the briefest moment and gave her a soft nod. She whispered, "It'll all be okay, sweetie."
"We're here to save you." Bonni sat down across from her, and Celia looked at her friends. To her horror, tears pricked at her eyes, and she swiped her hand over them.
Ave jumped up to grab a box of tissues. "Aw, honey, no tears. We knew you needed some cheering up."
"H-how did you know?" Celia sniffed, taking a tissue to blow her nose.
Bonni spoke. "Landon told me you'd been sounding kinda down. I noticed it too. So we conspired. We knew you'd be kidless so we thought it was the perfect time to run away with you."
"C-conspired? What are you talking about?" Celia added a little milk to her tea and stirred it with a slightly shaking hand. She was happy to hear that Landon had been talking to Bonni about her. It meant she was still on his mind, and a tiny little spark of happiness flared inside her. After their last long conversation they had texted back and forth on a somewhat casual basis. They had bantered, flirted, but she was too off her game to fully enjoy it. She'd been too damn low, worrying about the demands of her ex, and threats, that she rarely paid attention to her phone anymore. Plus, she was on a huge deadline that she wasn't able to explain to anyone yet. Life was so complicated sometimes it was annoying.
"We're kidnapping you," Ava burst out, and Bonni gave her a narrow look. "What's the big deal? We're here. She's coming. That's that." Ava shrugged her shoulders.
"You coulda eased into it a little more gently," Fredi said over the rim of her coffee mug, leaning against the counter. "Or you could check your phone more often, Cee."
Bonni adjusted herself in her seat. "Cee, hey, look at me."
After gazing at Ava and Fredi, still unable to comprehend what was happening, Celia turned her attention to Bonni, who reached out and put her hands over Celia's.
"We're worried about you. You've lost your zazzle, your spark. You've been getting more and more worn down since Vegas. So we're scooping you up and we're heading off to San Francisco and then to Quinn's family vineyard in Napa."
Celia shook her head, the logistics overwhelming her. "Um, I can't. Mom's away and I promised to keep an eye on her house. And I should stay close in case the kids need me. Plus, I have no clean clothes." She looked at her friends. "It's Thursday, laundry day."
"Laundry day is a thing?" Fredi asked. "Who knew?"
"Yeah, it is, so I don't have to do it on the weekend and can just spend time with my kids. I'm so happy to see you guys! But I can't just take off."
"Wow, you are in a bad way," Fredi said, shaking her head.
"What do you mean?" Celia was beginning to feel more ruffled now, and ready to push back. She couldn't just drop everything and go. She was a mom, she had responsibilities!
"The Celia we know would already be upstairs, packing, and then be out the door before anyone else, make-up on, dressed to kill. Ready for an adventure." Fredi put her mug down and a hand on the table. She leaned into Celia, cupping her chin with her other hand. "You need rescuing, and we're here to do it."
"The kids —"
"Are with their dad until next week," Ava reminded her. "Remember, they're at his wedding party, and we found out all the details. He'll be keeping them for a bit before the honeymoon."
"You have? Oh, wow. Um, I — I don't have enough cash —"
"That is all taken care of, and there's no room for argument," Bonni was quick to say, in her stern-cop voice.
Celia was quiet and considered what they were telling her. She had enough food in the fridge to make the kids' lunches when they got back, and her next manuscript wasn't due to the freelance editor she'd hired for another three weeks. Plus, her lawyer's billable rates were crazy on the weekend, so it would be better to wait until Monday to discuss the new court papers. Sure, the house was a disaster area, but it wouldn't crumble if she skipped vacuuming for one week. She looked at her friends' beaming faces and felt Celia the Mom start to get pushed aside by Celia the Woman.
"A long girls' weekend? What exactly would be the plan?" she asked tentatively.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Meet Me in San Francisco"
Copyright © 2018 Shana Gray.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the second installment in this series and we delve into the life of Celia Fox, the single mom who had a fling in Vegas with Landon Bryant. We are treated with a splash of text messages which are fun and flirty until they aren't and then the girls are at Celia's door to kidnap her. These girls climb into a sports car for a drive up the California coast towards Napa Valley and the Bryant vineyard for an extended weekend and after a fun day and overnight in San Francisco, Landon sweeps in the next morning for Celia for a wild day to bring her back to her wild ways. These two are perfect for each other. They have spent a lot of time getting to know each other over texts and Skype and Landon has met her kids over Skype and now with them together it is clear those feelings are true. Celia has a lot going on in her life though with her ex-husband fighting dirty for custody and Celia trying to handle everything on her own. Such a fun and carefree story with great characters. I am so glad I have the complete series and can go on to the next one!
What a great second book in a very interesting themed series. This world of cons and grifts with a Robin Hood ideal is fascinating. Throw in a sexy man depicted as a young Paul Newman, who was sexy at all ages, and a strong woman determined to restore her family name as well as protect them, and you have an amazing read. Both Halsey and Lenore kept the other on their toes. They gave into their passion and it was perfect. The twists of how they got the Cookie Jar was fairly complex and actually pretty cool. Kinda makes you wonder how often this stuff happens in real life. I am looking forward to more in the series. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Meet me in San Francisco a five-star read that will whisk you away. This was my first read by this author, it’s the second book in the Girls weekend away series, but I read it as stand alone and plan to go back and read the first book and hopefully the rest of the series as I adored this book, you can imagine yourself on the Golden Gate bridge in the fog and having seafood in Fisherman’s Wharf. You want to throat punch the stupid ex and while away the hours in the arms of a lovely man like Landon. This is a read where you have to suspend reality as its not everyday a playboy millionaire falls in love with you and whisks you away after your friends have kidnapped you, but if you do, the you will be rewarded with a great story that suck you in and while away your time reading.