She loves Damon, of course, but sometimes the differences between them seem hard to ignore. They had such different childhoods. Plus, his mother has a strong hold over him that Harriet doesnt like. She runs into Natethe boy next door. Growing up, they were best pals, and they do share a childhood history. Little does Harriet know, Nates been in love with her for years.
While Harriet tries to plan the perfect wedding, shes left wondering whether she is marrying the right man. Damon is an excellent match who will be able to support her emotionally and financially, but Nate is the guy she knows, inside and out. She needs to come clean about her fearsto both of thembut honesty could either help or hinder her cause. She wonders: is her real life Patrick Swayze just waiting for her to step onto the dance floor?
|Publisher:||Balboa Press AU|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)|
About the Author
Being creative is also one of her greatest passions and aims to one day complete a Graphic Design degree.
But until that day, she teaches and helps to broaden young minds whist she wishes upon stars and embarks on her literal adventures by night.
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Sealing charts and a Tiffany box
Sitting at her dining table in her brownstone in Tribeca, Harriet sips on her coffee as she looks down at the seating chart for her upcoming wedding reception. Her impending nuptials to Damon Bennett, a 32-year-old banker from Manhattan, occur in less than three months and as each day comes to pass, she is slowly finding that all the floundering wedding jitters she's tried to bury deep down inside are getting the best of her.
Looking down to her hand, her white gold princess cut tiffany engagement ring comes into view. Rubbing her right index finger over its stones she loses her train of thought. Momentarily caught by the sparkle from the sun catching light off the ring and casting crystal-like reflections onto her ceiling, she moves away from the chart towards the seat of her front bay window.
Watching people pass by down on the street, making guesses as to where they are off to and what they might do for work. As she takes another drawn out sip of her coffee, her eyes glance down once again at the ring and her mind is brought back to Damon, particularly on how they met.
They hated each other at first. Meeting when Harriet planned his older sister's wedding but she learnt a long time ago that first impressions are never as they seem. It's the most obvious cliché in any epic love story. Most of the greatest love stories that Harriet had ever read about or watched on screen began in hate and despise. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. Margaret Hale and Tom Thornton. Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe. But of all examples, Harriet's favourite tale without a doubt had to be the story of Johnny Castle and Francis "Baby" Houseman.
Like Baby; Damon haled from a family surrounded by wealth and tradition. He is a sixth generation Manhattan Bennett and from the moment Harriet met his mother, she strongly felt that Mrs Bennett would never approve of their relationship due to Harriet's lack of title and family background. Whereas Harriet in this scenario is like Johnny, having grown up in an average family with a modest home in Hartford, Connecticut. Her father isn't a fortune 500 stock broker but instead a licensed plumber with his own business whilst her mother is a stay at mother, who now; helps run her father's business and organises the weekly book club within their neighbourhood.
Funnily enough after a few heated exchanges and a date, Harriet and Damon began seeing each other. After three years together, living together for practically two, they became engaged and are now soon to be married. Up until there had been no talk of marriage and babies. Harriet had come to assume that they were simply enjoying each other and were busy with their own careers. That was, until Damon proposed and an elated Harriet accepted.
Resting her head against the cool glass pane, a private thought sends a smile to her lips as she remembers the sight of her family's faces when Damon and her drove to Hartford to share the news. Her father's face displayed tells of elation and joy whereas her mother's showed disinterest.
Changing her train of thought, she looks down to the steps leading up to the apartment and she smiles, once more. Taken back to the night that Damon proposed, she remembers the moment when she realised that her life was never going to be the same.
* * *
Nine months earlier ...
Harriet is sitting on her window seat, listening to the stereo play the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, with a glass of wine. She has had a long day of bridezillas and unsatisfied parents that she is trying to unwind by letting Patrick Swayze soothe her soul and by looking out at the stars in the night sky. A past-time she enjoyed as a child but rarely gets time to do as an adult.
Looking down on the street, she watches Damon pulling up in front of her apartment in his BMW and upon departure of his car, she watches as he smiles up at her and waves. Placing his briefcase and keys down in the hallway, he moves further inside the apartment to find Harriet still seated at the window seat. Meeting her, he leans down and kisses her forehead before taking a sip of her wine and a seat opposite her on the sill.
As he watches the beautiful creature that is sits opposite him, a smile is brought to his face as he slowly clues in on the music that plays in the background. When they first met, they shared indifferences regarding the movie but as time passed, the music just became another fixture in the apartment especially if she's had a trying day at the office.
Grinning at her, he smiles. "Another eventful day at the office, honey?" Smiling gently back at him, she replies. "Oh always", as she moves from the sill to the floor and rests her back upright against the wall.
Stopping to look at her, concerned at her answer, he sees exhaustion in her tired eyes. Feeling the need to spread some sunshine across her face, he figures its finally the right time to ask her. Slipping his hand inside his jacket, he softly pats around the pockets in search of the little blue box and is overwhelmed with relief, when he finally finds it in breast pocket.
Smirking to himself, he can still remember the phone conversation he had with Harper when he asked her to come with him to Tiffany's and help him pick out a ring for Harriet. Unfortunately, their entire time in Tiffany's he was bombarded with questions on how and where he was going to ask. Unsure but mostly scared to death, he just laughed along with his sister at her enjoyment at his pain. He can also remember how relieved he was when he arrived back to the apartment that morning to find Harriet out, giving him plenty of time to find a hiding place for the ring.
He tried but he failed. He thought of places he could hide it but knowing that there was a possibility that Harriet could find it and start asking questions, terrified him so he took it to work with him the next day and placed in his draw until he found the right opportunity. Grinning, as he finally finds the words to introduce the subject of marriage, his attention is focused on her reaction.
"Just think of all the experience you're gaining. I mean, you'll be a pro by the time we get married."
With confidence, he stands watching her as she fathoms a response; first in her head then in words. He loved that about her, that she never made a decision without at least taking a moment to mull it over that was unless it was about him of course. She at times, had the sharpest of tongues, a trait in which he came to face to face with when they first met or say whenever his mother was around.
Harriet, who has now changed her focus from outside to Damon's face catches the last words of his comments and looks at him with confusion.
"Wait - What now? When we get married?"
Damon, who is now in the kitchen, grabbing a beer and taking something out his pocket begins to walk back to her at the window.
"Well yeah, I mean don't you?" A shell-shocked Harriet freezes in her place. Her mind racing with thoughts on how to even to begin to respond to his declaration.
"Damon, when did. I mean, we haven't even. I didn't even know; I mean I never thought Smiling cheerfully as he takes a seat on the carpet next to her, beer in one hand and the blue Tiffany box with its white satin bow neatly tied, resting inside the other.
"Harriet, listen. I know we've never talked about it and I'm sorry if I've shocked you with this. It's just that well ... we've been together now for three years and when I think about my life and my future there is one only thing that is constant. That is, you.
I love you, Harriet."
With tears streaming down her cheeks, she takes a slow but deep breath before wiping away the waterfall that is now her cheek.
"I love you too Damon. I just never thought in a million years that you wanted to get married?"
Slowly nodding, he opens his palm to show the small blue Tiffany box. Surprised that the box is still in one piece and not crumpled up into a million pieces like the knots in his stomach, he reaches over to take her right hand and open the box on her palm. Watching intently for her reaction but deeply terrified of hearing a negative response, he takes her left hand inside his as he fights back his doubts to produce a smile.
"Harriet Arabella Lancer, would you do me the very great honour of marrying me and becoming my wife?"
Rendered speechless, Harriet's ability to speak is lost and she can't help but nod her head profusely in acceptance. Leaning towards him, she kisses him softly. Pulling her arms up around him, Damon breaks the kiss to look down at her hand to see the ring. Only in the blurred moment of her acceptance, she forgot all about it and he smirks at the sight of the small powder blue signature Tiffany box, with its delicate white satin ribbon, sitting on the floor beside her.
"Do you even want to see the ring?"
With a glowing smile that spreads sunshine across her cheeks and give off sparks from her eyes, her moment of euphoria weakens as she begins to realise that she has no idea where the box had actually ended up. Bending down to her knees, she searches around for the box and Damon can't help but laugh at her oddball behaviour.
"God, we're engaged no more for ten minutes and you've lost the ring?" Whacking his shoulder, she grins back at him. "Well, you distracted me!!!", she says as she smiles back up at him. Finding the box near her feet she picks up the box. Slowly untying the bow, she savours every moment she can as she opens the box to find a white gold princess cut engagement ring.
"So you like it then???"
Looking up at him, she nods as she lets the tears stream down her cheek once again. Yanking Damon down to meet her, she watches on as her takes the ring from the box to slide it on her finger. Resting his back against the wall of the front bay window, he opens his legs and positions inside them, her back to rest against his chest. Contented, Harriet rests her head in the crook of his neck and for a moment, allows herself to become lost at the sight of his strong neck. Following the column of A contented Harriet, lets herself settle against his chest for a moment before allowing her eyes follow the column of his neck up past his profoundly definedjaw and rest on his piercing powder blue eyes as he looks back down at her, pulling her tighter into his arms.
Looking away from him, her focus drops to the ring and it doesn't take long for her mind to become consumed with thoughts of the tasks involved now that they're engaged. Looking away from the ring and out at the night sky, she begins to rubs her forehead until it dawns on her that she'd have to call her mother to tell her the news.
The smile that was once posted upon her lips has now died at the thought of having to tell her mother.
"Oh god ... I better ring my parents, let them know. " Damon reaching for his beer beside him, takes it by its neck and takes a long pull. Smiling as he swallows, he shares that he has already been to see her father.
"Your dad already knows!"
Turning in her spot, she looks up at him. "He does???"
"Yeah well, I kind of had to ask for his permission and all. I mean, I didn't want to not ask him and risk upsetting the "the family".
Knocking her head back, she is consumed by laughter. Damon watches as her laughter fills her body and she shakes her head back at him. His use of the quotation marks whenever he refers to her family still continues to amaze her, a trait of his that she has become very familiar with ... especially during their heated arguments when he refuses to state names, particularly if he's talking about her or someone she knows.
Wiping her face, her cheeks now the brightest shade of pink at his assumption that her family is somehow involved or is connected with the mafia. Knowing that it's in no way true, at least she thinks.
"Oh my god. You and your funny Italian beliefs!?"
"What? Come on, you of all people; I mean don't you think some of your relatives are scary? Uncle Sal for instance?"
"Uncle Sal owns this apartment", she responds, her voice still raptured by giggles. "But, I really do appreciate you asking my father. I know he would've cherished you asking him."
He smiles and before nipping at her neck, he takes a finger and curls a length of her dark chocolate brown locks around it.
"Well, what can I say. I am old fashioned guy! "
Shaking her head at him, she can't help but say, "Speaking of old ... I guess we'll have to tell your mother?"
"Yeah I guess so. I mean my father and Harper already know, so I guess 'we' should tell her."
Snapping a hellish look back at him, she turns and wiggles her finger defiantly back and forth at him.
"Oh no. This -", pulling her fingers into the same curled quotation trait he is always making at her, "one is all yours!!!"
Rolling his eyes, he reaches for his beer to take another pull. "Harriet, she'll respect us more if we do it together."
Standing, she stomps off into her kitchen only to reappear with a glass and wine bottle. Slamming the glass down on the table and filling the entire glass to its rim, she begins firing back at Damon.
"Every time that woman is near me, it's like she feels she has to insult me."
He stands and meets her, knowing that their relationship has never ran smoothly, this mostly due to this mother. Harriet has literally done everything she has possibly could to get into his mother's good graces but just won't warm to her.
Before she can take a drink, Damon takes the glass from out of Harriet's grasp and turns her to face him.
"Don't worry, I'll protect you!"
Harriet, who is silently fuming, shakes her head at him as a contradictive smile creeps up over her lips.
"You always say that, Damon. Yet ..."
"No, Harriet!!!", frustrated he declares, "I'll protect you!!!"
Reaching down, he takes her hand and rests it on his chest. "This isn't just some game. Don't you get it!!! Your heart lives inside this heart. I want to spend the rest of my life with you!"
Brushing a lock of hair away from her face, he looks down into her eyes. Cupping her soft chin, his eyes move over her face.
"I love you, Harriet. I have from the moment I set eyes on you and you told me off for insulting Dirty Dancing!!!"
She smiles back at him. "You deserved it!!!", as a tear falls down her cheek.
"Well if I knew then what I know now, the effect that Dirty Dancing and that Patrick Swayze bloke has on women, I would've watched it sooner"
Looking up, her eyes trailing the strong column of his neck to his lips and resting on his eyes, Harriet just shakes her head and then places her head back down on his chest.
* * *
Pulled back to reality by the ringing sound of her phone, Harriet shakes some sense into herself and allows her machine to take the call as she sips her coffee. Looking back out towards the front bay window, she watches as her busy neighbours scurry along the street's sidewalks before gazing up past the street and building skyline, to the clear blue sky speckled with white pillowy clouds.
The site of them reminded her of how much she used to love watching clouds make shapes when she was younger. The hours she spent on the trampoline in her backyard, just watching the clouds float by and change as she made guesses as to what shapes they formed. Looking back inside her apartment her focus returns to the seating chart.
Taking a deep elongated breath, she rubs her hand over her forehead. The act of having to seat the guests into a manageable order is causing more problems than she had originally anticipated. Trying to seat two families from two very different backgrounds and the calibre of guests each family were requesting be invited wasn't going to be as easy as she thought it would be.
Walking back to the chart, her finger trails down the guest list her father gave her. Rubbing her forehead again, her finger stops dead against the names of her childhood neighbours, Mr & Mrs Michaels. Closing her planner, she moves into her kitchen and empties her coffee cup. Placing it in the sink, she turns and heads upstairs to get ready for a long day at work.CHAPTER 2
Difference of Opinion
Shortly after the proposal, in which Damon and Harriet had to attend an extremely awkward Bennett family dinner to announce their engagement, the happy couple travelled to Hartford to share their happy news.
Taking the 176 exit to Hartford in transit to Bristol Street where Harriet's family home is located, Damon couldn't help but notice how different the streets are in the town she grew up in compared to his in Manhattan. Glancing over at his fiancé, he notices that her attention is preoccupied with the outside view, fixed on the streets of her childhood hometown.
Returning his attention back to the road he imagines her as a little girl. Riding her bike down the streets, going trick or treating with friends. Her family and neighbours having barbecue's in their backyards and maybe even attending a holiday parade here and there. Before he knows it, he is succumbed by wave of jealousy. As it swells and crazily pounds on his chest, he silently wishes he had grown up in a community like this. In a house with a backyard.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "She's Like the Wind"
Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth J Marie.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
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.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Seating charts and a Tiffany box, 1,
Chapter 2 Difference of Opinion, 11,
Chapter 3 Cotton Ball Clouds and Chewing Gum, 25,
Chapter 4 The Engagement Party, 31,
Chapter 5 Post Celebration Insults, 41,
Chapter 6 A moment with Sophie and Will, 49,
Chapter 7 The tale of the Bennett's, 57,
Chapter 8 Measuring Up, 62,
Chapter 9 A mother of all insults, 69,
Chapter 10 Harper's Dinner Rehearsal, 79,
Chapter 11 Welcomed home with open arms, 91,
Chapter 12 Will's Wedding, 102,
Chapter 13 A somewhat awkward encounter, 108,
Chapter 14 Two machine messages and a Date, 113,
Chapter 15 An unexpected recommendation, 121,
Chapter 16 The First Date, 135,
Chapter 17 A Difference in Opinions, 148,
Chapter 18 A Milestone to Remember, 154,
Chapter 19 Two months and counting, 163,
Chapter 20 Broken, 172,
Chapter 21 A tale of two families, 179,
Chapter 22 Uninvited, 184,
Chapter 23 Man to Man, 193,
Chapter 24 Blast from the past, 206,
Chapter 25 A rehearsal dinner of all sorts, 214,
Chapter 26 Go big or go home, 221,
Chapter 27 An exchange of pleasantries, 225,
Chapter 28 Frank Lancer: The ever-avid watcher and doting father, 231,
Chapter 29 Post Rehearsal Chit-Chat, 234,
Chapter 30 Something borrowed, Something blue, 239,
Chapter 31 It wasn't in the stars, 247,
Chapter 32 A cloudless sky and pyjamas, 254,
Chapter 33 Confessions of the broken-hearted, 262,
About The Author, 273,