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Lovers And Friends
Claire Bocardo
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When Ivy Darling’s third husband trades her in on a newer model, it seems only natural for her long (and happily) widowed friend Flo Hunnicut to take her in. After all, though they’re different as satin and Denim, they’ve been friends for forty years.

Then Ivy, who believes no woman can be truly happy without a man, sets out to make Flo over so she can attract local builder Lon Stubbins. However, Flo wants neither a makeover nor a man. To give Ivy something else to think about, Flo decides to set her up with his rich and gorgeous partner, Dexter George Armbruster III.

It might almost work, if only the men didn’t have ideas of their own about who belongs with whom.

Flo Huckabee shoved a tray of fresh apple fritters into the display case and raised her head--like Pavlov’s dog, she thought wryly--at the ding of the bell over the shop door. It had been a slow morning. The weather was warm, and people were buying fewer pastries on the way to work these days.

The pretty little woman who entered seemed familiar, though Flo couldn’t place her right away. A floppy, broad-brimmed, blue straw hat blooming with silk flowers hid most of her face. Daintily built, she carried her shoulders braced and her head uplifted like a blossom, as if by posture alone she could add to her diminutive height. A body’d think the three-inch heels would be enough, Flo thought, and smiled. The customer wore a stylishly cut, sky-blue linen suit and a rosy silk blouse with a drooping bow tie at the neck, and her tiny hands glittered with elaborate rings. Flo met the woman’s eyes and took a step backward in shock.

"Why, Ivy Grimes!" she cried. "For heaven’s sake! I haven’t seen you in a dog’s age! How in the world have you been?"

"Flo." The voice was soft and perfectly modulated, but tight. "It has been a long time, hasn’t it?"

Flo came from behind the counter, dusting her large, square hands on her apron and extending them to grasp her old friend’s small, bejeweled ones.

"I’d hug you," she said, "but I’m all over flour. Just let me look at you."

Ivy smiled and returned the hand pressure. She took a step backward and endured Flo’s penetrating gaze for a moment before looking away.

"Smart as ever," Flo allowed, smiling. "You always did look as if you’d just stepped out of Vogue magazine. Never have understood how you do it. So, what are you doing back home in Cedar Grove, for heaven’s sake? I thought Houston had claimed you forever!" Ivy might look like a fashion ad, she thought, but something was wrong. Her face looked pinched, and her body was stiff as new boots.

"So did I," Ivy said, "but I guess forever doesn’t always last. I’m just staying out at the Holiday Inn, trying to make up my mind what to do."

"About what?" Something was wrong, then. Ivy’d never had trouble with a decision in her life; the deed had always followed the thought as the night the day.

Ivy’s shoulders rose as she took a steadying breath.

"It’s a long story, and you’re working. I really just came in to ask if I can take you to lunch, but now I remember you make the best lunch in town right here. Dinner?"

The invitation sounded tentative, not like the brisk, confident, Ivy that Flo remembered.

"Well, sure!" Flo said. "But why not sit down right now and have a little coffee and catch-up? Annie--you remember Annie, my helper?--she’s just gone to the bank. She’ll be back in a minute, then we can talk awhile."

"Well..." Ivy looked uncomfortably around the combination bakery and coffee shop and lowered herself into a small bentwood chair. "Just for a minute, then. Thanks, Flo. That would be nice."

What could be the matter? Flo wondered, retreating behind the counter to pour two cups of coffee. Ivy looked flat beat down.

Flo had known Ivy Grimes since they were cheerleaders together and Ivy lived with her tired, old folks in that tired, old house in the tired, old part of town. In all those years, however bad things got, Ivy had always been chipper as a sparrow, head up and eyes bright. They’d been saving each other’s bacon forever amen, and except in private, Flo had never seen Ivy’s shoulders slump a single time. She slipped an apple fritter onto her daintiest plate before returning to the table.

Claire Bocardo became a transplanted Texan 40 years ago. She lives in a passive solar house on 14 acres of virgin prairie in the Red River Valley. She would love to hear from her readers at clairebocardo@msn.com .

“Claire Bocardo offers up a tough-as-nails voice of wisdom in MAYBE LATER LOVE, a cracker-jack, tell-it-like-it-is look at a widow's mystical spiritual quest.” --Elisabeth Fairchild, author of A GAME OF PATIENCE

“A widow's journey through grief, self-awareness, new and old relationships, and parapsychology makes for an entertaining read. Claire Bocardo proves herself an author to watch in women's fiction.” --Cheryl Norman, 2003 EPPIE winning author of LAST RESORT

Maybe Later, Love: First-time author Claire Bocardo has crafted a strong, sensitive work dealing with a woman’s search for her identity. This novel will appeal to any woman who has questioned her role in life. -- Romantic Times Review, Harriet Klausner

Maybe Later, Love: Dorrie’s personal odyssey, as well as first-novelist Bocardo’s cast of well-drawn and varied supporting characters, should delight mature romance fans who are tired of heroines young enough to be their daughters. -- Publishers Weekly review

Maybe Later, Love: Anyone who can imagine facing a dramatic life change can identify with Bocardo’s book. Even though the ending does not fit the classic romance novel, it is a positive statement about love and aging. The pleasure from reading Maybe Later, Love comes not from knowing what will happen, but from sharing the journey. -- Richardson (TX) News WEEKENDER

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1590888421
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590888421
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 225

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